Solo: Push SRD Into the Crystal Cave


In the last post we established our new scene for Push SRD. The Crystal Caves and the Crystal Moth that resides within.


We know in this scene we are going to encounter the Crystal Moth since we have established that it is our threat of the scene. So we need to give it some traits.
Crystal Moth
Hunger for light
Truth speaker
Queen of Night

We now want to do something a little different for this scene. We are going to create traits for the location, Crystal Caves. The reason for this is to give us something to go by when exploring the area. Give a little order and consistency.
Crystal Caves
Bioluminescent creatures
Reflective surfaces
Hypnotic crystals

Performing your Actions

For this scene I used a map generator to help create a visual of the Crystal Cave. The flaming portal opened up between the areas 3 and 4 on the map.

Which direction did Gudrod go when they began to make their way deep into the cave? North into the narrow opening (3) or east into the larger adjoining opening (4)?
Did Gudrod go into the larger opening? The likely result will be Yes.
d6 = 5 (Gudrod did NOT go into the larger opening)

Gudrod began venturing north into the narrow opening. The light from the glow beetles illuminated the walls enough for them to not need a torch to navigate.

Is there something dangerous in the area ahead (3)? The likely result will be Yes.
d6 = 2 (There IS something dangerous in the area)
BUT we are going to Push this roll.
d6+2 = 7 (Misfortune)
This is our first Misfortune roll of the game. So what does that mean?
From the PDF: You get what YOU DON’T WANT and not YOU DON’T GET what you want.
So what does Gudrod NOT want? They probably don’t want to get lost inside this cave.

As Gudrod stepped through into the opening a ringing in their ears began piercing through their brain. The pain was unbearable they fell onto their knees holding their ears. A bright light poured through their closed eyelids and it began to burn their pupils. Gudrod fell over onto the ground and rolled around on the damp ground. The reflective walls caused the beaming light from a large crystal to reflect throughout the entire area. The light was brighter than a star. The screeching, which Gudrod knew not where it came from, grew louder and louder. The moment they thought they were going to die from the agonizing pain it suddenly stopped. Gudrod slowly opened their eyes and was confused as to what was a cave is now a warm meadow.

What’s Going On?

This is where the traits for the Crystal Cave come into play. The misfortune result lets us use the Hypnotic Crystals trait. Now what we need to figure out is do we ask the Oracle if Gudrod will recognize that this is some sort of illusion? Or do we make a standard roll for Gudrod to break free from this? I think we will do both.

Does Gudrod suspect that this is an illusion? The likely result will be No.
d6 = 2 (Gudrod does NOT suspect that this is an illusion)
BUT do we Push? The risk of a misfortune is greater with a 2 but still in our favor. Though, another misfortune with this Hypnotic Crystal would mean our character is done for. They will completely lose their mind and forever (not really that long in this cave) live in this illusion until their death.
d6+2 = 5 (Gudrod DOES suspect that this is an illusion)
That was worth the risk! Now for our roll to break free from it.
d6 = 1 (Weak hit)
But we are feeling lucky and we are going to Push.
d6+1 = 4 (Weak hit)

Gudrod took a moment to look around the sun lit meadow. The sun beamed down on them as they welcomed the change of scenery. They took in the sun but realized they were still cold and damp and flashes of the cave appeared before them. Gudrod took a step and noticed that their foot up to their ankle was soaking wet. ‘This isn’t real,’ they thought to themselves and suddenly the meadow vanished and Gudrod was once again in the cave. A large crystal was in the middle of the area and a bright light poured from the crystal like a prism. Gudrod’s rage took over and as they began to to call forth a storm they noticed they couldn’t hear their own voice. They couldn’t hear anything.

What’s Next?

Fortunately, we only had one seriously unlucky roll. We took some risks that were worth it but it still left our hero deaf.
We will continue on with these scene!

Solo: Push SRD a New Scene


In the last post we started our adventure for Push SRD. We also completed our first scene.
It is now time to establish our next scene.

