Solo RPGs on Your Table - May 2021
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From gallery of h3rne

Welcome to
Solo RPGs on Your Table
May 2021


Home of "Together, We Roll Alone"

From gallery of BoardGameGeek


Hello, and welcome to another month of exciting times with solo RPGs! Feel free to participate in any way you like. So long as you're having fun, you're in the right place!
Post about the solo RPGs that you play, share your experiences with solo RPGs in development, comment on entries that strike your fancy, and join in! Everyone is welcome!

Guidelines

1 Play a solo RPG, whether it be a gamebook, pen & paper game, standard RPG, or anything else.
2 Add an entry to this GeekList and tell us about it.
3 Be nice, but most of all have fun!

Share as much or as little as you like about your play, from the components used to the highlights. Feel free to include a session report or review... Or less. It's up to you!
Need a little help with formatting? Check out the Forum Formatting Guide and Tricks of the Geek.

Dusting Off the Old (and New)

If you're like me, there are probably plenty of digital and/or print RPGs lying about. Maybe you found a well-priced bundle or simply couldn't resist adding on the perfectly themed supplement!

But now, here we are. Weeks, months, or even years later and those once glorious purchases have fallen off our radar. As an optional challenge this month, go in search of those long-lost acquisitions.

I'm always appalled when I looked at my DriveThruRPG history and realize how few downloads I've tried out! Likewise, I have all sorts of zines and small RPG books that have never been opened.

Have fun rediscovering what you previously purchased! Or maybe your solo RPG character can use this idea in a unique way. What's out there in the world that's been long-forgotten but important?

Enjoy another month of solo RPGs!

Upcoming SROYT Hosts

Jun 2021 Jul 2021 Aug 2021
Frederic Manson
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Istres
Bouches du Rhone
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Interested in hosting a future month's list? Post in this GeekList's comments. If I can do it, anyone can!

SROYT Resources

Solo Roleplaying Guild - The home base for everything related to solo RPGs
SROYT QuickLinks - A collection of links to every SROYT GeekList
SROYT Monthly GeekList Subscription - A subscription thread updated with the latest SROYT lists
Roleplaying Alone Together - A place to go to play solo RPGs with others
Solo Gamebook Master Review List - A helpful resource with links to reviews about solo gamebooks
SROYT Made Me Buy This! - A list to both thank and jokingly blame SROYT posters for purchases
Need More Tables (Or Other World Building Aids) for Solo/GM-less Gaming! - A very useful list
Solo-Roleplaying Meta-Geeklist - A place to find and follow solo RPG plays and campaigns
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1. RPG: Twilight: 2000 (4th Edition) [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
RPG: Twilight: 2000 (4th Edition)
Long time reader first time poster. One of the games I played as a kid was the original Twilight 2000 RPG and I still have all of the original documents in digital format (also available at DriveThrough RPG). I was a quick backer to the Free League 4th Edition and I’ve been playing off the Alpha rules.

One of the stretch goals was solo rules for the game and these were part of the Beta release. I’m a bit disappointed in the solo rules as they are only 5 pages and I do not feel they really provide much more than any of the other GM Emulators provide. However, the Players and Referee Rulebooks do have plenty of tables to roll on and a random encounter generator which uses either the provided deck or your own. The nice part of these random encounters is each can be triggered on the road and or wild, while camping and/or during the day or night. You draw a card and see if the event meets the requirements.

As the release of the game is still a couple of months out, I purchased myself a set of US Army Playing Cards.

From gallery of Thorlin_


The 1st edition has you starting this with US 5th Mechanized Division which has just been broken by the Soviets and the last transmission stated “Good luck. You’re on your own now.” The 1st edition has done a great job of setting the scene in Poland and has over 100 cities listed with some good background information. I’m starting off with “Escape from Kalisz” with a party of 4.

Captain Richard Barkley. The majority of his men were either killed or scattered during the evening of July 17th. He has a LAV-25 and has been looking for others to try to regroup some kind of fighting force.

Private John Sinclair: On loan from the US Navy to help with mechanical maintenance, he has been on the run most of the night before running into Captain Barkley and he is more than willing to join up with any friendlies.

Starszy Szeregowy (Private 1st Class) Ella Zielinski: Part of the Polish Army, she has been dislodged from her unit and was found trying to save a member of the US 5th, but the injuries were too great and she decided to move on with Captain Barkley.

Private 1st Class Lisa Volgar: A fierce fighter, Volgar continued to fight along the side of Captain Barkley and is looking to kill as many Soviets as possible.

What I didn’t have with the first edition of this game was Google Maps. Now I can get a good overhead (and sometimes street view) of the areas I’m exploring. the group has decided to try to move away from whatever is left of the Soviets and have moved toward Ostrogoths Wielkopoiski. In the photo here the blue mark in the south is where the group hid their LAV-25. The east is where they met with some locals living in a local stadium. And to the West is where the Russians (100 combat ready men and 2,000 injured. These number are from the city description in “ Escape from Kalisz.”

From gallery of Thorlin_


Skipping some of the roll playing, the group has a chemical truck in which they have rigged with a remote detonator. Sinclair drives the truck and the others take up positions to lay down cover fire for him to escape. As he comes up with the truck there is a makeshift guard post, but the truck easily busts through it. The solo rules has an Oracle in which you draw a card and black is no/negative and red is yes/positive. I haven’t been playing as described in the rules as with a deck of cards you have a 50/50 with each draw. I do not shuffle the discards back into the deck but continue to draw. Also for this draw the question was regarding the aggressiveness of the guards. I drew 3 cards and took the one most dangerous for myself.

From gallery of Thorlin_


The ace of clubs shows these men, while not well trained, aggressively fire at Sinclair. In this game you have ranks in skills (A/B/C/D/F). A is a d12, B d10, C d8, D d6, F no die. A 6-9 is a success and 10+ is 2 successes. The 4 guards unload on the truck and score 5 hits disabling the truck. The plan was to get the truck deep into the complex and Sinclair would run to the south with the covering fire and then the recon team would blow the truck. I’m not able to get deep into the complex, and Sinclair runs to the East and is able to escape. The truck blows and kills the 4 guards, but does little damage to the buildings.

From gallery of Thorlin_


The plan was to stop the truck at the sharp turn to the west at the bottom of the photo. The target buildings are those that are south of the white roofed building, however Sinclair did not make it and stopped close to just south of the white roofed building. He runs into the west and the trees.

In the “Escape from Kalisz” module, the mayor to the town is against the Soviets and would like them pushed out of town. Right now I’m back at the stadium and will play through the oracle to see what happens.

From gallery of Thorlin_


While the solo rules are nothing to write home about, the base game has more than enough to keep the solo RPG player happy for a long time. If you spend the extra $40 for the 1st edition you have more than enough background info on the region to help give some plot points to keep you engaged for many sessions.

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2. RPG Item: The Armitage Files [Average Rating:8.18 Overall Rank:133]
RPG Item: The Armitage Files
Tried yesterday to start a "The Armitage Files" campaign. And I have to say the structure of the book is what would be ideal for a solo prewritten module.
-Handouts as lead in to choose youre own path
- NPC with sinister/neutral/helpful variarions
- a lot of room to fill with actual play

It is just a shame I kind of underwhelmed by the content itself, so I will not continue !

Things I did not like:
- Leads (from the handouts) led to isolated NPCs instead to a interconnected web of relations
- the big picture is on your shulder
- actually putting anything really interesting was job of the gm/solo player
-it often felt like a collection of halfcooked NPCs
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3. RPG: Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game [Average Rating:8.63 Overall Rank:25]
RPG: Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game
After a goose chase to search the perfect investigation system, "Rogue Handler" from Parts Per Million came along and brought me back to actually playing again.

It comes with some great tables and a simple but effective oracle, which integrates smoothly with the D100 BRP system of DG.

I probably go back to mythic but for a uncomplicated run I liked it a lot.

Without knowing what to expect, my investigator headed out to help a CDC Doctor friendly who was assaulted by a militant terror cult, for treating patients with a fungi infection.

During the run the parents of the CDC doctor got melted together with a house, my investigator got overtaken by the fungus (I body hopped to the CDC Doctor then) and the towns people turned into Pinheads (which probably are the home of something nasty).

At the moment the CDC Doctor and 3 Swat Policemen in a heavy armored vehicle try to find the source of the incident. Last time I checked they found the cultist leader during the peak of the infection... to be continued.
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4. RPG: Trollbabe [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:301]
RPG: Trollbabe
John Tait
United Kingdom
London
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Pine's Story - Adventure Two - Introduction

From gallery of johngtait


This month of May, I'll return to Pine's Story. Her adventure will continue on the personal scale (the smallest scale of seven).

At the end of the last adventure, we left our trollbabe Pine walking towards the village of Ylnuss.

She's recovering well from her arm and shoulder injury, happy she calmed down that dreadful situation with the trolls and the widower.
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5. RPG: Trollbabe [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:301]
RPG: Trollbabe
John Tait
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London
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Adventure Two of Pine's Story - Scene One

The road becomes busier as Pine approachs Ylnuss. She knows the village very well. Her late mother oftentimes took her when she was a trollgirl, creating commotion as they left the hills to visit the Ylnuss market, once or twice a month.

It's a warm May morning. Her sleeveless fox-fur dress, made by Pine last year in her mothers' style, suits her in all weather. She carries a human-made net tied across her waist, and wears a trollish charm in the shape of a fist on a long leather strap, concealed under the fox-fur.

She passes by the inn that welcomes visitors and regulars. Some men sit outside, some startled by her, others ignoring her.

One old man she recognises (Graap Nairnway) smiles and calls her over to a table that he shares with another two. He kicks a stool away from the table towards her and fixes his right arm in the arm-wrestle gesture on the table, and grins. The other two men look horrified.

Pine rolls her eyes, strides over, sits on the stool - a bit small for her - drops her elbow to the table, and locks her massive hand in his.

Pine grunts and steadily pushes Graap's arm almost right back onto the table. But, mysteriously, she starts to lose. Graap, red-faced, slowly, slowly gets Pine's knuckles back flat on the table.

Graap wins! (Pine let him.) Everyone laughs, Graap nods and slaps a coin on the table for Pine with a wink. Pine nods, collects the coin, and rises to go without a word.

She walks to the marketstall, finds the pie seller she likes, buys a warm fish pie with the coin, and leaves the market. She leaves for the stone bridge over the River Ylnuss close by, and steps down the steep riverbank of that fast-flowing river.

(She happens to disturb a young couple, who disappear as fast as they can. )

Pine sits and eats her pie, then cups her hands and drinks from the river. She rests for a while, noting her injuries have healed completely.

Pine has a short walk to make upriver, up towards a lonely hill behind Ylnuss. It's her mother's birthday, and she wants to mark this day in the way she used to.

Adventure Two of Pine's Story - End of Scene One. No conflicts in this scene.
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6. RPG Item: Dungeon World Roleplaying Game [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:25]
RPG Item: Dungeon World Roleplaying Game
Carl White
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Episode 10 of Under Ironroot is here, and it's all about the combat.

