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Randomized Old-School RPG Adventure, GO!

Here's the Labyrinth Lord dungeon delve that started with these links and this set-up. I used a Paizo dry erase board to frame the dungeon area, the random dungeon generator in the appendix of Engines & Empires to determine the delving, and, from the LL text, the dungeon stocking and wandering monster tables to fill it all in with a self-determined 50% chance monsters will be generated by The Creature Crafter. My mantra for this blast from my soloing past: Ecology be damned!

The Level 1 PCs are Aurore, cleric (yellow), Olfred, fighter (blue), Mountainwind, elf (green), and Teli, magic-user (red). Men-at-arms Gustave, Gabriel, and Guy are white, gray, and black, and torchbearer Pierre is orange:

On the word of a morose former adventuring halfling, the group entered a dungeon that an evil cleric was supposedly using as a monster breeding ground. The party entered an empty room to discover (from The Dungeon Dozen blog's "Details from the Otherwise Empty Dungeon Room" table) an intricate mosaic spelling out obscenities in ancient script, which Mountainwind could just about understand. Clearly, they were about to enter a dangerous and profane place run by an evil being or incredibly talented graffiti artists:

As the party passed though the doorway to a new room, a portcullis trap was sprung by Mountainwind and Pierre. The elf leapt out of the way to safety, but the torchbearer wasn't so lucky and became the first casualty (after only 40 feet of adventuring...ah, classic D&D). Olfred and Teli pulled up the gate and the party, though dismayed by Pierre's seriously short adventuring career, moved on while the other retainers' morale held:

In the next narrow room - a giant toad! Its tongue pulled Aurore in for a froggy nibble...

...but the party made short work of the toad and proceeded, reaching a side passage in the corridor. They went straight on, leaving the side passage for later:

Opening a door to a new room, Olfred triggered a rolling boulder trap which squashed Gustave and Mountainwind. Teli took some serious damage, but remained alive. The other men-at-arms maintained their morale:

And it was all for nought, as the group ran into a dead end with no secret doors:

Doubling back, the group returned to the side passage which led to an empty room containing (from that same Dungeon Dozens table) a heap of funerary ashes with unidentifiable bone fragments. Were we close to the villain's monster breeding ground?

We were, as luck would (really) have it! There were 6 zombies (brown meeples) in the next room! I sort of knew these HD2 monsters were more than this group could handle, but I went on with the combat anyway. Once Aurore's turning attempt failed, I realized randomness was about to flip me off...

...and it did:

With 1 hit point left each, Olfred and Teli escaped, wondering what the hell I thought was so charming about an old school dungeon delve:

But it was charming and profoundly more nostalgic than I had expected. The session evoked memories of solo RPG games past that I hadn't thought about in a long time. I even remembered that my grandmother had bought the basic Dungeons & Dragons boxed set for me exactly 30 years ago this coming July.

I recalled so many randomized solo exploration games on graph paper - simple, pre-Internet pursuits that filled my time when I couldn't be with friends...when my parents divorced...when we moved away suddenly for the umpteenth time...when I worked a graveyard shift...when friends stopped playing any games at all because they had "grown up."

Today, I've more sophisticated tools and techniques at my disposal and a lot more experience. Maybe it might be fun doing this classic style of solo gaming by elevating it to something more grand, merging random dungeoneering with things like the 9Qs and Mythic.

We'll see...

Thanks for reading!

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