Sunday, February 9, 2014

D&D Next Solo Campaign (Part 1)

I was gonna wait to post this until it was done, but I'm gradually realizing that it may never be done, and it seems that there is serious demand for some kind of D&D Next Solo Campaign now.  So here's the first part of a little adventure that I am tentatively calling "A Spy's Life Is Never Boring".

In addition to your PC, this particular campaign also stars Sneakatara Boatman and/or Nathaniel Darkmore, two characters from my forthcoming, also tentatively titled novel "War Stories from Wanderhaven".

To be clear: I am putting this out there in the hopes that you will get interested enough in Sneax and Nathaniel to give my book a chance when it comes out (much) later this year.  I'm also hoping to keep working on this thing and to eventually finish it, but right now, all I have is this one (hopefully creative) encounter--and a second, if you happen to stumble upon it.

There may be a few kinks in the works here, so if you find an issue, PLEASE let me know, so I can fix it.



Drop them in the comments below, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.


A Spy’s Life Is Never Boring!

Welcome to my second ever D&D Solo Adventure, this time using the D&D Next ruleset.  This adventure is set in the fictional universe of Wanderhaven, the homebrew setting I use when my kids and I play D&D together.  It's also home to most of the fantasy fiction that I write, also usually for my kids.  Having said that, it’s no secret that I’m planning to put out a short story collection in 2014, tentatively titled “War Stories from Wanderhaven,” and since I’m hoping you’ll buy the damned thing, this here project is something of an introduction to the setting and to my work in general.
To play through this adventure, you will need to:

    In this adventure, you’ve been tasked with infiltrating an enemy camp on what is essentially a spy mission.  To aid you in your quest, you are allowed to take a single companion, either Sneakatara “Sneax” Boatman or Nathaniel Darkmore, both of whom are characters out of my book.  If you’re playing a heavy melee character, or if you want to try to accomplish your mission using stealth rather than by main force, you probably want to choose Sneax as your companion.  If you’re playing a wizard or some other “squishy” class, you probably ought to take Nathaniel along for extra muscle.  As you choose, bear in mind the nature of your mission and the skills it will require; that should be an important consideration as you start this quest.
This adventure itself is written like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story, using the D&D Next Playtest.  The text of the various encounters is here (via Google Drive Document), and the nuts and bolts are in a Microsoft Excel file that you will want to download and save locally.  I strongly suggest that you open the Encouters Write-Up in a browser, save the Excel file locally, and then open it in either Excel or with Open Office.  I love Google Drive, but their spreadsheet viewer can't manage the map-pictures that are embedded in the spreasheet to help you track the battle.
Plus, while I’ve stored the Excel file on my Google Drive account, I’m giving you READ ONLY access.  However, you’ll want to be able to modify the Excel file as you play through the adventure.  It has both the combat maps and the various hit point trackers embedded in the file, so it’ll be much easier if you have your own copy.  Feel free to run any and all virus detection software on the thing before you open it; I’ve not added any malware, but this being 2014, you can never be too careful. 
Don’t worry; your caution doesn’t hurt my feelings.
Anyway, there are four tabs to the Excel file:
  • The Encounter tabs.  This is where you will find the basic elements of each encounter.
  • The Numbered Paragraphs tab.  This is where you will go to see the effects of your choices.
  • Companion Characters.  This is where you will find stats for Sneax and Nathaniel.
  • The Bestiary.  Here there be monsters!
Questions?  Let me know, and I'll do my best to get back to you.


  1. I am looking forward to this... I can't seem to get the excel document to download or save to Excel though. Is there another way to get the information contained in it?

    1. Let me take a look at it. It could be that there's a problem with the link for some reason. Failing that, I'll has to think of something clever; no idea what that will. You can check back this weekend, though. It'll either be fixed or it won't be by then.

    2. Well, it opened fine on my phone, even when I used Safari and wasn't signed in. So I think you could probably get away with opening the file in your browser, copying the map down I a sheet of graph paper, and then opening the Numbered Paragraphs Tab and the Companions tab in your browser and working from there. That'll be a pain in the ass, but it ought to work if you're super-patient with it.

      Does that help? Let me know, and I can try something else if necessary.

    3. I can access everything except the numbered paragraphs that way. The paragraphs are cut off into about 4 words per page. Thank you for your help.

    4. I'm surprised you can't make the columns super-wide. I guess what I'm gonna have to do is put it in a PDF and put up a separate link. Not gonna get to that 'til Saturday, I'm afraid.

      You should download Open Office if you don't have Excel. Might save you some trouble, and it's free.

    5. I have Excel but i couldn't open the document with it when i tried downloading it. thank you for doing the PDF though, I will be waiting for Saturday with excitement.