4 Against Darkness (Solo RP)

Mainly for @Daemoro, but applicable to all you other nerds.

Recently Daemoro was asking me questions about VTTs and the difficulty in setting up a dungeon-crawl-like adventure in one of them. That got to me reminiscing about parts of my misspent youth where I - with AD&D books in lap - would run solo dungeons of my own using the dungeon generation and encounter tables in my 1st Ed books.

Well apparently I wasn’t the only one. Here’s Ganesha Games and their slew of Four Against Darkness products who try to replicate that experience in a (cheaper? and) easier digestible format. So I bought the first book (and um… a couple others), and ran my first party last night through their first dungeon. Qapla’! Their all level two now and the warrior even has a +1 sword!

Instead of hand-waving the return to town and the buying/selling/recuperation that would “happen there”, I’m going to run the existing party through Treacheries of the Troublesome Towns. Maybe later I’ll purchase/try some of the “hex crawl” type adventures like More Mountainous Mayhem.

P.S. I bought all my PDFs at DrivethruRPG


Thanks for sharing Rando.

Solo, as in just you or you run it for one person? Seems like the former. Do they need dice? Can they be tied together, so finish book (game) one and then use same party in book 2? How long does a game take and how much replay ability? Yeah, I could Google the questions and will do so. Solo (just me) gaming has been on my mind for past few months but I haven’t tried anything yet.

Just me. I am the “GM” and the player.

The first book requires a single d6 (that sometimes you’ll have to roll multiple times). Later books expand into the typical fantasy dice cornucopia: d8, d10, d12, etc.

The first book is almost rogue-like. Your party of 4 goes into the dungeon to kill the big boss, earn exp, and find treasure. Leaving the dungeon finishes it regardless if you found the big boss or not. If all you have is the first book, between adventures you buy/sell and heal up (record a number of days if you want to run a “campaign” in your head) and then head back into another procedurally generated dungeon to repeat. ← repeat as necessary

They say it takes about an hour for your first game. It took me two-ish 'cause I was using mapping software to do my dungeon and I was creating a party spreadsheet. They say it takes about 45-min to subsequent dungeons after you learn your way around the system. That’s pretty accurate.

I bought the village/town/city book and it’s a lot more complicated than basic dungeons. I haven’t pulled the trigger on one of the outdoor hex-crawly type books. The first book your party will level up to 5 (from 1… duh?) The second “dungeon” book is 5-9? And then there’s more, I’m not sure what the level cap is.

Thanks for the replies Rando. Sounds good and in line with what I’m looking for. I’ll give it a shot. Should be interesting to see how they have things worked out to play alone.

A ran a campaign that had no VTT support so I had to set up everything manually. Total nightmare. Only using “canned” stuff in the future.

Do these solo campaigns have VTT support though? Or does anyone offer anything similar on VTT (Roll20)? Not that I don’t want to roll dice but the idea of being able to play anywhere on my laptop (or even tablet) sounds good too.

Either way, thanks for sharing this!