Taking a break from British RPGs, taking the solo playthroughs into international territory with Ironsworn, one of the best known solo specific RPGs. Also returning to the four-part format begun with the Troika playthrough.
Disclosure - I'm a DriveThru RPG affiliate
Rolling Solo with International RPGs - Ironsworn
Ironsworn is a popular rpg design specifically for solo play. It has a fantasy setting, using Powered by the Apocalypse style "moves" and narrative driven by powerful vows sworn by the character. Other free resources are available to download are available from the Ironsworn.
I've got a physical copy, which I find much easier to play from than a pdf.
Ironsworn is advanced by a variety of moves which characters can undertake, which vary on the situation. You might Clash or Enter the Fray in battle, Sojourn or Compel using relationships or Face Danger or Make Camp as adventure moves.
Actions are resolved by rolling a d6 Action Die and adding a relevant attribute. Then this is compared to two d10 Challenge Die rolls, hoping they are under your result for action die + modifier. If both are under it's a Strong Hit, one is a Weak Hit (success with a consequence) and both equal or more is a Miss!
A match on the Challenge Dice triggers an event of some kind
You can also suffer Harm, Stress, lose Supply and you have Momentum which represents your current status in your quest. There's a lot more to momentum!
There's a lot more, but I've never played the game, so will fill this out a little bit more.
I learnt lots about Ironsworn when listening to season two of Me, Myself and Die.
Truths of the World
Ironsworn has eleven truths that can be chosen to create your version of the Ironlands. Each option had three options, so I randomised among them for each truth.
Separate Ironsworn Truths Workbook available at the Ironsworn website.
The Old World: Sickness devastated old world, thousands fled across the sea to the Ironlands.
Iron: Weather is bleak. "only those of iron dare to live in this foul place"
Legacies: We are the first humans to walk these lands
Communities: We are few in number in this accursed land
Leaders: Leadership is as varied as the people.
Defence: Warbands are rallied to strike at our enemies or defend our holdings.
Mysticism: Magic is rare and dangerous, but the few who wield the power are truly gifted.
Religion: The people honour old gods and new. In this harsh land, a prayer is a simple but powerful comfort.
Firstborn: The firstborn (elves) have passed into legend. Maybe some live in the deep forests or high mountains.
Beasts: The beasts of old are nothing but legend. No such thing exist outside of tales from those who visit the deep wilds.
Horrors: We are wary of dark forests and deep waterways.
As there is a quest starter for each entry for each truth, I randomised one on a d12 and got Legacies:
Quest Starter: In the writings of the first settlers, there is a description of a glade in the heart of the Deep Wilds. The spirits of this place are said to grant a miraculous blessing. What boon does it bestow?
Starting Region - Flooded Lands
So the Rand Roll Ironlands are a place where humans fled from a deadly sickness, in a few huge ships, not sailed since. They came to an unsettled land, and attempted to make it their own.
The weather is bleak, with long winters. The settlements here are scattered, with each keeping warriors, to be rallied as a warband if the need arises. The honoured gods are old and new, some brought by more recent arrivals. Horrors are said to lurk in the dark forests and deep waterways. Night is a time to be feared in the wilds.
Introducing Namba of Whitemark
Ironsworn has solid guidelines for making a character, which I did after creating the truths of the world.
I fell over almost immediately however. When asked to visualise a character, as normal I had no idea. Maybe a warrior of some sort?
So as normal I randomised some pieces and then let a character create themself. Being too lazy to read through all 78 assets, I randomly chose 5 and then selected the three I liked (discarding Herbalist and Trickster)
Namba of Whitemark
Edge 2, Heart 3, Iron 2, Shadow 1, Wits 1
Assets: Animal Kin, Rider, Swordmaster
Health +5 , Spirit +5, Supply +5, Momentum +2,
- Community of Whitemark ✔ (forest, rich) - Namba's adopted home, a place among the trees with huge gardens, with seeds sought by others
- Zura-Maya ✔ (stoic, scout) - Namba's mentor and in charge of Whitemark's outriders. Has seen much death and loss
- Kataka ✔ (older half-brother, critical, adventurer) - lives in the wilds alongside a herd of horses, valued by Whitemark outriders. Ventured out into Ironlands years ago, to return with a harrowed look and would not speak of time away.
- (Extreme) Find the Glade of Buando - Find a glade in the Deep Wilds, sought by her family for generations, mentioned in an ancient text and said to grant a miraculous blessing. But of her kin have tried and failed to find it.
- Inciting Incident - Death of a Horse Companion
Namba is an outrider of Whitemark, a settlement in the Flooded Lands, not far from the Havens. Assisting other communities or travellers on the back of her companion, a horse named Ranna. She wields an iron blade that belonged to her great grandmother, who brought it back from the Deep Wilds
For this one I'll be using only Ironsworn. If I do need other tools I'll use the GM's Apprentice - Fantasy cards.
Next will be the starting scene for Namba, where she deals with the death of a dear companion.