Continuing a playthrough of British RPGs with Dungeoneer, my first ever RPG. RPG, character and setup introduction.
Rolling Solo with British RPGs - Dungeoneer
I started a series on playing British RPG solo style with Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Edition intro, Partway Thoughts and Finale. Continuing with the second adventure, using the Fighting Fantasy based RPG, Dungeoneer.
Dungeoneer is a 400 page softcover book with two adventures, full rules, six pre-generated characters and an introduction for complete beginners. Plus a bestiary, GM advice and everything else needed to play.
It uses the basis of the Fighting Fantasy Adventure Game Books for, but was published in 1989, after they were a major success and 3 years after WFRP 1e was published.
It uses Skill (1d6+6), Stamina (2d6+12) and Luck (1d6+6) from the gamebooks, adding in Special Skills around groups of Combat (inc. axe, bow, unarmed combat), Movement (inc. climb, ride, swim), Stealth (inc. awareness, hide, sleight of hand) and Learning (inc. con, languages and world lore). These are built on the Skill stat. So a character with Skill 9 and 2 points in Swim will have a Swim of 11.
The magic system uses the Magic special skill, dropping your Skill by the number of points placed into it, but giving you access to several spells. These can be used as often as you like, as long as you spend the stamina cost for them and make your Magic roll.
Characters can be elves, or dwarves, who get no special abilities but need to take ranks in certain special skills. There are no classes or professions, so characters can assign skills however they want (using a number of points equal to starting skill)
It uses Titan (the Fighting Fantasy world) as a base, but isn't assumed you will play in that. Also the tone is that the characters are heroes and adventurers, which is different to the tome of some British RPGs.
Most of the rules revolve around using Special Skills, either in opposed roles (both roll 2d6 and add their skill) or a roll against the Skill/Special Skill (2d6 equal or under). Melee is opposed rolls with the loser taking damage and ranged is 2d6 under Skill/ relevant weapon special skill (with lots of modifiers).
Introducing Ridlaire and Fireborn
As combat can be surprisingly swingy, I opted for two characters. With a couple of random tables skewed towards humans, I ended up with two elves and used random tables to fill out their skills beyond the elven ones. And randomised spells too.
Elf male. Past best left behind. Skill 10, Stamina 16, Luck 10
Special Skills - Bow 11, Dodge 12, Lock Picking 13, Magic 12, Pole Arm 11, Ride 12, Wood Lore 11
Spells - Counter-spell (2), Languages (2), Light (1), Ward (1)
Equipment - Bow, halberd, scraps of armour, backpack, 3 gold pieces
Elf female. Unpredictable, afraid of something. Skill 5, Stamina 15, Luck 8
Special Skills - Axe 6, Bow 6, Dark Seeing 6, Magic 7, Thrown Dagger 6, Wood Lore 6
Spells - Fear (1), Mirror Selves (2), Sleep (2), Ward (1)
Equipment - Axe, bow, scraps of armour, backpack, 6 gold pieces
One thing I never liked about Dungeoneer was the power level difference based on a single die roll for Skill (1d6+6), which determines how good you are in Everything, and also how many points you get to spend on special skills. Fireborn rolled a 1 (Skill 7) and Ridlaire a 6 (Skill 12), but both had two points in Magic (as elves, reducing skills to 10 and 5!
This translate to a basic success rate on a Skill check (2d6 equal or under) of 92% for Ridlaire and 28% for Fireborn!
Ridlaire and Fireborn are mentor and student in magic, with threads around Ridlaire's "Past best left behind" and Fireborn's "fear of something".
I play my solo games offline, so luckily I have an old and battered version of Dungeoneer.
For Dungeoneer oracle/emulator I'll be using a homebrewed system with a d20 tables for Yes / No, Events and Altered Scenes. I'll share a version of these tables at some future point. For extra information I'll be using two dice from a pool of Rory's Story Cubes. With additional rolls if needed. I may add in another.
I'll create random tables as needed, such as a random table of city locations as we're starting in Port Blacksand.
Lastly I've got a names list from my previous WFRP which I printed out. I'll continue to use this one for names in Dungeoneer, crossing off as the game progresses.
For solo I like to use the given setting and included adventure if possible. Luckily Dungeoneer has two of them
Skipping the intro adventure (as I've both run and played it before), we are starting in Port Blacksand! I asked the oracle if we are running the second adventure and got a No, indicating we can use it for background.
Port Blacksand is a stinking city port full of thieves, pirates and danger, ruled by the tyrant Lord Azurr. It's also built on the ruins of Carsepolis, once the preeminent city of it's age. A good place for adventure.
Rolling for where to start the adventure, I got a house, then images of plants and a helmet for Rory's hints. And made a few more rolls of story cubes and questions to the oracle.
So Ridlaire and Fireborn are house-sitting the home of an elven plant mage, Emberfall, which gives them a reason to be in Port Blacksand. We start with Emberfall giving them a big ivory key with instructions to feed the pool of crabs at least once a day. Then he leaves them to study jungle magic and will be "gone a while".
The pair take a couple days to settle in, looking after the sprawling garden and feeding the crabs. We find out that Fireborn is afraid of trees, a reason for them to be away from the elven forests. One of the crabs claims to be an oracle and is adopted by Fireborn. They are given a vision of an axe in the city, which can help Fireborn's fear.
Ridlaire has heard of the axe, and so the next scene is looking for the Axe of the Shipbuilder's in Port Blacksand.
Starting Threads and Extras
The Extras is a list of NPCs, factions and locations which are part of the story.
- Emberfall, elf plant mage. Crab pet, owns house, cousin of Fireborn, tall.
- Emberfall's Garden. Entrance to sewers, Garden Street (in Port Blacksand)
- Hiro the Crab, claims to be a seer, manipulative, talks telepathically to feeders. Guardian
The Threads are question, plot hooks and ongoing threads.
- Look after House and Garden of Emberfall
- Make sure crabs are fed every day
- Over come Fireborn's fear of trees by finding Axe of Shipbuilding
- What is Ridlaire's Past in Port Blacksand?
A dynamic duo, a simple rules system for solo play and a city of vice to explore. What could go wrong?!
The planned format is a Partway through update and then a third part which is summary of what happens and thoughts on Dungeoneer (as solo and as an RPG) and solo tools used.