Episode 28

full
Published on:

30th Sep 2022

Lonely TTRPG EP 28 - Lighthouse at the End of the World by Ken Lowery

Tend the light. Fend off the dead. In all things, persist.

You play a lighthouse keeper at the furthest reaches of civilization. Your tormentors are numerous: the crushing solitude, the chaotic weather, the penal colony nearby, and a legion of unquiet dead conspire to erode your sanity until one of them claims you. 

You may well die. But you will not go quietly.

With a die, a tower, a deck of cards and a handful of coins, you will reveal why you came to be here, document the uncanny perils and numbing drudgery of life in the lighthouse, and explore the unraveling mystery of your ghostly companions. For discovering their true identities may be the one way to end their suffering… and consequently your own.

Live or die, by the end of Lighthouse at the End of the World you will have penned a strange tale of doom, perseverance and grace in the face of certain oblivion.

Thoughts: This is a great horror game. MAke sure to take breaks as needed, but great mood.

You can find Lighthouse at the End of the World at https://bannerlessgames.itch.io/lighthouse?ac=pEV55vHqdvG

BDDC logo by https://www.instagram.com/craftyteapotfox/

You can find us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bddc_pod

You can support us on Patreon https://patreon.com/blackdragondungeoncompany for early releases and exclusive content.



This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacy
Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
Transcript
SteelStash:

Greetings, weary wanderer and welcome back to Lonely TT R ppg,

SteelStash:

the Solo actual Play and review podcast.

SteelStash:

This week we are playing Lighthouse at the end of the world, a solo

SteelStash:

journaling game by Ken Lowery.

SteelStash:

So lighthouse at the end of the world is a wretched and a lone game, and this

SteelStash:

will be kicking off our spooky month.

SteelStash:

Spectacular.

SteelStash:

Yes.

SteelStash:

This month I am playing horror games for the entire month.

SteelStash:

So to start off your lot in life for reasons of your own, you have taken up

SteelStash:

a post watching over the lighthouse at the furthest reaches of civilization,

SteelStash:

you will maintain the lighthouse so that the world's commerce doesn't dash against

SteelStash:

the craggy shore of this far away place.

SteelStash:

It is a curious thing, this island.

SteelStash:

It oversees a passage that is at once vital to the world trade, and

SteelStash:

as remote as any post on Earth.

SteelStash:

Many ships have come to ruin in the treacherous waters over the centuries,

SteelStash:

and your lighthouse is packed to the rafters with salvage from those wrecks.

SteelStash:

Everything here, your furniture, your silverware, your library is a mismatch

SteelStash:

assortment of flotsam, and Jetsam meant for someplace else you have neighbors.

SteelStash:

The adjacent island is home to a penal colony, the southern

SteelStash:

most human settlement.

SteelStash:

In all the world.

SteelStash:

You interact with them little enough, but they are never completely out

SteelStash:

of sight, nor very far from your thoughts, and you are not alone.

SteelStash:

Those countless shipwrecks have brought, not just salvage to your shores, but the

SteelStash:

spirits of the restless who died in them.

SteelStash:

They are numerous, 10 at least, maybe more.

SteelStash:

The passages of time has worn away any memories of who they once were,

SteelStash:

and they are by turns friendly, jealous, seductive, and ravenous.

SteelStash:

You are alive.

SteelStash:

They are not every night and every day.

SteelStash:

They wait for their chance to seize your body and make it theirs.

SteelStash:

And if they cannot have your flesh, then they'll settle for your soul, tend the

SteelStash:

light fend off the dead, contemplate what came before and what may yet be.

SteelStash:

If you are to come out the other side of this self-inflicted ordeal, you

SteelStash:

cannot do it as the person you once.

SteelStash:

All right.

SteelStash:

So Lighthouse at the end of the world is a tabletop role playing game.

SteelStash:

Like many role playing games, it asks you to take on the

SteelStash:

persona of a fictional character.

SteelStash:

You'll interpret tools of chance, dice, cards, coins, and react

SteelStash:

to the world as your character would then write down the results.

