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Scarlet Heroes

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The crimson mist churns a hundred miles from shore, red with the blood of a butchered world. Here in the Sunset Isles the last fragments of humanity struggle to withstand the fury of the native Shou and the corruption within their own divided ranks. Hard-eyed men and women brood in the waterfront dives and shabby tea houses, selling their swords for a few bright coins or the promise of a dead man's treasures. In the wilderness, the lost cities of vanished empires and fallen races lie deep within the jungle shroud, and the desperate efforts of colonists and refugees strain to contain the horrors that threaten on every side.

It is a time for legends. It is a time for fearless warriors and eldritch adepts to rise from this hard-pressed people and defend them from the nightmare that threatens to engulf them all. The wealth of ages awaits those steely souls with the courage to cast down the guardians and break the vaults of the festering dead. A new world struggles to be born from the red ruin of the old. It is in need of scarlet heroes.

Scarlet Heroes is an old-school tabletop role-playing game designed to provide classic sword and sorcery gaming for one player and one gamemaster. Unlike most other RPGs, Scarlet Heroes is built to support one-on-one play, with no need for a full-fledged party of adventurers to provide an evening's entertainment. Whether for a spouse, kid, curious friend, or just as an alternative to boardgames for those nights when only one or two friends can make it to the gaming session, Scarlet Heroes gives you the tools for good old-fashioned skull-cracking adventure.

Scarlet Heroes can be used both as a stand-alone RPG and as an overlay over your favorite old-school game to make its adventures playable for single PCs or very small groups. It shares the same classic statistics and basic game mechanisms as these old-school favorites, but by changing the interpretation of these numbers it makes it possible for a single courageous adventurer to dare perils that would otherwise threaten a half-dozen freebooters. With Scarlet Heroes, a GM can pull out a favorite module, grab a convenient friend, and a have a full night's adventure with no tweaking, alteration, or adjustment of the material needed.

Inside the pages of this book, you'll find...

  • A full stand-alone RPG system that can also be used as an overlay atop most popular old-school games.

  • The Red Tide campaign setting as a default for the game, with a full bestiary of Southeast Asian-inspired monsters, suitable new magic items, and a full list of new cleric and magic-user spells for that setting.

  • Solo adventure tools for genuine single-player RPG gaming. Mix your own creativity with table results to create a narrative for your own hero's adventure... or use them as inspiration in crafting something for a group.

  • Five crisp new maps by Dyson Logos, unkeyed and ready to be filled by your own creativity.

More than a thousand backers supported the Kickstart that funded the creation of Scarlet Heroes and now the book is available to the wider world. Seize this world of red adventure and be armed against the coming night!

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (13)
Discussions (13)
Customer avatar
Heath W August 04, 2021 10:25 am UTC
So I just had an interesting scenario. I was attacked by a wolf (not really fair, I tried to bribe it with a ration, after I stumbled into its den), which has 2 Hit Dice.

Now, the Fray Die can only be used on opponents with the same or less HD than your characters level right?

So, let's say I've inflicted 1 HD worth of damage with my normal attack, but I'm level 1. Would I then be able to use my Fray Die against the wolf which is now down to 1 HD?
Customer avatar
Patrick S January 06, 2022 10:41 am UTC
I don't know Scarlet Heroes, but Godbound which uses the Fray Die, too. And i'm pretty sure that the use of the Fray Die depends on the original HD of the enemy.
Customer avatar
Heath W January 07, 2022 10:48 am UTC
That's a shame. I played it the other way in the meanwhile - it made each encounter scary but it was always fast and bloody, an was a lot of fun.

I may give Godbound a chance, thanks!
Customer avatar
James B March 06, 2022 5:23 am UTC
The cool thing about solo gaming is that if you want to play it a certain way, you can. So even if rules as written you use the monsters original HD, don't let that stop you from using current HD if you prefer that method.
Customer avatar
Lea H June 20, 2021 1:41 pm UTC
Hello, I'm interested in this system for playing OSR D&D and I read that it's great for exactly that for solo players. Would it work with Dungeon Crawl Classics for a solo player too? Probably an unfair question, but I thought I'd ask.
Customer avatar
Todd B July 01, 2021 11:51 pm UTC
Not an unfair question. Although SH is its own standalone rpg, it also works as toolkit to make other OSR rpgs playable with a single PC. As long as it uses d20’s, hit points, hit dice, armor class, and you roll dice for damage (d4, d6, d8, etc.), it should work. Fortunately, DCC checks off every one of those boxes. To play solo, I would use DCC’s PC and monster stats, critical, fumble, deeds, and magic tables, but use SH’s damage conversion, fray dice and oracle tables to generate my solo adventure.
Customer avatar
Lea H July 08, 2021 7:29 pm UTC
Thank you for the reply, I appreciated it. I have lots of DCC resources and books, but no simple way to play it solo. It looks like this fits the bill nicely. Cheers :)
Customer avatar
Tomáš K July 22, 2021 6:43 am UTC
Check this out:
Customer avatar
Massimiliano B March 06, 2021 8:15 pm UTC
Hi to all! May I ask a question about Scarlet heroes? I'm a newbie in solo play and my last rpg experience was maaaaany years ago!
Customer avatar
Massimiliano B March 07, 2021 6:34 am UTC
In SH, wilderness adventure chapter, on page 122 is stated that the generated event check difficulty is 9+half threat and save throw 9+full threat. On page 124 in the abstract both the check and ST are 9+half threat. Am I missing something? Another question on the way: on a event I can make a check or ST even if not stated (i.e. "Fall through ice: take Td6 of damage" I roll a DEX save throw or "Mount animal fall to its death" I roll a check try to save it)
Customer avatar
Justin D March 29, 2021 2:40 pm UTC
Hey, might want to ask on reddit. There's a subreddt for solo rpging:

