This week is all about getting my 5e solo rules working as an interactive Fantasy Grounds [FG] module.
I intentionally avoided the d20 when I made these rules. D&D is about so mucn more than just the d20.
- 3d6 for the yes-no oracle
- 1d6 for NPC reactions
- 1d12 + 1d100 for open questions.
- Modifiers are typically -3 to +3
The only thing I think is a shame is that I could not work a 1d8 table into the mix. What I was thinking was that part of the fun of D&D is using the full range of the dice. Am I old fashioned still thinking of them as Dragon dice?
Would you be interested in play testing a Fantasy Grounds Solo Oracle? Read Down
These rules are quite old now, well if you count in books released. Every book I have written has been a little bit more sophisticated than the ones that have gone before. This means that I can build in a few extra features and treat this as an opportunity to upgrade the rules.
Soloing on Fantasy Grounds
What do you gain from using Fantasy Grounds for your solo games? Quite a bit, if you already own the software. FG comes with D&D already installed. This means that you access everything in the DMG, PHB and MM books with just a few clicks. In addition, you can set up encounters and maps and then play them almost instantly.
What this means practically is that you could go through a module you wanted to solo, set up each encounter, scaling down to your solo hero as you went. You can do the same for treasures, just to keep things balanced. The same is true for NPCs. Now as you play through the adventure all of the prep is done for you. FG is good at handling the combat side of things and that is a bonus as fights can slow things down.
The bit I like the most is that everything you type into the chat window is saved into chatlog.html in your campaign folder. I am suggesting that you type everything you would normally journal directly into FG’s chat and let it save it all for you.
With that in mind, the oracles I am building will roll the dice at a click of a button, construct your answers and then insert them directly into the chat window, so they are in your journal.
My skill level at the moment is that I can build all of this. What is not missing as such but still undecided is how to present it.
One option is to try and hide everything, all the tables and dice rolls. I would then just present a Story Template and when you click a button it does everything under the hood and inserts the text into the chat.
The second option is a Story as a kind of Control Panel, with the different oracles listed as links. You can then open an oracle with a click and roll the dice. It would mean that you could see the tables, and to me, it feels that I am playing something that is dice, pen and paper, rather than it all being hidden away like in a video game.
With this option you can close tables you are not using but they are only ever a click away.
I can use the Story window to provide advice, the same text and examples that are in the PDF without cluttering up the screen.
The only down side to this second approach is that FG tables are not pretty.
You cannot format them, and they can end up with some scary looking code and acronyms in them.
You can see the dice, and parameters in square brackets and then references to sub-tables.
But, can you also see on the right edge a Notes tab? It is faded out on this image as there are no notes provided. What I could do is put supporting notes for each oracle on that Notes tab. It rarely hurts to give people several ways to get the right answers to their questions.
The more I look at this, the more it looks to me like the FG module will add real value to solo playing D&D. As long as the module is more functional than the PDF, meaning it makes you life easier and your games more fun, I think this should be worthwhile.