|Age of Cthulhu 6
A Dream of Japan
Stuart Lloyd is changing the way we play Tunnels & Trolls solos and he is changing the way I look at T&T as a whole. (Stuart is also reporting daily from the front lines of a gamebook renaissance and revolution, but I don't have time to go into that right now)
Rather than moping back to Edition 5 of T&T (which would be my primary instinct when writing a solo game) Mr Lloyd takes 7.5 with all it's suggested talents, he embraces the opportunities for customised skill checks (SRs), adapts to the new types/classes and tackles in-book spell-use head-on. Text sections provide options to perform "stunts" which make even the most mundane encounter memorable to play. The situations in Trailblazers! are refreshingly original. The plot can switch from the lowly to the epic - from scrambling around about to saving the day - of this stuff heroes are born.
There's a sprinkling of humour and chagrin, very much in the style of older T&T solitaire games, so T&T old school regulars will like this. The replayability factor is very high. (Do not be discouraged by the charming public domain art! This is high class content! High-production values of the mind!) - I should also add that his solos are easy on the ink cartridge and his PDF prices are kept extremely low. Play Trailblazers! as part of series - pick up the first two booklets from his range on DriveThru.
I do feel obliged to say that I'm honoured for his thanks in the foreword - although I'm not sure for which favour owe this gratitude - I'm just backing the winning team here! ;)
Trailblazers! T&T Solo $1.57 DriveThru
I'm bursting to draw your attention to A Dream of Japan from Goodman Games, partly because (as you may know, dear reader, I'm a sucker for good line-art) Brad "BKM" McDevitt adorns this adventure with some exquisite point-of-view pictures (think D&D Tomb of Horrors player pull-out). His Deviant Art page has a snippet of sample art.
I've been skim reading the adventure and I'd say it comes pretty close to being a perfect CoC mystery. My only issue is that, like with nearly all CoC adventures, it needs a fairly resourceful Keeper to usher the investigators along the right path. However, in this adventure there is a fail-safe - the investigators have been manipulated, possibly since birth (!) by unseen forces, so the Keeper now has a licence for contrivance.
This adventure is a perfect opportunity to plunge the players into a superstitions world, that's just alien enough (the Orient) to make the investigators paranoid about every lucky penny they find. This adventure looks like it has the makings to be a classic - and perhaps even a whole campaign. It has some really nice twists, great art (the maps are good too). Designed for Chaosium/BRP Call of Cthulhu (5) but could be easily adapted or sourced for other games set in the '20's.
Age of Cthulhu 6 A Dream of Japan (Goodman Games)
In Zseze's World The Sussurus Tomb Battlemap the quality of the computer art is arrestingly beautiful. Make sure you print onto something glossy which does these tiles justice! The sections in the PDFs have wide margins which is always a good thing if you don't want to fiddle too much with print settings. Extra poster size jpgs will be ideal for use in computer programs, tablets, and for your own modifications.
Slick professional, eye-bleedingly good.