Solo RPGs on Your Table - November 2016
Oliver S
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Welcome to
Solo RPGs on Your Table - November 2016


Welcome to November! Many thanks to Simon for creating this list in the first place, and to the users who've hosted in the past months!

This list was inspired by the hugely successful Solitaire Games on Your Table geeklists and there seems to be a place for something similar that is more focused on roleplaying games. There are quite a few items that aren't strictly RPGs that might end up here, but if you think it belongs here then it absolutely does. Go ahead and post it!

TIPS donated to the list will be distributed for contributions.
I'm not sure that it's worth explaining whatever half-cooked system I think I might be running, but I'll try to be fair - whatever that might mean. Like Jason, anything that makes me laugh will get tipped too.

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.

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.

Lastly, if the RPG you are using is not on the database, please consider adding it. 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. 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.

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

Future Hosts
December 2016 - garyrbrooks
January 2017 - Andreas
February 2017 - I thought someone had volunteered for this, but now I can't find it.
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1. Board Game: Midnight Legion: Operation Deep Sleep [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:10267] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Board Game: Midnight Legion: Operation Deep Sleep
First In, Last Out
United Kingdom
Gateshead
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I really will play it this month.

Honest.

Update 17 Nov:

Played it 3 times so far. Died every time.

Is it fun? Yes. Easily as fun as any of the other choose your own books I've read.

Is it different to other choose your own adventure books? Not really. I don't see anything dynamically different here. Still feels like there is only one optimal strategy.

Is it worth the extra money? I don't think so. 3 times the price of a normal book for a couple of dice, a map and a manual/memory book that could be incorporated in to the main book isn't great value.

I'm not sure I will hang on to this. Especially, when I consider the amount of gaming I will get out of the Fabled Lands books and how you can start that in any of the books and have several characters running at the same time.
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2. RPG Item: Alone Against the Flames [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:1983]
RPG Item: Alone Against the Flames
Albert Hernandez
United States
Greenville
SC
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I bought this on Monday and have been slowly working through it. I am enjoying it so far. It feels like you're typical HPL story. Great!

So far playable without the quickstart rules which I don't have. Fortunately I do own a couple of the older edition CoC rules.

2016-11-03:
Played for maybe 20 minutes tonight and had fun. I am enjoying the story. I hate failing dice rolls. I am going to have to play again after finishing to try and see some of the things I have missed out on.

I stopped when I got to some combat that requires digging into the rules.

2016-11-07:
I finally had time to play again. I finally downloade the rulebook to learn the combat in 7th ed. After 15 minutes of figuring it out, I had my fight and the game ended.

The ending was a bit more sudden and unsatisfying. Lets's just say someday I'l need to visit Emberhead again.

Now what do I do with my character. I wish there where tons more adventures like this one.
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3. RPG: The Zorcerer of Zo [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:335]
RPG: The Zorcerer of Zo
Mike Hostetler
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
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Hi, my name is Mike, and I'm a first time poster. And I'm making plans but feel like I don't know what I'm doing.

I'm new to RPGs (mostly played DnD 5e) but have a longer interest in them. I can't make my normal group so I think I may go solo for a bit.

Why ZoZ? Well a few years back on a Bundle of Holding special I bought a large number of kid-friendly RPGs. And I played a lot of Hero Kids with my two kids. The kids had fun and I had fun but it was a lot of work to setup and (more importantly) the characters don't evolve. ZoZ was part of the package and from the start it interested me.

So, as I think about going Solo RPG for a bit, I went back to it. Easy system, story-based (I don't want to have to do a lot of math and lookups because, well, it's just me). I'm going to try to use Rory's Story Cubes with these ideas to help move the story along. I have my character created... I just need to start.

External image
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4. RPG Item: Litany in Scratches [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Litany in Scratches
Hiroo Onoda
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The latest in my ongoing hobby (ever starting) of playing Torchbearer (2013) solo.

The party has been rolled up:

-Human Warrior - a recently fired caravan guard with more daring than sense. Fired for foolishly charging ahead and engaging threats than protecting the goods. He feels cheated out of what he has earned and has a deep belief that all should get their fair share.
-Human Cleric - recently assigned to a backwater. Brought up by a theological mentor to passionately believe that revelation lies "out there" in the hostile wilderness, among the ruins of past human hubris. A skilled cartographer whose faith may lead him to unwelcome places.
-Human Acranist - a poor resident of said backwater, mentored by an even more appallingly poor wax witch. Her arcane skills and her lack of social means have made her the target of scorn and abuse by the local petty clerical types. Her unorthodox training requires her to hold and obsessively shape bits of wax to channel her arcane abilities. She is bitter and believes that respect will only come through power.
-Dwarven Adventurer - A misfit obsessed with old ruins. He never saw a downward darkened passage that didn't call to him. His poor choices and poorer instincts have led him to this backwater.
-Halfling Burglar - a petty criminal from the the lowest classes of a poor backwater. Always an eye out for something shiny to perk up his day and that of his neighbors. An oddly altruistic burglar who has made an enemy of the true criminal element of the backwater.

