I've seen some interesting Tricube Tales solo Actual Plays lately, so I thought it'd be fun to try posting a short example myself. I won't dive into too much detail in the various scenes, as I'm trying to keep it simple, but you can certainly do that in your own games if you prefer! After all, solo gaming is very much a personal thing, there's no "right" or "wrong" way to do it, as long as you're having fun.
I will use the example character from the TotGH character creation section: Big Brak, a brawny warrior who is also a huge bugbear, but only has one eye.
Rolling on the TotGH adventure generator, I get 5 6 3. So the main plot is that Big Brak is ordered to "kill some adventurers" in "a deep cave or mine" while dealing with "a psychopathic druid"
I'll use the examples from the one-page RPG rather than make up my own:
5. The Quest for the Holy Pail: A party of human adventurers has been exploring ancient ruins, searching for a lost relic—a magical bucket?! It’s time for them to kick the bucket!
6. Swallow Hole: A network of deep caverns situated on Hightree Ridge, Swallow Hole is a popular raiding spot for greedy human adventurers.
3. Tree-Hugging Tyrant: Another human druid has gone on a murderous rampage, animating trees and controlling beasts, and sending them after goblins.
Rolling on the TotGH twist table for the subplots gives me the following:
Primary subplot (2 5 = trap): My interpretation: Someone has been ambushing Redfang goblins on Hightree Ridge, they've already killed several gangs. Could this by the druid, or is it someone else? We'll have to find out!
Secondary subplot (2 6 = key): My interpretation: A Bonedigger gang is searching for the relic as well, they believe it's the key to a magical ritual.
Looking at the map, I can see Big Brak will need to journey through Twilight Wood and climb Hightree Ridge in order to reach Swallow Hole. The Solo Rules ensure there will be at least 5 scenes, and the first is the opening scene, so I envision them working something like this:
Scene 1: Visit Chief Bignose in his tent to receive the mission.
Scene 2: Head east through Twilight Wood.
Scene 3: Climb Hightree Ridge.
Scene 4: Enter Swallow Hole.
Scene 5: Explore Swallow Hole
Further scenes may then follow, depending on the cards. Maybe the adventurers need to be chased back across Hightree Ridge and into the human lands, perhaps even followed into one of their towns. Alternatively, the secondary subplot (the Bonedigger gang) could introduce a new scene or two on the way back from defeating the adventurers.
For time immemorial, goblins have been mercilessly hunted down and murdered by the so-called “civilized” humans, slaughtered in droves for the entertainment of bloodthirsty adventurers. But everyone has their limits, even the underdogs.
The pathetic goblins who eke out a living near the human lands are weak and timid, the aggression bred out of them through generations of culling, with only the most cowardly among them managing to survive. But the goblins of the western tribes are another matter entirely, as the rapidly encroaching scourge of human civilization is about to discover.
You are Big Brak, a ferocious boss from the Redfang tribe, leading your gang on a series of dangerous missions against the humans and other enemies. Chief Bignose is confident you won’t let him down!
Scene 1: Visiting Chief Bignose
Draw a Joker -- 6: The scene changes due to a new event
Roll for an urban event -- 6 6: Urban decay (roll 3 6 on the fantasy twist table for inspiration -- someone tripping over)
Chief Bignose's tent is old and smelly, with patches of mold growing on it. It should have been replaced years ago, but his flunkies just patch up the holes as best they can. As Big Brak walks into the tent, his huge foot catches a loose string, and the entire tent collapses. Chief Bignose yelps for help, "Hey! Who turned the lights out?"
Draw the 8 of Clubs (easy crafty challenge).
Big Brak searches through the folds of the tent, trying to find Chief Bignose. Roll -- 3 2 (failure, but reducing the difficulty to 3 with the bugbear perk turns it into a success). Big Brak uses his great strength to rip the tent to shreds, revealing the stumpy chieftain buried underneath!
Chief Bignose clambers to his feet, brushes himself down, and curses loudly about the state of his tent. He glances up, up, up, at the towering bugbear before him. "Ah, there you are, Brak. I have the perfect mission for someone of your physical stature and intellectual limitations. My scouts report that a band of ugly human adventurers has been poking around on Hightree Ridge, searching for some stupid magical bucket. It looks like they're trying to find Swallow Hole. Head over there, and do to them what you just did to my tent!"
Big Brak wanders over to his campfire and yells for his flunkies to attend him. "We're going hunting for human meat!" Without any further ado, Brak turns on his heel and marches east toward Hightree Ridge, his gang members running after him as they try desperately to keep up with his pace.
Scene 2: Journey through Twilight Wood
Rolling on the weather conditions table -- 6 4. The sky is overcast with rain, and there's a strong breeze.
Draw the 7 of Clubs (hard brawny challenge). No idea what the challenge could be, so I'll roll for a random wilderness event for inspiration -- 4 1 (rolling log/boulder). Sounds like an ambush.
Big Brak and his gang head through Twilight Wood, the trees swaying in the breeze as heavy droplets of rain drip through the canopies overhead. Suddenly, a loud crack echoes through the forest, and a huge tree topples onto the gang, pinning them to the ground!
