01 August 2018

Road Trip One-on-One Session Prep

I want to GM a one-on-one game while I drive for many hours on a few different days. I'm writing out my plans here in case anyone else wants to try it. You probably shouldn't. The GM should probably be the passenger while someone else drives. In my case, this is not true.

DO NOT EVER do anything that distracts you from driving. If you can't keep your mind on the road, don't do this. Don't listen to audiobooks. Don't listen to podcasts. Etc.

Please make suggestions! Tell me what you would try. Tell me how I will horribly fail.


  • The GM cannot reference anything.
  • Only the player may roll dice. 
  • System: Knave (Simple, OSR-compatible rules with surprising depth. Designed to accommodate player-rolls.)


A deck of index cards labeled 1-20 could replace dice.
Instead, we'll place dice in a baby food container and shake them inside of it. 

Scenario options

  • Generate a Yoon-Suin situation, write notes, leave notes at home.
  • Memorize a one-page dungeon and leave it at home
  • Run one of my own dungeons to the best of my memory.
  • Guard a caravan (See Incorporate the Drive below.)
(I chose the third option because I suspect I will be best at remembering it and improvising what I don't. The dungeon I'll be describing is one that I hope to eventually release to the public.)

Incorporate the Drive

Pause the game when anything interesting on the road happens. When the moment is over:
  • Other Car Causes Danger: Random encounter.
  • Enter Traffic: Obstacle.
  • An Out of State Plate: add a trap or other danger.
(Adapted from an idea by Kurt Potts.)

Mystery Box

The player must only look in envelopes when instructed and must only read the appropriate cards.

Pre-rolled Index Card Character Sheets

Blank Index Cards

The player will write notes for herself on these. The GM will occasionally dictate further notes if absolutely necessary.

Monster Envelope

Write monster names and/or descriptions on index cards. Description should give hint to players about monster and should remind GM of special attacks and such. GM makes up stats on the spot. 

Random encounter = player pulls card at random. 

NPC Envelope

Write character names and player-facing descriptions that the player will read aloud to the GM.

Map Envelopes

Map Envelopes 1-10 correspond to keyed areas of the dungeon (areas 1-10) and each contain a player-facing map piece, a la Sleeping Place of the Feathered Swine. Each piece says what numbers it connects to, so the GM doesn't have to tell the player which envelope to open next. Each piece also has a brief player-facing description that the player will read aloud to the GM.

Treasure Tables

The player will roll on a standard treasure table when the GM wishes to describe most treasure:
1[Adjective Interesting Treasure] (see below)5GPSlimy
2[Adjective] pot or pan10GPCrusty
3Sharp, rusty, [adjective] chopping knife20GPBlackened
43 [adjective] vials of olive oil30GPMoldy
5Sausage in [adjective] wax paper50GPMuddy
6[Adjective] Bag containing a spice (d6: brown, red, yellow, orange, black, white)100GPPastel blue

The player will also occasionally roll on a rare treasure table:
1Aquarium of live, very rare, ultra delicious shellfish.
2The sharpest paring knife ever used in a kitchen.
3Special salt that almost instantly dessicates anything down into jerky.
4Auto-spicing spoon that spices a dish to perfection.
5Localized gravity cutting board, ensuring no slippage.
6Condenser that makes one gallon of broth into a marble.
7A bracelet with cooking utensils for charms that grow to full size when detached.
8Extractor fan that sucks up cooking smells into a bottle.

Mushroom Envelope

Sampling Mushrooms


Common Mushrooms

1-2White (Agaricus bisporus)NutritiousSweet tar
3Bearded tooth (Hericium erinaceus)NutritiousMusk, citrus
4Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)NutritiousEarthy
5Death Cap (Amanita phalloides)Poison. Diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting. Save or: jaundice, delirium, seizures. Save again next morning or kidney failure -> Death in 6 days.Honey sweet. Eventually rotten-sweet.
6Magic Mushroom (Psilocybe zapotecorum)Time is slowed. +1 to rolls involving speed. Surprising or strange things cause Fear (flee in random direction 1d4x10 seconds.) Hallucinations at edges of vision and when studying things for 20 minutes.Starchy. Like cucumber.

