5 Room Dungeon: Into Yamahari Forest

Mischievous TenguWherein your humble scribe presents a Five Room Dungeon for use with Mini Six, with some creation help from the random tables in D6 Fantasy Locations. This is, of course, largely compatible with D6 Fantasy as well.

War is coming to Okibu Province! The forces of the Nakayama Clan are gathering near the borders and Daimyo Nakayama Yosuke has his eyes on the throne of Watanabe Castle. Lady Watanabe Euiko has requested that you take the daisho of retired samurai Murakami Shoichi, once the master strategist of Lord Watanabe’s army, to his hermitage deep within the high forest and convince him to return and lead the Watanabe forces as they seek to defend their Daimyo’s lands (and daughter) against the depredations of the Nakayama barbarians.

Room One: Entrance and Guardian(s)
Yamahari Forest, and the mountains that surround it, are the territory of a pair of mischievous Tengu named Hito and Jito. These two crow-like humanoids are ferocious combatants if angered, but are far more inclined to play tricks on travelers – at least those who show the proper respect to the forest and its masters.

A favorite of these tricks is to have Hito shape change into the form of a Buddhist monk and pretend to be dead, lying in the path of a group passing through Yamahari Forest. Jito will then circle the area, using his illusion powers to create a tableau of Bakemono stomping though the trees. Once the travelers have been tricked into paying attention to the outside threat, Hito will rise up, scare the group, and fly away cackling.

Hito and Jito will only engage travelers in combat if the group is particularly hostile or threatening towards the Tengu themselves or anyone else within Yamahari Forest.

Hito and Jito, Tengu (Scale 0)
Might 4D+1 Agility 4D+2 Wit 4D+2 Charm 4D+1
Skills: Sword 5D+1, Dodge 5D+2, Magic 6D+2
Perks: Sorcerer, Flying
Gear: Fine Katana (+3D), Leather Armor (+2)
Spells: Charm, Control Weather, Illusion, Invisibility, Shape Change, Teleport
Static: Dodge 17, Block 13, Parry 16, Soak 13 (2)

Room Two: Puzzle or Roleplaying Challenge

The narrow path through Yamahari Forest occasionally widens to accommodate a shrine to one of the 10,000 gods of Akashima. At a shrine dedicated to Kanzeon the group encounters the old (but still spry and stunningly beautiful, of course) Jen-Mai, a tea trader. Jen-Mai frequently passes through Yamahari Forest and knows much of its inhabitants. She can, if flattered and treated well, give the seekers great insight into both the Tengu who protect the forest as well as any other subject relating to the area.

Jen-Mai is also more than a little familiar with the subject of Murakami Shoichi, having been quite infatuated with him when they were both much younger. She is aware that he makes his home nearby, but she has never approached him because of the difficulty in reaching his high cave, which is located on the southern face of the 2nd tallest hill within Yamahari Forest. Jen-Mai also knows that Shoichi’s favorite tea is Gyokuro, an expensive and rare delight that she just happens to have in stock. Perhaps the old man will be more favorably inclined to listen to the group if they present him with a gift?

Jen-Mai poses no danger to anyone, and will only fall to the ground weeping if threatened. If anyone should press their attack further, Hito and Jito will come to her defense. They will not be pleased with the situation and will deal harshly with anyone so crass as to take advantage of an honorable and respectful little old lady like Jen-Mai.

Room Three: Trick or Setback

The southern slope of the hill atop which Murakami Shoichi resides is a steep climb, rocky and difficult to ascend. A Climbing check against TN 18 is necessary to make any significant headway, and should be repeated a total of three times to see if the rise can be crested. Further, Shoichi has carefully concealed a couple of traps along the way, all the more to discourage unwanted visitors. These traps take the form of loosened rocks that are otherwise ideal handholds for climbing. A Traps roll vs TN 18 (better than a 21 on the Climbing roll immediately preceding the trap) will successfully avoid “triggering” the traps. There is one trap immediately after the first Climbing roll and another immediately after the last Climbing roll. In both instances, a person triggering the trap will tumble the full distance back down to the bottom of the hill, losing all progress gained. A person falling from the 1st trap site will suffer 2D damage. A person falling from the 2nd trap site will suffer 5D damage.

Room Four: Climax, Big Battle, or Conflict
A group of a dozen or so soldiers of Clan Nakayama are gathered around the outside of Murakami Shoichi’s cave. They were sent by Lord Nakayama himself to abduct the old samurai to force him into service against his old master. They must have approached from the north and worked their way around. They now find themselves on the receiving end of the great warrior’s wrath. At present he is firing arrows at them from within his cave even as they prepare to rush in and overwhelm him with their superior numbers.

Nakayama Soldiers (Scale 0)
Might 3D Agility 2D+1 Wit 2D Charm 1D+2
Skills: Naginata 3D or Sword 3D+1 or Spear 4D, Dodge 3D+1
Gear: Naginata (+3D) or Katana (+2D+2) or Yari (+2D), Ashigaru Armor (+5)
Static: Dodge 10, Block 9, Parry 9/10/12, Soak 9 (5)

Room Five: Reward, Revelation, Or Plot Twist

Helping chase away the Nakayama soldiers and presenting him with his old daisho will do much to open Murakami Shoichi’s eyes and soften his heart to the seekers’ entreaties on behalf of Lady Euiko. However, Shoichi remains reluctant to leave his hermitage and return to the ways of war. He can be convinced, but good roleplaying should be required here. Successfully convincing Murakami Shoichi is a significant challenge, but the GM should not stonewall the players. Appeals to his honor, or to his duty to the Watanabe family, or indictments of the Nakayama “barbarians” will eventually get to the old man. They will do so much sooner if he is able to enjoy a nice pot of Gyokuro tea while listening to them.

