AD&D1e and Scarlet Heroes Solo Game #1 - Beginnings

I've decided to use Scarlet Heroes and AD&D1e to run a solo adventure for myself in my homebrew game world. I love Scarlet Heroes and could have used the rules for characters and combat to construct a solo game, but I have been meaning to buckle down and fully attempt to master Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, First Edition. Note that I am not an expert on 1e and I am solo gaming, partly as a tool to better understand the game. I'm trying to follow my own advice that I gave here in this video. So I will probably get some things wrong throughout the course of play. Please comment with suggestions or corrections as I am really trying to learn this before I rope other players into a game. I want to ensure I understand the rules as best as possible. The story itself was generated by rolling on the Scarlet Heroes tables in the back of the book. The oracles are fantastic and make solo gaming a breeze. The minor details are merely my mental interpretations of these rolls on these oracles to construct a narrative for myself.

Kamrek Largerock - Dwarf Fighter

I rolled up a dwarf fighter named Kamrek Largerock.

Strength: 16

Intelligence: 9

Wisdom: 9

Dexterity: 13

Constitution: 17

Charisma: 11 (12)

Hit Points: 7

Alignment: Lawful Good

He is equipped with the basic adventuring gear, chainmail, a battle axe, and two hand axes for personal protection.

The Begining

I decided to start the game in the city of Ironhaven. This is a coastal town and fiefdom to the King in Craydon to the east. The town is a salty, crusty place. Gladiatorial combat is the main event here (along with the betting that goes on). Kamrek entered a tavern here and attempted to ask the innkeeper if he had any work for him.

"Ah, bad timing friend," he said. "I don't have work but I think that gentleman there might." He pointed to another figure in the tavern drinking wine at a table. Alone. He was a human and was dressed in dirty, but what looked to be expensive clothes. A bit dandified. He is of a mature age it seems too.

Kamrek approached the man and introduced himself. "Greetings friend, the innkeeper says that you are someone looking for a hired hand, and I am currently a free agent."

The man is immediately cordial and friendly. "My name is Railan. And yes, I do have need of hired hands."

He goes on to tell Kamrek how he was once a member of a royal family until he exposed some taboo incest going on within. Instead of punishing those who engaged in such degenerate activities, he was cast out of the family, disinherited, and left to fend for himself.

"I want revenge against those that have wronged me," he says. "The problem is that the evidence is hidden within my former room in the abode of my family. I am no longer permitted to go, obviously, so I need to hire someone else to do it for me. If I have my evidence, I can then begin to do some damage to those in my family who have wronged me for exposing their hidden sin."

Being a lawful good character, Kamrek finds the job compelling. Helping someone who was exposing such heinous activity within a political or powerful family seems like a good cause. "What is the pay?"

"900gp if you can retrieve the information hidden in the floorboards of my former room. Along with that, the promise of more well-paid work in the future. This is only the beginning after all."

The Family Mansion

The mansion of Railan is the home of the Donovani family. A powerful family whose patriarch was the current spymaster for the lord of Ironhaven.Yeesh.

Kamrek spent a day scoping out the mansion grounds at the perimeter. He discovered a way in through a subterranean sewer system (potentially). Otherwise, he figured he could maybe try to simply ask if the guards were hiring. He didn't like lying to these people, but if Railan can be trusted, they were liars and corrupt themselves. The truth that Railan needed to expose them was of utmost importance to Kamrek. Kamrek elected to ask if there were any open positions as a guard in the mansion. If this failed, he would take the sewer route.

Kamrek walked up to the guards at the gate. "Hail friends. I am a warrior looking for work. I see such an illustrious mansion and have to ask if there are any positions open.

At this point, I rolled a reaction roll. 83% so, "Friendly, immediate action."

"Hail dwarf friend. Yes, the Donovani family is always looking for guards and those with a good work ethic. Though it is not my place to hire or make such decisions. You must speak to the captain of the guard, Thornton Byrde. If you follow me, I can take you to him."

"That would be most appreciated friend!" Kamrek said with hearty and friendly laugh.

Kamrek followed the guard to a guardhouse on the mansion grounds. A middle-aged man sat at a desk looking over documents. He looked a bit ragged and tired. The guard introduced Kamrek and stated his business in looking for work before returning to his post.

I rolled another reaction roll here. 23% so (hostile, immediate action).

"I am far too busy to deal with an earth digger such as yourself, dwarf" With that, the guard captain called for a guard to escort Kamrek out of his sight. "And tell that guard that brought this dwarf here to see me when his shift is done!" he yelled as Kamrek was escorted out.

At this point, I thought about attacking the guard once it seemed Kamrek was in a somewhat hidden place to do so. But all of these people have now seen his face so that seemed like a bad idea. To the sewers it is then I guess.

The Sewers

This was not a location Kamrek wanted to be in. It seemed promising with the guard job but obviously that turned sour with the grumpy guard captain.

The sewer dungeon was generated by the 1e dungeon generator.

