Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Long have I laboured, searched far and wide

Well, not really.  I am retro-playtesting the BSOLO adventure module, trying to decide if it was nostalgia or fun I was having.  Seems like raw frustration, now that I am older - some of the pre-gens are handily supplied with Potions of Gaseous form, with the obvious upshot that you lose all your stuff when you go through the bars...It's all lying there on the other side of the portcullis and the wizard Sargon's magical might dispels all enchantments within...  You walked 9 days from the town to the Gate of Lion Castle, only to float through the portcullis all smug n' shit, to die of starvation a few days later.  Seems about right.

The fact of the matter is, getting through Lion Castle is difficult for anybody, nevermind a puny 1st or 2nd level Basic D&D Magic-User.

I used the 3rd level MU - Eztar - that was the best (non-elf) pre-gen and he was killed by a Giant Ferret in the first room after entering the tail tunnel.  Furry bastard saved against my Web and we resorted to combat - with his AC of 5 I needed 17's, With my AC of 9 he needed 9's.  Got him down to 1 HP, though.  Fucker. I can't bring myself to write "Skeleton of Eztar" in the margins of the module since getting all the (poorly spelled) pencil scrawlings off'n it surely must have weakened the 30 year old paper.  The good thing is, the next guy will surely find Eztar's corpse, iron rations, and +1 dagger. And spellbook!

So, will my Labyrinth Lord: Realms of Crawling Chaos 3rd level Deep One Hybrid do any better?  I hope so, as I intend to use him to go through The Ruins of the Undercity after pilfering Sargon's fortress... I don't believe that the ring can be mine, though, since Sargon will never allow a non-magic user or elf to be his heir.  The shame is that at 4th level the stirring call of the ineffable deeps will surely distract him from his travels...

Why am I going through this? Well, as you may have caught snippets of, here and there, I am self-publishing (one day - possibly this year!) a licensed solo module for DCC... My precarious initial tests of what I've got so far reveal that there is little likelihood, the way it is set up, that any 0-level character will survive the whole thing.  I hesitate to change the time mechanic or the plot of the thing to accommodate any considerations as trifling as survivability though.  It will take a generous run of lucky dicing and a perilous amount of Luck points to make it out - although I've placed about 5 "medium good" exits in the first draft.  I think maybe a half-dozen to a dozen plays through will give you a survivor, provided you leave good notes in the margin and aren't surprised by any zombified previous characters, as getting their stuff will naturally be harder.

Think of it as an alternate funnel for when you can't find a game online or face-to-face.


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