Solo RPGs on Your Table - March 2020
Michael Lawing
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Lexington
South Carolina
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Welcome to
Solo RPGs on Your Table
March 2020
From gallery of BoardGameGeek




Welcome to Solitaire RPGs on Your Table!

We are so glad that you're here! Pull up a chair, crack open a gamebook, and play by yourself! Adventure awaits!

Not sure how to RPG alone? Ask some questions here, everyone is friendly and we are all learning how to do this together.

The "rules" are easy to learn and keep in mind:

1 Have fun!

2 Play any RPG (pen & paper, game book, LARP, story game, etc...)

3 Post about it. What happened during your session? How do you play? What components do you use? What made you pick the system you used? Mini review or session report? It's up to you! Share as much or as little as you want. You can't do anything wrong here. What you think is an RPG, is an RPG.

4 Be kind to each other and have fun!

March's Theme: Choose Your Own Gamebook

Do you remember going to the library and pulling down a Choose Your Own Adventure book? Rolling to best the Warlock of Firetop Mountain? Holding your finger between the pages to make sure the next page didn't end your adventure as the Lone Wolf? This month I'd like to celebrate and highlight some of the lighter games in our beloved hobby. Tell us about your favorite, the first you ever played, or some things you think the genre gets right that you employ in your current solo games.

Also, check below. I've linked some resources for folks who don't have access to gamebooks at their local library!



SROYT Resources:

The Solo Roleplaying Guild
Solo RPGs on Your Table Monthly Geeklist SUBSCRIPTION THREAD - The Meta-List
SROYT Made me buy this! - A place to give thanks or throw blame when SROYT inspires you to open your wallet
Need More Tables (Or Other World Building Aids) for Solo/GM-less Gaming! - Tables! TABLES!
Roleplaying Alone Together - in case you want to play with other people!
Solo Gamebook Master Review list

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Solo RPGs on Your Table - April 2020

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Happy role/rolling!

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1. RPG Item: Sugarcane Island [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Sugarcane Island
Michael Lawing
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Lexington
South Carolina
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Overview
What is a gamebook?
A Brief History of Gamebooks
Demian's Gamebook Database

Gamebooks you can read/play online for free:
Be an Interplanetary Spy - HERE
Combat Command- HERE
Fabled Lands Gamebooks - HERE
Give Yourself Goosebumps - HERE
GrailQuest- HERE
Hero's Challenge: Sagard the Barbarian- HERE
Lone Wolf Gamebooks - HERE
Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Gamebooks- HERE
Narnia Solo Games- HERE
Nintendo Adventure Book - HERE
Sagas of the Demonspawn- HERE
Sherlock Holmes Solo Mysteries- HERE

If your local library doesn't have an gamebooks, be sure to check WorldCat. This is the worldwide catalog for all participating OCLC Libraries. You can search by zipcode and find the closest library holding what you're looking for. Often your local library can borrow materials for free/cheap. Beyond Choose Your Own Adventure, libraries are carrying some newer games like You Choose Books. Check subject headings like "plot your own stories"

Not Quite Gamebooks/Interactive Fiction
RP Gamebooks -HERE
Sryth - HERE
Colossal Cave Adventure - HERE
The Interactive Fiction Database

Please leave a comment if you have any to add. I'm always looking for more RPG's/Gamebooks to try!
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2. RPG Item: Book 32: Slaves of the Abyss [Average Rating:4.88 Unranked]
RPG Item: Book 32: Slaves of the Abyss
Eric Dodd
New Zealand
Martinborough
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My solo game book of the month is number 32 in the original Fighting Fantasy list. Paul Mason and Steve Williams wrote this fantasy entry which features giant other-worldly entities, royal intrigue and betrayal.
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3. RPG Item: Book 01: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:444]
RPG Item: Book 01: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
Peter Schott
Germany
Langenzenn
Franconia
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Ok, so, recently I bought the Warlock. Knowing that it is not the newest game. But I read so much about it. And I wanted to see how they did it back then. Some of you might laugh (because of the age, and that I am now 45 myself).
Please note that I am a seasoned roleplayer, and I even have published some stuff myself, mainly Call of Cthulhu. And have contributed to Quest: A Time of Heroes, which is an adventure game that behaves mostly as a solo, though it is administrated by a game master who also leads the bad guys in fights.
And of course, in my youth, I have played a lot of solo RPGs like Lone Wolf or the solos of the most popular German RPG of Das Schwarze Auge.
So, to make it short:

I was not impressed.

I walked across some mainly unrelated rooms. I had some fights. I found some keys. I died. Mainly for bad dice rolls. That is OK with me.

Done it again. Fared better. Crossed the river a second time. (Those of you that know the game might know what I mean.)
Then I stumbled across a labyrinth which didn't make any sense to me. There seemed to be some useless teleports. I was going to and fro, trying to search here and there, then I lost interest.

So that's how they were doing books in the 80s?
No, thank you, never again.
I want to do stuff that has impact on the story - and not just picking the right number by accident.
(And btw, I know that several books I've read/played back then might have the same problem, but I didn't realize.
Maybe it's just me growing old zombie )
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4. RPG Item: Spies of World War I: An Interactive Espionage Adventure [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Spies of World War I: An Interactive Espionage Adventure
Michael Lawing
United States
Lexington
South Carolina
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I have enjoyed the couple of these I've read through. They're not as fantastical as most of the choose your own type gamebooks (in fact, my local library has them in the non-fiction section for all the historical accuracy within).

I think they'd be good for youth readers interested in whichever topic you choose, and there are a ton. I'll be adding more to the RPGGeek listings myself.

They endings in this one didn't necessarily feel as punitive as some books do, but were more plot-related than poor-decision-making. There are several paths to take, so a fair amount of replayability. Not sure that I'd buy, but worth checking out from a library.
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5. Board Game: Rory's Story Cubes [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:2313] [Average Rating:6.30 Unranked]
Board Game: Rory's Story Cubes
Corey Mayo
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Had some more fun with story cubes again in this scene...
From gallery of cmmayo
Continuing Book 2 of the Ahari Chronicles, featuring...

Leroi Magda – Demonborne Explorer
Scene 4 – Traveling the first day of the trip

CHAOS FACTOR 6, scene is altered…

I don’t immediately have an idea of how to alter it, so I throw cubes…

From gallery of cmmayo

CAPTAIN’S LOG, DAY 1:
It’s the next morning, I’m in the crow’s nest of the ship. I’m ducking and I’m holding a fishing net. I’m doing these things because I am going to kill the bird that shit on me.
From gallery of cmmayo
The little asshole has been following the ship.
Here he comes right now.


Agility d8 = Exploding 8 + 6 + 3 = 3 Raises
Anything unusual or special about this bird? Unlikely = 95, so Exceptional NO

“Got you! You bastard!” I whip the net at the albatross and snag it in one try.
“I made breakfast!” I shout down to my first mate.
“Catch!” I twist off its head and toss the rest down to Duzzie.


Throwing d4-2 = 2, a failure

It thuds on the deck several feet away from him. He looks up at me, annoyed.
“It’s a beautiful day, Duzzie. ” I exclaim, feeling victorious.
“I’m not eating that,” he replies.


I roll on the random weather chart. It is, actually, a beautiful day.

“Besides, isn’t it supposed to be bad luck or bad… something to kill an albatross?” he shouts up to me.
“I have no idea, but either way, it’s totally worth it.”
I smile and watch the white-capped expanse of mountains beyond White Sweep disappear into the distance.


Does any bad luck or bad something happen on Day One? Unlikely = 84, so NO
Notice d10 = Exploding 6 + 5 + 7 = 18
Boating d8 = Both dice explode for several raises. I’m cutting a day off his expected travel time.

By the end of the first day traveling due West through the channel, I see the area beyond the sea where the ocean’s Northern current will slow our journey if we don’t turn south. Just beyond the coastline, but before the current, I turn the boat and grab onto the stronger winds, as expected.
From gallery of cmmayo
I check the map again. I’m thinking we can hit Echo Bluff in two days instead of the expected three. Which is good, because an Orge eats as much as 4 men. Or at least, mine does.