The Loop Keeps Going

Since we finished our first scene in the last post we get to mark off the prompt, “Brothers on the Run,” from the Matrix before rolling again to determine our next scene.
The Matrix: d6,d6 = 1,6 The Crystal Moth has a message
The Challenge: d6,d6 = 4,5 Threat
What do we want here?
What’s standing in our way?
Before we can answer those questions I have some questions for the Oracle.
Is the Crystal Moth a villain? The likely result will be No.
d6 = 6 (The Crystal Moth IS the villain)
Is the message ominous? The likely result will be Yes.
d6 = 6 (The message is NOT ominous)
So The Crystal Moth is a threat but the message is something postive.
Is The Crystal Moth under the influence of Korlax? The likely result will be Yes.
d6 = 3 (The Crystal Moth IS under the influence of Korlax)
I feel like we can answer those questions now.
What do we want here? The message from The Crystal Moth.
What’s standing in our way? The Crystal Moth.
The Descriptions (rolling twice): d6, d6 = 6,6 Actions and movement d6,d6 = 6,4 Light and time

The Scene

As Gudrod stepped through the flaming portal they were totally consumed in fire. Though, the flame never did burn their flesh but rather illuminated their eyes. The ash covered ground and the bright everburning flames turned into a cool, damp cave. The puddles on the ground reflected the blinking lights of the glow beetles that crawled on the walls and ceilings of the cave.
After Gudrod got their bearings after the transportation they realized their time in the Fire Realm left them starving and thirsty. They dropped down onto their knees and drank from one of the puddles before eating a few glow beetles.
After taking a moment of rest, Gudrod made their way deeper into the cave.

What’s Next?

We get to start the Performing your Actions all over again!
I am looking forward playing out this scene. Maybe it will last longer than the first one?

Solo: Push SRD the Adventure Begins


In the last post we have established our first Scene for Push SRD.
We are NOW ready to start this adventure.

The Adventure

The Pitch
After the fall of Queen Nahlet, the Just, Danoria was seized by Korlax, the Crimson Wizard. You are The Prestige, the remaining heroes of the fallen kingdom, that swore an oath to retrieve the Lost Relics and restore peace and prosperity to the Danorian.
The Mission
The Crimson Wizard wants to gain knowledge of the locations of the remaining Lost Relics. Gudrod must escape the Infinite Realms otherwise complete destruction will come to Danorian.
The Scene
The smell of sulfur began to burn Gudrod’s nostrils. How long have they been in this hellish realm? Furthermore how long have they been chasing these two dancing flames? Hours? Days? Weeks? Gudrod couldn’t tell and it frightened them. The dancing flames teased and tortured them. Becoming one with the all burning fire around them to only reappear beneath Gudrod’s feet striking at their legs. The heat and the endless thirst began to take a toll on their morale. Though, Gudrod knew there was a reason they were chasing these two dancing flames. Maybe they hold the key to escaping this hell?
Gudrod the Bear of Quaruna (They/Them)
Age: 32
Bear Strength – Lord of Quaruna
Storm Bringer – Hidden Dagger
Snow Hawk – The Forgotten Folk (Bond)

Performing your Actions

Before we start rolling some dice we need to give these Fire Elementals some traits. This isn’t in the PDF but something I want to do to help me understand these NPCs.
Fire Elemental
Engulfed in Flames
Medallion of Flame Piece
Brother (bond)

Gudrod is chasing the two dancing flames and we need to see if they can catch up to them.
d6 = 6 (Strong Hit)
Gudrod powered through the heat and the pain in their burning lungs. Determined to escape this hell they caught up to the dancing flames with a moment to act.

Gudrod will attempt to fight the dancing flames with their hidden dagger.
d6 = 5 (Strong Hit)
But I now need to ask the Oracle a question.
Can the dagger harm the fire elementals? The likely result will be No.
d6 = 3 (The dagger cannot harm the fire elementals)
BUT I am going to Push this roll.
d6+3 = 6 (The dagger CAN harm the fire elementals)
Gudrod slipped their dagger from their armor and lunged at the two dancing flames. They slashed wildly at the living flames and they could feel as if the flame had flesh and bone. Sparks of embers bounced of the dancing flames.

Are the fire elementals down for good? The likely result will be No.
d6 = 6 (The fire elementals ARE down for good)
Gudrod dropped their dagger in the ash covered ground. The fire began to die in what used to be the two living flames. Gudrod bent down and scooped up the two pieces of Medallion of Flame. They examined the two pieces and after a moment they put the pieces together. The Medallion of Flame erupted in flames as the two pieces snapped back together. Gudrod dropped the flaming medallion and the flames continued to grow and grow. They took a few steps back and watched as the flames continued to rise into a flaming portal.