Roll 4 3 4 (failure, using meat shield to give the damage to a gang member instead): Big Brak staggers to his feet, pulling his gang members out from under the boughs. One of the goblins is dead, impaled by a broken branch, but the other two are only dazed. A group of porcupine beastfolk hoot and cackle from their vantage point in the treetops, amused at their little prank, then they vanish among the canopies.
With a snarl, Big Brak picks up the pace.
Scene 3: Climbing Hightree Ridge
Draw the 9 of Spades (standard crafty challenge).
The gang makes its way out of the forest and starts hiking up Hightree Ridge. But soon, the goblins start arguing over which way they need to travel to reach Swallow Hole. Roll -- 5 5 (exceptional success). Big Brak shakes his head at his useless flunkies and snarls "Idiots, why do you think I chose this route? It's the fastest path to Swallow Hole!" The gang eagerly heads toward their destination.
Scene 4: Reaching Swallow Hole
Draw the 3 of Clubs (standard agile challenge).
Big Brak and his flunkies approach the lesser-known secondary entrance to Swallow Hole. It's very unlikely the humans would discover this entrance, as it's well concealed, but it's also rather dangerous.
Roll 2 4 (failure, using meat shield).
One of the gang members loses her footing and falls to her death while trying to climb down the entrance shaft. Brak and the last gang member make their way down safely, and then head deeper into the warren. They'll need to scout around and find a good spot to lay in wait for the adventurers!
Rolling for a dungeon feature -- 2 5 (distinctive smell). Big Brak raises his snout and sniffs at the air. The cave smells of blood and death, there's been fighting going on down here recently! He draws his axe and heads deeper into the cave.
Scene 5: Inside Swallow Hole
Draw the King of Clubs (advance main plot, negative) -> It turns out the adventurers are already here, and they've set an ambush!
Draw the 3 of Spades (standard agile challenge) -> As we now have 3 Clubs and 2 Spades among the spot cards, this will be the final scene.
The adventurers reached Swallow Hole before Big Brak, and they heard the splat of his gang member earlier, so they've set an ambush inside the cave. They must have already wiped out the borderland goblins that were living here, that would explain the lingering smell of blood and death.
The humans unleash a barrage of arrows and lightning bolts as Big Brak and his last remaining minion walk into their trap.
Roll -- 2 5 (success). Big Brak and his minion hunker down behind cover, avoiding the brunt of the attacks. Unfortunately, because of the ambush (negative plot advancement), the entire fight must be resolved via ranged attacks, putting the bugbear at a disadvantage. The enemy has 5 effort tokens, these represent a ranger (2 tokens), a druid (2 tokens), and a henchman (1 token).
Attack roll -- 2 6 (success, eliminate 1 effort token). The gang member hurls his spear, taking out the henchman.
Defense roll -- 6 3 (success). A lightning bolt explodes nearby, showering Brak with debris, but he shakes it off.
Attack roll -- 1 1 (critical failure, introduce a complication). Brak hurls his axe at the druid, but she ducks and reacts with a quick spell, shrouding Brak in an outline of illusionary fire. For the rest of the combat, all defense rolls will be hard (difficulty 6) challenges.
Defense roll -- 1 1 (critical failure again). As a confused Brak attempts to put out the illusionary flames, the ranger and druid unleash their attacks upon him. Using meat shield to avoid the loss of 2 resolve. Brak drops and rolls on the floor at the last moment, and his remaining gang member is obliterated instead.
Attack roll -- 6 3 (success). With a roar, Brak picks up the corpse of his last flunky, and hurls it at the druid, knocking her off her feet.
Defense roll -- 5 2 (failure). The ranger uses the opportunity to shoot an arrow, striking Big Brak in the knee. Brak loses 1 resolve.
Attack roll -- 4 4 (failure). Spend 1 karma to lower the difficulty to 4, turning the failure into an exceptional success. Brak uses his enormous bugbear physique to lift a massive rock and hurl it at the ranger, smashing him to a pulp.
Defense roll -- 1 1 (critical failure yet again). The druid shoots Big Brak with a powerful lightning bolt, electrocuting him! Big Brak loses his last 2 resolve, and his smoking body drops to the floor. The druid is injured and her companions are both dead, so she staggers out of the cave, mounts her horse, and leaves, without stopping to confirm her kill.
Sometime later, Big Brak wakes up. He's now back to full resolve, but as well as having scorched fur, he now has a permanent affliction. We'll say "fear of lightning". The mission is a failure, as the druid escaped. Chief Bignose will not be happy...
I intended this to be a brief example, but it was even shorter than I'd expected due to the cards concluding the adventure after 5 scenes. I could have stretched out the final scene, but I liked the surprise ambush at the end, so I decided to resolve the last scene as a combat encounter with 5 effort tokens.
Normally I prefer running solo games with physical props, but this time I used Roll20 for the dice and cards (with the VTT version of the Solo Deck). Luck was definitely not on my side with those dice rolls though! Perhaps things would have turned out differently if I'd used my last karma to turn the second-to-last defense roll into a success, but I hadn't expected to get yet another critical failure.
I completely forgot to use my quirk, and I also failed to tie in the Bonedigger gang, but if the adventure had been longer I could have used them to spice up the story. If there's one thing I've learned about solo gaming, it's that the story never quite goes the way I was expecting!