Echo Bluff is a very sketchy locale, but they are friendly to merchants, explorers, and pirates, alike. A lot of merchandise changes hands there, and I’ve got some stuff I need to sell to fund this mission. I think I’m far enough away from the former owner of the aforementioned stuff that it’s safe to unload it there.


1 XP for the scene, now at 29.

Note: Based on the last paragraph, I’m going to give Leroi an Edge AND a Hinderance to flesh out his background…

Hindrance (Major): Enemy
-- I’ve decided that the Cobalt Blade is a stolen ship. Let’s make it from an enemy I can introduce later. I’m adding a blank “Wild Card Enemy” slot to the NPC list for now.
Edge (from 50 Fathoms): Booty!
--Let’s also say it had a lot of stuff on it when he stole it, and he’s probably been living off it for a while. Here is the roll on the 50 Fathoms Booty chart:
- Treasure and items worth $3000 in silver and gold (but less than that now, after his previous travels)
- Relic: Antimagic Ring: The wearer ignores four points of all magical damage, including that inflicted by enchanted items. He also adds +4 to any rolls made to resist hostile magical effects. (This was his enemy’s ring. Leroi has no idea what it really is. However, it repels him when he touches it, due to his demonic nature. He wants to get rid of it and knows it’s worth some money.)
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6. RPG Item: Tales from the Loop [Average Rating:8.27 Overall Rank:103]
RPG Item: Tales from the Loop
Stephen Zipprich
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Tales From the Loop - The Case of the Missing Monkey

So far I've just (mostly) created my 3 Kids; still have to finish by assigning relationships and descriptions, but I've also got to finish reading the book.

This should be pretty fun I think.

Edited to change the link for the geeklist I'll use to track the story.

I've got a title for it now; rolled for it last night prior to doing the kid's everyday life events, but that's okay.
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7. RPG Item: Eberron: Rising from the Last War [Average Rating:8.30 Overall Rank:2433]
RPG Item: Eberron: Rising from the Last War
Carl White
United Kingdom
London
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Concluding my Sharn-based Eberron noir game from last month:

Episode 4: https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/268793/item/7508767#item7...

Episode 5:
https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/268793/item/7509802#item7...

Episode 6:
https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/268793/item/7511917#item7...

Episode 7:
https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/268793/item/7512866#item7...

Episode 8:
https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/268793/item/7523231#item7...

Episode 9:
https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/268793/item/7523473#item7...

Epilogue
https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/268793/item/7523477#item7...
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8. RPG Item: Eberron: Rising from the Last War [Average Rating:8.30 Overall Rank:2433]
RPG Item: Eberron: Rising from the Last War
Carl White
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London
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The Long Walk

For this Eberron-set 5e dungeon crawling solo campaign I’m using Kobold Fight Club for randomised encounters along with my home-grown GMEmulator.

I'm also using my homebrew Solo5e rules to allow one adventurer (plus an optional sidekick if the game states I meet one) to tackle encounters balanced for 4 PCs. In brief these rules are:

* Double PC damage
* Double PC HP
* Wands, scrolls etc can be used by non spellcasters with a successful arcana check.
* Inspiration can be used to reroll after seeing the result
* Average monster damage instead of rolling
* PC cleaves through slain enemies

Kargaash the Reviled, a Gaash’kala kala’sha (an orc Ghost Warrior Oath of Conquest Paladin) has been exiled from his clan for fleeing a battle with a demon. He has been sentenced to roam the deadly Demon Wastes in search of an honourable death.

Here are his adventures so far...
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9. RPG Item: Alone Against the Dark (2nd edition) [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:3235]
RPG Item: Alone Against the Dark (2nd edition)
Nando Cordero
Puerto Rico
Los Altos
CA
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I plan to finally play through this in prep for more solo CoC.
Looks nice and dense. I enjoyed playing through Alone against the Flames.

--------
From gallery of neudatum

--------

First impressions - very fluid and a lot of paths for a choose your own way type of game.

-------
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10. RPG: Outbreak: Undead (2nd Edition) [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG: Outbreak: Undead (2nd Edition)
Kevin Shaud
United States
Harleysville
Pennsylvania
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Didn't actually play this (nor do I own it), but had a question about solo playability. I posted a question in the comments, but it has been buried and didn't receive a response.

Has anyone tried this RPG solo? Is it any more or less playable solo than other RPGs?
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11. RPG Item: BOLD: The Book of Legends and Deeds [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: BOLD: The Book of Legends and Deeds
Corey Mayo
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...This is a big scene, so I'm splitting it into two entries. I found something from BOLD: The Book of Legends and Deeds that I wanted to try out this time...
From gallery of cmmayo
Continuing Book 2 of the Ahari Chronicles, featuring...

Leroi Magda – Demonborne Explorer
Scene 5 – Traveling the second day of the trip

CHAOS FACTOR 5, scene is altered.

Will there be an encounter? 26 = YES (50 Fathoms has Encounter tables. We’ll get to that later…)
This time, for the altered scene, I’m rolling a random event from the Mythic GME:
PC Positive: “Persecute Love”
From gallery of cmmayo

I have decided to gamify the Leroi/Duzzle interactions using something from BOLD called the CONNECTIONS MINI-GAME. The way it works is, I get a reward (XP, Bennies, items, etc) each time I work a set of words into my roleplaying. The set must be made up of one word from each column.

My Matrix for this session, randomly rolled from the Connections table on pg. 10:
From gallery of cmmayo

For the opening, altered scene, with theme “Persecute Love,” I’m going to try to work in: “Reminisce/Discussing/A Possession.”

CAPTAIN’S LOG, DAY 2:
I slept rough last night. I had a bad dream about Duzzie. He was bloody. He was covered in blood.

My dreams tend to come true. It’s another one of my magic tricks. I guess it’s because I’m a demon thing, devil person…
Reminder to self: FIGURE OUT WHAT I AM.


Adding “Figure out what I am” to the Thread List.

So, anyway, I’m edgy and on guard when the old Ogre shouts out a loud “Dammit!”
“What is it?” I jump.
It’s Mid-Day, and we’re standing nearly back-to-back on the Main Deck, together keeping watch for danger.
“The rope… the knot is frayed,” he’s pointing starboard.
“Don’t look at me. Starboard is YOUR side,” I say, joking with him, but also noticing both my hand and tail are on the hilts of my rapiers...

“Yeah,” Duzzie says, thoughfully, “Starboard is my side.”
He stomps over to the damaged rope and then motions to me.
“You got a knife? I need to cut—WHOA! Where did you get that?”
I’m over in a stride, handing him the Elven dagger.
“Nice, isn’t it?” I say with pride.
And I am proud of it. It cut that hand off the statue like nobody’s business. I may need it again, for the next crystal.


Enemy wildcard roll for Smarts d6 = 5
First Encounter Test: Duzzie rolls contested Notice d4 +2 for ship-related = 6
Duzzie suspects something. But will Leroi notice any sounds from the other end of the boat?

“Wait a minute,” Duzzie interjects.

-4 to notice boarding party before they board
Second Encounter Test: Leroi rolls Notice d10 - 4 = Failure

I put my hands up, “Ahhh, ya got me. This is the Elven dagger from the story I told you. I stole it from Thokk after she broke up with me…”

PC Positive: “Persecute Love” + “Reminisce/Discussing/A Possession.”
Reward = Elven dagger
From gallery of cmmayo

He pushes the dagger back at me.
“This rope looks like it was cut by something. Stay alert.”
Duzzie looks around suspiciously.
I follow his gaze and see eight Kehana climbing onto the bow of the ship, spears in hand…

From gallery of cmmayo

KEHANA

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d6, Fighting d8, Notice d6, Swimming d8, Taunt d6, Throwing d6
Charisma: –6; Pace: 6; Parry: 7 (Spear); Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Bloodthirsty, Dehydration, Habit (Unwholesome Appetite), Racial Enemy
Edges: Aquatic, Teeth and Claws (Str+d4),
* Leader has “Natural Leader” Edge and can share Bennies (they have 3 as a group)
Gear: Spear (Str+d6, Parry +1, Reach +1).

