Monday, October 11, 2021

Into the Wylds (White Box Solo)


The priest kneeled before the woodland altar, uttering a few soft words. The halfling eyed his companion, wondering what god he was praying to. Suddenly a large brown creature leapt from the thick forest, jaws flaring at the priest!

So my real life has reared it's ugly head again and I am stuck with no gaming gaming. I decided to once again delve into solo gaming. I grabbed my trusty copy of White Box, printed out some character sheets, grabbed some dice, my copies of Table Fables, a notepad, some hex and graph paper...

I quickly rolled up to gents, and human cleric and a halfling fighter, ready to explore. Thanks to Bill who gave me their names: Tristan & Kip:

After kitting them out, I decided I wanted to jump right in, skip over the boring town stuff. I added that as the area was suffering through some lycanthropy in the area, Tris & Kip had their weapons dipped in silver, since they could not afford real silver and had no magical weapons. The boys are heading to a small logging camp up north where they heard that some ruins and burial mounds had spooked the burly lumberjacks. 

So I got my handy Hexploration Tool and determined they left the village of Plounders on Monday. I quickly determined the weather: [2] on a d6, shitty. Cold, and rainy. Perfect day to head out on an adventure!

Hex01: Where we started was the small wooded village of Plounders. I randomly determined which way the road went [1-2 NW, 3-4 N, 5-6 NE] and drew a winding road.
Hex02: What was it like? Hexploration Tool to the rescue. Using the quick terrain determination in the legend, it was more woods, which makes total sense given the logging camp. [rolled a 2]

Stealing a que from Tale of the Manticore, I decided to not only roll the 'Random Encounter' but also a 'Stumbled Upon' table, however I was changing them to both be d6 (he uses a d20 for the SU table and frankly I want Fun! Danger! Exploration! and 1 in 20 is just too little for me). 

Random Encounter roll: [1]....something or someone has found our boys
Stumbled upon roll: [1] as well! They have found something.

Wondering what we might have found, I grabbed the Table Fable II book and looked up Wilderness landmarks. I rolled and they discovered an Altar to the Wind God. I thought a moment and decided to change this to an Altar to HIS God. Tristan was overjoyed to have found this holy shrine to his god and exclaimed he must pray and make an offering. Dropping 5 gold pieces into the stone coffer chained to the altar (displaying the many attempts people have made to steal it), he dropped to his knees and began praying in earnest. Kip looked about and almost missed some movement in the bushes moments before a large rat leapt at Tristan's throat. (Surprised? 5, nope.) Kip manages to get off a shout before the rat reaches Tristan and the rat's attack misses.

Out of the woodline steps another rat, and something far worse....a wererat, frothing at the mouth. This trip was beginning to look like a bad idea.

Round 1: The wererat wins initiative and both rats attack Kip but the wererat focuses on the pesky cleric, but his swings go wide. The rats lunge at Kip, scoring a solid hit for 2 damage! Tristan returns with a wild attack that goes no where. Kip fairs better, killing one rat with a single blow!

Round 2: The rats win initiative again! The wererat manages to nick Tristan for 1 damage. One rat hits Kip and drops him by 1 damage. Tristan manages a great hit and whacks the wererat for 2 damage, lucky to have silvered his weapon, otherwise there would be no damage. Kip swings wide. 

Tristan is at 5 of 6hp while Kip has just 5 of 7.

Round 3: Both sides roll 2s, so they will go simultaneously.  I roll the baddies first, The wereat misses Tristan but the rat hits Kip again, dropping him another 2 points, down to just 3! Tristan smashes his morning star into the wererat's head and does 5 damage, killing it instantly1 Kip raises his short sword over his head and smashed down on the remaining rat, scoring a natural 20! It's brains make a splattering squishy sound.

It was a tough fight, but our boys survived and they take a moment to rest and bind their wounds. After they have caught their breath, they check and as luck would have it, the wererat had a satchel of coins!

Tristan regains full health and Kip ends with 6 of 7 hit points.

This was just a quick session to see how it felt and how using these tools worked for me. I think it went smooth and easy. I am very familiar with the White Box rules so that probably makes this quite easy and took some of the pressure off of me.

Two things I would like to point out:
1) Holy shitballs this wererat was LOADED. The rules on page 115 say roll a d6 to determine how much, based on XP, in gold value the creature was carrying. This rat? THREE times the XP, or 480 (140+10+10)!!! What the literal hell? I guess I just do not remember that crazy amount of treasure. I dropped that down to 80gp to split between them. I don't want them to reach 4th level from just one trip to the camp. ;-)

2) And this is the big one. If some friends were to call and say "Let's play in 30." I would reply, "Ok". For some reason we all start talking about playing solo and we suddenly need 50 tables, a dozen oracles, tarot cards, dozens of dice..... What gives? Why could most of run a few sessions with our bros on the fly, but the moment we say "solo" our sphincter tightens, our muscles freeze up, and we fire up Google to search for "How to play D&D solo"??? Why? I am not exactly sure. It may be that this is different, or perhaps we struggle to think we are creative enough to go it alone. I am not sure.

Playing solo this time, I kind of approached it like I would any other game with people. I did not do anything different than I would have if players had been at the table with me. I used my handy dandy little oracle I made that is ultra simple, the Table Fables II book, and I used a table I made on the fly for weather. Other than that I used only what was in the White Box FMAG rulebook.

I am really starting to think that people are over thinking this whole solo thing instead of just rolling with it and aiming to have fun instead of some high school science project with charts, tables, formulas, dozens of pages of random tables for every instance.

Any who, I am planning on continuing the adventure and finding out what happens to Tris & Kip!


  1. Nice work boys! I knew you had it in you!
    Would like to hear more about your thoughts on the Fables book.

  2. Plounders is an awesome name for a village. And "satchel" always makes me laugh. Okay, enough middle school humor. I like how the random nature of the encounter type, terrain, weather, etc serves as an interesting way to not only generate play, but also creates fiction as well. It definitely seems like you are headed in the right direction as far as creative stress relief goes. Enjoy!

  3. As part of my constant need for new oracles and the like, what "Hexploration Tool" are you using?

    1. LoL It is one of my own design based off something I found somewhere on the Internet. I will probably put it up on the hitch for free with a link here on the blog maybe this weekend. I mean, since you asked.😉