Creatures in the Dark – A Ryuutama Journey

Though I mostly play D&D and I play it whenever I can, like everyone else, there are other games I enjoy playing from time to time. Just like I play the games from time to time, I want to share some original content I have created for those games every now and again.

For this post I want to share an introductory adventure that I wrote for the amazing J-RPG Ryuutama. You can learn more about the English translated version of the game on the Official Ryuutama Website.

So check out Ryuutama and make “Creatures in the Dark” your first journey.

Creatures in the Dark – A Journey for 3 – 4 Level 1 – 2 PCs

The PCs have all just arrived in a small town named Juveha. They should all meet in some type of shop. While in the shop, the owner will tell them of a huge sale that is taking place in the town of Sonema just 3 days travel from Juveha. The sale takes place every year and PCs will be able to get items at a 50% discount. They will need to leave right away though, as the sale will only be going on for 4 more days.
It should be an easy journey through the grasslands, but the group will stumble upon a nest of dark creatures that will make their skin crawl. Will the PCs be able to squash this threat and make it to the sale in Sonema in time?

Topography: Grassland – Weather: Cloudy – Target Number: 6

[The skies are cloudy and there is the slightest chill in the air. Travel through the grasslands towards Sonema should be fairly easy in these conditions. A sign at the edge of Juveha points to the East and is clearly marked – “Long Grass Fields – Sonema 90KM”]

The PCs are headed to Sonema to take advantage of the sale taking place there. It is 3 days travel and the sale ends in 4 days.
{Condition Check STR + SPT}

Act 1
Topography: Grasslands – Weather: Cloudy – Target Number: 6

[As you walk along the hard beaten trail on your way to Sonema, the grassy fields extend as far as the eyes can see. Off in the distance tree lines can be seen along with small patches of bushes and thickets.]

{Travel Check STR + DEX}
{Camp Check DEX + INT}
No Direction Check Needed in Grassland

[While setting up camp in a small clearing, you notice that there are a lot of bug husks here. Not too long ago there were a number of strange bugs here changing form and growing.]

The husks are about 1ft x 1ft and indicate that the bugs that shed these husks have either grown larger or changed their form.

Town Creation
Name: Sonema Town
Population: 4,580
Topography: Grassland

Important/Famous People (Could include a ruler or representative) – Up to 3

Landmarks – Up to 3

Town Specialty – Up to 3

Town Threats (Use these to setup the next adventure) – Up to 3

Act 2

Topography: Grassland – Weather: Rain – Target Number: 7

[As you wake this morning you can hear the pitter-patter of raindrops falling on the top of your tent. Yesterday’s overcast skies have turned to darkened clouds that are dropping their bounty of water on the grassy fields. You hurry to pack up your camp and get moving, the rain will definitely slow you down and the sale in Sonema ends in just 3 days.]

{Condition Check STR + SPT}

{Travel Check STR + DEX}

{Direction Check INT + INT}

Pass or fail the direction check, the PCs will find their way to a cave carved into the side of a grassy hill.

[As the rain begins to fall harder, loud thunder can be heard in the distance, this storm is going to get worse before it gets any better. As you make your way through the pounding rain you can make out the shape of a cave just off to the side of the trail. This could be the perfect place to escape this torrential downpour.]

No Camping Check as the PCs will be able to camp in this cave.

Act 3
Cave (Rocky Terrain) – Weather: None – Target Number: 8

[You awake the next morning in the safety of the cave you took shelter in the night before to the sound of crashing thunder. As you look outside you can see that the storm has only gotten worse, travelling in this will be an absolute nightmare. With only 2 days left to catch the sale in Sonema, you don’t have the time to hold up in this cave for the day.]

{Condition Check STR + SPT}

One of the PCs will notice an old sign bolted to the wall of the cave after the condition check is rolled. This will require a successful {INT + INT} Check

The old sign has an arrow on it pointing into the cave and it reads – “To Sonema – 15KM – Sonema Tunnel Route”

Nearby the sign will be a lever with a sign above it that says “Power” and it will take another successful {INT + INT} Check to find it. The lever will be seized up from not being used for some time, to pull the lever it will take a successful {STR + STR} Check.

