Firstly, apologies for the title — when I sense and alliteration, I always go for it. It’s automatic. Nextly, I’ll reprise what’s happened before this post, as usual:
For this final installment in the series, I’ll be using an old-school-inspired “sword & sorcery” game called Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells (Pay What You Want) alongside the Mythic Game Master Emulator — the “gold standard” of solo engines. Chapter 6 has been broken up into 3 parts: Mythic GME overview, SS&SS overview, and this, the Actual Play example putting the two together. If you’re only interested in the action, you’ve come to the right spot — actually, it’s mostly prose and not much action (only one combat scene), but it was fun and exciting for me, at least! If you don’t know what solo role-playing is, you may want to start with Chapter 1, which gives an introduction to the concept, and work your way up to this one (hopefully playing along with your own solo game!).
At last, we’re ready to get our hands dirty with a fully-featured solo engine: the Mythic Game Master Emulator. If that weren’t enough excitement for you, we’re also diving into the OSR-inspired Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells (Pay What You Want). Still a rules-light game, it’s a bit more involved than the Hero Kids game I’ve been playing, and it’s got a very macabre, occult, sword & sorcery feel to it thanks to the art style within its pages (much of which is by the author), so it’s definitely not for the younger ones or the faint of heart!
For Chapter 6, we first overviewed the Mythic GME, then gave a rundown of the SS&SS rules and rolled up our character, Vincent the Sell-Sword. I’ll reprise his stats here for reference and then we can get down to adventuring!
- Vincent DeYano – Warrior (Sell-Sword)
- Physique: 13 Agility: 12 Intellect: 5 Willpower: 8
- Luck Die: d6 Hit Die: d10
- Hit Points: 9
- Equipment: Longsword (d6 damage), Short Bow, Medium Armor, Medium Shield, some packs, and 11 silver.
- Special Abilities:
Combat Superiority(additional attacks — doesn’t seem to apply at level 1)
- Improved Damage (upgraded weapon damage)
- Weapon Specialization: Swords (Positive Die w/ swords)
- Improved Maneuvers (disarm, etc. in addition to attack)
- Complication: Debt to Crime Lord
The Plot Unfolds: “Vincent Versus the Volcano”
I didn’t hesitate to dive right in to Appendix A and the Adventure Idea Generator on page 39. This tool is perfect for kicking off a solitaire session, and you could even generate an Adventure Title from the Addendum if you wished (these tools are also freely available in the AdventureSmith app for Android). A series of 2d6 rolls produce the seed:
- Goal: Steal/Capture: Magic Artifact
- Location: Ruins: Ancient City-State
- Antagonist: Magic Artifact: Alien Orb
- Supporting Character: Magic Artifact: Animated Statue
- Complication: Peril: Active Volcano
- Rewards: Influence: In a Powerful Guild
My first impression is: that’s a lot of Magic Artifact rolls! I’m to steal a magic artifact from a magic artifact with help from a magic artifact in the ruins of an ancient city-state at the foot of an active volcano. All so I can influence that jerk at the Thieves Guild (ties into Vincent’s Character Complication). That’s a little bit of craziness, but I think I can make it work. I accept the challenge and use that as my setup for Mythic’s initial 1d10 roll for Scene modification: 9 is greater than the starting Chaos score of 5, so the setup is not altered.
Kith-Moraine was never among the elite city-states of the Great Southern realm. Being the southern-most port of call, at least of any passable repute, the place was nestled in against a great mountain named Kragholme. Often deemed the “tailbone” of the world, it was believed to be the tallest peak in the vast range known as the Southern Reach.
On the leeward side of the Reach, the city-state was sheltered from the howling winds of the Frozen Desert, but was still colder than a witch’s titty, by Vincent’s reckoning. At least, before Kragholme’s awakening. The ancient volcano had erupted centuries ago, laying waste to Kith-Moraine and its eponymous glacier, wiping out most of the inhabitants and transforming the place into a near oasis of relatively warmer temperatures in a latitude known for its permafrost.
