Solo RPGs on Your Table - August 2020
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From gallery of h3rne

Welcome to
Solo RPGs on Your Table - August 2020


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Theme of the month:
Search your catacombs, bookshelves and look under your beds! Because it's time to bring back old fools, adventurers and maybe some Heroes! August is the month of forgotten tales!

So reanimate characters long forgotten and send them on adventures! And tell us about it!




New to this list? A hearty welcome, stranger! Don't be afraid to post, comment or discuss anything you like.


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

1. Roll for initiative. Get in touch with the GM (in this case me) and... Have fun. The most important thing!

2. Play any RPG (pen&paper, gamebook, whatever...) and post about. What happened during your session? How do you play? Which components do you use? How did you get to this game? 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.

3. Be kind to each other!

4. Have tons of fun!





donated to this list will be distributed for contributions.



SROYT Resources
Solo Roleplaying Guild
The HQ! Make sure to join and subscribe.

SROYT Monthly Geeklist Subscription Thread - The Meta-List
If you would like to host a month by yourself, post it there or on any SROYT list. New hosts are always welcome! And make sure to subscribe, so you won't miss a month!

Roleplaying Alone Together
This is a place to go if you like to play an RPG that you usually play solitaire with other people who ALSO usually play solitaire RPGs.

Solo Gamebook Master Review list
The place to go on BGG for Gamebooks! Make sure to check it out.

SROYT Made me buy this!
This list can cost you some money! I know for sure. Want to post about it? Follow that link. And I am sure you find some more interesting stuff over there.

Need More Tables (Or Other World Building Aids) for Solo/GM-less Gaming!
I highly recommend this!

Solo-Roleplaying Meta-Geeklist
Absolutely worth a check!


Future Hosts:

September:
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Orktober:
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If you want to host any month, just post about it here.



Now prepare your pens, papers, dice, cards, characters, maps, sheets, books, choose your weapon and prepare for the adventure!
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1. RPG Item: Four Against Mars [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Four Against Mars
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New York
New York
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From gallery of adm1

I've been a bit quiet on this lovely GeekList of late as a lot has been going on and I can barely keep up with my filming. The past few days I have been playing

Board Game: Four Against Mars

Having come late to Four Against Darkness, I'm happy to start off early into this one. (Part of the reason I find it hard to get into 4AD--aside from the fact that my gameplay desires in the pen and paper dungeon crawling mode are happily answered by D100 Dungeon--is that the way the 4AD material is released makes it seem hard to 'catch up.')

Anyhow... I digress...

My party of a scientist, a criminal, a survivalist, and an esper (psionic) are tasked with saving their town from a large colony of plantoids who have taken up residence by the local river.

From their homebase at The Westway Diner, madness ensues. There will be flying saucers and
there will be a Geek Gamers video.

EDIT: the video is here.
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2. RPG Item: Ironsworn [Average Rating:8.76 Overall Rank:436]
RPG Item: Ironsworn
Barry Cott
Canada
Ontario
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While the abbot appears pleased with the information Sigehelm discovered in Battle, he makes a decision that changes Sigehelm's relationship to the abbey.

Scene 8: Robertsbridge
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3. RPG Item: so1um [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: so1um
Chris Lank
Canada
quebec
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I'm trying out some simpler RPG systems I had downloaded but never tried.

Tools used:
-So1um
-The Big List of RPG Plots (free on Drivethrurpg)
-Loke Battlemaps (and its accompanying encounter book, Dungeon Run)
-Table Fables vol 2

My PCs, an archer and her cat, sought shelter on a nearby island during an unexpected storm at sea.

I was hoping to have them take shelter in an old temple located on the island that some say is haunted...but So1um had other plans, and my PCs got swallowed up by a whirlpool that destroyed their boat and all their supplies.

From gallery of xinelank


The whirlpool takes them to an underground cave but..."the room is filled with 2 ft of rancid water and massive, blood-sucking leeches lurk beneath the surface."

From gallery of xinelank


I'll continue next session, but I don't have much hope for them!



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4. RPG Item: Ring of Thieves [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:4426]
RPG Item: Ring of Thieves
TTDG
United States
Fairfax
Virginia
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This is a gamebook that treats the book like a GM so that you can do Risus solo. You are a thief who's partner has been kidnapped after you came into possession of a ring that they want back.

There is a build for your character, but I recommend you change it
Spoiler (click to reveal)
switching 1 point from Lady's Man or Outrageous Story Teller to Fun-loving Mercenary.


The book has 134 paragraphs, and a couple of different branches to explore for maybe a 2nd read through. There are a LOT of ways to die, but it will usually involve you being dumb or failing combat rolls. I did die once and 'restart'. Even though many choices loop back, the writing is good enough that it felt fresh. I liked it.

