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Lone Wilderlands Review

Quick Look: Lone Wilderlands
Designer: DWDalton
Publisher: Synaptic Labs
Year Published: 2018 
No. of Players: 1–6
Ages: 12+
Playing Time: 30+ minutes (really, you set your own limit)

If you’ve ever sat down with your role-playing game (RPG) friends and had to discuss who was going to have to game master (GM), then Lone Wilderlands is a game you'll want to check into: an RPG designed for 1–6 players. Yes, an RPG designed to be played as a solitaire, or solo, game. And that doesn’t mean a player and a GM.
When reviewing RPGs, there are a number of elements to check out. There is the genre, the setting, the characters, and the mechanics. And, how you run an adventure. The ability of running an adventure and encounters is an important part of the game. The GM is a major part of any RPG because that one player sets up the framework of where all the other players are involved.
I’m going to touch on the basics so I can focus on what makes Lone Wilderlands different.
Lone Wilderlands is a fantasy-style RPG. There are mages and priests. Monsters to be fought and lands to be explored. The setting within this world varies for the game you are playing—more on that later.
Players with a higher interest of roleplaying with other players and non-player characters (NPC) can still do so. Of course, when playing solo, this interaction will be more about the skill checks. If you have willing players, one player can take on the NPC while the others play their characters through an encounter. You can take notes on the newfound acquaintance for your characters and build a gallery of NPC encountered and their traits.
Different Decks
Having a character is an important part of an RPG. Players new to RPGs will want to take a little longer in character creation. Those who have played RPGs will find the system is a skill-based system with a number of minimalist elements. An experienced player may want to pre-generate characters that can be used. Also once you have developed your character it can be used through multiple gaming sessions.
Players can choose from nine character classes and 13 races. Characters are designed with abilities and skills and advance in experience as they complete the encounters and quests.
The time spent in developing the characters may not seem like part of the game. But, experienced RPG players will usually tell you developing, creating, and maintaining a character can be as much fun as when you are playing the character on an adventure.

Playing an adventure
When the characters apply their training in combat or other encounters, it is all based on the use of a single d20. This is not a d20 system, it only uses a d20.
All of this is wrapped up in two small rule books of about 50 total pages that fit in an oversized card pack. The rest are cards. There are about 75 cards divided up into different decks. The cards take on the role of the GM.
There are three main types of cards: Wilderland, Adventure, and Quest. They are set out in different piles so you can draw the appropriate card when desired.
Wilderland Cards
As you explore out from your home town, you draw a Wilderland card. Wilderland cards determine information about the terrain and some of the possible events in the area. You might find yourself enjoying a sunny day, or encountering a raging river. You can come across other people, ruins, or other links to adventures.
Some of the cards direct you to draw an Adventure or Quest card. The adventure cards provide more details of what you have come across in your travels. The Quest cards provide greater opportunities for your character. The Quests are subdivided into different categories depending on where you’re currently at.
This is designed to be played using hex mapping and can take characters across a continent or through deeper caverns.
Adventure Cards
Theme and Mechanics
The mechanics used in Lone Wilderlands allowed for quick and easy play. The cards gave enough variability to allow for a good gaming session. After having developed a character or characters you have a system you can be easily re-entered for additional gaming sessions.
You can play solitaire with a single character or an entire party. Or, on your own one time and with friends the next. Lone Wilderlands has nice flexibility.

Artwork and Components
There are not a lot of physical components, so the artwork is also limited. As the storyteller of your own adventure you can create a setting as you desire. I recommend taking notes for the locations the same as taking notes for the NPCs. This will help you build a game world as you continue your explorations.
Other Wilderland Cards
The Good
  • Lone Wilderlands makes a great cabin game. Everything fits into a single box (there is even room for the d20) that can easily be packed away or carried. No preplanned adventure is needed to get started.
  • There are times it is nice to have everyone playing a character and not have to decide who is going to create an adventure and GM.

Encounter Cards
Final Thoughts
Lone Wilderlands presented a nice change from a set campaign. It reminded some of the people in my gaming group of randomized adventures and maps we used to run using some the earliest RPG systems.
Because there is no pre-planned adventure, the only time requirement between sessions is any character maintenance needing to be done. The game allows for easy character maintenance that can be completed at the end of a session. To start the next game all that was needed was a quick refresher of what you had for character notes, recent location, and you’re ready to start.
You can find out more at their site or The Game Crafter.
Some Quest Cards
Players Who Like
  • Solo RPGs
  • Everyone-Play RPGS

Check out Lone Wilderlands on:

Daniel Yocom - Reviewer

Daniel Yocom does geeky things by night because his day job won’t let him. This dates back to the 1960s through games, books, movies, and stranger things better shared in small groups. He’s written hundreds of articles about these topics for his own blog, other websites, and magazines along with stories, after extensive research. His research includes attending conventions, sharing on panels and presentations, and road-tripping with his wife. Join in the geeky fun at guildmastergaming@blogspot.com.

See Daniel's reviews HERE.
Lone Wilderlands Review Lone Wilderlands Review Reviewed by Guild Master Gaming on December 27, 2019 Rating: 5

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