Dragonbane Solo: Partway - Catching Up With the Family
Rolling Solo Dragonbane Solo RPGs

Dragonbane Solo: Partway - Catching Up With the Family

Duncan Thomson

Getting on with more story and trouble in a solo for Dragonbane. Following on from the Starting Scenes.

Dragonbane solo - intro | start | partway | finish | all dragonbane

Disclosure - I'm a DriveThru RPG affiliate

Thoughts on Dragonbane

rpg thoughts | solo thoughts | scenes | char & notes

Dragonbane is a good system for solo. It's fast to resolve with d20 and roll under a skill, with Banes and Boons to reflect easier and more challenging circumstances. Dragons (1) and Demons (20) on the roll sometimes trigger other factors, which is good for solo play.

I haven't used too much combat (as Halwyld isn't particularly choosing it, being a scholar!), but it is quick and deadly in Dragonbane.

Sometimes it feels like there are skills missing, but there are always the six basic characteristics that can be used to test against (probably with a bane).

Although I'm using the Dragonbane Bestiary, even the basic boxed set has a plethora of creatures. In the core rules, normal animals, npcs plus creatures from the included adventure.

As it's d20 based there are lots of opportunities to add rules or material from other sources such as dnd or even Runequest.

Then the progressions are nice, rolling for skills to improve at the end of each solo session, focusing on the ones used that session. No xp to track, or extra abilities to worry about. (you can get extra Heroic Abilities when a skill reaches 18 or GM wants to award them)

It would be a system I could probably run an entire party for without too much hassle.

Thoughts on Solo Support in Dragonbane

rpg thoughts | solo thoughts | scenes | char & notes

The solo rules for Dragonbane are pretty simple, but sometimes I want more nuance from the basic d6 oracle. Like yes, but or no, but.

I also realise that I'm using it outside of the provided scenario, but there are enough random tables and other parts in the Dragonbane solo rules to run with. They are a robust set of support tools, including the random tables in the main Dragonbane book for journeys and adventure.

If I was to start again, I would have used a random scenario from there to get be started.

Adventures of Halwyld

rpg thoughts | solo thoughts | scenes | char & notes

At the end of the last scene, Halwyld had tried rescuing some dwarves, but had to flee back to ruins as outmatched by nightkin.

Scene 4 - A Change of Tactics.. (Health 4/8, willpower 1/12)

Halywld considered a new plan as he takes a stretch rest. (willpower 5, health 8).

Sneaks out to watch hobgoblins who have dressed one orc in thick robes to protect from the sun. They then took a chest from wagon and left carrying it, disdaining a pony for walking on foot.

(oracle indicated an extreme yes on whether they acted or not).

Clearly whatever was in the chest was important to the nightkin. But that only left two of them guarding the dwarves. hunkering down under cover.

Deciding that taking armour off would take too much time, Halwyld looked around for anything to help. There was only a couple of hours left before dusk, He settled on his lamp oil.

So lighting a lamp he snuck up with a flask of oil to throw on the rough nightkin shelter. But he was spotted and rushed by the orc guard. Halwyld caught them with a crossbow bolt. A struggle between the dwarf in plate with a club and the orc with scimitar in leather ensued, both scoring hits.

Plon the hobgoblin joined after waking, only to drop their sling then get scared away by Halwyld's ally, the ghostly dwarf scholar. Seeing his ally fleeing the orc also follows off out of the ruins, leaving Halwyld in surprised control of the area.

Scene 5 - Rescued Dwarves. (Health 3/8, willpower 2/12)

Breaking the two dwarf prisoners free of the cage, Halwyld treated their wounds and salvaged what he could from the nightkin supplies. Finding some rotten food and a gold necklace alongside more mundane equipment.

The two dwarves were Arden, a young miner, and Thurla, an experienced carpenter and distant cousin of Halwyld, though they didn't know one another well. The two were grateful to be rescued. When our scholar explained his oath to rescue his kin, Thurla volunteered to join, but Arden needed to return to his own community to see what was left.