I feel like it is safe to say that this scene is complete. We can mark off the Brothers on the Run prompt from our Matrix.

What’s Next?

First, I honestly didn’t think this scene was going to end so quickly and in Gudrod’s favor. I even tried to Push the roll for something bad to happen and see how this scene could change.
Next time we will roll on the Matrix table to help get our next scene going and discover what’s on the other side of the flaming portal.

Solo: Push SRD the Loop


In the last post we have established the Quest for Push SRD.
We are now ready to start running the game.

The Loop

The Loop is essentially the order of the game flow. There are five stages of the Loop:
1) Roll on the Matrix
A player will roll a 2d6 to determine what prompt is used for this scene. As you play rolling may not be necessary because the players may know what the next scene should be. But if players are not sure then they roll on the table. For our first scene we will roll for our random scene.
2) Establish a Challenge
Once you have your prompt the players need to determine what the challenge for this scene is. The PDF recommends answering two questions for this:
What do we want here?
What’s standing in our way?
Included is a table the players can roll on if they don’t know or if it is unclear what the challenge is.

3) Frame the Scene
Now the players fictionally set up the scene with descriptions. These are the descriptions that draws the reader of the book or the viewer of the movie/show. Think of it as the cinematography, set design, costume design, choreography, etc.
Included is a table the players can roll on to determine the type of descriptions to add/change to the scene.

4) Perform your Actions
This is obviously where the players play out the scene. Going back and forth allowing each player to be in the spotlight. The players should keep the Pitch and the Quest in mind when playing out these scene to advance the story naturally. Players would also want to incorporate the Agenda during play.
5) Check the Oracle
The Oracle is a tool that will be used throughout the entire game. But it can also be used to determine if a scene is over or not. It may not be clear that a scene is over so the players can “ask” the Oracle for that answer. Maybe the scene is over or maybe the monster makes one final jump scare the characters need to deal with.

Once the scene is complete you mark off the prompt from the Matrix and you start the Loop over. This is the flow of the game until the story ends. Whether that is by completing the Quest, failing the Quest or a number of other things. It is your story.

Creating our Scene

We will do the first three stages of the Loop to determine what our scene is.
The Matrix: 5, 4 Brothers on the run
The Challenge: 4, 5 Threat (But I noticed Chase is one of the options and that suits this scene better)
What do we want here? The Medallion of Flame
What’s standing in our way? The two brothers each have a piece of the medallion.
The Descriptions: (rolling twice) 5, 4 Light and Time 2, 1 Smells and Sounds

We are now going to use the Oracle to flesh out some details of this scene.
Do the brothers belong to Danoria? The likely result would be no. 2. The brothers are not of Danoria.
We know from our Theme that the only enemies are the spawn of Korlax.
Are the brothers fire elementals created by Korlax? The likely result would be yes. 2. Yes, they are.

I have another question to figure out. We know from our Quest that Gudrod must escape the Infinite Realms. So we need to figure out if this medallion is a key into the Fire Realm or is Gudrod currently in the Fire Realm trying to escape? Since I don’t know what the more likely answer is I will roll a d6. Even result will be gaining access to the Fire Realm while odd result will be escaping the Fire Realm. 3.
Is the Medallion of Flame a key to escaping the Fire Realm? The likely result would be yes. 4. Yes.

The Scene

The smell of sulfur began to burn Gudrod’s nostrils. How long have they been in this hellish realm? Furthermore how long have they been chasing these two dancing flames? Hours? Days? Weeks? Gudrod couldn’t tell and it frightened them. The dancing flames teased and tortured them. Becoming one with the all burning fire around them to only reappear beneath Gudrod’s feet striking at their legs. The heat and the endless thirst began to take a toll on their morale. Though, Gudrod knew there was a reason they were chasing these two dancing flames. Maybe they hold the key to escaping this hell?

What’s Next?

Now that we have our Scene all that is next is to PLAY!
Performing your Actions.

Solo: Push SRD the Quest


In the last post we took a look at character creation and created our character for Push SRD.
Gudrod the Bear of Quaruna is ready for their quest.

