Solo RPGs on Your Table - September 2015
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Welcome to
Solo RPGs on Your Table - September 2015


Wow! The response to the first (August 2015) list exceeded my wildest expectations by quite some way. Nearly 100 thumbsup and 24 items (nearly a full page!) at the time of writing. I had half-expected to spend the time whistling to myself in the dark and it's immensely gratifying to have so many others show their support and interest. I was hoping to emulate, in some small way, the success of Solitaire Games On Your Table over on BGG in building and encouraging a thriving community and we have made a great start. How much of the initial rush was "hoovering up" a whole month's activity in a week or so, remains to be seen. But I'm hopeful that the August 2015 GeekList will be pretty representative of how things might continue. Any growth on top of that would be pure awesome.

TL;DR Rules
1. Play an RPG solo.
2. Post an entry/entries on this geeklist and tell us about it.
3. Be kind, but most of all have fun.

Optional: Likely you'll love the games you post, but a bulleted thumbsup or thumbsdown micro-review is always really helpful.

Long Rules
1. Play an RPG solo.
It might be a paragraph chooser (Choose Your Adventure - CYA) or some other bespoke solo roleplaying experience, or you may be emulating the GM somehow. Alternatively you might be emulating characters or even players and you are the GM. It could be physically on paper, on a map with standees, a full-blown miniature set-up with modelled terrain or on a tablet, phone or a computer. If you consider it to be a solo RPG then it really is. If your mind is constructing a narrative and or characters around your play experience, however abstract, then it counts. There is no wrong way to play and if you think it belongs here, it totally does. There is a time and place for discussing what might or might not constitute an RPG, but this is not it. I will be very grateful to anyone who feels they'd like to contribute to this list and I'm not about excluding anyone.

2. Post an entry/entries on this geeklist and tell us about it.
The RPGG database is a thing of beauty, especially given the relative complexity of RPGs. My best hope for this geeklist (and its future siblings) is that it both builds community and improves the database.

There are a number of ways we can help. Firstly, each user should add an item to this list for each RPG item they are using in their gaming. Multiple entries of the same RPG gauges popularity. Multiple entries from a user is not boastful, it gives a little bit of data-love to each of the RPG items you use; the database automatically links the geeklist item on the item's page, possibly alerting authors, publishers and fans of the item. A lot of solo RPG games will need multiple entries anyway and this is desirable too for exactly the same reasons. For instance, I might use Mythic as a GM emulator to run a RISUS game and I would add both to the geeklist. I'm thinking you probably want to be adding RPGs to this list rather than RPG items, but it's ultimately your call.

What you say about each item is entirely up to you. Feel free to summarise what happened, or even just what you enjoyed/what worked and what didn't, link out to a "script" in a blog (BGG or external) or post the script in-situ (for now at least and the list becoming unwieldy would be a lovely problem to have).

Lastly, if the RPG you are using is not on the database, please consider adding it. As I've already said, the database is complex and adding things can require a bit more effort than on BGG. Modern RPGs can use tens of artists and/or a large production team. Before you can do anything, these people need to be added first. Then you need to create the RPG as a system before you can add an actual item like a rule book. It took me the best part of a morning to add the recently released Cypher System Core Rulebook. However, mention that you added something in your description and you'll get an extra gg tip.

If you really can't face/don't have the time to go adding the item yourself, mention it at the bottom of the post and I or some Blessed Data-Angel(TM) will endeavour to add it for you.

3. Be kind, but most of all have fun.
Every person fights a hard battle you know nothing about and life is short. For some reason, "You're wrong. In fact [body of opinion]" causes way more upset than "I disagree. I think [body of opinion]". Although they're functionally interchangeable, the latter owns the subjectivity of the opinion and does not invite an endless exchange of defence and counter attack. If a person opines that Fate is better than Savage Worlds (whatever that might mean), feel free to add a counter opinion to the contrary for the benefit of the audience; just don't expect to change the OP's mind. As for Ad Hominem attacks, I always feel a bit embarrassed on behalf of the attacker. Name calling? Really? I know it's never pleasant being the target, but perhaps this frame will help let it slide past; there is a very real sense in which the less someone knows you, the less weight of veracity their opinion has. If my close family think I'm a fool it might be time for a long, hard look in the mirror. On the other hand, if someone I don't know thinks I'm an idiot, why should I care about their opinion? If you see something that annoys you, click that [X] and stay on the moral high ground. Apologies if that was a bit preachy.