Madrigal is facing off against overwhelming odds. Cultists abound. Khastro and Picket are being pursued by some hideous effluent monstrosity. Can they possibly survive their ill-fated delve into the sewers of Krona Peak, or does tragedy await them?
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7. RPG: Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game [Average Rating:8.63 Overall Rank:25]
RPG: Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game
Pete D
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Continuation of my Delta Green play. I haven't added the spoiler tag but everything in parenthesis is the "behind the scenes" stuff, for those that are interested.


(How many days have passed d10 result:4)

Saturday, November 13, 2010
1300 hrs

Agent Sean Taylor was enjoying the Saturday off when the secure phone from Delta Green rang. He picked it up on the third ring.

“Agent Taylor, there’s been a development.” Sean immediately recognized the voice of Prophet.

“We’ve managed to get you assigned to the case. Expect a phone call from your supervisor shortly. At this time we aren’t sure if anything unnatural is involved but since this is an official investigation if there is anything unnatural you’ll need to contain it. Agent Chris Palmer of the ATF will meet you at the field office.”

“Understood.” Just as Sean hung up the phone his Bureau cell phone rang. The Special Agent in Charge, or SAC, explained to Sean that they needed him to come in. Of course Sean already knew this but responded as if he was hearing the news for the first time. “I’ll be right in.”

1400 hrs
FBI New York Field Office

Sean sat in the briefing room with Agent Chris Palmer.

SAC Keller entered the room. “I see you’ve met Agent Palmer.”

The pair nodded.

“The ATF requested our assistance on this operation. Agent Palmer is in charge, I want you to lend her any assistance necessary. Agent Palmer, the floor is yours if you would like to continue the briefing.”

(Rolling on random table, result:81, culprit and means known)
(Culprit random table, result:68, Industrialist)
(Means random table, result:9, handgun)

“Thank you.” Agent Christine Palmer stood up and walked over to a large monitor. “Early this morning the ATF received a tip about a missing crate of weapons at the August Firearms facility. If you’re not aware, August Firearms was founded in the early 1900s, it’s one of the country's oldest companies. Under the leadership of Charles B Miller, the current CEO and direct descendant of the founder August Miller, the company has grown tremendously over the past few years. However, we believe that it might not be entirely legal.” An image of Charles Miller was displayed on the monitor. Even though Sean wasn’t much into finicals he recognized the image of the influential CEO. “Mr Miller is a very powerful person with many contacts inside of the ATF, that’s why I’ve reached out to the Berau to assist in the investigation.”

“We believe that something is going on in their weapons facility just outside the city of Poughkeepsie in upstate New York. I’m not sure if there are some black market deals going on or just a general lapse in security, but either way it can’t be good. I’ve set up a meeting on Monday with the director of operations of the facility. Once we get onsite we should be able to get a better idea as to what is going on.”

SAC Keller stood up “Sean, you and Agent Palmer will head upstate to the facility. Go home and get packed, you'll leave tomorrow. Keep me posted.”

Sunday, November 14
1400 hrs
Poughkeepsie, NY

From gallery of SF340B


(Do the agents make it to Poughkeepsie without incident? 1-80 yes 81-100 no result: 66 critical success)

The Agent Palmer is driving the dark blue unmarked ATF Crown Victoria. Leaving New York City in the late morning the pair made good time driving.

“Why don’t we check out the area?” Agent Palmer suggests.

1500 hrs

The two agents drive to the August Firearms facility.

(Do they notice anything unusual? 1-20 yes 21-100 no result: 100 fumble)

Approaching the facility the agents park the car and wait. Since it’s Sunday everything is quiet, no one is observed coming or going into the facility. Just then a local police car pulls up. It rolls alongside the agents and the officer indicates to roll down the window. Agent Palmer and Agent Taylor hold up their federal badges.

“We got a call about a suspicious car checking out the facility.” The officer tells the pair.

“Guess our cover is blown.” Agent Palmer replies to Sean.

“It would be nice for any federal agents to check in with the local police before conducting an investigation. I’m sure you two are aware of that professional courtesy.”

“We just got into town.” Agent Palmer tries to smooth it over.

(Skill check charisma Agent Palmer 55, result: 45 success)

“We didn’t think anyone would be working inside the station today.”

“Uh huh” The officer replies.

“We’ll be sure to stop by the station tomorrow when everyone is in.”

“You do that.” the officer rolls up his window and pulls away.

“Come on, let’s get out of here and check in at the hotel.” Sean suggests to Chris.

Agent Palmer puts the car into drive and they head to their hotel.

1600 hrs

The agents check in at the hotel and get settled into their seperate rooms.

Monday, November 15
0900 hrs

The agents agree to stop by the local police station and check in, maybe the local PD can provide some information on the missing weapons. After checking in with the desk sergeant the pair are introduced to the commanding officer, Captain McMahon.

“What can I do for my friends in the federal government.” Captain McMahon asks.

“Captain we are here looking into the disappearance of some weapons from the August Firearms’s facility.” Agent Palmer informs the captain.

“Missing weapons? That’s the first I’ve heard about any of this.” Captain McMahon hollers. “Sergeant!”

The desk sergeant comes running into the captain’s office.

“Have you had any reports of missing weapons at the August Firearm’s facility?”

“No captain, we just finished processing all the reports from over the weekend. There wasn’t anything at the August facility.”

Sean and Chris look at each other quizzically.

“Looks like you made a trip for no reason. A simple phone call probably would have saved you so time.”

Chris stood up first “Thank you for your time captain.” She shook hands and then walked out of the office. Agent Taylor followed behind her.

Outside the police station the two stopped to talk.

“How good is that tip you received?” Sean asked.

“I don’t know, it sounded reliable. It was from a guard at the facility, he called the ATF emergency hotline and provided his name and the company’s Federal Firearm License number. Not too many people would know how to do that. I doubt it was a random prank call. We should still head to the facility and speak with the director he’ll be expecting us.”

1000 hrs
August Firearms

The two agents sat waiting in a large conference room at the August Firearms facility. Replicas of old firearms lined the walls of the conference room. After waiting for what seemed to be like forever Director Robert Rutledge entered the room.

“Sorry to keep you waiting agents, I had a conference call with an overseas investor. Now what can I help you with today?”

Agent Palmer took the lead and cut right to it “Early Saturday morning the ATF received a report about a missing shipment of weapons at this facility.”

“This facility?” Director Rutledge had a confused look on his face.

“That’s correct.”

“That’s impossible, I haven't been notified about any missing weapons. Let me call in the supervisor of security.” Director Rutledge pressed a few buttons on the desk intercom. The voice at the other end replied “I’ll be right in.”

After a few minutes the supervisor of security, Andre Locke, entered the conference room.

“Andre, these agents have some questions about missing weapons, do you know anything about it?”

“No, there aren’t any weapons missing.” Andre replied.

Agent Palmer was getting annoyed “Early Saturday morning we received a phone call from someone in this facility identifying himself as a guard. The caller provided the Federal Firearm License number and a description of the missing weapons.”

“Oh that.” Andre Locke looked concerned. “There was a mixup you see. Recently we have been switching over computer software we use to catalog and inventory all the stored weapons. Unfortunately, one individual here has made several mistakes with the new system. Did the caller happen to provide a name?”

“Yes.”

“And that name, was it Joseph Spandow?”

“Yes.”

“You see Joseph has had some performance issues here. He was placed on administrative warning. Unfortunately the other day he made another error and we were forced to let him go. I’m afraid that this phone call he made was a way at getting back at us for terminating him.”

“I see.”

“All the weapons are accounted for, there is nothing missing.”

“If you don’t mind we would like to look around and check for ourselves.”

“Of course, I’ll have one of my guards provide you with any information that you need.”

(Humint check, Agent Palmer, 60 result:80 fail)

Chirs couldn’t be sure if Andre Locke was telling the truth.

1100 hrs

Agents Palmer and Taylor sat in the small guard office reviewing paperwork.

(Bureaucracy check, Agent Palmer 40, result: 42)

Chris can’t spot anything wrong with the paperwork. Everything appears to check out.

Next the agents ask to review the security footage from the night of the alleged missing weapons.

(Sigint check 20 + computer science 50 Agent Taylor, result: 57, 50)

Agent Taylor studies the computer surveillance footage carefully. He can’t be sure but something doesn’t feel right about the footage. Nothing else is gained by watching the security footage.

Finally the two agents head down to the facility floor to check over the inventory.

(search 60, Agent Palmer, result:90)

Nothing appears to be out of the ordinary and no weapons are missing.

The agents request a copy of the personal file of Joseph Spandow and leave the facility otherwise empty handed. It has been a long afternoon with little to show for it. The agents decide to get something to eat.

1800 hrs
Flo’s Roadside Diner

“I’m sorry I dragged you all the way up here for this.” Chris confesses to Sean.

“It’s not over yet. Let’s see if we can track down this guard who made the call. Then maybe we can get some answers. His last known address should be listed in that personnel file.”

1900 hrs
Address of Joseph Spandow

The agents pulled up to the address listed in the personnel file for Joseph Spandow. It was a single family home, located in a rural area. The house can’t be seen from the road and the nearest neighbor is about a quarter of a mile away. It is dark outside but there were no lights on in the house.

Agents Palmer and Taylor grab their flashlights and approach the house. Agent Palmer knocks on the door.

(Does anyone answer 1-20 yes 21-100 no, result:36)

There is no answer.

Agent Taylor shines his flashlight through the window.

(Is anything unusual? 1-50 yes 51-100 no, result:29)

Agent Taylor can see some furniture knocked over and some papers scattered around the house.

(Is there any visible force entry on the house? Agent Taylor criminology 50, result:66 fumble)

Agent Taylor walks around to the back of the house to check the door. As he bends down to inspect the lock the door flies open hitting him in the face. A figure runs out and knocks over Sean and disappears into the darkness. Sean yells out to Chris who comes running around the side of the house. The figure is gone and Chris helps up agent Taylor.

(Injury d4-1, result:1-1=0)

“Are you okay?” Agent Palmer asks.

“Yeah I’m fine, just got the wind knocked out of me. Come on, let’s check inside.”

Agents Palmer and Taylor draw their weapons and prepare to enter the house.

The two agents enter the house, there is furniture knocked over and papers strewn about.

(Search Agent Taylor 50 result:69)
(Search Agent Palmer 60 result:34)

(Random table room, result:11 bedroom)
(Random table clues, result: 38, someone singing a strange song)

“Do you hear that?” Agent Palmer asks Sean. “I hear singing coming from the bedroom.”

The two agents carefully approach. Slowly, Agent Palmer opens the door to the bedroom. In the middle of the room is Joseph Spandow sitting on the bed. He’s staring at the wall singing.

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream

Agent Palmer announces “Federal Agents!” There’s no reaction from Joseph, he continues to sing. The two agents approach but he continued to sing.

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream

The agents look around, no one else is in the house. Joseph appears to be in some sort of vegetative state. Nothing the agents do has any effect, he just keeps on singing.

“Let’s call it in.” Agent Taylor suggests.