The Quest

In Push SRD the Quest is created by establishing three elements: The Mission, Matrix & Agenda.
The Mission is an inciting incident that requires immediate action.
The Matrix is a table of 36 prompts that the players roll on when they need to create a new scene.
The Agenda is a series of smaller achievements players chase during their adventure.

The Mission

In the SRD the Mission is typically phrased as X wants Y so you must Z otherwise W. Included is an example format and three different d6 tables to roll on (Action, Target, Consequence) to fill the gaps in the format. We will use both the format and the tables to create our Mission.

A foe wants to Conquer Knowledge so you must Overcome Location otherwise Destruction Entity.
With this we refer back to our Pitch and our character (see the last post) to help fill in the gaps.
The Crimson Wizard wants to gain knowledge of the locations of the remaining Lost Relics. Gudrod must escape the Infinite Realms otherwise complete destruction will come to Danorian.

The Matrix

We will be using the premade Matrix table that is provided as an example in the PDF. Typically the Matrix is the only part that I would consider “prep work.” When creating your own game you have to create 36 different prompts. These prompts should be moments you would want to see happen in your game and should reflect the pitch and theme of the game you are creating.

A few examples of these prompts that is provided in the example Matrix table:
A nest of purple snakes, a lost amulet, the Reptile Council is summoned, the whispering forest, brothers on the run, the Battle of Quaruna.

The Agenda

The Agenda is the list of goals that the players are encouraged to explore. Completing goals is a way that the characters are rewarded with items, information, titles, etc. and this is also part of character advancement.
Completing two goals will grant the characters an additional talent or the option to “upgrade” an existing talent. There are a total of six goals.
We will be using the example Agenda included in the PDF.

What’s Next?

Now that we have the Quest we can get to Running the Game.
Next post we will discuss the Loop and get to running the game.

Solo: Push SRD Introduction & Character

Push SRD

For this solo experience we will be using Push SRD by Cezar Capacle.
Push is a cooperative story-driven RPG that doesn’t rely on a game master, skills, abilities or modifies. It simply has one game mechanic, the Push Roll:

Characters in this game are built upon six different character traits. These traits do nothing to modify the die rolls. They are simply descriptors to help define and give your character some structure. Consider them Tags rather than Traits (often in RPGs traits can modify die rolls). These traits are simply a word or short phrase that are designed to be both vague and unique (to ignite your imagination). Through these traits is where the players collaborate to build the world and lore together as they play.

For this solo experience we are using the free SRD PDF (I plan to purchase the premium kit in the coming the week). It explains, in great detail, how to use this system AND how to create your own games with this system. In the explanation of it all is a fantasy game designed by Cezar. This is what we will be using for our game.

Making the Character

Like I mentioned above your character is built upon six starting traits. The traits are under six different categories: Gift, Upbringing, Experience, Mark, Charm and Bond.
Each category is a d6 table that the players roll on (or choose) to define their characters. We will be rolling on each table since I love random generation.
Gift: Bear Strength
Upbringing: Lord of Quaruna
Experience: Storm Bringer
Mark: Always carries a hidden dagger
Charm: A Snow Hawk
Bond: The Forgotten Folk
Before defining our character we need to take a quick look at both the game pitch and themes.

Defining our Character

So immediately after seeing Bear Strength, Storm Bringer and Snow Hawk I thought of the Norns from Guild Wars. I loved their designs when they were first introduced in Guild Wars 1. So we have this large barbarian like character that has a snow hawk as a familiar. Because we know there are magic rituals we can assume Storm Bringer is a magic ritual that can summon/control wintry weather/climate. Not only that this character is a Lord so they have some power (or maybe at least they did) over the lands. Which would tie in with having a bond with the Forgotten Folk (something we can discover while in play).

Gudrod the Bear of Quaruna (They/Them)
Age: 32
Bear Strength – Lord of Quaruna
Storm Bringer – Hidden Dagger
Snow Hawk – The Forgotten Folk (Bond)

What’s Next?

Next post we will go over creating a quest for our character. Once our quest is establish we can use all of the elements to give more flavor to our character and start the adventure.

