Once upon a time, I refused to purchase anything through a link in Facebook. Then, I bought a pair of Pittsburgh Penguins mittens only because they came with a Bernie bobblehead. I also purchased a couple of Funko figures that took forever to arrive. So, I thought my decision to leave Facebook out of future purchases vindicated. Then, an ad came across my Facebook and I fell for it again. I clicked on the link for Sundial Games and their 2023 quest desktop calendars. For 40 bucks, I got a set of dice, some dry erase markers, and a day-by-day calendar with a solo RPG adventure attached. And, so, on January 1, 2023, I embarked on my Voidspark Chronicles humble beginnings.
Since January has the theme of “New Year, New Games“, that brings the perfect opportunity to talk about this unique idea. Before that, I want to say something. The calendar sits on my desk and not one of my students asked about it yet. That’s surprising since they usually stick their noses in all of my business. Oh well, probably just a matter of time.
Rules and Character Building
Rules? Who needs rules? The only rule is that you ignore all the rules and play however you want. What’s this? You need to refer back to the previous day to resolve today’s story. Hmm, maybe I will take a look at those rules after all.
To be fair, that’s the only rule that you need to follow. The rest of it more or less comes down to your capacity for and forgiveness of bad dice rolls. More on that in a bit. Speaking of dice rolls, at least in the beginning, they streamlined character creation. You roll a d4 and that becomes your bonus for each stat. Then, during the course of the story, you get your inventory and you’re off.
Escape, Combat, and Near Death
So far, I engaged in combat twice and made a decision twice. The first combat went smoothly. I killed both sentry drones without a scratch. I also escaped my prison quite easily with a single Dexterity roll to pick the lock. Man, I thought, this stuff is easy.
I know better. Don’t ever piss off the dice gods. They smite without prejudice those who do. Over the weekend, I failed a dexterity roll and then took two blasts to break down the door. Then, today, I came close to dying in combat because my dice rolls came out on the low end. Hell, I “cheated” a bit by allowing myself 3 rolls to free someone else from being captured and twice to find a med kit since I used the other one to heal after nearly eating it.
My Voidspark Chronicles humble beginnings give me all the joy of playing a role playing game daily. They also bring the same frustrations of low dice rolls. As I proved, those are easily countered by “do overs”. Maybe I need to limit myself to one “do over” per day because otherwise, what’s the point of rolling. Just take the loot and move on to the next day. In any case, I’m glad that I bought the calendar and look forward to each day’s next adventure.