They made a fire and camped in the haunted ruins, watched over by the ghost of Grimoffa. Of the nightkin, the two told Halwlyd that it was a sacred artifact of the nightkin, a skull of an old orc shaman. Thurla fashioned a club for Arden and a heavy club for herself.

Rising early, the dwarves travelled together for an hour, then parted ways. Halwyld and Thurla took the ponies and one of the mules, leaving Arden the wagon and horse pulling it, plus one of the mules. Harlwyld gave Thurla the plate armour, as she was clearly the better warrior of the two.

Halwyld and Thurla continued on the trail the scholar had been following the day before.

Scene 6 - On the Trail. (Health 8/8, willpower 12/12)

As they travel, Halwyld and Thurla talk. She had been at dwarf thane's hold when orcs came and defeated them, taking by surprise. Some dwarves were chosen to be taken as sacrifices to an old temple, Thurla and Arden among them.

With the ponies, the two made travelled quickly. Tracks harder to follow now but made good progress. (going to 3 out of 6 ticked boxes for catching up with the orcs).

Halwyld spots movement in an abandoned farmhouse they pass, and sneaks up to investigate. He trips over a wire that triggers a bell, then calls out asking who's in here. A hobgoblin replies, wanting to be left alone and fires a warning shot. Won't listen to Halwyld, so Therla rushes in and the hobgoblin hides. They search the place but can't find him and continue their journey.

Another catching fish at a river, they make progress on their second day, reaching edge of orc lands.

Scene 7 - Trouble at the Tomb. (Health 8/8, willpower 12/12)

Halwyld knows they are passing near the Tombs of the Ironcrown Thanes, which the ghost Grimoffa asked him to investigate. The two take a short detour to see if anything useful or possible allies there. As they approach, find signs of orcs, the Horned Helms, a clan who are rivals to the Severed Tongue that raided Halwyld's home.

A rider on a winged horse hails and waves at them and descends to see that Halwyld recognises lizard creatuer form. It's an old friend of Halwyld, as the two studied a problem together years ago. Hclikr speaks some common tongue and is an animist, but unwilling to get entangled in the struggles of others.

Hclikr warns them a group of orcs arrived recently, led by a warrior bearing a demonic presence Hclikr's pegasus ally can detect. They have broken into one of the tombs, where eternal guardians watch over the rest of the Tombs of the Ironcrown Thanes. Halwyld recognises it as tomb of Parna, a powerful elementalist who forged a sentient anvil that is key to the defences here.

They thank Hclikr, who returns to watching from afar, after telling what they know of the movements of the Severed Tongue.

As Halwyld and Thurla watch, they see a strange bird the size of a horse, Halwyld recognises as a basilisk. It's watching over a wide well, used to go further down into the tombs. The two leave for now to find their kin, although Thurla recalls that basilisks fear chickens.

As they return to the trail a pair of familiar pigs are spotted. Recognising Halwyld, they approach. They are from Halwyld's home, which means that any other survivors are probably near. They take them with them, adding to their menagerie.

Scene 8 - Hill of the Minotaur. (Health 8/8, willpower 12/12)

Up ahead they see a settlement covering a hill. They recognise as the former dwarven town of Brimdall, that fell to orcs and was inhabited by them, but now appears abandoned inside. From atop the hill flies a banner Halwyld recognises of an axe bleeding lightning. It belongs to a the famed minotaur Leonidas, who wielder of a sorcerous axe that leads him to what he desires.

At the base of the hill, outside of the main gate, orcs have gathered their dwarf captives at the base, waiting for something in the town. Lots of Severed Tongue orcs here, as well as the Barrelborn pigs in a herd. the pigs are barely guarded, one orc keeping others of its kind from them.

It's midafternoon and Halwyld haven't been spotted by light-fearing orcs. He and Therla agree that now it's best time to try a rescue, but to scout and plan. Leaving his ally in some woods with the animals, Harwyld goes to investigate the old town, his companion to give him until dusk to return.

He manages to get to the town undetected, investigating the streets nearest. There are dead orcs around, rotting bodies indicating there was a battle or slaughter here, recently. What happened?