Tips to this header will be distributed to the entries in whatever way I think might best encourage participation and contribution. I'll do my best to be fair about it. The amount more reflects the level wealth of the poster than the merit of any particular post (if you have more than around 170GG = Avatar (30) + GeekBadge (50) + UberGeekBadgeUpgrade (50) + 5 Microbadges (5*8) then you'll generally get 1gg, otherwise I'll try to give 5gg, especially if you have any of those things missing). Big tippers also get 5gg as I know you'll spread the love! Those with wealth that only comes from great service to the *GG commiunities will get the highest honour of 0.01gg.

SROYT Resources
Solo Roleplaying Guild
SROYT Monthly Geeklist Subscription Thread - The Meta-List

Future Hosts
October 2015 - weateallthepies - Thanks! You're a legend!
November 2015 - h3rne
December 2015 - No, I don't really have any idea what I'm doing either...
January 2016 - How about a new year's resolution?
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1. RPG Item: Falcon 1: The Renegade Lord [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Falcon 1: The Renegade Lord
Jason Doyle
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Hertfordshire
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Still need to go back and update last month's but I've just been looking over the bookcase and I found this gamebook. Had it since childhood but I've never played it so I might give it a spin later.

Always loved all the technical drawings in this one.
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2. RPG Item: The Dungeon Alphabet: Expanded Third Printing [Average Rating:8.50 Overall Rank:1379]
RPG Item: The Dungeon Alphabet: Expanded Third Printing
Silver Bowen
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Austin
Texas
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I've just got the regular cover, not the fancy one (but that's the only picture available of 3rd expanded, it seems). I'm still doing my DCC solocrawl. Just got a copy of this book. It's basically a bunch of tables to add some random cray-cray to any dungeon. I'm figuring on using it the same as some of the more stat-oriented tables from AD&D 1st DM Guide. Neat book.
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3. RPG: Traveller (Classic) [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:53]
RPG: Traveller (Classic)
Jimi von Boardgame
United Kingdom
Penrith
Cumbria
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In the Comments below, I'm going to be continuing from last month's adventures, featuring Oreck Garstang, a retired Scout heading across the Spinward Marshes to investigate mysterious developments on his homeworld Dhian.

Resources: I'm using the 2nd edition of Traveller - the first three core rulebooks, and Adventure 00: The Imperial Fringe - getting supplementary material from The Traveller Adventure and a few other places. The 21st Century is making its contribution in the form of the wonderful http://travellermap.com and http://wiki.travellerrpg.com - but there's an endless appeal for me in using the scrappy little black books and my creased and stained map of the Spinward Marches, so they're the mainstay of my game. Four six-sided dice, a notebook, rotary pencil, and whatever PC is to hand to write things up.

Method: Having created several dozen characters using the character and career generation system in Book 1: Characters and Combat, I've settled on use of a lone Scout equipped with his own Scoutship. Some of the many other characters generated along the way may well appear in the game at a future point when the time seems right.

At its heart, the process for solo play in the Traveller universe is simple - having got a ship, use a few simple tables in Book 2: Starships to determine what cargoes and passengers are available at each planet, follow the economics of paying for a Jump and seeing if the Jump is successful and whether another starship (particularly whether a pirate ship) is encountered en route to or leaving from a system. Additionally, the encounter tables in Book 3: Worlds and Adventures are at hand if a player decides to indulge in a little exploration - either urban or in the wild. The 'Patron' table can also be used to generate a whole mission direction (but none of the detail), though I haven't put this into use yet.

I look up each system that I'm at or travelling to in The Imperial Fringe - decide whether Oreck is looking to invest in trade goods or just pick up a cargo and/or passengers. I roll the dice to see how those work out, decide whether there is an additional possibility of an 'encounter', then roll to see what form that takes. For any significant encounter with other people, I roll to see what their reaction is, and have a broad think about how Oreck might react to that.

Sometimes I just roll through events at one system, sometimes three or four. Maybe then I go for a run, thinking about what form Oreck's encounters take. Then I sit down and start to write them up (here on this very geeklist!) - It's at this stage that the adventures really crystallize, and translate from a bunch of figures (in which I am not devoid of investment - I want to see Oreck get richer, and travel further) into a real narrative. I am trying to conscientiously stick to the results of the dice roll, but I'm also open to following ideas from the narratives that suggest themselves.

Yesterday's adventures - wherein Oreck took on board six orange-skinned members of a strange musical cult as passengers resulted from having rolled up 6 passengers as available to travel to the next destination, and having also rolled a favourable encounter with a 'Religious Group' - so I decided to combine the two. I'm reading "The Bees" by Laline Paull at the moment, and I think the idea of a 'Holy Chord' was just resonating in my subconscious...

As Oreck travels from system to system, his finances generally increase - but the risks accumulate. Sooner or later he's going to face combat - and if he hasn't got himself or his ship well-armed that may well prove fatal. An encounter rolled with a pirate ship on leaving a system wasn't too much of a problem - with fuel tanks full, Oreck could just make an early Jump, though with a slight chance of potentially catastrophic malfunction. If the same thing happens on entering a system though, things are going to be a lot more desperate...

