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Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game $0.00
Average Rating:4.1 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
4 14
5 5
5 1
0 0
2 1
Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game
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Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game
Publisher: Crystal Star Games
by Luca C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/10/2014 04:02:29

Very simple and ready to play game, I like it a lot, but it looks that the designer has stopped to produce
new material, unfortunately.

It has for me just 4 stars because I found the characters a bit unbalanced, the first ones are a bit too weak, on the contrary
the one with the expansions are a bit too strong and the game in general has a bit too much the "lucky roll sindrome".

I'm sure that with further work, it would have been better and better.

I hope to see more expansions in the future.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game
Publisher: Crystal Star Games
by Doug A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/05/2013 21:56:30

Couldn't win and expansions didn't help.

The good news:

On the one hand the main game was free - and it was simple enough to get rolling quickly - The mechanic for choosing which of the 20 encounters you would play which kept it somewhat random but also in general order started out fantastic. It was also great to see the extra contect you could buy showing that there was more to this than just a one time thrown together game.

The intermission:
Having played the base game a couple of times I was really into it. Yes I had not made it all the way through but rationalized that it was just the dice or something. I did see a little bit of a challenge to playing but I was gung-ho for the game and bought the full bundle thinking that playing with the other characters would really make it shine and take care of things.

The bad news:

Tried a new character, and another and another but still no wins.
Here's what I had trouble with:
1) In general, you often end up facing enemies whose dice are better than yours. I would get a lot of d8 armor vs my d6 damage or similar. And vice versa with the enemy's attack being better than mine. I seemed I would be able to hit freuquently enough but was unable to beat the odds to do enough damage. 2) Note that it seems you start at level 0 in the regular course of things - I started at level 1 to help out after those first couple of games - but having one extra ability didn't usual help out.

3) Hit Points/wounds was probably the biggest problem. Over the course of maybe 15 encounters that can do damage to you, you only have maybe 12 hit points to start and maybe a 1d6 healing potion or two. So by the time you start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel you realize you are down to 1 HP with three encounters left.
4) What really turned me off, and maybe I didn't read it right, but if you are unable to get by the Dragon by non-combat means, did he really have THIRTY SIX HP? (That's the next next to last encounter.) So my 2 HP vs his 36 wasn't going to cut it.
5) That mechanic for moving the game along is cool to start the game but you end up basically doing most of the encounters in order starting sometimes around #7-12. That's ok, but I thought it would keep it a bit more random than it ended up. Kind of seemed I may as well have played them all in order.

6) To be fair, I jumped to an adventure I had purchased - looking it over I did not see any 36HP baddies and this one even had a 'search for clues' first half of the full quest so I thought for sure I could at least have some good success. But alas, I didn't make it through the 1st half either. (Though that was only with 2 playings)

End story, On the bright side for the price of the bundle I spent enough time that it was worth it and I had fun learning the new system and all that. I would suggest to start at level 5-7 or even higher to get the extras needed to win and then scale back to lower levels as you go.

So if you are interested, get the free version and maybe one of the pay quests and one character and have-at-it. Maybe it will work for you and THEN you can buy more.

The 3 rating is because of the price and fun of learning the game.

SoCal Doug

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game
Publisher: Crystal Star Games
by John Y. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/15/2013 15:04:16

I enjoyed the solo adventure well enough, but as a solo gamer what really intrigued me was the mechanism used for encounter generation.

It's easy enough to extract this system and use it with your own solo dungeon and hex crawls. I especially find this useful when I tire of totally random encounters (which doesn't take long) and want something with more of a logical progression to some sort of definitive end.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game
Publisher: Crystal Star Games
by Gary N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/27/2012 18:10:31

I give this a bad rating because everyone who bought into this series got screwed when the company kept few promises and then discontinued the game. The same for Chronicles of Blood. The games themselves are okay and play well, but I purchased everything in the Chronicles releases only to be left in the cold when Crystal Star Games pulled the plug (and right before a promised release of a Part Two scenario!). I will not buy anything else from this company ever again.

[1 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game
Publisher: Crystal Star Games
by Curt L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/22/2012 19:02:19

Great stuff here. I love miniatures games and boardgames but am lacking the time to set up and play lately. This takes minimal set up (dice, paper and rules) and you have a full fledged dungeon crawl. The system is very streamlined and has a clear sense of progression as you fight your way through the adventure. Combat results in dicing off for landing hits and armor saves. Because of the scarcity of healing options this makes each battle and die roll tense and exciting. I waded my way through half the adventure slaying two orcs, a great orc (barely) and was cut down by an orcling. Fun stuff!!!

