Friday, October 3, 2014

Adventure Maximus : Solo Example

For my solo attempt at Adventure Maximus, what seems like forever ago, I generated my character according to the rules, and ended up with a Minotaur Officer. 

To me, the minotaur is one of the iconic races of Adventure Maximus. Possibly because he's on the box and really catches my eye. And I've always liked the Minotaur of Greek myth.

The Officer class gets plate armor and that was my main motivation for choosing that above the other two I drew (I can't recall what they were).

My equipment card came up: My Axe (here meaning the slang for guitar, although shaped like the hacking weapon. picture something Gene Simmons would use on stage with KISS). Unfortunately, the axe's bonus could only be activated as long as the player played air guitar at the table. This is kind of useless in a solo session, or rather, I didn't feel like figuring out how to handle it so I decided I'd ignore that feature.

For my ability card, I drew Braids and Beards which, depending on how much I spent could increase my armor class or heal wounds.
I randomly generated a few names on line and chose "Gundar."

The mission: Snow White needs my help because the Master Assassin escaped with the fabulous Cake is a Pie to the Road in the Crystal Caverns.

Master Assassin is a boss creature, Cake is a Pie is an equipment card and the McGuffin and the Crystal Caverns is a map card. The other details are from the MadLib adventure generator.

Scene 1, Chaos 5

[Rather than drawing the creature, equipment and map cards for the first encounter, i only drew the map card to start, so I could set the scene: The SOurce of the Snake Bite River]

Gundar, having received the plea from Snow White to recover the fabulous Cake is a Pie, set out to track the delectable healing treat. As a former officer in White's Fighting Fantasy Brigade, he felt duty required his acceptance of the mission.

[I couldn't decide if he was going to start from the Source of the Snake Bite River or if he was journeying there. Enter Mythic GME: Is he starting from the Source of the Snake Bite River? 50/50. 60, no]

Gundar left his home in the pre-dawn hours towards the Source of the Snake Bite River, a river which had long ago carved much of the land, including the Crystal Caverns. By following the river, he hoped to find the long rumored secret entrance to the road within.

[I needed some sort of focus for the scene so I rolled on the Mythic Action and Verb tables: Oppress Emotions. This made me think of monks, so:]

A monastery at the mouth of the river would be his first stopping point. 

It would do no good to rush head strong into battle - a lesson Gundar had learned long ago. The propensity of the minotaurs for rage is well known, less so is their ability to turn that power into a calm abiding from which they can, like the greatest zen master, act spontaneously without fear or hesitation.

As Gundar approached the monastery, he caught site of two lizard men scuttling of the water, They looked sneaky and suspicious as they eyed the lone traveler approaching.

“My beef is not with you. Move aside, and let me pass," said Gundar, his voice booming.

[Do the lizard men heed his warning? 50/50. 47.]

Despite outnumbering their quarry, the thought of fighting so heavily equipped an opponent had them rethinking their plan and without further ado, slipped back into the cool rushing waters of the river.

Once inside the monastery, Gundar sat with monks there and chanted the sacred syllable "Moo!" for some time.

Scene 2  Chaos 5
[I drew the map card for the 2nd encounter, Location: The Court of Darkness]

Gundar, having achieved inner calm, bade the monks farewell and began his way down river. There, looming in the distance he saw the spires of the Court of Darkness. Going around the city would add too much to his journey and so he decided to enter into the foul place.

[I turned to Mythic to get a sense of what was happening in the city: Praise Danger]

Word must have gotten out about his journey, and denizens of the dark city gasped and mouthed silent cheers for our hero. Silent because they were under the watchful eyes of the Court’s guard. Any cheering of any kind would be subject to harsh penalty.

[Gundar has the Notice ability, so I decide to put it to use. Do i notice anyone skulking about the shadows wishing me ill? 6 successes!]

Gundar glanced up at the spires from time to time. Something about the Gargoyles wasn't right. In fact, it appeared that two of them had changed position since he last looked.

He readied his crossbow carefully and then turned to fire.

[Initiative (roll and count successes): Gundar 3, Gargoyles 2]

Gundar shot his crossbow  [It takes 1 action point to use the crossbow, and he scored 5 successes. Damage is done if the attack has more successes than the target has armor. They have Armor 6 and thus no damage was done] and the bolt sailed past them.

[Since he can take one action per Action Point, he shot again, 5 successes. And again, nothing, and the third time wasn't a charm either.]

The gargoyles attacked Gundar [they have 2 AP each] but cannot penetrate the plate mail.

[After all sides have acted, the initiative moves to the next player, in this case the GM or the gargoyles and then all sides act again. This continues until combat is resolved.

