This is a post in my ongoing solo campaign using Mythic GME and the Pits & Perils rules. My goal is to finish my first multi-session solo adventure (I usually get drawn to other games and adventures before I can finish a full quest) in a world inspired by the free-wheeling play of Classic Traveller and the gritty, magic-light world of Raymond E. Feist’s SerpentWar saga.
Last time, Garret the ex-soldier left a town in the early morning with a prisoner in tow, hoping to escort the man to the local castle where he can stand trial. The adventure chaos rating is current 5, which I track for frequency of occurrence of random events/exceptional results, but I do not use to impact yes/no results.
Garret, Level 1 (Neutral) Fighter/Woodsman (0/200) HP: 13/10[+3] Weapon: Long Sword Weapon: Long bow* (20) Armor: Chain and Shield Coins: 47 + bag of coins Inventory: 1) Long sword 2) Long bow 3) Arrows (20) 4) Rations (7) 5) Waterskin 6) Tinderbox 7) Bedroll 8) Sealed testimony NPCs: -Army companions (wounded) -Prisoner THREADS: -Escort prisoner to trial
Scene: Investigate noise in woods
Chaos Roll: 10, no chaos
Garret tries to identify the sound in the woods.
Woodsman check [+1 skill]: 10 vs 7, yes
Is it an animal fighting? +0: yes + event
There is a thunderous crash and a howling roar through the trees, and Garret immediately sits up and takes notice. His sword is half-drawn as he listens to the sound, but quickly identifies it as the roar of a pair of bears fighting for dominance.
While he’s distracted, the thief in his custody slips his hands into Garret’s pack, forgotten on the ground, and rifles through it to find the sealed testimonies from the village. Finding them quickly, he gets up and attempts to sneak into the woods opposite the ruckus.
Does Garret notice before the man is out of sight? +0: x-no
It’s not more than a minute that Garret is watching the woods before he looks back, but when he does he finds that he’s alone in the small clearing. Cursing, he admits to himself that the thief was better than he admitted to himself. Grabbing up his bag, he attempts to find the man’s trail.
Woodsman check [+1 skill, -1 x-no penalty]: 5 vs 7
Unfortunately, the man is simply gone. Garret spends several minutes checking the ground around them, but the hard earth hides any evidence of the man’s passing. Even worse, when he stops to check his pack he realizes that both the testimonies and the pouch of coins from the villagers is gone. At least his own coins, kept on his belt, are still safe.
Bag of coins lost
Without a hint of the man’s trail, Garret is left with just a few choices: return to the village and admit his failure, press on to the castle and try to find work, or head off overland in a random direction, hoping to find a sign of his escaped quarry. Given that the man certainly didn’t return to the village or head off toward the bears, Garret thinks he probably has a decent chance of finding the man if the terrain opens up.
Is the forest thick around the road? +2: x-yes
Even given his experience as a hunter, Garret suspects that the woods are too thick to give him much chance of finding the man unless he literally stumbles across him in the trees–visibility is little more than a few dozen yards once one leaves the trail.
Still, he promised the villagers that he would escort the man to the castle to stand trial, and he intends to keep his promise if he can. Shouldering his pack, he heads into the woods.
How long does he walk? d6: 2
He heads west off the trail for two hours, moving quickly and as quietly as he can in his chain armor.
Woodsman check +1: 11 vs 7 (bonus to fate check)
Does he find the thief’s trail? +0: yes + event
Although the woods are thick, Garret finds a moss-covered pile of old stones–a watchtower from a kingdom now long gone.
Is the watchtower abandoned? +5: yes
Mounting the stairs, he spirals upward until the tower climbs above the treeline. From the vantage point, he sees that the trees thin further west, and not much farther than that he catches sight of movement in the trees! Leaping quickly down the stairs, Garret races to catch the now-hot trail.
Woodsman check +2 (bonus for height and skill): 11 vs 7
He finds the trail easily–the thief caught him by surprise when he slipped away, but he is clearly no woodsman. Moving quickly, Garret follows the man, staying far enough behind to remain out of sight.
Does the man move until nightfall? +2: yes
Is the path intentional? -4: yes (!)
The trail wends mostly straight through the trees, and it soon becomes evident that the man is heading somewhere specific. Evening falls as the land begins to slope upward. Night settles just as Garret realizes that the trail has ended–
The path has led him into a broad clearing. Ahead rises a small stone temple marked with the crossed bones icon of the Chaos gods, and a field of overgrown graves lies around it.
Is the temple still active? +0: no + event
Has the thief gone inside? +2: x-yes
Garret sees the thief just ahead, sprinting across the graveyard as grasping hands reach up from the tall grass to lunge for his legs. The dead are rising!
Garret watches as the man sprints frantically for the building, finally crossing the threshold and slamming the doors closed behind him. Garret sighs. This just became a lot more complicated.
Chaos +1 (6)
What an ending! I had no idea that this quest would end at a profane, forgotten temple to the gods of Chaos, but I’m glad it did. Garret’s got his work cut out for him now–and we’re not even sure what’s waiting inside or why the thief came here.
Again, I’m incredibly impressed with the narrative created by this game. The thief’s disappearance with the testimonies is so well done as to almost look like I engineered the results, but they were all fairly rolled.
My goal with this game is to get comfortable enough with these systems that I could use them to run an impromptu game of either P&P or Swords and Wizardry with my wife with little to no set up. Our previous efforts to play one-on-one have really had little pay off for the effort I’ve put into them–I think it’s simply too hard for a single PC to drive enough game narrative (at least for us). With both of us able to play together, though, I think it may be a different experience.
Hope you liked this session! Let me know if you have any tips or questions about my solo role-playing!
Updated character sheet:
Garret, Level 1 (Neutral) Fighter/Woodsman (0/200) HP: 13/10[+3] Weapon: Long Sword Weapon: Long bow* (20) Armor: Chain and Shield Coins: 47 Inventory: 1) Long sword 2) Long bow 3) Arrows (20) 4) Rations (7) 5) Waterskin 6) Tinderbox 7) Bedroll NPCs: -Army companions (wounded) -Prisoner THREADS: -Escort prisoner to trial