The retired samurai’s stats are presented below in case the seekers offend him or attempt to abduct him. If a fight breaks out between the seekers and Shoichi, Hito and Jito will arrive in 1D turns to aid their tenant.

Murakami Shoichi, Hermit Samurai (Scale 0)
Might 3D+1 Agility 3D+1 Wit 4D Charm 3D+1
Skills: Sword 5D+1, Naginata 5D+1, Dodge 5D+1, Bow 5D+1, Tactics 7D, Strategy 7D, Leadership 6D+1
Gear: Naginata (+3D), Katana (+2D+2), Heavy Furs (+2 armor)
Static: Dodge 16, Block 10, Parry 16, Soak 10 (2)

Once Shoichi has been convinced to return to Watanabe Castle, it can be safely assumed that he devises a brilliant defensive strategy and the Nakayama invasion is repelled. Those who returned the old man to assist his Lord are feted and rewarded appropriately. Or, if the GM desires, the entire campaign against the Nakayama could be played out. But that’s as far as this five room “dungeon” goes.

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0 thoughts on “5 Room Dungeon: Into Yamahari Forest

  1. G-man

    Ah, now you’ve outdone yourself V.P.-san. The previous two dungeons were brilliant nods to non-Western-European fantasy goodness, but this one is the best. I like how the ‘rooms’ of the dungeon are all part of the forest environment. I also like the possibilities for role-playing and non-violent outcomes with the NPC’s (except for the Nakayama soldiers, who are begging to have their asses kicked).

    I remember not too long ago you were posting about Bushido and a yen to run some Japanese adventures. This must be the result. The samurai living in a high cave reminds me of Miyamoto Musashi.

    You do any more Bushido conversion work for BoL?

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      Domo arigato, G-man-san. I’m glad you liked the previous non-western bits, too. I really wanted to stretch the 5-room concept a bit with this one, spatially. I also toyed with leaving the Nakayama soldiers out so that it would be possible to get through it entirely without combat. But end the end, everyone really wants to throw down at least once in a game 🙂 Still, it should definitely be a role-playing heavy run, and that’s a nice change to have. It also very much fits the milieu.

      I never did do any additional work on the BoL Bushido stuff, sadly. I still want to do some stuff in that direction, but I got distracted. That, and Simon Washbourne was supposed to be doing something similar for BoL that was going to be in Mu, I think. So I decided to pursue some different stuff. That said, this is definitely a result of my thinking along those lines a while back.

      And yes, I was definitely referencing the esteemed Miyamoto Musashi a bit with Murakami Shoichi. It seemed appropriate 🙂

      Thanks again for the high praise on this one, amigo. I’ve got one more 5-roomer for Mini Six up my sleeve and then I’m aiming to get back to Tlactoztlan and Adad Untash (per the year in review piece).

  2. G-Man

    Okay, if I was playing in this adventure this would be my Mini Six character:

    Jun Shigeda (Scale 0)
    Might 2D+2 Agility 3D+2 Wit 2D+2 Charm 3D
    Skills: Sword 3D+2, Dodge 5D+2, Stealth 4D+2, Pickpocket 4D+2, Streetwise 4D, Persuasion 4D
    Gear: Wakizashi (+2D), Leather Haraate (+2, only worn ‘in the field’), Jitte (1D+1–stolen from local magistrate)
    Complications: Unlucky in Money
    Static: Block 8, Dodge 17, Parry 11, Soak 8 (10)

    A low-ranking Yakuza, Jun works for Boss Shugo. His humanitarian streak and tendency to spend ryo like water has not made him very succesful, and he frequently engages in wild “errands” to pay off his debts. Jun’s mother is an aging courtesan in the Kabukicho district.

    Lately, Boss Shugo has been engaging in a vendetta against a blind masseuse that seems to be costing the obese crimelord more and more men . . .

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      Very nice! Precisely the kind of character I like to work with. Just enough background to be useful but not so much as to be straightjacketing. Well done!

      Hmm, blind masseuse, you say? Hmmm. Armed with a sword cane? Noted for uncanny skill at dice, perhaps? 🙂

      1. G-Man

        “I’m only a blind man. Please tell me if the dice say odd or even.”

        You can watch almost all of Ichi’s adventures on Hulu. Entertaining, and a good introduction for gamers to (late) feudal Japan.

        I’d have to guess that his sword skill would be scraping the zenith of human maximum in Mini Six!

        1. the venomous pao Post author

          Cool! I had no idea they had most of that stuff on Hulu. I know what I’ll be watching if I can actually get my players up for some Japanese roleplaying.

          And yeah, Zatoichi’s sword skill would have to be mighty high. Of course, the D6 system was built to handle cinematic characters, so it should be no problem to scale him up appropriately.

          All of the listings I can find online for stats for well know users of “plasma swords” put them all in the 11-13D range. So I assume one could stat up Ichi that way and be fine.

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