Solo adventuring in the Grave of the Green Flame

My 1st level character, Theodor the Fighter, survived the greenwood of Grave of the Green Flame by Pacesetter Games.

I didn't explore all the location, but was successful in tracking down the bandits who attacked my character on the highway and retrieved his stolen belongings. What's more, the adventure recommends a 2nd level character and had some very tough combat encounters, so I feel this was a great success and I'm not sure whether to test my luck with more exploring. The evil Elf on the random encounter table looks like he would easily kill any low level character he encountered with ease.

In playing through this short solo adventure it reminded me of the importance of avoiding combat whenever possible in old school gaming. The dice will betray you, and if you leave life and death situations to chance sooner or later your character will pay the price. To survive this adventure I did my best to run, hide, or use trickery whenever I encountered enemies. Attacking from range, dropping treasure to lure enemies into traps, and thinking of ways to use all the items in my inventory were more important than to hit modifiers and armour class. Only the last encounter forced me to go sword-to-sword with the Bandits, and despite weakening them with a snare trap it still came down to luck where I rolled enough damage to kill the villains and they only did enough to bring me down to 1 hit point.

The module was fun and had some good encounters that I definitely enjoyed. There were some editing issues, and I think the layout might have been a bit better. A more traditional Choose Your Own Adventure or Fighting Fantasy style presentation might have worked better and kept readers from accidentally seeing the titles associated with some of the choices. I hadn't planned to go into the marsh, but I feel accidentally seeing the bolded title for that entry may have some part in influencing that decision as well. If decisions required you to turn to entirely different pages I think it might have been a lot better in that regard.

Probably the biggest critique I'd offer is that I was able to complete the scenario and return to the Inn where the text assumed I would have encountered a number of other enemies and returned with a specific piece of treasure. Having accomplished the goal of the scenario (kill the bandits) I saw some sinister looking locations, but nothing that would make me guaranteed to explore there unless it was out of a sense of completion. I didn't encounter the green flame, although I did see some green mist that looked like poison. That's not really that big a deal though, and I'd definitely recommend the game for anyone interested in trying out solo old school gaming. Who knows, once my character reaches 2nd level perhaps I'll return and explore the rest of these woods. d20