Caravan to Kaad – an AFF2 solo.

I’m going to slip in a cheeky little post before 2012 hits us.  I am a Tunnels and Trolls fan and I enjoy the way that it produces lots of solo adventures for the system (basically, they are gamebooks, but the rules are in a separate book).

If you want to see a good example of a short Tunnels and Trolls solo, try Depths of the Devilmancer by Scott Malthouse.

Well, I decided to turn my hand to writing an Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd edition solo for a non magic user.The problem with writing gamebooks for a system designed for an RPG is that it is difficult to prepare your gamebook for all of the skills, abilities and spells that the characters may have.

For example, what happens if you cast ESP on an NPC?  A referee could make something up on the fly, but a gamebook cannot do that.  So, for the time being, I’m keeping it simple for myself.

In this solo, you are guarding a caravan for a few days.  Normally, it is boring, but this time, things go wrong.  Read on and let me know what you think.  It’s nice and short, so it shouldn’t take too long.

Caravan to Kaad
You are an adventurer who has fallen on hard times and has decided to guard a caravan for some gold pieces.  However, the job is far from boring. 

This gamebook is intended for a character with AFF2 stats, but magic has not been accounted for.

Skills and talents
This gamebook does not take into account spellcasting, so the following skills and talents will not be available for a hero doing this gamebook.

Skills not available:  Magic – Minor, Magic – Priestly, Magic – Sorcery, Magic – Wizardry.

Talents not available:  Arcane, Blessed, Dark Seeing, Familiar, Focus, Holy, Knighted, Natural Mage, Physical Empowerment, Status.

Starting equipment
You start with a bare minimum of equipment but you may find other items later  on.  At the moment, you have these items:
  • One weapon that you have a special skill in or a staff or dagger if you have no weapon special skill.
  • A leather cuirass if you have the armour special skill or a small shield if you don’t.
  • A backpack.
Background
After falling on hard times, you decide to earn some money doing caravan guard duty.  The town crier announced that a merchant wants guards to escort him and his wares to Kaad.  You approach the well built, leather wearing merchant in the town square of Blitterford who introduces himself as Lars and tells you that he has several barrels of corn ale that he needs transporting to Kaad.  It should take three days for the caravan to get there along a well known trail and the fee is 30 gold pieces. 
Turn to 1.
1
30 gold pieces for three days work.  You need the money, but could you squeeze more out of him?  If you want to try, turn to 9.  If you accept, turn to 17. 

2
There is a cloaked man up ahead. He is carrying a staff. Lars stops the wagons and tells you and Margov to approach it. You do so cautiously. As you get nearer, the figure lowers its hood to reveal a face of madness. The man cackles insanely and launches himself at both of you. You and Margov fight the man together (you both get a +1 bonus to attack strength while you are both fighting).  He will target you with his blows.
MAD PILGRIM SKILL 9 STAMINA 12 WEAPON: Staff ARMOUR: None
If you win, you may take the man’s staff, but there is nothing left of value. Turn to 24.

3
The peasants are very grateful for your help. They give you a bag of berries, nuts and apples that they collected today. ‘Many thanks, my friend.’ Says the woman. This will protect you from the elements. Note down the bag as a meal, but if you eat it in this gamebook, you will also enjoy the effect of the weather protection minor spell (you won’t lose any stamina from bad weather). The spell wears off when this gamebook ends. Turn to 24.
4
You see two figures approaching and you wake Sovril. You have a chance to ambush them. Test your hide or skill. If you succeed, turn to 6. If you fail, turn to 18.

5
Before you can react, two MAN ORCS leap out of the copse and land before you, brandishing their battle axes. You are surprised. If you are with Margov, you both fight one man orc each. Otherwise, you fight them together. In the first round, the man orcs get a +6 bonus to attack strength and a +2 bonus to damage rolls due to the surprise. Also, if you win the attack round, you don’t inflict any damage.
First MAN ORC SKILL 8 STAMINA 6 WEAPON: Battle axe. ARMOUR: Leather cuirass.
Second MAN ORC SKILL 8 STAMINA 6 WEAPON: Battle axe. ARMOUR: Leather cuirass.
If you win, you may take a battle axe, but the man orcs have no other possessions. Turn to 22.
6
You leave the shelter of the wagon and head for a nearby bush. The MAN ORCS look under the wagon and then at the barrels. While they are distracted you ambush them. They grunt in surprise and anger. You have to fight them. If Sovril has a weapon, he will try his best against the second man orc. Otherwise, he will flee while you have to fight both of them at once (they get +1 to their attack strength while there are two of them). If Sovril beats his man orc before you, he will aid you. If the man orc reduces Sovril’s stamina to 4 or less, Sovril will flee. The man orc will ignore him and attack you. Since you surprised the man orcs, you get a +6 bonus to your attack strength and a +2 bonus to damage rolls in the first round. Also, if the man orc wins, you take no damage. The same applies to Sovril, if he is fighting.
Sovril   SKILL 6 STAMINA 11 WEAPON: Whatever you gave him. ARMOUR: None
First MAN ORC SKILL 8 STAMINA 6 WEAPON: Battle axe. ARMOUR: Leather cuirass.
Second MAN ORC SKILL 8 STAMINA 6 WEAPON: Battle axe. ARMOUR: Leather cuirass.
If you win, and Sovril ran away, he eventually returns. Turn to 25.
7
You awak at dawn and carry on traipsing along the trail, protecting the wagons. The day goes without incident until you come to a copse. Lars tells you to investigate it before he sends the wagons through. You approach it, getting slowly closer. Test your awareness or skill. If you have the hawkeye talent, you may use its bonus. You automatically succeed if you have the combat reactions talent. If you succeed, turn to 15. If you fail, turn to 5.
8
The first 3 hours are uneventful. You walk alongside the slow moving wagons, enjoying the countryside. Then you see something approaching you on the trail. Roll 1 die.
On the roll of a 1-2, turn to 12.
On the roll of a 3-4, turn to 16.
On the roll of a 5-6, turn to 2.
9
Roll 2 dice and add it to Lars’s bargain skill of 9. Roll 2 dice and add it to your skill or bargain skill. If you get the same scores, roll again. If you beat his score, you manage to raise the fee to 36 gold pieces. If you fail, he lowers the fee to 24 gold pieces. Turn to 17.
10
Overcoming your revulsion, you search through the entrails and bloodstained clothes and backpack to find an axe and a pouch containing 5 gold pieces. You may take either or both of these. Turn to 24.