Vincent wiped sweat from his brow as he scanned what little remained of the city. And odd conglomeration of man-made structures, mostly in ruin, hardened black basalt and shiny obsidian, and frozen white snowdrifts peppered with pumice and other vesicular rocks.
“Damn thing must be here, somewhere,” Vincent thought aloud. He could now feel warmer air emanating from a distant flow of lava spewing from the still-active volcano. A stream of molten rock spilled at a snail’s pace out into the tundra where frost and flame vied for control of the viscous substance in a cloud of dense fog, smoke, and ash that encircled the place, obfuscating it all around. Vincent had searched for the place for nearly three days, skirting by it unawares at least twice, hew knew now, thanks to the mists and blowing snow.
From his current vantage, it looked as though the world ended in that choking mist on three sides and terminated in a mountain of fire to the south. It was a tad unnerving, especially in the knowledge that he was alone at the end of the known world, several days hard travel — in the best of conditions — from the next-nearest person.
“Better get to it, then, old man,” he said, reminding himself he was low on rations after stumbling in circles for three days. “And get the hell out of here.”
Yes, I do get carried away in narration. I can’t say I don’t enjoy it, though I still get antsy to move things along and actually play the game. Speaking of that, let’s test our fate with a Fate Question:
- Q: Has Vincent made the journey thus far unscathed?
- Chaos: 5 (starting value)
- Odds: Very Unlikely (Yes result would be 25 or less)
- 1d100: 22 Yes!
Doubles on my first ever Fate roll! It’s within the Chaos score, too (2 <= 5), so that means a random event occurs:
- Roll 1d100 on the Event Focus table: 24 NPC Action
- Roll 1d100 on the Event Meaning Tables:
- Action: 54 Kill (eep!)
- Subject: 96 The Public (wow!)
- Interpret based on the context, focus, and meaning, take the most logical conclusion.
Alright. An NPC Action to “Kill the Public”. Kinda wild! I could consider the volcano as an NPC — it’s sort of “alive” and it did kill the public, but that’s in the ancient past. Vincent’s “Crime Lord” could provide the NPC, and I’m sure crime lords don’t typically have qualms about killing the public if it’s in the best interest of lording over crime. He’s nowhere nearby, though, likely hundreds of miles away at least. The only other logical conclusion is the Supporting Character provided in the SS&SS Adventure Idea Generator: an Animated Statue, which makes a lot more sense as we’re probing around in an ancient city ruins. Perhaps there’s still a statue or two left standing in the wake of the volcano.
Then there’s the whole “kill the public” bit. The Supporting Character from the generator can be an ally, an informant, or an enemy, so it sounds like he’s probably an enemy. A guardian or gatekeeper instructed to keep people away from something (the “magic artifact” we’re after, perhaps?) or out of some place (a cave or a dungeon might be fun — maybe the artifact is in there?). Perhaps you’re thinking along the same lines as me: when I first rolled the adventure seed, I immediately thought the 3 “magic artifact” rolls — for “goal”, “antagonist” and “NPC” — could be one and the same entity. The Alien Orb is the artifact I’m after, and it is powering the Animated Statue, and the combination is what constitutes the bad guy.
Given all that, which makes logical sense, it’s not totally up to me! We should ask the GME:
- Chaos: 5
- Odds: Has to be (95)
- 1d100: 3 (which is within the lower 20% of the range) Exceptional Yes!
Of course, this fits perfectly with “kill the public”!
Things are about to “heat up” for Vincent! *chuckles* — get it? heat? volcano?? Eh, nevermind (at least I didn’t make a Song of Ice and Fire reference?).
Please, feel free to jump down to the next scene. Don’t waste your time on this like I did! I spent a good 45 minutes researching volcanoes, air temperature near volcanoes, and what happens when lava meets with ice. And then I watched this whole video. Just because. All for this silly game.
