I am currently working on a new solo variant for Runebound. It has not been play tested (not even by me) and it is really just a series of ideas at this point. To anyone who has played Arkham Horror the system should be immediately familiar, because I blatantly stole it. So here goes, if anyone has any ideas, suggestions or questions just let me know.
After the Experience Step, add a new step to the game. This step will be referred to as the Monster Step.
During the Monster Step, perform the following actions:
A. Spawn Lairs and Monsters
Roll 1 d10. And refer to the chart below.
1: Mountains of Despair
2: Bitter Downs
3: Blackthorn Grove
4: Ashen Hills
5: Broken Crags
6: Whispering Forest
7: Hanging Woods
8: Shadow Peaks
9: Crimson Forest
0: No Monster or Lair
Whatever result you get, a Lair and a Monster appear in that location. Use Undefeated Challenge Markers for Lairs and Doom Tokens for Monsters. Lairs will never move but Monsters will. If there is already a Lair on that location then only a Monster appears there. If the location is sealed, then no Lair may appear there ever again. Lairs may not be placed on locations with Adventure Jewels. If a Lair appears, place a Wound Token on Margath's Doom Track. The lowest number Undefeated Challenge Marker available should be used when placing Lairs. If a Monster appears, the difficulty of the monster that appears is determined by the player's level which is his number of Experience Counters plus 1.
Levels 1-2: Green Monster
Levels 3-4: Yellow Monster
Level 5 or above: Blue Monster
(Example: Dan completes his Experience Step and moves on to the Monster Step. He rolls 1 d10 and gets a 4. He sees that 4 corresponds to the Ashen Hills. He looks at the Ashen Hills and notices that there is not a Lair on this location. Dan then takes the lowest number Undefeated Challenge Marker available and places it on any hex he chooses within the Ashen Hills. He then places a Doom Token on top of the Undefeated Challenge Marker to signify that a Monster has now appeared there. Since a Lair opened, he adds a token to Margath's Doom Track. He is now ready to move on to Monster Movement.)
B. Monster Movement
You will now check to see if any Monsters will move. To do this check, roll
1 d10. On a 1-5 no Monsters move, on a 6-9 all Monsters will move, on a 0 all Monsters will move with one extra movement die. To move Monsters you roll 2 movement dice and move Monsters toward the nearest city. If the Monster can move, then it must move even if it is away from a city. You use the same movement dice for all Monsters. If a Monster can not move, then he does not move. If you roll a 0 on your movement check then you roll 3 movement dice. If a Monster moves into a city and is not defeated within 5 turns then that city is destroyed and the Terror Level raises by 1.
(Example: Dan has just spawned a Lair and a Monster on the Ashen Hills. Now he rolls to see if that Monster moves. He rolls 1 d10 and gets a 6. This means that the Monster does move. He notes that the Monster only needs a River symbol and any other symbol to be able to move into Riverwatch. He rolls 2 movement dice and gets a River and Swamp symbol on 1 movement die and a Plain, Road, and Hill symbol on the other movement die. This means that the Monster can move into Riverwatch. He moves the Monster into Riverwatch. Riverwatch is now closed and if Dan does not defeat the Monster in Riverwatch within 5 turns the town will be destroyed and permanently closed.)
C. Defeating Monsters, Closing, and Sealing Lairs
1: Defeating Monsters
Keep track of which Monsters spawn from which Lairs. You can do this is any manner that you like. You may want to mark your Doom Tokens 1-6 or use some other type of token labeled 1-6. If you end your Movement Step on a location that has a Doom Token (Monster) on it you must fight the Monster during your Adventure Step. Draw a Challenge card according to your current level (Experience Counter(s) +1) If you get an Event or an Encounter, discard that card to the bottom of the deck and draw until you get a Challenge card. Events replenish Sunbursts before they are discarded. Combat the Monster as you normally would. If you defeat the Monster you may claim it's gold reward and Experience but you may not claim the card for any reason. Place the card on the Undefeated Challenge Space that corresponds to the Undefeated Challenge Marker (Lair) from which it spawned. If you are knocked out by the Challenge, follow the standard knockout rules. If you are knocked out by a Monster in a city then instead of moving your character to the nearest city, you move your character to any space adjacent to the city you were knocked out in that does not contain an Adventure Jewel, Lair, or Monster. If you defeat a Monster in a city, the citizens are so grateful that you may heal any amount of Wounds and Exhaustion for free during your Market Step.
