Solo Projects

In my teens, on several occasions, I started to write solitaire adventures but always got bogged down and ended up abandoning the projects. In 2005 having started to converse over the internet with Andy Holmes, the modern master of the T & T solo, I was encouraged to try my hand at one again. With Andy's advice I not only began to write my 'first' solo "Rapscallion" but I actually finished it.

Having this small success encouraged me to attempt to write further material for solitaire play. Eventually I was bold enough to submit something for inclusion in the Outlaw Press fanzine The Hobbit Hole. To my delight "The Tree of Life" was accepted and published in issue 15 of that magazine and then an expanded version was produced for stand alone sale in 2008 with the second level appearing the following year.

Tree of Life I

Unfortunately, as most people who read this will know, 'Tree of Life' was one of the many T & T products that became part of the Outlaw Press art theft scandel. I won't review the affair here, there are several sites on the internet where anyone interested can find all the details, but suffice to say that my writing becoming associated with this was very distressing. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the case I, along with others, decided to cease to have any association with Outlaw Press, and have started to try to produce new T & T products with a particular emphasis on the ethical approach to the writers and artists involved - this is TAVERNMASTER GAMES. The first publication from this enterprise, my writing with artwork by Jeff Freels and Simon Lee Tranter, "Devotion to Duty" became available in November 2010 and is detailed in the Tavernmaster games page the link to which can be found in the sidebar on the left.

Tomb of the Fairy King

I find the process of writing a long and tortured one as I usually write up a first draft in pencil before pulling it all together in the initial typeing up. Often at this second stage I end up totally rewriting some sections and slow things down even more. I know some people can write their material quickly and directly to computer and good luck to them. I cannot so my solos are very slow to come to life.

After completing "Rapscallion" but before both levels of "Tree of Life" were started I wrote most of a trio of solos based around a kingdom of fairies - currently this place is called 'The Crystal Kingdom' as I was too lazy to come up with a new name so I used the name of one of my original GM adventures written in the 1980s. The titles of the solos are "Tomb of the Fairy King"; this one quite large at over 250 paragraphs and "Batkin Caverns"; smaller this one at around 160 paragraphs. These are twin products wherein you can proceed from the former to the latter if you wish or just run each one separately. The third is called "Formication" and is a mini-solo of 60 paragraphs in the same setting but completely separate from the other two - NOW AVAILABLE FROM TAVERNMASTER GAMES VIA LULU. I hope to publish them all. Simon Tranter is going to do cover art for the larger two so all I need is interior illustrations and some serious editing and play-testing and they will be available. Some time in 2014 I reckon!

I have two other solos at various stages of completeion. "Glenmorta" is virtually finished bar editing and play testing. It is set in a garden valley that has fallen under a malign influence. It was inspired by the beatiful and exotic gardens that I visit with my family while on holiday in Cornwall.

Temple of the Wild Boar

Finally there is "The Temple of the Wild Boar". I have yet to actually start typing this one up. It is sitting in one of my hardback notebooks where all of my T & T imaginings begin as some stray thought written down or a scruffy doodle.

Sid Orpin (aka Darrgh Tarrrho)

January 2011

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