2000 hrs

After a few minutes a local police car arrives followed by an ambulance. Joseph Spandow is transported to the Poughkeepsie Psychiatric Hospital for observation.

The two agents finish briefing the local police on what happened before heading back to their hotel for the evening.

November 16, 2010
Tuesday 1100 hrs

After yesterday’s events the agents try to interview Joseph Spandow again. After speaking with the doctors at the hospital, the agents get permission to go in and briefly speak with Joseph.

The doctor explains that Joseph is heavily sedated and will only be able to talk for a brief time. Agent Palmer talks to Joseph, she explains who she is and what has happened. She asks if there is any information that he can provide.

(roll on random verbs table: argue, near, translate, dodge, goad, infect)
(roll for person 1-2 Andre Locke, 3-4 Robert Rutledge, 5-6 Charles B Miller result: 3)

Joseph is slipping in and out of consciousness “I overheard a conversation between Director Rutledge and someone else. They were arguing about the weapons. They said that the translation was nearing completion and that they would need them if they wanted to infect the rest. They were trying to secretly replace the stolen weapons when I saw them. I called it in but they must have found out that it was me because I was attacked in my home. I think they were trying to mind control me or something but it was interrupted when the two of you arrived.” Joseph trails off and then slips back into unconsciousness.

The two agents leave the room and discuss the new revelations.

“I don’t like the sound of this.” Agent Taylor says.

Agent Palmer agrees “Yeah, the weapons worry me but more troubling is this “infection”. We need to find out what’s going on.”

“Let’s trail Director Rutledge and see where he goes.” Agent Taylor suggested.

1700 hrs

The agents sit in the unmarked ATF car waiting for Director Rutledge to exit the facility.

(how many hours pass? D4 result: 3)

2000 hrs

Finally the gates to the facility open and Director Rutledge drives out.

(skill check Agent Palmer, drive 60, result: 81)

Director Rutledge is very careful, he drives around intentionally making erratic turns.

“I have to back off. If we get any closer he’ll spot us for sure.” Agent Palmer slowly backs off and eventually they lose track of Director Rutledge.

Agent Taylor files a report about the investigation and sends it to the New York field office.

(bureaucracy check, skill 60, success d6 days to continue investigation, fail d4 days result: 83)
(d4 result: 1)

Wednesday, November 17
0900 hrs

Agent Taylor approaches Chris in the hotel lobby. “I got a nasty phone call from the SAC, Rutledge or someone must be putting pressure on, if we don’t have anything within the next day we are to close the investigation.”

Agent Christine Palmer wasn’t happy to hear the news. “Maybe we could put some pressure on Director Rutledge, it could spook him into making a rash move.”

“What did you have in mind?”

“Someone on the inside is probably feeding Rutledge information about what we are up to, so why don’t we give him some false information. Submit a report saying that we’ve uncovered the site of the weapons and are requesting backup. Hopefully Rutledge will panic and try to get rid of the evidence, we’ll follow him right to the missing weapons.”

“It’s worth a shot.” Agent Taylor took out his government issued laptop and began to type up the false report.

1000 hrs

With the false report filed the agents stakeout the August Firearms facility waiting to see if Director Robert Rutledge will emerge.

(how many hours pass, d4 result: 2)

1200 hrs

Shortly after noon the agents observe Director Rutledge’s car leaving the facility. Agent Palmer puts the car into drive and follows.

(skill check, drive 60, result: 100 fumble)

From gallery of SF340B


The agents follow Director Rutledge. He turns off the highway into River Hospital, an old abandoned psychiatric facility. All of a sudden the unmarked ATF car is t-boned by a pickup truck. The car is pushed sideways and rolls over into a small ditch.

(injury Agent Palmer 1d4, result: 4)
(injury Agent Taylor 1d4, result: 2)
(Sanity check, suffering violence, Agent Palmer 55, result: 42, 0 sanity loss)
(Sanity check, suffering violence, Agent Taylor 75, result: 93, 1 sanity loss)

The two agents are stunned when a pair of masked men approach the car. The men quickly remove the two agents and restrain them with plastic flex cuffs. Director Rutledge appears “Bring them inside, we’ll conduct the ritual on them.”

1300 hrs

The group proceeds into the old abandoned hospital and down several flights of stairs. Even though it is day time, the room is dark. There are no windows in the room, they surely must be below ground. Old paint is peeling off the walls, water drips from the ceiling and the room smells musty. Agents Taylor and Palmer are restrained to chairs along the side of the room. In the center of the room there appears to be an altar of some kind, it is set up around old medical equipment. On top of the altar was a small rock about the size of a grapefruit. All around the room there are strange pictographs drawn on the walls.

A figure appears, it is Director Rutledge, but he is wearing a long purple ceremonial robe with gold striping. In his hand he appears to be holding a leather book.

“You interrupted the ritual the other night at Joseph Spandow’s, this time there will be no interruptions.” He looks down at the book and begins chanting.

(random creature table, build: 44, average human adult, form result:93 insubstantial, limbs result:46, anthropoid/ bipedal best result: colors from space)

The altar starts to glow.

(Agent Palmer tries to break free, strength 50, result:64)
(Agent Taylor tries to break free, strength 50, result:93)
(Sanity check, helplessness, Agent Palmer 55, result: 45, 0 sanity loss)
(Sanity check, helplessness, Agent Taylor 74, result: 85, 1 sanity loss)

Above the altar a cloud forms and vivid colors start to appear.

“Don’t try to fight it.” Director Rutledge grins. “Thousands of years ago this meteorite landed here on earth. When this hospital was built in the 1800s the meteorite was excavated. Since this was a psychiatric hospital, nobody noticed that it made people go insane. I first discovered the meteorite when I was touring this facility. Last year the August Firearms company bought this hospital and the land. We are preparing to convert it into a new state of the art manufacturing plant.” Several other figures appeared in the shadows. “We are the protectors of The Color Out of Space”

Slowly the cloud begins to grow as if it has an intelligent mind. It slowly nears the two agents tied up.

(Sanity check, supernatural , Agent Palmer 55, result: 49, 0 sanity loss)
(Sanity check, supernatural, Agent Taylor 73, result: 53, 0 sanity loss)

Both agents keep a cool head.

“As much as I would enjoy watching, it’s time for me to leave. I can’t spend too much time around The Color.” Director Rutledge exits the room along with the other figures. The door slams shut with and a lock could be heard turning in place.

(Agent Palmer tries to break free, intelligence 75, result: 74)

Agent Palmer notices a shard of metal sticking out of one of the old medical equipment. She shuffles her chair over to the jagged shard and begins to rub the plastic flex cuffs against it.

(POW of Colors 1-35, result: 6, weak, no attacks)

The colors slowly moved away from the meteorite but Chris is already free of the cuffs before it even gets close. Agent Palmer breaks off the metal shard and cuts free Agent Taylor.

“Come on let’s get out of here.” Agent Palmer motions to the door.

(Strength, Agent Taylor 50, result: 13)

Years of decay make the door brittle, Agent Taylor kicks the door and it flies open.

(Are the agents gear in the room, unlikely, 1-20 yes 21-100 no, result: 8)

Amazingly, the weapons for the agents are lying in a pile next to the door. Agents Taylor and Palmer grab their service weapons and gear. Agent Taylor glances down at his cell phone, no reception.

“We need to find the stolen weapons.” Agent Palmer whispers to Sean.

The two agents proceed cautiously down the corridor. It is dimly lit but towards the end there is a light and the agents can hear voices.

(How many people are in the room, d4+1, result: 1)

(2 cultists alertness vs agents stealth)
(Cultist #1 alertness 40, result: 7)
(Cultist #2 alertness 40, result: 68)
(Agent Palmer stealth 30, result: 37)
(Agent Taylor stealth 30, result: 85)

The two agents approach the room, they each stand on one side of the doorway. The door is ajar just enough for Agent Palmer to see two men, cultists, in the room. She holds up her hand indicating to Sean where the men are located, Agent Taylor nods. Chris counts down with her fingers, 3...2… just then one of the cultists catches a glance of Agent Taylor through the crack in the door. The cultist reaches down and draws his pistol right as the two agents enter the room.

Agent Palmer yells as she enters the room “Federal agen-“ but before she can react the cultist fires.

(Cultist #1 targets, 1-50 Palmer, 51-100 Taylor, result: 38)
(Cultist #1 firearms 40, result: 57)
(Suffer violence, Agent Palmer, SAN 55, result: 50, pass)

The shot misses. Agent Palmer returns fire.

(Agent Palmer firearms 80, result: 93)

Chris misses.

(Agent Taylor firearms 50, result: 20)
(Injury to cultist #1, 1d10, result: 1)

Agent Taylor fires, grazing the cultist.

(Cultist #2 firearms targets, 1-50 Palmer 51-100 Taylor result: 77)
(Cultist #2 firearms 40, result: 17)
(Damage Agent Taylor 1d10 -3 Kevlar result: 1)
(Agent Taylor suffer violence, sanity 73, result: 12)

The other cultist shoots. The bullet ricochets off the wall grazing Agent Taylor’s Kevlar vest.

(Cultist #1 change targets 1-50 yes 51-100 no result: 92)
(Cultist #1 firearms 40, result: 59)

(Agent Palmer firearms 80, result: 69)
(Damage cultist #1, 1d10, result: 8)
(Cultist #1 constitution 9-12, result: 9)

Agent Palmer fires hitting the cultist, he crumples to the floor.

(Agent Palmer cause violence, sanity 55, result: 28 pass)
(Agent Taylor firearms 50, result: 28)
(Damage cultist #2, 1d10, result: 10)
(Cultist #2 constitution 9-12, result: 11)
(Agent Taylor cause violence, sanity 73, result: 39 pass)

Agent Taylor shoots the remaining cultist but he is still standing. The cultist returns fire.

(Cultist #2 firearms 40, result: 26)
(Damage Agent Taylor, 1d -3 Kevlar, result: 1)

The bullet strikes nearby doing no harm to Sean.

(Agent Palmer firearms 80, -10 switches target, result: 49)

Agent Palmer quickly reassess the situation and shoots the remaining attacker. The last cultist falls over.

(Are the stolen weapons in the room? 1-50 yes 51-100 no, result: 58)

The two agents search the dead cultists and check the room. The firearms that the cultists we’re using appeared to be from the missing weapons but no other weapons are found.

(Agent Palmer search 60, result: 77)

Agent Palmer searches the room for any clues to the missing weapons or where Director Rutledge has gone. One of the walls appears to have a crack in it that resembles the outline of a door. Carefully agent Palmer pushes against the wall. The wall pops open and a door swings open. At the same time a small grenade bounces out and lands at the agents feet. There is a loud bang and a blinding light.

The two agents are blinded by the flashbang grenade.

(Rutledge attacks, 1-50 Palmer 51-100 Taylor, result: 94)

Director Rutledge comes running out of the secret passage and stabs Agent Taylor.

(Damage Taylor, 1d6, result: 1)

The knife plunges into Agent Taylor’s thigh and Director Rutledge runs off. Agent Taylor falls to the floor with the knife still stuck in him.

Chris restores her vision and sees Sean on the floor. She rushes over to aid him.

