Solo RPGs on Your Table - January 2016
Oliver S
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Stafford Springs
Connecticut
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Welcome to
Solo RPGs on Your Table - January 2016


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

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

TIPS donated to the list will be distributed for contributions.

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

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

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

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

What you say about each item is entirely up to you. Feel free to summarise what happened, or even just what you enjoyed/what worked and what didn't.

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

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

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

SROYT Resources
Solo Roleplaying Guild
SROYT Monthly Geeklist Subscription Thread - The Meta-List
SROYT Made Me Buy This! - check out what people are buying!

Future Hosts
February 2016 - Jason Doyle
March 2016 - Andreas Kaiser
April 2016 - Really, really TBD
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1. RPG Item: Fate Core System [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:33]
Albert Hernandez
United States
Greenville
SC
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I really want to play this, but have no idea what setting to go with. Last night I was trying to make some characters but without a setting, I'm really struggling here. I think I want to play something sci-fi, but I haven't come up with anything. Is this a sort of writer's block?

Edit: While waiting for my copy of Bulldogs, I had an inspiration. Forget sci-fi. I'm going to play The Secrets of Cats. I'm excited by this. I'm going to set it in the neighborhood of San Francisco where I used to live. I was only two blocks from Golden Gate Park so my cats can have lots of fun there. I'm even going to make my adventure based on an experience I once had where I'm sure I saw a ghost. I'm really excited. I've been working on making my characters and have been savoring thinking on it.


Edit: 2016-01-27, progress is really slow going. I've managed to mostly finish making my characters but I just am not finding the time to really sit down and work through it.
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2. RPG Item: Ryuutama: Natural Fantasy Role Play [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:987]
 
Albert Hernandez
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Greenville
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Here's another game I really want to try but have sort of stalled on it. I was taking the book with me when I took the kids to church school every Wednesday but then the Christmas break came along and stalled that. I'm hoping to pick up again when classes start next week.
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3. RPG Item: Necklace of Skulls [Average Rating:7.62 Unranked]
It's not Christmas people, it's November!
United Kingdom
Gateshead
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My first post here and hopefully the first of many.

Andreas
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is doing a giveaway of this book and another by the same author.

This made me look in to them a bit more as I used to like these sort of books when I was a teenager.

Downloaded an electronic copy to give it a go.

I will update here as and when I try it.

Update 1 - 1st Jan

Decided to play as the Hunter. Thought I would just read the prologue and make the first few choices up until the point where the adventure would really begin.

Got sucked in and just couldn't stop. Had to put it down as off to bed but this is good old fashioned fun.

I remember now why I liked these type of books back in the day. More tomorrow I hope.

Update 2 - 2nd Jan

Set off in to the desert thinking things were going well.

Met a hydra.

Died.

Plop.

Will try again soon.

Update 3 - 5th Jan

Made it to the showdown with Necklace of Skulls. Killed by poisonous gas.

Played again and managed to defeat him with 1 life point left. How my hero was getting back from the desert though is unknown.
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4. RPG Item: Book 01: Flight from the Dark [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:258]
Simon Hunt
United Kingdom
Manchester
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So a couple of hours on the flight home actually gave me a little solo RPG time. I'd taken the physical game book on holiday, so with my iPad running a Google Sheet and Dicenomicon providing a silent d10 in lieu of the "stab a pencil" randomiser, I had enough time to set everything up, get dead and form an initial opinion.

My initial impressions are mixed and given its veneration, I was a little disappointed to be honest. My main beef with this genre is getting killed randomly. I can stand being killed if I do something unwise, but at the very least I expect some clue I'm heading into a fatal lobster-pot...

Case in point: section 235 is literally a "turn left or turn right" choice. No clues. But turn right and you're ambushed and killed with no way to avoid it. Inexplicably, you're asked to remove 3EP due to the arrow wound in the "pipeline section" before you're killed anyway. WTH? Grrrrr! It gets my gander right up!

The plotting isn't all that strong. Having joined a group of refugees, wanting more information, before I can interact with anyone, they are attacked. I heroically save a wagon of children to no effect - I'm sent to the same paragraph as if I simply ran away. And despite me heading for only one of two cover options to shelter from an aerial attack, I'm all alone? Where did everyone else go?

Finally, there's the "random randomness" thing. Why can I choose my Kai Disciplines but not my Weaponskill? And these days, I'd expect something more point-buy like for the stats - Combat Skill Base = 10, Endurance Points Base = 20, distribute another 10 points as you wish.

I'll persevere meanwhile, if only because I've already bought book 2!

