The Broken Cask by Derek A. Kamal is a solo innkeeping roleplaying game. You create an inn, its innkeeper, hire staff, upgrade rooms, send heroes or mercenaries on adventures, earn gold and hopefully if you want have your inn become legendary.
The book is laid out well and the rules are easy to follow. Its a fun, rules light and relaxing game. However if you are looking for something with lots of combat this isn’t it. Combat is solved by either a success or failure of one roll like everything else in the game. The game uses tables for everything, which means you will be flipping pages a lot. I added tabs to make it easier to get to the tables. One thing I noticed was that the story thread table is missing from the current book. However you can go to the Shoreless Skies Publishing website and download it, as well as get some rules clarifications and the Innkeeper log for free.
The game is played in sessions. At the start of each session you roll to determine the season, weather, mood, story thread and behind the scenes event. Once that is done you can then do upgrades, train staff, go to the market, send adventurers on a quest, do events at the inn like fulfill orders, clean, garden, etc. I played 2 or 3 sessions throughout my first day and a session or two each of the other times I played; for a total of 6 sessions. There is no real end to the game so you can play as many sessions as you’d like. I played until my inn had reached legendary status, had all the upgrades and felt like quite an established inn. I did mine in a somewhat journaling style. However I completely forgot to include the story thread in all my sessions. Hopefully in the next playthrough I will remember.
I do think that this game could be used to create an inn that you can then include in a larger role playing game. It could be an inn that your players will visit frequently or an inn they pass through for a quest, etc. If I find the right game I plan on doing that with either the inn I created with this playthrough or a future playthrough or maybe even create an inn specifically for the game.
Below is a “newspaper article” about the inn I created.
Mirstone no longer unknown, Thanks to Local Inn
By Polly Bellgrew
The Blue Gargoyle Inn is the place to be when visiting Mirstone or even if you’re a local. Yes, Mirstone is in the middle of nowhere and most people up until recently hadn’t heard of it but the Blue Gargoyle Inn has made it into quite the popular place thanks to its innkeeper, Calista of the Isles. She is a retired adventurer who inherited the place from her uncle and has really given the place life.
Her uncle had let the place deteriorate and eventually just gave up on it. But when Calista inherited the inn she immediately started fixing it up and over time upgraded it. The inn has luxurious rooms, feasting halls, a fancy kitchen, its own brewery and armory. She even added stables so the horses of those passing through or staying at the inn could be taken care of. The main staff even have excellent quarters.
There is also a beautiful living garden. Guests are welcomed to sit and enjoy the beauty as long as they are respectful. Besides beautiful flowers and plants they also grow some of their own vegetables to use for their dishes. Whatever they don’t grow they purchase from local farmers.
Calista loves creatives and is constantly hosting events like poetry night, open mic night, concerts and conventions. Most local festivals are now hosted at the inn.
Calista loves to help the locals as well. The inn has a large trader’s stand which helps the locals sell their goods and they even host job fairs to help the folks of Mirstone and nearby towns find jobs.
Many people travel from afar to enjoy the meals made by their cook Kelfi Goldbrow. His creamy butternut squash soup and the roast duck are spectacular. Though the best dish is the corn pierogies with quail. I don’t know how he takes a simple dish and makes it so amazing.
They also go there for the drinks created by their brewer Ezri the Swift. His most famous creation is “The Winston”. A drink made of wild honey mead steeped in over ripe cherries. Another famous drink of his is “The Strange Adventurer” named after a local girl who was becoming quite the adventurer and hanging out with all manner of strange folk. It has a sweet and a slightly spicy taste. No one but Ezri knows how this one is made.
So if you are in the area or even if you aren’t, stop by the inn, you won’t regret it. You will have good drinks, good food and great company. Oh and remember to give Fang the ocelot a few head scritches while you are there. Don’t worry, he doesn’t bite.
The Village of the Living Dolls is an adventure for Alone Against Fear and is created by Anna Pashchenko and Andrea Sfiligoi. After the events in Alone Against Fear your character finds out their uncle is missing and volunteers to find him. Their search leads them to the town of Harrowood which has been cursed.
There are two differences in this adventure from the base game. The first is that the map of the town is already created and the second one is that you have to track time. Also on both the map and the timeline there are numbers. These numbers are for specific events. When you reach a number you must read the corresponding event first before doing anything else. I didn’t bother looking for a printable map or timeline and just created my own. If you wish to use them the links will be down below.
I think I enjoyed this adventure more than the original as the story seemed to keep me more engaged. It helped that all the monsters made sense with the story. There were dolls, toys like rubber dinosaurs and plush, as well as monsters made out of candy. I enjoyed learning about the town and how it became what it currently is, as I made my way through it looking for Uncle Phil.
My character Sam encountered vampire unicorn plush, rubber dinosaurs, an earless plush hare, a giant baby made out of sugar and candy and dolls. So many dolls. She even had a doll that followed her around until the end. She escaped a house filled with human teeth floating in gum but unfortunately lost her shoes there. She was cocooned in another house by rubber caterpillars and snakes. She managed to escape her cocoon and even found something very useful. She eventually found her uncle and managed to set him and many other people free from the curse.
Besides this adventure there is also a second adventure called The Coming of the Dark Templars which I have not played yet but I hope to play in the next few weeks.
If you have trouble finding a printable timeline, you can download and use the one I created by clicking here or on the image.
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.