They are the stuff of a fisherman’s nightmare. Man-sized fish people that want to go spear-fishing for YOU.
“Oh, the worst part is imagining what had to have sex to create those things…” I say loud enough to appear unafraid. You know, leader stuff.

Duzzie picks up a useful piece of lumber.
“Kill these things, Leroi. They want to kill us and eat us. And not in that order.”
“That is just ironic… or poetic, maybe,” I say as I draw my sabres. “Well then, let’s kill these things.”


Combat begins...

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12. RPG Item: Index Card RPG Core (Second Edition) [Average Rating:9.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Index Card RPG Core (Second Edition)
jonathan schleyer
United States
Manhattan Beach
California
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This is fiction. It’s inspired by current events but as it’s just a game so I didn’t do too much research on the veracity of the locations, names etc

I spend more time reading about solo rpgs than playing them so I decided to try actual play after much procrastination...

I decided to use the ICRPG system because it is rules light. I use Rory Story Cubes and the Mythic Fate Chart for Y/N questions. In the narrative below, the words in BOLD in brackets are the Rory Cube roll results.

---

STR 0, DEX 0, CON 0+2 (breathwork), INT+2, WIS+2+1(meditation beads), CHA+2, AC 10+3 (body armor) = 13
Journalist with medical (+3), anthropology (+3) and Arabic
Powers: breathwork (+2 CON)
Loot:
• Meditation beads (+1 WIS)
• First aid kit (+3 medical, heals like Magic(d8) instead of Basic (d4))
• Body armor (+3 AC on chest and head with helmet)
• Camera

Languages: English, French, Arabic

(DOOR + RHINOCEROS) Dorer Ceros. Journalist for the BBC, former medical student fascinated with anthropology and ancient ways of healing. He studied at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. French heritage (father).

(CASTLE) On the father’s side, the family has a chateau in the French Alps. He is estranged from the family but has always wanted to reconnect with them. He’s never been to the castle but looks forward to going there one day.

(BIG AND SMALL PERSON) Dorer’s grandfather had been to Mali researching (PUPPETS) tribal Touareg dolls used in religious rituals. As a child Dorer always admired those characters his grandfather had collected and made up stories about them when he visited him at his apartment in Paris. Now, as a young adult, Dorer is keen to go to Mali and perhaps find more of them. His job as a journalist at the BBC could be his way to get there.

He works for the BBC and is assigned as embedded journalist part of the French fighting the jihadists in northern Mali. As a recent graduate from anthropology, he’s also intrigued about what he can learn from meeting shamans and healers from nomadic tribes in the Sahara.

So Dorer arrives on Air France in Bamako and meets with the local BBC contact who is supposed to drive him to the French military base in Gao. The contact drives a 4x4 Toyota Land Cruiser.

(HOME) On the way the tire blows and they stop at a local farm. Dorer succeeds a Charisma roll so the farmer agrees to help them. He goes off on his donkey to the local village to get a vehicle repair guy who arrives on this Toyota pick truck.

(GEARS) Although the tire is easy to repair, it appears that the vehicle had been leaking oil! Better not break down in the middle of the desert. Unfortunately, the repair guy is unable to fix the leak so it looks like Dorer and his driver are stranded in the desert farm.

The local farmer doesn’t want to let them sleep in his farm for the night because he’s had a bad experience with French Marine Infantry (ANCHOR) who had stayed there in the past. So Dorer and his driver spend the night in the Land Cruiser.

(3 GHOSTS) Yet, in the middle of the night, ghosts appear out of the desert. TARGET DIFFICULTY 12) How many are there? 1. But neither of the sleepers wakes up. (OIL SLICK) Is this vampire ghost? Yes! Does he attack? YES! Who does he attack? 50/50 chance. Dorer! He doesn’t have his armor on so his AC is 10 but he’s sleeping so it’s an easy task for the ghost (+3 to hit). The vampire ghost bites Dorer for 6 damage! Does Dorer wake up or does he think it’s a bad dream? Wisdom easy. NO! Does driver wake up? YES! Does driver know how to chase away ghosts? YES! What does he use to do so? (SKULL CAVE) A skull necklace! That’s why he wasn’t attacked in the first place! He was wearing a protective charm. So he takes the charm off and starts swinging it to ward off the ghost. Does he succeed? DEX+3 for the charm vs 12 = YES! The charm does magic damage 7 and chases the ghost away into the night.

The driver wakes up Dorer who is energetically weak.

To be continued…

OBSERVATIONS:

This was really fun but takes a fair amount of brain power at night. Maybe it's best to play a game like this when I'm fresh. Hopefully I'll try to continue the story over the weekend. It also makes me think that I'm happy that ICRPG is rules light because managing both the storytelling tools and crunchy RPG rules may be more work... Who knows. The other rule system I was considering for this was James Bond 007 rpg which might work nicely. I may have to try those rules to see how it changes the experience.

Do you all have any advice on improving game-play? So far, I'm just going along with what the solo systems bring up and improvise as I go.
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13. RPG Item: Tales from the Loop [Average Rating:8.27 Overall Rank:103]
RPG Item: Tales from the Loop
Stephen Zipprich
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Clint - Everyday Life



It's cold today. Clint gripped his jacket tighter around his chest; the wind was blowing hard.

Clint! He rolled his eyes before turning around to see what the Sister wanted. Don't forget you're helping with prepping the elements tonight for Communion at Mass tomorrow.

Clint waved his hand and rolled his eyes again. Yeah, yeah, I got it. See you tonight. With that, he headed out the gate and down the street, eager to reach the Hideout.




AnnaNoelle - Everyday Life



This sucks! Why do I have to be the one to go get the pills? AnnaNoelle stomped her feet in frustration as she pushed open the screen door to her home and stormed outside. Muttering under her breath, she laced up her skates and took off for the pharmacy a few blocks away. Mom was stuck in bed, again, and Dad was being too lazy to do anything for her.

The crisp morning air was a lot sharper on her face while she skated down the sidewalk. She always found this to be so exhilarating, dodging between people walking too slowly (and yelling at her in frustration) and jumping over the cracks in the pavement. Pulling up to the pharmacy doors, Nine minutes and thirty-seven seconds! Ha! New record she sits down to change her shoes when the door opens and two ladies step outside onto the threshold, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are blocking the door.

From gallery of stevozip


Yeah, these pills are for Bruce and his new headache. Claims he banged it into a wall or something like that trying to catch a monkey that got loose from it's cage. Apparently some kids threw rock or ball or something over the fence and it knocked the cage onto the ground and it broke open. The monkey got away. Seems like the Loop is offering a $500 reward for it to be found and returned but they won't say whether Bruce will get paid for his time off! They told him to go home, after all. Shouldn't they be paying him? They finally decided to move on (About time!) and AnnaNoelle was able to go inside and get her mom's pills.

After dropping them off, it was back outside the front door and the other way down the street; next to skating, hanging at the Hideout was probably the most enjoyable thing AnnaNoelle could think of doing.
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From gallery of de_la_poer
I started a new solo RPG campaign using a homebrew version of the Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks rules.

Here is my first short session so far:

External image


'Jubei!!!' a scream. Everything turns black.

Sound first, vision second - senses return, but memory fails. Noise is distant and vision is blurry.

Jubei. 'Am I Jubei?'

'I am.'

Crows.

Jubei gets back on his feet. Standing on blood-drenched ground in the middle of dead warriors - he takes a look around.

Crows.

Somewhere in the distance are two figures, but he doesn't care and starts to walk off the battlefield. (1) No color, no mon, no sign of any side he fought for. His armor is damaged and broken.

'No need for this.'

While removing the broken pieces of what is left of his armor, Jubei notices a wound on the side of his head.

Dried blood.

Once he is off the battlefield he has removed most of his armor. Not knowing where to go he simply keeps walking.

Crows.

The day grew old as he meets two peasants.

External image
The two seem to be in a sociable mood and tell Jubei that he is close to Sawayama and that they are glad that the battle is over. They tell him how to get to the city.

