Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Trollszine Issue #2 Dark Rising Solo RPG

This is a summary of my first solo RPG. 

 I recently began playing old school Dungeons and Dragons with the boyfriend. I developed an RPG itch soon after. He plays solo games, and sent me his copy of Tunnels and Trolls. Now, when I'm in the mood to play, I won't have to rely on our schedules syncing up to play together. 

 I downloaded TrollsZine 2 and embarked on the Dark Rising solo adventure. This was recommended for at least a level 2 character. I predicted that it would be a short one with my Level 1 warrior. 

It went something like this...

 The villagers of Saxon are concerned by strange lights, seen hovering in the night sky, above the ruins of the old Saxon manor. Alfrún has been called upon to investigate. The search will only be successful after dark. A farm hand escorts me to where the ruined building lies. Eager to get out of there, the farm hand offers his lantern and enough food to last one day. A steep, heavily wooded climb awaits. I begin to hack a path through the undergrowth and start climbing.

 I noticed a small clearing in the wooded area to my right after a short walk up the steep incline. I chose to ignore it and carry on along the path.

 Further along, I see an overgrown trail to my right that appears to lead directly up the spine of the hill. I try my luck pulling back undergrowth and reeds while making my way along the path. It's not long before I realize why this is the path less taken. I find myself wading through bog-land at a snails pace. After many minutes of struggle, I reach a small patch of solid earth.

 Make L2SR on LK - FAIL

 Several leeches have latched onto me and are greedily gorging on my flesh. Already worn from trudging through the bog, I cannot lose blood to these parasites. Ripping them off, I take 1D6 spite damage for the pain and blood loss.

 Shaking off the bog muck, I take stock of my new surroundings. Water cascades down the face of a rock to the north, and into a good sized pond. The water shimmers with gold as the last bit of daylight spangles its surface. The grass is a vibrant green. I suspect that this place is not visited often. Though I would love to rest here a bit and enjoy the scenery, I must move on.

 Just north of the clearing I notice another trail winding up and around the hill. This appears to offer a gentle and easy climb.

 I make my way along the path as it becomes much rockier. I notice that these are worn cobblestones that have been smoothed and polished to a fine finish. Within minutes I can see the ruins at the summit of the hill along the horizon. I pick up the pace.

 Ten minutes later I find myself at the remains of a great stone bridge that traverses a fast flowing stream. Heavy rubble from the bridge has settled on the bed of the stream, forming makeshift stepping-stones. Water crashes against the stones before lapping over the edge of a steep stone cliff in the hillside. So much for that gentle, easy climb! 

 I will have to hop across the stones to reach the other side and the summit.

 Make a L2SR on DEX - FAIL  (becoming very nervous now)

 Mustering all of my agility, I nimbly leap to the first stone with no difficulty, but as I lurch for the second, I misjudge the distance and land badly. I fight to keep my balance, but plunge into the icy water and I get carried down-stream and over the cliff edge at great speed.

 As I slam against the stony rock-face, I gash a deep cut into the flesh of my arm, taking 3 points of damage. Luckily however, my fall is broken by the plunge-pool at the base of the rock face and, bleeding profusely, I begin my rough swim to the shore.

 Just feet from the bank I feel a tug at my leg, as something wraps around my limb. This is soon followed by some sort of cord, snaking around my other leg. Trying to pull myself free, I turn to find that I am caught in the tentacles of a small but menacing looking squid that is slowly pulling me toward its beak-like maw.
 Drawing my gladius sword, I prepare to fight for my life.

 Squid: MR 30

(I began this battle a couple of times before figuring out how to properly utilize spite damage and special rules. I've been using the original Tunnels and Trolls rule book. Spite Damage was introduced in 5.5. With a lot of help from John, I finally got the rules down and gave it another go.) 

 Any damage that Alfrún inflicts is cut in half due to resistance of the water. This is where I really wish I had that level 2+ character! 

Round 1:
The squid is able to wrap another tentacle around me. I struggle to break free and strike with my sword. The squid made an awful shrieking sound and it's grip only got tighter. My armor protected me from any damage this time and the squid's MR scoffed at the 5 points of damage that I inflicted. 
All in all, no damage. 

Round 2:
This didn't go well at all even if I did roll 1 point of spite damage. The squid retaliated with the same. Pulling me toward his beak, he takes a giant chomp out of my left shoulder. I can barely lift my arm to swing at the wretched thing. The squid gets 4 points, plus 1 point of spite damage on me. Leaving me with 1 measly point to lose. 

Round 3:
Both a bit stunned and fumbling. We aren't able to inflict any significant damage on one another. Alfrún lives to see another fight! Barely. 

Round 4: 
Taking my sword in the non-dominant hand, barely holding onto my shield, I try to hack off the tentacle that is causing my leg to lose feeling. Inflicting 2 points of spite damage on the squid with 7 points added on, I thought maybe this wasn't going SO badly. Just then, I hear an awful snap followed by the worst pain I have known. The squid has snapped my leg in half. I fall into the water. The last thing I recall is a cloud of ink expanding around me. I am unable to catch my breath. Alfrún is left to rest with the fishies. 


I am hoping to play another solo this evening!


  1. Some of your round descriptions suggest that both sides of the fight are taking damage. Unless something has changed, I think you might not be playing it the way it was intended. Damage only goes one way. (Except for Spite). So it is your combat total against the monster's total. The difference is applied against the loser (reduced by armor or whatnot). Then Spite damage is applied. Still, if you're having fun...

    Sorry for the late comment, but ol' Tabletop just mentioned this blog.

    1. Thank you Stu! This is another reason why I wanted to start the blog. It'll help me to be a better player and gain insight. I believe the way I wrote it up may be confusing, but I also need to check to make sure I am doing this right next time. I started and re-started this game so many times after realizing I was doing something wrong. Sighs.

      I've been referring to John as ol' Tabletop now. I think he likes it. haha

  2. I have had numerous characters perish in T&T solo dungeons . . . do not despair (it will happen again) . . . but as long as you are having fun, it is okay.

    -- Jeff