Right… the adventure… I almost forgot…
I didn’t call an end of scene there, but I suppose I could’ve / should’ve? [In hindsight, I think the Random Event should have occurred then and there — the Mythic rules indicate it should follow the “resolution of your question”.] Instead, I just continued on with the narrative [like a dolt]:
Vincent discarded a few layers of outerwear before proceeding into the ruins. The ambient temperature had increased substantially as he broke through the volcanic fog and drew closer to Kith-Moraine proper. The air waved and distorted above a massive river of lava that covered the eastern side of the ruins. Barren ground, cobbled streets, and even the odd bit of greenery were exposed in a swath between the red-orange glow of magma and a cool blue mist of melting snow and ice. A surreal temperate climate a good 100 meters in breadth existed, almost peacefully, as a neutral zone between the extreme forces of nature — neither side daring to encroach.
Several ruined structures lined the visible section of street, terminating in a square several hundred meters down the way. An impressive stone statue stood atop a circular dais in the middle of the square. Vincent began moving in that direction, no other obvious points of interest presenting themselves.
He wiped his brow again as he edged warily down the street. His eyes strung from both sweat and the acrid air, which he could almost taste. Unsure what manner of monster or beast might’ve made its home in the ages since the mountain exploded, he eyed every pile of rubble and each broken corridor with deft scrutiny.
His parched throat managed an audible gulp as he drew nearer the square. The dead silence of the place was unnerving.
The SS&SS rules suggest a random encounter check every 30 real-time minutes of play. I’m well past that (I’ve started placing timestamps in the margins of my notebook periodically to see how long it takes me to do this stuff — I’m not quick), but perhaps a normal, prepared group of players would be approaching that point now. Then again, Mythic is already handling random events [hindsight: which I’ve thus far mishandled], so maybe that’s too much randomness? I’m not quite sure I’m ready to jump right into the statue encounter yet, and after all, I’m playtesting the game as much as the solo engine, so why not?
Roll 1d6 every 30m, and a 1 or 2 indicates a random “obstacle” (trap, hazard, barrier, monster, etc — whatever is appropriate to the location, etc.). I roll a 1, and then stumble over which type of obstacle to use, so I just roll a 1d4 versus [trap, hazard, barrier, monster] and land on another 1 for a trap.
Looking back, it would’ve made more sense to use a volcanic/lava hazard of some sort, bringing the adventure complication more into the spotlight. As a n00b roleplayer, and with almost no GM experience, I’m struggling over what sort of trap makes sense and what it should do, how dangerous/damaging should it be, etc. Alls I know is: the rule book doesn’t say much about traps other than making an Agility test, so I just start there to see if he avoids it before I have to drill into details: 1d20 within my Agility score of 12: 14 (fail). Doh..
I can “Push the Roll” and retry, risking greater consequence, or perhaps make a Luck Roll (greater than 2 on a 1d6), but I decide I’ll come up with a trap and see what happens. A trap in the middle of a street doesn’t make much sense to me, but maybe some nefarious being is trying to protect something or maybe the volcanic activity has undermined the sewers or some karst cavern beneath (which could lead to all sorts of interesting things), so I shrug and pull out the AdventureSmith app and start digging around for a trap generator. Hack & Slash: Trap: Break-away pit trap, 20ft deep, bare bottom.
Before he can react, Vincent’s next step finds the cobbled street crumbling and falling away. Suddenly weightless, he desperately reaches out for something — anything — he can grasp hold of…
Maybe a Fate Question can save him?
- Chaos: 5
- Odds: Unlikely (35)
- 1d100: 9 Yes!
He manages to lurch forward at the last moment and catches himself on the edge of the maw that’s opened beneath him. Clawing at the dirt and stone, his fingertips find purchase as his feet scrape against the frozen soil of the pit wall.
I’m no seasoned GM but a Physique (strength) test seems appropriate here if Vincent is to haul himself up out of the pit by his fingertips. 1d20 within Physique score* (13): 3 [icon icon="fa-arrow-circle-o-right" style="square" ] Success!
[I realize now that I should probably have added a Difficulty modifier to that test as per the SS&SS rules. These range from 1 (easy) to 10 (nearly impossible). No harm, no foul, though: given the super low roll, even if I gave it a +10, I’d still be within my Physique score!]