What will happen when Oreck reaches Dhian? What will he find there? Will the nearby Scout base have a particular mission in mind? What will be the risks? How exactly will I resolve and determine these? I don't have the answers to any of these questions yet. That is a large part of the fun for me in playing this through solo - seeing the story emerge, being responsible for it, but not having it planned out.
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4. RPG Item: Book 01: Flight from the Dark [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:258]
RPG Item: Book 01: Flight from the Dark
Oliver S
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Stafford Springs
Connecticut
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I haven't done any of the Lone Wolf gamebooks in a good long while, but I thought I might try and get through the series again, as I have quite a few of them stashed away. I had a fairly easy run through the first one - the Sixth Sense and Tracking skills seemed inordinately useful - and didn't run into any of the "whoops, you died!" endings that I remember seeming excessively common when I was eleven.

A nice bit of nostalgia. We'll see how quickly I get through these - I have some holes to fill in the collection!
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5. RPG Item: Yoon-Suin [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:3716]
RPG Item: Yoon-Suin
Jason Doyle
United Kingdom
Hertfordshire
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OK this one is more "on my ipad", as I'm just reading through it. A campaign toolbox with a ton of nice content and loads of lovely random tables and things. Seems like it will be ideal for some solo game ideas.

...and Crab-men!
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6. RPG Item: Alone Against the Flames [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:1770]
RPG Item: Alone Against the Flames
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It's a surprisingly nicely written paragraph based adventure. My first play through was rather quick, so I will be certainly playing it again soon.
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RPG Item: Memorabilia, Programs, Catalogs and Other Sundry RPG Related Material
Robert Seater
United States
Ashland
Massachusetts
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I found an old book in a bookstore called "Armor Attacks" and worked through it. It's interactive fiction intended to be training for actual tank commanders during the gulf war.

I found it quite well done in that the consequences of each decision felt appropriate and foreshadowed without being obvious. Whenever I got a bad ending, I realized the answer had been there all along, and good heuristics for military tactics are rewarded. Getting a good ending felt satisfying.

http://www.amazon.com/Armor-Attacks-Interactive-Small-Unit-L...

Plus, the character you play is named 2nd Lt. Jaeger, which sounds pretty bad-ass.
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8. RPG Item: Books 0-8: The Classic Books [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:381]
RPG Item: Books 0-8: The Classic Books
Ron A
United States
California
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I loved rolling Traveller characters in the 70s, and I still love it 35+ years on. This guy took slightly over an hour to roll up, here are some of the highlights:

Fnand Norkjl: 996396. IQ of 3, education of 9.

Ooh, wait,let me back up a bit. I don't have a gaming group, so solo is going to have to be the way to do this. Found out about Star Trader, so picked that up. Since it revolves around merchant characters, I'd already decided that this new character would roll using Book 7 Merchant Prince.

So, Fnand; of the Mora system (Spinward Marches)

Wasn't accepted to college, so got on with Al Morai, a sector wide line. Didn't make it into the academy (IQ of 3), but did make it into Engineering division.

First term got promoted to 00 then 01, and was sent on 4 route assignments, netting a bunch of skills (full list at the end).

2nd term, again had great run of luck, never had to fill a position one lower than his actual rank (you don't get to roll for promotion if this happens). Another promotion.

3d term, skills but no promotion, had to fly at a lower rank for 2 years.

4th term, still in Engineering, promoted to 03 and then 04 (highest rank allowed in Engineering dept, after one full term you go to Deck division, where the cool kids get to play). More cool skills.

5th term was a disaster. No promotions (maxed out in Engineering, and waiting a full term to transfer to Deck Division) and only 1 skill for 4 years. To get a promotion to 05, Fnand needed Pilot skill, and Fnand had been in Engineering his whole career! He needed pilot-1!!! In 4 years, all he got was Carousing-2!

6th term, FINALLY in Deck Division, trying to get Pilot skill so he could get promoted. However, it was more of the same for 3 years, no skills. 4th year, booted out of Al Morai for being a non achieving slacker to subsector line, Sinzarmes (based out of Efate).

Ha ha, once he was down a level, Fnand got permission to take 05 Captain exam without having all necessary skills, and in a very ironic twist of fate, was promoted to Captain WITHOUT HAVING PILOT SKILL! (Hey, he DID have Ship's Boat-l, so he could fake it).

On the sly, and before anybody could do some research and change the decision, Fnand added Pilot-l.

In his 7th and last term, determined to make up for all that time in engine rooms, Fnand got to Legal-2 and Nav-2.

