Thursday, December 24, 2020

Three Solo Adventures

 So yesterday was my first real day off since the Fall semester began and I decided to spend some of it playing some solo adventures.

The first adventure was "Eye of the Dragon," the solo adventure found in Ian Livingstone's Dicing with Dragons. This book is an introduction to roleplaying and buyer's guide from the 1980's. The solo adventure uses a system I've not encountered elsewhere, but I've never played a lot of solos RPGs. I tried this adventure once in the late 80's and got killed by an orc or something like that.

This time I rolled well on the three 3d6 throws for character generation. Dubbing my new PC Hawkins the Bold, I fought and defeated giant rats, an orc, a goblin, and a vampiress. I won and lost several cool treasures, only to ultimately succumb to poisonous gas.

The Solo Dungeon by Richard A. Bartle dates from 1978. You can bring up to six newly created D&D characters on this adventure. It doesn't specify if it was designed for OD&D, Holmes Basic D&D, or then-new AD&D. I decided to make a half dozen OD&D characters, using just the first three books. Here was my party:

  • Cliffbert the Clumsy (a human fighter with a low Dex)
  • Egelar the Elf (who I ran as a magic-user)
  • Umberto the Unbearable (a cleric with a low Cha)
  • Dimwald the Dim (a cleric with a low Int)
  • Frodric the Foolish (a dwarf with a low Wis)
  • Mortimer the Mediocre (a magic-user whose stats were all 8-12)

Both fighters were slain by wights (yikes!). Umberto was eliminated by a trap. Egelar touched a magic sword of opposite alignment and dropped dead. My biggest victory was when Mortimer charmed a Theurgist, who later slept an ogre. After the adventure Mortimer and Dimwald ditched the Theurgist (who I named Theobald) and then parted ways, as lawful Dimwald couldn't brook neutral Mortimer's cutthroat shenanigans. Still, both came out of the dungeon alive, with a few hundred GP, some nice XP, and a magic-item each. I may take one or both to Dragon's Hall, a D&D solo module from Judge's Guild.

By the way, you can try this adventure for yourself, as the author hosts scans of all the pages online.

My last solo adventure was for Tunnels & Trolls, well known for its solo suitability and large range of solo adventures. I used the 5th edition rules to make a dwarf fghter named Doin the Unlikeable. Armed with a bigass flail and a sturdy shield, Doin set off for legendary Buffalo Castle, the first T&T solo adventure. Thanks to my low charisma, I ended up annoying an orc and we had to fight to the death. Doin went berserk (one of the more interesting T&T rules is that anyone with an Int less than 16 can go berserk in combat) and beat the orc into a fine red paste. This led to enough treasure that I wanted to escape to buy some dang armor before trying any more adventures. But a giant jellyfish blocked the castle exit. Thanks to multiple rounds of berserking earlier, Doin was too weak to effectively wield his flail. So he had to crush the jellyfish with his crowbar, which he could barely lift. That was rad. I never saw anything like that in a D&D game.

Happy Holidays, Peace on Earth, and a Morphistic Quiznox to Our Allies on Rigel 7.


  1. Very nice! I love a good solo RPG.

  2. Tunnels & Trolls is indeed an unique RPG experience

  3. Love seeing a Dicing with Dragons reference. I still have that book...somewhere in this house. I think, if I recall correctly, it also described LARPing towards the end, which sounded both incredibly dorky and yet incredibly cool at the same time (never did it, as it turns out).