the wonder of role-playing games: reviews, solo rpgs, old-school & narrative games

14 Dec 2017

Friday Grab Bag: Solo Gaming Galore, Infested Garden Manor, Snakes & Saloons, Sentinel Comics RPG Starter Kit

This week has great material for solo gaming (videos and articles). And we have a lot of free adventures and ref sheets for old-school gamers. On the 5e front, Snakes & Saloons is a refreshing idea. The starter kit for the Sentinal card game is available. It’s Epimas. And patreon decided to create an uproar.

Bookkeeping Notes: Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no extra cost to you. But please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them.

Old School Gaming

Here are some free adventures: Free Adventures for OSR/TSR D&D.
Skerples says on G+:

I have no idea if this adventure is good or not, but it’s called VILE VENGEANCE OF THE BEES and it features bees that have learned metallurgy.

Anthony Lewis created a Character creation summary for Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells. SS & SS is a PWYW old school game. Review here.

And here is an informative article about Hot Springs Islands and a Hot Springs Island Reference Sheet by David Schirduan.

Max Vanderheyden from Shoalmont Games created another neat (and free) Yoon Suin One-Page Adventure: Infested Garden Manor.

Ben Milton has another review video: Broodmother SkyFortress: Old School DnD Book Review. I love this book, it offers invaluable advice for an old school Dungeon Master. The PDF costs $9.99 and it’s definitely worth it.

D&D 5e

Mike Schley offers some fantastic free maps: Free Map Downloads by Mike Schley, for example for Tomb of Annihilation.

Snakes & Saloons is a free Western skin for 5e.

Narrative Games/Indie Games

Epimas in the Year 2017: buy issues of Worlds Without Master (an adventure fiction and gaming ezine featuring sword & sorcery short stories), a copy of the same issue will be sent to a recipient of your choosing for free. Plus a coupon.
I like the zine although the games are probably too “indie” for me.

The Dungeon World Newsletter Issue #18 has some interesting entries. The 1001 Fantasy Adventures could be useful.

Dust, Fog, and Glowing Embers is available to the public now! The PDF costs $12. I already have some notes for a future review but didn’t have the time for writing it. I can already say that I like the game:

I love the setting on the cusp of the industrial age, mixed with alchemy, numerology, etc. - it reminds me of the Mistborn novels.
The artwork is impressive, too.
The game uses a simple d6 system. You roll a white die (challenge difficulty) and a black die (your skills etc.). You take the difference and try to score successes with your black die.

Solo Gaming

Alex Yari has some ideas about Using Baseline Assumptions In Solo Roleplaying and How I approach the Player Knowledge / Character Knowledge Dilemma in Solo Roleplaying.

Todd Rokely on G+ found a Solo Gamebook Master Review List.

Tarcisio Lucas wrote a delightful little free solo LARP: One Portal and Some Cars.

Basically, the story is this: In this game, you have been mysteriously transported to a corner street, in a parallel reality slightly different from ours. You have only a vague recollection - a deja vu - that you know is the only thing that can bring you back. >Otherwise, your memories will be replaced by new ones - your mind will adapt to this new reality - and you will simply cease to be “you.
You know that the order in which certain cars will stop at the traffic light will be the necessary condition to reopen the portal and transport you back home.

Daniel continues with his dungeon-crawl using my Miso system: Vorin’s Labyrinth – Second Expedition.

And here is a video on How to create your own solo RPG adventure PART 1. The videographer uses Melee, Wizard, In The Labyrinth and Treasure of the Silver Dragon by Metagaming.

And How to create your own solo RPG adventure PART 2.


The Core Rules and The Hiding Death, another free adventure for To The Stars, Stellar Cadets! by Jonathan Hicks. To the Stars, Stellar Cadets! is a free, minimalist sci-fi game.

Sentinel Comics: The Roleplaying Game Starter Kit is available for $9.95 (digital version). I am a big fan of the card game which you can also play in solitaire mode. Here are some impressions by M. Hertogh on G+:

It has 6 pregen PCs (3 male and 3 female superheroes from their Sentinels of the Multiverse games). And 6 issues (6 mini adventures that are supposed to feel like a comic books).
The game play a little like a Cortex game, but at the same time it is different mechanically. In essence roll three dice pooled together from different aspects of your character, take the middle result. Special powers allow for variations on that simple mechanic.
I have not played, but it looks very simple to learn. Honestly it is the first supers game since marvel heroic roleplaying that I figure will be worth giving it a go.

For a starter kit I find the price too steep. I’m not willing to shell out ten bucks for an incomplete game. The physical version costs $19.95.


There was some upset last week because Patreon decided to change how it processes payment fees without consulting patreon creators first. They outsourced the payment processing fees to supporters and a lot of them jumped ship. My patreon campaign is still small and only two people canceled.

Luckily, patreon did a 180 a few days ago. So, for now, everything stays the same. If you support a creator with $1, you pay $1. The creator pays the fees.

Thanks to everyone who stood by me. Some people even upped their pledges. No hard feeling for everyone who canceled. I understand.

I gained a new patron: Spencer Salyer from the fabulous solo gaming blog Wisps of Time. Give it a look, people.

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