“I’m fine, go after Rutledge.” Agent Taylor tells Chris.

Agent Palmer rushes off in the direction Director Rutledge fled.

(Agent Palmer alertness 50, result: 52)

She follows the corridor, out of the shadows Director Rutledge strikes.

(Director Rutledge attempts to disarm Agent Palmer 1-70 success 71-100 fail, result: 72)

Director Rutledge lunges for Agent Palmer’s weapon. He grabs the firearm but Chris is able to pull away.

(Agent Palmer firearms 80 -20, result: 30)
(Damage Director Rutledge 1d10 -3, result: 3)

Chris fires but the shot appears to do no harm to Director Rutledge.

Director Rutledge reaches out and grabs Agent Palmer, they wrestle over the gun.

(Does Agent Palmer lose her grip 1-50 yes 51-100 no, result: 57)

Agent Palmer maintains control over her gun and headbutts Director Rutledge.

(Damage Director Rutledge, 1d4 -1, result: 3)
(Damage Agent Palmer, 1d4 -2, result: 3)

The headbutt momentarily stuns Director Rutledge and Chris breaks free.

(Does the Director runway? 1-50 yes 51-100 no, result: 31)

Director Rutledge reaches into his jacket and pulls out another flashbang grenade. He throws it on the ground next to Agent Palmer. The bright light and deafening sound overwhelm Chris, she falls to the ground.

When she recovers there is no trace of Director Rutledge. Slowly, she regains her bearings and returns to Sean.

“Director Rutledge got away.” Chris somberly informs Agent Taylor.

“Look what I found.” Agent Taylor points to the crate of missing weapons from the August Firearms facility. “They were hidden in the secret room the Director was hiding in.”

“That’s good but we have to do something about that meteorite. We can’t let it come in contact with anyone.”

“I have an idea.” Agent Taylor points to the crate of weapons. “With your ATF training, can you make an IED out of these? We can place it next to the room, it should cause a cave in burying the meteorite underneath.”

Agent Palmer looks at the crate of weapons “That should work.”

1500 hrs

Agent Palmer finishes rigging the homemade explosive device just outside the room that held them prisoner only a few hours before. Due to the building's age and the decaying infrastructure the blast should cause a cave in and leave the meteorite inaccessible.

Chris activates the timer “Come on let’s get out of here.”

The agents are safely outside when they hear the explosion. From this distance it sounds like a low rumble. Finally, with a cell signal, Chris dials to alert the local police and fire department.

By the time the fire department arrives on scene River Hospital is fully engulfed with flames.

From gallery of SF340B


(Gain bond, Agent Palmer 55, Agent Taylor 73, result:4, 77, Agent Taylor gains Agent Palmer as a bond)
(Lose one other bond 1d4, result: 4)

Thursday, November 18
1000 hrs
FBI New York Field Office

Agents Taylor and Palmer sit in the FBI conference room waiting for SAC Keller.

The door to the conference room opens and SAC Keller enters. “I’ve finished reading your report.”

Agent Taylor submitted his report about the attack on the agents and the events leading up to the fire that had destroyed the old hospital. Of course, certain details were left out, specifically any mention of the meteorite or that the agents started the fire. As far as the official FBI was concerned, Director Rutledge and the two deceased individuals, stole the weapons from the August Firearms facility and when they were confronted by the two agents set off an explosion in a last ditch attempt to prevent being taken into custody.

“Don’t worry we’ve got everyone looking for Director Rutledge we’ll find him sooner or later.” SAC Keller said confidentiality. “In light of yesterday’s events you should take the rest of the week off. Good work agents.”

Over the next few days Agent Talyor took the time to recover and process what happened.

(Gain sanity check, Agent Taylor 73, result:100, fumble, lose 4 sanity)
(One bond -1)

Agent Taylor couldn’t shake what he saw in the old psychiatric hospital. He also can’t let go of the fact that someone else might be involved. Director Rutledge always seemed to be one step ahead. Now, with him on the run, who knows when or where he will appear again.

(Gain sanity check, Agent Palmer 55, result: 5, pass, gain 1d4, result: 2)
(One bond -1)

Post session thoughts

Using the Rouge Handler’s guide along with the Solo Investigator’s Handbook really brought the story out. It worked out really well and I was just as surprised to find out where the story was going.

Some real world locations I used for inspiration.

Hudson River State Hospital-closed

http://www.asylumprojects.org/index.php/Hudson_River_State_H...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudson_River_State_Hospital
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8. RPG Item: Ironsworn: Starforged [Average Rating:10.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Ironsworn: Starforged
Corey Mayo
United States
Schertz
TX
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I'm a reasonable guy. But I've just experienced some very unreasonable things.
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What? Huh? What’ll come out no more? Dammit!
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From gallery of cmmayo

Lots of activity today, so I thought I would join in and post some more stuff from my Starforged campaign (using the SF Preview Edition from the Kickstarter + carrying over some elements from Ironsworn).

I learned from some mistakes made when setting up my original Ironsworn campaign about a year ago. I didn't set up the NPCs and setting very well in that first attempt, so I decided to do a dedicated entry for the NPCs introduced in the Prologue.

From gallery of cmmayo

NPCs:

“WARDEN” (Connection: Spymaster) – Older, straightforward, and stern woman with a husky voice.
Goal: CLASSIFIED
Modeled after Jennifer Jason Leigh's character, Girder, in the movie Possessor.

From gallery of cmmayo

“MONGOOSE” (Engineer/Medic/Rigger) – Imposing, Energetic with a Friendly disposition.
Goal: Claim a Resource/End a Conflict/“Clash Protection”
He wants his Ascendancy work at Nyx to create prosperity that will hopefully cease the fighting by clan leaders over limited resources in the Forge.
Modeled after Dozer from The Matrix.

From gallery of cmmayo

“STRAGGLER” (Researcher/Explorer) – Adorned, Athletic with a Suspicious disposition. Pansexual male.
Goal: Repair a technology
He believes researching and understanding Ascendancy tech to be the key to the future of human life in the Forge.

From gallery of cmmayo

Dr. Imayuri* (Legendary Explorer of Precursor Vaults) – Not directly seen or mentioned, but he is a renowned explorer that has discovered many Precursor Vaults and is the hero and role model of STRAGGLER. The vault near Nyx was the 12th he discovered, thus the name: Imayuri-12

*NOTE: All NPCs randomized except Dr. Imayuri.
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9. RPG: Trollbabe [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:301]
RPG: Trollbabe
John Tait
United Kingdom
London
England
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Adventure Two of Pine's Story - Scene Two

After a short sleep by the river, Pine wakes to sunlight gleaming off the foam. She rises, strides up the steep riverbank and walks away from the town, towards the hill.

On the hill lies a local landmark, an old stone structure known as the Gates. Pine used to play there late evenings, long ago, watched over by her beloved mother.

Her mother told her that, on nights of the full moon, trolls would gather there from near and far, performing troll ceremonies and perhaps some magic. The villagers knew to completely avoid the Gates then. Pine's mother kept Pine well away as well, fearing them.

The familiar shape of the Gates comes into her view.

From gallery of johngtait

As Pine approaches the Gates, she sees them surrounded by men. She had expected to see villagers with their families, maybe on blankets, eating and sleeping in the Spring sunshine.

One man approaches Pine. He's about thirty, muscular, unarmed, perhaps a respected villager. Holds his hand up, ordering Pine to stop. Pine dismisses him with a wave. He stops and stands in front of her, and tell her no-one can approach the Gates today.

Pine looks around. She see... a filthy animal carcass by the Gates, guts spread around... no, two... Something has happened here.

Pine protests firmly but politely, and says she has every right to come here. Other men look at her nervously.

Pine wants to peacefully honour her mother here, alone - the Stakes. A Social conflict.

Pine tries the Entire Conflict pace - resolving this Social conflict with one dice roll. She rolls - and fails.

The other men approach angrily. One waves a shortsword at her, mouthing a grave insult against her. Pine hesitates, embarrassed and angry.

Pine rerolls, using A geographic feature. She gestures at the Gates, and says this ground is important and sacred to her, and she too is horrified at the lurid animal mess she sees. She rerolls, and fails again.

One of the villagers throws a stone at her, which strikes Pine on the face. All the men jeer. Another rock misses her. Other men join in throwing rocks and shouting insults. Never come to our village again, troll trash, they say. Pine retreats.

End of Scene Two
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10. Board Game: The Quiet Year [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:4265]
RPG Item: The Quiet Year
First post here after a long time on the 1PG and SGOYT. Recently became interested in the idea of a map drawing type RPG and was recommended The Quiet Year.

I’m sure most people are aware of the game but if not it’s very simple, you start with a map, turn over cards which have associated prompts, then add something to the story/map. The idea is to focus on a community or situation, not an individual.

I did struggle to get started so used a basic map the creator provided to give you a leg up:

From gallery of Gribbon


Mine was a story initially about zombies but they merely became a distraction in the world. Among other things:
- our survivors found and powered up a radio tower
- This led them to discover the airfield (remotely)
- A recent crash survivor was hold up there

Eventually however he went quiet and our survivors discovered he had been kidnapped by another group - one flush with weapons but lacking in food. A trade was established: food for the prisoner. However it requires several projects to get enough food together.

Unfortunately the end of the game was triggered just after the pilot was freed and returned to the airfield. Did the survivors escape? I’ll leave that to you...

This was my final map:

From gallery of Gribbon


I had great fun with this, even though some turns took me a while to come up with something, large parts of the game just played out - and actually in unexpected ways.
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11. RPG: The Yellow King [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:546]
RPG: The Yellow King
Alex Nguyen
United States
Chantilly
Virginia
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From gallery of USP45


PARIS, 1895
Spring is in the air and American art students are on the prowl in the City of Light looking for trouble and drink. The sidewalk cafés are bulging by noon and the clubs are gorged by midnight.

We open the story at our local drinking establishment, Le Veau Gras at 17 Rue Bonaparte, in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, near the École des Beaux-Arts where we all attend studies while abroad.

As Pierre, the florid-faced, cleft-nosed proprietor, provides us shockingly cheap wine, spirits, and food, we idly chatter.

Our heroes
From gallery of USP45
Ford Harris is a Belle-Lettrist, a writer for journals, magazines, and newspapers specializing in essays, editorials, the occasional bit of fact-finding reporting, and the odd didactic fictional vignette. He's a cool customer and is driven by a Yen for Discovery.

From gallery of USP45
Ada Rowden sculpts sometimes-memorable works, often preferring to spend her time on the discourse of fakes vs genuine articles. Athletic by nature she somehow finds time to be driven by a Gothic Sensibility.

From gallery of USP45
René de Carnavant, born here in Paris, studies the ancient art of architecture with a focus on construction materials and style. Arrogant by nature he nevertheless has learned the time-honored art of scrounging.

Our party chats about the continued popularity of drinking absinthe in Paris. Apparently brought into favour at midcentury when a blight wreaked havoc on French vineyards, absinthe remains the totemic drink of Parisian excess! Because of its bitterness a neat practice surrounds the presentation: a sugar cube is melted into the drink.