Oh there are a couple of magical things you can get on various paths, but none are essential. If you hear a password, write it down! You'll also keep a short inventory of maybe 5 items.

There is a free PDF of this in the files section, and you can also find it on the net packaged with Risus.
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5. RPG Item: Something Strange [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Something Strange
Corey Mayo
United States
Schertz
TX
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I'm continuing my Genesys Something Strange (modern horror) adventure which I started last month. New session report here: https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/274604/item/7802827#item7...

This was the research part of the adventure and was a series of social encounters. My heroes did not unlock the information they needed in order to face off with the big bad guy, but they got enough information to know that something strange is going on at the Tanners' farm. (Like one of my heroes, the Tanners are werewolves.)

Here's a snippet of dialog where the holy man Father Gadsby and the professor/werewolf Dr. Marcus Livingston (along with Gadsby's "driver/bodyguard," Samuel Ruiz) finally join forces and head over to investigate the Tanners:

After the meal ends, Marcus meets Gadsby and Samuel and they compare notes. They both agree that the destruction was caused by some odd creature that came up from under the street. The missing pets and the large shipment of ammo both relate to the Tanners, so they all agree to head that way, with Samuel driving.

“So are you going to tell me how you were able to make that thing freeze in place for your buddy to run it over?” asks Marcus.
“I will if you tell me more about the horse-sized wolf that suddenly appeared downtown after you disappeared.”
They admit generalities to each other—enough to make it clear they both operate within the realm of the Supernatural.

After a long silence, and as they near the Tanner estate entrance, Marcus turns to Samuel and asks, “So what’s your superpower?”
Samuel raises his .45 and replies, “I got a big fucking gun.”


...I think Samuel is my favorite character now.
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6. Board Game: Legacy of Dragonholt [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:973] [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:411]
Board Game: Legacy of Dragonholt
Jessica
United States
Rochester
New York
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Legacy of Dragonholt

I included incessant reports about my initial play of this game on SGOYT, and just realized it also counts as a solo RPG! So here's a recap of my adventure with an amazing half-catfolk named Myth.

From gallery of Albia
From gallery of Albia


It was only fitting to have a Calico Critter along for the journey! All of the blog posts include spoilers, although I've tried not to ruin anything around here. So, what happened? Everything!

What I keep saying is that the game didn't just make me think... It made me feel. There were a few harrowing experiences that stuck with me, and always will when I think of this play.

Failures weren't just minor setbacks. I was responsible for some events that were heartbreaking. I think I gasped out loud at some of the scenes. They were totally unexpected, and not in a good way.

Yet the village was an absolute joy to explore! I felt like I got to know the inhabitants in a deeper way than you do with a lot of non-player characters. They may have been minor, yet they mattered.

Like the baker. A little spoiler here that some may want to skip over. He was a single father with a young daughter. I got to know him a lot, and he wasn't just one dimensional. It was refreshing.

I ended up with the worst possible ending, which threw me for a loop. There was a sense of devastation, especially because it was my fault that things went so poorly. That level of responsibility is rare.

Although a lot of this sounds like it was a very serious and somber experience, there were also celebrations and happy days in the village! It was a very well-rounded experience that I'll remember.

On the subject of inclusivity, I'm kind of surprised by some reviews and comments I've come across. Sure, there are gay characters and even a woman who isn't yet accepted as a woman.

But they're there as a part of the village, and gender identity isn't the main feature of a character. Several times in my experience, this idea of inclusivity just boiled down to having "a gay character."

These elements are parts of who they are that aren't to be ignored, but there's more to the characters. It's like labels are left out. You are who you are, and that's that!

I expect to play at least 1-2 more times in the future, although not anytime soon. This entire story arc will stay with me for a bit. It was entirely worth the time, and I'm only sad it ended.

Continue to Part 1 »
Continue to Part 2 »
Continue to Part 3 »
Continue to Part 4 »
Continue to Part 5 »
Continue to Part 6 »
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7. RPG Item: Ironsworn: Delve [Average Rating:9.00 Overall Rank:5500]
RPG Item: Ironsworn: Delve
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New York
New York
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Along a blustery coastline, an ancient magic academy rises up out of the rock and fog.

From gallery of adm1

As the winds blow, a wayward spell written on elven parchment, blows out of the cloak of one of the students as he sneaks away for the night.

Further down the coast, the members of a party of wanderers encounter an ensorcelled fishing rod, alone on the beach, repeatedly casting itself into the water in search of fish. A pile of pones is nearby.
From gallery of adm1

One of the party catches the scrap of parchment containing the spell as it blows by and, recognizing the mysterious writing as something he knows, goes in search of its author.

After some perilous climbing along the coastal rocks, he approaches the academy's side door, poised to enter. Does he, or does he not, notice the slumped skeleton in the shadows?

