Thursday, April 21, 2016

Endless Sea of Darkness - GMA solo adventure - character creation

As I was inspired by the fluf from Blades in the dark, I wanted to play a Leviathan hunting game using free  GMA/ALONe engine, modified to be more FATE like.

So, here is Dolphin, hero of these adventures:

Family members: Sun/Shield/Target
Growing at the shores of the Endless Sea, means having no real family. Dolphin's father was a captain of the great Leviathan hunting ship, and he spent most of the year on the sea. Dolphin knew that he wants to be just like him when he grows up - he will also become famous captain and great leader of men.

As a young boy, Dolphin lived in the old captain's beach mansion, surrounded with servants. As captain's hair, he lived in the main building. Left wing of the mansion was Female house, where captain's harem was kept. Right wing was Servants house, home for all other mail members of captain's household.

Aspect: Hair of influential family (+ with rich classes, - with poor or with women).

Childhood: Tower/Crown/Hearth
Since his father was constantly at sea, the main Dolphin caretaker was Carpfish, the household cheef of stuff. Thanks to him, Dolphin never lacked any love as a child.

Aspect: Carpfish is my true family.

Youth: Crown/Skull/Target
The time has come for Dolphin to leave his father's mansion and to start his study years at seamanship academy. Next years he spent on training ship, learning to navigate, command the crew and hunt for fish and smaller predators of the Endless Sea. His contact with his father's mansion were limited to rare letters from Carpfish.

Aspect: Sea legs (+1 at sea, -1 at land for physical tasks)

Coming of age: Wand/Crown/Hearth
A year before he was schedule to finish his training at academy, Dolphin participated in a strange event. While hunting Sea Dogs, medium sized predators of Endless Sea, Dolphin spotted a single young Leviathan, scattered away from his family as a result of other ships activity. Even though such actions are officially prohibited, Dolphin ordered his crew to go after the beast. They managed to kill it, and the small ship triumphantly sailed to the harbor with leviathan carcass attached.
Dolphin's actions were approved by authorities, he was awarded his ranks before time, and as best student of the academy given command over one of the supporting ships for Leviathan hunt.
By this, he effectively stole the honors from Shark, boy one year older then him. As Shark was also a hair of renown Leviathan hunter captain, he was offered a compensation by being promoted to the commander on a merchant ship (something that never been done before), but Shark still felt as he was stolen from.  

Aspect: Shark thinks he can do it better.

And that is it. I really like how ALONe guides me through FATE like character creation process, that emulates the players interaction during character creation in FATE Core. It takes my character to the places I would not be able to find without it.

To be continued......

Friday, April 8, 2016

4 against darkness

Recently, I had a chance to play several solo dungeon crawling games, from different publishing companies.
One of them is 4 against darkness by Ganesha games.

So, team consisting form rogue, cleric, wizard and elf descended into the dungeon.

1. Entrance
2. Trapdoor, guarding 5gp. Rogue disarmed it.
3. Empty room. Elf found a clue leading to the location of the rich merchant who dissapeared here recently.
4. Another empty room. Nothing here.
5. This room is a home of the small dragon. Party retreated from the room, shutting the door behind them, but not before they were all burned by dragon's breath.
6. 6 Fungi Folk. After killing them, party found wand of sleep that was given to Wizard.
7. 2 Trolls were guarding this tunnel. On their bodies, party found another wand of sleep. This one was given to the Elf. This tunnel contains a short-cut to dragons lair, which party noticed for the future.
8. Party met wandering alchemist, but they were not rich enough to buy anything from him.
9. 3 trolls on the crossroads. Tough fight, but only 5gp of treasure.
10. 6 orcs. Same as above.
11. Weird monster - iron eater. Put to sleep by wizard. Elf gains a level.
12. Empty tunnel, but the search brought attention of wandering boss monster - Orc Brute. Wand of Sleep did the job again, but party become seriously injured by this time, s they did some healing. Wizard gains a level.
13 and 14 - empty, containing clues. Elf was now sure that merchant is near.
15. Level 4 trap, disarmed by rogue. 130 gp hidden. Finally a better loot. Returning to crossroads, party encountered 4 giant centipedes (wandering monsters) but they were easy pray for our heroes.
16. 6 zombies guarding a merchant chained to the wall. Party killed the undead and saved their target.
On their way back, party was attacked by a boss wandering monster - a mummy. wizard hit it with the fireball, and cleric finished the job. Rogue tried to level up but rolled a 1, so he stayed on the first level.
The party escorted merchant back to town and picked up their reward.

Verdict: 4AD is a fast game - you can play a level of dungeon within an hour. What I really liked are monster reaction tables - when you meet a monster you can select to take initiative and attack first, or roll to see monster's reaction. Some monsters will fight - and then they strike first. But some will run away, or let you pass, ask for a bribe, offer help, and some will even give you quests.
Another important thing to know is that 4ad is a light game. You can play it anywhere and everywhere, all you need is some graph paper and a way to roll some d6. Still with quests, clues, etc, there is enough material for 10 to 15 games before you explore main possibilities. So far, basic rules offer just one level of the dungeon, but main book mentions expansion called Deeper levels that is in the pipeline, that should provide further fun.
Finally, for the more creative type out there, this game is fairly easy to customize to your taste. Player can create tables similar to the ones from the book with ease, and it will not spoil the fun of exploring the dungeon.

PS. There is also a competition by Ganesha games, so if you play 4AD and make an AAR of your exploits, connect the publisher, you might get a chance to win some Ganesha games products.