ravenloft coverWe recently moved house. As part of that process we had to ‘de-clutter’ so that the place was attractive to the potential buyers. This basically meant that I had to empty my office/toy room. This in turn meant that my library, games and models all had to be boxed up and put in storage. Now that we are installed in the new house I am gradually opening those boxes and trying to find homes for things. This is a great time for me to trim down my collection.

It seems a crime to say that I have to get rid of some books and games, but the reality is some of this stuff was just consuming shelf space. I’d never play it, never read it again, never consider it an ‘investment’. So a lot of stuff is going. This is true for the almost complete collection of AD&D printed modules. I’d gone to great lengths to get an almost full set. Now I look at them and ask myself when I could ever play them. Collectability has gone now that WotC are giving them away as downloads. And the rest can be got from Drive-Thru RPG. Even then, when do I get a chance to role play anyway?

Well, I do. It’s called Mythic. Traditional rules based, DM’d role playing doesn’t happen any more. My group are too old and set in our ways to go back. Instead we tell each other stories using Mythic.

Then I had a brainwave. Mythic can be used solo – to create a story for myself. That’s it, I thought. I’ll run these modules for myself. I’ll use the rules and I’ll be fair and enforce the outcome using a declared rule set. I’ll use Mythic to answer questions the GM would answer. It’s not a discovery in the same way as a traditional RPG. But what the heck? From experience Mythic can produce a richer experience. This is a more comprehensive test of its solo power.

First cab off the rank: Ravenloft, considered the 2nd best published adventure of all time. I have the 1983 version. Pre-expansions and full campaign.

So here we go. The objective is to tell a vampire story using the tools of Mythic, Ravenloft, specific other RPG tools, and my knowledge of the period.

The rules are Simple Dungeons and Dragons (check out the link in my SD&D page). These are essentially 1st edition AD&D with the tables inverted to use the more intuitive d20 system. All monster stats remain the same except for this one change. All rules that can be found in the 1st edition rule books (Wilderness Survival Guide and so on) are admissible.

The base setting is late Renaissance Earth – during the 80 years war (say 1620). The party are Spanish soldiers separated from the rest of their Tercio, transported to this plane of shadow (or whatever). Why? This is one of my favourite periods. I have the campaign setting A Mighty Fortress which covers this period. I am reminded of a line from Alatriste where he describes Flanders to Olivares as, ‘A land with a black sun, a heretic sun that neither warms your bones nor dries your clothes. Truly, it is hell.’ And I figured that that sounded like the sort of joint that could connect to this world easily. I have already written a novel about this period that allows for just such magical cross-overs. So it is where my head is at.

So the party consists of Roman Catholic (ergo, using this metaphor, Lawful Good – no moral ambiguity allowed) Spanish soldiers (who also conform to the classes of AD&D to make a balanced party). They have matchlock muskets but limited powder and none can be got in the cursed land in which they have found themselves. These guns have all the limitations of the real thing – so one shot, basically, before the enemy are on them. Magic works and we’ll politely brush over the details of how there can be such a thing as a Roman Catholic magic-user during the time of the Inquisition. There just is. Perhaps he is what people of the time would call a ‘Philosopher’ and in this alternate world his powers are now manifest.

The characters are:

Jurisco – 7th level Cleric

Ernat – 7th level Thief

Dide – 7th level Magic User

Albergio – 7th level Fighter

Eduare – 5th level Fighter

Gari – 4th level Fighter

Specific stats and personality traits to follow. That’s enough for now.