You should let the PCs know that this is not electrical power, but magical power which can be identified as such with a successful {INT + INT} Check.

Turning on the power will awaken the Queen Worm. If left off PCs will encounter Stinging Larva and a Rock Wasp.

If you want to extend the adventure, you can have the PCs encounter both, the Rock Wasp and the Queen Worm.

{Travel Check STR + DEX}

{Direction Check INT + INT}

There are 2 different Climaxes to this journey, one with the power on and the other with the power off.

Climax – Power On
Cave (Wasteland) – Weather: None – Target Number: 6

[You walk down the brightly lit passage taking notice to how smooth and flat the path is, though it is very obvious that this tunnel has not been used in some time. Cobwebs are strewn about like extravagantly done birthday decorations for some monster’s surprise party. The magical lights shine brightly, clearly showing the almost inch thick layer of dust that covers them.]

As the PCs walk, have them make an {DEX + INT} Check – Difficulty 6 – to notice the honey comb shaped holes that cover the ceiling, spread about a foot apart and some as large as 2 feet wide. At this point the PCs are about 8 to 10 KM into the tunnel.

A little further down the way the PCs will start to hear a low faint humming. Upon investigation they will see that there is a large hole carved into the stone of the tunnel wall. It is about the size of a full grown man and could easily be walked down.

[Carved into the side of the tunnel you find a large hole, it is clearly not man made like the rest of the tunnel. The walls near the hole are coated in some kind of slimy mucus.]

As the PCs investigate they will be set upon by 1d6+2 Stinging Larva. The PC’s can see them about 100 yards down the tunnel come up from behind them. This gives them the time they need to run by making either a {STR + SPT} Check or a {DEX + SPT} Check.

If any of the PCs fail the escape check the group will make it far enough to lose most of the Stinging Larva, but 2 will be able to keep up with them and will be part of the battle scene.

[As you run from the Stinging Larva you begin to gain ground and leave them behind. You are so focused on escaping them that you don’t even realize that you have run right into some kind of nest, until it is too late.]

As the PCs realize where they have ended up and the danger that they are in, a huge form will lurk out of the shadows. It is the Queen Stink Worm and she will not be happy with finding intruders in her nest. This is when they are attacked and the Battle Scene begins.
Climax – Power On – Battle Setup

On the Field
1 x Queen Stink Worm
2 x Parasite Larva
*If any of the PCs failed the escape check earlier, add 2 x Stinging Larva to the field.

If the PCs survive the encounter they will be able to make it through the nest and come out on the other side of the tunnel to clear and sunny skies, looking across grasslands just a few miles away from Sonema.
Climax – Power Off
Cave (Rocky Terrain) – Weather: Dark +3* – Target Number: 11
*If the PCs have a light source the “Dark” Weather modifier is only a +2

You may have to alter player text from below depending on whether or not the PCs have a light source. The below assumes that they do not.

[As you stumble your way through the dark, barely able to see what is going on, you are grateful that the ground below you appears to be smooth and cleanly carved into the rock. It is somewhat slow moving with no strong light to guide your way and the fact you have to stop every once in a while when you get a face full of dense cobwebs. As you feel your way along the wall, your hands run through an extremely thick layer of dust. It is very evident that this tunnel has not been used in quite some time.]

As the PCs walk, have them make an {INT+INT} Check to see if they notice the large hole that has been carved into the side of the tunnel. If they notice it, they will be able to tell right away that this tunnel was not man made as the rest of the tunnel has appeared to be so far.