Currently prepping the Litany of Scratches from Michael Prescott's incredible collection of one-page adventures. I'm in the process of uploading his profilic opus of material to the RPGG database. Currently working on stat blocks for planned creatures. Also reviewing the Mythic Game Master Emulator. Hope to run through the adventure before Thanksgiving.

Reports to follow.
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5. RPG Item: The Old Man and the Sea Monster [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
RPG Item: The Old Man and the Sea Monster
Shardra The Castrator
Albania
Durrës
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file download from here
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6. Board Game: Rory's Story Cubes [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:2313] [Average Rating:6.30 Unranked]
Board Game: Rory's Story Cubes
Mike Hostetler
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
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I posted about playing Zorcerer of Zo with Story Cubes earlier. I played maybe an hour long but I have some thoughts about it.

I have the "standard" Rory cubes (which are essentially nouns) and I have Rory's Story Cubes: Actions (which are, obviously, verbs). I started using the ideas listed out here and did some refinement as I went along and will probably continue to refine things. But it was fun and that's really the only thing that matters, right?

So along my narrative, when my character was interacting with an NPC or if the NPC was speaking (i.e. GM stuff) I took 6 Story Cubes out of the bag, rolled them, and chose three -- one of which had to be an Action cube (which has different color etching). The other three went back into the bag and I had to use those three cubes as the next paragraph/action of the story. The three I chose sat out of the bag until it was empty. It was interesting and it took the story in a direction I didn't consider it going. Which is actually the fun part, right?

I'm not sure about making sure an Action cube is there. Sometimes I do want an action but at other times it made it more difficult. Luckily Zorcerer of Zo is a fairy tale setting so eccentric characters and odd actions (and results) aren't too far out of the way. If I pick up one more set (maybe the Enchanted version) I'll do away with the one Action rule.

I did have to frame the beginning -- I knew what my character was going to meet up with but after that I let the dice take care of things. When I start again, I won't have to do that.. the story is at a place where I can just keep rolling.

I'll continue this part of my story and then make a session report but so far so good.
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7. RPG: Dark Heresy (2nd Edition) [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:134]
RPG: Dark Heresy (2nd Edition)
Finally. Today is the day my two acolytes go on their first mission. It's a small one, but it's also the start of a mini campaign, I'm toying around with in my head for a few days.

The acolytes:
Krill - a primitive psyker.
Zuriel - void born techpriest.

Crazy mix I know. And their mission is even better... later.
I wanted to play a crazy mixed party which will have some problems you might not have by going standard.

I have set everything up to start:

From gallery of de_la_poer


And the Mythic Game Master Emulator of course. The mission is a small research mission, just to get into the game and Mythic again. I will use these old Shadowrun maps as the main setting:

From gallery of de_la_poer

From gallery of de_la_poer

From gallery of de_la_poer


Let's get it on!
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8. RPG: Dark Heresy (2nd Edition) [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:134]
RPG: Dark Heresy (2nd Edition)
I hope it's ok that I add another item with the same title / party to this list. Let me know if that is alright.

Part two of my campaign and I thought it would be best to add it to a new item instead of my old one.

Well, what's new? First of all I decided to flesh things out. I decided that my story takes place on a planet called Samson IV. In the lower right corner:

External image


Samson IV is a big planet and has some interesting neighbours!

What else? I have a total of 763 pictures in 6 different folders now to chose from. My folders are: loot, events, places, planets, vehicle and encounters. All pictures in there have names like "uszgfbn3wr98ehfn" to make it almost impossible to remember which name belonged to what picture.
If at any point I decide it's time to go for a picture I click at any random picture in a specific folder, open it with the windows picture viewer and start racing through all those pictures in that folder by hitting the "next" button. The picture viewer starts racing through the pictures and I don't watch it. A few seconds in there and I stop at a random picture and make something out of it. And this is what happenend:

I decided that we received some important news out of the data I found back at the cultist HQ. I decided to pick a picture from the planets folder and one from the places folder. Here is what it showed:

Planet: a fortress on a forest world.
Places: an old, abandoned theater.

I decided that the data is talking about an old destroyed abandoned fortress somewhere in a fortress outside the city. The data is coming with maps of the place, which I am about to draw later and make a story out of it.

Not enough, I decide to pick two more pictures. One from the vehicle folder and one from the encounters folder.

Vehicle: ships coming out of a warp jump
Encounters: a Chaos Space Marine firing a bolter gun.

I decide that the fortress is hiding something big. Maybe it's working as a gate or portal for some really big problem. So let's go there and find out.

