A Quick Review – The Adventurer

So, as a distraction from writing the same stuff repeatedly and wanting to try something new, I looked into a so-called solo RPG called “The Adventurer“. I say so-called simply because it doesn’t really have a lot of the trappings of an RPG and is more like a mechanic for adaptive storytelling, which is still a very useful skill for GMs and players alike in order to tell more fleshed out stories. For $5, it wasn’t exactly a steep price to pay for a little writing experiment.

The game is an exercise in journaling. Boiled down to its essence, you are writing a journal for an adventurer that is on some sort of quest. What kind of quest? Whatever type you want. What setting? Pretty much anything you’d like. You simply choose a setting and write until you feel the journey has reached a satisfying conclusion. All you need to play is a notebook/laptop to record your journal entries and a standard deck of playing cards.

You split the deck up according to the instructions in the rulebook (a real quick read, I might add) and depending on what you draw, it randomly provides you the location, people, things and obstacles they encounter along the way. You simply adapt the prompts provided to the story you’ve chosen to tell and write that day’s entry. That’s pretty much the gist of it.

Overall, I like the simple mechanic of the game and it could very easily help with generating elements of a character backstory or take a walk through your chosen setting through the eyes of someone who resides there. There are also optional rules for generating the world you’re part of at random. You use the same deck of cards (divvied up differently than when you’re playing) to divine the state of the world, using yes/no questions or more open-ended questions via concept prompts. My first attempt at using it, I decided to try something purely random and I’ll post the results of my game below. If you’re looking for writing ideas, you could easily spend more for a less efficient system. Check it out and try your hand at chronicling a long journey through the unknown.

The Road Home

I’ve included the divination questions I used to develop a rough idea of my setting, followed by the journal entries afterwards. Hopefully, it’s an enjoyable read.

Is it warm out? – No

Is there snow? – Yes

Am I in civilization? – No

Is there magic in the world? – No

Is the nearest Kingdom friendly? – Yes

Am I a criminal? – No

Am I a soldier? – Yes

Was I on the winning side of a battle? – No

What am I seeking? – My Family

Have I been travelling long? – No

What was the war over? – Broken Trust

12 December 1578 – Waxing Crescent

It’s been a couple of days since the New Moon.  Things have been quiet since this past morn, which leads me to believe that my suspicions were true:  that last great clash may have signalled the end of the conflict.  I hope that the war has ended… enough have died on both sides.  I never agreed with King Hydon’s justifications for the war in the first place, but he is my King and I obey him in all things.  This conflict cost us heavily… many of my battle brothers will not be returning to their wives.  Even my days as a Knight of the Lunar Order are likely at an end, as the wounds I suffered have robbed me of much of the strength of my left arm.

This damnable snow has slowed my progress, but I can now see the glow of the lights of my home on the horizon.  A week of travel should see the city gates before me and then to my loving Catherine.  For now, I must gather more wood for the fire if I don’t wish to freeze through the night.

13 December 1578 – Waxing Crescent

I was fortunate today.  I came across a small farmers village… a couple of farmsteads and barns.  The people and livestock had moved on, likely in response to the war, though there were a couple of chickens left behind.  I managed to track a fox that was hunting the stupid birds and despite my wounded arm, I managed to trap and kill the creature.  Between the fox and the chickens, I have food to carry me through the next few days and the fox’s pelt will help my armour to not be as cold against my skin.

The farmers even left some grain in their silo.  Between the stone fireplace and a straw bed, I believe I will sleep better tonight than I have in a week.  It delayed my trip home, but it was a much needed respite.

14 December 1578 – Waxing Crescent

I knew my luck wouldn’t hold.  I am still hunkered down in the farmer’s house.  It snowed heavily through the day, to the point that the road was invisible to my sight and there were no stars to guide me.

My supplies have also been reduced, as a traveling merchant found this place much as I did.  He was wary of me initially, but when I offered him some of my game, he offered up some wine he was peddling.  He says his name is Ivan and he came from the East.  I have never been that way, but from what he tells me he has traveled far and this sort of weather is common.  I welcome the company, but I long to be heading home.

16 December 1578 – First Quarter

Something is not right.  I parted from Ivan at dawn yesterday and made my way through the deep snow once the clouds had parted and I could navigate by the sun and stars.  The journey has been slow and the air sharp.  In addition, there has been no shelter since I left the cottage, so I am exhausted.

I have found a newer battlefield.

It appears that the forces of King Ledea continued to press forward after my forces were defeated.  I don’t know how we didn’t cross paths, but I suppose if I had, I might be dead.  There are not many dead here from Ledea’s army, so I must assume Hydon’s men were quickly routed.  I made shelter by an overturned cart to break the wind, in order to start a fire.  In searching the battlefield, I found a small wooden box addressed to a Winnea.  I suppose I will try to locate its owner when I get back to the city.  I have also made a new friend:  an old dog.  Perhaps it belonged to a soldier before, but I found it scavenging for food.  I offered it some chicken and now it clings to me like it has known me its entire life.  No mind, I appreciate the company.  Especially if I’m going to see more signs of conflict in the coming days.

