Keep on the Borderlands Solo – 5

After last session’s disastrous attempt to explore a ruined castle a few days’ march from the Keep, I’m stepping back from my oft-repeated experiments at running sole heroes or tiny parties through Basic-DND era dungeons and encounter tables. It’s hard enough with four, but with one or two guys a single bad roll–which happens a lot–is enough to spell our doom.

The Banner of the Bleeding Wheel

And so, I introduce The Banner of the Bleeding Wheel, a mercenary company that has come to the Keep in search of work, wealth, and excitement. If they do a little good while they’re at it, all the better.

Party Members

I’ve rolled up a party of ten random PCs, based around a low-magic world in which only PCs with a natural 15+ in INT or WIS can choose to be Magic Users or Clerics. Presenting the Banner:

Hannibal Emmitt: F1, 9/9 hp, 12-8-13-11-8-16. Leader, crippled sailor.

Comfort Stewart: F1, 7/7 hp, 13-10-8-7-12-16. Sergeant, butcher.

Mercy Rouse: MU1, 4/4 hp, 8-16-11-15-8-10. Wise woman.

Israel Clemont: C1, 6/6 hp, 15-8-11-11-15-10. Brewer.

Balthasar Hill: F1, 7/7 hp, 15-10-7-5-12-11. Bridlemaker.

Zephaniah Poole: F1, 7/7 hp, 13-14-8-9-11-9. Armorer.

Zaccheus McCanless: F1, 8/8 hp, 13-15-12-14-13-11. Cooper.

Richard Lanius: F1, 7 hp, 13-12-7-8-13-6. Farmer.

Miles Sinkler: T1, 6/6 hp, 7-14-9-14-13-14. Roofer.

Modesty Boyd: T1, 4/4 hp, 5-15-5-12-9-10. Bookbinder.

Adventuring Gear and Equipment

Since the Bleeding Wheel is a mercenary company, I’ll be rolling each of their starting coinage and then pooling it for the company’s benefit. Pay will be distributed after everyone is equipped and company goods (wagon, etc.) have been purchased.

Reminder: You can find links to every one of my solo session game reports on my Campaign Logs page.

Company Funds (30d6 x 10 gp): 1,000 gp

Company Gear

The company is not large enough yet to warrant transportation, so they own no wagon. A pair of relatively obedient donkeys suffice as pack animals [-16 gp].

Ten men and women on the march eat a lot, so they purchase 10 days’ feed for each of the animals [-1 gp] and 3 days’ rations for each person [-6 gp].

Each soldier gets a backpack [-20 gp], bedroll [-1 gp], waterskin [-10 gp], and a bundle of torches [-3 gp].

The company owns a lantern and 10 pints of oil [-10 gp], a few sets of flint and steel [-6 gp], and various ropes and poles for dungeon exploration [-2 gp 4 sp].

The party has 924 gp, 6 sp remaining to outfit its members.

Weapons and Armor

The company spends 560 gp on chainmail for the fighters and cleric and another 70 for shields for each of the same while the scouts wear leather, leaving 282 gp 6 sp.

The fighters carry longswords and the cleric a mace [-65 gp], and the scouts each carry a shortbow, quiver, and handaxe [-62 gp]. Mercy Rouse carries a spell book and a dagger which she prays she won’t have to use [-15 gp].

The company owns 4 spears in fighting in tight spaces [-12 gp]. The party has 128 gp 6 sp remaining.

Loose Coins

Finally, I’ll distribute 1d100 sp to each of the party members to represent private funds, savings, etc., and the rest will remain with the company as a petty cash fund for travel expenses, tolls, repairs, meals, etc.

Hannibal Emmitt: F1, 9/9 hp, 12-8-13-11-8-16. Atk: Sword (d8, +0). AC 14 (chain, shield, -dex). Backpack: bedroll, rations (3), waterskin, torches (8), 50′ rope, flint. 6 gp 5 sp. Leader, crippled sailor.

