Your old enemy comes to you, your first and most patient enemy, and cuts you down at last. Not with mercy or with the salute of one old warrior meeting another on the field, but cruelly, indifferently, sparing you no pain.
When you were young, you were a hero, but now you’re old and you don’t die a hero’s death. You die at an old person’s hard labor. You die with a blade in your hand, but it’s an axe and you were at the wood pile, or it’s a hoe and you were scratching the earth, or it’s a sickle for the harvest. You die poor, with a bent back, aching arms, weary, your belly empty.
You wash up on the shores of the land of death, coughed up with the scattered wrack of the death-tides. There is no hero’s welcome for you. There is no honored elder’s welcome. Your ancestors are not waiting for you, nor the ancient heroes, nor your old comrades, nor the loves of your youth. The priests promised you rest, but no one finds you now to offer you the sup of oblivion.
After a time of waiting, the silent dark sea sweeping up and down the gray gravel under the moonless sky, you rise. So be it. There is no hero’s welcome? Then you will accept no hero’s welcome. No sup of oblivion? Then, for now, you will remember. You take up the memory of your old sword, your old shield.
Here in the land of death, let you make your last adventure.
You’re an old warrior, champion, and monster slayer. Now you’ve come to die, but on death’s shore, neither family nor ancient heroes greet you.Take up the memory of your sword, the memory of your shield, and make your last adventure here, in the land of death!
To play The Last Adventure, you need two volunteer GMs (or more than two, it’s fine) to play against you. You have your booklet of rules, which you’re responsible for knowing and bringing into play for yourself, and your volunteers have their own document: “In the Land of Death,” their guide to the landscapes, people, and monsters you’ll encounter there. Don’t read it! It’s for them, not for you.
Your goal in the game is to take your time with your last adventure, and to decide, gradually but intentionally, whether to see it through to its finish, or to lose yourself in death instead.
Each session that you play is an encounter in your last adventure: a new place you arrive, new people you meet, new dangers you face, in the land of death. You can play as often or rarely as you like, and you can call upon the same volunteers, or different ones, every time you play. Just pass In the Land of Death over to them so that they can mark your progress through it.
System & Dice
The Last Adventure uses a dice pool version of Powered by the Apocalypse’s moves. Here they’re called exertions, and they describe how you exert yourself to get things done:
- You can exert your compassion to offer peace and understanding to someone you meet in the land of death.
- You can exert your resolve to stand against a monster or an enemy.
- When you find yourself in a place of peace and safety, you must exert your restlessness to leave it, perhaps to hear the voice calling you on, and put your feet again to the road.
…And so on.
When you exert yourself, roll a number of 6-sided dice and count the 4s, 5s, and 6s as hits. Each hit you roll gives you an option, a chance, or a better outcome.
Content warning: Moderate fantasy violence. Moderate fantasy horror, including body horror, magical enslavement, and questions of personhood. Content touching on mortality and grief.
Suitable for teens and adults.
The Wizard’s Grimoire
The Last Adventure is third in a series of zine-sized tabletop rpgs that share a world and a system. In the first game, The Wizard’s Grimoire, you’re an ambitious wizard with a grimoire beyond your arts. The second game, The Barbarian’s Bloody Quest, turns the tables: now you’re a warrior and wanderer sworn to vengeance upon the wizard who wronged you.
Past & Future Issues (Spoilers!)
- The Wizard’s Grimoire, available now: The first issue! You’re an ambitious wizard with a grimoire beyond your arts. Unlock it and discover the wizardry within. Includes a challenging 1st-level grimoire: “The Signature of Aibesta of the Two Courts.”
- The Barbarian’s Bloody Quest, available now: A wizard murdered and enslaved your people. Now you’re among strangers, on a bloody quest for revenge. Let all wizards beware! Includes “The Book of Doomed Wizards.”
- The Last Adventure, available now: You’re a warrior, champion, and monster slayer. Now you’ve come to die, but on death’s shore, neither family nor ancient heroes greet you. Take up the memory of your sword, the memory of your shield, and make your last adventure here, in the land of death!
- The Thief & the Necromancer, available now: You’re friends, a gifted necromancer and a thief and street performer. You’ve both escaped bad situations and you’ve thrown in together to take on the world. Includes “Goerne, a Ghostly Tutor.”
- The Wizard, the Warrior, & the Wastrel, coming soon: A guide and rules for including more players and switching up the solo adventure format of play. For use with any of the games.
- The Wizard’s Library, coming soon: Includes “The Dictum of Polume the Farer,” “The Three Scrolls of Jorvelte Wild-Crowned,” and “The Red Tome of Salabrusto the Wise,” for use with The Wizard’s Grimoire or The Thief & the Necromancer.
Coming soon from lumpley games!