Bears Fruit: A 10K-Word Solo Adventure for B/X
A downloadable adventure module
Please check back for update history!
Last Update: version 1.5: no major updates, just typo fixes. (07/06/2020)
v1.4: typo/wording overhaul, clarified stats, clarified ambiguities in Orchard
v1.3: improved clarity, added Ant Queen stats, fixed bug with Protocol N
v1.2: re-balanced early game difficulty, added acknowledgements
v1.1: typos corrected, clearer wording
v1.0: beta release (06/26/2020)
A prosperous orchard has been cursed and has been swallowed up into the bowels of the earth. Strange bears smelling of rotten fruit have been emerging from the orchard-turned-dungeon to menace the town, and you've been hired to remove the curse!
Bears Fruit is a solo dungeon module designed for use with Basic/Expert and similar old school games. It is made for adventurers of 2nd to 3rd level, or specifically adventurers beginning with 2,499 XP (placing most classes into the 2nd to 3rd level range).
I recommend Old-School Essentials to run Bears Fruit. You can also use Knave, Black Stream Solo Heroes, and and your own house-ruled B/X games. Some play-testers even ran it without using rules whatsoever, playing it purely by deciding "what made sense in the fiction".
- Old-School Essentials - a modern layout edition of B/X. The basic rules are available as a free PDF here: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/272802/OldSchool-Essentials-Basic-Rules; you can find the rules for higher levels free if you need them.
This project was inspired by the Tumblr post: D&D adventure premises inspired by stupid bear puns. So it started as a meme that I then took way too seriously, haha. It is a submission for the Solo Dungeon Tabletop RPG Jam, found here! Check out all the other entries as well!
Click download now to get access to the following files:
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Thank you so much for the review! Your player being "devastated" at the un-goat-ening had me ROLLING, haha.
Glad you had a good time with it, and excited that your players ended up having to reflect on their actions. A lot of the "return to town" necessity was for mathematical reasons (your average solo player is super unlikely to be able to clear the dungeon unless they get money for hirelings), so it makes sense that with a full party and some system conversions, the party just treated the dungeon as a clearable "gauntlet dungeon" rather than a more mysterious and resource-exhausting "classic dungeon".
Out of curiosity, (SPOILERS AHEAD) how did your players react to the reveal? Did they shrug it off or were they taken aback?
I played through the whole adventure (as a not-very-impressive magic-user). During which:
- Two hirelings met two different truly horrible fates
- A giant ant was distracted through the Power of Magic
- All manner of wondrous creatures were met, said hello to at a distance and swiftly fled from
- An ancient mystery was apparent, and a great treasure was found
- Kobolds provided an essential ingredient to my schemes, and that ingredient was accelerant and that scheme was flagrant acts of arson
- A conclusion was reached, my magic-user survived... but at what cost?
Can heartily recommend.
Quirky, cunning, and complex, Bears Fruit is true to its old-school roots. This module provided several hours of playtime, and I compiled over 5 pages of adventure notes along the way to chronicle the experience. That attests to the author's attention to detail. I look forward to more.