Strangers on a Train

“You know, there is something about a tangle of strangers pressed together for days with nothing in common but the need to go from one place to another, and never see each other again.”

Monsieur Bouc

That is the premise for this year’s Valentine’s Day Solo. A simple game where you’re on a train and you meet people. Using the system from Snakes on a Plane, but tweaking the game just a tad.

Instead of dying when you hit zero of any stat, you’d have to rest for the day. Time passes for each check, as always. Perhaps later I’ll release the tweak. For now, let’s get right into it. I’ll be using a combination of Anime Characters Database and Short Order Heroes to create NPCs. As for me, I’ll go as myself.

  • Strength: 4
  • Dexterity: 6
  • Intelligence: 6
  • Cool: 9

My overall goal is to find love before the train enters the station. With that, we begin with boarding the train. Everything seems to go smoothly, though this is where I’ll meet the first out of thirteen other passengers on the train. Continue reading


There Is No Spoony Veteran

Alright, let’s begin this Remembrance Day special with the opening scenario.

For those who don’t know what the Matrix is, it’s a franchise of movies set in a cyberpunk environment contained inside post-apocalyptic world. How this works is that machines have humans live in small pods that keep them in a comatose state, effectively keeping them active while they “farm” them as batteries.

In this comatose state, the humans go through a simulation of real life: The Matrix. They go about their day, knowing nothing of the true nature of their world. However, some do. And when they do find that something isn’t right, they end up finding a way out of that world and into the real world, now named Zion, where they join a resistance army. From there, they operate Hovercrafts that are armed with programs that allow them to re-enter the Matrix with what is basically a cheating device (you can ask someone to give you guns or teach you Kung Fu on the fly, for instance) whenever they wish to try and free other people from it.

Of course, this isn’t exactly easy. The Machines have what are basically administrators in the Matrix known as Agents, who can possess people and have extreme combat expertise. To face them is to dice with death. However, there is hope. The Resistance is given information in which one person will ultimately end the world and save Zion. This person is known as the One.

Our story begins during this search for the One. Many Hovercraft crews are told of the One and they all want to be the crew that says, “we found the One!”. Some of them even pretended that they already found them. Such is the case with our Hovercraft crew, the Somnambular. Continue reading

Halloween Ghost Story

Happy Halloween! So, instead of doing something embarrassing like use an Engine to simulate a Jenga tower only to that it falls easier every single roll, I decide to do a gamebook. This one’s entitled Halloween Ghost Story. Like the other two games I played, this also follows the HP + WM system of combat. Alright, big finish, let’s do this.

So, we stand by the grave of an old enemy as we pay our respects to him. I feel like he’ll be the ghost of this game. An old lady then approaches me and gives me an empty warning. I decide to leave… but I am lost. I wander about and attack a ghost.

After a fight that I finally broke out Roll20 and made a macro to better keep track of the fight, I beat him. I then get a knife that adds +1 to my strength. The old lady approaches me again and it turns out she’s a witch. She warns us that we must face a spooky ghost.

I stumble into a zombie and beat him with a bit of difficulty. After more exploring, I end up getting some candy. Eventually I come across a ghost who asks me for some candy. I just so happened to have some and so…

Huh. The game’s over. The ghost goes away and I am able to go back home. I don’t even get a sad ending like I did with the other games, so that’s cool. Okay. Quickest game ever and I didn’t even need to TPK.

By far, this is the best written gamebooks I played of the three. There’s no constant loops with a small chance of getting to the end. This game is very linear with branching paths and different endings. For instance, if I were to eat the candy instead, I’d be eaten by the ghost. If I got the necklace, I’d have to fight a monster with six health, meaning he would almost always have a chance to hit me.

The problem is in its length. The other games, while repetitive, had some length to be had. This game can be played in ten minutes. Despite that, I say check it out.

Well, happy Halloween.

The Cave and the Treasure

It’s the middle of the month, which means another Gamebook. This time, it’s the Cave and the Treasure. Definitely not Halloween themed, but outside of the pinball game, there were exactly three pay-what-you-want games and this is one of them. It follows the same combat rules as Ghost Manor, HP + weapon dictates the threshold you must roll to inflict damage.

No plot here. There’s a cave. There’s also a treasure chest outside the cave. I decide to explore it and pry it open with the dagger, since I feel like this is the same situation as the lady at the manor, someone who might give me a powerup. I pop open the chest, and a snake pops out. I get hit for one HP because I failed to dodge him. Now the first fight begins. Continue reading

We Live In Omegazone

Settings in Fate seem to be very easy to make. Every so often, Evil Hat comes out with a free setting book bringing about a new era. Other times, though, some other company will make a setting for it. Today will be the latter, and for Fate’s more… accelerated rules.

Yes, today we’ll look at Fate Accelerated’s game and how it plays in a post-apocalyptic setting on par with Gamma World. Thus, let’s play Omegazone. The setting is shown through cards and this is how you both create characters and get a gist of the setting. However, there’s also a setting book for you. For this game, we’re gonna go without one.

Character creation is pretty easy. It’s akin to Gamma World where we mash up two different things together. In this case, I’m mashing up an Atomic Construct with a Brain in a Jar and a Bio Capacitors mutation. Already, I’ve decided that this man is Dr. Wheeler, a scientist from the World Before who achieved immortality by placing his brain in a jar and putting it in an atomic construct. His high concept is that he’s a Super Smart Scientist, but his Trouble is that his robot is ridiculously aged. His other Aspect is that he has a Historically Accurate Mind.

Of course, I’ll use the Fate Solo Engine to play this game. Our scenario opens up with Wheeler on an active patrol looking for a means to reach a place called the Bibliosphere. There, he finds a place called the 405, a road that can get him to anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, bandits on motorcycles are riding all around the place and patrolling it. The situation aspects are Speed Limit and Noisy Road. There’s two zones as well. Off Road (the grass), Road, and Ramp. Continue reading

Pinball Heaven

I’ve been interested in playing a Gamebook for quite a while ever since I laid eyes on this video. There’s plenty to go about, but I decided to go with the Random Solo Adventures series by Penguin Comics, since they’re easy to get and easier to play.

We’re gonna do a quick adventure based off everyone’s favorite past time: Pinball.

Yes. It’s a Gamebook that is based off pinball.

Alright, let’s begin. I have three balls, a D6 to roll with, and an imaginary score I have to win. Let’s start with a soft plunge. Continue reading

Short Order Session

So in the midst of the hiatus I’ve placed upon myself when it comes to both Chainmail and Fabletop, I’ve got myself some cards to try out: Short Order Heroes. It’s a hundred and eight card deck that has illustrations detailing singular traits. While this can help generate characters, it can also be used as a standalone game, which is what I’m going to be doing for this session.

Opening the box, I have to say I really like how the cards are sorted. First by their score (0-7) and then in alphabetical order. There are only two cards that have a 0 and a 7: Jinxed and Lucky. Which make a lot of sense respectively.

But alas, I will need to shuffle this perfectly arranged deck… Continue reading