Last night I played through Konnor's next solo adventure 'The Ghost Of Lion Castle'. It was a roller-coaster of successes and failures but more on that in a bit.
The adventure is set in a small town that has a school of magic and is therefore heavily populated by apprentice wizards. Konnor is one of the apprentices in town and after a night of carousing at the local pub Konnor draws the lucky straw and gets to be the next adventurer to explore the (probably) abandoned and (supposedly) haunted Lion Castle.
The adventure is extremely well structured both for solo play and for replay-ability. There are very few truly fixed encounter locations with most of the action and combat being driven by an innovative use of the wandering monster table. The player starts with a partial map of the castle which helps with basic navigation but there are some areas that randomly teleport the character to new areas. I found it to be a nice change from the traditional simple 'choose-your-own-adventure' format of solo play RPGs. But how did Konnor do?
Konnor approached the castle from the southern side and unfortunately due to some poor spell choices had to circle around and enter through the trapped gate-house. In spite of Konnor's Dexterity being one of his best attributes he triggered EVERY trap on his entry to the main building and had to camp out and heal up before even really getting started. Once inside Konnor was able to freely explore the castle and started piling up quite the haul through defeating the creatures populating some of the castle's rooms and hallway. Shortly before finding his way to the final chambers of Sargon (the castle's former master) Konnor made one poor choice (which I will omit to avoid spoiling it for anyone who plays the adventure) which resulted in him losing ALL the treasure he had acquired up to that point! What had Konnor found and lost? Here's the list:
-5 gems totalling 1660 Gold value
-3 spell scrolls
-an Elven Cloak
For a third level character that is an unreal amount of treasure to have....and lose.
The final encounter with the ghost of Sargon replenished some of the monetary treasure but the Elven Cloak was gone forever.
So overall mechanically how was this play through?
It went a lot more smoothly than my previous attempt as every creature I encountered had a counterpart in the current Monster Manual so I didn't have to guess at any stats. On the downside, some of the monsters were far less powerful than they had been in D&D Basic (I got the Elven Cloak and 135 Gold from a monster I defeated in a single round), while other monsters were almost invincible for a single level 3 character (I fought an Ogre that I had to use most of my special abilities to defeat and still ended up with 1 Hit Point when the fight was over). Overall though it was easy and fun to play and translate. The only downside I see is that if someone was going to use a character that played through this adventure in an ongoing campaign you could easily end up with an absurd amount of treasure and powerful items for a low level character. I enjoyed it and if played as intended its a fun RPG diversion for a few hours.
So what does Konnor look like now? Levelled up and ready for his next adventure:
One thing that worked really well is that the adventure (if fully successful) ends with the character automatically levelling up and then adding their earned XP on top of that so Konnor is now level 4 but has a head-start on his way to level 5.
Also a question for anyone with more experience with the current system of D&D than I have; I assumed that when a multi-classed character has a combined character level of 4 they get their first stat increase, is that correct?
Next up is Lathan's Gold by the same author as Ghost Of Lion Castle to I'm looking forward to that. After that the well is dry unless anyone reading this can suggest any other solo adventures?