However, they also tell him that there is some kind of investigation going on regarding the battle. (2)

Jubei thanks them and heads towards Sawayama. The city seems to be too busy for it's own good and Jubei catches fragments of intrigue and again an investigation going on. (3)

External image

He runs into a group of children (4) who talk about a missing fish. (5) Jubei stops and asks them if they mind telling him more about the missing fish. The kids go silent, look at him and run away. (6). Jubei shrugs and continues to walk around.

Realizing that he will probably have no chance finding a tavern to stay for the night since all he has to offer is what he wears, plus his swords and he doesn't look really friendly at the moment too - he searches for a temple.
It doesn't take long until Jubei runs into a Monk (7) and starts to talk with him.

External image


The Monk introduces himself as Soma (8) and offers to help Jubei out with a place to stay for the night. (9)





Behind the scenes

This background story is part made up and part created by rolling dice.

(1) I decided to roll a d4 to see which direction Jubei heads: 1 = north, 2 = east, 3 = south and 4 = west. I rolled a 3.

(2) since Jubei heads south (see (1)) I decided that he is moving towards Sawayama and meets some peasants along the way. I used the Adventuresmith app to see how they treat Jubei and if they tell him anything.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.steavesea....

https://stevesea.github.io/Adventuresmith/


(3) Adventuresmith app again.

(4) I decided to roll a die to see who he meets. 1. Samurai(s) 2. Ronin 3. Peasant(s) 4. Kid(s) 5. Traveller(s) 6. Crowd of people

I rolled a 4.

When I wanted to know how many kids he meets I thought about rolling another die, but then I decided to check for a nice picture of kids in feudal Japan and the one find and like will tell me how many kids he runs into.

(5) I decided to check for Ukiyo-e pictures and get some inspiration from there. I found this:
External image

And decided that the investigation is about a missing Koi.

(6) I did a Luck roll here to see how they react to Jubei.

(7) Adventuresmith app again.

(8) I used https://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/ for the name of the Monk.

(9) I decided that this is the best here. There is no need to run through encounter after encounter and roll until I find someone who is willing to help.





Here is the link to the Geeklist on which I track everything:

https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/270240/tired-blade-solo-r...
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15. RPG Item: 50 Fathoms Explorer's Edition [Average Rating:8.31 Overall Rank:680]
RPG Item: 50 Fathoms Explorer's Edition
Corey Mayo
United States
Schertz
TX
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What? Huh? What’ll come out no more? Dammit!
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...This is the conclusion of Scene 5 from above...
From gallery of cmmayo
Continuing Book 2 of the Ahari Chronicles, featuring...

Leroi Magda – Demonborne Explorer
Combat begins:

From gallery of cmmayo

DUZZIE (Wild Card Ally)
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d12+3, Vigor d12
Skills: Fighting d8, Intimidation d8, Notice d4, Shooting d6 (+2 w/ ship’s cannons for Seafarer), Boating d8 (+2 for Seafarer), Climbing d6
Edges: Seafarer (rolls a d8 for Wild Die for physical actions while on a ship; +2 to Boating and any ship-related skill check)
Pace: 7; Parry: 6; Toughness: 11 (1)
Gear: Thick hides (+1), massive club (Str+d8)
Special Abilities:
• Size +3: Most ogres are over 8’ tall with pot-bellies and massive arms and legs.
• Sweep: May attack all adjacent foes at –2.
XP: I’ll start him at 2 XP (Novice) for being in the last two scenes.

The first two fishmen run up to us and both stop. I don’t think they were expecting a demon and an Orge, but they both play it cool and throw spears wildly over our heads. We step forward and kill them.

Duzzie steps in front of me, sweeping his chunk of lumber at two fishmen standing side-by-side. The first one ducked, and the second one never saw it coming.

I do my part and step forward this time and drop one with an eye poke. I’m about to take out another when I hear Duzzie cry out in a shock and pain.

Duzzie is surrounded by spearmen from at least four directions. And there are now more fishmen aboard. There must be—that’s the only way the math works. More of them must have snuck up behind us and gotten the drop on him. To his credit, he’s taking it like a champ.

He shakes off the first charge and motions to me towards the fishmen that are flanking him. I swing around to take on the new guys and do some damage…

But there are too many, and they are all now focusing on the bigger target. They rush him with spears, and at least 3 of them impale him. As he falls, they pull back their spears, pulling arcs of blood into the air after them.

There he is, as in the dream, lying covered in blood. The four fishmen pull back for a second, and then lunge forward for the killing move on Duzzie.

I bite hard into the flesh of my left hand. Stepping forward into a defensive posture over Duzzie, I raise my bloody left hand to them.

Hellfire leaps from my hand. It consumes them where they stand.

Does this start a fire on the ship? 50/50 = 44, YES + Random Event
Random Event = Remote Event: “Open Home” (will resolve as Flashback after combat)


I turn to the last fishman standing and run him through with both blades. I turn to the one I blinded and end him, too.

FIRE ROLL: d6: 2 = continues to burn

“Hey! Stop killing things and get me away from this fire! I think my boot just caught on fire…”

To fight fire (pg. 41, 50 Fathoms Explorer’s Edition): Boating d8-2: Miss, Last Benny for a reroll: 5, a success. Fire is out.

I pull Duzzie to the starboard side and quickly put out the burning fish people. He’s bleeding badly.
“Wow. A few months with an elf onboard and now you can throw fireballs. Teach me that shit.”
“No, no,” I say as I start to look at his wounds. “I could already throw fireballs. I just couldn’t control them until he helped.”

I start to rip off strips of my sleeves for bandages for his wounds.
“The first time I accidentally threw a fireball, I was at that age when you are maturing into a man,” I say as I stuff bandages into the smaller wounds. These should stop bleeding quickly.
“I was doing this a lot,” I say, making a certain hand motion.
“Oh, oh, right. Yeah, don’t we all at that age?”
“Right. Well, at a certain point,” I say, as I probe around his stab wound to the gut. “Everything changed.”
I think I’ve narrowed down the location of the bad bleeding that needs to be stopped.
“One day I was having my morning wank and I blew the roof off our house.”
“What, seriously?” Duzzie laughs.
“Dead serious. I was having a pull, and the thing went off! Slept that night staring at the stars…”
The old Ogre throws his head back in a roar of a laugh. I choose that moment of distraction to jab my fingers against the source of the bleeding. There is still enough Hellfire left in me to burn the wound closed. His roar changes…

From gallery of cmmayo

Remote Event (occurring in his past, in another place): “Open Home” + “Deceive/Improving/Allies”
Reward = 1 extra Benny to each of them in the next scene


I’ve been sitting here next to Duzzie on the deck for most of the evening. I can’t pry myself away from the sleeping giant. Partially out of a tremendous sense of relief that my friend is going to be okay. But mainly because he’s passed out on top of me. I LITERALLY can’t pry myself away from him…

The ship is probably way off course. Also, I’ve really got to piss.


BOOKKEEPING:
2 Loot rolls for the victory, 11% chance of finding a relic on each roll
1: $70, Relic? 25 = NO
2: $70, Relic? 48 = NO
Loot = 140

2 XP to Duzzie, who has 4 now.
3 XP to Leroi, who is up to 32 and receives another Advance. Based on the last scene, let’s give him a new skill: Healing d4.

PROLOGUE:
Let’s retroactively use his Healing on Duzzie to see if Leroi’s trick worked = 4, a success.
Leroi has removed the Incapacitated state from Duzzie and may now attempt to heal a wound, but at -3 for wound penalty: 3 - 3 = 0. A FAIL.
Duzzie’s healing roll the next morning (Vigor d12): 10 – 3 for wound penalty = 7, a success. He will heal 1 of 3 wounds.

He will wake up with 2 wounds remaining and will need 24 hours to fully recover. Leroi is mostly on his own in the next scene if there’s a combat encounter of any kind…
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16. RPG Item: Ironsworn [Average Rating:8.76 Overall Rank:436]
RPG Item: Ironsworn
Lunadips Sixsmtih
United States
Massachusetts
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I just started playing Ironsworn, my first solo RPG experience. Only have one session so far so still getting used to the flow and mechanics of the game but really enjoy the "building the plane as it is taking off" experience, and wanted to share this as my first post on SROYT.

