[SGAM 2015] Let’s Play Braunstein! Part 1: The Beginning

So beginning this month is the Solo Gaming Appreciation Month, where for a month straight, I’ll be playing four sessions of the same game. Now, what game will I be playing for SGAM? Well, how about a roleplaying game that doubles as a war game?

Confused? Well, let me explain. In the beginning, there were simply wargames. Then a person by the name of David Wesely, decided “Let’s have people play the roles of people in between the wars”. And thus, the very first RPG was born: Braunstein. This game was basically the baby steps to Roleplaying. There were no major roleplaying rules and it was basically a wargame with a story. Well, besides the scenario that the battles take place around.

So yes, I intend to play the first RPG solo. This will also be my first full-on War Game solo (though if you count it as such, that Kantai Collection RPG was my first). I decided to play the fourth version, as that’s more in-line with the war gaming aspect.

I’ll now begin the process of picking out my various rule sets and engines for this solo experience. Now, from what I can gather, I could pretty much use any sort of War Game system, as the main draw of Braunstein is the hijinx that ensures from the multitude of players playing various roles.

With that, I’m going with War Stuff from One Page Games. I feel like I’ll only break this out when it comes time to break it out. My Engine of choice will be the equally simplistic Tiny Solitary Soldiers solo RPG, as the engine was made with making narrative in skirmishes in mind. My NPC emulator of choice will, of course, be the UNE. As for Idea Generators, I’ll leave that up to Rory’s Story Cubes and Tangent Zero for that. And with that, I have picked out my tools.

Now we’ll get into the meat of the game. What is the story? Well…

It used to be known as Alderbridge before the market named it after their famous white marble stones.

Welcome to the city of Braunstein, home to the Mayor, a charismatic man who had made some good business decisions regarding his neighbouring city, Banannia. However, trouble afflicted him…

A user by the name of Chris Stieha modified this particular map from Dyson’s Dodecahedrons and added three Tangent Zero symbols for particular points in the city. Among these is one that is situated at the top. I’m not sure what it is, but I figure it’s the overall scenario that is in the city. And thus:

[Tangent Zero: Heart with a crown, syringe, sad mask]

The Mayor had been poisoned. His death was mourned by his people, though only a select few had more than just grief stirring in their heads. For some, they desire justice. The Mayor’s sudden death from poisoning called for foul play. Something that several people, including the Head of the Secret Police, feel that had been caused by one of their own: a traitor. For others, opportunity. The Mayor had no blatant heirs to speak of and the mad rush of con artists to convince the people that they were the Mayor’s long lost sons led to mistrust and an unorthodox solution: the new Mayor must be someone who had served directly under him.

The list of potential Mayors include:

  • The Minister of Information: The Mayor’s right hand man who feeds him information regarding the populous of Braunstein. Has secret information on a certain other person so damning, his reputation would drop faster than you can tell the press about it.
  • The Three Generals: Braunstein is not without its war force. These three generals are the masters of combat in their respective areas; land, sea, and air. The three each believe themselves to be the one worthy of the spot.
  • The Head of the Secret Police: The Mayor’s most trusted ally and a huge stickler for the law. He’s investigating the matters behind his death.
  • Minister of the Treasury: The Mayor’s treasurer. Has secretly printed a bunch of money the night the Mayor died.
  • Factory Owner: He is the owner of the town’s most popular export material, the white marble stones that gave the town its name. However, he has quite a lot of cash to spend, and quite a lot of desperate people to hand the money too.

Now, which character will I play as? Well, the news article regarding 22 shipwrecks found in the same area has me inspired to play the Marine… however, the first week’s Story Cubes has me thinking of the Air Force (as a plane is featured on one of them). So… I can either decide between the two, or I can just play both.

Quite frankly, I think the latter will be more fun. Alright, let’s begin play with a bit of free writing. First up, our Navy Captain.

The map’s littered with Tangent Zero provided twists, and the place where he begins is where a twist occurs.

[Tangent Zero: Paopu Fruit, Star Atom, Wheelbarrow]

Among the wreckage of one of a Banannian ship, Drake ended up finding a plethora of their signature import: The Paopu Fruit. … Two of the three symbols are stars and one of them looked like a Papou Fruit. So now Drake has his hands on a popular import. What will he do with it? Well, that’ll be a thread worth exploring for next session. Next up we have…

Whose situation is…

[Rory’s Story Cubes:  an airliner, a bindle and a rat.]

Her base gets bombarded by a hijacked airliner of rats. This will be how I’ll try out the combat. It’ll be easy considering that the scenario being that Skyla just grabs a bunch of riflemen and fires at a bunch of scurrying rats.

[Roll-Off: Skyla’s unit with 4, Rats with 6]

Unfortunately, things don’t end so well. The rats have a go now. They rush to their target (they were at a short range) and bite at four of them, three paratroopers and Skyla herself.

[Roll To Hit: Only one hit, but it manages to kill him in the wounding phase]

One of the rats manages to kill a paratrooper. Now the rat that’s biting Skyla

[Roll To Hit: No Hits]

Now it’s Skyla’s unit’s turn. They’ll fire at the rats, save for the one fighting Skyla.

[Roll To Hit: Three of six bullets hit, but only two of them have died. One is wounded]

Now Skyla vs. the Rat.

[Roll To Hit: She manages to kill it]

And two of the rats have their go.

[Roll to Hit: One hit, one kill]

And another paratrooper is killed by the poisonous rat. They’re dead in one bite so far, so I’m concluding that these bites are septic or they contain a deadlier version of the Bubonic Plague. The Soldiers get their turn now.

[Roll to Hit: 2 Hit, 2 Dead]

And with that, they kill the remainder of the rats. Skyla and the others take a moment to grieve the loss of two of their men, and then she sets off to find out what the hell rats were doing in her airplane.

And that’s where we’ll end this week’s session. Next week, will the questions be answered?

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