Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Solo Module, Preamble

A new “thing” is going around the Solo Gaming community, the March Module Month or, the Solo-A-Module Month. Basically, a couple of us were all playing modules at the same time (I was playing through B2: Keep on the Borderlands), and suddenly it became a thing. Personally, I blame +Tarcisio Lucas. Anyway, despite time being somewhat tight right now (I won’t forget you, Terry!), it just sounds like too much fun for me to stay away.

So, here’s how I’m going to be handling this game. First off, the focus of this is to play the damn module and the characters. I’ve done something similar before, with my Alien Hunger play-through. But THAT module I knew backwards and forwards, so the focus was on the narrative and the characters actions, more so than on the module itself. This time, I’m going in cold. Secondly, I want to use this as an excuse to try a game system I have never actually played before--Basic Dungeons and Dragons. Specifically, the Mentzer edition of Basic and Expert (they are the ones I have, so don’t @ me, Moldvay/Cook fans).

Thirdly, I want to minimize the “other tools” I bring to this play through. Solo playing a module is a tricky thing. You either need a good sandbox (Like Alien Hunger for Vampire or X1 for D&D) or you need to do something else to make it work. Otherwise, you get stuck on a railroad and it really just comes down to binary “choose your own adventure” decisions (if you’re lucky) and skill checks. But, at the same time, my play through of B2 was a lot of fun, and used only the most basic of oracles. So, for now my plan is to just use the module, the D&D mechanics, and the
CRGE for my game.

Oh, one last thing. Unlike my Vampire playthroughs, I’m really going to try and minimize the narrative/creative writing aspects of this game. I also assume that there is going to be a LOT of combat (it is D&D, after all). Given that, I assume this will be more of a recap, rather than a beat-by-beat game report. Like, when I play Vampire, I am literally posting my rolls on the blog before I even think about what they mean or what might come next.

Ok, enough setup. What module am I going to do?

Yup, B10: Night’s Dark Terror. Nope, don’t know anything about it. Other than it’s supposed to be very good. Oh, and it’s the level range I want (2-4). You probably know as much about it as I do, and some of you know quite a bit more. Hopefully, we can have some fun discovering this together!

First thing I need to do is to make the characters. I decide on five PC’s. Is that too many? Maybe, I have no idea. I know this is Basic, so large parties are expected, but there’s no way I’m dealing with something crazy like nine characters. Five should be manageable. I decide on the house rule allowing maximum hit points at first level, and the module says you can bring in something from the Companion rules, which let you use your attributes to modify saves. For example, Strength modifies Saving Throws vs. Paralysis and Turn to Stone. Sounds good to me.

I need to figure out my ability scores. I do this by rolling 3d6 for each (in order!), and I get the following:

Strength: 14
Intelligence: 10
Wisdom: 13
Dexterity: 9
Constitution: 9
Charisma: 14

I decide to go with a Fighter. I wish he had a better Dex and Con, but this is what you get with random attributes. Fortunately, in the next step, I can drop 2 points from any one attribute and increase another by 1. I drop the Wisdom to 9 and increase Strength to 16, giving this character a +2 to hit.

Next, I worry about Hit Points (max at level 1, so 8 for a fighter) and Equipment (3d6X10 to start with, and I get 110 gp). I end up with a name (Ulrich, just because) and an Alignment (Lawful). Oh, and the module starts characters off with 5,000 experience points, so Ulrich levels up to level 3. He rolls 2d8 and gets a total of 7, increasing hit Hit Points to 15. Here’s the complete sheet:

Now you see why I TYPE these AP's, rather than torturing you with my handwriting.

Alright, that’s enough of the preamble. I’m going to go make the rest of the party and get everything setup. See you all next time!

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