If you love solo rpg's or adventure game books you have no reason not to pick this up. Its FREE!! Its great marketing though. I've lost three times in a row. If I just spend a $1 I can buy me a dwarves warrior. Its a matter of time before I cave in ;)


[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game
Publisher: Crystal Star Games
by John M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/06/2011 19:04:23

If you like solo games and RPGs, you will love this game. Unlike some of the other solo games out there, this game does not require many supplies (like a bunch of cards). All you need is the rules, the quest, and a set of dice. Makes for a great travel game or lunch time game. The company continues to add supplements, quests, adventurer types, etc at extremely reasonable prices.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game
Publisher: Crystal Star Games
by John W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/22/2011 23:08:50

I've been playing RPGs since the late 70's and this is one of those games you wished you had back then.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game
Publisher: Crystal Star Games
by Jerry L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/15/2011 12:39:51

Let me begin by saying I very rarely write reviews. It isn’t that a particular product doesn’t deserve praise, but in stamping a seal of approval on everything purchased, doesn’t the overall esteem of the really, really good games seem to tarnish and become relegated to “just another game” in the end?

If truth be told, I kinda wanted not to like Chronicles of Arax. While the solo system wholly appealed to me, due largely in part to the fact that it is hard to assemble gaming nights with others these days, I had to overcome personal demons in order to even give it a go… I retired the polyhedrals way back following the death of true D&D. I’ve since become a 6-sider kinda guy. (I just think standard dice are way more practical insofar as introducing newbies to the hobby, because in almost any average household one can cannibalize some d6’s from their favourite family board games. But, if you’re already a gamer who owns d4’s, d8’s, d12’s, etc. or don’t live in a city like people I know without hobby stores where you can purchase some, then no real issue).

Nonetheless, I was hard-up for a game session & there was nobody to be found, so I dusted off my old “funky dice”. Surely disappointment would ensue...
Damn, there’s a lesson to be had in being presumptuous!

Playing “Bloodfyre Mountain” from these core rules whisked me away to my youthful exuberance I felt when I played in my very first RPG game ever! I don’t know what it was about Chronicles of Arax that rejuvenated my passion for gaming again but I am incredibly happy I erroneously stumbled upon it!

I really like the technique of rolling a die & adding previous successes to the total to advance to the next encounter instead of more traditional choose-your-own adventure style (“If you fight the orc go to 23, if you flee go to 14”) arrivals... Very effective in ensuring everyone reaches the final encounter—unless their character becomes a casualty beforehand, that is.

I was incredibly lucky to have my adventurer survive Bloodfyre Mountain on the very first attempt!!! I don’t know if that’s a first with the full understanding of the armour rules or not, but I know even the author Shane Garvey mentioned that he had to take a few cracks at it himself before success came, so I am extremely surprised at how I fared overall!

The other thing I’d like to mention here is the fact that even though this is a new product there is already a nice amount of supplements to support it! At a mere $1.00 each, you can further expand an already great solo RPG game with new Quests, Characters, Artifacts & even a Bestiary to aid you in making your very own Quests!!!

I can’t promise readers of this review that they’ll all become as passionate as I have about this product but I can say if you have a gaming itch & can’t assemble a group, you could do MUCH WORSE than a FREEBIE like this!
So what’re you waiting for?!!? Bloodfyre Mountain awaits!!!…think YOU can beat it on the first try?

LIKED: No cost, solo gameplay, distinct encounter technique, immediate product support

DISLIKED: Requires all those “funky dice” to play

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game
Publisher: Crystal Star Games
by Ricardo N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/05/2011 14:12:27

A very nice solo "random dungeon" type of game. The basic book will keep you entertained for a while, as you try to beat the included quest, even with the single character type available. I found the random encounter system very clever, in the way it reduces the likelihood of having too short or too long adventures. After trying it, I'm inclined to buying some add-ons (both hero types and quests.)

