Alone Against Fear by Andrea Sfiligoi is a pen & paper survival horror solo game. You create a character and explore a town filled with monsters. All you need to play the game is the book, a pen/pencil, 2 six sided dice, paper or a notebook to keep notes, the character sheet and either a copy of the map template or another way to create the map, like grid paper. The main mission is to close 7 hell gates but there are 6 other missions you can do while closing the hell gates. You can learn skills by using experience or finding books. As you explore the town you create a map of the areas you have visited. If your character dies you can create a new one to continue the game. There are a lot of monsters/bad guys. There are serial killers, witches, demons, undead, possessed, beasts, mutants, aliens, ghosts, living dolls, zombies and vampires.
The book is a little disorganized but it was still understandable. I added tabs to make it easier to find things. I also created my own character sheet as the one file I found online was small and blurry when enlarged. I wanted to be creative with the map by drawing the buildings, etc but unfortunately my hands at the time were really hurting so I was unable to do that. I enjoyed the game, although I think there should have been less monsters. Some, like the mutants and aliens also seemed out of place. They kind of took me out of the story whenever I got them because they didn’t feel like they belonged. They and maybe some of the others should have been saved for other adventures.
My character Samantha, Sam for short managed to survive the entire game. Since she didn’t seem very lucky it took long to locate all 7 hell gates but she did do all the available quests before closing the final hell gate. The only quest she was unable to do was one given by a priest to get the mask of Walrus the Clown; as she was unable to find any info on how to locate him. The only thing she found was his joke book and his name written in graffiti on an abandoned train’s wall. Samantha thought this town had way too many gun shops and churches.
There are currently two more adventures for Alone Against Fear. The first is called The Village of the Living Dolls which I have already played and my write up on it should be up next week and the second one is called The Coming of the Dark Templars which I have not played yet.
If you have trouble finding a printable character sheet, you can download and use the one I created by clicking here or on the image. I also made the character sheet fillable so if you don’t want to print it or cant, you can still use it.
Your character can volunteer at the High Rannoc Shelter for Familiars and complete tasks for the familiars. If they complete all the tasks they earn the familiars trust and can use their ability. Your character can also adopt a familiar as long as they have earned their trust.
Before releasing the expansion she asked if people wanted to memorialize past pets as familiars. I decided to submit one of my first pets that I had as an adult.
I had two ferrets; Misty & Lilith aka “The Inseparable Duo”. They did everything together, play, eat, sleep, steal things, cause mischief, etc. Both had a lot of energy. Constantly running around, jumping and climbing. They were like cats on catnip all the time. Lilith got her name because she attacked her sister and gave her a permanent limp. So we thought she was going to be a little trouble maker. That didn’t turn out to be the case. She was actually quite calm. We think she only attacked her sister because of the stress of being in a new environment. Misty was named because she had a silver coat. As she aged though it turned white. Misty turned out to be the most mischievous of the two. Misty was the leader and Lilith always followed. When they were out of their cage, they loved running around and exploring and looking for things to steal and hide in their favorite hiding spots; under the futon, under our bed or in their cage. They would steal anything they could easily move like keychains, pens, bottle caps, small plush. They would even try to steal large plush toys that were way bigger than them. Though they usually wouldn’t get very far.
Sadly Lilith developed a tumor on the top of her head. It developed insanely quickly. Vet said due to her age and with how fast the tumor was growing that it was best to not do surgery and to take her home and that we would know when it was time. Eventually her quality of life declined and we took her to get euthanized. When we came back Misty went crazy looking for her sister and was never the same. She became very depressed, wouldn’t leave her cage and if we brought her out she’d just go back in, and barely played. About a month or so later she stopped eating and was barely moving so we immediately took her to the vet. It turned out she had tumors inside her abdomen and due to her age and how bad she was it was recommended we euthanize her. We went with the vets recommendation. I don’t know if there is an afterlife but if there is I hope they are happy together causing mischief.
I felt bad choosing between the two so I sent her both and told her, she could pick whichever she wanted. But instead of picking just one of them she came up with an awesome idea to include both while still only taking up one slot. Basically they would be a single familiar bonded together. Misty would be a ghost ferret that would lead Lilith into mischief.
Besides my ferrets, there are also cats, dogs, a rat, a spider, a chinchilla and more. I think it was really nice of her to let some of us memorialize our past pets in her game. I can’t wait to try the expansion.
Unfortunately I will be taking a break from Apothecaria and any similar games I had planned on playing. My hands and wrists have been hurting a lot lately and have been getting worse so I decided it would be best to take a break. Hopefully it will only be for a few weeks and my hands will be better.
Notes: * A harpy is a mythological creature that is half-human, half-bird. The harpies in my story are humanoid with wings, clawed feet and clawed hands. They can fly fast and many choose to be in the delivery services. The postal harpies wear a light grey uniform with the Postal Harpies Express logo.
My name is Zoey Blackwood. I am a half elf witch from Willowvale and the eldest of 3 sisters. I have recently finished my apprenticeship.
