|The tragic trio. Image made with Hero Forge.
My first attempt at a solo game on the Islands of the Purple-Haunted Putrescence turned out to be a very short-lived comedy of errors.
Shipwrecked: Hex 002
My three adventurers, Shael, Arlan, and Drace, washed up on the shore of Kravian after their ship was attacked by a strange, many tentacled horror. Corpses and crates washed up around them. Being part deep one, Drace was the only one who hadn't swallowed a huge amount of salt water, and helped to revive the others.
The introductions were short, they all knew in the stinking heat and high humidity that they needed water and shelter quickly, and the best thing to do would be to pool their resources.
They scoured the beach, but could find little other than dead fish, four silver pieces in a pouch, and a backpack that contained a waterlogged wanted poster. They tucked the fish in the backpack, and after a few minutes of commiseration, headed inland.
Immediately, I rolled a random encounter with 2d4 Koshi, the monkey men who live on the Purple Islands. Neither group was surprised, and at first, the Kishi were cautious, but not unfriendly.
(9 NPC Reaction)
Shael tried to ease the tension by kneeling down and reaching a hand out to the smallest and most curious of the simians. The creature took one look and...
(Even w/ a +2 Snake eyes on NPC reaction rolls are bad news).
...screamed, clawing at his face.
Shael drew his dagger and slashed back wounding the creature. Arlan then drew his bow and shot the aggressor. Killing it.
Desperate to stay alive, Drace decided the chance of losing his one spell forever was worth the risk to stay alive. He cast sleep, only I rolled that the spell backfired on the wild magic effects table for the Purple Islands.
The party fell asleep to a man.
Captured: Hex 026
I checked the Oracle to see if the Koshi would spare the player characters... With a penalty. The answers were:
- No for Drace
- No, and... for Arlan
- And Yes, but... for Shael
Terrified of magic, the Koshi slew Drace immediately... But the other two had murdered one of theirs, and deserved to be punished
Shael woke in a cage of aircraft scrap to Arlan's screams. For his killing blow, he was to suffer through a slow, messy sacrifice.
Shael improvised a lockpick from some wire and tried to pick the lock to no avail. He also tried to smash the door open, which only attracted attention.
Shael suffered in the heat for a few hours before the Koshi got around to dealing with him. They carried his cage a short ways from the village to a strange metal hatch... The entrance to a nuclear fallout shelter blasted out of space and time.
They cast Shael in, sending him tumbling from his cage onto leaf litter below. He was to be fed to the Jade Slime, a radioactive horror within. The lid crashed closed, and soon, the only light came from the slithering Mass moving towards him.
I checked the Oracle to see if there would be an air shaft large enough for him to at least pull up into and that he could reach. There was, but he would have to accept a chance of being hit to get to it. Thankfully, the slime missed and he left high up off the table and pulled himself up into an air vent out of the slime's reach.
The Oracle let me know that he could painstakingly shimmy out of the vent and reach the surface.
A couple of hours later, he crawled out of the bomb shelter through a layer of dirt and moss to find himself outside the village, his allies' possessions still on display on the bloody altar.
Unwilling to go without even the barest of tools, he crept into the village... Or tried to. He waited until night to make an attempt. As he reached the altar he knocked over a pot of human blood.
Seriously, I gave him +20%, and he rolled a 98.
Koshi surged from the tents. Neither surprised, nor slow, eight Koshi shrieked pelted him with debris. Even at one damage each, the bits of rubbish were lethal... A critical hit to the temple struck him, and Shael fell, never to wake again...
That was nasty, brutish, and short.
But funny! I mean, how cruel can the dice get?!
Shael might have made a great hero if he wasn't so unlucky. As is, he would have been luckier to have drowned.
I am not that disappointed. It let me create templates for character sheets and records. Not to mention a sense of how to pace and notate things. Hopefully, expedition #2 will be more fortunate.