Then he was termed out of the Merchant service. He was looking forward to being rewarded with a Free Trader, and figured he had ample opportunity to get one (10 mustering out rolls, needed 1 six on a D6).

Nope, Fnand may have skated thru Deck Division, but there was no way he was getting a ship. Lots more education, a handful of Mid and High passages, a shiny double barreled shotgun, but no ship.

Final skills:

Gun-2, Brawling-1, Carousing-2
Vacc-l, Ship's Boat-l, JoaT-1
Gravitics-2, Electronic-1, Mechanical-l, Engineering-3
Admin-2, Legal-2, Liaison-2, Leader-1
Pilot-1, Nav-2


Ahhhh! How am I gonna play Star Trader with no ship? Fnand is going to have to find somebody with enough CR to buy a ship, but doesn't know how to fly it. Yah, that should be easy.
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9. RPG: Rolemaster (3rd & 4th Editions) [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:266]
RPG: Rolemaster (3rd & 4th Editions)
Jeff Thompson
United States
Homewood
Illinois
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After stumbling onto this forum, I decided to give this a go. I have always wanted to experience Rolemaster but know I'll never do so with real people (at least not the real people in my life at this moment).

After reading through the other forums in this group I hit upon the CRGE, etc. from Zach Best and decided this might be an interesting combination. I won't include all my CRGE interactions or RM mechanisms, but will throw things in if interesting.

So far, so good. Here's my story.

The setting is fantasy world where magic is... well, magic. That is, it is mythical. Other humanoids like Elves are considered childhood stories. Our story takes place in a peaceful walled city in the north. Butchers, bakers, tailors, potters... you name it. Oh, there's crime and such. The city has law enforcement and guards and walls and such.

Our boy Kalv, in his early twenties, is one such guard. He does gate duty as a city guard. When he is off, he visits orphanages. He himself was an orphan. A couple of years ago he was happily married with a newborn daughter. That ended in a raging inferno during a city wide riot about something no one cares about anymore.

Scene 1, Kalv learns something

On one such day, our story begins as Kalv is on his way to his boarding house from 3 days at the city gate. He stops by one of the orphanages in town to find 3 caretakers standing in the front room discussing something in whispers. The orphanage itself is eerily quiet.

Jax, the live in caretaker let's Kalv know that 3 orphans went missing last night. Now, it's not strange that orphans go missing. Some run away, some get lost, etc. Jax and Kalv work hard to find lost children and get them the care they need, but it still happens. However, over the last month, orphanages all over town have been losing 1 or 2 children more than usual. Kalv has reported this pattern, and so now those in charge are considering something more sinister is afoot.

Grundsel, a man who runs errands and fixes up the building suggests to Kalv to go find help. After investigating the scene, they noticed that the window to the sleeping room was open and there were footprints outside. Kalv was unable to learn anything from the clues so took Grundsel's advice.

Scene 2, Kalv attempts bribery

Kalv first goes tot he city guard. He plans to go there first, then to the church (a singular institution in the city that Kalv does not fully trust). He puts together as many coins as he can find in hopes to bribe the guard to help him investigate. He finds Wolney, a ranking guard, at the local guard house and begins chatting with him.

To my CRGE question of "Will Wolney help?" I get a Yes, Unexpectedly... Enter Stage Left. So I decided Wolney offers his detective help without the bribe. I take time out to create a more detailed character for WOlney as I decide he'll be an ally of Kalv.

Scene 3, Further investigations

Wolney is actually a detective. His investigation leads to a myriad of clues, including that there were 4 kidnappers. And Wolney actually is able to track them back to a local sanctuary. Is the Church involved? What sinister plot is to be revealed?

Scene 4, Investigating the sanctuary

Kalv and Wolney peer through a window of the sanctuary and see the large room is lit and a single acolyte is pacing. There is but a single door in the back. Wolney thinks due to circumstances that they should go in stealthy.

Woleny goes in first hiding behind a bench. He attempts to sneak up on the acolyte and fails. The acolyte immediately brandishes a dagger and runs for the door. Wolney chases him down while Kalv rushes into the door, leaps over the bench and slams hard into the bench in front of that one, creating a pile of splinters.

Meanwhile, Wolney has gained the acolytes attention in front of the door, and Kalv races up as Wolney lunges aside a stab and hammers on the acolytes back with his fist. Kalv has his club out and whacks the acolyte in the legs causing him to stumble, wobble, spin around and fall unconscious.

Wolney and Kalv drag the body through the door into the room. They find an office room where a carpet has been rolled up to reveal a trap door.

The CRGE has been amazing. Answering simple yes/no questions and letting my imagination fly has been a real thrill. Pausing to play out the intricate combat was also a lot of fun.

Scene 5, Climax
The trap door reveals a ladder that goes very far down. There is a faint light at the bottom.

