steel-kun's perfect dragon class: Let's Play Ryuutama: The Lost Horizon

Tell your own story…

What the hell is Ryuutama?
Ryuutama is a Japanese Tabletop RPG created in 2007 by Atsuhiro Okada that was translated to English in 2015 thanks to a Kickstarter by Matt Sanchez and Andy Kitowski. The game itself is part of a genre in Japanese media specifically catered to “emotional healing,” which is just a fancy way of saying it’s a feelgood game. In the game, you don’t take the role of traditional heroes, but instead take roles normally associated with NPCs such as merchants, hunters, or craftsmen.

In Ryuutama, the GM assumes the role of a Ryuujin: draconic scribes that write down the stories of adventurers (aptly named"travelogues") to their respective seasonal dragon. Their goal is to nurture the dragon with travelogues so that it may one day leave the nest. There are four types of Ryuujin, each with their respective season and story style. Because of the variety and the lack of actual fluff within the game, groups are allowed a ton of versatility with the settings they create.

Who are you people?
We’re a group of friends that really love to shitpost and roleplay. No, really, that’s it.
steel-kun (henceforth “steel”) is our GM and the one assuming the role of the Ryuujin. It’s been a huge labor of love on his part to hold a Ryuutama campaign, and I would love to share my group’s shenanigans with you all.

Our group consists of 6 people (from left to right on the banner):
steel-kun - Eipollo, Our GM and Midori Ryuu
Me - Mako, a koneko goblin chef
PyroRaptor - Loveland, a magical boy healer
Broshimaru - Nishka, a merchant from a foreign land
BirdKingJay - Kaito, an adventuring hunter
KoriCongo - Sydney, a well-meaning noble

Wasn’t there a thread on this game already?
Indeed there was! In fact, the thread on here inspired me to host steel’s campaign here in order to gain more exposure for Ryuutama. Our group believes that Ryuutama needs more attention as a game and we wish to give it that by holding a thread here. We assure that our campaign will be different from the one already seen here.

Ok, so what’s the plan?
Every time we complete a session, this thread will be updated with the travelogues and journals of the cast as well as progress made on our map. Sadly, we can’t do a podcast format since steel is in Germany, meaning that our sessions typically hold during his late night hours. Our sessions and all forms of roleplay are all conducted through text, so transcripts of funny or serious moments might be given in tandem with the travelogues and journals. Archiving Roll20 logues is a bitch and a half to do though, so I must stress that it’s only a possibility.

What kind of house rules will you have?
steel will have a multitude of systems in place for the campaign. These include, but are not limited to:
-In-depth mechanics for each character and their respective abilities (Cooking, Magic, Tracking, etc.)
-Homebrewed monsters
-Magical items
-Collaborative worldbuilding

steel has also made a list of common rolls and the stats that will use them


Hard Exercise: (STR+DEX)
Delicate Work: (DEX+SPI)
Stealth: (DEX+DEX)
Perception: (DEX+INT)
Carousing: (STR+SPI)
Dodge: (DEX+INT)
Negotiation: (INT+SPI)

Our first session will be held this Wednesday. But first, a lore dump!

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The following was written by steel. Each character introduction is written by their respective players.
It’s 1108 YR (the 1108th Year of Rebuilding)…
1108 years after the Great Demon King was defeated in battle and imprisoned in a powerful magical seal;
1108 years since his armies scattered across the land, and the long and arduous Season of Rebuilding began…

The Great Demon King and his armies had all but extinguished civilization on the island and sundered it in half, so that human’s rebuilding efforts had to start from close to zero. People in the present believe that civilization still hasn’t caught up to howl things looked before the Great Demon King arrived, and some people believe it might not be possible to return to these days at all.
Exploring the remnants of fallen kingdoms, adventurers find magical items and strange devices in ancient ruins, testaments to magical and technological genius no longer understood and no longer mastered. Some of these miracles of magic and craftsmanship are quite dangerous, but some are also beautiful memories of hope and times past but not gone.

People remember that the Great Demon King’s advance was kept in check through the combined efforts of the Four Seasonal Dragons - divine beings that are believed to be timeless and powerful. The Seasonal Dragons rule the passing of time and the cycle of seasons, oversee the eternal renewal of nature, and entrust the fabled Ryuujin with an important task: the gathering of stories. The Ryuujin are dragons that can take the shape of humans, are attuned to one of the four seasons, and attend to the Seasonal Dragons presenting them with all sorts of stories gathered from mortals. Ryuujin take great interest in the stories of travellers, and many Ryuujin follow groups of travellers to share a brief glimpse of their curious, exciting, heartwarming and sometimes sad life stories. The Four Seasonal Dragons and the Ryuujin are not the only dragons, though - in the beginning of time, the Season Dragons created the Seven Dragons of Weather, the Thirteen Dragons of Earth, the 8 Dragons of the Sea and the 8 Dragons of the Skies. Though not an all too common sight, these Dragons of Nature live among the people and animals, protecting the untouched and beautiful places and the life that teems in them. Some of them can be quite overprotective, so it’s a good idea to be respectful and cautious around them, if one happens to encounter one!

