Darsildorf Experiment – Solo Roleplay Campaign (Session 1)

Darsildorf Experiment – Solo Roleplay Campaign (With Updates)

The Darsildorf Experiment is a campaign that I’m running as a solo roleplay, and I thought updates and notes on how I run my SoloRPG campaigns would be helpful.

I will be updating this as I play the campaign. So bookmark it and check back.

Here you will find two types of notes:

      1. A campaign log, featuring updates; and
      2. Notes on some of the behind-the-scenes and me explaining why I play the way I do (these will be written in a grey-coloured text).

I will be using my homebrew version of B/X for this campaign.

The Characters

Graswin of Myrbridge III – a human sorcerer
Flame Athok of Lucindar – a human cleric of Lucindar
Akzaan of Ashmount – a mountain dwarf fighter
Valstaff – a human illusionist

A few explanations are in order here:

The sorcerer is a class I create in Issue 33 of my zine, d12 Monthly. The class is CON-based, but is somewhat modelled on the 3e sorcerer class. Sorcerers draw power from within to power spells.

Lucindar is a deity in my campaign world of Aythia. She is the goddess of fire, the sun, and rebirth.

There are two broad types of dwarves in my campaign world: surface dwarves (Azlan), and mountain dwarves (Azkarn). The latter usually live underground. Ashmount is a city-state that protects the Northern Pass, and is a city in two parts: the human, above ground city, and the mountain dwarven, underground city.


The characters were hired in Myrbridge by a group of surface dwarves who are looking at re-opening this silver mine. Over the past few years, dwarves have been looking at re-opening mines that were abandoned for various reasons.

I skipped the travel to Darsildorf and started the campaign after they arrived and were about to go to the mine. I did this as I just wanted to start the campaign off quickly, and I didn’t really come up with the backstory until after the first couple of sessions. 

The characters were given a map of the mine and told to see what was now lairing there, and if dangerous, to get rid of it.

The map itself was the dungeon map from the original AD&D DMG (see image below). I noticed that the map was made up of two parts – the fairly normal dungeon at the top, and then one entrance (in Area 3) to the more chaotic southern section. 

I decided the top section was the living quarters for the dwarves, and the southern part would be the actual mines. 

AD&D DMG Dungeon Map
Mines of Araz-Daan

First Session

The first session involved a four-hour journey to the mine – known as the Mines of Araz-Daan. I rolled for random encounters on the journey but none were indicated.

I tend to roll 3D6 (a white die, a yellow die, and a black die) to indicate a random encounter: a roll of 1-2 on any of the three dice indicates an encounter needs to be rolled for. Depending on which dice comes up with a 1 or 2 – the white die is morning, the yellow die afternoon, and the black die indicates the encounter happens during the night. 

Once at the mouth of the mine, the characters descended a passage that sloped down.

Area 1

They encountered a chamber with two main features: some old barrels, and a partially collapsed ceiling that had strewn stones all over the floor.

For each numbered area I enter, I roll on a contents table. This table has the chance of rolling one or a combo of the following: monsters, features (both structural and content features), traps, and treasure.  

For this particular area, I rolled monster, features, trap, and treasure. 

The first thing I roll for are features as that helps me understand what is in the room. I then roll for the monster. After this I roll for any traps, and lastly any treasure. 

For the monster, I rolled 8 skeletons, and so, I decided to have the dwarven skeletons stuffed in eight of the barrels, ordered to attack anyone who opened one. 

For the trap, I rolled poisoned needles leading to the short passage to Area 2. 

The party investigated the cave-in first to make sure the room was safe, and left the barrels for the moment as Akzaan check the door to Area 2 for any noise.

Unfortunately, Akzaan missed noticing the trap and was shot with needles. The trap was so old, the poison had gone inert and was no longer an issue. Akzaan also realised the door to Area 2 was locked.

The characters decided the key might be in Area 1 somewhere, so started to look around and opened one of the barrels – that’s when a skeleton busted out of it!

