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By This Axe I Hack (A Solo RPG Journal)


So I thought I would try to share my solo rpg journal here (as both a form of entertainment and a prompt for advice, questions, or suggestions in case anyone has any.)

It may explore some adult themes as By this Axe I Hack is a Sword and Sorcery RPG. As a disclaimer, I will also be using some other materials and books for ideas and random generations, including (but not limited to) Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells, Forbidden Lands, Iron Heroes, Worlds Without Number, and Overland Adventures supplement for Four Against Darkness.

I will post the prologue shortly, but I look forward to any ideas or feedback that anyone has. Also, if anyone has any links to good Solo RPG rules or youtube videos, please let me know. I would prefer non-woke sources, but will look into just about anything.

The Prologue

The Journey Begins...

In an age undreamed of, the lands once known as the Empire of Nosreme. The Dark Tower shadows over the four kingdoms of Arisilon, Brynthia, Durnin, and Serpantis. Four heroic figures who have already survived many challenges make their way to the Arisilonian city of Eganstar.

A muscular brute with a charming smile. S 13, C 12, D 10, I 9, W 9, Ch 13
great strength and size, hardy, imposing, power attack

The sorceress, beautiful and intelligent, and of surprising physical strength. S 14, C 12, D 7, I 14, W 9, Ch 10
arcane lore, corruption, empower spell, iron will, sense magic, true sorcery
She currently knows the spells of choking cloud, dispel magic.

A barbaric nomad, unused to the frivolities of civilization; skilled in archery and horsemanship. S 16, C 7, D 11, I 11, W 12, Ch 11
exotic horsemanship, versatile fighter, woodcraft

A veteran of war against the dread armies of the Dark Tower itself, Vernor has both the knowledge and the scars to show it. S 13, C 7, D 11, I 8, W 10, Ch 8
combat reflexes, melee specialist, second wind

With a famine and drought sorely effecting the lands of the Kingdom of Arisilon, the Prince Regent has grown worried, and sent two young warriors that had tested their mettle: Vernor and Talon to the city of Eganstar to find the Sorceror Kaltham in the Red Cathedral and implore him to act, if he could, against the famine and its possible causes. Here they meet the sorceress Alicia who is also waiting for an audience with the infamous sorcerer, and Caroddoc joins them shortly as well, though his purpose with the sorcerer is less scrutable. Any other traveling companions the characters have wait outside in the main foyer of the Cathedral.

Which leads us to Chapter 1: The Ruby and the Star 

Character creation (Backstory)

I use a life event generator modified from the one in Sword of Cepheus.

LIFE EVENTS AND MISHAPS BY CLASS TYPE (BTA)2d6WarriorRogueMagician2MishapMishapMishap3Spend time in a decadent civilization.Arrested and charged with a crime.Accidentally summon a demon.(ME1)4Sent to spy on an opposing tribe/army.Join a band of slavers?(RD1)Adventure with Unsavory Types.$$5Your people suffer from low food/resources.Join a band of thievs?(RD2)Noble requests a ritual spell.(MD1)6Captured/enslaved then escape.Betray someone close to you?(RD3)Witness a divine miracle.7Generic Life EventGeneric Life EventGeneric Life Event8Save the life of one of your people.(WE1)Spend time imprisoned for crimes.Spend time searching in distant places.9Travel to foreign lands.Involved with gambling establishment/ring.$$Work hard in some other tradition than magic.10Save the lives of several allies in a raid/battle.Gain clout and standing in criminal organization.Create, find, or steal magic item or artifact.11Discover or steal a valuable treasure.$$Pull off an amazing heist.$$Have a sudden insight into the working of magic or the universe.12Befriended by ruler or chieftain and have a brief political advantage.Steal a legendary artifact or perform an amazing heist increasing your infamy.Perform a spell or ritual that others talk about for years.
Mishaps by Class Type (BTA)1d6WarriorRogueMagician1Severely Injured: Crit x2Severely Injured: Crit x2Explosion: Crit x12Your people/tribe suffer from famine.Anger a crime lord. Escape with your life and nothing else.Spell goes wrong. Sanity Crit x23Your people/tribe are invaded/conquered.Arrested while performing crime.Corrupted or Tainted by Dark Magic.4Betrayed by someone close to you.Hunted by powerful organization or city guard.Betrayed by apprentice or other magician.(ME2)5Injured. Crit x1Betrayed.(RE1)Spell goes wrong and creates a horrible mutation.6Your people/tribe fare poorly in battle.Injured in a heist. Crit x1Wounded in battle. Crit x1

Generic Life Events

2d6HinterlandsVillageCityUnusual2While hunting, attacked by a wild animal. (HE1)Injury or illness. Crit x1Mugged. Crit x1Discover a talent for magic.(UE1)3Natural disaster changes fortunes.Village attacked by raiders/bandits.Relationship ends badly.(A-E)Discover a connection to a noble; gain a Freehold.4Close friend betrays you.(A-E)Romantic relationship ends badly.(A-E)Plague EventDevastation - Lose all wealth, treasures, and allies.5Local noble takes an interest.(HE2)Work hard to help village grow.(VE1)A fire sweeps through your neightborhood.You are attacked and left for dead. Crit x2.6Spend time in big city (City Event)Travel to a distant or exotic city.Commit crime or victim of a crime and must flee city.Gain an Enemy.7Gain an ally.Gain an ally.Gain an ally.Allied to group.8Travel to foreign place and learn new things.Traders come to your village. $$Travel to foreign place and learn new things.Magical creature becomes a familiar.9Traders teach you something of a foreign place.Do something heroic that makes you famous.After considerable work. $$You find a magic item or artifact.10Unexpected Inheritance. $$Inherit small fortune. $$Good year of work. $$You find a prestigious treasure. $$$11Good year of work. $$A noble wants something you possess.(VE2).Potential noble ally.You lose your memory for a time and aren't sure what happened to you.12Unusual event.Unusual EventUnusual EventEncounter powerful supernatural being.

While By This Axe I Hack does not use a counted coin system, but something more vague and less inspiring, I threw that out and am using a counted coin system similar to the one from Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells.

$$ = 5d6 gold coins (or equivalent piece of treasure)
$$$ = 10d8 gold coins (or equivalent in land or treasure)

WE1: The person whose life you save becomes a staunch Ally.
RD1: Based on what the rogue character decides, the Rogue either gains a valuable treasure ($$) or gains an enemy.
RD2: Based on what the rogue character decides, the Rogue either gains a valuable treasure ($$) or gains an enemy or group of enemies.
RD3: If the rogue chooses to betray someone, the rogue gains a prestigious treasure ($$$) (from the act of betrayal) or gains a staunch ally by not betraying him or her.
ME1: The magician can attempt a Charisma test to sway the demon to not attack; but failure means that the magician suffers a critical wound from the demon, that then returns to its realm.
MD1: In order to perform the ritual, the magician must pass either a Wisdom or a Charisma test (or both). If the ritual fails, the magician has made an enemy of the noble; otherwise the noble becomes an ally.
RE1: Betrayal. An ally becomes a bitter enemy.
ME2: The magician gains either an enemy or an enemy organization.
HE1: Make a wisdom test or take a Crit x1.
(A-E): An ally becomes an enemy.
HE2: Either gain an ally, or gain an enemy and a valuable treausure,
VE1: As a result of your hard work, you gain both an ally and an enemy.
VE2: Give up a valuable treasure ($$) you possess or lose an ally.
UE1: Either learn a tradition of magic, or learn a spell from some other tradition you know.


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