Here the CRGE gives me another yes unexpectedly... enter the red result. I simply add a thug to what I had prepared. The question was, "Do I hear any people?"

Wolney and Kalv drop down to a small ledge along an underground stream. There are 3 men standing beside a cage full of orphans. There are some boxes (supplies?) as well as a boat tied up to the edge of the ledge.

The leader shouts for the 2 thugs to attack while he races for the boat. Wolney and Kalv are trapped. Kalv races toward the man trying to get in the boat and has to fight off one of the thugs as he does so. Wolney is weaving and dodging with his dagger. Neither he nor the thug he is facing can do much damage.

As Kalv tries to interfere with the leader, a thug runs up to him and gets his attention. Kalv is forced to turn and deal with this thug. The other thug then breaks off to attack Kalv as well.

The whole time the leader is yelling at the thugs to get this madman away from his boat. The orphans in the cage are waling and crying.

Wolney races over to help Kalv fight the thugs. The man in the boat is able to depart as the 2 thugs clobber Kalv.

Kalv is able to knock one of the thugs unconscious, but not before he takes a stab to the calf muscle and begins bleeding. Wolney is not a great fighter but he is doing the best he can.

Then just when Wolney and Kalv seem to have the situation under control, Kalv takes a wicked slash to his chest and blood just pours out. He collapses to the ground. As Wolney shrieks in disbelief, he distracted for just a second and the thug drives his dagger right into his neck, severing Wolney's spine.

The orphans cry out in pain as they see Wolney crumple into the pool of blood pouring from Kalv's wounds into the river.

The thug sneers at the orphans and looks over his buddy's wounds...

And so ends the saga of Kalv... kind and good, and Woleny... optimist and friend.
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10. RPG Item: Necklace of Skulls [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:4135]
RPG Item: Necklace of Skulls
Received this one today along with Heart of Ice. I've picked the Mystic, Evening Star. I just left the great city of Koba, fully packed, to the max, typical RPG style.

I read books like this 20 years ago and man how I missed that feeling of a good old solitaire RPG. Really excited how this will work out. Keep you posted.

That was fast. Got slain by some underworld monsters in a cave! Let's start all over again. whistle

Second try with the hunter. Way better this time. I got lost in the jungle but found a small village when I finally managed to get out. Can't wait to continue. This book is really good.

Argh! Died again. Almost there. But what's really bad about it is that I should take a few weeks off this book now. I don't want to remember too much stuff on my next try.
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11. RPG Item: Traveller [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:263]
RPG Item: Traveller
Jason Doyle
United Kingdom
Hertfordshire
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Well since everyone else is.

Just reading through the rules and tried rolling up a few characters. I really like the chargen system but I'm not entirely sure I'm doing it right. Apparantly the new beta rulebook has a much clearer flowchart but I reckon I've mostly got it.

Hoping to finally get to this thing called Star Trader...not sure if I've mentioned it yet.

Though I really fancy getting into creating a sector or something. I think I could be quite happy just creating stuff for a while yet.
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12. RPG Item: Book 01: Flight from the Dark [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:258]
RPG Item: Book 01: Flight from the Dark
Josh Murphy
United States
Missouri
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Inspired by this list, I went looking for gamebooks and found the entire (I think) line of Lone Wolf adventures available online, for free, with built in stat-tracking, and all with the authors blessing, no less!

So I'm about halfway through book one. Here's the link for anyone who is interested:

http://www.projectaon.org/en/Main/Books

UPDATE:

I stuck to the woods, avoided everyone and everything, saved the prince (well... tried), and won having only fought around 6 times. I feel like I skipped most of the book. Going to go back and see what all I missed!
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13. RPG Item: Book 26: Bloodbones [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:6286]
RPG Item: Book 26: Bloodbones
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Surrey
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On Saturday evening, I took a book to bed for a relaxing read: a tale of adventure and voodoo, of pirates and zombies, of death and revenge!

I'm happy with this title so far; without a doubt better than the average Fighting Fantasy gamebook, avoiding certain of the pitfalls of the older books in that series. It still has some unfortunate trappings but I can easily overlook those given how much of an improvement it is over certain "classics".

The only thing working against it at the moment is that Stormslayer is a superb book. But that's also perhaps an unfair comparison: Bloodbones was published in 2006 as part of the new wave of FF books. Stormslayer is also written by Jonathan Green and dates to 2009, and so builds on the successful format of its predecessor. Certainly, after I finish Bloodbones, I want to go back and look at more of Green's work.

