Friday, May 19, 2023

[Solo] The Magnificent Adventuring Circus: Introduction

In 2021, I played a solo game, focused on the (mis)adventures of a travelling circus of adventurers. It was a part of a shared sandbox game, The Pit, where participants all played their own solo sessions, then updated the global hexmap with new features. It's a great setup, because you create your own stuff, but also crosscheck the existing map and you can visit stuff that other people generated. You can follow up on rumors that others posted. I don't participate any more, but the game is still going on, and you can join if you are interested! Here's the invite link (Discord server), it's a nice and welcoming community.

Like most people on the server, I relied on
I went into the game with no particular expectations. Just rolled up a party of four 1st-level characters, picked a starting point and a destination a bunch of hexes away, and travelled. New hex - check for weather - check for feature - check for encounter, rinse and repeat...

But here's the beauty of old-school play: from this baseline procedure, a cool story emerged! I played 10 sessions altogether, took notes, wrote reports, shared them with the others. It was a lot of fun! 

As I still have these reports, I thought I would share them here on my blog as well. So from now on I will be posting it in installments. 

This is the intro post and "table of contents".

The Troupe:

The Magnificent Adventuring Circus! Their shows are re-enactments of their daring adventures that totally happened. They ride around on a garishly painted stagecoach (still paying off the debt on that one…).

Julia Maxima, the Bearded Lady (Dwarf Cleric 1). Stern leader and cook of the circus.

Pointy Kid, the Knife Thrower (Halfling Thief 1). Sly acrobat with a pipeweed addiction.

Callisto, Master of Illusions (Human Magic-User 1). Archmage of the Highest Order, Keeper of Forbidden Knowledge. Obviously, he has a creepy ventriloquist dummy.

Sheila, the Odalisque (Elf Fighter/Magic-User 1). Exotic dancer and all-around cool girl. She won’t agree to be sawn into two halves.

...and their adventures:


  1. Shared online world for soloing is actually a great idea, as long as everyone has the same expectations for the world. Kind of a "West Marches for the solo 2020s" kind of thing. I can't believe I haven't heard of it before!

    1. Here the expectation was... "fantasy" :) Vanilla fantasy. There wasn't any big concept to start out. Most people used BFRPG, so there was a basic roster of monsters everybody had, and that is what helped a lot, I think.

      Later on, there was also a global threat that emerged and was fleshed out (and defeated) collectively, the World Wolf - it emerged from a couple of random encounters and random prophecies, and whoever wanted could play into it.

  2. Keep up the great work, and thank you for sharing this enchanting adventure with us! I can't wait to use the promo code and attend the Solo Magnificent Adventuring Circus myself!
    How to save 10000 in 6 Months

    1. They just pass around the hat, there's no promocode!