Ada jokes, "Bring this bottle home with us! I'm going to stick it into George's hands!" George is the sobriquet given to Ada's almost-finished latest sculpting project, a half-human/half-demon/fully-naked piece of marble.

The sound of tinkling glass accompanies a loud crash from around the corner outside! Suddenly George can be seen impossibly lumbering down the street outside the café carrying what appears to be a human head, blood leaving a trail. He's headed to the Eiffel Tower.

Screams and chaos ensue.

***
I've double-fisted and triple-handed board and card games before, but never tried to run three characters in a solo RPG run. Let's play to find out what happens!
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12. RPG: Trollbabe [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:301]
RPG: Trollbabe
John Tait
United Kingdom
London
England
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Adventure Two of Pine's Story - Scene Three

Early evening. Pine rests by the River Ylnuss again, having caught two twaite shad with her net. She considers cooking them over a small fire in the human style, thinks about the day in disgust, and swallows them both whole, in the (better) trollbabe tradition.

Time to take stock. She can't believe any trolls were involved - they never approach Ylnuss, and avoid the Gates except under the full moon, which is next week.

Even if trolls somehow ate here at their sacred site, they leave nothing after they eat flesh. Bone, guts and hair, trolls devour everything.

That leaves necromancy. Unknown in this region, necromancy does exist as a persistent threat over the world. Necromancers would be immedately taken and hung if caught, so performing necromantic rites in a well known place seems bizarre. She doesn't understand it.

Pine considers returning to the Gates, but doesn't feel it appropriate with her spoiled mood. So she pulls her troll charm from under her dress, holds its tiny wooden fist in her big right one, and prays an apology to her mother for missing her birthday. Then she gets up and heads to the village for some answers.

The weekly market has packed up, but people are around. She sees the some of the men who guarded the Gates, including the leader who first challenged her.

He spots her. He gestures to his friend, the one with the shortsword.

Fighting Action Type. Clash by Clash Pace (two rolls). Pine's Goal is an explanation and an apology.

She aims a punch at the leader, but fails to connect. He sidesteps. The others jeer. Furious, she re-rolls with a remembered spell - a curse taught by her mother's mother. Thunder cracks overhead. Pine roars and punches the leader square in the face, knocking him backwards. He lands heavily on his back. Blood gushes from his nose.

The others move in. Shortsword unsheathes and swings for her. Pine rolls, succeeds. Pine grabs his sword arm by the wrist and twists it hard behind his back. She wants to snap it, but controls herself. All the others back off.

Pine grabs the leader and lifts him off his feet by his tunic. She demands his name, and an apology. She gets it. She throws him to the ground.

She them picks up the leader in a similar fashion and demands to know who desecrated the site.

One of the others explains: They suspect some older children from the next village crudely experimented with necromancy. They don't know who it is but can't believe it's anyone from Ylnuss. They worry children have might have fallen under the influence of a new cult.

Pine says loudly:

"I will investigate at first light tomorrow. And you two" - pointing at the two men on the ground - "will come with me."

End of Scene Three. End of Adventure Two! And she picks up the two men, Scolly Birchway and Rohr Marck, in Allied Relationships for next time.
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13. RPG Item: Artefact (2nd Edition) [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
RPG Item: Artefact (2nd Edition)
I joined this guild a week ago to try and find some interesting ideas for drawing maps. However my play of the quiet year led to some fascinating stories so I kept digging and reading about solo RPG’s and found a lot sitting waiting to be discovered.

I kept coming across The Artefact. I went ahead and bought it and read ahead of time on how it works. I sat ready with the soundtrack and the rules, to play my first full solo RPG.... prepared with grand ideas of treasure, dragons, and other such high fantasy.

I’ll recount the story which unfolded before giving my thoughts.

I tell the story of a sword, with a wolf on the hilt, forged by a frost bitten giant in a makeshift smith in an old mountain. It is giant, it is wild, it is loyal.

It’s first keeper is a folk hero. He lives in a farming village oppressed by city gangs who steal their food and gold - he discovers me in a cave. When the gangs try to take the sword, the folk hero swings, and doesn’t stop until they are all dead. I am named ‘oppressors bane’.
Together we discover the local royalty were behind the gangs and take the fight to the top. The folk hero exposes the conspiracy but he and the village are ostracised and cast out. He has no more use for me and I am tossed into the shed.

1 month passes.

The right hand man of the folk hero takes me, and slays the folk hero in misled revenge over their outcasting. But he has no delusions of being a hero - he is out for himself.
He attempts to trade me to the city rulers as a peace offering but during the trade he slays them, takes what he want and flees.
He bounces from settlement to settlement, stealing and killing as he needs to survive. However I take my chance when he attacks a peaceful town - the villagers overpower him and he flees - leaving me behind.
I am hung proudly on in the great hall of the town.

A decade passes

The town burns around me as the conquering warlord pulls me down from the wall, he laughs holding me aloft. Their raiding and pillage is new to these lands, but with me in the warlords arms their bloody, years long campaign leads them to sweeping over most of the continent. They used me to instil fear and oppress those I’d helped in the past. A few remembered my old name, but I am born a new as Oppressors Might.
The campaign draws to a close, I am cast into the warlords treasure vault. Among the items is another mystical item, a Tomb, from whom I learn of a small order trying to overthrow the warlord... I wait in hope.

A year passes.

The door creaks open and a young lady sneaks in. She spends time searching but it quickly becomes apparent she is looking for me. I am taken, hidden, and carried away under the cloak of night.
She is part of a religious order trying to overthrow the warlord and return the continent to peace. She is my keeper for many years - in the early days it is tactical skirmishes, assassinations and ambushes. Over time she rallies communities, forms alliances and picks away at the warlords power. Eventually she gains enough traction to launch into open warfare against the warlord. The battles are bloody, the casualties high, but together the champion and her sword, Oppressors Bane, push back the power of the warlord. Eventually culminating in a final fight between the champion and my former keeper, the warlord. The champion is victorious but suffers a mortal wound in the fight. As she crawls away I am dropped in the dirt. Dulled, trodden and covered in mud... I am abandoned...

Centuries pass...
The righteous hero was successful in overthrowing the warlord. Peace returns quickly, but time is not kind to either of us. Stories change, and by the time I am rediscovered she is remembered as a religious zealot who led a bloody and brutal campaign which ravaged the land... with her sword, oppressors might, in hand.

I am discovered by a couple of treasure hunters digging for some foolhard treasure. They have no clue what I am, other than a way to make some coin. I am with them for many months, though not as a weapon. The more intelligent of the two starts to figure out there may be more to me than a simple old sword.
Eventually they come to the end of their treasure hunting adventures; the clever one gives up all his haul in exchange to keep me. He studies me, my history, piecing together what he can from libraries across the continent. He is obsessed... he never gets the answers he wants but he passes his obsession down to his children, their children, and future generations.

A millennium passes.

The family continued their obsession over generations. Eventually piecing together the truth of the Champion, her victory over the Warlord, and her sword the Oppressors Bane. She is revered, a hero.

However I am lost, I fade, my steel is dull and cracked, the wolf on my hilt is gone, parts of me withered and perished. I am a forgotten old sword in a forgotten buried collection, completely unrecognisable as the sword I once was. I will never be remembered or revered, even if my name is.


First of all, if you read the above, thank you for taking the time.

Second of all I have no idea how to express how I feel about this game, beyond: wow, oh my god, amazing, incredible.
I honestly had no idea what an RPG could do - I set off with some high fantasy story ideas but the artefact pulled a very different story out of my head. I haven’t written any form of story since school and very much enjoyed this whole experience. I felt some serious emotion, especially towards the end of the story while I was listening to the 4 minute millennium time passing soundtrack the game provides. I sat for a few minutes afterwards just thinking about the story which has just unfolded and the fate of the poor sword.

What an absolutely incredible way to spend 90 minutes.
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14. RPG: Generic / Universal [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
RPG: Generic / Universal
The Collector, by Sophie Atkinson

available on itch.io.
The Collector is a solo storytelling game/guided creative exercise, inspired by Warehouse 13, The Librarians and Artefact.

My physical copy of the kickstarter arrived on Friday and I did a quick play this afternoon.

Storytelling is definitely outside my comfort zone, so I basically wrote it as a case file, with my character Martin an agent for "The Archive" (not at all like Warehouse 13....not one bit). I found the backstory of the curio more interesting to develop than the collection of it, but if I continue with Martin then his history of encounters may develop in future "case files".
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15. RPG: Over the Edge (3rd Edition) [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked]
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John Tait
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London
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Hack the Edge Off - Part 2

Reintroducing holidaymaker Rond Ruby, less than a day in Al Almarja and already in trouble with a psionic centipede conspiracy. I'm retroactively naming this adventure Hack the Edge Off. I expect the name will end up as the least untidy thing about it.

From gallery of johngtait


Still a lovely sunny day. Rond puts on his rabbit mask since he's on holiday and it always cheers him up.

After leaving Arrivals, Rond finds a Total Taxi in a line. The trunk and back door open automatically. The driver puts the suitcase in the trunk as Rond sits in the back.

The car looks spotless: Rond feels glad he carefully wiped off all the centipede goo off his shoes before entering.

'You can book on the app next time, Sir', says the driver. Rond smiles and nods though he doesn't carry a phone.

'Thank-you. Can you take me to Flowers, please?' Popular with artists, Rond expects to find a Bunnies & Burrows game somewhere in Flowers District. Rond gives the driver the name of his hotel there too.

Rond chats to the driver some more, asking him about Flowers and where he can stop for a snack, somewhere close to Bienvendos Hotel. Sway: 6, 2. The driver recommends Breakneck Cafe and even very kindly phones ahead to book Rond an outdoor seat.

Journey takes about thirty minutes from the airport. Rond exits, the driver returns Rond's luggage, Rond tips him.

Flowers is packed. Rond spots the steel and beam statue landmark in the centre of the Plaza, currently getting used as a climbing frame by a baboon and a drunk man.

He finds Breakneck, and tells a (one-armed) female server about his booked table. She gets it ready and guides Rond to sit. Rond orders a sandwich, creme brulee as recommended by the server, and some water. He keeps his luggage close to his legs. The food comes quickly. Rond enjoys it, pays.

Bienvendos Hotel lies really close. Rond walks in and feels immediately disappointed. It's a dump. A burly attendant looks up from a desk. Rond checks in. An unsmiling man waits in reception too, looking menacing. Rond chats for a bit, trying to get a sense of the place through the attendant. Sway: 5, 3. Success, with a bad twist.

Rond figures out he needs to tip the attendant well to keep his room secure, and does so. The unsmiling man loses interest, leaves. But Rond fails to see a tiny centipede drop from the ceiling onto the back of his T-shirt.

Ignoring the decrepit-looking elevator, Rond walks up the stairs one floor to room FOUR, dragging his suitcase behind him. He hears shrill female laughing from somewhere in the hotel. He opens the door with the keycard.

The room is okay, functional, cleaner than reception would suggest. Double bed: clean. En suite: no bath, just shower, okay. Small window overlooking bare wall: fine for him.

