Ryuutama

Elevator Pitch: Oregon Trail, only through the world of Dragon Quest.

Resolution Mechanic::[/b] 2 Attribute dice added together vs. target number

Dice Used Standard polyhedrals

Summary

The world is born of the actions of the various dragons that inhabit it. A wasteland spreads because of Wasteland dragons that take residence there. Rain falls because Rain dragons pass through. Cloud dragons float calmly through the sky above.

In this world, the people all have a certain tradition: that, at some point in every person’s life, they will go on a Journey. It can come at any age, and it can be for any reason, but everyone goes out on an adventure, of sorts, while everyone else, understanding this as a natural part of life, takes care of their things for them so that they’re still waiting when they get home. Guiding these journeys are the Ryuujin, the dragon-people who secretly record these journeys, mostly from afar. Those chronicles are then fed to the seasonal dragons, who grow and mature until they’re ready to leave the nest.

This is a game about the stories of those ordinary people, and their special journeys, and the things that they encounter on them!

System Features

Characters are made by picking an array of stats to apply to their basic attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Spirit), choosing one of seven classes of ordinary folk, like Merchants or Farmers, and picking from one of three types: Attack (for those who want to be rough and tumble), Technical (for those who want to focus on their skills), or Magic (for those who want access to spells). Attributes are a number equal to the type of die that is rolled when that attribute is called for during a roll, so a character with a Str of 6 rolls a d6 for checks that call for it. A character’s class provides a set of three skills that give her special abilities or modify her characteristics, and her type provides further characteristic modification, access to more weaponry, and, in the case of Magic, access to choosing from a variety of types of magic. Characters also get the ability to spend 1000 gp on items, which, as the game is about overland travel as much as it is anything else, is actually quite an important step!

At the beginning of each day, each character rolls for her Condition, representing her general quality of life that day. This is an important number, as it determines how vulnerable she is to various Status effects she might encounter during the day, as well as how far her HP can drop below 0 before she dies if things get really bad! If the party is out on the trail, they’ll also need to make journey rolls to find out how well they do at passing the potentially dangerous terrain, face any special events, and find a safe place to camp for the night. Time spent on the trails is measured with food and water rations; better stock up whenever you hit a town!

The wilds aren’t entirely safe, though, and sometimes you’ll run into monsters you can’t negotiate with. Combat, when it happens, works sort of like an old console JRPG: characters and monsters are placed into front and back lines, with attendant limitations based on weapon choice and the like. But a character’s defense is equal to her Initiative roll; fortune favors the quick! Each combat also begins with a number of Objects lying around; if you use them in your descriptions, you’ll get a bonus to your attacks! But each item can only give that bonus once per fight, so be careful of how you use them.

Unique to Ryuutama is the character of the Ryuujin, a special character built by the GM. Each Ryuujin is of one of four colors, chosen based on what kind of story the GM wants to chronicle. The Ryuujin has an artifact that changes the rules a little, and a couple of types of special abilities called Benedictions and Reveils that let them interfere with the action, usually to the benefit of the story they want to tell, or by giving bonuses to travelers who act in ways that support its type of story. The Ryuujin is usually observing from afar, but might take its special animal form to keep a closer eye on its charges . . .

Scenario

In the Grasslands & Nekogoblins and Strife in the Town Market (Ryuutama base book)

The travelers are journeying to Ifa, a market town well known for producing especially cute goods. What sorts of trials await them?

Getting the Game

You can grab the pdf from DriveThruRPG. You can get the book and pdf together from the Kotodama Heavy Industries website!

Ryuutama

Ann Arbor Game Day zcipher