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)
Review
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
Setup
Characters
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
Gameplay
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.

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