So recently I've been blessed to have a regular local weekly game of D&D (4e in this particular case) for the past 4 months or so. It began as the WotC/RPGA sanctioned Delve Night series, in which I played an 8th level Elf Ranger (Archery Style) sniper... errr ... "striker." That then morphed into a custom campaign where I played a level 4 Bastard Sword wielding human Cleric of Kord (let's just say he liked to get up in there, ok?). This campaign was created and DM'd by the DM of the Delve Nights at my friendly local game store, Blue Dragon Games.
Now I'd usually link the store's website to that last phrase there, but ya see that's when "teh suck" struck.
Out of the blue, the store closed. Boom. Blam. Done. No warning. In fact I got an email stating from the site's fourms stating that as of right then, they were closed for good. Wow.
I was stunned. Not only was this store a great source of gaming items, which I purchased quite frequently, but this was the place that got me back into playing real tabletop PnP D&D, no matter what version it might be. It just so happened to be about 5 miles from my home, which was the freakin' icing on the cake.
Now look, the economy blows... understood. We are especially feeling it in the metro Detroit area (ugh), so I won't comment on the store owner's reasons. I'm sure it has been tough making money, so my best wishes go out to the store owner in whatever direction he decides to go next.
The part that leads us to this blog entry is that even though I played every Sunday night with the same crew for 4 months, I have no idea on how to reach them, now that the common ground has been removed. Sadly, I never got their cell numbers, or even their last names...jeesh! I guess I just got spoiled on just calling up the store if need be to chat with the DM (he was an employee/manager/etc of the place) if there was ever a question of game on/off.
At any rate, until I either reconnect with the members of that group, or find a new local one, I am in severe need of some adventuring!
This past weekend I got a little fix from the Worldwide D&D Gameday - Monster Manual 2 event, but I had to drive about an hour and a half to the next closest gaming store that was running it. I did have a blast with the gameday, playing the part of the bravura tiefling warlord "Chance" and I think I'll post a little about my xp with that gutsy general. Additionally, I have been to that particular store before (Heroquest Comics), purchasing a fair amount of stuff, and they would be a great replacement for the other (now defunct) store, if they weren't so far away.
Time to bust out the old solo/solitaire modules again. The terms solo and solitaire get a bit tricky with some of these old modules. Sometimes solo means a single player and a DM. Other times solo means solitaire, just you the player, no DM required. I'm talking here about those solitaire mods (even if they call them solo mods...ha!).
Looking back to last fall, I had some fun playing through the Basic D&D solitaire module BSOLO - Ghost of Lion Castle:
I never actually finished that one, so I could hit that again and see if my sucky Elf can get past a Giant Fire Beetle or a Rock Baboon before dying (twice) this time.
I also have tons of Tunnels & Trolls solitaire adventures, and those are all kinds of quick and easy fun, so maybe I'll run a couple of them.
However, first I think I wanna take a shot at the M1 - Blizzard Pass, the invisible ink Basic D&D mod by David Cook:
Now, as the blog post title states, I will be taking on this quest sans magic pen. Ugh! Some folks have said that a yellow highlighter can work, and my kids have some more modern invisible ink pens that they use to reveal sections and words in little Spider-man books etc, but I don't think those are gonna work. We'll see.
I do have 2, maybe 3, copies of this thing, but they are all in varying degrees of "revealed ink" status. So I need to kinda watch how I progress thru it, and try not to accidentally reveal a choice too soon. Wouldn't wanna spoil all the fun, right?
On that note, one very cool project that I found online is this one here, where some folks have put some serious effort into compiling (most of) the invisible entries into one big entity. That just might be the route I will have to take, at least for Blizzard Pass. Thanks to all of those who helped compile those notes. Very, very cool.
After MI I may have to keep the solo mode going for a bit, unless I find a good local group. If so, these beauties are all waiting in the wings:
M2 - Maze of the Riddling Minotaur:
XS2 - Thunderdelve Mountain (At least I think I have this one...man, I need to get organized!):
XSOLO - Lathan's Gold (Similar in style to Ghost of Lion Castle, IIRC):
CM5 - Mystery of the Snow Pearls (Ooooooo, a Companion Level mod...nice! - utilizing the Magic Viewer thingie too.):
MV1 - Midnight on Dagger Alley (1st ed AD&D here - using the viewer again to reveal parts of the map.):
Rage of the Rakasta (An early '90s D&D Game Box module, which is mostly spent exploring a palace. It can be played with or without a DM. In pure solitaire mode I don't think it's much more than "enter this room, fight this baddie, rinse repeat" but I could be totally wrong...never played it. I'm not sure if I have the stand-up figs with my copy...hhmnnn. Again the need to get organized.):**EDIT**: When I first posted this, I had this mod mixed up with another in the same series, In the Phantom's Wake. That mod takes place mostly on a boat. See below. **END EDIT**
In the Phantom's Wake (Another in that same early '90s D&D Game Box series. This is the one that features a boat floor plan. It's recommended for 4-6 players, (so not a solitaire mod...kinda), butit can be played with or without a DM....weird. So I guess a person could play solitaire, playing all 4-6 characters, with no DM. So that's like playing in accompanied solitary? Regardless, I'll still include it here because of that possibility. Both of these '90s D&D Game Box mods reportedly can be played with those Game Box rules, the Rules Cyclopedia, the Dragon Quest game, or even 2nd ed AD&D witha little fudging, I presume.):**EDIT**: Added this one here late, after checking them at home and realizing I mixed it up a bit with Rage of the Rakasta. See above. **END EDIT**
Wshew! Well that's quite a little bit of solo-play (man, that just sounds wrong) to be had, if need be. I've only messed with one or two of these mods listed above, and that was a loooooong time ago. I recall buying some of these, but never really needing to play them, as we always seemed to have the old kitchen table group back in '81 (and '82-'85 too). Even if sometimes the "group" meant a whopping two of us. A few others I aquired later in life, and just never really got around to playing them.
So that being the case, do any of ya'll have any favorites in this list, or any advice on which one(s) I might enjoy more? Do you favor the invisible ink over the magic viewer? Or is the good ol' "choose you own adventure" style of Ghost of Lion Castle still the best way to go? I think I'll start with Blizzard Pass and see if I dig the invisible ink thing. But if you have a better choice, please let me hear it.
Until then I'll be kickin' back enjoying a little "solo time" (still sounds just as bad, dunnit'?):
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