Solo Play

Considering the little rule adjustment, Campus Vernalis has the following characteristics :
Defense: +1 (fortified)
Military resources: +2 (a specialist as acting captain and small turbula of competent grogs with skill at +4)
Reputation: +5 (twice Prestige, and protector of an edge tradition (major))

I will detail the rolls of the 8th year, as the result was quite complicated:

First, I got two 1s, so 2 adventures (A&B)
Both will be difficult (10&9), with a 12.
It involved: 8&6, so A: neighbouring covenants, B some well equipped bandits (considering the difficulty of 12).
It happened in 5&10, so in Autumn, and I decided that the second one would be somehow linked to the first one, so also in Autumn.
Adventure A would be complex, and Adventure B even more so (5&0)… oh boy, that is going to be something.
Adventure B was going to be complex and very complex (5&9 on the reroll)
Adventure A required 8&6, so diplomacy & magic
Adventure B required:
B1: 5&8 Legal & Magic
B2: I opted to roll another origin as the real origin of the first part of the adventure. Somebody was acting behind the scene to make B1 happen. I rolled 7, so the real origin is Hermetic, followed by 1,5 &8, so social, magic, legal/diplomatic.
That’s not going to be messy at all…

Adventure A was resolved with success in Artes Liberales (with a total roll of 17), Folk ken, but failure with Intrigue for the Diplomatic part, and a three success in the magic part with a spell, Hermes Lore and Parma.

Toward the end of Winter, Ariana brought a mail to Melios were the nearby covenant of Don Burh was inviting him as an expert architect to help them renovate part of their covenant, specifically an overall of their outdated and cramped labs. It seems that the covenant business had been very successful in the past years and it was time to invest this silver into the best use magus know: better laboratories.
The first day of spring, Melios took the road to Don Burh.
The initial contact was a bit rough, as the mages of Don Burh were considering themselves quite superior to the single-maged, farm-covenant of Campus Vernalis (failure in Intrigue), which made the stay unpleasant.
The magi of Don Burh had very specific requests, quite challenging, and it tooks many days of discussion to put on drawings what they wanted, but the result was beyond their expectations (Artes Liberales), with Melios guessing accurately their needs better than they were able to express it (Folk ken).
The execution was flawless, with good use of Melios favorite’s spell (Mystical Carpenter), good understanding of hermetic heraldry for the lab decoration (Hermes Lore) and a very efficient use of Parma magica as a mage left some unfinished work boiling in the corner when Melios was setting the wood framerwork... so neglecting.

Don Burh mages were delighted by the work ‚Äď they still needed to let the massons finished the work, but the structure was well set, and Melios promised to come back regularly to check the progress and make adjustments.
In payment, he got all the excellent quality wood beams, granit’s blocks and slates that Melios skills and spells allowed the covenant to save, the promise to have for one year a team of builders send to improve his own covenant (Important building), and finally the son of their local brewmaster expressed his wish to have his own brewery and the permission to settle in Campus Vernalis, where the barley is of the best quality (Secondary Income).

As Melios was travelling back to Campus Vernalis…

B1: magic and legal with bandits, let’s be creative.
The magical part is handled by heavy usage of offensive spells (Coils), Parma and Magic theory. The Parma failed, but fortunately, the other succeeded.
The legal part was handled with a mixture of Etiquette and Artes Liberales (both succeeded), and failure of Folk ken.
B2: magic, legal & social, within an hermetic context
The social part was handled with Charm (failed), Folk ken and Etiquette (24 on the last one).
The legal part was a failure (Organisation Lore: Brotherhood), hermes lore & Artes liberals (success for the last two).
The magic part was brutally solved with Vilano’s Balista, magic theory (23) and Parma (18).

As Melios was reaching Campus Vernalis, he found it under the attack of bandits! Those bandits seems to be handled to the few little magical defenses he had set, but fortunately, the grogs were holding their ground.
After a quick assessment of the situation, Melios realise that some hermetic magic (MT) was at work. Good use of Coils of Entanglement, and the surprise effect allowed him to quickly turn the tide and capture most of the bandits and their leader. Some form of magic had breached his parma, but without consequence. Once the dust settled, he searched and found what he was looking for: a several charge items, all carrying the same sigils…
He was not able to get much information from the leader (failed Kolk ken), but thanks to a well written mail to the nearby quaesitoris (conviently residing in Don Burh) with compelling arguments (Artes Liberales, Etiquette), he received quick support. As the Quaesitor’s lab was under transformation he came himself on site a few days later.
Better equipped to deal with hardcore criminal than Melios, Carmina ex-Guernicus got all the information she wanted: a young magus wanted to plunder the library and vis of Campus Vernalis, as it looked not well defended.