Through gritted teeth and grunts of exertion, Vincent slowly hauls himself up out of disaster. Flopping over onto his back, he gasps for breath and fears his heart will beat out of his chest. The earth beneath him trembles ever so slightly as the mountain belches forth another plume of choking ash and spitting lava.
Let’s call that the end of Scene 1. I update my Mythic lists: they contain only the main thread and the Animated Statue as an NPC. Although Vincent made it out unscathed, the pit trap threw him for a loop. Chaos increases by 1 to 6. [I take a break to rein my kids back under control.]
Both Vincent and I have had time to catch our breath, so let’s frame the next scene. We’ll say he dusts himself off, looks around to see if anyone or anything has been alerted to his presence, then continues towards the square with the statue. 1d10 within Chaos (6): 7, no change.
Vincent sits up and surveys his surroundings, wary that the commotion may have alerted any curious entities nearby to his presence.
- Chaos: 6
- Odds: 50/50 (65)
- 1d100: 87 No
All seems as before and he can discern no extraneous sounds or movement. He hauls himself up and re-situates his gear, checking that nothing was lost in the commotion.
- Chaos: 6
- Odds: 50/50 (65)
- 1d100: 33 Yes
And… another random event. Technically I haven’t even encountered the one from the first Mythic roll. As I said before, that’s probably a mistake, as I believe the random event is meant to occur immediately following the resolution of the question you asked. Maybe I’ve not resolved it yet, but I imagine the idea is not to pile up a queue of events waiting to be hit. Chalk another one up to experience.
- Focus: 84 NPC Negative
- Action: Change
- Subject: Good
That seems a little contradictory. Something “bad” happens but the change is good. Assuming “good” as the subject refers to “good guys”, ie. Vincent, something could change for him that’s a negative for the statue… let’s seek clarity:
Does the “good change” affect Vincent? 50/50 (65): 27, Yes
Is his equipment affected?50/50 (65): 24, Yes.
I make a coin flip for his sword or shield?: shield.
His shield will grant some boon that’s bad news for the Statue.
As Vincent stoops to retrieve his shield from the slushy snow, he’s taken aback that it now seems to emanate a faint blue light — as though it were steaming and dripping the same as the surrounding glacier melt.
He inspects it for a moment before cursing his old eyes for playing tricks on him, then orients himself back towards the square.
He approaches the end of the street cautiously as it opens into the square. To the west, several abandoned shops still stand, half-buried in snow and ice. To the south is a great retaining wall, seemingly pushing back against the weight of the mountain and failing miserably. Several large sections of wall have fallen inward, piles of rubble amid large boulders tumbled down from the Krag.
Eastward is ruin, back-lit by the radiant red-orange glow and nothing but open ground separates Vincent from the statue in the square center. Not eager to get too close to the lava flows, he heads towards the shops that are still standing, hoping for some clue to lead him to his goal.
I need to think of some way to introduce the “alien orb” artifact he’s searching for — and more importantly why he’s gone to these extremes to find it.
Perhaps his “Debt to Crime Lord” complication ties it all together: the leader of the Thieves Guild is holding something over his head he’s desperate to rectify. Likely something life or death involving him or someone he loves.
- Chaos: 6
- Odds: Likely (85)
- 1d100: 96 No!
It’s probably time for that SS&SS random obstacle roll: 1d6 (1 or 2): 5 No.
End of Scene 2. I’m feeling a little aimless at this point, not sure how to get Vincent back to the statue or introduce the orb in some other way. I thought I’d be battling that statue already, but it keeps ignoring me! No list changes, but Chaos drops a point, back down to 5.
There’s not much setup here. Vincent is moving west towards some buildings, hoping for some clue to the magic artifact’s whereabouts. 1d10 for modified scene: 1 modified! The odd number correlates to an altered scene (rather than an interrupt). I review the rules again briefly and it states to take the “next most logical” scene. There’s an example altered scene in the Mythic book where the character finds footprints. Footprints… Snow… Ok, let’s use that.
- Chaos: 5
- Odds: 50 /50 (50)
- 1d100: 96 Exceptional No!