From gallery of adm1

Story developed in this video before I knew what system I'd be using.
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8. RPG Item: Alone Against the Flames [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:1985]
RPG Item: Alone Against the Flames
Michael Lawing
United States
Lexington
South Carolina
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This has been on my to-play list for a long time. A buddy has offered to run some Call of Cthulhu (7th Edition) and I figured this would be a great way to get a head start on learning the system.

It was excellent. I've recommended it before on the solo list because it is free, truly solo, and acts as an introduction to the full RPG. I wish more systems embraced this concept with official product. There's a decent 3rd party solo series for 5e dungeons and dragons, but I'm not aware of many others. I'll be playing through some of the other Alone Against titles before long.

Chaosium's free adventures
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9. RPG Item: Book 45: Spectral Stalkers [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
RPG Item: Book 45: Spectral Stalkers
Eric Dodd
New Zealand
Martinborough
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Halloween 2019
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Well, I have to use a new hero with this gamebook adventure, but it's an interesting scenario involving an ancient and very powerful artifact that the Stalkers are seeking. Hopefully I can keep the Aleph away from the forces of evil...
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10. RPG: Twilight: 2000 (1st Edition) [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:250]
RPG: Twilight: 2000 (1st Edition)
Pete D
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New York
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Not sure if it’s the right place to post this but there is a new Kickstarter for Twilight 2000 going on right now.

One of the stretch goals is for solo play. (UPDATE: Solo goal has been unlocked.)

I was in before the solo stretch goal announcement but now I’m really looking forward to this.

I’m really enjoying Mutant Year Zero and Free League is doing this one too.
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11. RPG Item: Ironsworn [Average Rating:8.76 Overall Rank:436]
RPG Item: Ironsworn
Barry Cott
Canada
Ontario
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Given the recent varou attack on Four Oaks, Sigehelm makes his way there cautiously.

Scene 9: On the Trail to Four Oaks
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12. RPG Item: Wretched & Alone SRD [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Wretched & Alone SRD
A A
United States
Hawaii
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I bought the itch.io "Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality" a few months back and haven't made the time to dive through much of it yet. Even though Ironsworn: Delve, Blades in the Dark, and Troika! Numinous Edition were among the massive list of items (over 1,700 by my estimation), I decided to start with the solo stuff.

My first was a Wretched & Alone-based game called "The Artifact". It's a cosmic horror journaling RPG where you play the assistant curator of a natural history museum who receives a mysterious artifact. The artifact triggers a series of extremely detrimental effects on your PC which are dictated by drawing from a standard deck of playing cards. Uniquely, the game asks you to stack a "falling block game" aka Jenga to represent your character's sanity. Depending on what you draw, the game asks you to pull from the block tower and restack (or sometimes not). Unfortunately, I don't have Jenga and relied on a handy app that randomly (i.e. not skill-based) simulates the game with 100d6 rolls where every 1 is removed from the next roll. So each "block pull" is a roll of your mass of dice. Once you run out of d6's, your tower collapses and you have gone insane. Can you stop this elder thing from entering our dimension before you go insane? Can you convince others to help you?

Anyway, the game accurately simulates the fear, loneliness, and insanity typical of cosmic horror. There is a true sense of hopelessness that permeates the game. I played it late at night and spooked myself a few times. It's solid if you're into that sort of thing. For journaling, I started on paper and realized that my hand was getting tired. I switched to voice recorder for my second play through and found it much easier. I recommend the system if you haven't already played it.
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13. Board Game: Four against the Great Old Ones [Average Rating:9.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Four against the Great Old Ones
Added this new Lovecraftian game to my solo table for this month. Just started reading the material and I'll report back once I complete actual play. Seems like a great addition to 4A line.
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14. RPG Item: Book 27: Lair of the Lich [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Book 27: Lair of the Lich
Eric Miller
United States
College Station
Texas
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So....

This is the last of the old-school CYOA books I have... which means I need to go hunting for more (if Half-Price is open!) *OR* actually play some of the other game books I have...whistle

My birthday was a few days ago, but yesterday we took a family trip to a waterpark. We've been here before, and we all agreed it was the most crowded we've seen it.

I took a little time to sit in the shade of our cabana to read this book....

From gallery of govmiller


I made sensible choices (I was, after all, the STAR of the story... seriously, the character you play is named Eric...) and was done in like 10 minutes. I got the book, got on the horse and got the heck out of there. I think I saw maybe 15 pages of the book. That means there is more to explore, so I might just do that.
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15. RPG Item: Book 11: Talisman of Death [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:2501]
RPG Item: Book 11: Talisman of Death
Michael Lawing
United States
Lexington
South Carolina
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I'm really trying to move up the Ladder of Insanity, so I spent some time after church today with this little gem.