I decide in the moment that I would give a 2-in-6 chance for a barrel explosion to trigger another one to explode, releasing that skeleton, and so on. But I rolled a 4, so the PCs only had to face one… for now. 

Akzaan managed to smash it to pieces with his sword. He noticed something off about the skeletons, which caused Athok, the cleric, to look more closely at the bones and skull remaining.

All mindless undead in my campaign world have markings on them from creation. These can be used to enhance the undead (see Issue 6 of d12 Monthly), but more commonly, identify the creator. 

All Athok could tell was this skeleton was created using a ritual and the marking is a very old one, perhaps not of any surface race.

After taking note of the marking, and Valstaff mapping the area, the characters head down the short corridor to Area 2.

Area 2

The characters didn’t find any key, so Akzaan kicked open the door to find…

Nothing, but a stream. The water was fresh enough, but had a naturally occurring high mineral content, so would need to be boiled or cleansed before they could drink from it.

Area 4

The characters decided to check out the living quarters before tackling the mine as they didn’t want to leave any monsters behind them. They headed north to Area 4.

An iron door greeted them, but it was unlocked.

They proceeded down the passage to the room, and all along the passage runes could be seen carved into the walls on either side.

They were in Ancient dwarven tongue and so no-one knew what they said.

Once in the room, they see a dwarven statue and a trapdoor.

The dust here is not as think and the character can see recent tracks moving from the trapdoor and the exit.

The statue is of a ancient dwarven hero called Daz-Kazaan, who Akzaan recognises.

Akzaan cleans off the statue a little, removing any dust, and gives a word of prayer to this hero.

Mountain dwarves in my campaign world worship their ancestors. Clerics pray to them, and it are these ancestors who give the clerics their abilities and spells. 

The characters open the trapdoor to reveal a tiny passage to Area 5.

Akzaan volunteers to go down the tunnel, and is lowered in.

He makes his way to the other trapdoor leading to Area 5, and decides to open it. Athok climbs into the tunnel but waits at the far end.

As Akzaan opens the trapdoor, Athok sees a spear stab at Akzaan, piecing through his chest as Akzaan lets out a gasp and then collapses.

Athok moves quickly down the tunnel as the trapdoor shuts again, only to find his companion unconscious and badly wounded.

He drags Akzaan’s body back to Area 4, where they bind the wounds as best they can.

In my campaign, when a character reaches 0 hit points, they don’t automatically die. They make a saving throw versus death, and if they are successful, they live, but suffer a severe injury.

Injury Chart by YUMDM

Akzaan made his save, so he is unconscious and will need to roll on the Injury table, but alive. He rolled a 3: sickly and loose 2D4 CON. He rolled a 5 for CON loss, and dropped from 12 to 7 – losing 1 hit point due to this.

Thematically, I made this injury a punctured lung, and so now he has a rasping breath.

I have left the injury chart vague so I could describe the injury based on the attack and amount of damage suffered. 

Valstaff, Althok, and Graswin all decide to take Akzaan back to the town ASAP, leaving the dungeon, and whoever – or whatever – caused that wound to the dwarf.

There were no encounters back to the town (as per previous day’s check) and so they made it back to town, and took Akzaan to the local temple of Venren, the deity of protection.

The temple agrees to look after him while he heals, but the characters will need to make a sizable donation in the near future. Akzaan is out for 2 weeks while he recuperates.

End Session 1. 

Session 2 is ready…

While You’re Here…

Since 2021 I have been publishing d12 Monthly, a monthly zine, which has a ton of articles for any edition of Dungeons and Dragons.

Printed copies are available in my store. The PDF is available on DriveThruRPG and you can get both, plus support my work, via my Patreon.

I will also be releasing some more products in the near future.

Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or my contact page any time.

6 Replies to “Darsildorf Experiment – Solo Roleplay Campaign (Session 1)”

    1. I use a modified one from D&D 3.0e DMG (see image). I have modified and added to it over time. The 3.0 DMG is full of cool tables like this. Then I use separate tables to see what features, monsters, trap, etc are there. I features one I believe is a modified chart from the 5e DMG.

      Dungeon Content Table

      Hope that helps!

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