Melios got a name: Janus, ex-Tytalus. That was clear violation of the Code and the punishment would be swift.

Melios went through several emotions: first, anger for being attacked, then disappointment that one would consider attacking a peaceful magus, living quietly with his neighbors… and finally the realization that if he was not setting an example, that could happen again.
Calling on some favors (mostly enlisting Ariana and her Redcaps associates), he decided to take the matter in his own hands. He declared a Wizard’s War on Janus (Artes Liberales and Hermes Lore), using Ariana skills and network to have it delivered quickly to the fleeing magus.

Then, to set his trap, and still relying on Ariana, he had a letter send to every nearby covenants, describing the action of Janus and requesting from them not to host this traitor for the duration of the War. It seemed that Melios use the right words and his plea was heard (Etiquette of 24). The covenants decided that since it was a vendetta between magi of similar capacity, they would step out and let it comes to its natural conclusion.

Three weeks into the War, Melios and Janus finally meet. Despite a good array of offensive spells, Janus could not overcome Melios defense (Parma ‚Äď finally holding up) ‚Äď his over-confidence was his doom. Melios on the other hand, studied enough of the items captured on the bandits to know the strength and weakness of Janus (Magic theory of 23). And when it comes to the finishing blow, the powerful Parma of Janus was for naught against well-aimed blocks of stone.
Still, it was against Melios conviction to take a life, and refrain at the last moment to deliver the fatal blow. Possibly a mistake, to keep an humiliated enemy alive, on the other hand, who knows who would have wanted to avenge the death of Janus. And Carmina was going to have also a few chosen words with Janus.

‚ÄúThere is definitely more than meet the eye with this young fellow. He is definitely worth assisting. Those labtexts would be quite of interest for him. Ariana, since he seems to be a good friend of yours, would you be kind enough to deliver this parcel to him ?‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúRight away Archmagus Astrolus.‚ÄĚ (Powerful ally - initially Melios tried to reach for the Brotherhoof of Samos for assistance, but failed, probably because it is still his scrutiny period).

All this events allowed to definitely earn the trust of his covenfolks (Loyal covenfolk). He also stroke a deal with the remaining bandits: they won’t be executed if they serve him faithfully. It is a bit of gamble, but after seeing him brought their boss in chains, he made a strong impression (Veteran fighters).
The rest of the rewards is collected as BP to get various labtexts.

Since the challenge difficulty was 12, I could have taken again Excellent book (even several times), but I found it a bit too easy and not so interesting in crafting a story describing the evolution of Campus Vernalis.

Without several exploding dices, the outcome could have been much worse.
All in all, Gentle Gift really allowed Melios to handle a lot of challenge that otherwise would be much more difficult.

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I love the way you weave the ability rolls into little stories. This what I had in mind when I developed solo play.

I really liked it when included references to your characters emotional reactions. It makes the narrative so compelling.

Melios has enough magic capacity to beat various opponents to pulp, and in some case, it could have been the first choice, and possibly even the better option. Then, I remembered that he has the flaw Pious. He cannot take life in cold blood, and even if angry, he would think twice before commiting what he would see as a mortal sin. I probably would include more elements regarding his conviction in the future. I have some plans for the future to include his faith and his passion in a little adventure.

Year 9 & 10
Quiet years ! Melios has enough on his plate to not seek more adventures. He rebuilt his lab to make it large enough as to fit in carriage and small boats.
Of course, although there was no adventure, there were bad omens...

Year 11
Fate remembered Melios and decided to have some fun with him.
One adventure, of medium difficulty (9+1=10), involving the visit of a magus in Winter.
However, the adventure was going to be more complex than it initally appeared (0, so combined adventure, with two rolls for challenges).
The first part, involving the visiting mage is Legal/diplomatic.
The second part involve local nobility, and is complex, with both a legal/diplomatic challenge and a magical one.

The first part resulted in three successes, with the use of magical theory, Finesse and Faerie Lore.
The second part saw two failures in the legal/diplomatic part (for the first time) with Folk ken and Intrigue, and one success (Artes Libérales), however the magical challenge was a clean sweep (a spell, Finesse and Awareness).