End of Month Update
I've noticed OPs posting progress in the headers and just responding to comments in the comments. Seems sensible to me as the progress soon gets lost. Anyway...

...I finally made it to the King and accepted the quest for the Sommerswerd.

Here's a link to the google sheets for those interested in the details of this play-through: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11rAxdN_-TA7Q2aZ04iPl...

Feel free to steal, use and enjoy.

From my point of view, I also felt the need to explore more branches than a single play through gave the opportunity for, to get more of a feel for the world, so I've also done a couple of no-roll/no-combat read-throughs too.
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5. RPG Item: M1: Blizzard Pass [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:3736]
Kat Tastrophy
United States
Alexandria
VA
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Going 'Old School Cool' with MSOLO from Basic D&D because I always wanted to play this one just to have a comparative to other RPG system centric solos. Started it last year but stalled because of family issues - but now the conquest is back on. I painfully started this in a PbF format, which tends to be very time consuming, and I will finish what I started but it will lack depth of story from this point on because 'that' is the part that takes a lot of time to script.

Let us see if our Neutral Thief, Konstantin Aht, is "Surviving the Peril of Blizzard Pass (IC)".

Update 02-Jan
Printed and bound the PDF because I love having the hardcopy adventure in my hands. Taking time to review where I left off with Konstantin in some cage somewhere. Stay tuned!

Update 27-Jan
Continued the adventure and Konstantin escaped the "ugly creatures" with his mean Elf companion (likes to choke out opponents with his bare hands). Now to get Konstantin out of this underground chaotic environment.
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Andreas
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I am going to start Life's Lottery by Kim Newman tonight and I am really excited about it. I tried to avoid to get any information about the story since I first heard about the book, so I don't know what to expect. This is going to be really interesting! I'll keep you posted...

Update 1:
I've read less than I wanted to, but what I've read so far is great. I really like Newmans style. Really a fine read so far.

Update 2:
Ever read a book because it was written so good and not because the story was damn interesting?
So far the story, is ok, I think.
I still haven't read as much as I wanted to, but what I've read so far is nothing special to me, if I only look at the story itself.
BUT! Here it comes. How this book is written, is amazing! It's written amazingly well! I really enjoy this. Newman writes really, really good.

I would love to have a few more choices, at some of the longer parts. I think they should have been split up with a few paths to choose from. At some point I was thinking, why do I do that now? I don't want to do that.

Update 3:
I died. Still not really impressed by the story, only by the style. And now I put the book onto the shelf to the others because I remember too much to read it again right away.

What can I say? I like it, but I expected it to be better. (Only talking about the story here...) But I would not rate it any farther after the first time reading it.
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7. RPG Item: Down Among the Dead Men [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:4440]
It's not Christmas people, it's November!
United Kingdom
Gateshead
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Decided to borrow the Kindle version of this.

Downside is I had to return Necklace of Skulls.

Upside is that I get to fight pirates. I think I will be a Swashbuckler.

More to come soon.

Update 14 Jan:

I played this twice last night as a Swashbuckler.

In the first attempt I was doing well but made a bad decision that led to me being hanged for piracy. As it turns out I had messed up at least twice in the game and took options that used a skill I didn't have (Seafaring) shake.

Tried again and got further this time only to end up really close to the end but failed and I was tortured to death as a suspected colleague of the big baddy.

This book is much better than the Necklace of Skulls IMO. In the first read alone I seemed to have to do more, codewords seemed more important and it felt less linear. In Necklace of Skulls it just seemed like a dash to the end battle. Here the choices seem broader. It might be that I just found (by luck) a quick(ish) path to the end in the other book but so far I have felt this is the better book.

All that and the first word in the whole book is "Pirates!"

On the negative front there were a couple of times the choices involved things I had never heard of, e.g. "If you want to ask about X go to Y". X was something I hadn't encountered in my read through so I asked about it as it might have been important but made no sense thematically. It should have required me to have a codeword to ask about it IMO.

Update 15 Jan:

Two more attempts.

Lost again right near the end and tortured to death again. shake

Then I managed a draw. Yes a draw is possible. I couldn't believe it. I died but I killed Skarvench at the same time. Quite a thematic ending.
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8. RPG Item: Maelorum: Volume One [Average Rating:8.17 Unranked]
Matt Johnston
United States
Lewiston
Idaho
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I saw a Geeklist on gamebooks over the summer that brought back fond memories of my youth, so I picked up 7 or 8 different ones. My plays of them have been slower than I'd like.

