If you haven’t tried playing D&D solo, what are you waiting for? I know when we typically think of tabletop RPGs we envision a bunch of nerds around a table with maps, terrain, minis, dice, and not a few Mountain Dews cluttering a dining room table (if you think in stereotypes anyway) but it’s actually quite cathartic to sit down, alone, to a nice solo adventure and have a go at an adventure without other players or even a DM. Paul Bimler, with his D&D Solo Adventure: Labyrinth of Lies, has created a short adventure that is ideal for either a brief session or an introductory one to see what you’ve been missing.
This adventure begins in Ilinvur, a sleepy town somewhere in North Faerûn. The mayor wants you to investigate some Svirfneblin and their ominous claims about the end of the world. Some may claim it’s all hyperbole but you get the sense that it’s wishful thinking on their part. Everyone is concerned. The mayor doesn’t know whether these dire predictions truly foretell of doom or if they’re exaggerations. What he does know is that the Svifrneblin generally keep to themselves and their intermittent presence in his town has made citizens uneasy. He’d like you to go to the Svirfneblin and explore what has gotten them so unsettled and he’s offered you 700 gold pieces for your trouble.
D&D Solo Adventure: Labyrinth of Lies by Paul Bimler
Writer: Paul Bimler (aka “5E Solo Gamebooks”)
Publisher: DMs Guild
Product Length: 43 pages
I stated previously that this makes for a good quick session of playing by yourself or for an introduction into solo D&D. Labyrinth of Lies is a good adventure while not exactly life-changing. I expect that if you already run the occasional solo adventure that you could use this one for something when you don’t have a ton of time and that if it’s your first time you’ll get a pretty good idea as to whether soloing is for you or not. I enjoyed it. It’s deadly; most of Paul’s stuff is. The adventure background/hook is simplistic but damn it’s just interesting enough to be enticing. It’s D&D standard but it’s the succinctness that I liked. The mayor tells you he’s got a problem and offers you coin to go resolve it. The Svirfneblin can either be telling the truth, lying, or crazy. There is really no other option. Which is it? Journey into the Underdark and find out.
Just be prepared to die. Bring your 5th level character and a backup. You might consider a caster. But then again, you may want a character with a lot of hit points and some healing potions. Actually, dexterity and perception may be the most important things to bring to this adventure. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of room for roleplaying in this adventure. That’s kind of the nature of solo adventures but even still, this one has less of it than I remember some of Paul’s other works having. Nonetheless, it’s a good escape when you don’t have a chance to coordinate with friends’ schedules…exactly what the adventure is intended for. Short, sweet, and dangerous.
- short and to the point
- a challenging adventure
- refreshing backstory to setup the adventure
- depending on your decisions and rolls, you may loop through a couple of the scenarios twice
- not as open-ended as traditional adventures (or The Solo Adventurer’s Toolbox)