18 December 1578 – Waxing Gibbous

I found an old shed built by the riverbank.  Judging by the smell of it, a fisherman uses the space for cleaning what he catches.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that his equipment is here.  Not that it would matter much if he had.  I never had the knack for fishing and the river is vastly frozen over.  It gives me a place out of the wind at least.

I’ve named the old dog Jake.  He seems to like the name… or at least he comes when I shout it, if nothing else.  He may be an old boy, but he is proving useful.  He seems quite skilled at catching small game.  It’s not much, but we got to have roasted rabbit tonight for a change of pace.

As the sun was setting, a stranger came up the road from the direction I was heading.  I tried to get him to stop, but he was in a hurry.  He stopped long enough to note my armour and he thrust a tome into my hands, saying it would be safer with me.  It is to my embarrassment that I could not tell him that I was never taught to read, but he did not linger and continued down the road.  I had hoped to hear news of the battle.

20 December 1578 – Waxing Gibbous

It is with a heavy heart that I pen these words.  Hawksburg has fallen.

I can see the city from where I rest tonight and the palace is ablaze.  It seems that Ledea would not be assuaged.  Knowing King Hydon as I do, he would not have yielded.  He was always headstrong and stubborn… It was his headstrong actions that kicked off the war.  He felt Ledea would make no noise if Hydon snatched some of the allied King’s land to feed his people.  Rather than simply stealing the land, he could have worked out a deal with Ledea… but Hydon said that would show weakness and his method showed guile.  He was a fool.

I desperately want to push onward to the city, but I am tired, hungry and sore.  If Ledea’s soldiers remain, I would be in no position to fight, should it come to that.  I think my wound from the battle is getting worse as it aches all the time and the smell is off-putting to say the least.  I had found sanctuary in a Temple of the Moon for the night, but the priest had been inflicted with a grievous injury.  He bade me welcome all the same, but there was nothing I could do to help him.  I said the Eternal Night Litany for him as he slipped from this world.  It seemed to bring him some peace in his final moments.

It appears that the holy text from the temple is missing and on reflection, I realized that the book that was thrust upon me by the stranger appears to be the missing book.  The stranger was likely the one who murdered the priest and stole the book, only to realize it was not worth the trouble when he ran into a Knight of the Order.

21 December 1578 – Full Moon

Hawksburg is my home, though it feels strangely foreign today.  I walked through the city gates, seeing the splintered remains everywhere and the smoldering wreckage of the library straight ahead.  The local Governor kneeled before a large number of the soldiers of Orewell and Ledea’s flag flew over the city square.  The Governor was in the midst of ceding the city to their new ruler.

It was only a matter of time before I was noticed walking into the city and the soldiers surrounded me.  I was hardly in any position to offer a fight.  They stripped me of my weapon, armour and regalia.  After sleeping in my battered plate for a week, I welcomed its removal.  They let me hang onto Jake at least.  The box I found was taken and while they say they would locate the owner, I don’t put much stock in the words of conquerors.

I’ve been allowed to keep my journal and a quill to pen this bitter homecoming.  They have sent for a doctor to treat my arm and provided me with a bucket of water to wash with while I rest in jail for the night.  I hope they will see that I am no threat, so I might return home.  The guards refuse to tell me which parts of the city saw fighting, so I don’t foresee much sleep for myself tonight.

22 December 1578 – Full Moon

This may be my last entry.  Recording my journey home has been one thing I could lean on day after day to keep the solitude at bay.  Today, the doctor came and said that he needed to operate or my injury could still kill me.  However, I demanded to be allowed to see my wife before the surgeon does what he must.  I can tell the wound festers and must be cared for, but if I should die in the treatment, I want the journey to matter.

I went to our favourite park in the city’s lower quarter.  Mercifully, much of the area had been spared in the conflict, though the monument to King Hydon has been unceremoniously toppled into the snow.  Despite the aftermath of battle all around, the local children made sculptures in the snow.  It was heartwarming to see something untouched by war.

Then she was there.  My Catherine.  She stepped into the park and spotted me, favouring my right side and streaked in dirt from the road, but alive.  She ran across the park and despite the smell my wound gave off, she wrapped her arms around me and hugged me tight.  Most of the men of the city had not returned and she had felt that the same fate had befallen me.  Though it hurt to do so, I hugged her tightly, kissed her and told her that thoughts of her carried me home.  I promised to return to her after my injury is treated, though I am skeptical.  Many men do not recover from these sorts of infections.  I expect days of pain ahead, and if I emerge out the other side I hope to spend my remaining days in Catherine’s embrace.

~ by 1nsomniac on November 24, 2021.

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