This was one of the more intriguing ones I purchased. I just filled out my character sheet last night and am getting started today. Updates to follow!

Update #1

I'm working on a playthrough with a Knight character, which is recommended as the easiest of the three pre-generated characters. Overall, I'm enjoying the experience so far. Some early thoughts:

thumbsup A very rich storyline with a superbly detailed game world. The author clearly put a lot of thought into fleshing things out and it has been enjoyable to find a deep set of lore behind the story.

thumbsup Excellent use of the color illustration plates. At several points in the story, you reach an area of exploration that is tied to a nice, color illustration (for example, a castle hallway with several doors to explore. It really helps the immersive experience.

thumbsdown There doesn't appear to be perma-death in the book. The introductory rules explain that if you lose/die in an encounter, you can simply return to the previous page and either try again or pick another route. I'm leery of this, as I've already noticed it impacting my character's decisions (e.g., should I spend gold on a health potion? Why bother?)

More updates to follow as I finish my first playthrough.
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9. RPG Item: Book 1: The War-Torn Kingdom [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:586]
Harry Bosch
Netherlands
Rotterdam
ZH
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I never got into game books and solo RPG's in the 80's but lurking on this Geeklist I got intrigued. I downloaded some PDF versions and even found out there had been translations from DSA adventures into Dutch. First thing I tried was a Dutch language PDF of B05: Nedime - die Tochter des Kalifen (a DSA solo adventure). I liked the experience but using a PDF even on a tablet was not that comfortable.

So now I took the plunge and ordered my first 'real' game book. It's even better then I imagined. Looking up the right paragraph is so much easier now. I just landed on Druid's isle and had my first adventures. Did not die (yet ) but that's mostly due to luck and the fact that my Wayfarer profession really worked out wel for my first encounters.

I do have one question. Do you guys write in your game books or do you keep your stats and annotations separate.
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10. RPG Item: Freeway Warrior Book 3: The Omega Zone [Average Rating:8.13 Unranked]
Oliver S
United States
Stafford Springs
Connecticut
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Took a break from preparing for the spring semester to take on the third book in the Freeway Warrior series. This one felt a little easier than the first two - but I think I was also a little bit lucky, so I don't want to make too much out of it. It was also a satisfying little book, although the climactic encounter felt a little...anti-climactic, perhaps, compared to the encounter that preceded it. Again, possibly a little bit of luck on my part, though, as the random numbers fell in my favor in the last few paragraphs. Looking forward to hopefully finishing off the last of these before the semester starts next week!

I still would recommend this series quite strongly to fans of game books - they're free on Project Aon, and there's even an Excel Action Chart to help you keep track of things.
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11. RPG Item: Star Trader [Average Rating:7.70 Unranked]
Andreas
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I finally have some time to create my crew and everything that I need to get my Traveller (Mongoose) solitaire RPG thing going.

I already have some ideas in my head for a little story behind the crew and I am excited to see what the Traveller character creation adds to this. Hopefully I can get the game started too...

Update #1:

I finished two characters for my crew. At first I wanted to create 4-5 characters as a crew but then I had this idea in my head to have 2 main characters and built a campaign around those.
Those 2 characters I wanted to be some kind of Jack Aubrey / Stephen Maturin - Patrick o'Brian style. Every read those books? No? I highly recommend them!
The Traveller character creation added some spice to my idea...
During creation of those two characters I simply named them Pilot and Medic. Starting with the pilot which I wanted to start a career in the navy but he failed enlistment. Nice for some good background story, which I need to flesh out... however, he failed at the navy and became a scout, but left that job after 4 years with some psychological damage (social standing -1). Anyway, he learned a lot during those 4 years and joined the pirates after that. At the age of 22 years he became a pirate and stayed with the thugs for 8 years. Fascinating 8 years, in which he met the medic and gained an enemy. They both gained an enemy! Perfect for a little background story.
The medic stayed 16 years (!!!) in the same career! Amazing! He is now 34 and a really good medic with some good skills. Somewhere in the 4 years between his 26 and 30 years he met the pilot who was somewhere between 22 and 26 years old. You see I need to flesh out that background story! That's the next big thing to do.
I picked the Trader skill pack for both to finish the dice rolling character creation part and I am about to flesh out the background story now. I think before I finally start this campagin, there will be a lot of reading and rolling to be done first. I keep you posted...

Update #2:
I have read the complete rule book now and I am going to work out my personal subsector map next. This will take a lot of time but will be a lot of fun! After that I fully work out my character background stories and finally start this campagin.

