I'm a big fan of The Lizard Man Diaries blog. He recently posted about his Matrix Spiel system that allows for solo play. I had some downtime today and thought I would take the rules for a spin to see what would happen. Most of the art I created using various A.I. art generators (except Order of Red Reign skull picture). The NPC's and factions were in my notes for a "maybe one day" Campaign using the Wretched Space rules. I've had Wretched Space for a short while, but haven't talked about it yet. "Wretched Space is an old-school role-playing game designed to play anti-hero characters in a cinematic setting. In Wretched Space, the genre is space opera. But unlike most other space operas, this one isn’t about heroic characters whose actions have significant consequences for the future of civilization. Here you are meant to play on a smaller scale, and the higher purpose your character serves is his own self-interest. That doesn't imply you're playing a villain. You can still traverse the galaxy, enjoying extraordinary adventures and possibly even helping others. The characters will most likely commit crimes and exhibit contempt for other people's rights and well being, but perhaps they will wind up saving the day after all."product for further information. I decided to accept whatever outcomes resulted and will make these happenings a part of the backstory of my eventual Wretched Space Campaign. So, let's get down to it shall we?
The Setting: Charund- Once a technologically advanced world, now a vast ruined wasteland, with lost tech, horrific dangers and death lurking within its forgotten vaults and ruins.
Initial Problem List:
· Various warring factions vie for control of the ruined world, wanting to loot the lost tech for themselves.
· Dangerous mutants, rogue robots and other monstrous beasts lurk within the ruins preying on explorers, scavengers and each other, making the ruins quite deadly to scavengers and explorers.
Action: Lord Eldrake desires the Scrolls of Seraphasma, he has gained a tip that the scrolls may be located within a ruined data archive located deep within the ruined city of Malac on the planet Charund. He hires a band of adventurers to investigate the ruined archives and recover the scrolls or anything about them that they can find. Result: Failure, A potentially dangerous negative outcome. New Problem: The adventurers have betrayed Lord Eldrake, they were captured by a gang of outlaws (The Relentless Bastards) and have traded the location of the lost data archives to the gang leader in order to spare their lives. The gang leader murdered the adventurers after he had gotten all he could out of them. The outlaws now know the location of the ruined data archives and the adventurers Lord Eldrake hired are dead (bodies tossed out of an airlock).
Action: Thanks to his agents and informants, Lord Eldrake knows the adventurers he hired are likely dead and that others know of the location of the data archives. (The Relentless Bastards, have big mouths and like to brag). Lord Eldrake must act quickly to get another group onsite before others take the Scrolls for themselves (if the scrolls are even there...). Result: Success, Desired outcome is just barely, and temporarily, achieved. - By dipping heavily into his contacts and assets, Lord Eldrake is able to hire skilled mercenaries, members of the infamous Order of the Red Reign, that get to the site before The Relentless Bastards do, however, the mercenaries get there just barely before the outlaws do and are still exploring within the ruined archives, when the gang arrives.
Absolom Wroth's Problem List
· Absolom only recently seized control of The Relentless Bastards. Absolom challenged the previous leader, to a duel and killed him in combat. Absolom needs a big score to prove he has what it takes to lead this band.
· Absolom , is a bit "off his rocker" to say the least, he is obsessed with blades, and enjoys inflicting pain. He even talks to his favorite knife, this puts his followers ill at ease, his bizarre behavior could lead to him being overthrown.
Action: The Red Reign Mercenaries search the Data Archives, looking for the Scrolls of Seraphasma, or information about them...
Red Reign Mercenary
Result: Failure, An immediately dangerous negative outcome. The Red Reign Mercenaries, unintentionally activate/awaken the formerly dormant defense A.I. of the facility. The Data Archives, were for military applications and thus had far more advanced and dangerous defense measures than anticipated. All hell breaks loose! Advanced wardroids attack the mercenaries hard, if not for the skills of the mercs and advanced age and poor condition of the machines, the mercenaries would have been totally annihilated.
The surviving mercenaries retreat from the ruined facility. The scrolls were never within this archive and whatever data regarding their location that may have been there is now destroyed in the aftermath of the fight with the machines.
Red Reign Mercenary Problem List:
· Badly injured by wardroids, low on ammo and numbers
· Still have to get past The Relentless Bastards and back to their ship
Action: The Relentless Bastards attack the remnants of the Red Reign Mercenaries
Result: Success, Desired outcome is confidently achieved.- The Relentless Bastards annihilate the remnants of the Red Reign Mercenaries. New Entity: prior to being destroyed, the Red Reign Mercenary leader broadcast their status and the face of Absolom Wroth to his ship.
The Relentless Bastards seize what is left of the mercenaries gear, including the location of their craft. This action proves, at least for now, Absolom is a worthy leader of The Relentless Bastards.
Problem: Hated by The Red Reign Mercenary Order
Problem: Lost his only lead on the possible location of the Scrolls of Seraphasma
Spent a ton of money on the Red Reign Mercenaries only for them to have failed, and the Order may hold Lord Eldrake responsible for their losses.
Absolom leads The Relentless Bastards to seize the Red Reign's ship.
Result: Failure, Catastrophic negative outcome to attempter. The Red Reign skeleton crew left on the Mercenary's ship and alerted by the now deceased main group, sets a trap for Absolom and his gang, Absolom's gang is obliterated and only Absolom escapes, vowing revenge!
Absolom flees and goes into hiding, licking his wounds to fight another day.
The Red Reign sends Lord Eldrake a hefty bill
Lord Eldrake is no closer to finding the Scrolls of Seraphasma and poorer for his efforts.
Summary: I had a lot of fun doing this, being able to use some of the campaign draft notes I had for a potential Wretched Space Campaign, allowed me to "play" in my campaign in a way that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to do. Letting the Matrix Spiel solo rules decide on the outcomes of key actions made things surprising and interesting for me as the GM. The above happenings give me a more solid background of events that occurred prior to the actual start of the game. Giving it a stronger sense of history than if I had just arbitrarily decided that a particular thing happened.