Also, it has a discord server... ive been part of it for a while and been very helpful :)
Customer avatar
Massimiliano B April 01, 2021 12:17 pm UTC
Subscribed!!! Thanks! ;D
Customer avatar
Corey C June 23, 2019 1:00 pm UTC
Can this be used as an overlay to Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition material?
Customer avatar
corvo A January 24, 2020 4:36 pm UTC
it's more based a in "simpliest" version of Labyrinth Lord, itself being based on and D&D 1st edtion or 2nd Edition, so you will have to convert characters stats a little, and from my point of view, it have a very little interest doing that, except if you want to play a very specific D&D 5e adventure in solo.
Customer avatar
Bruce G April 06, 2019 6:48 pm UTC
So I'm a bit confused. I understand that this can solo in the world that comes with it, but is it also possible to use this with say Pathfinder or D&D( if you had the PHB and Monster Manual) to play campaigns in those settings/worlds? It seems like you can, but I'm not sure. Thanks.
Customer avatar
C. A. S April 07, 2019 2:38 am UTC
Yes. I've used it to translate adventures written for D&D 3.5.
Customer avatar
Chris B April 05, 2018 5:12 am UTC
Is there ever going to be a second edition of this?
Customer avatar
Justin S February 18, 2018 10:57 pm UTC
Is there a dungeon generator in this book? As in can you create, room by room a dungeon using random dice rolls?
Customer avatar
C. A. S February 19, 2018 4:49 am UTC
Yes. While it only has one pre-written mini-adventure, it's got random generation tables in spades. Specifically for dungeons, there are separate tables for room content, features, hazards, treasure, encounters, and denizens, with further rolling tables for denizens' allegiance, behavior, combat quirks, and special abilities.
Customer avatar
Noway J January 03, 2018 12:15 am UTC
Has anyone used Scarlet Heroes to run 5e modules like Out of the Abyss etc?
Customer avatar
Joseph M May 12, 2017 12:58 am UTC
Would this system work for a sci-fi setting, like Starships and Spacemen?
Customer avatar
Carl M January 28, 2017 9:12 am UTC
Sorry if this is obvious: Does Scarlet Heroes include all the material in the Red Tide Setting sourcebook or do I need to buy both to run it effectively? I do intend to use Red Tide but I don't want to double up on anything unnecessarily.
Customer avatar
corvo A January 24, 2020 4:40 pm UTC
It includes a very short summary on the Red Tide, lore, bestiary, etc
SH have its own rules system, meanwhile are the stats in Red Tide are for Labyrinth Lord.

So SH is enough by itself, except if you really want to play something immersive and have all the details about Red Tide Lore. If you are more interested by immersion and have not the budget for buying both, well, just buy Red Tide, because SH emphasis is more on the mechanics for quick games with 0-1 GM and 1 player.
Customer avatar
Carl M January 27, 2020 4:09 pm UTC
Thank you! I appreciate the reply.
Customer avatar
C. A. S January 10, 2017 8:08 pm UTC
If I'm planning a storyline-based game, how can I tell what monsters would make a difficult-but-not-impossible challenge? Is there a way to figure something like DnD's CR for the monsters in this book's bestiary?
Customer avatar
Chris S July 30, 2014 11:33 pm UTC
I know the game's intended for solo heroes, but would you be able to have a party of adventurers with Scarlet Heroes?
Customer avatar
Alessio S September 06, 2014 7:33 pm UTC
Yes, Chris. If you read the rules, you'll find that Scarlet Heroes can be played easily with two players and 1 GM or, with some adaptations, three players and 1 GM.
Anyway, up to two players and 1 GM it's perfect.
Customer avatar
Levy K May 12, 2014 1:36 am UTC
Does this book require Labyrinth Lords? I know the Red Tides core book did and I want to make sure before I buy it.
Customer avatar
Christopher F May 13, 2014 2:38 am UTC
Hey Levy,

Scarlet Heroes does not require Labyrinth Lord to play; it a nifty standalone RPG set in the Red Tide campaign setting. FYI.
Customer avatar
Levy K May 15, 2014 4:58 pm UTC
Thank you. Well that makes it easier to purchase.
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This title was added to our catalog on March 20, 2014.