Solo OSE: The Adventure Ends

A Creeping-Crawling Death

Finn rolled to the left while the wrapping on his foot began to unravel. A giant pincer from the scorpion snapped closed inches above his body. A sickening scream over the sounds of bones crushing and flesh ripping dominated Finn’s right ear. Scrambled to his feet, Finn saw what was left of his dwarven companion. Gun’del’s body was dumped on the sandy floor of the cave opening, lifeless in his own pool of blood. His torso was nearly split in two from shoulder to hip with his innards thrown across the area.

Finn swallowed the mixture of bile and wine that came up from the sight of Gun’del’s scattered remains. Then with pure instinct he held up his shield high deflecting the head-sized stinger of the giant scorpion. With a crash of steel and chitin, Finn slashed his sword down cutting clean through the scorpion’s right pincer. The scorpion let out a gurgling screech as the appendage dropped to the floor, spewing a yellow mucus-like fluid from the wound.

The scorpion’s body shifted and slammed against Finn and caused him to lose his footing. Before he could get his bearings the remaining pincer clamped down and grinded across his waist. He let out a wretched scream but was quickly silenced as dripping stinger pierced through his shoulder. Finn felt the black venom enter his body and through his lungs. The pincer continued to crush and grind Finn’s spine and organs.

Finn spat blood, dropped his shield and held his sword high with both hands. He crashed the sword down against the scorpion’s appendage but it bounced and slid across chitin, causing him to lose grip of his sword. The last sound Finn heard was the snap of his spine before it all went black…

My game notes for this session. I was shocked when the oracle said NO for fleeing.

Here is the map this adventure took place if you wanted to use it for your own game. Now, you could add two dead bodies, a human and a dwarf, just inside the entrance to this dungeon.

What’s Next?

Well, I guess I might try a completely different genre and different system for my next adventure. I honestly was surprised that Finn died so early on. But, the dice will control their fate.

Solo OSE: The Adventure Begins

Into the Cave

“This appears to be the place.” The dwarven hunter threw his shield onto the hot sand and plopped down on the shield to rest his legs. “Take yer time…please.” He mumbled to himself as he watched as his ward, a good sixty paces away, slowly make his way to meet up with him.
“I’m coming, I’m coming.” Finn Saltmarsh reflected on the reckless decisions that got him into this position. How was he supposed to know that she was the Captain of the Guard’s wife? And it’s not like she was completely innocent in the matter.
After slowly treading through the hot sand, Finn finally made his way to Gun’del, who, just moments before he took his last step, was sitting on his shield. “Finally,” Finn threw his own shield down on the sand, “a moment to rest.”
“Not so fast,” Gun’del growled at the lazy human, “if ye would have kept pace with me then ye could have taken a moment to rest with me. Now,” he gestured to Finn’s shield, “pick that back up and lead the way into the cave.”
“But…” Gun’del growled and brandished his axe before Finn could finish his complaint. Finn started to think that maybe this wasn’t really a scouting but rather the tomb of all who sleep with the Captain of the Guard’s wife and Gun’del was his executioner. “Are we sure this is the right place? I mean,” he began to slowly make his way to the entrance of the cave, “it doesn’t look like nest of swarming insects. Maybe we should go back…” And Finn stumbled forward into the cave entrance with a little help from a forceful, and yet not so friendly, shove from Gun’del.
The blazing sun from outside the cave gave enough light for Finn to notice the sand covered floor throughout the cave entrance. Debris of red and orange rock from the walls and ceiling scattered across the sand. The dwarf came in behind Finn, “Remember, we are searching for whatever is causing the large gathering of swarms. Also,” he pointed down in front of Finn’s feet, “watch yer step. This sand appears to be uneven throughout. Don’t want ye falling into a sand pit.”
Both Finn and Gun’del took a moment to scan the area before wandering through blindly. To the left of them was an opening that appeared to end roughly sixty feet or so. Straight ahead there was an opening and slightly to the right of that a natural incline that went down deeper into the cave. “Well,” Gun’del whispered, “after ye.”
Finn looked back at the dwarf and got a nasty growl for a response. “Fine,” he sighed and chose to explore the path on the left. At least he could see to the end of this path so no surprises. Finn didn’t like surprises that didn’t end in alcohol consumption. With each step they took the sand began to get deeper and more difficult to traverse. Finn looked back at Gun’del and noticed he was struggling. The sand was getting closer to his waist. “Just go back,” Finn looked forward then back again at Gun’del, “I’m sure there is nothing this way. I’ll continue on without you.”
Finn’s next step into the deep sand brought forth excruciating pain in his left foot. As he toppled over on his back into the soft sand he could see a caltrop protruding from his leather boot. The sand in his boot only intensified the pain as the sand would pour into his wound. “Here,” Gun’del reached out his axe, “take hold. I’ll pull ye out.”
After crawling his way out of the caltrop infested sand, Finn undid the laces of his left boot. “I’m going to need you to pull both the caltrop and boot off my foot.” He threw his pack down next to him and reached in without even looking and pulled out a bottle of wine. “Wai…wai..wait dwarf!” he took a swig of his wine, “Now do it.”
Finn cried out in pain as Gun’del pulled the bloodied objects from his foot. Gun’del pulled the boot slightly before pulling on the caltrop causing the boot to snag on the blade and jerk within the heel of his foot. “Quiet now,” the dwarf growled at Finn. “Quickly, we need to wrap this up. I’ll also wrap yer sole of yer boot. Help stop the sand from irritating the wound.”
Finn was now speechless. He wanted to scream, not because of the pain, though that was a good enough reason to do so. Gun’del was still wrapping his foot when he noticed the dancing shadows on the walls from the corner of his eye. The dwarf quickly turned around and so what paralyzed Finn with fear. Black liquid bubbled up out of the stinger of a horse-sized scorpion that stood atop the natural incline.