I played/read Book 10: House of Hell last month and it was too much of an immediate death trap for my liking. This reads more like an adventure than a grimtooth's traps collection.

There are a few issues. I was stripped of my sword at one point. My reading comprehension is kind of weak, so I missed a fairly obvious opportunity to buy another. I lost most of my stamina thanks to various small losses and the skill reduction of being swordless. Then the game assumed I had one and only had choices pertaining to using my sword.

From gallery of lawingm


I retcon'd buying it after thumbing back through and finding a replacement sword. I'm definitely going to replay the book.

From gallery of lawingm


I absolutely love this intro. There's something youthfully fresh about declaring that the reader has undergone a supernatural transformation; transported into the world of fiction and become more than a reader. Since reading Top Ten Games You Can Play In Your Head By Yourself, I find myself more interested in these somewhat silly assertions that the fiction is more than the book.
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16. RPG Item: Artefact (2nd Edition) [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Artefact (2nd Edition)
Alexandre Correia
Portugal
Lagos
Algarve
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I've been playing this big little story game for over a month now. The game is meant to take 1 to 2 hours, but I decided to change things a bit to my preferences.

Artefact follows the story of an object (boots in my story) as it passes by the hands feet of six different Keepers. The book gives you plenty of cues to generate Keepers (NPCs if you will), but I'm using Xanathar's Guide to Everything to add further details to each Keeper, while setting the story firmly in 5E's Faerûn.

This means I'm devoting one hour each week for a single Keeper.

Here's the recap:

From gallery of ZombieBoard

Bits of inspiration.


Act I: Newly Forged.
...the footwear...
Item creation: Boots. Traits: Stealthy, Bickering, Mismatched.

First Keeper: A tiefling named Jezebeth.
A confident outlaw, distinguished by her ritualistic and vibrant body paint. She received the tutelage of a great master under the obligation to her family. Jezebeth wished to uncover ancient secrets and lore.
Victories & Valour: One of the boots gained a green stain after helping Jezebeth avoid a slimy trap on a wizard's tower.
Time passed: No time at all!


...one bad elf...
Second Keeper: An elf named Aerdeth. A hardened assassin, wearing threadbare, tattered rags. With fast reflexes, and a weakness for corrupting magics.
Neglect & Mischief: The boots make Aerdeth fall to the ground, causing him to break his neck and die.
Time passed: A year.

From gallery of ZombieBoard

Aerdeth.

Act II: A Time of Glory.
...a lullaby for the boogeyman...
Third Keeper: A human female named Song. An aging hermit with austere robes. She has incredible physical stamina for her age, but she's crippled by fear. Her only wish, to numb her fears.
Victories & Valour: The boots get sturdier with Song and help her overcome her childhood fears.
Shifts & Currents: The boots are swallowed by a sentient ooze.
Time passed: A century.


...the traveling waves...
Fourth Keeper: A dwarven woman named Bolhid. A whimsical bard with a shoulder cape and stylish armor, who mourns her lost love. She travels on a pony, with a witless bumbling student tagging along.
Victories & Valour: The boots become spirited, after years of listening to The Traveling Waves ethereal music.
Time passed: One month.

From gallery of ZombieBoard

The unlikely duet.


Act III: The Ruination
...the legion of destiny...
Fifth Keeper: A wild elf rogue with glistening, inky black eyes, named Azaki. He wishes to become legendary and revered, with the help of an army of loyal followers behind him and an insatiable lust for power.
Victories and Valour: The boots gain legendary status under Azaki's ownership but the world loses sight of them.
Dust & Rust Their sentient minds snap after being separated for centuries.
Time passed: Centuries


...hermit, the crab...
Sixth Keeper: A hardened hermit crab, with terrible burns after narrowing escaping a cook's pot. It has a good heart, but far too many enemies. It's only wish is too find a quiet place to retire and leave the dangerous life of a hermit crab behind.
Dust & Rust: The boots are incinerated by a dragon.
Time passed: A decade
From gallery of ZombieBoard

The last keeper.

Afterthoughts: ...boots of rumination...
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17. RPG Item: Ironsworn [Average Rating:8.76 Overall Rank:436]
RPG Item: Ironsworn
Barry Cott
Canada
Ontario
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Leaving Four Oaks, Sigehelm encounters a perilous situation on the trail to Marren's Eve.

Scene 10: Four Oaks
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Genre: Fantasy (Science Fantasy)
Steve Roberts
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Any good mash ups between different game systems?

I'm messing about with a home made pudding where the ingredients are Kill team, Zona Alfa and 5 Parsecs with a light sprinkling of Rangers and Frostgrave. Basically stirring together different ideas that I liked to see if they worked together.
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