I really enjoy the game system and the setting, and the ease at which one can adapt it to ones preferences. In terms of the recording th story, I was writing out everything that happens (as in the exert below) but i find that really slows the pace of the game so i won't be doing that going forward. Instead will keep brief notes of potential plot points in case they impact later gameplay.

I won't go into all the backstory of the Ironlands I am playing in, but i did want to share the start of the game as it shows how the game can go in directions you never intended, but you can still shape a compelling story without it going too off the rails or being too random. My initial quest (or "Inciting Incident") was for my character, Erin Yuda, to escort the overseer's daughter to a nearby settlement. Pretty straightforward, but the story took a change in direction pretty quickly:



Hirsham Tahir, Overseer of Grimhaven has entrusted Erin Yuda to deliver his daughter, Padma, safely to the overseer at Highford, where the possibility of a union will be discussed. Erin swears a vow on iron to protect Hirsham’s daughter during the journey and see that no harm will come to her.

Swear a Vow: to escort Padma Tahir to Highford => weak hit. Consult the Oracle: Learn Mysticism

Erin swears a vow on iron that he will protect Padma with his life, but rumors abound linking Padma to the rare and dangerous art of magic trouble him. Is she really pure of heart? Are her intentions for this union noble? Is there some ulterior motive? Erin puts these thoughts to the back of his mind as he joins the rest of the escort and prepares for the journey to Highford.

The party move out at first light, Padma astride a sturdy mount, while the escort progress on foot, navigating through the marsh land.
Although a trade route is established with Highford, the route is still challenging and potentially hazardous.

Undertake a Journey => miss
Pay the Price - Something of value is lost or destroyed; -2 momentum


On travelling from the Flooded Lands into the Havens the party traverse a narrow wooden bridge sitting above a fast flowing river. Paying no heed to the guards’ advice, Padma decides to cross the bridge upon her mount, not wishing to soil her robes. When the horse was halfway across it loses its footing and slips into the turgid water, taking Padma with it. Erin throws off the rope he is carrying and using his wooden shield as a float he dives into the water after Padma, with the long arm still slung across his back. He is driven along by the flow of the water, frantically looking for a sign of Padma.

Ask the Oracle – Does Erin catch sight of Padma? 50/50 => yes.

Suddenly a flash of blue catches Erin’s eye and he hones in on Padma gasping for air as waves of water roll over her. With all his might Erin kicks and claws in an attempt to maneuver closer towards her, as the two of them were pulled along by the current and destined to be battered against the jaggered boulders that they were fast approaching.

Face Danger + iron – Erin attempts with all his might to get to Padma before she reaches the rocks => miss & matching challenge die (indicating a hightened negative outcome)

Erin exerts himself once more and is able to close in on Padma. He lifts himself and lunges at her but fails to connect. Padma rolls and clips on of the rocks, blood seeping from a gash in her shoulder

Ask the Oracle – Is Padma able to cling to the rock? 50/50 => No


Padma is unable to maintain her grip on the rock and gradually slips off, but the few seconds she clung to the rock has helped Erin close in on her.
As Erin strains to keep Padma in his gaze, he makes out a white form emerging from the waters not far from her. A white haired, young looking figure but with milky eyes and mottled flesh. A Sodden! Erin knows of these creatures, restless spirits who want nothing more but to drag their victims into the depths.

Erin’s attention quickly turns to focus on the rocks his is about to collide into....

Face Danger + edge – Erin attempts to avoid hitting the rocks => weak hit (-1 health)

Erin clatters into the rocks but is able to maneuver himself to only suffer minor damage

Endure Harm = weak hit – you press on.


Having navigated the rocks Erin looks to assess Padma’s condition.

Ask the Oracle: Can Erin see Padma: Odd: likely =>Yes


Padma uses the last of her strength in an attempt to move away from the approaching Sodden, who slowly glides towards her, aided by the calmer waters. Erin frantically tries to get to Padwa’s side but by the time he does the Sodden has locked Padma in an embrace and starting to drag her beneath the surface. Erin, with long-arm drawn, enters the fray:

Enter the Fray: Sodden is a formidable foe (1 progress per harm; inflicts 3 harm) => Strong hit (+2 momentum & gain initiative )

Erin takes the initiative to Secure an Advantage, looking to strike the Sodden so that it releases Padma:

Secure an Advantage + edge => strong hit – make a move with +1

Erin attempts to pry Padma from the Sodden’s clutches:

Strike + 1 + iron => weak hit – inflict 2 harm

While damage is done to the Sodden, it still keeps a grip on Padma and attempts to move away from Erin and slip into the depths, taking Padma into a death embrace.

Face Danger + iron => strong hit – Take 1 momentum + gain the initiative + matching die – new opportunity

Erin is able to prevent the Sodden sinking deeper and with the long-arm jammed tight between the Sodden and Padma he hurls himself backwards in an attempt to bring them up to the surface. Just then Erin also hears the shouts of the rest of the escort who and followed them down the river. Several of the men had rushed into the river and were now closing in on them.
Erin tries to buy time while the guardsmen swim over to him:

Secure an Advantage + iron – weak hit – your advantage is short lived, +1 momentum but lose initiative

The Sodden strikes out at Erin, in the process releasing the Long-Arm from where it was wedged, and allowing Padma enough movement to momentarily breech the surface of the water in time to gasp some air.

Face Danger + edge => weak hit

Erin narrowly avoids the full force of the Sodden’s claw, but takes some wounds in the process (-1 health, Endure Harm).

Endure Harm => strong hit (gain initiative)

Erin attempts to Strike the Sodden again

Strike + iron => strong hit

Erin attempts to Strike the Sodden again:

Strike + iron => weak hit (Burning Momentum) – inflict harm but lose initiative

Before the Sodden can act, Erin attempts to turn the tide:

Turn the tide: Strike + iron +2(Honorbound asset) +1 momentum – weak hit – inflict harm & lose initiative

Sodden clasps Padma tightly and sinks into the water (but now other guards are attacking the Sodden

Face Danger + iron => strong hit – successful +1 momentum + gain initiative

Erin is yet again able to delay the Sodden and preventing it sinking into the depths. He then attempts to Strike => strong hit, so he then decides to end the fight

End the fight: => strong hit + matching – the Sodden is expelled

The guards drag Padma and Erin out of the water. It takes Padma a few minutes to catch her breadth before she can expresses her gratitude to Erin for saving her life. Erin attempts to create a bond with Padma:

Forge a bond + heart + 1 (Storyweaver) => weak hit, so
Ask Oracle: Love, Rebel


Padma still asks more of Erin. She wants Erin’s help freeing her true love who is incarcerated in the jails at the settlement of Springbrook in the Havens. His name is Jaggar, and he is a rebel fighting against the overseerer of Springbrook, Adda. Padma says that if Erin does this for her she will tell him what she knows of his parents.
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From gallery of de_la_poer
External image
The mountain is shaking once again!

"We must go! Hurry!" Urldrin makes a sign to Thur to follow him. (1)

The mountain collapses, but they are able to find the exit of Dum-Ral Ghur, (2) but not without taking any damage! Thur gets hit by a few rocks falling from the ceiling. (3) However, they manage to find a good place to hide again (4).

The exit is guarded - seven Drow guards on the alert. (5) However the two manage to hide from them for now. (6)

Screams coming from the corridor that Thur and Urldrin used to get here. The guards get nervous, slowly leaving their position. (7)

But what approaches from the deep is too much to handle, even for the Drow.







External image


Five Tanarukk (8) swarm out of the corridor and take out the Drow fast and bloody, but not without taking any damage themselves. (9) And they have found Thur and Urldrin! (10)

"We can't go back! If we fight them, they kill us for sure! We have to pass right through them!" Urldrin starts to run towards the exit. (11)

Four of the beasts (12) went after the Drow, leaving Thur with only one. The blade of the monster cuts deep into his flesh but he manages to reach the exit, almost dead.

