Ryuutama Play Report: A Wandering Introduction

When my friend Fuji-hime, a Japanese pal I met at a convention a while back, learned that I was moving back to Japan, she offered to GM a session of Ryuutama for me.  Today I met with my old Japanese group and set out for our first adventure together with Fuji-hime as the Ryuubito.

With 7 players total, we took a few hours to create our characters.  We ended up with 1 farmer, 1 healer, 1 navigator (me!), 2 nobles, a crafter, and a minstrel.  I tried out the Koneko Goblin race, becoming a Koneko Pirate.  It was a very ‘lighthearted’ session; the minstrel steadfastly refused to spend the 50 gold on clothes, instead relying on 2 sets of ‘beautiful’ rope and a cape to cover his shame.  Another character was named Jaggy-chan-san, a female version of Jaggy from Fist of the North Star.  My ‘pack animal’ was a human named Teddy Billballs with a bit in his mouth that I rode around.  It was pretty fun.

Fuji-hime didn’t have much planned in the way of a session; she just wanted to make sure that there were enough things that happened that each rule was explained during the session.  We also wanted money, so we spent lots of time as a party bickering and doing stupid things to make money in the tavern.  Towards the end, we fought some bears, where the naked minstrel was killed by 2 consecutive bear attacks.  He was already damaged from a fumbled movement check (those grassy plains can be deadly!), so he went down pretty fast.  The Ryuubito used the blessing that revives anyone that dies, bringing him back so that he can make the final blow.

It was a fun, meandering session with some friends I haven’t seen for a long time.  It played very much like any normal game of Dungeons and Dragons, except that the hardships of travel itself did more damage than the monsters we fought.  I’ve got to say, though, that I usually don’t enjoy games that don’t leave the tavern for the majority of the session (hence my belief that handouts can be a great tool).  From now on, though, I’ve been assured that there will be actual scenarios for us to take part in and have something to aim for when we play.  I like that the game is really flexible, but the scenario creation guide that’s in the book is really handy, so I wouldn’t really suggest a free-style game like the one that we played, unless you were trying to teach a large group of people the rules in a light session.

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~ by mattgsanchez on April 17, 2011.

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