The year had been quite so far and Melios dedicated the year on studying Arts that he ignored so far (Corpus, Intellego).
That was until Boromeo, one resident Rusticani knocked at his door. One of his precious virtus sources had been harvested, and all signs indicated that it was done by a man (use of Finesse with spell and magic theory).
A quick investigation allowed to find the culprit, a mage from Mag Tured harvested the virtus. It was outside of their covenants boundaries, yet Boromeo did not declare this source as belonging to him - he was not well aware of the finer points from the Peripheric Code.
Since it was in a small faerie bush, Melios called on the local faerie and propose a little competition based on hunting skills, The winner would get rewarded by the Fae, the Fae will get Vitality from the story and the issue would be sorted (Faerie Lore).

Within a few days, the issue had been sorted and Melios went back to his lab, without giving much more thought.

A few days later, as Melios was harvesting himself some virtus, with Theo, his loyal shield grog, he was confronted by a group of angry soldiers who took him by surprise and assaulted him, wounding seriously him self and his shield grog. Melios did not manage to introduce himself (failed Folk ken, despite using his positive reputation around) on time to prevent the beating and refrained to use magic as he did not want to create an incident. The soldiers were on a mission by Lord Adalbert, who heard recently, people hunted on his lands and was decided to catch the poacher.
He was brought to the Lord who recognised him for who he was, a wealthy, free man, owning a brewery, fertile lands and producing some of the finest honey of the area. Melios could not avoided to be heavily fined (success in Artes Libérales, failure in Intrigue).

Melios thought about his misadventure and conclude that there was no way that the Lord could have found about the hunt, and him collecting virtus without somebody feeding him some info.

Concerned that Janus might be behind this unfortunate adventure, he set on investigating (Awareness of 22). It was not Janus, but the Fae that he initially dealt with. To wave a stronger story, she dropped hints and fakes clues to stir a kind of revenge/justice story. Melios was not going to play this game. Confronting the Fae (Coils of entanglement), he administered and rightful punishement to this little bugger who has to ackowledge that a Terram magus can make life delicate for a Fae allergic to iron (Finesse of 18).

Although he had to let go of a lot of money (5 BP), and spend some time to recover from the serious wounds (heavy for the shield grog), the fact that during the past decade and even under painfull circumstances he did not leave any magic transpire earned him the respect of Carmina (prestige, Quaesitor).

The Rusticani showed their gratitude by offering several magical armors and weapons (upgrading a minor boon to a major one: veteran fighters to magical soldiers).

Finally, his action strenghten the bonds between Rusticani, covenfolk and the former bandits turned veteran fighters (Strong Community). People knows that in Campus Vernalis, everybody has a role to play and the master won't hesitate to get involved.

Year 12
It was Melios' last year under the Brotherhood scrutiny, and except the renovation of Don Burh covenant, he only took some minor works here and there, never taking more than a few days.
He realised that it probably won't be enough to impress who ever was watching him.
So he decided to take for a year the mantle of a companion builder and work on a cathedral, for no other payment that the experience.

Since it is about being accepted in a Mystery Cult, I set the challenge to difficult (12). I wanted it complex, involving Supernatural element, Hermetic initiation/examination and also a Religious challenge since he was working on a cathedral.
I also made sure not to use twice the same skill or the same characteristic - since it was going to involve 9 rolls.
Since Melios will be working on cathedral, there is probably a Divine aura, so he won't be using any spells.

The religious challenge would be social: Folk ken+Int (+confidence), Charm+Dex (both succeed), Etiquette+Presence (failed).
The supernatural challenge was - obviously - magic: Awareness+Sta (failed), Perception+Magic Lore, Qik+magic theory (both succeed)
The hermetic one would be legal, the closest I could find for an examination: Prof Architect (it is not part of the skill list, but I though it was appropriate)+Str (with the help of a dice roll of +16), Intrigue+Communication (+use of his reputation), and Intelligence+Artes Libérales. All three succeed.

With his focus set on making a good impression, Melios travelled to Limerick, to work in St Mary cathedral. As he arrived on the construction site, he introduced himself to who looked to be the master builder. Melios did not make a very good first impression since he did not notice that it was Father O'Banon... (failed Etiquette), but fortunately, once he was able to convince him to give him a chance, by a quick display of his skills, building tiny one-foot church made of spare wood chunks left around (Dex+Charm). After a few days, Melios was fully integrated in the team of architect and was in charge of handling some delicate carpenter work (folk ken).