Urldrin was not as lucky as the barbarian and got cut down by the Tanarukk. (13)

Not wasting a second Thur runs into the darkness of the night, the creatures not following him. (14)





Behind the scenes

(1) I was stuck with the story here and decided to destroy the mountain and see if Thur makes it out alive. If not - it was a fun time while it lasted. I made this up as a start for the escape session.

(2) I used Mythic Game Master Emulator to decide if they get lost or find the way out. 50/50 chance and they managed to find the exit.

(3) I decided to do 5 Dex checks in a row to see how things go. First target number was 10 and it increased by 2 with each roll. I rolled quite good and only failed twice, taking 2d4 damage. I decided a rock would be 1d4.

So far the dice were on Thur's side and they didn't want him to die. No matter what I throw at him. Getting lost? No. Five Dex checks in a row? Fine.

(4) Adventuresmith App

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.steavesea....

https://stevesea.github.io/Adventuresmith/


(5) Mythic Game Master Emulator + 2d6

(6) a stealth check and I rolled a 19.

(7) Adventuresmith App

(8) I checked the web for D&D demons and ended up with those. Tanarukks are brutal and fit in perfectly I thought.

(9) I used Mythic Game Master Emulator again to see if the Drow were able to kill any of the monsters: No, but...

(10) Mythic Game Master Emulator. I thought, ok that's it. The stats for a Tanarukk are brutal and five of them is way too much.

(11) I thought this is the only chance to survive. Run and see what happens.

(12) I rolled 1d6.

(13) I used Mythic Game Master Emulator to see if he gets through or gets hit and he got hit. Then I rolled 4 attacks on him and rolled so high it would have been enough to kill both Thur and Urldrin.

(14) I rolled a die to see if it was day or night and used Mythic Game Master Emulator to see if the monsters follow him. The dice were on Thur's side all the way out I have to say.

Time for Level 3, Thur.
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18. RPG: Scarlet Heroes [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:716]
RPG: Scarlet Heroes
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United States
Maine
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Too tired to play a board game, I decided to finally take my copy of Scarlet Heroes for a spin. This is my first stab at solo roleplaying.

I create a character completely randomly, ending up with a "rural witch". I want to play something totally random, simple and off the cuff tonight.

Eradne became skilled in the arts of witchcraft by communing with the spirits of the woods and fields. She is intuitive and independent.
One day as she was searching the woods a day from her village for herbs, the ground gave way below her feet, causing her to plummet down. (First character and it is late, want to introduce her to the action ASAP)

Roll for dungeon type: prehuman habitation.
Rolled for common inhabitants:
Basic Type: Infernalists Minion: Hell cultist Elite: Red Jade Templar Boss: Hell Cult Priest Mage: Underpriests Civilian: Sacrifices and Slaves
Threat: Equal to PC Level
Eradne gets up and dusts herself off. She looks around (rolls Dining Room)
Were prehuman inhabitants cannibals, decide roll of 15-20 is yes (working off pdf and tired...missed the oracle in the rulebook) Thinking Morlocks from Labyrinth Lord, which is the rule system I’ll use to fill in gaps. Morlocks seem like cannibals to me.
Riffing off this: Eradne realizes she is standing on a long stone table, engraved with painted alabaster skinned/black eyed shaggy humanoids. A black, dried liquid of some sort is splattered liberally on the table. There are long stone benches to either side and smashed earthenware vessels.
Is there any food on the table: decide 10-20, roll 20, yes, in fact there is a body on a large earthenware dish.
Is the body recent: No: the body is desiccated, entrails have been removed.
D10 check for an encounter: there is an encounter
2 hit dice worth of minions and elites:
Hell cultist: Minion: HD 1, AC 7, Atk +1, Dmg 1d6, MV 30’, ML 8
red jade templar: HD T, AC 5, Atk +T, Dmg 1d10, MV 30, ML 10
Eradne and the hull cultist and red jade templar stare at each other blankly for a couple seconds and Eradne springs into action. The cultists have sinister looking sigils on their robes and there is a dead body on the table...
Heroes have initiative unless surprised. I ruled that everyone was basically surprised
Rolls a 4 on Fray Die, sending a crackling bolt of energy to the cultist, killing him instantly.
How far away are the enemies? Within melee range. Eradne grips her staff with both hands and swings at the red jade templar. Rolls 16 plus ac 5 = over 20. Connects and deals one point of damage. The element of surprise seems to have worked in Eradne’s favor.
Rolling for additional features: Hidden treasure, roll 2d8: 8 for search check. Failure

What are the cultists doing in the prehuman settlement? Will Eradne regret her preemptive attack? Do I like this more than 4AD? Too tired to tell. I can see how it could be interesting to develop a simple story intuitively and with a little randomness. At some point I will print out the tables.
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19. RPG Item: Savage Worlds Adventure Edition [Average Rating:8.60 Overall Rank:1282]
RPG Item: Savage Worlds Adventure Edition
Bryan
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Oviedo
Florida
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Link to Geeklist: Thorn's Adventure

This is my first introduction to solo role playing.

Background
Thorn grew up in a remote forest town named Kimarke. The life of a Kimarkian consists of farming, hunting, gathering, and spending time with their family. Thorn and his brother Valder were inseparable as children. The two were never apart. In the adolescent year the brothers joined in on many hunting expeditions. The town is governed by a group called the Elders.



This past summer unprecedented torrential rains unleashed a massive flood that devastated the small forest town. Crops were destroyed. Homes swept away. Animals that were hunted for food, skins, and more have either died or moved on. The hunting parties have been forced to travel further than they ever have in order to track game. Their efforts have usually been in vain.

Kimarke is in a desperate situation as they try to rebuild and restore their way of life. Winter is fast approaching and a decision of whether to stay in Kimarke or leave for better lands is debated among the Elders and townsfolk. A scouting party was to be formed to inspect the local areas in search of a suitable local to move to. Thorn’s brother, Valder, was a member of this scouting party.. Thorn wanted to go on the trip as well, but the Elders thought his skills would be best used repairing and helping salvage what they could from the village.

The scouting trip was scheduled to last less than a week. Two weeks had now passed. There was no sign or word from the scouting party. Food in the village was becoming more scarce. The Elders were deadlocked on to what to do.

Thorn can no longer wait idle. He has to act, with or without the consent of the Elders. This is the story of his journey.


Tools Used
Savage Worlds Adventure Edition
Mythic Game Emulator Deck
Game Master Apprentice Deck




Day 1
Weather: Raining
CF: 5
Bennies: 3
Scene: Thorn commits to his plan to leave Kimarke in search for his brother, Valder, and the rest of the missing scouting company.

Morning
Inside his hut, Thorn makes preparations for his journey. He intends to pack light as he hopes to find small edibles along the way. His parents worry for his safety, but they know what he must do.
Thorn’s father hands him the family’s Axe, wishes him luck, and hugs him tightly.

(?) Will the Elders try to stop Thorn? (50/50) - Exceptional NO
Thorns makes his way to the Northern exist. The rain streams off his clothings. This will not be an easy task.
“Stop right there!” Talstot, one of the village Elders calls out to Thorn. Talstot’s wrinkled face pierces Thorns gaze.
“What you are doing is reckless, unapproved, and dangerous to yourself and Kimarke. We need you here to help rebuild and protect the town. But we also need to find our family members. Take this.” Talstot hands Thorn 5 trail rations. Food is scarce due to the flood and this is a real gift to Thorn.
“Thank you, Elder. I will return. I have to find my brother and the rest of the party.”
Thorn shakes Talstots hand, turns, and makes his way out of town.

(?) Does Thorn know the general path taken by the Scouting Party? Likely - No
The flood and wind storms have continued to wreak havoc on the forest. The path taken by the scouting party would cause too much delay for Thorn. He must travel around and hope to pick up the scouting party’s trail later.

(?R) Does Thorn find the trail later? Survival Roll (D6) (-2 for the Rain), 6 + 2 - 2 = 6, Success
Thorn presses along through the forest. The canopy overhead provides some respite from the rain but he is still soaked. His eyes continue to look downward for any signs of the scouting party’s trail. What appears to be small pot holes filled with water are actually boot prints. He has picked up their trail.