I'm off, painting the map. To be continued...

Edit:

I painted 3 maps: (didn't use the first floor in the end...)

From gallery of de_la_poer


I started the mission in front of the fortress.

Sneaking around and see what there is to see. I see two guards at the front gate and decide to check if there is another way in. Yes there is. There is a hole in one of the walls on the back of the fortress which I use to get in.

I roll on my self-made table for this level of the building. I roll three times. One for the left corridor, one for the right one and a third time for the door in front of me. The one in front is blocked, the two other rolls both say event. I pull out two pictures. The one with the two Tau warriors having a break (again) and another one with two guys in a bar having an ugly discussion, one pushes a knife through the other guys hand. I combine both and decide that on one side of the tunnel there are two guards having a big ugly discussion. Makes it easy for me to sneak into the opposite direction and for the stairs down. I decided to go down instead for going up.

Down there I roll on the next table. One side of the corridor is blocked and the other has an encounter for me. A big fat monster. Superb. I decide to face one lower demon from the core book since they can be a problem but a manageable problem. The fight was short but brutal. Krill almost got killed but I manage to kill the demon with two shots only! I am surprised about how good I roll.

But the fight did not go unheard. A corrupted Techpriest is coming out of one of the doors ahead of the acolytes, sees the two acolytes and gets back inside. Before he’s back in, Zuriel tries to shoot him but misses, so he’s in, locking the door behind him. Perfect. So let’s move on, fast.

But there has to be time to heal Krill a bit.

Around the corner, I roll an event. First picture shows some Space Marines on patrol. No use for that. Next picture is an Ultramarines support crew. Doesn’t make sense either. So I decide nothing happens.

The doors along the lower corridor have some goodies for me. Two doors, two events. One picture with a Techpriest finding something special and another picture with a weapon. I combine both and decide they find a lasergun in one of the rooms. Groovy!

The rest of the doors are locked but one is filled with documents about cloning. Jackpot.

Next corridor and I roll another loot. Lucky me! I find some kind of bangle with thorns and chaos signs on it.

I decide it’s time for the corrupted Techpriest to show up again with some of his friends. The two guards who had an argument. The fight was short. I used the new weapon and shot down the Techpriest right away. Impressive rolls on my side again. The two guards followed him right away.

Once again the fight woke up someone else. A door ahead opens and some psycho mutant is attacking us. A short but almost deadly fight. Krill was almost killed, before the mutant went down.

The room from where the mutant came is a mess. But some kind of sick laboratory. We’re getting closer. I love it!

The door on the opposite side reveals some kind of altar room. It’s empty and that’s good. I’m having too many fights here anyway.

The last corridor down there and I find more documents. This place is a total mess. Another mutant surprises the two acolytes down there but was no real match.

The very last door and I’m rolling for another encounter. Another Acolyte. I decide that the guy is wounded (combined with the stuff I already found - good to keep the campaign going) and decide to leave the place. No more encounters on the way out...

And the maps at the end:

From gallery of de_la_poer
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9. Family: Fabled Lands
RPG: Fabled Lands Gamebooks
First In, Last Out
United Kingdom
Gateshead
Tyne and Wear
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I still haven't played Midnight Legion. whistle

However, this lot arrived today.

From gallery of garyrbrooks

I've been waiting to get back to Sokara.

Now I have no excuse.
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10. RPG Item: Thrusts Of Justice [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
RPG Item: Thrusts Of Justice
First In, Last Out
United Kingdom
Gateshead
Tyne and Wear
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I enjoyed U, Robot last month so have started on this one.

It's a bit more like a traditional choose your own adventure book than the previous one I've read and not as much fun for that reason.

I will get through it but I'm not expecting to be blown away by it.
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11. RPG Item: Book 38: Vault of the Vampire [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:4919]
RPG Item: Book 38: Vault of the Vampire
Eric Dodd
New Zealand
Martinborough
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Speaking of traditional, here's Fighting Fantasy adventure where we play a bold adventurer out to kill the Vampire Count lording it over a poor village. There's plenty of traditional story elements - wolves, bats, various undead and various curses but it's told in an engaging manner and there's some surprises. The Count has a large retinue of friends and family, but some are neutral or even friendly to you. Talking can be as useful as fighting. Faith is a new stat in this gamebook, measuring how you can resist evil or stay undetected while hiding from the undead. A good one!
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12. RPG: Dark Heresy (2nd Edition) [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:134]
RPG: Dark Heresy (2nd Edition)
Third part of my campaign is about to start.

What's new? I created a 7th folder named "rooms". I should have made that one before the fortress. Every time I am about to enter a new room, I will draw a random picture from that folder to see what I will face. A lab? A prison cell? A small library? An altar room? Etc.
Plus I roll on a table to see what else is inside. Encounter? Event? Loot?
All this to flesh things out even more.