(Example: Dan rolls his movement dice and sees that he can also move in to Riverwatch. He moves in to the city and refers to his level. He has 1 Experience Counter and he adds 1 to that which means he is a level 2. He draws a Green Card and gets an Encounter, he discards the card to the bottom of the Green deck. He draws again and gets an Event, he replenishes the Sunbursts and then discards that card to the bottom of the Green Deck. On his third draw he draws a Challenge and must face that Challenge. He defeats the Monster but during the fight he takes 2 Exhaustion and 1 Wound. The Monster's reward is 2 gold. He takes 2 gold and 1 green Adventure Jewel. He then notes that this Monster spawned from Undefeated Challenge Marker 2. He places the card in the space numbered 2 on the Undefeated Challenge Track. He then takes his Market Step and Experience Step as normal with the exception that since he defeated a Monster in this city on this turn he may heal all Wounds and Exhaustion for free.)
2: Closing Lairs
If you end your Movement Step on a Undefeated Challenge Marker (Lair) that has at least 1 defeated Monster in it's space on the Undefeated Challenge Track you may attempt to close that Lair. To close a Lair, you must pick a Combat Phase (Ranged, Melee, or Magic) and make an amount of checks equal to the number of Monsters on that Lair's space on the Undefeated Challenge Track. To make this check you note the number of the Undefeated Challenge Marker and the Life Value of all Monsters on that Lair's space on the Undefeated Challenge Track. You then roll 2 d10 and add your Skill Value to that number. You may not use any Items or Allies during this check. If the number you roll equals or exceeds the number of the Undefeated Challenge Marker plus the Monster's Life Value then you close the Lair. If you fail, you may choose not to move next turn and attempt to close the Lair again. If a monster appears on this Lair during the Monster step you must immediately fight the Monster. If you defeat the Monster you add it as normal to the Undefeated Challenge Track and alter your checks to close the Lair next turn accordingly. If you move off the Lair for any reason without sealing it you must move that Lair's marker back on to the Undefeated Challenge Track. Any time you close a Lair, whether you seal it or not, you discard all cards on that Lair's Undefeated Challenge Track Space to the bottom of their appropriate decks.
(Example: On his Monster Step Dan rolls a 0 which means no new Lairs or Monsters appear. He decides he wants to close the Lair that the Monster he just fought came from. He rolls his movement dice and sees that he can move to the location of the Lair. He moves his character into the space occupied by the Lair. On his Adventure Step he decides to close the Lair. He adds the number on the Lair marker (2) to the number of the defeated Monster's Life Vale (3) and gets a 5. He chooses to close the Lair using his Mind value which is a 2. He rolls 1 d10 and gets a 5. He adds that to his Mind value for a total of 7. This number exceeds the Lair value of 5, so the Lair is now closed and Dan must decide whether or not to seal the Lair. In either case he now discards all Monsters on that Lair's Undefeated Challenge Track Space. Had there been 2 monsters on the Lair's Undefeated Challenge Track Space, Dan would have had to make this check twice.)
3. Sealing Lairs
If a hero has closed a Lair and has not moved his character from the space that the Lair occupies he may choose to seal the Lair. Sealing a Lair means that no Lair may open on that location ever again. To seal a Lair a player must hire citizens to collapse the Lair by spending 5 gold, or he must discard one of his Allies to guard the Lair, ensuring that no future Monsters come through. Once a Lair has been sealed, place a Wound counter on the Lair to signify that it is sealed. When you seal a Lair, remove 1 Wound token from Margath's Doom Track. If a player seals all 6 Lairs, he wins the game.
(Example: Dan has just closed the Lair. He decides he wants to seal it. He takes note of his Allies and gold. He has 7 gold and 1 Ally worth 2 gold. He decides that since his Ally is not worth very much that he should use him to seal the Lair. He discards this Ally and places a Wound token on the Lair to signify it is closed. Because of this, no Lair may ever open in the Ashen Hills again.)