Everything was going fine until a few months later, work come to a stop. Rumors of a ghost undoing during the night the work of the day was starting to spread. Workers were threatening to leave.
Melios quietly examin the area and came to the conclusion that the rumors were true (Magic theory). A ghost was at work. He decided to wait during the night to discuss with the ghost. Alas, too tired by a day of work, he felt asleep during his Watch (failed Sta+Awareness). Yet, the ghost was intrigued by this human, obviously not scare to sleep in a haunted place.
Awoken by the ghost, Melios managed to discuss with him, despite an obvious language barrier. He understood that some of stones used in the construction belong to the ghost's grave, a viking long dead (Per+Magic Lore). The next morning, with the help of a few strong men, Melios discreetly removed the stones, moved the whole grave carefully to a location far from the building site. The following night Melios manage to contact again the ghost, who was pleased with his new "home".

Toward the last month of the year, a young fellow wanted to join the construction site, and he was appointed to Melios' team. Quite young in appearance, he introduced himself like doing is companion's tour, like Melios. He look at Melios as a model and started shadowing him, asking many question about the buildings, the proportion and so on. Melios lead by example, more than words what and why he was doing thing like that (Str+Prof Architect, roll of 16 :smiley: ).
When Melios was not too tired, he would go into more détails and the theory behind it, referring to Archimede, Thales (Artes Libérales).
Then it occurred to Melios that he never saw this young fellow doing any real work, yet whatever task was assigned to him, it was completed by the end of the day. Melios became a bit more suspicious and begin to test his student with subtle questions. After a few days, the young fellow had disappeared, leaving just a note for Melios "Welcome Brother" with a A as signature, in a hand writting very similar to the one the note with a bunch of labtext donated to him by a certain Archmagus (Intrigue).

For this adventure, the goal was to get accepted by the Brotherhood of Samos, so that's the main reward, plus 5xp as well as four seasons of work with masters (XP through practice).

This is quite an interesting set of solo rules. I like it, and yes... One could go blind doing this. :wink:

Melios is back !
Sorry for the break, real life went in the way.

So after his year as companion, without touching magic at all, Melios itches for some serious lab work, until... he realises he is a bit short on Herbam virtus to complete the enchantments he would like.
Time to go vis gathering !
For year 13, there is no adventures, but 3 bad omens... yuk! it looks like many people decided to go vis gathering and it would be much more challenging that what he was initially expecting.

He needs about 25 paws, which is 5 PB, so a final difficulty of 10.
Melios needs this vis soon, so he will go in Spring. He already had to deal with a faerie encounter in the area and decide that challenging the Faerie for vis might work. He is aware that Faerie who are not cognizant tend to keep repeating the same story (success on Int+Faerie Lore).
Melios went to challenge Saxifrage of the Crawling Vines. Saxifrage set the following challenge: he would try to find Melios hide out in the forest from dusk to dawn. If Melios manage to remain hidden, Saxifrage would let him gather vis in his forest from dawn to dusk, otherwise Saxifrage can ask a favour from Melios.
Aware that Saxifrage would spot obvious magic, Melios used low level improvised spells to hide himself and move silently (Qik+Finesse). Although Saxifrage lost, he appreciated that instead of relying on powerful spells, Melios used almost non-detectable and indirect effects, so he let him harvest virtus.
Melios did not waste time and quickly collected two dozens of Herbam pawns (Per+Area Lore). In hindsight, he might have collected a bit too much for what would have been considered an appropriate reward for this challenge, but Melios really needed the virtus… He would have to smooth relationship with Saxifrage in the future.

Three successes means 5 extra XP and considering the challenge difficulty of 10, that’s 5 BP or 25 pawns.

At this stage, it came to me that the reward scale should probably be finetuned:

  • For a single mage, 25 paws is a lot of vis, for a simple challenge of difficulty 10
  • Two successes with a difficulty of 12 allows you to get a Minor Boon like Excellent Book. The first time, it is a nice milestone to help the magus in his development, but it would be relatively easy to build the best library of the Order within a few years by abusing this reward.
    I guess that as long as it for solo play and narrative purposes, there is no need to have a more finetuned reward scale. It is up to the player to decide if he wants to rebuild Alexandria’s library with a single mage.

