Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence Solo Play Ssn. 0

Cover to The Islands of Purple-Haunted 
Putrescence; Art by Faustie
©2014 Kort'thalis Publishing
So, to give myself a broader depth of experience in solo gaming, I've decided to do something fairly straightforward for my first foray into longer-format solo play. I am going to play BECMI Dungeons & Dragons from my much loved Rules Cyclopedia as a base. I am going to use some mods from The Dozen Dooms for simplification and overall cool.

I have decided to explore The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence, and see how that weird, wooly setting pays off. 


So here's my Frankengame.

  • Combat and wilderness survival will use standard issue BECMI rules. 
  • I will use d6 group initiative. 
  • I will be using Weapon Mastery from BECMI.
  • I will not bother with non-weapon skills: instead I will have a background profession rolled on the DCC RPG table. 
  • Task Resolution will use VSd6 for anything other than combat. High stats might add a +1d6 to a roll. As will background.
  • I will use The Dozen Dooms' Experience Point and Levelling system.
  • I will allow PCs to take the variant classes from The Dozen Dooms at 4th level.
  • I will use the Dozen Dooms ' sliding alignment. Dedicating yourself to Chaos as per the rules for magic in 'Purple will slide to - 3.
  • Magic will be memorized Vancian spells, but each casting requires a d6 roll based on 'Purple's modified system, with my own tweak:

1: Spell backfires. 
2: spell works as normal.
3: spell works, but with a wild effect.
4-5: spell works, but does not leave the caster's memory.
6: Spell doubles in effect

  •  A character can roll this with Disadvantage to use a special casting technique from The Dozen Dooms, or roll 0d6 on the table to counter a spell. 
  • Magic swords work as described in 'Purple.
  • I will use Dungeon Crawl Solo's icons and d6 oracle system to determine the Chaotic outcome of events where I need a random answer to a question, or come up with plot events. They are pretty consistent with the VSd6 system.
  • Death occurs at -3hp. A character is unconscious at 0hp and loses 1hp per round unless stabilized with first aid or magic. The character will roll on the permanent injury table in 'Purple
  • Encumbrance will use slots in the vein of The Dozen Dooms
  • Days will be divided into four six-hour watches when exploring overland. Random encounters happen on a 1 on a d8, rolled each watch. 
  • Magic-users can prepare Read Magic from memory, and start with one other spell memorized. 
  • Any old book will do for a spellbook so long as it is in good repair. Inks appropriate for writing in spellbooks can be prepared from soot or squid ink, jungle herbs, and ground crystal. The value of the crystal covers 1:1 to the value of spellbook ink. Ink can be prepared as part of morning spell prep time. 


As for running the game, I will do a few things to enrich The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence.
  • I will begin the adventure as a set of three shipwreck survivors on a random patch of coastline. (I will just get my kid to point to a spot on the map... He chose 002) 
  • I will roll for campaign events on the table in 'Purple once the PCs arrive in a settlement.
  • On day 28 and every few days thereafter I will roll for shifting faction relations.
  • If the PCs look for hooks or work (or otherwise borrow trouble) I will generate leads based on a VSd6 roll and an Icon Table from Dungeon Crawl Solo.
  •  If I visit a Hex a second time after dealing with the original encounter, I will roll a d4:
1. Nothing
2. Use icon table to create a hook. 
3. Roll for feature using Filling in the Blanks as guide. 
4. Roll a random encounter 

Character Generation

To create PCs I will use the following guidelines :

  • For attributes will roll 3d6 down the line, discarding characters with a net -3 to attributes. 
  • PCs will be able to buy two re-rolls in exchange for taking a Darker Secret as per 'Purple 
  • I will roll a background from the DCC RPG table. 
  • I will roll a connection to the islands and flashback for each character from 'Purple 
  • I will roll hp, but give a minimum of ½ the maximum die roll per HD. 
  • Characters will start with randomly determined gear per DCC RPG
  • I will give them a chance to scour additional items from the wreckage using tables from Delve 2e.
  • Clerics start with their holy symbols around their neck. 
  • I will make up the "something special" at the end of character generation. 
  • NPCs wil level at a rate similar to the PCs. 

Character Death

Killed PCs will be replaced the next time PCs find a location with  either a settlement, pool of slaves, etc., or friendly NPCs might be converted to PCs as needed. If I need to recruit an NC, I will generate stats, rerolling attributes as necessary until they fit the description. Replacement characters will be level 1, unless otherwise specified. 

Let's Dig In:

Character 1: STR 10 INT 14 WIS 9 DEX 5 [rerolled to 12] CON 11 CHA 7; herbalist, darker secret: webbed hands and holds breath 3× longer than normal; connection: fortune teller... ; flashback: beautiful maiden... ; 2 hp; Spells: Sleep; club, 1lb bag of herbs, bundle of wood

Character 2: STR 13 INT 7 WIS 12 DEX 12 CON 10 CHA 9; hunter;  connection: father... ; flashback : thieve's guild... ; 6 hp, deer pelt, silk clothes, shortbow

Character 3: STR 13 INT 9 WIS 14 DEX 17 CON 14 CHA 12; ropemaker*; connection: born a slave on the islands; flashback: raiders; 3 hp, Knife, 50' rope, badger pelt

The Characters Spelled Out:

Between their stats, random gear, connections to the islands, Flashbacks, and in one case, darker secrets, these characters ' histories wrote themselves. 

Character portraits made with Hero Forge, used in accordance with their EULA

I have shared my character write-ups in my usual booklet form here:

Character Booklet

Looking forward to seeing where this goes. 

Update: This. Went. Badly. In a comical way. 

*rerolled from Elven Sage as the character does not qualify as an elf. 


  1. Good start, hoss!

    Remind me when I'm back from vacation, I'd like to set up an interview with you, pick your brain regarding these purple islands solo-adventure shenanigans.