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game
Publisher: Crystal Star Games
by Hero A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/08/2011 14:27:53

This is an addictive and original solo system. The system is almost a Savage Worlds lite game with a clever twist on how you proceed through the adventure. It took me five goes to complete the introductory adventure and even knowing what the encounters were from previous plays didn't ruin the fun, it fact it made it more enjoyable.
The supplements add to the game, either adding new hero types or further equipment.
My only grumble is that with a few lucky rolls, you can obtain enough armour to be unstoppable. Fights become simply rounds of trying to hit your opponent while they can't hurt you. I admit this is from using the artifact table in the basic game, however it meant for the second adventure combat became very lopside and a case of rolling dice until the enemy fell. The only threat became spell users and traps.
I'm looking forward to trying the other hero types to see how the game changes and also seeing how the expanded artifact tables affect the game, hopefully less armour.
Another point I like about this game and will try with my game group sometime, is that this can easily be used for a beer and pretzel evening for a quick one off session between games.
For a free game with many cheap supplements, I think this is a winner. I'm only knocking off the 1 star due to the issue of armour imbalance. Never the less, I still bought all the supplements and think I have a bargain.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Don't forget you can only claim one armour bonus at a time, regardless of the source. This seems to be something people keep missing.
Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game
Publisher: Crystal Star Games
by Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/07/2011 08:34:51

You're going through the mountain when suddenly you encounter orcs. You draw your sword and charge at them. The orcs stagger drunkenly, but you set upon them with your sword and make quick work of them regardless.

Chronicles of Arax is the sort of fast-paced adventure game where you can sit down and enjoy a game with enough depth to keep your brain working and enough simplicity to get done in a relatively short amount of time.

It's free, too, for crying out loud! The worst that can happen is that you wind up liking it and then buying some of the supplements, or don't and then you just ignore it.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game
Publisher: Crystal Star Games
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/27/2011 12:36:07

After downloading and printing Chronicles of Arax, I read through the rules (a few pages). They seem pretty simple enough. The characteristics are dice based (d4, d6, d8, etc). The dice based characteristics remind me of Deadlands, etc (just a little). The PDF is approximately 17 pages long, and only a few pages for rules; the rest are the solo quest, equipment, etc. Apart from the odd typing error, it all looks well laid out.

Would definitely like to see a bestiary (zombies, skeletons, Dark Elves, etc).
Also more character types as well.

Downloaded the character sheet as well. A little print heavy at the top, so I used a word processor to make my own (a print-lite version).

The Bloodfyre quest does remind me of Fighting Fantasy and similar quest books. But simple to play, doesn't take too long (10-15 minutes approximately).

Would really like to see more expansions, etc.
The others look good, and are REALLY cheap ($1 or 62 pence: British money).

Weight system: 12 items. Not bad, but I know some people will argue about weights of items. Maybe a home rule based on the character's Strength dice value.

After playing RPGs for nigh-on 30 years, this is looking good.
It does remind me a bit of the Fighting Fantasy books (a little), which isn't a bad thing as I thoroughly enjoyed them.

Keep up the good work Crystal Star.
More supplements :-)
Much needed.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game
Publisher: Crystal Star Games
by Alan H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/24/2011 11:53:51

First my thanks to Crystal Star, for giving me the final nudge to discover the world of reviewing here, without which my avoidant procrastination would remain a powerful ward against my doing so.

I'm rating at 5 stars, since the range spans Bad to Good.
(If the range was from Poor to Excellent, then 4 stars would be also correct.)

Spotted just one typo error, I think:
at the top of page 4, I think the first characteristic at the top of the right column was meant to simply be 'REFLEXES', and not 'ENDURANCE REFLEXES'.

I welcome solo adventuring.
Much of roleplaying is typically associated with group gaming, and loners like me often may not get more satisfaction.
We actually prefer to enjoy studying the stories in the game adventures, campaigns and settings, over the grind of statistic blocks and game mechanics.
A solo system like Chronicles of Arax actually feels more personal to me, since the focus of gaming material really is on that one player (oneself), instead of just one of many players whose characters are classified and categorised for further technical processing of details, i.e. skills, feats, equipment etc.

The unavoidable simplicity of catering to just one player also has the unexpected endearing effect of ordering more freedom of play.
For example, abilities gained with advanced adventuring (Page 8, right column, bottom) do not seem confined exclusively to fighter/rogue/mage/priest types; one's character can happily be more generic jack-of-trades.
Similarly with Special Skills, Equipment, and Artifacts and Relics.

Inevitably, comparisons are made to gamebook adventures, one of the most popular being Lone Wolf.
This nostalgia returns once one starts perusing the Bloodfyre Mountain adventure contained therein.
I like the meta-awareness in solo gaming, where as a player and character you know more information about every encounter entry, akin more to game master, than one of several in a party kept in the dark to the machinations of adventure plot.
This awareness gives more satisfaction, I believe, towards completing the adventure.
You know better what you're in for, why your character ends up that way, and you have, well, more fun.

