Sunday, August 21, 2011


In the newest issue of KOBOLD QUARTERLY (#18), there's a nice little solo adventure called SILUS AND THE RED DOGS by Matthew J. Hanson. It hearkens back to days of TSR's ENDLESS QUEST books, THE LONE WOLF game books by Joe Dever, and, of course, the ever popular CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE books.

It's presented as a "Solo Adventure for a Halfling Thief." It's blurb proclaims:
This stand-alone adventure is designed for a single player with no GM. All you need to play is a d20, a pencil, some paper, and this magazine. The rules are explained as you play. Begin at number 1, and proceed from there.

It's formatted in a way as to be a slight amalgamation of 4e, Pathfinder, and Green Ronin's DRAGON AGE RPG. Although, the stat blocks favor 4e significantly.

I've been a fan of the "choose your own adventure" style books since childhood, and consider them a major influence on my love of RPGs, so when I saw this in the pages of the new Kobold Quaterly, I immediately started smiling...of course being the busy person that I am, I just now got around to trying it out...and, I have to say, it was a damn fine little diversion!

The story revolves around a halfling Thief named Silus who is trying to flee town and his former cronies THE RED DOG GANG. Of course, right off the bat, problems pop up that involves his sister...ok, ok, I won't ruin plot...let's move on to its layout...

It's layout calls to mind the basic structure of the Lone Wolf books and the 2nd generation Endless Quest books from the early/mid 90s. You are directed to read various numbered sections that present the story in small pieces that changes based on your choices. Combat is handled with d20 rolls and 4e styled stat blocks (instead of a random numbers table like in the Lone Wolf books). The adventure also calls to mind the solo adventure from the 1983 DnD basic set (and the WOTC version of the red box). It's very simple to play, and the story is written quite nicely and is fairly intriguing. I enjoyed every second of it, and plan on playing it again just to see where the other plot threads lead.

...oh, yeah, I should point out, that it is kind of a difficult game as far as combat is other words, I almost died on more than one occasion...which probably had more to do with crappy rolls than anything else.

Anyway, I highly recommend getting the new Kobold Quarterly and trying out this little "diversion." I hope there are more adventures like this in the future! ...I really don't remember seeing any in past issues, but I am going back just to check.

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