There’s no dancing around it now, that’s got to mean a single set of tracks leading to the statue, presumably its own. Maybe it leaves its dais periodically for patrols, so the tracks are fairly recent.
Vincent edges his way around the square towards the icy stone buildings. A chill wind howls towards him from the frozen wastes in the west, beyond the walls of Kith-Moraine. He winces against it as it travels past, feeling as though it cuts right through him. His shield hums and its glow intensifies for a moment. Behind him, to the east, the mist enveloping the place reflects the intensified glow of searing hot magma as the cool air moves over it before rocketing skyward, propelled by the radiant heat.
He pays all of this no mind, as when he opens his eyes, a set of large humanoid footprints appears before him in the snow. Running roughly parallel to his own, they seem to encircle the square, as if someone were patrolling the place. His face darkens as he draws his longsword, twisting its leather grip against the palms of his gloves, readying himself and his blade for trouble.
He follows the tracks for a time before they suddenly take a sharp turn to the left. His spine tingles and his eyes open wide as he realizes the prints lead directly to the center of the square — to the statue upon the dais!
His sword grip tightens and he begins slowly stalking towards the statue. Details emerge as he nears the square’s center. There stands a long-haired female, some three meters in height, carved from the grey-speckled granite of Kragholme itself. She’s cloaked in thick furs and at her left hand stands a large beast of a dog, surely part wolf — her hunting companion, he surmises, as the statue wields a fearsome-looking hunting spear of polished black basalt. A spherical jewel, the likes of which Vincent has never seen, adorns a circlet on her brow. Cryptic runes adorn the dais, likely written in the Ancient Kithian of the peoples who founded the city-state centuries ago.
He follows her intense gaze across the open square. Another statue, perhaps of marble or alabaster and nearly as white as the snow, stands at the foot of the crumbling retaining wall. A great bear, its hackles nearly the same height as the huntress, is frozen there, maw open in a fierce charge.
- Chaos: 5
- Odds: Very Likely (85)
- 1d100: 94 No!
Sheesh! What will it take to get this broad to take a swing at me?
Vincent eyes the statue for a time, wary of any signs of movement. There’s nothing but an occasional wisp of breeze and the sounds of the living mountain.
He looks again to the jewel mounted in her circlet — could it be? He moves in for a closer look, stepping up onto the dais.
- Chaos: 5
- Odds: Likely (75)
- 1d100: 60 Yes!
- Chaos: 5
- Odds: 50/50 (50)
- 1d100: 15 Yes!
As Vincent steps onto the dais, the orb begins to glow and swirl. He springs back as the woman’s eyes blink awake and she begins to move to the grinding sound of stone against stone…
Finally, some combat! I’d thought a bit about this encounter already and perused the brief opponent list in the SS&SS core rules, as well as the Addendum’s monster generator for similar stone beings. Since it’s the “boss” of the adventure, I wanted it to be a challenge but I’m not exactly sure how to balance the monster’s Hit Dice and Special Ability versus the party size and level. I figure a defense bonus is in order since the darn thing is made of granite. She’s also large and, I imagine, quite strong, but that may also mean she’s slow. Then that mysterious Alien Orb that’s brought her to life could be granting any number of less obvious powers. I want a challenge, but I want Vincent to have a fighting chance here since I like the guy. I’m worried about that since I’ve read OSR-style combat can be unforgiving to first level characters (Sophia at DieHeart can certainly attest, specific to SS&SS).
I settle on giving her the stats of the Soldier opponent in the core rules, which has 1 Hit Die (all opponents use a d8 for Hit Die) and bonuses to both defense and attack in the form of shifts in the “die chain” sequence: damage shifts up a die from d4 to d6, and incoming damage shifts down a die.
- Animated Statue (The Huntress of Kith-Moraine)
- Hit Dice: 1 (d8)
- Hit Points: 5
- Special Abilities: Strength of Stone: -1 die on incoming damage, deals 1d6 damage (instead of d4, the standard for 1HD opponents)
While we’re creating opponents, let’s go ahead and find out:
- Chaos: 5
- Odds: Unlikely (35)
- 1d100: 2 Exceptional Yes!