A few years went by without incident, except the usual bad omens. But is it really a surprise ? Melios is getting used to have everything just slightly more difficult than it should be. Is there a curse on the land?

Melios used his time to create the Sylph.
As he is building a little reputation of covenant and lab builder he is more frequently hired for his architect’s skills and a fast, safe way of transport would save him precious time. Additionally, he could let his friend Ariana use it a couple seasons per year. Since he established very good relationship with the local chapter of Mercere House, he is enjoying a lot of little perks: tips on bandits bands travelling around, his skills and services are well advertised, Redcaps are coming to Campus Vernalis at least once a season.
Yet, he is not naive and knows that he has to be ready to protect his lands. So he set to invest a bit of time in learning about laws, both hermetic, cannon and civil and improve his Certamen abilities. He also enjoyed his time working on the cathedral, without magic, so he spend one Spring working the fields with farmers to learn more about the land.

In Year 16, he had to repel a bandits’ attack on Campus itself.
It is true that’s between the brewery, the rich fields, generous apiaries, the blacksmith, Campus Vernalis looks like a prosperous farm, or an easy prey…
But it is without counting the trained troops, the magical equipment and Melios himself, who just happened to have learned Vilano’s rain for area effect. The fight was swift and one-sided. Fortunately, Melios remained cool and instead of doing justice himself, brought them to Lord Adalbert for judgment. Which was equally swift and… shall we say final ?
(Three success with a Spell, Artes Liberales and Folk ken, for a diplomatic conflict involving bandits).

I decide that it was time to adjust some of Melios traits:
He was definitely Pious (+4) as part of his background, strengthen after his year working on the cathedral. He became attached to his land and his men, Responsible (+2). He is also starting to enjoy using words not to cast spell but to confuse and manipulate people, Trickster (+2) ‚Äď which will become apparent in the next story.

Year 17 brought another type of challenge, for what is called ‚ÄúA cumbersome visitor‚ÄĚ.
Sir Gillroy, a knight back from the Crusade, full of faith and rightfulness came knocking at the door of Campus Vernalis. He heard that feats of magic were accomplished within these walls and he was set on saving those poor inhabitants’ souls or cleanse the place in last resort.
Considering that he was alone, Sir Gillroy was not a great threat (difficulty 6, without bad omen ! that must be a sign). He could however, become a nuisance if he started to spread this kind of information. And killing would not solve anything as his family would come to investigate his disappearance.

So Melios took on him to disprove those silly rumors. Careful that a knight back from crusade could be under divine protection, Melios did not use any spells. Using psychology (Folk ken), carefully chosen words (Intrigue) and good manners (Etiquette), he explained that, yes, he was a scholar, set on using new methods for improving farming practices. Like determining the best stars alignment to plant or harvest, constructing buildings using the Perfect ratio and such highly academic knowledge. He admitted that this could looks a bit magical to the outsiders, like everything people cannot comprehend. The fact that Melios spent a year working on a cathedral dissipated any doubts that Sir Gillroy could have, no sorcerer could ever be able to work on holy ground.

However, Melios pointed out that there was real threat in the area. A group of bandits was threatening various roads and since a few seasons traveling was no safe anymore. Melios presented himself as a mediocre leader of men, however, he could arm and lend a dozen of his strongest men to Sir Gillroy to capture them and bring them to justice. Lord Adalbert would greatly appreciate this service and help build Sir Gillroy reputation.
Melios had quickly assessed that although full of good intentions and an excellent fighter, Sir Gillroy was not‚Ķ the sharpest tool in the shed: he did not wonder how it was possible that a scholar farmer had a stash of excellent weapons, nor how lucky he was to have so many strong ‚Äúpeasants‚ÄĚ who could handle weapons so well.
With subtle guidance of Melios (Awareness), the bandits camp was spotted after a few days of search and were quickly handled (Commandement). Those who managed to escape were killed by a landslide as they were running downhill (Vilano‚Äôs rain) ‚Äď it must be the frequent Irish rain that turn hills into dangerous trap. Fortunately, Sir Gillroy was too far to notice anything suspicious, as he was busy leading a small group of men to capture half a dozen of bandits.
Lord Adalbert greatly appreciated the effort, although raised an eyebrow when Sir Gillroy depicted Melios as a pleasant scholar, unfit for combat, but full of good intentions.
It was a complexe adventure with both a social and combat aspect. Because it was an easy challenge, I try to make thing a bit more entertaining for Melios.

