One-by-one we succumbed to fever (Solo Play Report)

Nov 25th, 2022

Cairn with Barrow Delver and Fever Black Mountain

What I used: Cairn in Spanish, because it has some extra tables; Barrow Delver - solo supplement; Fever Black Mountain - adventure. I also had solo “engine” Recluse ready-to-go, but I found I had everything I needed for the adventure with Barrow Delver.

I rolled up the character Loomer, an oddball smuggler. STR 12, DEX 5 (woof), WIL 16.

Barrow Delver uses a “Pressure Point” stat that helps determine how your more GM-oriented questions will go. The PP stat goes up or down as the story gets less or more intense. I haven’t quite gotten the hang of solo’ing yet so a lot of the time was me thinking, “Okay how do I determine the next step as a GM?” kind of thing, especially since it is kind of hard to balance what I know versus what the characters know. But going back and reading the steps in Barrow Delver helped ask the right questions, I think. For the basic premise, I rolled on a random table in the Spanish version of Cairn (it has some extra tables) and determined I was looking for a missing spouse, who was last seen heading to Fever Black Mountain (the adventure/dungeon I was using). I had 3 hirelings to go with me.

I did some basic time-tracking because that was important to the adventure (4 hours until the fever might kill you). I rolled a random encounter using the FBM beastiary, on the way to the dungeon. One of my hirelings died, another got a broken arm (part of the “Scars” table in Cairn, when you get to 0 HP, love it), the third peaced out (failed their Morale roll). Arwel with the broken arm stuck by me though all throughout. I also increased the intensity of the Pressure Point. I figured losing two members of the party counted.

Cairn also has a NPC reactions table which was really helpful for the random encounters and the encounters in the dungeon. Fortunately no one was immediately hostile, and we got through the first dungeon encounter with a trade. Using Barrow Delver, we got a “Yes, but” so even though we got through with a trade, it cost us almost an hour to uphold our end of the bargain, which sent us way too close to Fever o’clock.

We successfully lured some potentially hostile monks into a trap where we questioned them about some things. This was a weird bit because I was kind of rolling to figure out how much my characters would find out, whether the monks were telling the truth, etc., even though I knew all of it? We found out that there was a recent traveler here, potentially the missing spouse, and in the next room, we found his clothing and personal affects. We were close to the end of four hours though, and my party was really feeling the heat, so even tho we didn’t have proof of life/death, we took the personal affects and headed out. As we headed down the mountain, I did a final roll about whether we succumbed to the fever. Arwel didn’t make it, but Loomer got down just fine. They gave Arwel and the other dead guy’s families their cut of the money, but Loomer still walked out with a significant amount of gold.

This is the first time I’ve done a solo game where I actually think I’ll keep the character and do another session with them. So I gotta figure out XP/leveling up for them, haha.

Oh and the Manticore! I didn’t get around to the manticore because that was the final room and we didn’t get that far. XD