11
Lars and his caravan ride off. Just as they do, the heavens open and it starts to pour with rain. Lose 1 stamina point through cold and wet. You are left with Sovril, a servant. The first thing you both do is collect up the barrels and arrange them on the trail. Then you lean the broken wagon against the tree for shelter. After that, you get some food. Gain 2 stamina points. Neither of you sleep particularly well as you are anxious against further attacks. Eventually, the sun rises and you spend the day patrolling the copse. However, nothing comes. Sovril helps, but he looks like he couldn’t hold himself in a fight and he is unarmed. If you would like to lend him a weapon, you may do so now. Turn to 23.
12
You see three figures on the road all dressed in ragged clothing. Two of them are supporting the third who is limping along. The central person’s leg is covered in blood.
‘Please help us.’ Says one of the uninjured peasants, a woman with wild black hair. ‘We were hunting for food and Arwal here got caught in a man trap. He’s in a bad way. Please help us.’ You look at Lars who is unimpressed and ready to move his wagon on.
If you ignore them and follow Lars, turn to 19.
If you want to help them and you have the healing skill, make a roll. If you succeed, turn to 3. If you fail, you may try something else.
If you try to convince Lars to use some of his bandages and alcohol to clean and repair the wounds, turn to 14.
13
Deciding that spending two days in man orc infested countryside is foolish, you turn around and head back to Blitterford. You don’t get any pay and Lars will badmouth you to any merchant he meets, reducing your chances of employment, but at least you still have your skin. Gain 5 experience points for this trip.
14
Test your Con, Leadership or skill. If you succeed, Lars agrees to give you some bandages and alcohol and you dress the wound. Turn to 3.
If you fail, Lars refuses to give the materials away freely, but he will give them to you if you let him reduce your fee by 6 gold pieces. If you do this, turn to 3.
If you are not able to get the materials, you move on. Turn to 19.
15
You see a shape moving behind the trees and you shout a warning to the others. Two MAN ORCs leap out of the copse to attack you, but you are ready for them. If Margov is still with you, you fight one man orc each. Otherwise, you fight them together (they get a +1 bonus to attack strength while they are both alive).
First MAN ORC SKILL 8 STAMINA 6 WEAPON: Battle axe. ARMOUR: Leather cuirass.
Second MAN ORC SKILL 8 STAMINA 6 WEAPON: Battle axe. ARMOUR: Leather cuirass.
If you win, you may take a battle axe, but the man orcs have no other possessions. Turn to 22.
16
You see a pack of wild dogs gorging on something in the road. There are six of them. When you get near to them, they turn as one and glower at you, mad for more meat. The pack of dogs then launch themselves at you and Margov, barking madly. You must fight three of them at once (each wild dog in the pack gets a +1 bonus to attack strength for each other wild dog attacking you.
First WILD DOG SKILL 4 STAMINA 4 WEAPON: Small bite ARMOUR: None
Second WILD DOG SKILL 4 STAMINA 4 WEAPON: Small bite ARMOUR: None
Third WILD DOG SKILL 4 STAMINA 4 WEAPON: Small bite ARMOUR: None
Fight Margov’s combat simultaneously:
First WILD DOG SKILL 4 STAMINA 4 WEAPON: Small bite ARMOUR: None
Second WILD DOG SKILL 4 STAMINA 4 WEAPON: Small bite ARMOUR: None
Third WILD DOG SKILL 4 STAMINA 4 WEAPON: Small bite ARMOUR: None
Make a note of Margov’s current stamina. If he dies, the ramaining wild dogs will attack you. If he wins before you, he will aid you.
If you win, turn to 21.
17
Note down how much you will be paid.
‘Great. We’re leaving in a couple of hours.’ says Lars. Come and help us load up.
You spend an hour loading barrels onto wagons. As you do, you get to know the other travellers. Lars has three servants and one other guard, a man in a chain cuirass who has a sword at his side and a shortbow on his back. He is known as Margov and he is an ex soldier in the Salamonis army who left for more adventure.
‘I’ve been guarding caravans for the next six months. It was more entertaining in the army.’
Here are Margov’s stats:
Margov
Skill 7 Stamina 16 Luck 10
Skills: World Lore (1), City Lore (Salamonis) (1), Religion Lore (1), Ride (1), Swords (2), Armour (2), Strength (2), Bows (1), Brawling (1), Dodge (1), Mounted Combat (1), Animal Lore (1), Etiquette (1)
Talent: Strongarm.
Equipment: Sword, dagger, shortbow, quiver of 12 arrows, chain cuirass backpack, waterskin, 2 meals, 25 GP, 10 SP.
After you have loaded up the Lars and each servant get on a wagon laden with barrels and begin their journey. You and Margov have to walk alongside them, keeping an eye out for  trouble. Turn to 8.