His actions did not go unnoticed by Carmina, the local Quaesitor. She appreciated his light touch in handling a delicate situation. She asked him if he would consider becoming a quaesitor himself as she would need help, especially with issue involving interference with mundane as she does not have the Gentle Gift. He was able to show restrain, common sense, has been following the Code not only to the letter but also the spirit of the words, even in tough situations. He is enjoying a reputation of amicable fellow, yet not without resources. And his good standing with House Mercere, one the Order's pillars vounches for him.

Melios ask a year before taking such an important decision.

Hi All,

I know this post is rather old, but wanted to chime in and say that it's a great concept. I've been rereading my copy of Arm5 lately, and am thinking of trying out the system using this solo play methodology, since I'm doubtful I'll get to play live any time soon.

I wonder if anybody else has played Arm in a similar fashion? Solo play in general is a topic I'm quite interested in, and I took the liberty of posting this topic in the Lone Wolf Roleplaying solo play community, though the post seems to have vanished into parts unknown. :confused:
Anyway, I'm very much interested in this, and hope for renewed interest and/or further refinements. :slight_smile:

Funny that you asked, Blindmagus!
Yesterday, I was just updating the ruleset after various experiment and tweaking. I run 20 years of life for a young Verditius Hunter magus, with a knack for fabrics (minor magical focus) to test some changes I made.

  1. I wanted to have more magic, so I changed the rule regarding spell's uses during a set of challenge. The original rule was that you could use one spell instead of Carac+Skill per set of challenge and in this case, you use the level of the spell + 1d10 to determine the outcome. There is minimum spell level depending on the difficulty.
    I replaced it by the following rule: you can add the magnitude of an appropriate spell for each roll (no level constraints), but you cannot use anymore just a spell and use its level+die to solve one of the three test of a challenge's set. To balance that, I upped a bit the Adventure difficulty by +3.
    After testing, I was happy with the more "magicky" feel, but I realised that upping the Adventure difficulty by +3 was rather harsh, especially during the first few years: a mage rarely has three different spells for a similar occasion as well as three decent skills, thus you will at least fail once.

  2. Second round of tweaking: for young magus - starting at years 0 after gauntlet, substract 3 to all difficulty for the first five years - lets say that it is the benevolent help of nearby covenants making your life easier. In fact to make it more thematic, it should be seven years, the duration between two tribunals, a "period of grace". That helped preventing too many failures at the beginning, potentially crippling and slowing the development of the mage and covenant.

  3. I also added the possibility to use specialist for a single test during a set of challenge: use it skill+Char instead of yours. You get specialist with BP, but instead of costing highest skill BP, one costs core skills+Charx2, no negative char. It is basically a very simplified grogs: no virtue/disadvantage, only list the relevant skills and char: like 2 hand weapon: 6, Survival: 5, Str:+1, Per: +2, total: 6+5+1x2+2x2=17.

  4. Now the work in progress is the reward system. Most adventures will be of medium difficulty, which means that it is possible to be piling up permanent minor advantages, upgraded from time to time to major advantage. Otherwise, you are piling up Building Point. It allows quick customization of the covenant, but maybe I would like to introduce something a bit more random, like a table determining what kind of advantage you are getting - you don't always choose the reward you are granted. Really minor tweaks to suit better my taste only, but otherwise it works well like that.

So far, I have quite some fun with this rule set, it is more entertaining that just growing a mage with 30 xp a year.

My recommendation, if you want to use this rule set:

  • Start with a mage fresh out of gauntlet
  • Start with a Spring covenant, with 300 BP and you are the only magus.

Two virtues are really powerful in this ruleset: Gentle Gift and Self Confident.
If you consider that you have -3 penalty due to the Gift for any social challenge involving mundane, Gentle Gift is basically a +3 bonus for a lot of challenge. I was facing this issue in about a third of my challenge. After all, 2 types of adventure out of four (social or legal/diplomatic) and five origins (1,2,3,5,6) out of ten will put you in a tough spot if you don't have the Gentle gift (mathematically, that's 25%, I must have been unlucky with my rolls).

Self confident allows you to burn 2 confidences point for a +6 and it can really help you. Because it is a limited resources, it is not as good as Gentle gift, but when you go for really tough challenges, it will be help you squeeze the win.