I suppose some questions are better left unasked.
As he stands agape, attempting to comprehend what’s happening before his eyes, he’s blind-sided as the Huntress’ companion wolf springs upon him with an unearthly growl and gnashing of teeth!
- Wolf (Her faithful companion)
- Hit Dice: 1 (d8)
- Hit Points: 1 (sorry, wolf)
- Special Abilities: Lacerate: Negative die to all Physique rolls for HD rounds (1)
The wolf is pretty straightforward. I borrowed the Lacerate ability from the monster generator in the Addendum. For that exceptional yes, we’ll let the wolf have surprise attack (plus I feel bad for rolling a 1 on his hitpoints). Vincent will move next with his d10 Hit Die, and the Huntress last with her d8 (if I’m understanding the initiative rules correctly). I consider asking if the bear across the way activates, too, but I’m worried of overwhelming Vincent (and myself) with too many opponents.
- Wolf: 1d20 > Vincent’s Agility (12): 9 -> Miss!
- Vincent: +1d20* <= Physique (13): [15, 9] -> Hit!
- *Vincent gets a Positive Die for his Sword specialization (extra die, choose result)
- Damage: 1d8*: 8 -> the wolf is slain!
- *Improved Damage grants Warriors a +1 die chain movement, raising Vincent’s 1d6 Longsword to a 1d8
- Statue: –1d20* > Vincent’s Agility (12): [5, 12] -> Miss!
- *Vincent’s Medium Shield incurs a Negative Die to incoming attacks, so I can choose the poorer of two rolls — she missed either way, however!
Despite the wolf’s quickness, Vincent manages to roll aside and the beast finds only empty space. The *pang!* of Vincent’s blade rings across the square as the wolf’s thick stone neck separates from its body. The granite head of the beast clatters to the ground and its body instantly stiffens back into lifeless rock, scraping across the cobbles as it slides to a halt.
From above, the Huntress’ black spear comes crashing down, striking the earth mere inches from Vincent’s head.
- Vincent: +1d20 <= Physique (13): [10, 8] -> Hit!
- Damage: 1d6*: 5 -> the Huntress is slain!
- *The statue’s -1 die chain on incoming damage negates Vincent’s +1 die chain for Sword specialization
- Damage: 1d6*: 5 -> the Huntress is slain!
I am admittedly a bit disappointed by that encounter! I’m not sure if I got lucky with those rolls or just didn’t make the opponents difficult enough, but I was expecting it to be a bit more life or death for my first level character — and perhaps it could have been if the dice had fallen differently. Vincent made easy work of those fellas, though. So, I’m at least relieved that he survived!
Honestly, I was hoping for more combat all around, but I suppose it just wasn’t in the dice this time. Again, it’s up to you and you can certainly insert more combat if you want, but as I’m still in the “learning” stages, I try to let the systems do their thing and stay out of the way. That was essentially all the action Vincent would see outside of the pit trap. If you came here for combat, you can stop reading here, unfortunately. If you’re still here for more Mythic or just for the story, stay put as we bring the adventure to a close.
Shards of stone fly out from beneath her spear tip as Vincent rolls again, tucking his knees to end upright on his feet. The statue brings her arms around, preparing for her next strike, but alas, the lethargy of a stone giant is no match for Vincent’s seasoned combat reflexes. As with her steadfast companion, she is readily dispatched with a hefty chop of Vincent’s blade. Returned to cold, static granite, the huntress topples and falls. Her torso shatters on the frozen ground, leaving behind only her black basalt spear and head. The glowing orb in her circlet slowly goes dim, turning a cloudy & still grey.
End of Scene 3. The main thread is still in effect, but the Animated Statue can go away. I add 1 to Chaos, bringing it to 6 again sine that scene was full of surprise and action.