The map so far:
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Jason Doyle
United Kingdom
Hertfordshire
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Really novel little game where you try to craft the best letter possible.

Recommend this one if you fancy something a bit different.

Pay What You Want so can get it free but I will chuck some money at it when I get a moment.
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13. RPG Item: Out of the Dark [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Oliver S
United States
Stafford Springs
Connecticut
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I picked this up from DriveThruRPG during the "New Year, New Game" sale. It's sort of a very, very stripped down gamebook, with a little mapping element (the map is fixed, but there's a neat way of revealing it as you explore). My first time through, I misread the combat rules and died to rats...

The second time through, having read the combat rules correctly, Grimgar the Dwarf was able to successfully escape the dungeon. This was a neat little product - it's very short, and not particularly complicated (despite my misreading of the rules!), and I like the mechanic it uses to allow you to explore the dungeon (though I think it could probably be improved slightly with some small tweaks). There was enough that I liked to make me wish the dungeon were larger - I know it's a Pocket Dungeon, but I wanted more, and I think that's probably a good commentary on the product.
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14. RPG Item: Freeway Warrior Book 4: California Countdown [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Oliver S
United States
Stafford Springs
Connecticut
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I decided to wrap this series up this evening, and I'm glad I did, because this book felt like more of a challenge than the previous one, and brought the journey of Cal Phoenix to a fitting conclusion. While it's a little difficult to be too certain about any evaluation of difficulty on one play through, I don't think I was particularly lucky or unlucky here, and still struggled to get across the finish line, as the story depleted my resources fairly relentlessly without giving me much of an opportunity to replenish many of them. The final encounter was a satisfying conclusion to both the book and the series (although the epilogue is perhaps a little bit unreasonably upbeat, considering the course of the story!), and I think this book was overall a strong note to end on.

There's an interesting interview with Joe Dever regarding this series here (PDF warning), courtesy of Librogame's Land and Project Aon. There's a big, spoiler-y section, though, so maybe don't read it until you've given these a try...

Edit: I now have a review of this series in GeekMod; I'll post the link here once it makes its way through.

Edit: And here it is!
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15. RPG Item: Book 05: City of Thieves [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:423]
Eric Dodd
New Zealand
Martinborough
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I picked this up second-hand last year, after giving away my childhood copy 20 years or so ago.

Two of the regulars on RPGGeek have already done excellent reviews of this book, so I probably won't do one myself.

I was genuinely very lucky in rolling up a character with Skill 12, Stamina 22 and Luck 11. Not only did this mean my hero was able to win most of his fights easily, it also made Skill and Luck Tests straightforward. I took a potion of luck, anyway.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
I bribed the guard, then set off down Market Street. In the Spotted Dog tavern I played Mumbleypeg to earn more gold.I didn't need food, or an inspirational song from a bard. I entered a cannonball catching competition only to find that it was a contest of luck. A gypsy told my fortune for 2gp and seemed scared at what she saw. I did get a hint to look under the bridge for the wizard Nicodemus. This was where I found him after passing some more buildings. Here the mage told me I needed to get a tattoo, a silver arrow and three odd items to defeat Zanbar Bone.

Heading off down Harbour Street I help a beggar and learn where the silversmith is to be found. I help some friendly bays win their game, and earn some odd rewards. At the end of the harbour a pirate ship was berthed, and I sneaked aboard in search of one of the items. After surprising a pirate at his bath, I stole a purse which had just that item. On Clog Street I find the silversmith and get my arrow made, but decide I don't need a candle. In Tower Street something makes me look down a sewer, where I battle some nasty critters and then face a terrible hag, I have to rely on my luck to get me out of this situation, then i can fight her on more equal footing. A second item procured.

Further along I'm tempted by an expensive chainmail coat, but head to the park instead, where I have to fight to gain the third needed item. At the end of the road I find the tattoo shop, and I have enough money to get the ink I need. I hear his friend can help out if you are short of cash. shortly after this I'm spotted by the troll guards. As I didn't manage to get a pass I decide to try being honest and cooperative, and pay an expensive bride to get out of the city unmolested.