Afternoon
Hunger starts to slow Thorn’s progress. While following the trail, he keeps an eye out for berries and roots to help stem his appetite.
(?R) Does Thorn find any food? Survival Roll (D6) - 5 - Success
A small bush with blackberries catches his eye. He stops to rest for a few minutes and eats what he can.

(?) Do any events happen - Unlikely as he is a few miles from town - No



Evening
Travel has been slowed due to the rain from the day. Thorn has slogged 12 miles while keeping mostly to the scouting party’s trail. He knows he can no longer continue today. Night is quickly approaching and he will have to find a suitable place to sleep.

(?) Can Thorn locate a Dry Place to Sleep? Unlikely - No
Thorn spots a small thicket of trees that offers the best shelter from the rain. It won’t keep him entirely dry but it’s better than being exposed in the open. The ground and fallen limbs are soaked. Thorn takes his Axe out and feathers the ground limbs in an attempt to get to the dry wood.

Before setting down for the night, Thorn makes a few sling traps in the slim hope that he can catch food out here.

(?R) Can he get a fire going? Survival Roll (D6) (-4 for the Rain) - 5 - 4 = 1. No
Thorns tries for an hour to make a fire but is unsuccessful due to the rain. He gets his blanket out and tries to make a comfortable bed.

(?) Does an event happen while sleeping? 50/50 - No - Random Event - Recruit Wishes

Crunch… Squish… Plop. Thorn wakes from his sleep. Crunch… Squish… Plop. Something is moving near him. Slowly his hand makes for his Axe. Holding his breath, he lifts his head slowly. Without a sound, he makes it to a crouching position staring intently at where the sound is coming from. The moon overhead plays tricks on his eyes, casting shadows that jump and play from tree to floor. Suddenly a form emerges from the brush.
Crunch… Squish… Plop. It makes its way towards him. Thorn can see it’s form in the moon light. He readies his Axe for the battle that is about to ensue. That face… It looks familiar. It his Chane, a member of the scouting party his brother Valder was a part of!.
“Chane!” Thorn bellows out. The form jumps back, startled from the loud cry.
“Chane, it’s me Thorn!” The two men run to one another and shake hands in the traditional Kimarkean way.
Chane informs Thorn that the party was attacked at night by a band of Goblins. It was chaos and the party was split as members fought or fled.



(?) Is Chane injured? Very Likely - Yes
(?) Is Chane able to join Thorn to find the rest of the party (he may be too injured to help)? 50/50 - Yes
(?R) Healing Roll (D6) (-1 for no First Aid) 5 - 1 = 4. Success
Thorn gives Chane a trail ration to eat while he works on bandaging up his wounds. Chane is weary from his fight and travels. Thorn lets him sleep while he keeps watch for the rest of the night.
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20. RPG Item: Rarr! I'm a Pocket Game #03: Mysteries in the Dark [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Rarr! I'm a Pocket Game #03: Mysteries in the Dark
Eric Miller
United States
College Station
Texas
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So, um, seems I forgot to get on board...shake

---

A compact 8 page PocketMod game. One I've been wanting to try for a while... and now had the excellent chance thanks to this:

Looking for Playtesters - new Solo RPG tool

It's a CYOA framework. Take a bit of setup- I used the Game Master's Apprentice "Horror" deck. Worked like a charm.

I wrote the story as I went, I threw in saving rolls when they seemed to fit, otherwise, I just went along with it.

I looped back to my starting point, so I took the opportunity to wrap up my adventure. I could have kept going, had I wanted. There were some things (a location and an NPC) that were not explored.

Now the test will be to take a published adventure (non-solo) and see what this system can do with it. I have lots of older Pathfinder stuff I could use...

So why try to find some CYOA books- use the tool and make your own!

{UPDATE}

Playthrough posted as a session: A Solo Play
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21. RPG Item: Zork #3: The Cavern of Doom [Average Rating:5.33 Unranked]
RPG Item: Zork #3: The Cavern of Doom
Eric Miller
United States
College Station
Texas
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Microbadge: 1 Player Guild Sock Puppet of the WeekMicrobadge: Sons of the American RevolutionMicrobadge: Silver SGOYT poster. At least 500 geeklist items posted!Microbadge: ColorblindMicrobadge: I get distracted ea - SQUIRREL!
Okay, so I did play a CYOA book. Not much to say about it- it was pretty easy. I had been thinking about "raiding" my local Half-Price books for a few more, but now they are shut. So I'll have to wait until things get better to go add to my easy to play stash.
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22. RPG Item: Savage Worlds Adventure Edition [Average Rating:8.60 Overall Rank:1282]
RPG Item: Savage Worlds Adventure Edition
Bryan
United States
Oviedo
Florida
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Day 2
Weather: Sprinkles all day
CF: 5
Bennies: 3
Scene: Thorn commits to his plan to leave Kimarke in search for his brother, Valder, and the rest of the missing scouting company.

Morning
The rain lightened some but it continued to dance down from the grey clouds overhead. Thorn awakens at the first break of light. While Chane continues to sleep, Thorn checks the traps to see if he had any luck in catching a meal.
Survival Roll = Successful

One snare yields a rabbit. Thorn quickly cleans the animal and makes his way back to camp where he finds Chane awake. Thorn is eager to learn more about the attack on the scouting party. Chane recalls the ambush.

“We were having no luck finding game or a suitable location. The flood waters have reached far. The party stopped for the night. We had two men on watch at a time. The goblins made no sound. Before we knew it, Marloc and Jens, lay dead with their throats slit while we were beaten and bound. Some of us fought back but it was to no avail. There were too many of them.”

Chane bowed his head. He held back tears.
“There was nothing I could do, I crept back… I left them. I had to try and escape to get help.”

“How many are there?” asked Thorn.

“Ten… maybe fifteen. It was chaos. I don’t really know.” Chane responded with his head still bowed.

“Can you trace your steps back to where the raid happened?”
“I’m unsure… it was dark, I am injured. I’ll do my best”

(?) Does Chane know the way to ambush? 50/50 - No
Chane leads Thorn down the path where he came. After several hours Chane stops.

“I’m sorry friend, but I do not remember the way from here.”
Thorn replies, “Either way, we must continue on.”

Thorn searches the area like a bloodhound on a trail, his eyes constanting darting in all directions for any clues.
(?R) Is Thorn able to track Chane’s trail? - No - Bennie use - No
It is of no use, the rain has washed any evidence from the area. The two pick a path and move on.

(?R) Are we heading the right direction? - 50/50 NO

The Kimarkeans wander without any direction for hours. Tired, dejected, and in need of rest, the men stop at a small clearing. They sit with their backs against the tree, their muscles hot with aching fire.


Afternoon
Thorn and Chane try to start a fire in order to cook the rabbit. The ground is still wet and makes what is usually a trivial task for the forestmen a failure.
(?R) Survival roll = Failed

Thorn throws down the bow and spindle in anger. He marches back to his pack and takes two trail rations for the men to eat.


Evening
The two continued to wander aimlessly into the night, lost like a river running into an unknown sea.
(?) Are we lost? 50/50 - YES

The dejected men desperately look for shelter. A large, hollow, tree loomed out before them. It would be tight but it would be suitable to keep the wind and rain out for the night.
(?R) Survival Roll success



Thorn and Chane try with all their determination to start a fire.
(?R) Suvival Roll success



“Aaa haaa!!!!” The men cry out with joy as an ember sparks and a fire begins to burn. A relief like a tidal wave sweeps over them. Fire is a comfort the two have not felt for days. The men could hardly wait until the rabbit was cooked to eat it.



After a hearty meal the exhausted men settle down near the fire for the night's rest. They had planned to rotate a watch, but the weight of exhaustion and full bellies was too much to fight off.

(?) Does the fire/cooking attract anything? - Yes
(?) What does it attract? - Delightfully Enormous

Wicked crashing sounds hurtled towards the men like an unknown beast thrashing in the night.
“Chane, get up!”