8 Rounds of combat and neither side did anything of note.

Gundar spent an AP to bring on Razorback, an ability on his Ability Card, which improved his armor by 1.]

Tired of wasting time, Gundar took off running through the streets, trying to shake the gargoyles.

[It costs 2 AP to move out of close range combat, so he held 1

For the gargoyles' part of this initiative I asked Mythic, do they pursue? I set it at 50/50 since I have no idea why they chose to attack. 29, yes]

With the advantage of flight, the were able to easily track their prey and attack. 

[It cost them to 1 AP fly into range, leaving 1 AP to attack and they did 2 damage.

On his next turn, Gundar, with 4 AP now, his max allowed, since he saved one when he ran, spent 3 on invoking Red Dwarf to regain 3 health, and then attacked, ineffectively.

Five more rounds and i was tired of the combat so again, I had Gundar try to find a way out.

I asked Mythic, can he find a place to duck into? very likely? 74, yes]

Finally, Gundar ducked into a small dive of a diner, panting. The owner came out, and seeing the armored minotaur, and assuming the worst of anyone so attired, said “Bathrooms are for customers only. Buy something or get out.” 

Gundar handed him a copper for some water and peeked around looking for another way out.

[Again, I used his Notice skill: 4 successes. ]

Gundar spied a door at the back of the kitchen behind the counter. Since the shop keeper was a bit of a grouch, he went to check out the bathroom first, in case there was a window he could fit his large minotaur frame through.

[Mythic: is there a window ? 35, yes.
is it big enought to crawl out? unlikley82, nope ]

Back to the front, Gundar attempted to convince the owner to let him use the back door. He rested his hand on the hilt of his sword, going for the intimidation effect.

[I rolled 4 success for Gundar to 2 for the shop keeper]

Begrudgingly, the shop keeper let him through.

Out in the alley, Gundar glanced up at the skies. 

[Are the gargoyles there? 60, no.]

He made his way out of the Court of Darkness and continued following the river towards the Crystal Caverns.


  1. Reads like that combat was very boring . . . unless it was an unusual case I would be looking a bit negatively at the rules . . . still open but needing to be convinced they were worth pursuing.

    -- Jeff

    1. It was boring indeed. Unless I did something wrong (always a possibility with an unfamiliar system), the way damage is dealt makes both sides exceedingly resilient, at least when well armored (Officers and the Gargoyles are hard to damage . In a party of characters with a wide variety of skills, action, spells (of which the Officer class has none) and equipment this might not occur often if at all, but as it was, neither side rolled enough successes to really do the other side in. Combat, of course, is not the only way to resolve a conflict.

      I was trying to test the combat system, to learn it, so I definitely stuck with the combat longer than I should have, finally giving a half-hearted attempt at running because by then, my frustration with the combat had overtaken my interest in exploring the world. I could have instead, turned it into a running battle through the streets of the Court of Darkness, adding all sorts of exotic flavor to the game, possibly other combatants and NPCs for the character to interact with, maybe a tented market place which would have allowed Gundar to escape.

  2. Interesting report. I actually bought a copy of the game this past weekend as part of several game/hobby items I acquired for my birthday. Not sure if it's for me though the more I look at it.
    Yeah, the combat doesn't sound like fun. Maybe it works better for multi-member parties? A lot of games are not designed with "solo heroes"* in mind. Even though solo heroes aren't uncommon in literature (as well as paired heroes, or hero and sidekick).

    *if you play more and decide the battles are often too boring maybe it would help to take some ideas from Black Heroes solo heroes...

    1. Hi Fitz-Badger,

      I think one way around the combat issue with solo heroes in Adventure Maximus is to take an idea from Black Streams Solo Heroes and include a Fray die that always hits when attacking creatures with the same or less Action Points or Health Points (since there are no Hit Dice or Levels to work with) and then roll for damage - blank = 0, 1 sword to 2 swords = 1 damage , 3 swords plus (which requires rolling the @ sign thing plus one or more swords or @ signs on the 2nd roll = 2 damage.

      Another alternative is to count the number of @ signs (or swords or crossed swords, since they all have the same odds of occurring) rolled and if 2 or more then a point of damage is done regardless of the damage soak of the defender's armor.

      If that proves to make the hero too strong, maybe try: if any @ sign scores one or more successes on its second roll, then a point of damage is dealt regardless of the armor soak.

  3. The combat does improve with group play and is rather smooth. When you add in multiple players, your adding more magic, action cards, equipment and class abilities.

    1. Thanks for confirming that John. I'll add a few more characters to the party for the remainder of the games in the challenge and see how it goes.