There's a TV mounted on the wall opposite the bed (fitted with a webcam, switched on) and a single remote on a cabinet by the bed.

He pushes the remote's red button. And the centipede bites him on the neck.

He looks up at the TV. As he passes out, he sees this on the screen: Flashing image: https://photos.app.goo.gl/yP8bE2cZiLKX35qM7

END OF PART TWO!
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16. RPG: Over the Edge (3rd Edition) [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked]
From gallery of johngtait
John Tait
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Hack the Edge Off - Part 3

Frond regains conciousness, a pulsating image of Bunnies & Burrows in his brain. He groggily remembers a play-by-forum game that fizzled out.

He struggles to open his eyes: the ceiling lighting seems overbright. He feels wind on his face, but he didn't open the window of his room in the Bienvendos Hotel. Did someone open it when he was asleep?

Frond opens his eyes. He seems to be sitting on a grassy bank. A man sits close by, dressed in a caterpillar body suit. He hold four Fudge dice towards Frond in an open hand. "Take these", he says.

Frond reaches out with a cinged-coloured paw and takes the dice. They smell exactly like truffles, and Frond can't help but eat and swallow them.

"I'm going to have to put you on the Game Grid.", says the man. He then slithers away, on his belly, out of sight.

Frond sniffs the air. He twitches his ears. He tries to get his bearings, some sense of his surroundings. Bearings: Fair, rolling against a difficulty of Very Good: ➕⬜⬜⬜.

Frond has no idea where he is, or where to go.

A shadow moves overhead. A cloud, or something worse? Frond feels his little heart go bump bump bump. He needs to get out of here, fast.

Agility: Fair, rolling against Fair: ➖➖⬜⬜. Frond can barely coordinate his front and rear legs, let alone bolt into safety. Luckily, the shadow appears to offer no danger, this time.

Frond looks at the world through lapine eyes, a world with a thousand enemies. Frozen in fear, helpless.

END OF PART 3!
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17. RPG Item: Ironsworn: Starforged [Average Rating:10.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Ironsworn: Starforged
Barry Cott
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I've been working through the preview rulebook, setting up a character and doing some planetside investigation.

Kira Stark is an deep-space freelance surveyor (assets: Explorer & Vestige) whose line of work nicely covers her real motivation: finding the lost starship that her mother and sisters travelled on. It disappeared without a trace in the Expanse of the Tyriel sector and Kira continues to search for them.

She has a ship "Reforged Hope" and a survey bot (serial number BceJHkmB6v3IDF8R) who Kira has nicknamed "F8R".

She started in medias res on the planet Bozos where F8R has just discovered the entrance to an unmapped structure.

The dice have definitely been against her so far; several misses in a row mean it will be an adventure just to get back to her ship and regroup.

More to come.
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18. RPG: Over the Edge (3rd Edition) [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked]
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John Tait
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Hack the Edge Off - Part 4

Frond finds himself confronted by two rabbits.

"Embleer hlessi!", hisses the smaller of the two, a small coal-coloured male with two torn, oversized, ears.

"Sai hlessi-roo ulé u rah, Crumble?" asks the other, an almost totally white male that stares at Frond with yellow-ringed eyes.

"Naru, Sunflower. Isth?" asks Crumble.

Sunflower cuffs Frond hard on the head. Crumble gets behind Frond, kicks him and says: "Hoi! Es the, embleer!"

Frond can still barely move but the two rabbits push him together, getting him started up a grassy slope. Frond staggers together with them, getting the feel of his four legs, enduring cuffs and kicks.

A burrow entrance lies very close. A brown and white brute with one eye guards its entrance. He sees the three, grunts: "Take him to the Chief Rabbit immediately", and steps aside.

Sunflower leads, Frond follows, and Crumble takes the rear, pushing Frond onwards and down into the dark tunnel. Frond feels overcome by strong smells of rabbit, including females and pups. Two males pass by them, heading in the other direction, back out. Frond feels their fur against his. They continue past two tunnel branches, and finally enter a large chamber, through a doorway constructed of roots.

Sunflower and Crumble push Frond forward, then step back behind him.

The chamber contains a large moving mass of centipedes in the shape of a rabbit.

"We expected you. A pity you crushed our D'Aubainne International agent. Still, you did prove yourself."

"I can't move my legs," says Frond.

"Eat. The feeling in your legs will return shortly."

"What do you want from me?" asks Frond.

The mass of caterpillars shifts, and the rabbit-shape looks right at Frond.

"We have a mission for you. We need you to remove something from the server room of Greenmint Warren. Their agents have been one step ahead of us for too long and we know they have penetrated our defenses. You will know what to do when you arrive. Our Owsla will help you."

"Why me?"

"We have watched you for some time. We value your skills. You need not know more at this time."

"If I refuse?"

The caterpillars pull together then relax a few times, like a heartbeat.

"We suggest you work with us. Try it. We need your help. Sunflower will take you to a large private chamber where you may rest and recover. Think about it."

The Chief Rabbit turns around slowly. Respectfully, Sunflower helps Frond to exit the chamber, go further down the tunnel, down a branch, and into a chamber. Sunflower leaves Frond.

Frond is alone in his chamber. He smells fresh carrots and lettuce, quite unlike the other smells of food from the warren. They taste like rainbows. Frond feels awake and finds plenty of room to move about the chamber.

He stretches his legs, moves around, tries to learn how his new body works. He focusses on the exercises. His brain and body rewire.

Osteopathy: Frond exercises to recover coordination from a current Poor (-2) to higher. Measured as a rewrite of his Agility score. He has three attempts.

1: ➕⬜⬜⬜ Raise to Mediocre (-1)
2: ➕➕➖⬜ Raise to Fair (0)
3: ➕➕➕⬜ Raise to Great (+3)

Very successful so I'll cap his Agility at Very Good (+2). Frond sleeps.

END OF PART FOUR!
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19. RPG Item: Dungeon World Roleplaying Game [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:25]
RPG Item: Dungeon World Roleplaying Game
Carl White
United Kingdom
London
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Episode 11 of Under Ironroot is here, as Khastro and Picket find themselves locked in deadly combat with an otyugh, deep in the under-city sewers of Krona Peak. And this thing is tough!

Can they get out of this in one piece?
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20. RPG: Over the Edge (3rd Edition) [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked]
From gallery of johngtait
John Tait
United Kingdom
London
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HACK THE EDGE OFF - Intermission

Late afternoon in Bienvendos Hotel, The Edge, Al Amarja. Rond sleeps soundly above his duvet, rabbit mask on his face. The window remains closed, light shifting through the net. The caterpillar has crawled away.

The webcam above the television dutifully records the peaceful scene.

The television switches on by itself. It starts showing the opening credits for Trollbabe, a Nineties American fantasy television series filmed on location near Alness, Scotland.

The cult show introduced Rond to fantasy and the world of role-playing games. He loved its strong female protagonist, a half-human, half-troll monster. The show featured a local landmark called the Fyrish Monument in the opening credits. Rond visited it once as a fan.

If Rond was awake, he would have heard footsteps and a keycard inserted into his room door in an unsuccessful attempt to open it. But he sleeps on.
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21. RPG Item: Beak, Feather, & Bone [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Beak, Feather, & Bone
Jessica
United States
Rochester
New York
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Beak, Feather, and Bone

At last! Technically, this was a little more of an activity than a true solo RPG session. I finished up my task of creating a map in order to build my starting characters in Ryuutama.

Admittedly, it's far from the recommended way to play... But I do enjoy doing things my own way with games! Maybe some of this will stir up some inspiration and creativity.

Continue to the Full Post »

From gallery of Albia
From gallery of Albia


It took me ages to get to this point and many hours of carefully thinking up ideas. Maybe that sounds silly for the equivalent of a prologue that might go nowhere.

At the same time, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to play board games and RPGs the way I want to. More so for RPGs, mainly because a lot more is open-ended!

But here we are in Okusato. Each building is color-coded to my 6 different characters. More on the process in a bit.

The ironic part is that everyone in Ryuutama goes on a journey… So they won’t spend a lot of time here. Ha ha!

Besides my RPG books and a rather gigantic digital document, I had my trusty Aves playing cards, 36 unique Rory's Story Cubes, and my colorful writing utensils.

For anyone curious, these are Faber-Castell color pencils and Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pens.

As I drew a card for a building, I rolled 3 cubes to get a set of icons. From those, I formed a vague idea and went with it! Other character traits helped along the way.

By the way, Watabou’s Village Generator is awesome. Now it has fields?! My next map will be even better.

From gallery of Albia
From gallery of Albia


There really isn’t too much needed to play solo. I had a great time planning out the characteristics of each spot, especially in terms of how this might create a character.

Map-labeling might sound rather tedious and boring, yet this isn’t about printing a map and doing some coloring.

Beak, Feather, and Bone boils down to turning a town, village, or city into a living character. Okusato has all sorts of residents, businesses, and even bitter rivalries.

I watched as this all came alive to tie into the Ryuutama world. More on that mysterious rainbow building soon!

With a group, there isn’t always a need to look further for inspiration. Each individual player has their desires for the campaign and puts those on a map. But what about solo?

Enter the cubes! I wasn’t sure if these would work for me, yet they’re my preferred method of random ideas.

Take the 3 cubes in the bottom left. If this were for the map, it would most certainly indicate a magical tailor or laundromat. Maybe with shadow monsters in clothes?

The possibilities are endless and although it looks like I can’t locate any other sets, this collection of 36 is great!

Continue to the Full Post »
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22. RPG Item: Winds of the North [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
RPG Item: Winds of the North
Thomas King
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Winds of the North is an upcoming solo RPG/gamebook set in Viking Age Scandinavia. Playtesting is open! Check out here for more information.

I’ve playtested Winds of the North a handful of times already at various stages of its development. But it’s been a while since a good chunk of what I’ve been working on these past few weeks was mostly writing encounters and cleaning up the rules so hopefully, someone who isn’t the designer can understand how to play. But now that the first major playtesting phase has started, it’s time to dive back in.

Meet Eyjolf

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Eyjolf is a capable man, born to be a Viking. His stats are:

Combat: 3
Survival: 2
Farming: 0
Seamanship: 1
Wisdom: 1

He’ll be looking for fights and doing some hunting for sure. The downside is, everything on the farm will be a challenge for him. He does not have a green thumb. In addition, his low Wisdom will definitely hold him back in some important areas; he’ll be looking for good Tools to help cover some of those areas.

Since I have a set of pre-painted Viking figures (I’ll probably do a write-up of those at some point), I grab one to represent Eyjolf. Minis aren’t actually used in the game, but it doesn’t hurt to have your hero sitting in front of you to help immerse you in the game.

Let’s begin!

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Month 1, Spring

Eyjolf first visits the local market to buy some supplies. On the way, he gets a common event. A rune-stone! Unfortunately, he is literally too stupid (Wisdom 1) to get the best result which is usually a free Skill level, but the tale raises Happiness by 1. At the market, a Hunting Spear is an obvious purchase (it matches his mini!), though I’m tempted to hire the Farmhand that I rolled for one of the available Hirðmenn, 20 silver is expensive, and there are other things I need. I briefly think about getting the Ard for help planting crops, but then I don’t and I soon regret it.

