Archive for January, 2016

The Devil’s Riddle: Session 29

Posted in The Devil's Riddle on January 12, 2016 by Carl

Rufus, Fyn and Cayleb escort the still smoldering and complaining Jeden back towards the inn, patting him out as they go.

“Jeden, we thought you gone with the rest! What happened? Who did this?” Fyn asks.

“The damn fools did it themselves!” Jeden replies. “The whole village, they just upped and started setting the place on fire! I didn’t stop to ask why, not after what I’ve seen these past days. I figured the safest place for me was underground in the wine cellar, and I got down there quick sharp. Well, it would have been safe if you lot hadn’t pitched up and decided to smoke me out while I was sleeping.”

Rufus grunts. “If no-one took them, where did they go?” When Jeden shrugs the blademaster sends his companions out into the burned out ruins of the village to see if they can gather any clues. Sure enough, Fyn returns shortly with news of many fresh tracks, men women and children, leading northwest.

“The Tremane Trail”, Jeden says. “Follow that path a day and a half and you reach Tremane, a trading outpost in the shadows of the Blue Peaks. But why by the True Power would they want to head there?”

“Another mystery, and one I fear we may not be able to answer any time soon. They have a good start on us, and we are not going anywhere until Lisandra is healed. Let’s get you back inside, Jeden, we can decide what to do when Lisandra awakes.”

The Devil’s Riddle: Session 28

Posted in The Devil's Riddle on January 10, 2016 by Carl


Tomas, with typical thoroughness, searches the Devil’s Riddle Inn from top to bottom. Having satisfied himself the upper storey is clear he is rummaging through the kitchens when he hears a sound from the larder.

He flings the door open just in time to see a small bare foot disappearing behind a row of tall stone jars. “Out you come!” he cries, and reaches down to grab whoever is hiding. Sharp teeth sinking into his hand are his only reward.

With a curse he steps back as a young girl, perhaps 15 or 16, dashes out from behind the jars and makes a run for the door. He is too quick for her though, reaching down and grabbing her by the scruff of the neck before she can wriggle free.

The girl fights like a wildcat for several moments, but soon realises she cannot break the big man’s grip. She slumps back against the wall, gazing up at him with sullen, fearful eyes.

“I’m not your enemy, girl.” Tomas says, doing his best to reassure her. “You need have no fear of me. What is your name? How did you come to be here?” He loosens his grip, and in that instant she squirms free and makes a fresh dash for the door. “Light take you, girl!” he shouts as he grabs her again. “I’m trying to rescue you!”


The Devil’s Riddle: Session 27

Posted in The Devil's Riddle on January 10, 2016 by Carl

After binding her wounds Rufus and Tomas carry Lisandra back to her bed. She smiles weakly at her bodyguard as he fusses over her, gesturing him closer.

“I will rest here and heal, my friend. Idril can stay with me, and protect me if it comes to that. I need you to explore the village, and see if we can determine the purpose behind the attack. There may even be survivors.”

As her eyes close Rufus straightens. He turns to the others and ushers them from the room. “You heard her” he growls. “Idril, don’t leave her side. Fyn, Cayleb, you’re with me. We’re heading out into the village. And Tomas? I want you here, searching every square inch of this inn. If there are any more nasty surprises lurking in this place I want them found, understand?”

The group move quietly to their allotted tasks, still shaken by the morning’s events. Before leaving, Fyn, Rufus and Cayleb wrap the flayed corpses of the rescued villagers in sheets and take them outside  to cremate them. As they stand watching the bonfire Rufus turns to Cayleb.

“So you’re still here? Thought you planned to cut and run?”

The smaller man glowers up at Rufus with a mixture of defiance and ill-concealed fear. “It’s true what she said, ain’t it?” Cayleb snaps, “No-where’s safe? Well if that’s true I figure my best chance is with her. She seems the only one around here with the first clue of what’s going on, and what to do about it. So like it or not, you’re stuck with me.”

As he turns away the faintest of smiles tugs at Rufus’ lips. How does she do it? Without even trying she wins over the unlikeliest of allies…

His train of thought is dramatically interrupted by several loud bangs, and then the bonfire suddenly erupts in front of them. Smoke billows over them, sparks scatter in all directions. A shadowy figure rises from the earth at the heart of the fire, wreathed in smoke and flame.

“To arms!” Rufus cries as the figure lurches towards them. arms raised. “Cut it down!” Fyn and Cayleb have their weapons drawn in an instant.

“No! Wait! Ow!” the figure yells back through hacking coughs, and Jeden the innkeeper emerges from the smoke, collapsing in a heap in front of them. He rolls on the ground, desperately trying to put out his burning clothes, wracked by coughing. “Who’s damn fool idea was it to set a fire over the cellar trapdoor?” he wheezes, tears streaming down his face.




Resurrection of the Devil’s Riddle

Posted in The Devil's Riddle on January 9, 2016 by Carl

Some time back I ran a solo RPG campaign called the Devil’s Riddle, partly to test a number of game tools and systems, and partly to see if a solo RPG experience could be an enjoyable and worthwhile experience.

The tool at the heart of the game was The Online Mythic GM Emulator. I used it to act as my virtual GM, answering questions and steering the game in unpredictable ways.

For game systems I started out using USR: The Unbelievably Simple Roleplaying System, and then moved to a customised version of the Microlite d20 system.

My starting characters, the Channeler of the Light Lisandra and her Blademaster bodyguard Rufus, were soon joined by more; the rakish rogue Fyn, the cowardly thug Caleb, the elderly gnome illusionist Idril, and the noble but naive Tomas.

The story, it turned out, was one of encroaching darkness, a dire faceless menace threatening to engulf countless worlds. Our little band of adventurers seemed to be all that stood in the path of of this certain doom.

And there things stopped, back in 2013.

On a whim I spent today rereading the story of the Devil’s Riddle, and found that I wanted to find out what happened next. And so I recreated my party, this time using D&D 5e, and dusted off my GM emulator. Let’s see where they take me.

Star Trek: The Dice game

Posted in Board and Card Games on January 8, 2016 by Carl

In Star Trek: The Dice Game you alone are responsible for the Starfleet crew members aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise during its five year mission of exploration. In order to succeed you will need to complete missions and overcome the unpredictable challenges that may arise during them. If you complete the full five years of exploration you will return to Starfleet Headquarters in glory and be promoted to Admiral. But beware; as you travel ever further from Federation space the challenges and constraints you face will grow more and more extreme. Do you have what it takes to survive?

Star Trek: the Dice Game is a solo worker placement dice game. All the files you need to play are here:

Trek Dice Board v1.0

Trek Dice Cards v1.0

Trek Dice Rulesv1.0