Rare Mushrooms

1Brown, fuzzyFecalHair falls out. Your scalp sprouts tiny, sentient mushrooms. They're equally loyal to host and other mushrooms. Mushroom reaction, d4: 1. Worship and try to live in clothing. 2. Treat as own. 3. Laugh and offer stay of any hostilities. 4. Kill the abomination.
2Squishy pink, like geode sliced in halfRaw meatSneeze mood-altering spores. d4: 1. Fear. 2. Hunger. 3. Violent Rage. 4. Melancholy
3White, branching stalks with separate capsFeetMutate. D6: 1. Enlarged skull. Gain 2 spells that reside there. -2 INT. 2. Steel body when sleeping. 3. Magnetic hands (only relevant to iron.) 4. Speak with cooked vegetable matter. 5. One limb is dead. 6. You shrivel to half size. -1d6 to STR, DEX, CON.
4Upside-down, purple carrotRoseGrow by 1d6x10% upon touching a water source larger than the total drops of water in body. When thirsty, shrink to 1d6% less than normal size.
5Spongy, grey, dry like chalkRye BreadYour nervous system becomes like mycelium. As long as you are not wholly disintegrated, you can regrow limbs, even your head. Save or decrease one CON. Henceforth, save every morning or decrease one CON per day.
6Giant rhubarb, cratered center.OnionPoison. D6 CON damage, one per turn. Whenever damage is taken a different limb turns purple, bloats, and loses sensation. Then head. Mushrooms grow from body if death occurs from the poison.

Random Encounter Envelope

The player will not open this until the mushrooms have been met.
Mushroom Friendliness (circle current)-2-10+1+2

-21d6 edgy mushrooms hunting and raging Amée
-11d6 edgy mushrooms hunting
11d4 wary mushrooms and a leashed pig patrolling
21d6 mushrooms
35 mushrooms stomping on a puddle
41d3 (or 1d4-1) mushrooms gardening
51 mushroom digging
7Amée and 1 annoyingly inquisitive, helpful mushroom
8Pig on leash, wandering alone

Know One Important NPC by Heart


Player-facing NPC card: Amée is a pot-bellied pig humanoid woman with a sunken face. Seems very reasonable.

GM secret knowledge: She rages at intentional or careless violence against mushrooms.

To help mushroom-friends.
To cook and eat fancy mushroom dishes. Doesn't know she's addicted to mushrooms.
To remember her husband fondly and await his "return." (She saw the mushrooms kill him. She is in denial and pretended he was an elk and ate him.)

Doesn't want:
To step on mushrooms.
To eat food without mushrooms.
Unnecessary violence.
Anyone to know she's the daughter of a lord.

Attacks: 2. Barbecue skewer, d4 "exploding" (Result 4 = roll again and add results together.)
Special: Has 2 mushroom effects on touch. If raging --> High health + attack bonus, coughing spores with mushroom effects on failed save.

Other NPCs


Poisonous unless cooked. Cause mutations if cooked.  Odor: Sweet tar, earthy.

Attacks: 1. Damage: 0.

Special: Release spores. All non-mushrooms save to avoid or to suffer partial effect (GM choice.) (Their heads fold back nearly 180 degrees to fully open their mouths.) Each group of mushrooms has 1 mushroom effect per 4 mushrooms. For example, a group of 5 mushrooms will have two mushroom effects. Only apply one effect for each mushroom's combat turn.

Friends to transport buttons.
Interesting bacteria.
To meet new kinds of mushrooms.
Doesn't want:
To be eaten.
To be alone.

Leashed Pig

Special: Follows scents. d4-1 turns to find smelliest party member. If scent is difficult to follow, roll d6.

Yummy mushrooms.
Doesn't want:
Anything scary.
Yucky mushrooms.

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