There are a few details missing that I didn’t write down such as the d6 results of the tables and Trap Finding/Trap Setting die results. Also, a note on the caltrops: the damage for stepping on one with a 2-in-6 chance when moving through the sand is a d4. I actually rolled a 4 for damage but because we are using Scarlet Heroes damage as an overlay a 4 actually equals to one point of damage. If this was strictly an OSE game then our hero would be in serious danger after just walking onto a caltrop.

What’s Next?

Roll for initiative for this Giant Scorpion fight. And if they survive explore the rest of this cave. Or flee. Who knows what’s going to happen now.

Solo OSE: Keying the Map

Keying the Map on the Fly

So I decided that I would key the map for this adventure on the fly. I have done some prep work to keep things running smoother without having to roll for more things than I need. My prep work is designed with using the Random Room Stocking table in Old-School Essentials.

I created d6 tables for Monsters, Traps and Special. I also pre-rolled and created a d6 table of Treasure using the Level 1 and Level 2-3 treasures. The treasure table results are meant to be used once.

I wrote these tables on the same page as my map.

I wrote out the Random Room Stocking table out on an index card for easy reference.
I added some color and features to the map. The larger area on the top left is where the Werelocust will be located. So there will be no need to roll on the Random Room Stocking table.

What’s Next?

Hopefully this means the adventure will be starting. I do need to determine who the Hunter is with Finn. But other than that, I think the adventure is ready to start.

Solo OSE: Werelocusts and Giant Locusts

The Werelocust

After rolling up the starting adventure and getting Desert, Lycanthropic Pack Leader, and lethal swarm creatures. I had the idea of creating a Werelocust that turns into a swarm of locusts.


AC: 6 [13] (9 [10] in human form) HD: 4* (18hp) ATT: 2 x claw (1d6) THAC0: 16 [+3] MV: 120’ (40’)/ 180’ (60’) Swarm SV: D10 W11 P12 B13 S14 (4) ML: 9 AL: Chaotic XP: 125 NA: 1 (1d3) TT: B

Locust Swarm Form

Size: 20’ x 20’ Area

Immunity: Only harmed by fire, extreme cold, sleep spells, smoke and poisons.

Swarm Attack: Automatically damages characters within the swarm area: 2hp if wearing armor, 4hp without.

Locust, Giant

Locust, Giant

AC: 7 [12] HD: 1+1 (5hp) ATT: 1 x bite (1d4) THAC0: 18 [+1] MV: 90’ (30’)/120’ (40’) flying SV: D12 W13 P14 B15 S16 (2) ML: 7 AL: Neutral XP: 15 NA: 1d6 (3d4) TT: None

What’s Next?

I believe what’s left before getting into this adventure is to key the map that I drew in the last post. I really want to key the map with a set of tables so that I don’t really know what’s going to be coming up next as I explore the cave.