So into the sewers, Kamrek went. As soon as he descended the ladder, 4 fire beetles were encountered in the first room. Surprise was rolled. Both sides rolled 5 so neither is surprised. A reaction roll was made at 41%. "Uncertain but 55% prone toward negative." Another d% roll was made at 68%, greater than the 55% for negative actions. The bugs seem to be aware but uninterested in Kam. Not wanting to push his luck with the beetles, Kamrek moved forward and to the left. He wasn't sure if this was the right way but he wasn't going to mess with four fire beetles in order to be sure. Especially when they seem disinterested in him.

The beetles did not follow. Going left, Kamrek entered a large 20'x30' chamber. Within is a giant ant. The Kamrek failed his reaction roll miserably. Initiative is rolled. Kamrek rolled a 5 while the ant rolled a 2. Kamrek elects to ready his axe and strike the ant if it gets near him. The ant moves towards Kam and Kam strikes... with a nat 1. Damn.

Initiative is rolled for the next round, Kamrek rolls a 1 (dammit). The ant rolls a 5. Initiative goes to the ant (dammit). The ant attacks and rolls a 3. Kam has an AC of 5. According to the attack matrix for monsters, the ant needs to roll an 11. Thankfully, the ant misses.

Initiative is rolled again. Kam rolls a 6. The ant rolls a 4. Initiative goes to Kamrek who attempts to attack the ant again. He rolls a 15 and misses (he needed 17 to hit the ant). The ant attacks. He rolls a 14 and this is enough to hit Kam. Kam takes 1 point of damage and goes down from 7 to 6 hit points.

The third round of combat. Kamrek rolls a 5, and the ant rolls a 1. Kam goes first. I realize this is probably stupid but Kamrek wants to kill this stupid ant. He attempts to swing at the ant again. He rolls an 18. This is enough to strike the ant. He will deal 1d8+1 in damage to the ant (the ant has 12 HP). Kam deals 3 points of damage (not great). The ant gets to attack. It rolls a 3 again. It fails to hit.

Fourth round. Kamrek is going to fight. I do a morale check for the ant. Animals generally like easy prey in my opinion. I roll and it appears the ant still feels like it can fight. Kamrek rolls a 4 for initiative but so does the ant. Kamrek rolls another 18. The ant rolls a 14. Both are going to have attacks that hit. Kamrek deals 8 points of damage to the ant. The ant deals 3 to Kamrek.

Round five. Kamrek is wounded but tastes blood. He is going to risk finishing this stupid ant off. The ant makes a morale check again as it is near death. Though near death, the ant feels the same way about trying to kill Kamrek and will choose to attack him once more. Initiative is rolled. Kamrek rolls a 5 but so does the ant (geez). The ant rolls a 9, missing Kamrek. Kamrek rolls a 12 missing as well.

Round six. Kam will swing his axe once more but the ant chooses to bite once more. Once again, both sides roll a 5 for initiative. I'm seriously sweating for Kam the Dwarf at this point. The ant rolls a 9. It fails to hit Kamrek. Kamrek rolls an 11. Another miss. This is getting dumb.

Round seven. Kam will fight. The ant rolls for morale and fails by 29%. This means the ant will choose to disengage and retreat. Both sides roll a 6. Kam rolls a 14 for his attack and misses. The Ant attempts to flee at the same time. Kamrek winds up a second blow to the back of the ant as it flees (giving him a +2). He rolls a 12. He's just too tired at this point to hit I guess. He misses. The ant flees into a crack in the wall. The room does contain treasure though! 2,200sp in bags.

"I need to go lay down," Kamrek says.

He picks up the silver in bags, shoves some into his backpack, and slowly leaves the dungeon (he's kind of encumbered because of all of that coin). A random encounter is rolled for but none occurs. He climbs out of the sewer a bit richer but is injured. He returns to the tavern. By this point it is nightfall. Railan Donovani is still in the Tavern.

"Any word on that evidence?"

"No. I tried to get a job as a guard in the mansion and got a meeting with the guard captain. He turned me away. I found a sewer entrance that I think can lead into your family's mansion but it's infested with bugs. A giant ant almost killed me."

A reaction roll is made at 82%. Railan is understanding.

Kamrek flips two silver coins to the tavern innkeeper for a hot meal. He flips the innkeeper another 40 silver and asks if he can rest here for 3 days. The innkeeper agrees.

Over the course of the three days, Kamrek takes his silver to the bank and deposits 2,158sp. He recovers the 4 hit points lost in the sewers. He gains 22xp for defeating the ant plus another 220 for finding the silver and bringing it back to town. this is a total of 242xp earned this solo session. He needs another 1,759 xp to level up. I think he might buy some better arms and armor eventually as well. Trying to sneak in through the sewers is getting dangerous (as expected). I'm wondering if just having Kamrek infiltrate the mansion is a better option.



  1. I started playing in 1977 before AD&D, but remember eagerly moving into that edition as the books were released. Looking back, I can say most people who I have gamed with played a personalized version of AS&D, often borrowing ideas from other sources. Learn the game, it's a good one, but play it your way. That is the spirit of AD&D imo and is one of the great things about ttrpg play.

    1. Love the name! Yes I agree. Especially since I've been reading OD&D too. I see these early games as toolboxes. It's very different from modern game in how they are presented. Very free. More to come as I have time.


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