RYUUTAMA NATURAL FANTASY RPG

This website is an introduction to the Ryuutama RPG, released by Tabletalk Cafe Daydream. Purchase and translation information is included at the bottom of the site. Please excuse the Spartan feel of this site; later on it will be made sliiightly prettier.

Ryuutama calls itself a "Natural Fantasy RPG". It is a fantasy role-playing game set in a western medieval-style setting where for the most part killing monsters is not the center of the game: Ryuutama instead emphasizes travel, exploration, community, friendship, harmony and growth. Adventures usually involve traveling from one town to another, packing gear, crafting items, cooking and sharing along the way; getting lost, meeting people and (sometimes cute) monsters along the way; braving the elements and trying to set camp properly.

The game sets itself apart from other Western role-playing games because of its focus on what in Japanese is described as "Honobono", or "Heartwarming". This is a Japanese trend of video games, anime and books that hasn't quite had the same run over here in the West. Think Hao Miyazaki anime like Castle in the Sky, Totoro, Spirited Away. In Japan, the Popolocrois console game series, which emphasized the "honobono" feel of adventure amongst simple relationships/goals of friendship, family, wonder, then you'll know where Ryuutama comes from. Entire sessions may slip by without any combat. Experience points are largely gained by traveling over difficult terrain and exploring new places than defeating enemies.

A few interesting things about Ryuutama:

* Ryuutama means "Dragon Egg". The idea is that there is a dragon-person, or Ryuujin/Ryuubito, who watches over the adventurers as they travel. The Ryuujin writes down the stories collected by the adventurers, and uses them as a force to nurture dragon eggs. Through the stories of the adventurers, the nature and weather-based dragons of the world are born.
* There are four stats: Body, Agility, Mind and Spirit. Each one of these is rated at a die type (d4, d6, d8, d10): There are no "skill checks", all checks are performed by rolling two of these together as appropriate against a difficulty number, usually 7.
* The character classes are Minstrel, Merchant, Hunter, Healer, Farmer, Craftsperson and Noble. You can select from there if you want to be a Magic, Attack or Skill type, meaning every one of those classes could use magic or weapons.
* Much of the game is focused on travel and obstacles: You usually lose far more HP while crossing difficult terrain during bad weather than you do in combat. At the end of the day, you can regain all of your HP with successful camping checks. The focus of health is travel in Ryuutama.
* The GM also creates a character with its own character sheet, the Ryuujin who watches over the players. The type of Ryuujin determines the kinds of stories are told, and the abilities that the Ryuujin has: Green for traditional exploration and adventure; Blue for friendship, family, comraderie and personal stories; Red for conflict, competition, combat and war; Black for deception, dark-toned, blood operas. The Ryuujin levels up as the GM runs more sessions and tells more stories. As the Ryuujin gains levels, she also gains abilities to help the players in tight spots: The GM works with the players, and not always as an adversary!
* Combat takes place on a simple battlefield with a front and back line, much like classic console RPGs. Players also use elements on the battlefield to their advantage in order to gain small bonuses in combat.
* Adventure preparation involves purchasing equipment, keeping track of food and water, keeping pack animals, tracking supplies and the like. There is definitely an "Oregon Trail" feel to the adventures in Ryuutama. Talking with the people in new towns as you trade goods and rest is in fact a strong part of the game, as is managing resources during travel.

See more pictures from the book HERE.

Read the Translator's Account of "What is Ryuutama, and why do I love it" HERE.

Ryuutama English Sheet Downloads:

* PC Character Sheet
* GM Character Sheet
* Battlefield Sheet
* Scenario Creation Sheet
* Event Sheet
* Scenario Sheet for Travel-Centric Scenarios
* Scenario Sheet for Fight-Centric Scenarios
* Scenario Sheet for Gathering-Centric Scenarios

Ryuutama Purchase and Translation Information

On my last trip to Japan, I purchased 10 copies of Ryuutama: From game stores, from Amazon.co.jp, from online auctions (all in MINT condition). While you can purchase Ryuutama from Amazon.co.jp directly (or any other importer: ISBN978-4-86176-469-1), it will cost you a lot. Amazon for their current 2300-yen used copies (original price of the Ryuutama book is 3000 yen, or $38.00 US) will cost you a total of 5700 yen with shipping, or approx $72.00 US dollars. Amazon is a great and inexpensive place to purchase books and manga and games, but only in bulk: Individual purchases (or purchases under 8-10 items) are just too expensize for most people.

So I have 10 copies, that's it. After they are sold, we may have a few more from time to time but otherwise you'll have to find a copy yourself.

All 10 copies are sold. Sorry, didn't expect them to go that fast.

* So, you can try to order a copy for yourself through Amazon.co.jp if copies remain (link below)
* You can try a local importer, like YesAsia or Kinokuniya. ISBN is ISBN978-4-86176-469-1. They might be able to order it through other channels.
* From time to time, Matt or I will pick up a copy from auctions or local gaming stores in Japan. If you want to get a heads up when a copy is available, contact me at ziggurat ATMARK gmail DOT com and we'll add you to a list of potential future buyers.

We will not sell the translation alone. The translation is specifically missing some monster/chart information which requires the original Japanese book to play. In other words, you cannot play the game with the translation alone, you will require a copy of the book as well. Think of it as copy-protection, or basically supporting the authors and designers of the game by requiring you to have purchased the game to play using the translation notes. We also request that if you have fun with the game, to consider donating a few dollars more after-the-fact directly to the translator, to encourage him to bring more awesome Japanese games into English (as well as to do more Ryuutama updates).

Useful Links

The Ryuutama RPG Page, in Japanese.
- A direct link to a PDF called "The Player's Summary", while in Japanese and in color it gives a certain feel that will hopefully convey the tone of the game.
Matthew Sanchez's Japanese RPG Game Blog
- A Ryuutama sample scenario on the aforementioned blog.
The Amazon.co.jp link to purchase Ryuutama (used only, apparently).