Bucyrus firmly believes that there’s no (and shouldn’t ever be) a single RPG for all, but for everyone out there, there’s a RPG.
Ryuutama certainly isn’t for everyone. It’s a freeform game stylized after various Japanese video games like some chapters of Final Fantasy or Chrono Trigger. It’s about people, normal citizens of their world, who are obliged by tradition to undergo a long voyage at least once in their lifetime. So, they band together with other people, be it strangers or friends and embark on a journey.
Simple concept, huh?
Well, yes, it is. There’s not much else – there’s no story arc, no giant threat to the world, no such things. Actually, there’s not even the world. Ryuutama features no defined universe and pretty much everyone is free to come up with their own vision.
And yet, the game is strangely intriguing, full of small, witty concepts that make it certainly very unique. For example, the GM doesn’t just sit there. He has his special character actually participating in the game, acting as the observer, perhaps a teacher and sometimes a guide for the group. Most importantly, he is a scibre, he writes down the story of group’s adventures and then he sends it to higher powers – one of dragons, who in turn grant powerful boons and “blessings”.
And yeah, while it’s quite common for the GM to lead his own character(s), Ryuutama is one of rare games that embrace the concept and take it a step forward by making it a part of its experiences rather than purely optional solution.
So, who should play the game? Well, pretty much everyone who finds a joy in traveling, who wants to take a break from typical violent adventures where corpses pile up to the heavens and rivers of blood flow. It’s also an awesome introductory game for younger people, or those who are familiar with Japanese video games mentioned earlier.
Bucyrus realizes that it would be hard for people who play d20-based hack and slashers to enter and enjoy the simple and straightforward, a little childish world of Ryuutama’s fairy tales, but it’s an undeniable fact, that sometimes people want something else. And who knows, perhaps then such a game might come in handy. It’s definitely worth at least reading.
Oh, by the way. The game is currently in a process of being translated to English. It’s 99% done and all that’s missing are character sheets and such – nothing that can’t be substituted by 3 minutes of work, nothing that makes the game unplayable.