Two design patterns for solo adventures

At the beginning of the month I released a revised version of Follow the Bones and a new adventure for playing Mausritter solo, What Fiend Stalks the Night. Neither Cairn nor Mausritter are solo games per se, so part of the work that went into both of those projects centered on providing additional procedures specifically to guide solo play. To mark those releases, I published on my website explanations of the design patterns I used, in hopes that they’ll be of use to other designers, and figure they’re worth pointing out to this crew specifically.

Box & Bones is the basic pattern I used for both Follow the Bones and What Fiend Stalks the Night. You can think of it as a kind of three-axis spark table, giving the designer a little more scope to develop specifics about the setting and situations.

Riddle & Tilt is a pattern that gives structure to the common solo practice of probing for details, and uses that as a basis for marking progress through the adventure. I worked out the pattern for What Fiend…, but was pleased enough with it to work it into the revised edition of Follow the Bones.

These are, of course, available to anyone who wants to incorporate them into their project, and I’m happy to discuss them here if you have and questions or ideas about how to use them.