I have always enjoyed helping people and animals. Besides helping, I also enjoy nature, painting, reading and exploring.
Notes: * I started my journal on Winter, Week 11 to create a prologue but I still started the actual game on Spring, Week 1. * On the first entry, after the sentence "I of course happily agreed." It should start "She said she would teach me.." I accidentally missed the first two words and didn't notice it till much later and was unable to fix it. * The rainbow trees in The Iridescent Forest are based on rainbow eucalyptus trees. Unfortunately I forgot to use my references so they don't actually look like them. It would not have been possible to fix them so I just left them alone. * The letter from Aunt Meriam is almost entirely word for word from the Apothecaria book. Only the last few sentences were changed to fit my story.
I recently started playing Apothecaria: Solo Potion Making RPG which is another solo game by Anna Blackwell, the creator of Delve: A Solo Map Drawing Game. In this game you are the local witch who creates potions to help the various ailments the townsfolk, travelers, etc. may have while creating stories that weave into the existing world. It is my first solo journaling rpg and so far I am really enjoying it.
I plan on posting every in game week on here. I will also keep track of all the potions and characters created and any other relevant information. I’ve created a page that will keep all the links to these various things together and easy to access for those that are interested in following my progress. That page can be found here or by clicking the Apothecaria link in the menu.
I will be using a handmade, vintage leather-bound journal that I purchased back in December for a watercolor project that I never got around to doing. On the last few pages of the journal I tested various watercolors, markers, fineliners and pencils. Unfortunately, the pages in this journal seem delicate. I don’t recommend using pencils or any pens that are pointy as they can tear the paper. I also don’t recommend markers if you want to use the back and front of the pages, as they bleed through. Watercolors can be used but you can’t go too crazy with the water.
I will most likely use QoR Watercolors, MozArt Komorebi Japanese Watercolors and Arrtx Jelly Gouache Paint when creating any art. For the writing and line art I will be using Sakura Pigma Micron Pens as they worked best and didn’t tear into the paper.
Lastly I will be using a ruler to keep my writing straight. If I don’t use it my handwriting will most likely be slanted/crooked.
During the month of July, I played Delve: A Solo Map Drawing Game created by Anna Blackwell. In Delve you create a Dwarven Stronghold and are tasked with finding the void crystal while fighting against possible floods, bad magic, the undead, and ancient monstrosities. Not everything is bad though. You can also create useful inventions and find special artifacts.
The game is played using a deck of cards, a writing/drawing tool, paper (graph paper works great) and tokens. Each turn you explore a new square and draw a card. Depending on the suit, you may get resources which are used for creating defenses/units, trade goods which are used for creating buildings, natural formations like an underground river or a hive of creatures, or forgotten ruins like buried temples or the Halls of a Lich King. During combat, enemies will make their way towards your entrance unless your troops can stop them. If you are able to find the void crystal you win and can stop there or you can continue and see if you can find the imprisoned god, Hudrak, who will grant you a wish.
I had a lot of fun creating my stronghold even though it hurt my hand to draw so small. That is why the game took almost a month to finish as I needed breaks to rest my hand. Unfortunately, I did mess up some rules and, if I’d remembered them correctly, my stronghold may have been different. My husband also found some clarifications on some of the rules on Discord that I didn’t know about until after I had finished the game. I definitely plan on playing the game again and next time I may include an expansion or include world layers or bloodrunes. I may even play it just to create a map and ignore combat, etc. To create my stronghold I used Canson Artist Series graph paper (4sq/in), Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens and Uni Kuru Toga Mechanical Pencil (0.5mm). Below is the map I created of my stronghold and a brief history of the stronghold.
The dwarves of Darkhold were brave and strong except for that one guy who wanted to spread his cowardice. But no one talks about him or those he tried to take with him. They happily explored the underground caverns in the hopes of finding the void crystal. Along their journey they fought many creatures, like a cave kraken, the undead in the forgotten crypts, a lich king and his minions, and various ancient monstrosities. They defeated them all but at the cost of many. Many inventions were created, like mining songbirds which protected them from gas effects, dragonfire which made their gunners and cannons attacks stronger, and musical golems which lured enemies to them instead of heading to the entrance. They discovered ancient libraries, abandoned mines, buried temples, golem forges, crystal caverns, portals to the lower depths and their favorite, a magical portal to a wizard's realm that was filled with cats. They even befriended a few sabretooths and brought them back to their stronghold. They also found some volcanic shafts which were worrisome but thankfully they remained dormant. When the void crystal was finally found there was much celebration! But as soon as the festivities were over, the Under-King had another task for them. He wanted them to find the imprisoned god, Hudrak, who was rumored to be somewhere in the lower depths. The journey to find Hudrak took almost as long as it took to find the void crystal and was filled with several monsters and creatures which, just like before, they defeated. Also lots of acorns. Damn squirrels! When they found Hudrak, he was very grateful and granted them one wish. After some discussion, the dwarves of Darkhold asked for their Overseer to become the Under-Queen. Mysteriously the Under-King died and shortly after a new ruler came into power. The first Under-Queen.