We’re basically out of things to do now, but let’s see if Vincent can retrieve the Alien Orb without complication and wrap it all up. I wonder if the orb ought to prove problematic since it’s the “antagonist” we generated and also if the volcano has provided enough of the promised “peril,” but it does feel like this adventure is over. There’s about 20 pages left in my notebook, so I contemplate another scene or if I want to cordon that bit off for an Epilogue reflective on my solo journey thus far. In true solitaire fashion, I’ll let the dice decide: 1d10 for scene modification: 10 -> No (I first read the 0 on my d10 as a zero, which would’ve been an “even” interrupt scene, but then I wondered where the 10 was on my 10 sided die and came to my senses).
- Chaos: 6
- Odds: Very Likely (85)
- 1d100: 17 -> Yes
Wisps of smoke drift up through the missing corner of ceiling in the ruined shop Vincent had chosen for his camp. Small chance of anyone noticing the smoke or the dancing glow of the fire in this forsaken place. He stared into the flames for a time, then considered the bodiless visage that sat across from him. She must have been a formidable woman to survive out here, hunting the giant beasts of the tundra in the shadow of Kragholme. Beautiful and fierce — whoever she was — he admired her. She reminded him of his beloved, Shiriss.
A thief by trade, Shiriss had invoked the ire of her guildmaster and incurred a debt she could not possibly repay. Through deeds he’d rather not recall, Vincent had earned some degree of favor with the man, but her debt still remained, unpaid.
He turned the captured orb around in his hands as he studied it. The thing weighed more than it looked and had not the slightest imperfection on its surface, despite centuries in the elements. It looked as if it restrained a brewing storm of clouds within, dark and brooding.
In his hands, he held an artifact of unknown origin, whispered of in secret behind locked doors, an untold legend. Few knew the tale and fewer still believed the thing existed. However, one such man, Atticus Venn, Guildmaster of Thieves in Kith-Avonmore, was among those few and would stop at nothing to obtain it. For what purpose, a simple sell-sword like Vincent could only guess. All he knew was that it had supposedly fallen from the sky — from somewhere beyond the stars. And Atticus wanted it.
In his hands, he held her salvation.
Well, friends. Thanks for reading and following along with this Rolling Solo series of mine. I mostly aimed to capture (and annotate) what was written by hand in my journals, but I earnestly hope someone has found it useful — either to discover role-playing, solitaire play, Hero Kids, so1um, Mythic GME, or Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells. If you’ve followed along on this journey, you should now have all the tools you need to play most any RPG by yourself. I think it will also improve your Game Mastery, if you play socially and are new or just aren’t accustomed to on-the-fly “sandbox” game generation; not to mention your writing and story-telling skills! All things that I never set out to attain, but solo play gifted to me anyway.
I’ve certainly learned a lot and have discovered a whole new facet of personal enjoyment by bringing pen & paper RPGs back into my life after so many years. I’ve also surprised myself in this regard, as typically my interests burn intensely and briefly and then peter out after a couple of weeks — cyclically, of course. I’ve been at this business for over 100 days now — a high water mark that I can’t recall achieving for quite some time. At least, not since my carefree days of 12-hour+ EverQuest jaunts in the early 2000’s (speaking of which, here’s your Easter egg: Vincent’s backstory from a 40-page EQ fan fiction I wrote in ’06). I’ve heard it said that lust lasts for 90 days and then it’s gone — so being well forwards of that mark gives me hope that I’ll always have RPGs in my life, whether through solitaire play, family play, or maybe even sitting down with a group of you good folks on Roll20 or the like some day. I just love the endless potential and limitless possibilities of it all — my only real concern is becoming too overwhelmed by the backlog of material I want to read and games to play (which is really intense when you’re first starting out, if not always), not to mention the tools, supplements, content, and games I want to create.
Lastly, I’d like to thank my children. They rekindled the flame for me with their wonderful imaginations and pretend play. It warms my heart to think of the games ahead of us, the meaning it will hold for all of us, and the things we will see, learn, and experience, all in the theatre of the mind. Things that will help to keep that flame burning in their lives, to carry out into the world, bright and shining, to share it with others — maybe even children of their own some day. Of all the things role-playing has bestowed upon me, this one is the most powerful by far. I can think of no greater thing in this world, or any other world we could conceive.
Again, I thank you. And do stay tuned, since I’m just getting warmed up!