SteelStash:

Put simply the rules of play, generate events, and you write

SteelStash:

how your characters react to them.

SteelStash:

In fact, how you write is one of your most powerful tools for

SteelStash:

re revealing your character.

SteelStash:

Think about what is important to your character and what isn't,

SteelStash:

and what is easy to talk about and what is painful or elusive.

SteelStash:

Then pack a trunk and make your goodbyes your ship.

SteelStash:

Leave shortly

SteelStash:

So to play, you're gonna need a deck of cards.

SteelStash:

You're gonna need a six-sided dye, a coin, a tumbling block tower, 10 tokens, a map,

SteelStash:

and something to write with.

SteelStash:

So pretty standard setup for any wretched and alone game.

SteelStash:

Now we will not be using the tumbling block tower.

SteelStash:

We will be using our 100 D six dice pool once again for those rules,

SteelStash:

anytime we would pull from the tower.

SteelStash:

Instead, we're gonna roll our pool and subtract any ones we get from that.

SteelStash:

For our coin we're just gonna roll a regular dice and that will be even or odd.

SteelStash:

Now for safety.

SteelStash:

Remember, lighthouse at the end of the world deals with themes

SteelStash:

of isolation, shame, regret, and glancingly suicidal thought by design.

SteelStash:

Your character is almost certainly doomed.

SteelStash:

Take your time, stop if you need to, and take advantage of the unreliable narrator

SteelStash:

trope during the writing phase to allude things you would rather not talk about.

SteelStash:

So again, like any of these games, safety is a big deal.

SteelStash:

All right?

SteelStash:

Do what you need to for yourself.

SteelStash:

If that means stopping for a while, stop, It's no big deal.

SteelStash:

It's solo.

SteelStash:

There are no rules.

SteelStash:

There are slight rules, but there really are no rules.

SteelStash:

It's your game played how you want and what is enjoyable for you.

SteelStash:

So for the rules of play.

SteelStash:

All right, we're gonna have our first entry during Lighthouse at the end

SteelStash:

of the world, you'll be journaling the things that happen to you.

SteelStash:

The first entry will act as sort of a prologue.

SteelStash:

Begin by flipping your coin.

SteelStash:

Heads indicate you were writing letters to someone at home.

SteelStash:

Work up a vague sketch of who this person is and what they might be to you.

SteelStash:

But feel free to leave the details.

SteelStash:

Vague

SteelStash:

tales means that no one is waiting for you.

SteelStash:

You are writing a journal perhaps, to never be read by anyone, but you think

SteelStash:

about how you came to be on your own and whether or not this was by design.

SteelStash:

Think briefly about why you would take such a remote post

SteelStash:

for such a long stretch of time.

SteelStash:

Any specific catalyst is unlikely to be something you're proud of.

SteelStash:

Again, you can stay vague for.

SteelStash:

A simple hunch is enough.

SteelStash:

That's all you're gonna need to know for now.

SteelStash:

The rest will emerge during play.

SteelStash:

So then with that like the rest of our wretched and alone games, everything else

SteelStash:

is going to be roll your dice to determine how many cards you draw for the day.

SteelStash:

Pull that many cards, resolve those cards, and then we're gonna

SteelStash:

go ahead and do our journal entry.

SteelStash:

So just like the last couple wretched and alone games we have played we are

SteelStash:

going to draw all of our cards, make a quick jot of what it's supposed to

SteelStash:

be, and then we will construct our narrative for the day based on that,

SteelStash:

For evidence of notes.

SteelStash:

Consult the following pages.

SteelStash:

Each time you draw a card, visualize your response to the prompt

SteelStash:

and complete the instructions.

SteelStash:

Most often this will involve pulling from the tower, or in

SteelStash:

this case, roll in our dice pole.

SteelStash:

If at any point you draw two ACEs in two eights of any suit, the

SteelStash:

dead man's hand consult, Ill fade conclusions and follow the instructions.