But then again, the limitations of solo gaming: would simplicity become boring?
Will it turn into slavish dependence on subsequent adventure products?
Is there viable and effective scope for a solo player to do-it-yourself, doubling back on oneself in a game master role?
That is the challenge whose outcome remains to be seen, with a system like Chronicles of Arax.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game
Publisher: Crystal Star Games
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/21/2011 19:38:15

Tonight, I am mostly being beaten up by drunk goblins.

Nobody said going into Bloodfyre Mountain would be easy, but man, I'm hitting them, but their armour and general endurance means I'm not making much progress. Not to mention starving in the maze. Surviving the Great Orc in The Fighting Pit would have been nice had I not also been stripped of all of my possessions, but I didn't survive, so crawling naked to the next encounter was a humiliation forewent.

It's tough. I went in alone. It is a "solo" adventure, after all.

I went in three times tonight, each time that healing potion let me down. You really hope for more than a 1 or 2 points from a 1d6 healing potion.

How am I going to get to play The Dark Citadel if I can't get one warrior through the starter quest? How am I going to have the pleasure of buying new weapons and armour, ascend levels and gain new abilities, if I get clobbered by a drunk orc or poisoned by a shaman?

By playing it again. That's how.

I think I'm addicted. It's fun and fairly random and after a short while familiar encounters become really personal.

Because of the way the numbered sections are laid out, when you first look at text in the actual adventures in the Chronicles of Arax range, you'd be forgiven for thinking that you were looking at a solo gamebook or a linear list of encounters (okay I did, but I get a little blinded by the phrase "solo" these days, as I rediscover Fighting Fantasy, Lone Wolf and Fabled Lands...). It's neither. The experience of play is closer to an immersive, well written, random dungeon generator - without having to lay out any room tiles. A die is rolled - the result matches a text section- an area is explored or a beast is encountered, sometimes there's special treasure, but with each new exploratory die roll a number is added based of the number of successful encounters prior to that. This means that despite considerable randomness that progress towards the quest's goal or final area (Section "20") is inevitable. Unless, of course, you end up in the Maze of Goraz and the whole bleeding thing is reset to zero, grrr. grin I think I had a lot of unlucky rolls tonight, but in a way it feels like playing Doom (I) for the first time - easy to pick up and play so you don't mind restarting when you set off an arrow trap.

The game mechanics are beautifully simple. Opposing die rolls, ability checks, with simple modifiers for weapons and armour. Strengths and weakness are represented by different types of dice. Strength d6, Magic d4, Endurance d6, for example. After playing with the standard "Adventurer" template, I'm now itching to try out other character types, like the Knight of the Steel Fist. Surely, he starts with better armour? What's his "Fighting Skill" like?

The core rules and starter adventure are free, expanded material has a very small charge. In the Chronicles of Arax core rules you will get guaranteed playing time of many hours.

In many ways it reminded me of playing Warhammer Quest on my own (more so than playing a Fighting Fantasy gamebook for instance), or maybe even Talisman (but without the board, which I know is a very odd thing to say).

What's interesting about Chronicles of Arax is that technically you don't even need a table to play on, provided there's a corner you roll dice in and something to lean on to write on the character sheet.

Get yourself or a friend the free Core Rules (which includes a character and Bloodfyre Mountain), along with the character sheet and try it out. There's a very high possibility that you'll want to buy the supplemental material, but to be honest, you'd still be spending a lot less than on many other game systems - even if Crystal Star triples their current number of publications.

Format: clearly written and well presented in a two column format - it has a very professional polish, and I love some of the eroded fonts, which might be a tribute to earlier game systems.

I might have to say a few more things about this range as I work through them. :)

Right, let's get back in there ... Let's hunt some Orc!

(Reproduced in parts at "Adventures and Shopping" )

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game
Publisher: Crystal Star Games
by Goran S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/20/2011 16:42:37

This is a very simple solo fighting game with a very elegant playing system. Just the right thing to play when you have a few minutes to spare.

You start with what is a pregenerated character (more are available separately) and play the intro adventure included in the rules. The rules themselves are just 5 pages long, the rest of the PDF are lists of equipment et al and the adventure.

The adventure consists of 20 paragrafs which encounter in a semirandomized manner that works very well.

I must say I like the game, because it is an simpel and very playable game.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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