Now, I did run the system with a Gentle Gifted Jerbiton, then a Verditius (no Gentle or Blatant Gift). It worked well in both case, but the Verditius has a tougher time (some complexes adventures involving legal dispute, followed by abysmal social challenge, ending up in Combat, there is a certain logic behind that). I haven't tried with Blatant Gift, but I suspect investing in a skilled negociator/specialist might be required to survive the initial founding years.

How would you feel about putting the revised solo rules into a downloadable document?

I could help with that, if you want.

I'm a bit confused with the maths there... Is it ( core skills + core chars ) x 2 or core skills + ( core chars x 2 )?

In the first case it should be (6+5+1+2)x2=28, and in the second it should be 6+5+((1+2)x2)=17. Since your example says 17, I'm guessing it's the latter, but some confirmation would be nice.

Edit: Now I get it, 6+5+1x2+2x2 was meant to mean 6+5+(1x2)+(2x2), and I read it to mean ( (6+5+1)x2 )+(2x2). So it's definitely the latter case. I'm leaving my misinterpretation here as a reference in case anybody else gets confused.

I'd really like to publish this system in Peripheral Code.

I took the liberty of compiling the rules set into a document. Actually two documents, one with the original rules by quinchris (v1) and another one with the expanded rules by Ezechiel357 (v2). Here they are, in Word and PDF format.

Solo Adventures v1 (Word/PDF)
Solo Adventures v2 (Word/PDF)

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I will work over the week end and send it next week.
I only finetuned quinchris work, so check with him before putting it in Peripherical Code.
For my side, there is no issue. I will PM you Doctorcomics.


With some friends, who are also lacking game time, we are starting a MPSG :smiley: (multi-player solo game).
So I designed an extra set of rules to allows magi interaction without the need of a Story-teller. None of us has time to start a Pbem saga, so I cobbled something which will allows us to still have some fun. So without futher ado, I present you an oximoron: Multiplayer rules for Solo game.

Mages interaction
One can wonder why designs a sub-set of rules for several people to play together in a solo-player system ? Because it can allow players who cannot find a Storyteller or who cannot find a time to play together to still share some fun.

To work with the base ruleset of solo play, a few assumptions are required:

  • Each magus is too far away from the other to have a meaningful way to interact on a frequent basis directly ‚Äď any explanation leading to such similar situation is acceptable. The purpose is to prevent magus to help each other when an adventure beyond their expertise happens and keep the ‚Äúfriendly rivalry‚ÄĚ possible;
  • Each magus fits to some extend the stereotype of a hermetic magus: suspicious and generally distrustful about their sodales, and not shy of using them to improve their situation.

1. Trade between magi
A mage can trade books, virtus, labtext and magic items as he sees fit with his sodales. Both side agrees to the deal and the Redcaps make sure that each magi hold his part of the bargain. No foul play, simple exchange between two gentlemen (with thug mindset).

2. Hermetic double-cross
Every four years, a magus can force an adventure upon another magus. Through indirect manipulation and careful scheming, a magus set in motion a serie of events that should bring him significant benefits without risking much.
The scheming magus will be called ‚Äúthe manipulator‚ÄĚ to differentiante him from the other magus.
The manipulator selects the difficulty of the adventure, the complexity and the type of situation(s).
The mage caught in the web of intrigue can still decide to flee and avoid it. He faces the usual penalty for opting out and the manipulator does not gain anything.

If the mage decides to take part of the adventure, it resolves normally, with a few modifications:

  • In case of three success in a situation, the mage controls perfectly the situation and reap all the benefits of it: on top of the regular rewards, the manipulator has to give him (difficulty/2) BP;
  • Two successes in a situation, the manipulator‚Äôs plan succeed perfectly: the mage gets the normal rewards, but the manipulator get as well (difficulty + 5) BP ‚Äď he reaps the full benefits of his master plan;
  • One success in a situation, the manipulator‚Äôs plan did not succeed perfectly, but could still be salvaged: the mage gets the normal loss, but the manipulator still get (difficulty -2 ) BP, better than nothing.
  • No success at all: the plan completely fails. The mage get the usual losses, and the manipulator loses all resources he used to set his plan in motion, and loses (difficulty/2) BP.

It is a tweak on the prisoner’s dilemma: if the challenge is too high, both loose, but if it too easy, the manipulator loses as well. The manipulator should know the strength and weakness of his sodales to be able to reap the maximum benefits…

3. Tribunal
Every seven years, Tribunal occurs. It is the opportunity to trade and call some favors.
The Tribunal happens always in Summer (magi only travels when it is the most comfortable) and takes the whole season for the participants.