I waste 2 seeds of Peas after rolling two 1s trying to plant them. This is what I get for having a Farming of 0. At least my hunting was successful, bringing in a deer for 3 Meat and 1 Hide. It makes up for a lackluster fishing trip that only yielded 1 Meat. But I crafted some Fishing Nets that will hopefully help with that in the future.

At the end of the month, I get an event. Wild horses are in the area, and I manage to catch one. I now have a mount! This will give me a bonus when I go exploring over land. Unfortunately, I forgot to visit the Spring Festival. I was too busy failing to plant crops. It’s a shame, the mock combat would have been good for Eyjolf’s 3 Combat.

Month 2, Spring

The failures continue, this time Barley. I waste my last Barley seed, but at least I get some Onions planted. Eyjolf is just not a farmer. But he is a good hunter, this time bringing in a large stag for 5 Meat and 1 Hide. The fishing has also brought in some Meat and now 2 Oil which I can sell at the market for quick cash. I’m going to need that silver.

But some bad weather has gotten me sick twice now, dropping me to 4 HP (from my starting 6); I might have to rest up soon. One of the occasions I got sick was when building during a Storm, which also gave me a -4 penalty. I still managed to get a little bit of work done, but more importantly, I got the Smokehouse started. I get 1 free progress each month for having at least 5 members of the Household, and the Smokehouse will preserve 4 Meat each month. It will combo well with hunting and fishing, which is good because Eyjolf is a terrible farmer. We need to eat something.

To cap out the month, I try to make a Shield, possibly to just sell at the market for a bit of extra silver, but I flub and waste my resources... Eyjolf is stupid. At least the resources weren’t too bad; since he’s a good hunter, I can get replacement Hide pretty easily.

Month 3, Spring

The season is almost over, so time to finish planting crops... if I can. Luckily, I get the last of my Onions down. Our only crops consist of Barley (which is the starting crop) and now 4 crops of Onion. It’s food...

I do manage, on a good roll, to finish the Smokehouse, which will start converting meat so it can stockpile. Unfortunately, our fishing trips this month were not very bountiful. And I needed to take care of other things, so I never got a hunting trip in. Instead, I rested and mercifully got my 2 HP back. With his 1 Wisdom, he only would have gotten any healing on a 5+, 50% chance of nothing! But Eyjolf can get lucky sometimes. Now that he’s healed up, time to explore!

Since I have a mount, my total bonus for exploring (Survival) is +3, and I get a good roll. For my encounter, I get a Rare Encounter. A local lord is building a grand hall and asks for me to join in building it. Well... I suppose, but really, no one should ask Eyjolf to help build things. That’s Farming, and his is 0. But I do have a nice +1 Build Hammer I bought in the market. With a decent roll, I at least help some and get a reward of some food. I would have also gotten a free Servant for the Household, but I haven’t expanded the house yet, so we’re full still. However, this also gives me my first Discovery. I get to add the Hall to my map and can return later for a new encounter.

On a side note, some successful ventures to cut wood has given me 7 Wood, which will surely let me build something good. But I need Iron for the Smithy which is needed to unlock the advanced crafting and building.

But Spring is over. We now move on to Summer. Summer offers a small window to go Raiding, which can be very profitable but takes up most of Summer. I could use the silver, but I might be able to make it up with fishing and hunting, then selling off the Oil and extra Hide. But there could be other rewards if I do well in the Raid, and Eyjolf is definitely a fighter (he even has a nice spear). Summer also presents a great time to go exploring since I won’t be preoccupied with planting crops.

To Raid or not to Raid! We return next time with Summer...

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Apologies for the horrible lighting.

A bonus look at the pre-painted figures:
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23. RPG Item: Ironsworn: Starforged [Average Rating:10.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Ironsworn: Starforged
Corey Mayo
United States
Schertz
TX
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What? Huh? What’ll come out no more? Dammit!
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As I alluded to in a response to another entry above, my spy/hacker Brianna O'Niel AKA "LULL," got herself in trouble during a supposedly "harmless" game of VR ARENA with her new co-workers.

This was my excuse to try out the new streamlined Ironsworn combat system in Starforged. They journeyed to a nearby repurposed derelict Hauler that has been turned into a virtual gaming casino. Brianna turned off her neurally implanted AI (named ANDI) and began playing in a VR setting named "Ironsworn."

I used the old Ironsworn table to roll up random characters for each of the four players:
TEAM ONE:
LULL = Ironsmith with hammer and glowing hot tool
MONGOOSE = an old Pirate with a cutlass, a peg leg and a parrot
TEAM TWO:
STRAGGLER = an evil Summoner
BRICK (new NPC, she is STRAGGLER's research assistant) = dual ax-wielding ranger

I decided that no one could be physically injured in the VR ARENA, unless I rolled a Miss with a COMPLICATION...

From gallery of cmmayo

At this point she was being strangled by tentacles in the VR combat and I decided that one more miss on ANY roll and she would have to make the Face Death move.

So she did what comes naturally and hacked the VR ARENA game...

From gallery of cmmayo
She is successful at hacking into the game...


From gallery of cmmayo
So, yes, she is about to take out STRAGGLER/The Summoner with an axe to the head via a parrot...


From gallery of cmmayo
The OPPORTUNITY means that not only does she defeat STRAGGLER's team, but she reinstates the safety protocols just in time--everyone is safe


As a result, she has connected with her team. In addition, she spend some quality time with MONGOOSE on the entertainment derelict and he is now a Bond. This is a change from vanilla Ironsworn. Now your interactions with NPC's develop on a Connection track. You roll against this for trying to create bonds.

From gallery of cmmayo

It definitely encourages more focus on relationships than the original game did. Connections generally give +1 when helping and +2 when they become bonds, so that is a good reason to include them more. But you can now also generate XP from bonds, which is obviously helpful.

Another thing that can help generate XP with bonded NPCs is the Test Your Relationship move AKA DRAMA! If you get a strong hit with a bonded NPC, you actually can generate XP! IMO, Drama = better story... AND now more XP. Liking it so far, even if the connections tracks require a bit more bookkeeping.
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24. RPG: Sorcerer [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:175]
RPG: Sorcerer
John Tait
United Kingdom
London
England
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Mollymauk
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Mollymauk
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From gallery of johngtait

Running quickie LORD-LOVE-A-DUCK as a one-shot. Film (YouTube): https://youtu.be/qrTjoMZC02Q

Previous links from SROYT April:
Introduction: https://www.rpggeek.com/geeklist/283947/item/8234667#item823...
About HUMANITY: https://www.rpggeek.com/geeklist/283947/item/8236534#item823...
SORCERER Barbara: https://www.rpggeek.com/geeklist/283947/item/8236928#item823...
DEMON Mollymauk: https://www.rpggeek.com/geeklist/283947/item/8238022#item823...

SORCERER: Barbara Ann Greene. Barbara wants everyone to love her (fame). Her demon Mollymauk will help and hinder her.
STAMINA 4. WILL 5. LORE 1. HUMANITY 5 with -1 to all HUMANITY checks (THE PRICE).
KICKER: New school building so starting again. Senior Year, 1965, California, USA.
TELLTALE: Closeness to Mollymauk, regardless of relationship status.
ZERO HUMANITY = Total self-loathing, regardless of fame.

DEMON: Mollymauk. Bound to Barbara. "I wasn't kidding. I tried to finish him off. You see, some people, they remember things better that way. Now they'll know."
STAMINA 4. WILL 7. LORE 6. POWER 7.
CLOAK: Ingratiation, hidden poisoning. CONFUSE. COVER: High School student. FAST: Can use POWER instead of STAMINA. SPECIAL ATTACK: Sabotage machinery. TRANSPORT: Keys for any lock, summon vehicles.
NEED: Create chaos with families and social hierarchies.
DESIRE: Give Barbara anything she asks for.
TELLTALES: Bird-like screeching. Bird image on keyring.

NPCs (not all used).
Marie Greene. STAMINA 1. WILL 1. Barbara's mother. Troubled. "I'm not a bunny. I am a cocktail waitress."
Howard Greene. STAMINA 2. WILL 1. Barbara's absent father. "He lives in Oxnard somewhere and he sells things." - Barbara.
Billy Gibbons. STAMINA 6. WILL 5. Muscle-bound captain of the Longfellow football team, shortly to enter Consolidated. With Sally Grace.
Sally Grace. STAMINA 4. WILL 4. Sassy, popular student, shortly to enter Consolidated. With Billy Gibbons. "We have a club around here. It's called the Cashmere Sweater Club. All you need are 12 cashmere sweaters to join. Really, do that, come by some evening."
Weldon Emmett. STAMINA 1. WILL 2. Odious Principal of new school Consolidated, previously of Irving before merger with Longfellow.
Mr Beverly. STAMINA 2. WILL 5. Decent teacher of Botany "Plant Skills for Life" at Consolidated.
Miss Schwartz. STAMINA 1. WILL 1. Teaches Beauty at Consolidated.
Phil Neuhauser. STAMINA 2. WILL 3. Minister, First Drive-In Church of South California. With Butch, runs group for girls, attended by Sally and Barbara.
Butch Neuhauser. STAMINA 2. WILL 2. Phil's oddly-named wife.
T. Harrison Belmont. STAMINA 1. WILL 1. Hack beach movie writer-producer.
Kitten. STAMINA 2. WILL 1. Ex-beach movie actress.
Mrs Stella Barnard. STAMINA 2. WILL 2. Bob's mother. Widowed. Lives in luxurious house near Balboa Beach.
Bob Barnard. STAMINA 5. WILL 1. Sally Grace's cousin. College student, preparing for Marriage Guidance career. Stella's son. "Constitution of a horse."
Dr Milton Lipman. STAMINA 1. WILL 2. Barnard family doctor.
Honest Joe. STAMINA 2. WILL 1. Car salesman on lot.
Inez. STAMINA 2. WILL 4. Prison psychologist, should we need her help.

Binding: Barbara Will 5 vs Mollymauk Will 7. One VICTORY to Mollymauk. Mollymauk has +1 dice bonus whenever Barbara and Mollymauk match rolls for any reason.

Barbara performs a HUMANITY check after the binding, rolling HUMANITY against itself. Her PRICE also means -1 to roll, so 4 vs 5. She succeeds this this: no HUMANITY drop.

After the binding, Barbara tells Mollymauk: Everybody has got to love me.

Mollymauk summons his Ford Mustang (TRAVEL) and takes Barbara to "where the kids park".

Various cars are parked in a secluded area, with couples "making out". One Lincoln Continental holds Sally Grace, a girl going to Consolidated from Longfellow, and Billy Gibbons, Captain of Longfellow football team..

Mollymauk deliberatly riles Billy by shining an electric lamp through his car window. Fist fight. Billy aims a punch at Mollymauk, who uses FAST to unexpectedly attempt to dodge and fight back.

Mollymauk: POWER 7 + 1 for surprise = 8. Billy: STAMINA 6 (enormous hulk of a man).