Since the fall of the Great Demon King, a spiritual rebirth has taken place in the hearts of people throughout the land: since the time of rebuilding, spiritual fulfilment has centered around appreciating the simple joys, experiencing nature and learning through this experience, forming and maintaining close bonds of friendship and respect in small, close-knit communities. Even nowadays, most can remember times of need, so that nothing is wasted and even the very little is appreciated. Help is freely offered to neighbours and strangers alike, but help is likewise expected from others.
People revere and cherish nature, the Seasonal Dragons and the Dragons of Nature, but there is little need for priests or temples. Important rituals are often enacted against the backdrop of an especially beautiful or scenic place in nature, though some of these can turn into shrines or natural monuments over time as people leave little gifts and sacrifices, add decorations to trees and rocks, even build platforms, shacks and other such structures to house icons or the like. One common sight are the so-called Ryuuzō Statues, shaped like dragons in monk robes, often found at difficult-to-reach places. It is custom to leave a hat, a scarf, a walking stick or something else on the Ryuuzō Statue, to be found and used by travellers in need.

Sure enough, the decline of civilization and the slow, cautious progress that has been made in rebuilding it has made people somewhat conservative and careful. Nature has reclaimed much of the ancient civilizations, and the dark thickets, deep caverns, torrid deserts and freezing mountain peaks are home to dangerous and powerful beasts. Some ruins have become home to monsters and are now known as “dungeons”, and a few remnant forces of the Great Demon King’s armies are rumoured to have crept and hidden into the darkest corners of the world, awaiting a moment their master might free himself from his imprisonment.
Dungeons in general are places that promise treasure and threat, and it is rumoured that some strange and powerful influence has given rise to beasts known as “Feral Opponent Entities” - extraordinarily powerful monsters that hone in on those who dawdle in their lairs…
But mankind’s nature is not so easily broken, and men and women of all ages, professions and origins share a common feeling of longing, yearning to see the world, and to find something that can help them make sense of their destiny. The Dragons look kindly upon these endeavours, and the Ryuujin have encouraged mankind to take up the Journey - a cherished tradition that allows everyone to travel, at least once in their lives, free of all responsibilities back home, and to find his or her own story and destination.

Most places use ancient coins dating back to the time before the battles against the Great Demon King, found in sizeable amounts in ruins throughout the land; these coins are known as tama (₸), and some places even mint their own. But be careful: some places mint their own, different coins, and travellers might have to exchange their tamas for the local coinage in these countries. Some places might not even take coins at all!

The Castle of Gold - legends tell of an ancient castle built from gilded bricks, hidden somewhere in a nameless, dark and overgrown forest, and the
fabulous treasure it contains; there are different stories about how the castle came to contain such riches, and stories also disagree on the exact contents. Rumours include treasure troves of golden tama coins, jewels and gems, golden sculptures, and so on…but no minstrel or bard seems to know where this castle might be!

The Ceaseless Overgrowth - somewhere to the furthest south, it’s said, some powerful magic from distant times has created a thick belt of supernatural jungles, swamps and groves. This jungle is rumoured to produce a cornucopia of fruit, but the animating magicks that permeate the land like a thick mist are also said to make the trees themselves walk about, protecting their home from too-eager foragers…

The Kingdom of Flowers - on the island of Baigg to the east, rebuilding seems to have had a lot more success; the result is the fabled Kingdom of Flowers, a realm that claims to date back to the days before the Great Demon King’s armies ravaged civilization. It’s cities are home to artisans, poets and soldiers who serve the Orchid Queen, who leads her subjects efforts towards rediscovering and reestablishing lost knowledge.

And with that out of the way, an introduction to our lovely cast!

