I have released the first version (0.1) of A Torch in the Dark, my single-player dungeon crawling, class warfar…ing hack of BitD.
THE DEAD KINGS HAVE ARISEN!
The People’s Revolution has overthrown the nobles of the realm. The last emperor died cursing the land and all who deposed him. Now the only coin that is left lies buried with the undead lords beneath the capital. Delve into the dungeon, twice-kill the dead kings, and redistribute their wealth.
This project was a sort of design workshop for me to figure out how to convert the BitD rules to a single player system. A lot is maintained: action ratings, load, stress, mixed successes, and a lot is missing: position & effect, descriptive harm, XP triggers, crews, etc.
I found the best approach was to remove as much ambiguity as possible. Without a GM or other players to adjudicate, you want to give the players definitive rules on how to approach each encounter and engage with each mechanic. The tricky part is trying to maintain any sort of fictional mechanisms, like contacts, factions, and narrative complications.
So instead of worrying about any of that, I left them out and just made a tabletop version of video games like Darkest Dungeon and Slay the Spire Players don’t have to worry about the fiction as much if it’s mostly already established and the premise is straight-forward. Honestly I’m quite happy with it. I think this will be a great jumping off point for other single-player FitD projects I have in mind, and I’m already looking forward to adding new features.
If you have any questions or comments about the game, or making a single-player variation of the Blades in the Dark system, let me know!