The walls of the new tunnel that has been carved into the side of the existing one are covered in a thick sticky and slimy mucus, the PCs will start to hear a low faint humming noise coming from down the tunnel as well as from back they way they had come.
Rock Wasp

The PCs are set upon by a Rock Wasp along with 1d6+2 Stinging Larva. If the PCs do not have a light source, they will be caught off guard and their opponents will all automatically get top initiative on them.
Climax – Power Off – Rock Wasp – Battle Setup

On the Field
1 x Rock Wasp
1d6+2 x Stinging Larva

[It appears that you have found yourselves right in the middle of a Rock Wasp hive. It is unfortunate that you have realized this too late, and now a Giant Rock Wasp has caught you by surprise. It is accompanied by (Number) Stinging Larva, you have no choice but to defend yourselves and fight for your lives.]

After at least 2 Stinging Larva have been killed, the PCs will have the chance to escape.
{STR + SPT} Check or a {DEX + SPT} Check. If at least one of the PCs are successful, all of the PCs will have the chance to escape.

The PCs will escape further down the tunnel and come out on the other side looking over Sonema across just a few miles of grassland. carry on to the Ending.
Grassland – Weather: Clear – Target Number: 6

[Somehow you have made your way to the other side of the tunnel that almost became your grave. You step out into grassy fields and clear, sunny skies, the town of Sonema can be seen only a few KM in the distance. As you come only a few meters out from the tunnel entrance you see a large sign posted in the middle of the path leading into the tunnel. It reads; “Old Sonema Tunnel Route – STAY OUT! – INFESTATION”]

The PCs can now head into Sonema and take advantage of all items being 50% off giving them a chance to buy some supplies and other goods for trading later.

NAME: Rock Wasp
TOPOGRAPHY: Mountain, Rock Terrain, Mountain Top, Wasteland
SEASON: Summer
MATERIALS: Stinger (tough stick)
HP: 36
MP: 6
ABILITIES: 6 8 4 4
Poison Stinger – On a successful attack, roll 1d4, on a 4 the attack gives the Poison condition 6.

NAME: Stinging Larva
TOPOGRAPHY: Mountain, Rock Terrain, Mountain Top, Wasteland
SEASON: Summer
MATERIALS: Stinger (tough stick)
HP: 6
MP: 2
ABILITIES: 4 6 2 2
Poison Stinger – On a successful attack, roll 1d4, on a 4 the attack gives the Poison condition 4.

NAME: Stink Worm
SEASON: Summer
MATERIALS: Skin (Used as an Elastic)
HP: 4
MP: 4
ABILITIES: 6 4 2 2
Constrict – When a character is damaged by a Stink Worm, the Stink Worm makes a STR+STR Check Contested by Target’s STR+DEX Check. If successful, the Stink Worm will wrap around the target and do an additional 1d6 Damage.
Stink – If a character is in the front row with the Stink Worm the character will get the Sick condition 4.

NAME: Queen Stink Worm
SEASON: Summer
MATERIALS: Skin (Used as an Elastic)
HP: 34
MP: 12
ABILITIES: 8 6 2 8
Slime Spray – The Queen Stink Worm will spray a thick gooey, stinking spray from its abdomen.
Targets all characters on the field.
Accuracy: d6 d6, on Hit target takes 1d6 damage and gets Sick condition 5.
Quill Spray – The Queen Stink Worm will shoot a spray of quills from its hind quarter.
Targets all characters on the field.
Accuracy: d8 d6, on Hit each character takes 3d4 damage and gets Injured condition 4.
Create Stink Worm – Once during an encounter the Queen Stink Worm can create 1d4+1 Stink Worms.
Stink – If a character is in the front row with the Queen Stink Worm the character will get the Sick condition 4.

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Author: Tim McDonald

I run the Grimm Tale Games website and I help to produce the content we release on the site each week. I was recently one of the grand prize winners in the 2016 One Page Dungeon Contest with my entry Griswald’s Shifting Dungeon. I have been tabletop gaming for countless years now and I have always wanted to contribute to the content that is generated for the genre. Speaking of which, I am also one of the lead designers for the Grimm Tale Games upcoming Kickstarter, the Codex of Creatures.

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