18
You hear guttral noises nearby and go to wake Sovril. As you do, two MAN ORCS appear on the trail. You have to fight them. If Sovril has a weapon, he will try his best against the second man orc. Otherwise, he will flee while you have to fight both of them at once (they get +1 to their attack strength while there are two of them). If Sovril beats his man orc before you, he will aid you. If the man orc reduces Sovril’s stamina to 4 or less, Sovril will flee. The man orc will ignore him and attack you.
Sovril   SKILL 6 STAMINA 11 WEAPON: Whatever you gave him. ARMOUR: None
First MAN ORC SKILL 8 STAMINA 6 WEAPON: Battle axe. ARMOUR: Leather cuirass.
Second MAN ORC SKILL 8 STAMINA 6 WEAPON: Battle axe. ARMOUR: Leather cuirass.
If you win, and Sovril ran away, he eventually returns. Turn to 25.
19
The peasants glare at you as you walk on. As you leave, you hear the woman mumble something under her breath. Then you feel a sharp jabbing pain in your back. Roll 1 die. If you roll a 6, lose 1 stamina point. Turn to 24.
20
‘I’m you’re boss, you insolent mudworm. Either do as I say, or clear off!’ Shouts Lars. If you do go along with his plan, make a note that your pay has been reduced by 4 gold pieces since you angered him and turn to 11. If you still refuse, turn to 13.

21
After you have killed the pack, you then see that they were feasting upon the rotting, disemboweled corpse of an adventurer. No one else wants to touch it. If you investigate the corpse, turn to 10. If you carry on, turn to 24.
22
Eager to move on, Lars pushes the horses on. It all goes well, until the last wagon goes over a gnarled tree root in the copse, overturning it and sending the barrels flying. Lars curses. You all inspect the wagon which now has a broken wheel. Lars orders you and the servant driving the wagon to stay behind and guard the goods while the rest of them move on to get a replacement. If you go along with this, turn to 11. If you refuse, turn to 20.
23
You both eat well during the day. Restore 4 stamina points. Then night comes around and you decide to take the first watch. You stare out across the plains from the copse for hours. Test your awareness or skill. If you have the hawkeye talent, you may use its bonus. If you succeed, turn to 4. If you fail, turn to 18. 
24
The rest of the day carries on without incident. You circle the wagons, start a fire and enjoy a good meal. In the evening, you keep watch. If Margov is still alive, you share the duty and you may both restore 2 stamina points through food and a reasonable night’s sleep. If you are alone, you get very little sleep and you have to lose 1 stamina point.
The night passes without incident. In the morning, you carry on. turn to 7.
25
Once again, the man orcs have nothing of value. After two, thankfully uneventful days of waiting and resting (restore your stamina to its initial level), Lars and Margov return with an empty wagon. You hurridly load it with the barrels and hastily make your way to Kaad. Lars thanks you for protecting his goods and pays you his fee with an additional 15 gold pieces on top. You have managed to guard the caravan to Kaad. Gain 15 experience points.


So there we go.  Feel free to post any comments.  


I wish you all a happy new year.  Here’s to 2012!


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4 thoughts on “Caravan to Kaad – an AFF2 solo.

  1. Thanks for the shout-out! I look forward to giving this a play in the morning.

    Regarding magic in solos, T&T often uses a matrix to determine what spells can be used when. It works really well and leaves options open to the player on what spell to cast in a given situation.

    Like

  2. Powerful evocative stuff. My heads too full of crazed app musings and working around Steven Erikson's Malazan Books to absorb your brilliance at the moment , but my new reviewer would love to get his teeth into your stuff as my site expands from apps to graphic novels and indeed true grit RPG brilliance like yours. Give me a shout and Gametrender would love to feature you and your work in a forthcoming article. Happy New Year.

    Like

  3. I like it. Pretty good for 25 paragraphs. And I like your thoughts about reviews, too, in the other article. Made me think more, both about writing reviews (which I've been interested in for a while) and about single player rpgs. Tunnels and Trolls, and games like it, have never really entered my awareness before, but single player RPG modules are very interesting… very similar to gamebooks. I'll have to check that out more.

    Like

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