Eipollo Intro

“H-Hello! Nice to meet you, my name is Eipollo.
I’m a Green Ryuujin, a faithful devotee of the Dragon of Spring! It sounds like a really amazing title, but it’s a lot like being a kindergarten teach, just to one of the Seasonal Dragons. But isn’t that amazing in it’s own way, too?
Because I’m a Green Ryuujin, I’ve always been fond of Spring. But there are a lot of reasons to like spring, not just for me! It’s the season of flowers, when the earth wakes up and shakes off its snowy blanket. But, ah, I nap a lot during spring. I don’t know, earth wakes up and I doze off, I guess…

Now, let me explain that there’s a bit of a problem here in the Dragon Sphere. See, there was this gigantic battle against the King of Evil a long time ago - I’m just three-hundred years old, so I wasn’t around - and the travelogues of that ancient time were all lost…the few books of Spring that remained, I’ve already read twice! It’s boring to read the same stories all the time, and it’s irresponsible to raise a Seasonal Dragon on the same stories all the time! How can a child grow up to be an adult if it never learns anything new?
For a good thousand years, people in the Natural Realm had to struggle to survive in the aftermath of this great battle. But in recent times, people have made good progress in rebuilding this broken world, so it’s high time for them to go out and make new stories, for themselves and for the Seasonal Dragons. Just like in ancient times!
Me, I always liked the stories of exploration and adventure best; magical places, new horizons, friends going on a long and meaningful journey, seeing all kinds of new things, eating all kinds of new foods…it makes me jealous! I want to go on a journey like that, too! Soon…if I can find a group of travellers…

Here in the Natural Realm, I live on a big island called “Heigg”, in a big…a-ah, turns out that’s a secret and I can’t tell you! But it’s a nice place to live in, and it means I have access to delicious jam at all times. I live in it with a Neko Goblin named Borf, who I found in the forest one time. You could say I adopted him! But most days, it’s more like he takes care of me, he makes sure I don’t oversleep and he cooks. Borf is a good cook, but I don’t like fish all that much…
So when I finally get to invite travellers here, I’ll have to make sure I can greet them with jam, and brioche, and fruit salad, and and and…!”

Sydney Intro

"Yawn… Greetings and good morning. You may call me Sydney. Third-borne of the current Pufflecups house of great…no, absolutely fantastic mages. Should you not heard of us, I would advise you to locate for me the rock you’ve been slumbering under. It certainly has to be more comfortable than this raggedly old sleeping bag Iren-mother provided me for my travels (I could imagine it being so quaint and cozy~~). I am a ripe, plump, unspoiled piece of fruit of twenty years of age, a wonderful student, father once described me as a ‘deadeye’ with the bow, and an absolute WIZ- eeep!

… Owowow, nip myself with some frostbite… sucks on index finger

Ahem … And a wiz over the mastery of frost and cold. I bet any one of these talents can lead my darling compatriots to finding all and every sort of relic, ruin and tama. I certainly will not return from our journey empty handed nor null of knowledge (else I’ll never hear the end of it from Irene…). Now if you would excuse me, it is a bit too early for my liking. No woman should ever have to awaken and venture around without a proper amount of beauty sleep, and ladies like me can always benefit from even more.

Winter Sleep… Zzzzz…~"

Loveland Intro

“Name’s Loveland Vantaas, healer. I grew up in an esteemed household as the only and illegitimate child of the house’s master. Because of this, life was a real pain in the ass, even for an illegitimate heir. I was sent to The College of Five Colors, an all-girls school for mages because no other school would take me, even though I wanted to be a hunter…and being a boy. During this time, I disguised myself as a girl much to my chagrin, though I must admit dresses are…pretty nice. However, after being caught having an illicit relationship with another student, I was expelled and threatened to be thrown out of my house. Sad and pissed, I stole my inheritance and fled to the wilderness, taking odd jobs and getting drunk at bars. My vulnerability? Piss off and hand me a hard drink.”

Kaito Intro

“Oh hey there, my name’s Kaito! I come from the village of Odea, on the island of Heigg. My village is home to some of the island’s best hunters and craftsmen (in my opinion at least), and fittingly enough, I’m also a hunter…well, in training, that is… I’ve set out on a journey to see the world, hunt some of the strongest monsters in the world, and prove that I’m the best hunter there is, way better than that jerk—uhh nevermind about that! I also like to dabble into art a bit, and fishing too.”

Mako Intro

“Hiya! My name is Mako. I am a koneko goblin raised in Esna! I grew up with my mama, Relina. She’s a human that had rescued my siblings and I while we were abandoned as kittens. She chose to keep me, but had to put my brothers and sister up for adoption. My sister went with Relina’s brother, but I forgot where my brothers went… Anyways, I was raised as a chef because the food Relina cooked always smelled so good. I have wanted to try it and practice, and I got really good with it! It’s pretty fun considering I can’t see. Huh? Oh, right, I probably should have mentioned that. I was born with really bad sight, and ended up going blind after a while. How does a blind cat cook? That’s my secret! Nyeeheehee!”

