I started a solo adventure with Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP) 1st edition, part of an exploration of British RPGs using solo play. This is a check-in partway through.
Below is a summary of Trasci's adventures so far, thoughts on WFRP 1st ed, thoughts on solo plus stats for Trasci and the solo notes I've got.
The Adventures of Trasci of Altdorf, Brief Version
Trasci quickly veered off the path of the Oldenhaller Contract. He had his money stolen by a Nuln thief while staying at the Reaver's Return, but we found out Trasci is a survivor, as he made enough money busking with dance to live on. A lead on some maps from the Reiksplatz lead to an old flame, Sabina. A successful merchant, he agreed to get the maps before they went up for auction.
Trouble ensued as Trasci and the scribe Logan tracked down the maps, making use of Trasci's Bribery skill, leading from the Bashful Chandler Tavern to Schwalb's Auction House and to a secure warehouse. Trouble ensued when the maps were unexpectedly guarded by norse werewolf mercenaries. Trasci lost a fate point, savaged by wolves, discovering that he was marked by Ulric with a wolf-shape mark.
Desperate to retrieve the maps, found Gerd, a wandering priest of Ranald he knew from old times. Getting patched up enough to limp around, he and Logan attempted to forge documents and knock out a guard, only to find the maps had been moved...and Sabina didn't want to talk to Trasci again.
After resting up in a basement, he escorted Gerd as payment for his healing, getting through the sewers to a hidden underground gambling den, the Lowly Chance. All kind of goods, favours, and documents are traded here, with Gerd promptly losing his stake in a game of Three Emperor's Bluff, which Trasci is useless at. While there, an old dwarf enemy, Fredek, spots Trasci and tells him not to stay in Nuln.
A short while later Trasci is on the road, accompanied by Gerd and a mercenary guard, Dahlia. Trasci hopes to get the maps from the von Stirhesse family who bought them at auction, and regain Sabina's favour. Gerd hoped to trade a box with some outlaws, helping Trasci in return with the maps. A meeting with the outlaws quickly goes wrong, as they are ambushed, with Trasci fleeing, Gerd shot down fleeing and Dahlia surrendering.
One outlaw pursued Trasci, but got knocked out by the footpad and got his first victory! He then heard shouted arguing about the box and Dahlia's voice, who was still alive. As he looted the outlaw he found an eye looking back at him from an arm. A mutant! Killing the unconscious outlaw he fled (with a new sword), evading two outlaws sent after him.
Ulric is with him and guides him to the Muddy Leg, a roadside meadhall where warriors of Ulric gathered and he felt a feeling of coming home. Here Trasci found out about a bounty on the bandit leader and talks to a warrior-priest of Ulric. He is given the task of slaying a wolf.
The next scene is Trasci trying to find a wolf near the von Stirhesse estates, accompanied by a bounty hunter with business with one of that family...
Thoughts on WFRP
WFRP characters have skills to do far more than fight. They fail a fair amount of the time and combat is deadly. But the Fate Points mean that this isn't so bad for a solo game, giving some in-built protection.
1st edition is a mess of different systems for resolving tasks. There is a list of tests, with some being very narrow and each working slightly differently. Trying to navigate between the rules can take a bit of time.
However, the careers random table (split into warrior, ranger, rogue and academic) is very useful for generating NPCs.
Also useful is having a world I'm familiar with and has quite a strong presence. Especially having lore about Nuln in the main rulebook.
However one surprise has been seeing the echoes of D&D in there (it was printed in 1986). From the gnomes, doppelgangers, dragon turtle, giant owl and other monsters that don't appear in future versions of WFRP. Onto the random treasure tables and magic items, plus quite a lot on traps, wandering encounters and a basic alignment system.
But so much that was WFRP finding it's way as an RPG, from the critical hits by location, career system, insanities and the overarching threat of Chaos.
More thoughts to come in the final wrap-up.
Thoughts on Solo
I was using GM's Apprentice: Fantasy Deck for these adventures, along with sometimes the One Page Solo Engine. I kept a list of NPCs, Current Threads and a few locations. I've also used Rory's Story Cubes a few times for more details.
The GM's apprentice deck has been amazing, providing names and quick inspiration, plus dice rolls when without dice. There's always something useful on the cards, although it takes a bit of time to get used to the sheer amount of information on them.
The One Page Solo Engine is decent, but I'm not sure it would be enough to generate ideas without the GM's Apprentice deck.
I've been learning the importance of tying in existing threads whenever you can in solo adventuring, to drive forward wherever the story might go.
Trasci of Altdorf, Human Footpad (Rogue), Fate 2, Insanity Points 3, 6'0", 34 yr-old
Trasci seeks to prove himself, but is easily bored. Has wolf scars on leg and face marked by Ulric.
Skills - Acute Hearing (r), Ambidextrous (r), Bribery (r), Dance (r), Lightning Reflexes* (r), Ride (r), Silent Move Rural, Silent Move Urban, Speak Language (Old Worlder), Strike to Stun
Gear - sturdy worn clothes, sling bag, boots, knife, bow and ammo, club, hood, leather jack, shield, sword, 18 gold crowns.
Current Threads and NPCs
Current Threads are..
- Find out what Ulric has planned for Trasci
- Get maps from the von Stirhesse family
- Get even with Fredek for betrayal
- Evade attentions of Gaspar and his outlaws and Dahlia
- Kill a wolf near Muddy Leg, temple to Ulric
- Help Danilo apprehend/kill a von Stirhesse noble with a bounty
NPCs list is (no stats listed)
- Sabina Grasser, Merchant. Hostile to Trasci, romantic history with Trasci
- Rudolph Grassser, Innkeeper of the Reaver's Return. Cousin of Sabina.
- Burkin Family, halfling criminals who don't like Trasci
- Logan the Scribe. Glutton, works for Sabina.
- Von Stirhesse noble family. From Stirland, interested in maps
- Neftu Burkin, halfling Scribe. Works for acution company, at odds with family.
- Norse mercenaries. Wolf-weres, followers of Ulric
- Fredek, dwarf Fence. Enemy of Trasci
- Dahlia, Mercenary, former Ratcatcher. Quiet, greedy, big axe, dog
- Gaspar, Outlaw Chief. Has box, chaos cultist / mutant, 5 outlaw followers including Dahlia
- Danilo, Tilean Bounty Hunter. Hunts Gaspar, sloth, charitable
- Raniyeh, priestess of Ulric, former Outlaw. Doesn't like people of the south, loyal but dominated by a fear.
- Lowly Chance, underground gambling den, run by a Kislev woman (dead), magic gambled for.
- Reaver's Return
- Von Stirhesse Estates
- Muddy Leg, a roadside meadhall and temple to Ulric.
I've finish off the adventures of Trasci and do a third finishing article, with my thoughts on WFRP 1st ed. Then I'll choose my next RPG (maybe Warlock!, maybe Troika) and see what changes are needed for the format of these articles.
Any comments welcome!