Today, I spent 10 minutes explaining to someone what I was writing, and all the way through I knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t put a finger on what it was. Now, six hours later I realised I was calling it Forgotten Realms instead of Forbidden Lands!
As of tonight, I have now gathered all of the resources I need to finish this book. I have remembered the name of the game I am writing about and I have got all my ideas in place.
also have a name! It is going to be called Forbidden Hero, Solo Roleplaying in the Forbidden Lands.
I have three sections to polish up from the first draft. NPC reactions, character creation advice, and tips for using the system for solo play.
For me, the star of the show is the adventure site creation. I am not much of a fan of maps, so the hex crawling is not something I have emphasised. I would much rather start the action as you first discover an adventure site and get into an exciting story. I can use the skill rolls needed for the hex crawl as story prompts, but the actual map is little more than a reference point to me. I do not feel the need to explore it.
But, that is just my personal choice. There is nothing in this book to stop you hex crawling to your hearts content!
Adventure Site Creation
I love these tables! I will be using them for years to come. For solo play, there is only one change I would want to make.
I am not a fan of randomised numbers of inhabitants. The random tables split things into Small sites, Medium sites and Large sites. With bandits, for example the number of inhabitants are given as d6/2d6/4d6.
The Gamemasters Guide is assuming there is a party of heroes and in those circumstances those numbers are probably fine. Even then I am not keen on rolling. 5 Heroes very 1 Bandit is not a challenge, even 6 bandits is not that much of threat unless all met at once. At the other end of the scale 24 bandits is a likely death sentence.
For the solo hero one on one is OK, but six to one against you is a tough situation. 24 to one is over kill.
I am a much bigger fan of scaled encounters. Either multiples of the party size or multiples plus or minus a few individuals.
If the number in the party, PCs and NPCs is called H (for Heroes). 2H would mean twice as many bandits as the party, 4H would be four times, H+1 would mean one more bandit than there are members of the party.
The advantage of scaled encounters is that you can decide on a challenge level in advance. If during your adventure an NPC dies or you have a huge falling out and they leave, your prep doesn’t go to waste. All the encounters from that point on automatically adapt because they are scaled to the current party.
I am going to include scaled population tables for all of the random adventure sites. Forbidden Lands will still be dangerous but it will be slightly more survivable as a solo hero!