Nishka Intro


See you all after Wednesday


Session One has begun and…well…
It’s gonna be a long journey.


Session One is completed. As such, here’s Mako’s travelogue. We have yet to actually meet Eipollo, so for now, he’ll just be thinking aloud:

Session One: Koneko Mischief

The cat chef sat there, trying to recount the day’s events in his mind. It seemed to be the only other way he could log his activities, what with being unable to write and all.

Today started out pretty great! I slept fine, if not a little antsy. Thankfully, the festival of the Oracle’s Procession made this morning a nonissue. The festival was going great, in fact! I got through breakfast service, then got my fortune read! It was great! That is until those Neko Goblins from the Papili Forest showed up and stole the sacred fortune telling orb! Naturally, we had to get it back, and me and my (just now declared) friends made our way to the forest where I found a bunch of neat foods! Oh, and the goblins were too, I guess. I did a pretty good sneak attack on one too! It was amazing! Well…maybe not for him. A wok to the head doesn’t sound too good…

Either way, we got the orb back, but…the group saw something scary inside it. I couldn’t see it for myself, but I know it’s not good. I’ll be sure to ask about them later…

And some highlights in no particular order:

Pre-game shitposting


Kaito's Breakfast, right after falling asleep on a pile of acorns with Loveland


Nishka's Breakfast


Sponsored by Telltale


A fumble so bad I broke character

To close, some more pictures! The first battle was your typical level 1 fair, especially considering Mako thuroughly deleted one of the cats from battle before it even started. That fumble from Kaito didn’t do him any favors however:

The battle gave us all enough XP to level up, though!
And lastly: Map progress
Yup. A whopping two (2) tiles unveiled. That’s a grassland and forest tile respectively featuring one of many doodles.

Session 2 will be next week. See you then!

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Session 2 was two days ago, so I’m a tad late on this, but fuck it.

Mako’s travelogue, with some notes from Eipollo. He will be given the official duty of transcribing the blind man’s speech into travelogues from here on out.

<> <-----Stuff written in between these signs are notes from Eipollo

Session 2: Return of the Ryuujin

After we beat those konekos into submission, we were just about ready to return the Orb of Oracles to the priest in Esna. I tried to talk them out of their life of crime, but it was so rudely interrupted when a squirrel stole Loveland’s wallet! < that was me! I had to do it to get everyone’s attention, though > Hoo boy, he was maaaad. He said a bunch of mean things to that squirrel; things Mama doesn’t want me saying. < I don’t want him saying those either – is reading a story with words like that to a growing dragon really ok!? > It lead us up a tree where we found someone’s home, or…it at least smelled like a home. < it’s a really great home!> Either way, we found the squirrel and the wallet! Turns out, though, that the squirrel was actually a ryuujin! I wish I could’ve seen him. < hehe, I look really cool, so I understand > Although, he wasn’t at all like the ryuujin in Mama’s stories. He was…kinda flustered, actually. < I wasn’t> I could sense it in his voice. < You couldn’t! > It was while we were there that he said we were going on Journey too! Can you believe it? The first Journey after the Great Demon King! I’m gonna be making history with my new friends! < It’s going to be awesome! >
After we ate some sweets, we stayed the night at Eipollo’s house. It was so refreshing! After breakfast, Eipollo offered to use his dragon magic to get us back to Esna, but I didn’t think that would be as fun. < I mean…I was just trying to be helpful… > Instead, after some convincing, he flew us back there! In In two days, I met my first ryuujin, rode on his back, and I’m going on a journey! < Is it really ok that I let them ride on my back? I might get in trouble… >
After we landed (which was rather rough, I might add) < couldn’t be helped! >, we immediately got swarmed by people. I tried to deliver the oracle orb back, but the priest told us to take it to the Middle Sea, wherever that is… I guess this is where my journey starts. Saying goodbye to everyone is gonna be tough. < You can do it! It won’t be forever! >


Loveland vs Squirrel

Mako: Bringer of the Apocalypse


His demon god powers still don't give him sight though

Maiden of Colour murdered on stage live

Nishka still has issues to work out


After we stayed at Eipollo’s and he flew the party back, we proceeded to get our objective, title drop included!

And to close, some art!

Nishka without her coat (drawn by me)

The “T” above her head is the sign for Tamas!

Mako with Mama (drawn by me)

Eipollo (drawn by Robobuddies on Tumblr)

Please go support her. Her art is adorable and her commissions are on sale for the Summer!

See y’all next week!

Chibipolo drawn by Brosh