Two VICTORIES: Mollymauk punches Billy hard to the ground. Sally screams, others in their cars watch, awestruck. Barbara becomes a little more popular. Her HUMANITY remains unaffected since she didn't encourage Mollymauk.

Mollymauk takes Barbara to Barbara's home. They meets her mother, Marie, inebriated after work, wearing her cocktail waitress costume and a customer (Frank) at their front door. Barbara does not invite Mollymauk in. Mollymauk observes Marie with Frank fooling around in the garden, and drives away.

School. Mollymauk becomes Barbara's schoolmate as Alan Musgrave (CLOAK). Principal Emmett summons Mollymauk/Alan to his office to challenge him on his assault of Billy. CONFUSE: Mollymauk POWER 7 vs Emmett WILL 2. Four VICTORIES to Mollymauk: Emmett dismisses issue and remains under Mollymauk's influence.

Girls' room. The cost to enter Sally's girls club for popular girls is "twelve cashmere sweaters". Sally challenges Barbara in a superficially friendly chat for status. Barbara WILL 5 vs Sally WILL 4. Three VICTORIES to Sally: Sally runs rings around Barbara in front of the other girls. Barbara leaves embarrassed and ashamed.

Evening. Barbara asks her father Howard Greene to purchase the sweaters for her. Barbara WILL 5 Vs Howard WILL 1: Four VICTORIES to Barbara, persuading Howard easily.

Back at school. Producing the sweaters, Barbara asks Sally if Barbara can enter the girls' club. Barbara WILL 5 vs Sally WILL 4 + 3 VICTORIES from earlier (= 7). Four VICTORIES to Sally: Sally rejects Barbara's proposal and throws the sweaters on the dirty floor of the changing room.

Evening, Marie/Barbara's house. Mollymauk uses CLOAK to move in. (Marie WILL 1 against itself, minus Mollymauk's POWER, automatic success).

Barbara persuades Mollymauk to remove Sally from the girls' club. HUMANITY check (4 including PRICE penalty vs 5). No HUMANITY loss this time.

Mollymauk drives Barbara to the hospital where Billy lies unconscious, knowing Sally will be there. Mollymauk uses CONFUSE on Sally: Mollymauk POWER 7 + 1 bonus (planning) vs Sally WILL 4. Four VICTORIES to Mollymauk. Mollymauk crushes Sally's spirit and leaves her helpless and distraught. Mollymauk uses CLOAK (automatic success using four VICTORIES) to disguise contaminating Billy's equipment with poison. Billy will die during the night.

Next day at school. Emmett announces that Sally has left the school for personal issues. Barbara joins girls club to fill the vacuum.

Barbara despises her Botany course and asks Mr Beverly if she can switch to another. Barbara WILL 5 vs Mr Beverly WILL 5. Two VICTORIES for Barbara. Mr Beverly agrees to discuss it with Emmett. Emmett agrees.

Sally joins Phil and Butch's Drive-In Church of South California. She takes part in a group prayer for Sally and Billy. HUMANITY check (4 including PRICE penalty vs 5) for Barbara for this transgression. Fails. Barbara's HUMANITY drops to 4.

Barbara observes a vacancy for a job as Emmett's secretary. Barbara WILL 5 (+ 1 for alluring cashmere sweater effect) vs Emmett WILL 2. Two VICTORIES to Barbara. Barbara remain on school premises but has now quit school. HUMANITY CHECK (3 including PRICE penalty vs 5) for jeopardising her future. Fails. Barbara's HUMANITY drops to 3.

Phil introduces Bob, Sally's attractive cousin, to the group during a spritual talk on relationships. A clear spark between them - and he has good prospects. Barbara wants him. The girls discuss a trip to Balboa Beach, where Bob will chaperone the girls.

Marie/Barbara's house. Mollymauk NEEDS (demonic) more involvement and offers Barbara transport to the beach. Marie seems very depressed. Mollymauk matches WILLs (Mollymauk WILL 7 vs Marie WILL 1). Effortless victories: Marie falls totally under Mollymauk's control. Marie permits Barbara to attend the beach party.

Mollymauk uses TRANSPORT to get to Balboa Beach. Without informing Barbara, it uses CLOAK to stay in nearby accommodation with Stella Barnard, Bob's mother. (Stella WILL 2 against itself minus Mollymauk's POWER, automatic success).

Balboa Beach. Mollymauk arranges a boat trip hosted by T. Harrison Belmont, a hack beach movie writer-producer. Barbara easily persuades Belmont to cast her in his next movie (Barbara WILL 5 vs Belmont WILL 1), three VICTORIES.

Mollymauk engineers a romantic engagement between Bob and Barbara. Barbara easily persuades Bob to marry him (Barbara WILL 5 vs Bob WILL 1), three VICTORIES.

Home. Marie, now extremely troubled and in need of care, objects to the wedding at this time. Mollymauk, alone with her, uses its last VICTORIES rolls to cruelly persuades Marie to take her own life. She dies.

Barbara, home now, starts to come to her senses. She wants to take care of her father and herself, postponing the marriage to Bob.

Mollymauk disagrees. She debates with Mollymauk: Barbara WILL 5, reduced to 4 with the weak binding, vs Mollymauk WILL 7. Fails by 3, Mollymauk remains totally uninterested in the family's care and funeral arrangements, and begins arranging the wedding to Bob. Barbara arranges her mother's funeral by herself, according to her mother's preferences. The wedding takes place.

Mollymauk arranges a test screening for Barbara with the movie-maker Belmont.

Bob totally opposes his new wife taking a test screening. They argue: Barbara WILL 5 vs Bob STAMINA (stubborn) 5. Barbara loses by two.

Mollymauk persuades Barbara that Bob should die. Barbara agrees. Another HUMANITY CHECK (2 including PRICE penalty vs 5). Fails, HUMANITY drops to just 2.

At Stella's house, Mollymauk has numerous free attempts to kill Bob, disguised by CLOAK. Mollymauk eventually kills him by running him over with a steamroller. Mollymauk graduates as Valedictorian of Consolidated.

During the making of Belmont's Bikini Widow, in which Barbara stars, Barbara attempts to BANISH Mollymauk, having no more use for it. She prepares the BANISHING carefully on the set provided by Belmont for his film, thinking it fitting.

Barbara (WILL 5 + HUMANITY 2 + 2 for preparation = 9) vs Mollymauk (POWER 7 + WILL 7 + 1 BINDING = 15). Against the odds, Barbara succeeds by 2, breaking the contract and sending Mollymauk back from whence it came.

So Barbara wins the game, the star of B-movie Bikini Widow.

THE END!
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25. RPG Item: Winds of the North [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
RPG Item: Winds of the North
Thomas King
United States
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Check my website for book releases, reviews and more!
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Microbadge: WriterMicrobadge: Game Design HobbyistMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...Microbadge: Runebound PBF playerMicrobadge: I'm a 2-year veteran of an active PbF RPG!
Winds of the North is an upcoming solo RPG/gamebook set in Viking Age Scandinavia. Playtesting is open! Check out here for more information.

Session Report Part 1: Spring, Year 1

External image


Part 2

When last we saw Eyjolf, he had built the Smokehouse and made a nice Discovery to add to his map. He had stockpiled some Wood but still needs Iron for the Smithy. And he had been debating whether to join in the Summer Raids or stay home and perhaps do more Exploring. Eyjolf’s adventures continue!

Month 1, Summer

Eyjolf goes to the summer festival and sacrifices his Goat to the gods for a chance at bonuses suited for raiding. He’s a bad farmer anyway so the goat was useless to him. It doesn’t give him a bonus to his sacrifice since it’s a cheap animal, but he manages to get the attention of the gods and marks his Wisdom once with a bonus he can spend. Somehow his luck worsens and he rolls a 1 in the mock combat, the only result that gives him the worst outcome and he takes 1 damage…

Eyjolf then heads to the market to sell his Oil to hopefully afford some Iron needed for building the Smithy. No event rolled. Eyjolf then makes a decent deal and sells his Oil for 70% of its normal value, making 18 silver. It’s tough not spending all of it, but he had to hand over 4 Food because he couldn’t pay the fee to enter the market. Keep silver on you! He buys his 1 Iron and leaves before he is lured into spending all of his money (he also only has 2 transactions left due to his low Wisdom).

Now with his Iron, Eyjolf starts construction of the Smithy. Sort of. It’s technically started, but he has made 0 progress. It’ll be slow going, but it’ll get built. Since it used most of the Wood supply, he goes to cut some more. With a little free time available, he heads out to Explore next and finds an abandoned farm where he helps himself to some Wood and Hides. And as luck would have it, he uses the new supplies to successfully craft a Shield! He’ll probably just end up selling it, but it’s something.

The clock is ticking on Month 1, and he wants to Raid. Summer is also prime fishing, so he heads out before the big raid. He brings home a bunch of Meat he won’t get to use but also 3 more Oil. The Meat will go to waste once he leaves to Raid since he will be gone for the next couple of months.

The Raid

Since Eyjolf has no Ship or Supporters, he joins someone else’s raid. He gets an event as they head out; a swirling maelstrom threatens them, but he successfully navigates everyone to safety. He only has 1 Seamanship but opts to join the Scouting since the chance of total failure is low for him. But he actually gets a decent roll and increases his Rank to 2.

Time for the attack! This is what Eyjolf has been waiting for. At the start of each combat round, you select which weapon you wish to use. So, taking his Hunting Spear which 2-handed, his new Shield will have to stay slung over his back (just like his mini!). Unfortunately, he loses the initiative and the Villagers get the first hit on him, 2 damage. HP is getting a bit low (3/6). But his turn to attack and Eyjolf skewers the Villagers on his Hunting Spear with its +2 Damage. However, now wounded, he opts not to take on a tougher opponent. He did his part, no point trying to show off (especially if one bad roll could knock him down to 0).

During the Regroup, Eyjolf’s low Wisdom and weak roll only total 5, but he uses his bonus from the festival to get +1, just enough to give him one last bump to Rank 3. For his rewards, Eyjolf earns 26 silver, 2 Hide, and he takes 8 Food (though he had the option of a Thrall, his house has no room for more people). He now has a juicy 35 silver to take to market, possibly to hire his first Hirð member.

Month 3, Summer

Now at home for the final Week of Summer, Eyjolf needs to replace all of his lost Meat and goes fishing one last time. With a good roll, he brings home 5 Meat and another 3 Oil. The next market trip will be very exciting. With his only 3 HP remaining, he tries to Recuperate but fails. Time for the end of the Month. He’s now up to 7 Preserved Meat, a growing stockpile for the coming Winter. The Smithy gets 1 free construction box for having 5 Household members. Then Eyjolf gets an event! The house is woken by a tiny old man, a house spirit. Eyjolf offers him 1 Food and receives 1 Happiness (bringing us to 2) and 2 Recovery Points! Happy day, Eyjolf is back to 5/6 HP!

The Fall comes next. The time of Harvest. Eyjolf will need a Tool before that, though, otherwise, he risks losing his crops. And with his money, it might be time to add to the Hirð. But that does mean another mouth to feed.

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