What's on? I came up with this: the strange device I found at the cultist HQ was used to steal peoples DNA. The old fortress was a lab for cloning and body modification. I decided that the wounded acolyte I found back at the fortress died shortly after. I toyed around with the idea of letting him join the two man team I play with, but decided against it in the end.
So he died. But not before giving me some nice information. Therefore I picked one picture at random from each of my folders and made up a story with those. Let's see:

Encounters: a female Inquisitor
Loot: a shotgun
Events: an Ultramarine encircled by Tyranids
Places: a forest (a picture I once made myself)
Rooms: an old dark library
Planets: a huge industrial world
Vehicle: a tank and two titans

So...? I came up with this:
I am not the only one who follows this trail. I had to meet with another Inquisitors acolyte and exchange information. I decided that the huge industrial world I drew is the planet I am already on, Samson IV. What I got from this meeting is that there is an evil scientist (techpriest or psyker maybe?) who is studying the dark art of cloning, and someone big is behind all this. The scientist (or his mentor) has laboratories on different planets.
So much for the female Inquisitor and the industrial world...

What else? The other acolyte seemed to know where the scientists HQ is. And there lies the adventure. It's on Valos Krin. A neighbour to Samson IV. A savage world. A little research on the Warhammer 40k universe fit perfect to my pictures.
The HQ (the old dark library) lies hidden in a forest (my picture). The problem with Valos Krin, is that it's not only savage by nature, there is also a war going on down there (the Ultramarine, the tank etc.). Therefore (now comes the shotgun picture) we have to equip ourselves with some goodies and go to Valos Krin on a suicide mission to find the evil scientist.

I still need a name. I am hunting a ghost at the moment. Who is behind all this? This is exciting!

I'm off painting maps etc.
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13. RPG Item: A Real Game [Average Rating:8.33 Unranked]
RPG Item: A Real Game
Shawn McCarthy
Canada
Calgary
AB
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It's a game for game designers & creatives.

More a poem and musing on game design than a real game but... well. Therein lies the rub.
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14. RPG Item: Kirigami Dominatrix Display Simulator (2nd Edition) [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Kirigami Dominatrix Display Simulator (2nd Edition)
Shawn McCarthy
Canada
Calgary
AB
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Without further comment.

Go visit http://caitlynnbelle.com/ to download her games while they're free and/or tip her and/or check out her Patreon.
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15. RPG Item: Quill: Love Letters [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Quill: Love Letters
Albert Hernandez
United States
Greenville
SC
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The show on solitaire boardgaming.
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I recently bought a calligraphy pen and thought it would be fun to use it to play a game of Quill. I did this over two evenings. It was a very slow process and each page probably took me 30-45 minutes. My attempt at fancy writing shows my obvious lack of skill but, nontheless, I am surprise how well it came out. I played as an aristocrat.

From gallery of fractaloon

From gallery of fractaloon

From gallery of fractaloon


My final score was a 9 so Aubrey move to Spain and married me.
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16. RPG Item: Book 01: Flight from the Dark [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:254]
RPG Item: Book 01: Flight from the Dark
TTDG
United States
Fairfax
Virginia
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This month I have played the 1st 3 Lone Wolf gamebooks, and read all of the options I did not take. In short, the 1st was a hair worse than A Spy in Isengard, the 2nd was great with 1 caveat, and the 3rd was maze-like.

In #1, there are 2 obvious choices, that if you take them you miss some significant flavor. In this one, finding a weapon is random. I had 2 fights then lost my equipment. And there was not much good loot.

In #2, I had 6 fights that were mostly k/0’s (instant kill + no harm). This one has multiple opportunities for gambling, 2 cities, a wilderness journey and 2 journeys by ship. It packs a lot in! My one caveat is that you must have either Animal Kinship or find the 1 magic weapon, which is easy to miss. So I died several times before I restarted with Animal Kinship, and it was only upon the complete read-thru that I saw where the missing magic weapon was. With Healing I was able to gradually raise my Endurance from the previous game up to max and keep it there. And, you get one awesome loot. Further, this book gives you multiple opportunities to buy weapons. I had fun.

In #3, you head to the frozen waste after a traitorous mage. While there is a bit of cold survival, fairly quickly you are underground and indoors. But, in both places there is often no good reason to choose one direction over another, and some sections are literally bare corridor junctions. Pair that with barbarians that hate you, monsters that hate you, and demons that hate you, and there is almost no one not worth killing. I had 8 fights. I found it bland. Plus, there is once again a choke point, and there is a monster where you have at most a 40% chance of success. I died at least twice. I'm slightly annoyed that there was 1 piece of good loot that I have missed forever now. This was my least favorite of the 3. I think I stumbled onto a fairly short path to the end, and generally found this one less flavorful.

Overall, because my character keeps advancing, this series is worth continuing.
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