I got halfway through on my first attempt, failing at an appropriate point. It felt right, which is an interesting experience (I'm not used to feeling justified in losing); too much time spent on initial exploration led to me failing to catch up with the pirates, which is cool. I hope to find the opportunity to attack it again soon so that I can write up a full review of the book.
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14. RPG Item: Heart of Ice [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:961]
RPG Item: Heart of Ice
Jimi von Boardgame
United Kingdom
Penrith
Cumbria
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Following on from comments here and the SGOYT Made Me Buy This geeklist, I bought the Kindle copy of Heart of Ice (99p!).

I really like Dave Morris' work - this uses the same diceless systrem as the Virtual Reality Adventure gamebooks.

The system is really nicely implemented - it immerses you in the story, and it feels like the different choices of character and different decisions along the way are having a real impact. There are deft little touches like places where you return the same paragraph to choose from a list of options (shopping for supplies and questioning an informant being two such cases) - the order in which you choose to those options might matter because not every choice will let you return to the list - having a particular skill (LORE or STREETWISE for example) might allow you to go back and choose another option where without it you have to progress to the next event.

This is just one of the ways that Morris is able to make it feel like decisions need to be carefully considered - without resorting to sudden death traps or similar. There's a really nice subplot with a suspicious companion - should you trust, should you not? There are numerous opportunities to be rid of him along the way, but it never feels like a black & white decision.

The main issue I see is the same for the other VR books - being a bit text heavy, they are low in immediate replayability - which is to say that after finishing (and presumably getting killed off), it's better to put put the book down for a few months and giving yourself a chance to forget the story a bit rather than try again straight away. As such, it puts me in the mood to try some of the older books again.

Edit: Duh, OK, it is part of the Virtual Reality Adventure series, they just changed the series title to something a little less 1994.
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15. RPG Item: Book 01: Flight from the Dark [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:258]
RPG Item: Book 01: Flight from the Dark
David Bate
United Kingdom
Staffordshire
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That could have gone better.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Travelled southward and defended the dying Prince, avoided the wolves and fell into a hunting hole. Should have tried taking on the wolves.


Likely to do better next time.
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16. RPG Item: Heart of Ice [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:961]
RPG Item: Heart of Ice
Started as the Mutant. Trusting no one. ninja And I just reached Kahira.

What a great atmosphere so far. Now I know why there is a Kickstarter for a deluxe edition for this one.

Update: It all worked really good. I entered a Pyramid, found groovy stuff in their, even got out alive again, survived the freezing cold outside only to die by toxins at a place where I felt more than safe. zombie

Next try asap...

Second try with the Bounty Hunter. I played it more risky. Aaaaand died in a bar fight.
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17. Board Game: Doctor Who: Solitaire Story Game [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:3707]
Board Game: Doctor Who: Solitaire Story Game
David Bate
United Kingdom
Staffordshire
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Time for a journey into classic Doctor Who. This is adventure loosely follows the first episode (An Unearthly Child) as a starting point. I'll add a condensed note of the rolls and other notes after each chapeter.

Unintended Adventures in Time and Space

Turn Zero


The night time London smog was especially dense, not unusual for a late 1963 evening. So dense it obscured much of the overhead street lights. They barely illuminate way for a young girl. She was slipping quietly along the deserted cobbled streets . As she turned into Totter’s Lane she could was aware that the scrap yard gate were ajar. She checked her approached at the gate, straining with all her sense, straining to pick out any sound that the damp air may be carrying from behind the open gate.

Two muffled voices, raised in anger were all she could make out. Pushing through the gap the girl entered the yard and scene.

The house was in darkness, grandfather wasn’t there. Junk of all kinds filled most of the yard. Her eyes were drawn to the far corner of the yard where she could see a large blue box. The windows were lit, the light issuing from them illuminated three figures; a woman and two men. The two men were gesturing vigorously and appeared to be the source of the disturbance. A younger man was arguing with her grandfather.

“Go away young man, this is private property. I’m not interested in your money”, the old man swiped his hand in a gesture of rejection and turn to leave. “Grandfather? What’s going? Miss Wright, Mr Chesterton! What are you doing here?” The girl bewildered turned from one group to the other.

Chesterton pointed at her grandfather, “The school caretaker had brought lead flashing from the demolished outbuildings down here to sell.” The old man stiffened and interjected, “and he got a good price for it.”

“That is not the point,” Chesterton replied, scowling at something behind the old man, “the caretaker said he saw an old telescope that he thought would interest us. Clearly seventeenth century and may be a copy one of Newton’s original.”

“Fool! A copy?” The old man spat out the words in derision giving Chesterton a look of contempt, “Newton himself gave it to me. Susan, get into the ship.” Susan was crestfallen, “Do we have to go? I like it in this time.” She walked over to the blue box, pushing the door open entered it.

The old man picked up the telescope, gripping it closely. “I do not give such gifts away, young man. Not from my good friend Isaac. Now go away.” He turned and followed Susan into the box.

