There are some pretty good and crucially quick systems for generating missions, opponents, magic items and loot and so forth; but the game architecture is so open that you could easily include or alter most of it to make the game you want. There is no background 'fluff' as such, but there are plenty of stats for the archetypical fantasy races. If you want to play with figures, this makes it easy to use whatever you happen to have; it is however perfectly possible to play it with pencils and paper only. For this test, I used some miniatures and tiles for the combats, but designed and went through the dungeon on paper.
So, how did my mission go?
I had a party of 5 (all humans): a Rep 5 Knight/Caster (i.e. Mage); a Rep 4 Thief, a Rep 4 Soldier, A Rep 4 Soldier/Shooter (i.e. Archer) and a Rep 3 Knight/Caster. That last one was an unusual combination of dice rolling. My mission was to get rid of a big, bad Orc chieftain, who very unusually specialized in archery! An Orcish Robin Hood figure, perhaps...anyway, my thief was killed by a trap, my soldier fell into a deep abyss and my soldier/shooter was killed in a fight; only the two knights escaping with lives, treasure and the head of the Orc...there were numerous interludes along the way - secret rooms found and explored, minions fought, a group of Elves enountered and pleasantries exchanged!
So a very encouraging start with these rules. The way threats are generated can be very deadly, which keeps the challenge level high, but the rules are simple enough to be grasped quite easily - a very important thing for the solo player who is playing one side and administering the other.
Just a few pictures, to give a little taster:
|A large group of Goblins track down the intruding adventurers; our brave heroes get the drop on them however, as a crossbow bolt flies into the lead goblin...(goblins a mixture of GW's Lord of the Rings and some Heroquest goblins)|
|The other side: from the left, a Shield Wolf shield maiden; a Perry miniatures late C15 figure with female head, another Perry, a Perry Wars of the Roses billmen. The thief had already been killed by this point!|
|Our heroes getting the better of this one, most of the goblins have been killed or are down, injured|
|The coup de grace...|