Comfort Stewart: F1, 7/7 hp, 13-10-8-7-12-16. Atk: Sword (d8+1, +1), Spear (d6+1, +1). AC 15 (chain, shield). Backpack: bedroll, rations (3), waterskin, torches (8). 4 gp 8 sp. Sergeant, butcher.

Mercy Rouse: MU1, 4/4 hp, 8-16-11-15-8-10. Atk: Dagger (d4-1, -1). AC 12 (dex). Backpack: bedroll, rations (3), waterskin, torches (8), spell book, flint, lantern (10). 5 gp 2 sp. Spells: Sleep*, Read Magic, Wise woman.

Israel Clemont: C1, 6/6 hp, 15-8-11-11-15-10. Atk: Mace (d6+1, +1). AC 14 (chain, shield, -dex). Backpack: bedroll, rations (3), waterskin, torches (8). Spells: Cure Light Wounds*. 9 gp 8 sp. Brewer.

Balthasar Hill: F1, 7/7 hp, 15-10-7-5-12-11. Atk: Sword (d8+1, +1), Spear (d6+1, +1). AC 15 (chain, shield). Backpack: bedroll, rations (3), waterskin, torches (8). 4 gp 8 sp. Bridlemaker.

Zephaniah Poole: F1, 7/7 hp, 13-14-8-9-11-9. Atk: Sword (d8+1, +1), Spear (d6+1, +1). AC 16 (chain, shield, dex). Backpack: bedroll, rations (3), waterskin, torches (8). 8 gp 6 sp. Armorer.

Zaccheus McCanless: F1, 8/8 hp, 13-15-12-14-13-11. Atk: Sword (d8+1, +1). AC 16 (chain, shield, dex). Backpack: bedroll, rations (3), waterskin, torches (8). 4 gp 10 sp. Cooper.

Richard Lanius: F1, 7/7 hp, 13-12-7-8-13-6. Atk: Sword (d8+1, +1), Spear (d6+1, +1). AC 15 (chain, shield). Backpack: bedroll, rations (3), waterskin, torches (8). 4 gp 1 sp. Farmer.

Miles Sinkler: T1, 6/6 hp, 7-14-9-14-13-14. Atk: Axe (d6-1, -1), Shortbow (d6-1, +1). AC 12 (leather, dex). Backpack: bedroll, rations (3), waterskin, torches (8), 10′ pole, 50′ rope. 6 gp 10 sp. Roofer.

Modesty Boyd: T1, 4/4 hp, 5-15-5-12-9-10. Atk: Axe (d6-2, -2), Shortbow (d6-2, +1). AC 12 (leather, dex). Backpack: bedroll, rations (3), waterskin, torches (8), 10′ pole, flint. 3 sp 10 cp. Bookbinder.

The party has 72 gp 4 sp remaining in petty cash.

Final Equipment List

  • 72 gp 4 sp
  • Donkey (2)
  • Animal Feed (20)
  • Rations (30)
  • Lantern (10 pints)
  • Flint (3)
  • Rope, 50′ (2)
  • Pole, 10′ (2)
  • Spear (4)

Wrap Up

After all of that, I’m excited to play! The borderlands lie before us, riddled with dungeons and treasure, and men and women of the Banner of the Bleeding Wheel are equipped and ready to claim what should be theirs!

I’ll start crawling or delving soon!

3 thoughts on “Keep on the Borderlands Solo – 5

  1. I never run a party of fewer than 6 starting Basic characters into a dungeon. Even then, I usually get about 50% TPKs. Sometimes I play very cautiously, and everyone survives the first two or so delves, and then the following expedition sees a sudden disaster, and two PCs limp back to the surface. But at least those two get bigger shares of the treasure XP(assuming they didn’t have to drop it to run faster…).

    I am looking forward to seeing the Banner in action. May they fight well, and not get stuck in an elevator room to the 5th level of the dungeon!

    1. Thanks for commenting. That seems to be my experience as well. I always have this fantasy of one lucky guy playing well and rolling well and managing to make it to second or third level by himself, with just a handful of hired men-at-arms to support him.

      Of course, it never happens. Sigh. So we’ll see how this works instead! I’m going to have to decide how many of the ten I adventure with at a time.

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