Chesterton’s gaze followed old man as he disappeared. “Barbara, the man is not right in the head, ‘Newton gave it him’, indeed.” Barbara stepped towards the blue box, she looked back Chesterton. “I’m worried about the Freeman girl, Ian. The man must be going senile, I don’t think it is safe leave her here.”

The blue box was a wooden police box. The police box was a familiar sight to anyone who travelled the roads of Britain. Barbara placed a hand on the side of the box. ‘That’s odd, they don’t usual vibrate to the touch’ she thought as she started to enter.

Ian heard Barbara call out his name, she sounded shocked and surprised. Rushing forward he pursued the sound of her voice. There was movement from behind, Ian turned to see that the door was closing. “What are you doing? How dare you lock us in here . . .” his voice trailed away as he realised that the room was much bigger than the outside of the box.

“No, Grandfather. Let them go. You can’t.” Susan stood with her back to a large hexagonal console with her arm outstretched blocking access to a panel of dials and levers. The old man pushed her firmly to one side as turned the dials. Susan grabbed at the old man’s arm as he reached for a lever. “No. I can’t let them leave the TARDIS not after what they have seen.”

The old man pulled the lever. A groaning, wheezing sound filled the room. Ian felt his head start to swim. Nausea and unconsciousness followed.

====================================================
Turn 0 - CA00 Doctor and Susan at 76 Totter’s Lane. CE01 Ian and Barbara intrude up on the TARDIS. Doctor refuses to send let them go having seen the TARDIS, he pushes leavers on the co-ordinates panel, then throws the activator and the TARDIS dematerializes slipping into the Time Vortex.


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18. RPG Item: Book 02: Fire on the Water [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:508]
RPG Item: Book 02: Fire on the Water
Oliver S
United States
Stafford Springs
Connecticut
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Attempting to continue my playthrough of the Lone Wolf gamebooks. Not such good luck with this one. Died three times (all three through unlucky random numbers), and then find myself boxed into a loop that I couldn't seem to get out of - being mugged and losing all of my equipment early on made things a little difficult. I'll come back to this one and give it a fresh try from the beginning...
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19. RPG: Rolemaster (3rd & 4th Editions) [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:266]
RPG: Rolemaster (3rd & 4th Editions)
Jeff Thompson
United States
Homewood
Illinois
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This time out I took Rolemaster for another spin. Conjecture took a backseat to random generators of all kinds. I used some Rolemaster tables, some tables from the internet (random-generator.com) and the greatest, in my opinion, RPG book ever written, Advanced D&D Dungeon Master Guide.

I started by creating a bunch of characters rather quickly. I didn't like any of them, but after some thought I returned to pick 3 from the list and use them to start the campaign.

As far as Rolemaster goes, I'm taking the evolutionary step toward collapsing the massive skill tree. My Game.RPG.Rolemaster Skill has increased.

In the end I created a few interesting scenes within a new setting that promises to be massive, mysterious and full of mayhem. That is the King's Forest. At this early stage I'm thinking of the King's Forest as yet another character in the milieu.

After these first two "mini jaunts" (see below) I plan to return to a more plot based adventure and bring Conjecture back to the forefront.

Here starts the campaign of The King's Forest.
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20. RPG Item: Book 1: The War-Torn Kingdom [Average Rating:8.23 Overall Rank:567]
RPG Item: Book 1: The War-Torn Kingdom
Jimi von Boardgame
United Kingdom
Penrith
Cumbria
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These lists reminded me that as a big fan of solitaire gamebooks and Dave Morris in particular, I'd been meaning to pick up a copy of the fabled Fabled Lands books now that they are back in print. Ordered the first two on Amazon and they arrived today.

First point is the game system, with Dave Morris' typical strengths - simplicity that has range and variety built in. I choose to play a troubadour, and get stuck in.

Immediately, I am struck by the similarities to Solo 14: Sea of Mystery, a Tunnels & Trolls solo that I'm perpetually recommending. That's also open ended, with locations that can be revisited. But the scale in Fabled Lands is many times greater, and the balance in game play is much greater. My first character does die fairly quickly, having rather foolishly plunged into trouble that could have been avoided. My next hero I play with more caution - though still a sense of adventure. After completing some minor missions, my first big windfall follows from assassinating the Rat King - a particularly bold venture. The money is invested in a Town House (in stinky Yellowport - I'm tempted to find a home somewhere more pleasant, but it's such a centre of trade - and luckily the royalist rioting has been suppressed before I join the bourgeoisie) a barque and a cargo of minerals (the cargo is lost at sea, and I'm lucky not to lose ship and crew too). Madesh the Wayfarer is now 2nd rank, Initiate of Lacuna, Illuminate of Molhern, liberator of Venefax. He's resting for the time in his town house in Yellowport, burning incense to ward off the sulfur fumes. His ship is moored at the distant Isle of Druids, to which he may return once he had raised some fresh funds, as his fortunes are currently running a little low, and the perils of the sea are all the harder to bear when penniless.
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21. RPG Item: Book 2: The Heart of Fire [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Book 2: The Heart of Fire
Eric Dodd
New Zealand
Martinborough
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Completed the second of the DestinyQuest gamebooks - this one has 895 paragraphs.