D. Terror Track
The Terror Track represents the level of fear of the citizens of Terrinoth. If during the Monster Step a Monster should appear but there are already 6 Monsters on the board, that Monster goes to the outskirts. When a Monster goes to the outskirts place 1 green Adventure Jewel to the left of the Runebound logo on the bottom of the board. When the number of Monsters in the outskirts reaches 4, discard all Adventure Jewels to the left of the Runebound logo and place 1 green Adventure Jewel to the right of the Runebound logo. This jewel will represent the number of the Terror Level. The Terror Level has a maximum of 10. You can use any color of Adventure Jewels to represent the Terror Level. For example, you may use 2 red (4) Adventure Jewels and 1 green (1) Adventure Jewel to represent a Terror Level of 9. When a second Monster moves to the outskirts you may replace the green Adventure Jewel with a yellow one. Also, anytime a new Event Card goes into play, you should raise the Terror Level by 1. Every time the Terror Level increases you must pick one Ally of your choice from a Market Stack of your choice and discard that Ally. This represents that people are becoming scared and leaving Terrinoth. At Terror Level 3 you roll 1 d10 and refer to the City Chart below:
That city is now closed and is inaccessible by players and Monsters for the rest of the game. Do the same at Terror Level 6 and 9. If the city you roll is already closed you must re-roll. If there are no Allies in any Market Stack to discard then you do not have to discard an Ally.
(Example: Tom has rolled during the Monster Step and has gotten the Hanging Forest location. He looks at the Hanging Forest and sees that there is already a Lair there and that there are already 6 Monsters on the board. There are 3 Monsters in the outskirts and the current Terror Level is 2. He places a 4th Monster in the outskirts which means the outskirts are at their limit and the Terror Level must be raised. He discards all Adventure Jewels that were being used to represent Monsters in the outskirts back to the central Adventure Jewel pile and replaces the yellow Adventure Jewel (2) that was currently being used to represent the Terror Level with a blue Adventure Jewel (3) to represent the new Terror Level. Since the Terror Level is now 3, a city must be closed. He rolls 1 d10 and gets a 6. He refers to the City Chart and sees that 6 represents Greyhaven. He places a Wound token on Greyhaven to represent that city is now closed and discards all cards in that city's Market Stack to the bottom of the Market Deck. He must then choose one Ally from any city's Market Stack to discard. He chooses the Ally and discards it to the bottom of the Market Deck. Finally, he adds one Wound token to Margath's Doom Track.)
E. Doom Track
In this variant Margath will have a Doom Track of between 10 and 15 spaces. The lower the number, the harder the game. Anytime a Lair opens or the Terror Level increases you place 1 Wound Token on Margath's Doom Track. When it reaches the indicated number you must face Margath. If you defeat him, you win the game.
(Example: Tom is taking his Monster Step. He rolls an 8 and sees that 8 refers to the Shadow Peaks location. There is currently no Lair on the Shadow Peaks location so Tom places a Lair there and adds one Wound token to Margath's Doom Track. Then he must spawn a monster on that Lair, he looks and sees that there are already 6 monsters on the board so he spawns 1 monster to the outskirts instead. This monster causes the Terror Level to raise, so he takes all of the steps associated with that and adds another Wound Token to Margath's Doom Track. This turn, Margath's Doom Track was raised by 2.)
F: Winning and Losing
You win the game if you defeat Margath, collect 3 Dragon Runes or seal 6 Lairs.
You lose the game if Margath defeats you or if all of the cities become closed.
*Note: This variant does not have Undefeated Challenges since the markers and spaces are used for other things. If a Challenge knocks you out, discard that Challenge to the bottom of the appropriate deck. If a Monster (Doom Token) knocks you out, leave it where it is and remove all Wound Tokens from it.
So when does Cthulhu appear and kill everybody?
Sounds interesting, but I could see monster movement becoming tedious. Maybe simplify it to just "move them all one (or two) spaces".