Dragonbane Solo: Starting Scenes - In Search of Pigs
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Dragonbane Solo: Starting Scenes - In Search of Pigs

Duncan Thomson

Commencing with the Starting Scene and a couple of more for Dragonbane. Following on from the RPG Intro and Char Gen.

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Getting Started with Dragonbane

dragonbane solo tools | notes | starting scenes | character

For this game I'm going with the included solo tools, written by Shawn Tompkin of Ironsworn and Starforged fame.

The main oracle is a d6:

  • 1: Extreme No
  • 2-3: No
  • 4-5: Yes
  • 6: Extreme Yes

It has similar d6 tables for Number, Scale, Power, Quality and Reaction. Plus a d20 inspiration table with 3 columns of Action, Attribute and Thing.

Then there's Dragonbane specific bits such as extra effects for rolling Dragons (d20 of 1) and Demons (d20 of 20), a couple of solo talents, NPC templates NPC Attack tables and some advice for Surviving Solo.

There's also an entire solo adventure of Alone in Deepfall Breach, with narrative and missions. I won't be using these, but there are tables for Areas, inhabitants and Dungeons which I may use if useful.

I've used Rory's Story Dice when I need ideas.

Encounter Table

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During the first part, I created a rough encounter table using 3d6,

  • 3-10: No encounter
  • 11: NPC
  • 12: Nightkin (goblins, hobgoblins, orcs, ogres)
  • 13: Treekin
  • 14: A fey/faerie (satyr / naiad / fairy / centaur / snow maiden
  • 15: A dwarf
  • 16: A Karkion
  • 17: A savage monster (called Beasts in the Dragonbane bestiary)
  • 18: A dragon or demon

Not only does it give me help for encounters, there is also some worldbuilding as I need to choose what goes into the table. It's a dangerous area: possibly once civilised and now a no-mans land. Also no normal beasts or groups on the table!

Adventures of Halwyld

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The summary for Halwyld from the character creation is

Halwyld is a respected scholar and teacher among his family, who farm pigs on the edge of hills. But upon returning from a journey, he has found his family missing and tracks leading away

Dragonbane has no particular break point for scenes, so it's up to me when it makes sense for a new scene.

Scene 1 - Harsh Homecoming (Health 8/8, willpower 12/12)

After months away, Halwyld returned to the farmstead of his family, to find it had been left a smouldering wreck. He wandered in shock for an hour, finding bodies of some kin.

But not all his kin, and there were signs that some relatives, and the renowned pig herd of the Barrelborn had been taken away. Studying the tracks, there were signs of a couple of nightkin, and the mark of the Severed Tongue, sworn enemies of the Barrelborn.

Harlynd knew there was no other. He had to be the one to try and rescue what he could of his kin. He swore a solem oath to do so, vowing not to rest inside until he had done all that could be done for his kin.

Searching among the ruins, Harlynd looked to a place known only to a few elders. Inside was a box with a suit of plate armour, a shield and a map. The map was of old sites family watch over, from a past conflict. He also found a couple of mules of his family wandering nearby . Lastly, he also took a little time to fashion a club.

(Harlynd got fairly lucky with rolls for finding things!)

Studies tracks, look like they were taken a week ago, but tracks easy to follow.

Scene 2 - On the Tracks (Health 8/8, willpower 12/12)

(Dragonbane splits timespans into Shifts - about 4 hours and Stretches, about 15 minutes)

Follows tracks of the nightkin for 2 shifts, finds a shortcut (on a dragon).

(I started a six-part clock for how long it took Halwyld to catch up with the orcs. marking first box complete)

Stopped to camp in an old safe place he'd used before, on edge of hills. Starting off early next day, it's raining but can still see tracks.

Then meets something on the encounter roll.

Comes across new tracks and spots a wagon and a couple of ponies ahead. On the wagon is a hobgoblin, with to orcs mounted on ponies. In back of wagon are a couple of chained dwarves in a cage.

Halwyld manages to get closer and listen to their conversation. Plon is the hoggoblin, in charge and taking the dwarves to serve as sacrifices. Should arrive next day.

Unusually for nightkin, they are travelling in the day, but the heavy clouds are obscuring the sun. This changes early afternoon, when sun comes out and stays out.

The curse the sun and head to a nearby ruin for shelter.

Scene 3 - Rescue at the Outpost (Health 8/8, willpower 12/12)

Halwyld scouts out the ruins. It's an old outpost with an old wall, but still inhabited by someone... (a dwarf scholar, undead).

Plon and others camp in one corner, away from ruined tower. A ghostly dwarf comes to look at them, but then ignores them.

(Used the tables from Dragonbane to find out details of ruins)

Halwyld uses Intuition to find out scholar studies Royalty and Emperors, and is a ghost Halwyld has heard of. Also spots bats coming out going from near here Plon camped.

(Intuition is an ability that lets you spend willpower to ask the GM yes / no questions. These represent the acquired knowledge of the character and is very useful in solo play)

Goes and introduces self to the ghostly dwarf scholar, as a fellow scholar, dwarf introduces herself as Grimoffa and invites Halwyld in. Already has copy of book Halwyld offers.

Asks Halwyld to find tomb of a dwarf monarch, to confirm some details of their life. Asks Grimoffa's help which she will give but can only scare them.

Halwyld changes into plate armour, then successfully sneaks up on the nightkin, who have left one as sentry. He manages to steal a crossbow. However, Grimoffa fails to scare the orc sentry, and Halwyld isn't armed with the best weapon. Other nightkin rouse and come to help.

Halwyld overmatched in fight even with ghostly help. He runs off, losing them among the ruins they are scared to enter...

Time for a new plan. There's a few couple hours of daylight left to try something else...

(Halwyld advanced, but only Bushcraft went up in the 4 rolls against skills)

Next Scene 4 - A New Plan.. (Health 4/8, willpower 1/12)

Characters and Notes

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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 7, 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 12, Swimming 10

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

Equipment: book (on dwarf royalty), sleeping pelt, oil lamp, flint & tinder, 1 food ration, map, lamp oil, two mules, plate armour, 10 silver, Memento - Pair of simple bone dice, light crossbow

Weapons at Hand: Shield, club, knife


  • Track down family and pigs from nightkin (Clock for catching them with 1 of 6 boxes marked)
  • Check on any old sites from past conflict Halwyld passes near
  • Find tomb of dwarf monarch for ghost dwarf scholar - Grimoffa

Finishing Up

Dragonbane is tough for solo characters! Especially those lacking in combat skills. But surely experience will trump the odds!