This is my fifth one page solo rpg that I’ve created, and I’ve finally let my love of D&D fuel me for a story.
The Cave Outside Heltrap is a Fantasy rpg where you are an adventurer tasked with clearing a cave of a monster, so you spend your time sidequesting around the problem in the hopes you’ll figure it out.
I was in full on The Witcher mode in my head with this one, and it all just reminded me of why I love playing D&D with mates [and kids at school] – you can get pretty weird with it.
Some of the prompts on the d20 table are gnarly fun – swamp hag chanting and werewolf curses and bags of weird coins and other wild adventures just waiting to be explored.
You can go download it now, and get it for free. Or you can throw a coin into the well, if it pleases you. I don’t mind any which way, I just like knowing these are being used and enjoyed.
This is a real side-side-hustle – but every hustle of mine revolves around some form of creativity, so I feel lucky to get the time and the energy to put into stuff like this. It’s truly manna for the soul. Hope you dig it half as much, too.
To keep my brain moving THIS WEEK, when it felt like it was sinking into the Bog of Eternal Stench [another name for my office after a few days of iso], I decided to do something just fun. I opened my one-page solo rpg writing game, The Lighthouse at Kindred Rocks, and I started playing it myself.
To play, I just roll two d20s and then look at the prompt table, and then started loosely mapping out what would happen in the story from those prompts.
The set up is this: my father has just died, getting me to return to my hometown of Kindred Rocks, and both bury him and take his job as the Lighthouse Keeper, because my life outside the town was shit and turning shitter anyway. So that’s the set up and start, and from there I need to figure out: how’d my father really die, and what eldritch insanity is buried in the secrets of my town?
When I sat down, I tried to consider what the solutions to these two problems might be, but that’s anathema to the whole concept. You are supposed to figure that out as you wind and wend through the prompts, so I shut my brain off on that track, rolled twice, once for each mystery, and started plotting out responses that would slowly form the story.
The first two prompts are pasted in here, and then I put my plotting beneath them.
The Father Mystery
Sitting in the park on a quiet day, you are approached by someone who knew your father. Why do they want to talk to you about something urgent?
Your father’s mistress – an old lady, runs the local inn – who tells you your father was distressed over the past week. He would come in for a pint, and then leave without staying and he wouldn’t be at home when she checked. He said something about there being something out in the woods that worried him.
The Eldritch Secrets Mystery
You visit an old tree where you once carved some initials. Memories flood back, and one sticks in your mind on this day. Who is this memory linked to?
You go to the woods, with this information, and you find a tree where you carved a high school sweetheart’s initials with your own. You were two young ladies, close friends, and she was always fending off the advances of a local bully, so you two would wander hand in hand to give him the shits. You carved your name into the tree, but a year later she would leave the town and you’d be left all alone, wishing you’d asked for more. Or did she not leave, you just drifted apart because you knew you wanted more and you did not want to ask her for it.
It’s all basic plotting/planning, not actually writing prose, but it’s a fun way to Jenga a story together, and the more prompts I wrote, the more I could tie things back in together.
Youcan‘view’thewholedocumenthere, it’s 100% a work in progress, and the kind of thing I’d want to then go back up the chain to tidy up, but I’m definitely having loose fun with it and my brain needs that. And I have to say, discovering the story as you go along, just blindly leapfrogging from one stepping stone of a set up to another, has been a whole new experience. I very much kinda love it.
If you want your own turn at the fun, paying Patrons get the Lighthouse at Kindred Rocks game in a locked post, and everyone else can download it for free here or toss me a few coins to keep the lights on around here.