For this occasion, a mage can:

  • Ignore the Tribunal ‚Äď he has better to do than waste time in pointless debates : he still needs to undergo an adventure of difficulty7+1d5, social, legal or magic. Rewards and losses are assess as per normal rules. Success means that the mage manages to get some small benefits out of this Tribunal, losses probably means that other magi took the opportunity to tarnish his reputation or maybe he was fine for a low crime.
  • Ask for Favor or Great Favor. Such Favor grant a bonus of +3/+5 for each test, in each challenge in a single adventure. However, the magus has to repay the favor before the next Tribunal by giving away BP (equal to the difficulty of the adventure for a Favor, or twice the difficulty for a Great Favor ‚Äď the harder the adventure, the more resources the magi/covenants had to commit to assist the magus, the more he has to repay them back). It is a good way to be able in succeeding for the most difficult challenges, at a cost. To get a favor, it is in itself an adventure, very complex, with two out of the three challenges being either Social, Magical or Diplomatic in nature. The third one is up to the mage to choose (to prove he is worthy or to start already paying back). The difficulty is 7+1d5/11+1d5. The mage needs to achieve at least two successes in two of the three challenges to get the favor and it is the only rewards he gets (he gets regular XP and confidence). Losses are determined as per the standard rules.
  • Trade and deals: Tribunals are also a magical fair and a unique opportunity to get what the mage was looking for. It is resolved as an adventure of the difficulty and complexity of the mage‚Äôs choice. Usually Combat or Subtlety & Trickery are not acceptable unless good justification (Combat in Normandy Tribunal could be considered as part of the joust tournament). The mage gets regular rewards and losses. In case of success (one or more), the mage can trade a quantity of BP up to the difficulty level at a preferential rate: each BP counts for 2, but can only be used to acquire Summa, Tractatus, labtext or magic items. If the mage set for a complex or very complex adventure, he gets two or three opportunities to make deals at preferential rate.

Updated the document, with the new multi-player rules. I'm including the two old links just for completion, but the updated document is the v3 one.

Solo Adventures v1 (Word/PDF) - Original rules by quinchris
Solo Adventures v2 (Word/PDF) - Expanded rules by Ezechiel357
Solo Adventures v3 (Word/PDF) - Expanded and multi-player rules by Ezechiel357

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Having recently used these a bit I would suggest an alteration- instead of experience being defined by success, I believe it should be defined by challenge- remove the +5 experience from 3 successes and replace it with a second rewards, then define experience for an adventure as being equal to the difficulty/2+ the number of challenge sets.

It is the only part that I am moderately happy with: the Reward.
I am usually playing 20 years starting with a mage fresh out of apprenticeship. After 10 years, my characters are well enough equipped to score regularly 2 wins if not three. Thus, if you follow the rewards rule, you end up with lots of minor boons to a point that it does not make sense.
I toyed a bit with making the rewards more interesting, but it leads to a power creep that is neither fun nor interesting in a Solo game.

I am not sure increasing the Xp and number of reward will solve the problem - Increasing the xp is good if you send a companion adventuring - this is their main source of XP and they need it to evolve.

Since there are already so many random tables, one for reward would not be a problem. (I also like random elements, it forces me to be creative on how to incorporate them in the story :smiley: ).

What kind of rewards would be suitable:

  • Books, magical item are taken care with BP
  • Specialist/trainer as well
  • Boon (minor/major) already in place
  • Virtues should remains hard to get

Thinking out loud: 1d10 + 1/2 diff +2/success ? then read the result in a table
Or a double entry table: 1d10 +2/success with column of rewards according to the difficulty ?

We still need to keep some guidelines regarding rewards so when you making your own adventure, you know which difficulty to target to get it.

Or simply allowing: reward as per current rule or more XP (1/2 diff as you suggested silveroak).

Open to suggestion.

Maybe adjust the adventure difficulty more to the age of the character/covenant might slow down the problem with the power raise? After all the higher rewards all need at last a adventure difficulty of 12.
Beside how do someone get a adventure difficulty of 3 when the lowest difficulty you can get is 9 -3 for first years = 6.
Also there is a bug at page 6 of v3 "Increase Minor Boon to Major. Temporary if difficulty between 10 plus "