A ghoul feasts upon one from the shelter of a cave, which Halwyld guesses was the entrance to a mine entrance. Searching nearby buildings, he finds an old cellar, including a heavy crossbow and a silver necklace. He also takes longer to look over dead orcs, finding they have been stripped of valuables. He does managed to salvage some leather armour and cloaks they might be able to use as disguise, at least from a distance.

Heads back to Therla just before dusk. And they make a plan to free their kin, and maybe lead them to old mines.

(also upgraded Therla to a full character)

Characters and Adventure Notes

rpg thoughts | solo thoughts | scenes | char & notes

Halwyld is travelling with Thurla, a female dwarf master carpenter, two ponies, a mule and now two Barrelborn pigs.

Halwyld Barrelborn

Old Dwarf Scholar, Flaw - Child of the Wild

STR 11, CON 8, AGL 9, INT 13, WIL 12 CHA 9

Heroic Abilities: IntuitionSole Survivor, Unforgiving,

Trained Skills: Beast Lore, Evade, Healing, Languages, Myth & Legends, Spot Hidden, Hammers, Crossbows, Awareness, Sneaking, Knives, Swimming

Skills: Acrobatics 5, Awareness 12, Bartering 5, Beast Lore 12, Bluffing 5, Bushcraft 8, Crafting 5, Evade 10, Healing 6, Hunting & Fishing 5, Languages 12, Myths & Legends 12, Performance 5, Persuasion 5, Riding 5, Seamanship 6, Sleight of Hand 5, Sneaking 10, Spot Hidden 13, Swimming 10

Weapon Skills: Axes 5, Bows 5, Brawling 5, Crossbows 11, Hammers 10, Knives 10, Slings 5, Spears 5, Staves 5, Swords 5

Equipment: book (on dwarf royalty), book (grammar of the dragon tongue), sleeping pelt, oil lamp, flint & tinder, 1 food ration, map, lamp oil, leather armour, 10 silver, Memento - Pair of simple bone dice, gold necklace, hunting snare, fishing net, mule, pony, two Barrelborn pigs, knife

Weapons at Hand: Shield, club, light crossbow

Thurla Barrelborn

Dwarf Carpenter, Flaw - Haughty

STR 14, CON 12, AGL 9, INT 13, WIL 12 CHA 5

Heroic Abilities: Master Carpenter, Unforgiving

Trained Skills: Beast Lore, Evade, Healing, Languages, Myth & Legends, Spot Hidden, Hammers, Crossbows, Awareness, Sneaking, Knives, Swimming

Skills: Acrobatics 5, Awareness 6, Bartering 3, Beast Lore 6, Bluffing 3, Bushcraft 6, Crafting 12, Evade 5, Healing 6, Hunting & Fishing 13, Languages 6, Myths & Legends 12, Performance 6, Persuasion 3, Riding 5, Seamanship 6, Sleight of Hand 5, Sneaking 5, Spot Hidden 12, Swimming 10

Weapon Skills: Axes 12, Bows 5, Brawling 6, Crossbows 5, Hammers 12, Knives 10, Slings 5, Spears 6, Staves 5, Swords 6

Equipment: Plate armour, backpack, silver necklace, carpenter's tools, length of chain, pony

Weapons at Hand: Heavy club, heavy crossbow, sling


  • Free family and pigs from nightkin
  • Investigate orcs of the Horned Helms at the Tombs of the Ironcrown Thanes.
  • Find tomb of dwarf monarch for ghost dwarf scholar - Grimoffa
  • Find out more about chest sacred to orcs, with the skull of an old shaman
  • Figure out what happened to orcs in hill town of Brimdall, where orcs lie recently dead.


  • Grimoffa, dwarf ghost scholar who studies royalty
  • Arden, young dwarf miner rescued by Halwyld
  • Hclikr, lizard person animist, companion to a pegasus. Speaks some common and allied in some way to dwarves but keeps from getting directly involved. Old friend of Halwyld
  • Leonidas, a minotaur who wields a sorcerous axe that leads him to what he desires.

Finishing Up

Lets see if Halwyld and Therla can rescue their kin1

Happy Gaming!