Want is an interesting idea for a soloist. We can do pretty much what we want, when we want.
One trend I have noticed is that I tend to buy mainly core rulebooks, and not a read mass of supplements.
I mean, I could if I wanted but with the sandbox campaign style it doesn’t lend itself to running modules.
Bestiaries are something else I don’t think I have bought in a while. Now, a typical core book has more beasties and monsters than I could ever use.
This weekend I ran an adventure module, or investigation, for Eldritch Tales. It was interesting to play an adventure that was ready constructed, but it is also additional work to prep it for solo play.
Was it better than my solo investigations around London? I don’t think it was. My solo investigation was based in London, I picked locations I knew, roads I was familiar with. The pre-written adventure had me going to Canada or several locations that I had never visited or had little experience of.
Sure I can imagine places I have never been to. I have never been down Moria, or to Mars.
There is something special about being able to place these modern day, or near modern day, adventures in places you can more than imagine, places you really see, and know.
I don’t get to go to London very often, but the Thames and Embankment are places I know and like. I can place a character at a restaurant. I can chase them down streets I can picture. As you head down the thames, there are buildings that are two hundred years old, or older. As you head down the river you will reach the Greenwich Observatory, that is a truly iconic building worthy of almost any urban fantasy, it is also the perfect place to visualise a duel!
There are places used by pirates, hanging judges and smugglers.
Going in a different genred directly, the Thames is spanned by bridges from the London Bridge, to the ultra modern millenium bridge and cable cars, and flanked by the millenium dome.
This is not meant to be a travelogue of London, but just to highlight how I like to use a real place and weave it into my solo stories. It doesn’t have to be London. I grew up in the shadow of an Iron Age fort, the landscape was crossed by Roman roads, and if you have read the Last Kingdom series by Bernard Cornwall, there is a battle at a place called Cannington (there was a gold altar involved), that is where I went to college. This part of the joy of growing up in a coastal region, historically there was lots of raiding and invading going on if you were within easy reach of the coast.
I suspect that this is part of the success of Call of Cthulhu. It is a part of American culture. America doesn’t really have that eurocentric medieval past to draw upon, but it has plenty of myth and magic of its own.
Luckily for me, that Lovecraftian horror was gobe spanning.