I head off into the wilderness, making a bow for myself as i settle down for camp. Nicodemus passes on some worrying news - I only need 2 out of 3 items to kill Zanbar Bone, but he can't remember which ones! I have to guess, now, as to which are the correct items. I'm surprised by a Man Ape as I set off next morning, and take the curious owl idol he had. I come to the forbidding tower of Zanbar Bone late in the day, and I press on, knowing he can only be killed during the night. A skeletal figure answers the door, and I pretend to be a traveller looking for a bed for the night. Shown to a first floor room, I quickly leave and set off to find my quarry. On the 3rd floor I find a dark room which the owl helps me see inside - it's a trap! I carry on up to a floor with white and black doors. The white one contains a Mummy case, and as I cautiously explore it comes to life! Fortunately my lantern deals with the undead beast, and I recover a very useful ring from inside the case. Now I take the darker door. An open chest with a skull seems a trap, but I feel drawn to it. The Ring lets me see just what is reality - 3 skeletons and Zanbar Bone himself! First I must shatter the skeletons with my sword, then Bone flies at me! With a last burst of luck I fire my arrow into his chest and he falls down. Now I trust to my mixture - Hag's Hair and Lotus Floor rubbed into his eyes. To my relief, the fiend falls to dust and the terror of his reign is ended.

I torch his house and return to Silverton for feasting and my rewards.


A good book for beginners, in that it is quite easy, and that many of the creatures, items and situations are tropes that experienced gamers will recognise.
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16. RPG Item: Crypt of Veritas [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Oliver S
United States
Stafford Springs
Connecticut
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As far as I can tell, this the only other Pocket Dungeon adventure that has actually been published (though the publisher website lists a third as "in development"). It's a neat little idea that could use a little tweaking - you have to choose your character race and weapon, for example, but it's purely cosmetic, as there's no mechanical difference between an elf and a dwarf. I like the mapping element here - it's a neat way to reveal a fixed dungeon to a solo player, and I'd like to see it employed on a larger scale, as this dungeon also feels just a little on the small side.

I think this one may have been a little bit harder than the first - Irowin the Elf died twice, and the final adversary was a bit difficult, with some programmed spellcasting to make things a little more interesting. A good use of 10-15 minutes, although I wish they lasted a little longer.
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17. RPG: Judge Dredd the Roleplaying Game (MGP Traveller) [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:540]
David Bate
United Kingdom
Staffordshire
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OK. I'd intended to have a go at a bit of Traveller tonight but I ended up on Drivethru RPG and picked up the Traveller rules Judge Dredd RPG.

So now I have three versions of Dredd RPG. Right I'm of to print off the character sheets and the Academy of Law section. Time to roll of a team of Street Judges.

Just realised I have four Judge Dredd RPGs, I had forgotten John Caliber's Dredd RPG - Drokk City.

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18. RPG Item: Double Shot Solos [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Oliver S
United States
Stafford Springs
Connecticut
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I'm interested in experimenting with lightweight solo systems, so I gave these a try. There's some neat ideas here - I particularly like how the first adventure, Tomb of the Unexpected, is structured so that you inevitably get pushed towards the final encounter - but overall, these were both disappointingly short. I think there are also some problems with the QADD system, primarily the dice. It's not supposed to matter what kind of dice you use (the rules encourage you to use your favorite; I used d12), but something feels off about this. I'm not sufficiently inclined towards the math-y parts of RPGs to really put my finger on it, and it's entirely possible that I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the difference in play experience between using a d4 and a d20 (or a d-1,000,000 as suggested in the rules) might be more than really makes sense, even for a quick-and-dirty dungeon.

I don't think either of these dungeons was particularly well constructed (although, as I said, the Tomb of the Unexpected has a neat idea that's worth building on), and while the QADD rules are probably "fine enough" for a simple system, at this point, I wouldn't particularly recommend this product to anyone.
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19. RPG Item: Solo 01: Buffalo Castle [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:7048]
Oliver S
United States
Stafford Springs
Connecticut
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Avoiding work today, so in addition to QADD, I gave Tunnels & Trolls a try. I used the PDF re-issue of the first edition rules, and gave this dungeon a try. I would not recommend it to anyone who doesn't have a strong interest in the history of solo gaming. It's confusing, arbitrary, and in places, feels difficult simply for the sake of being difficult. I won't go so far as to say that it's unplayable (clearly, I just played it), but this is more likely to prove frustrating than enjoyable for the modern solo roleplayer. You'll die a lot in frustrating and unavoidable ways, and you probably won't feel all that accomplished if you survive - unlike, say S1: Tomb of Horrors, there's no real reward for cleverness here. You live and die by your (frequently totally uninformed) choices, and the roll of the die.

That said, it's an important part of roleplaying history, and it's easy to see why people liked the idea. Despite its problems, it demonstrates that you can fight your way through a dungeon all by yourself, without anyone to tell you where the monsters are, or how they attack you. That's a cool thing, and certainly modern solo roleplayers owe a lot to Rick Loomis, even if this particular adventure has not held up very well.
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