Last week I announced the upcoming Kickstarter for a Solo Tabletop Roleplaying game called Journey To the Overland. This week I am going to give a brief overview of gameplay.
JTO was inspired by an old Heritage micro board game called Barbarian Prince and many of its elements draw on the same style of gameplay. As a result your character will begin in one of four towns (BP only had one starting location) Milestill, Dwarfton, Elf Mountain or Kings Castle depending on the race you select. Once you determine what race you will be you will roll for your character’s starting characteristics with certain racial modifiers for the race you selected. In addition your character will be given a small starting allotment of provisions and some gold (or silver).
From that point the game can either be played ‘open ended’ or you can choose to immediately set out on one of the four major objectives in the game. These objectives are: 1. Obtain the Five Weapons of Power; 2. Overthrow King Overlord; 3. Defeat the Wizard Morcai or 4. Establish your kingdom. All of them have prerequisties that must be fulfilled prior to even seeking the actual objective and in many instances characters will never actually get back to fulfilling these objectives as some of the game’s ‘open ended’ adventures will simply lead you down another path.
A good example of this might be as follows: say you wish to Defeat the Wizard Morcai. You start out with your opening provisions and start travelling toward his castle, Fire Castle. Along the way you encounter the Constabuls (NPC characters) and are arrested. You are taken to the nearest town (or the town that issued your warrant) and tried. After the trial you are sentenced to fight in the Overland Arena where you eventually meet your demise at the hands of a captured Yeti also forced to fight in the arena. All of this is possible using the game’s open ended mechanics only and NO gamemaster!! This includes rules for the actual trial and determining whether your are found innocent or guilty.
In creating the game while I liked Barbarian Prince I felt there was a lot more that could taken place in a fantasy world and as I would think of things or get inspiration from books like Conan The Barbarian, Lone Wolf and Magnunmund, DC Comics The Warlord, Robin Hood and his Merry Men, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Dungeons and Dragons, Dragonquest and many, many more sources all of them inspired an “encounter card’ or in some cases an entire rule section.
At this point I am not sure how much of the completed rules (and yes they are completed) will actually make it in the Kickstarter due to costs. But stretch goals will certainly include publishing more sections of the rules. As they exist now the rules consist of about 1,000 typed pages in a binder so it would be almost cost prohibitive to publish the entire game as one publication. But certain sections that many characters/players would never get to lend themselves to supplements so not publishing them all at once will not take anything away from game play. These includes sections like becoming a Dragonslayer, Fighting in the Arena, Optional Combat Movement, and others.
Finally, here is another piece of art from the game by Luis Ramanos, this is Bonelord, one of the King Overlord’s Bane Knights that is sworn to his defense and that any character would have to defeat if they seek to Overthrow the King: