YORKTON - So you like role playing games, but life has gotten in the way of getting the gang together regularly for a night of adventuring, what are you to do?
Well the answer might be as simple as adventuring alone.
That prospect is made easier these days thanks to published solo adventures which are single-person interactive stories which use familiar game mechanics to play through a story as the hero.
If you are a Dungeons & Dragons: 5th Edition player, well then you might want to grab a copy of Wolves of Langston from Obvious Mimic out of Toronto.
The simplest way to look at a solo adventure book is that the book takes on the dual role of a road map, and essentially being the games master too.
As it is explained at obviousmimic.com;
“As you take your journey through The Wolves of Langston, you will have a chance to do all the things you probably love about TTRPGs, including rolling dice and choosing your own path through the adventure . . .
“The game mechanics will be familiar to anyone playing D&D 5e. From skill checks and saving throws, to attack rolls and spell damage, everything about The Wolves of Langston is designed to give you the same thrill as a session at a DM's table but whenever you want to play.”
So you are able to:
* Interact with NPCs and your environment
* Use your skills and abilities to overcome challenges
* Cast spells, use magic items, and activate your class features
* Fight monsters and other evil-doers
All this works by following on-page prompts within the story and applying off-the-page effects to improve your character's chances of success.
So in wandering through the story players make choices in what is very much an interactive story where your choices influence the game and the character’s fate.
Readers may recall paperbacks where you could sort of create a different story by jumping to one or two possible pages, at points offered throughout the book. A solo RPG supplements at least a common root to such concepts.
The neat thing with Wolves is its versatility.
For example, you can play your own 5e character made however you usually make one.
Obvious Mimic notes the story is crafted so that all characters can succeed - or fail.
Along the way you have usual RPG experiences fighting monsters, casting spells, and finding treasure, and gaining experience.
“The experience allows players to be a lone hero solving problems and overcoming challenges without a DM or party,” notes the Obvious Mimic page.
The story likely works so well because the group behind Wolves are gamers themselves.
“We are avid gamers across a number of gaming media: video games, board games, TTRPGs, CCGs, you name it,” explained Daniel (with Obvious Mimic) via email. “So it’s impossible to choose a favourite game, but love most things made by From Software and have special places in our hearts for old-school game books like Fighting Fantasy, The Dark Eye, and Choose Your Own Adventure.”
Wolves grew out of one of those discussion gamer friends often have.
“We were talking about D&D and just went down a rabbit hole,” said Daniel. “We were both busy professionals and wanted to get into a game, but didn’t want to commit the time to a campaign.
“We looked into solo adventures and realized that they were definitely a thing, but required at least as much time as a regular session with all the prep and journaling and whatnot. We thought that there was an unserved need for a quick-start version like what we made.”
They sat down to create what he explained as “just a fun game that could get people the D&D experience on their own without all the hassle of a full-on solo RPG.”
Ultimately, it all works together for a very solid game experience.
Granted you will not have the face-to-face interaction of a typical tabletop RPG experience, but it can fill a niche when gathering the gang just isn’t possible.