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I am also currently working two jobs on a twisted, rotating schedule that is absolutely killing me. However, it has occurred to me that this does not mean that I have to hang up my dice-bag forever.
I dug out some old homebrew rules that I think can be slapped over any existing game product and started modifying them. My intent is to run as many old school game adventures as I can, solo.
I call these rules "DIE Alone" and I'm generally making them up as a go along. They work on a simple idea: Using a single six sided die (D6) anything that my intrepid Hero encounters will have a Easy, Medium or Hard difficulty. For Easy you have to roll 1-3. For Medium 4-5 and for Hard you have to roll a solid 6.
Obviously, it gets a little more complicated, but not much. I have chosen the single D6 as I think it will be easy to carry one D6 in my pocket as opposed to a full set of ppolyhedrals. If I need anything else, I can use the dice app on my phone.
To create the Hero for this journey you start with a name. I am thinking a brave and resourceful barbarian, so I will name him Thakko. This also determines his starting Skill of Warrior. (See Below for other Skills and what skills do.)
Stats in Die Alone will act like Saving Throws in the game. There are three Stats: Brains, Bod and Vibes. Roll D6 and distribute the points as you choose. No Stat can be 0.
1-3: 4 points
4-5: 5 points
6: 6 points.
I have rolled 3, so I distribute the points as follows: Bod 2, Brains 1 and Vibes 1.
MSG stands for Minor, Serious and Grievous and determines how much damage the Hero can withstand. Using the same chart as Stats, determine how many points you have the distribute between the three categories. I have rolled a 4 (5 points) so I distribute the MSG as
Minor 2 (Mild Damage wears off after the fight)
Serious 2 (Serious Damage requires a period of rest to recover)
Grievous 1 (Grievous Damage requires immediate Healing! Loosing all of your Grievous Points means that the Hero is now OOF [Out of Fight] and requires immediate Healing or can end up unconscious or more likely, dead.
Heroes begin with a weapon and armour.Weapons add to Damage rolls. Armour subtract from them. Using the same chart, you now have that many points to distribute between a starting Weapon and Armour. Rolling a 4 and +1 for being a Warrior still means that I distribute 5 points:
It doesn't matter what the weapon or armour is. As Thakko is a Barbarian, I choose that he starts with an Axe, but it could just as easily be a sword, spear or hammer etc. Weapons and armour in DIE Alone will vary widely in damage and strength
Every Hero starts with a single Trait. This is a power or bonus that adds one time, 1 point to any Stat, MSG, Weapon or Armour that you choose. As Thakko looks like he needs a little help staying alive, I spend the Trait on his Grievous points. If it helps, call it Barbarian Vigor.
BS points can be use in a variety of ways throughout the game, but primarily be spent to re-roll any failed die roll. More on them later. I tried to come up with a good acronym for BS, but then I thought, forget it.
Skill: Barbarian (Warrior)
Bod 2 M 2 Axe 4 Trait
Mind 1 S 2 Loincloth 1 Barbarian Vigor (+1 to G)
Vibes 1 G 2 BS 1
|He may not be around that long....|
Warrior: Warriors are Medium to Hit in Combat. Add +1 to all found Weapon and Armour Rolls.
Wizard: Wizards have any easier time studying Magical texts and items. They can also cast spells
Thief: Thieves have any easier time finding and disarming traps. Can also 'Sneak'
Monk: Monks can increase their Unarmed Combat. In combat, instead of attacking, they can Heal one point of MSG of their own, or an Ally. Can also cast 'Plead' magic.
Elf +1 to Mind, -1 to MSG Roll
Dwarf. +1 Bod. No starting BS points
Gnome: Start with 2 BS points. -1 to Stat roll
Hobbet +1 to MSG of choice. -1 to Weapon and Armour Roll
Orc: +1 to Weapon and Armour Roll. Starting Mind cannot be more than 1.