I picked the Rogue path and Pilgrim career, and tried to say true to the church for as long as it made logical sense. Of all the three bokks however, this one is filled with most traitors and heel-turns among the NPCs you meet. Even if they ask for forgiveness after you've killed them and released the demon that had ensnared them, it gets a bit wearing to chat with friendly NPCs only to have them later betray you. At the end all my allies were dead, traitors or demon haunted, and the epilogue suggested I was pretty much full demon myself. Having read Book 3, I can see that my character becomes the instigator of that book's plot. Assuming Book 4 would have brought all 3 previous characters together, it's a shame that won't get made.

There are plenty of interesting locations, and the exploration of the jungle was a really enjoyable section, more like Fabled Lands to some extent. Combats are mostly straightforward towards the end, as I picked up enough of a range of special abilities to deal with any combat restraints. At the end I had Speed 16, Brawn 22, Magic 1 and Armour 0: Bleed, Blind, Charm (x4), Charm Offensive, Command, Cunning, Demon Claws, Gut Ripper, Heal, Piercing, Rust, Sidestep, Sideswipe, Silver Frost, Slick, Sure footed, trickster and Webbed abilities. I didn't get hit a single time (except by passive abilities) in my last three combats. You can add abilities such as Charm to some of your favourite gear, which I enjoy.

The magic books and item crafting sections are fun, but didn't seem to provide good enough items for the effort involved. By the time you've won the battles to get the reagents you need, you have better gear than the items you're creating.

So an ambivalent report - there are some great sections and interesting combats, but also parts that are a slog and where the story becomes confusing and dull.
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22. Board Game: Song of Gold and Darkness [Average Rating:7.58 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.58 Unranked]
Board Game: Song of Gold and Darkness
Dave B
United States
Tigard
Oregon
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Oddly enough (to me), this set of rules and others in the family are listed under board games. I guess there isn't a miniatures option. And maybe it doesn't count as an rpg, but it feels a bit more like one than jus a straight up board game to me.

Anyway. I tried to play a couple of times using the solo dungeon rules and guidelines, but I wasn't really happy with the way it played. Also, I made a number of mistakes the first time, which is why I tried again. Thoughts and reactions:
Winning combats tends to be all or nothing. There is no concept of hit points or keeping track of wounds over the course of a session. (unless I missed something, which is entirely possible)
Using skills and monsters and such from the various sets - Blades and Heroes, Wind and Water, Gold and Darkness - I kept finding myself having to search through different places to find information. I guess it would help to make some player aids, such as turn sequence, specific skills in use by characters/party/monsters, maybe some stat cards for different monsters and such.
No stats for a number of miniatures I own, so I would have to make up stats and skills for them. This is not a big issue, but does mean more prep is needed before playing.
whistle And the solo dungeon just wasn't very satisfying. It seems a bit too random or something.

The rules have a number of good points, too. So I ended up borrowing the bits I like, such as the way movement works, and other bits from other rules I have come across, and made up my own rules. I used the D&D board game tiles (from Wrath of Ashardalon), just because I have them handy. And ran a party through a dungeon.

The party consisted of Snow White, elf wizardess, and the three dwarves, Grumly, dungeoneer with knowledge of traps and locks and such, Grumhilda (Grumly's sister), goblin-slayer, and Durok, dwarf ranger. I put together six sets of figures for encounters and created quick stat cards for them (band of goblins, some orcs, swarm of large rats, big scorpion, wargs, skeletons, and a goblin leader and a goblin shaman). I played through 6 rooms with the encounters limited to everything but the leader and shaman. Then the 7th encounter was to be against the leader or the shaman accompanied by one of the other sets of figures.

The way I set things up will need some tweaking, but it worked out ok. Grumly and Grumhilda were the ones at the forefront of combat and ended up taking the most damage, barely hanging by the end of the last encounter. Snow White and Durok stayed back for the most part and used range attacks (magic and crossbow respectively) and so they took less damage overall. The party took mostly minor damage from the lesser encounters, then the final one went back and forth for a while before the party managed to finish things.

Basically, this all was just an experiment and mostly done pretty informally with not a lot of stuff (rules or game play) written down.
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