Thorn grabs his bow while Chane readies his axe.
Battle
Notice Rolls: Thorn = 11, Chane = 4
Even in the darkness of night Thorn is able to determine the location of the sound. He aims his bow, indicating to Chane, and is ready to fire.

From gallery of usfbrown

I don't have a bear mini... so a big rat will do.


A snarling enormous bear bursts through the brush and is upon the men in an instant.

Thorn releases his arrow but it is untrue. The bear graples Chane in a split second. Before Thorn can react, the bear locks Chane’s head in its jowls while it’s dagger-like claws tear his chest open.

Thorn jumps at the bear and cleaves his axe into it’s skull, instantly killing it. The bear slumps down, dragging Chane down to the ground as well.

Thorn desperately tries to get the bear off Chane, but it is to no avail. Chane is already dead.

Thorn kneels by Chane, says a blessing, and makes for the shelter of the hollow tree. Sadness and despair wash over him. He lays his head down and desperately tries to ignore the feeling of desperation to get some sleep.
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23. RPG Item: Forgotten Realms Campaign Set [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:110]
RPG Item: Forgotten Realms Campaign Set
Thomas More
England
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Alma and Godwin make their way to the Old Skull Inn. They have been traveling through the Dales for some time now. They are regarded suspiciously everywhere they go, and for good reason: Alma is thin and muscular with exotic clothes: colorful scarves and headbands like a gypsy. She carries weapons. But her companion, Godwin, would stand out anywhere: towering and gaunt with thinning grey hair and decomposing clothes. A gravedigger who resembles the dead he cares for. All manner of people and creatures give him wide berth when crossing his path, often, choosing to cross to the other side of the road. Alma and Godwin have left their provincial town in search of adventure and a new life. Short on cash, they have heard the Shadowdale is a crossroads of sorts where opportunities are to be had.

The Old Skull Inn is famous in the Realms and both are keen to visit it. Not just as a tourist attraction, but after a long day, they look forward to food and rest. The taproom is full. They pay no mind as the patrons of the Inn look up from their drinks and conversations. Jhaele, the owner, regards them cautiously but politely indicates an empty table.

A quartet of men wearing tunics bearing the arms of Mourngrym, the local lord, share beers in one corner. In another, two stern looking shepherds are talking to a merchant. At a booth table, a pretty young woman is listening intently to a young man in a smith's smock. Godwin can't help but notice two men in hunting leathers carefully watching a merchant's purse. He watches with professional detachment. Godwin had no desire to get involved in any local affairs.

Alma and Godwin order a simple meal and drinks. They place a coin on the table when Jhaele is direct about the prices. She does not take it, but nods in approval and goes to fetch their order. A lifetime of experience tells her that A & G aren't looking for trouble. She's more concerned with the angry whispering she hears from the shepherds.

Alma crosses over to casually read a "wanted" poster: "Garth the Gimble, the snake of Selgaunt." Below is a long list of crimes: cheating creditors, setting fires, and sale of stolen goods. More importantly there's a reward of 100 gold pieces. That patrons take note of Alma isn't necessarily a bad thing. She is -after all- seeking work, and it's clear that, if nothing else, she knows how to read. Probably a minority in the tavern.

The food is better then average. As usual, Godwin gets strange looks, particularly from Lord Mourngryms's men. But A & G are left in peace. They elect to see more of Shadowdale before deciding on a room.

As they are leaving, the two pickpockets in leather race pass them. Godwin is not surprised. Alma sees an opportunity to gain some local favor. She launches a magic missile and hits "Quoin" in the back. He falls forward. His partner, "Biggs", rushes to help him up. Stunned, they look back at Alma and Godwin at the tavern door. In a rage, they charge A & G. Their initial attack fails, A & G strike with their daggers and hit. Quoin looks in bad shape. Nonetheless, he clutches his stolen goods with all his strength as he collapses. With Quoin down, Biggs high-tails it. By this time, half the tavern is now outside. Bilvin, the purse's owner, is overjoyed to have his coin back. He offers to buy A & G drinks, which, they accept. Jhaele is also grateful and offers them a room for the night. Lord Mourngryms's men give chase to Biggs and take Quoin into custody.





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24. RPG Item: The Abominable Snowman [Average Rating:5.62 Unranked]
RPG Item: The Abominable Snowman
TTDG
United States
Fairfax
Virginia
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CYOA #1, and it is silly. 116 pages, with 28 endings! You can get to A good ending by making good choices, but sometimes the endings seem randomish. There are alien cats, tigers, and elephants in addition to the many different temperments of yeti. With so many endings, each story ends up being rather short. Quick though.
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25. RPG Item: Savage Worlds Adventure Edition [Average Rating:8.60 Overall Rank:1282]
RPG Item: Savage Worlds Adventure Edition
Today I tried to do a quick one-shot, so I used a pre-generated character and a story seed and the One Page Solo Engine by Karl Hendricks. It went well at first:

Hadrathorn, a human thief, swears to avenge his friend, a young monk, who has been murdered. Hadrathorn seeks out a mutual friend, the wizard Rissg, to ask him for clues.

It turns out that Rissg has picked up some traces that hint to an otherworldly creature being the killer. As this is clearly out of Hadrathorn's league, he offers to join him.

They want to leave town, but are apprehended by guards who won't let them pass. It comes to a fight...

And that's where play turned sour. I had some bad luck with my dice rolls (as seems to be usual when I attempt combat) and quickly lost interest. I thought about simply skipping the fight and roll for an outcome, but by then I had lost any eagerness to play.



In other news, I have been continuing my 'Solo Adventures in Space', which was really fun. Not having fights factored into my enjoyment: There have been no fights after the first encounter which drew out into a long, exhausting fight, which was not fun at all - but that was also due to me being inexperienced; I should have conceded instead of pushing on and on.

But I keep asking myself: Am I really playing an RPG, if there's no fighting going on? Essentially, I'm just telling a travelling story without any combat for now.

I am happy about avoiding combat, since my reaction to it is so negative, but it also feels as if I'm missing out on the fun of RPG.
Do you know of a way to make combat more interesting but at the same time keep it appealing? I don't think my characters are unbalanced or the enemies overpowered, I just have bad luck rolling.


Edit: I followed
Bryan
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Bryan's advice and had a look at Quick Encounters. It was a step forward, but it felt dissatisfying to have only one roll to decide an entire fight. The Quick Encounters pointed to the Mass Battles rules, which I also had a look at. I tried to incorporate them in my play and that felt better. I homebrewed things a bit, but the game flow was great!

So here's how it continued:

The guards did overpower Hadrathorn and Rissg, who were thrown into prison. The next day, Rissg bailed them out and they were allowed to leave the town. (Duh, why not without the fight?) Just outside of town they meet a lone tradeswoman who they agree to travel with.

On their way they are attacked by a group of goblins. Rissg and Hadrathorn fight them and manage to drive them off, but Hadrathorn gets two wounds. They make camp, where he heals a wound.

During the night, a shadowy creature watches them but it doesn't go unnoticed, because Rissg is woken by its magical aura.

In the morning the two men persuade the tradeswoman, Palsi, to join them in their search for the shadow creature. She agrees to help them find the murderous creature.

They follow the creature's trail but get attacked by wolves on the way. The wolves are fairly easy discarded, but Hadrathorn is wounded again.

They decide to push on. They enter the forest, where a mindless brute tries to attack them. But something is strange about him, so the group manages to talk him down. The brute shows them a dilapidated house, and the group enters.

They find a bare room that hides a magical key, which opens the way deeper into the 'house'. They explore a bit, come upon a trap, which Hadrathorn disables without a problem. Then there's a group of scared bandits - all save one flee, the last one dies swiftly.

And finally they find the shadow creature - a demon. Although the demon is far more powerful than they are, they manage to bring it down. Hadrathorn is gravely injured but his valour gives his companions the boost they need to finish the demon off. Palsi manages to stabilise him and tells him that he avenged his friend.



The One Page Solo Engine is a great little tool for one-shot adventures with its own set of oracles and a simple dungeon generator.
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