SteelStash:

So for our deck, hearts are gonna be our keepsakes, curiosities,

SteelStash:

and crude salvage clubs.

SteelStash:

Maintenance of the self and otherwise diamonds, the past

SteelStash:

intrudes, and spades and interlude.

SteelStash:

Now during this when you roll a six or five and six, if you've also pulled

SteelStash:

the ace of diamonds, you uncover the origin of one of the ghosts, which

SteelStash:

allows you to end its suffering and consequently a measure of your own.

SteelStash:

You may take as much or as little time and care with this step as you'd like.

SteelStash:

That too says something about your character.

SteelStash:

First, take out your map to chart the course of the ghost doomed voyage.

SteelStash:

Flip a coin for the point of origin on heads mark the.

SteelStash:

port origin as somewhere warm on tail, somewhere cold.

SteelStash:

Use the tables on the back of the book to pick names for the ship

SteelStash:

and the port, or make up your own.

SteelStash:

Draw an unbroken line showing the ship's journey from the port

SteelStash:

of origin to the lighthouse.

SteelStash:

Flip the coin again to determine whether it's destination

SteelStash:

was in warmer cold climate.

SteelStash:

Name the destination as you did the port.

SteelStash:

Draw a broken line from the lighthouse to the destination to denote the leg

SteelStash:

of the journey the ship ever took.

SteelStash:

If you cannot or would rather not draw on a map, simply list these facts together.

SteelStash:

If you have drawn any heart cards, pick the piece of salvage tie to the ghost.

SteelStash:

If not, make up your own a bubble, a keepsake, a token of the ghost past life.

SteelStash:

Name the ghost.

SteelStash:

Consider what you will write about them in today's missive.

SteelStash:

Then remove the token from the ace of hearts.

SteelStash:

Put the ghost to rest and continue your visual.

SteelStash:

So for ill fated conclusions, if at any point in your tower falls your

SteelStash:

mental state phrase enough for the ghost to gain one last fatal foothole.

SteelStash:

If you pull all four kings, that signals the chaos of the

SteelStash:

world reaching out to claim you.

SteelStash:

And if you ever pull two pair of ACEs and eights, one of the ghosts

SteelStash:

takes you in a moment of weakness.

SteelStash:

So for a minor correction, the only time you were to remove tokens is after

SteelStash:

you have polled the king of hearts.

SteelStash:

So we're gonna go ahead and modify the rules just slightly more.

SteelStash:

And we are going to start with our king of hearts already polled.

SteelStash:

After all, this is a wretched and alone game.

SteelStash:

I have not won any of those yet, so really don't think that's gonna

SteelStash:

make much of a difference for us.

SteelStash:

, All right, so we went ahead and set up our board.

SteelStash:

So first things first, let us go ahead and roll one D six to determine whether

SteelStash:

or not somebody is waiting for us or not.

SteelStash:

So evens will be heads, odds will be tail.

SteelStash:

Evens heads, I got someone waiting for me back home.

SteelStash:

So we are gonna go ahead and say that this is my beloved.

SteelStash:

Yep.

SteelStash:

We're gonna say that this is my beloved.

SteelStash:

We had a surprise pregnancy and this lighthouse gig was the

SteelStash:

best way to set our family up.

SteelStash:

We knew, like we knew it was gonna be a long time away from each other.

SteelStash:

And that it was not gonna be pleasant, don't get me wrong.

SteelStash:

But this was the best way to secure the future of our child, was to go hang out

SteelStash:

here in the middle of nowhere, way down here in order to ensure that our child

SteelStash:

will have a somewhat comfortable life.

SteelStash:

So first thing, we're gonna go ahead and shuffle our deck.

SteelStash:

We're using a digital deck today and let us see how many

SteelStash:

tasks we have to do on day one.

SteelStash:

Five.

SteelStash:

That's awesome.

SteelStash:

Always love these games when you start out with a strong five.

SteelStash:

And first up, we have a king.

SteelStash:

Great start.

SteelStash:

Great start because I chose the easy way of pulling a king out.

SteelStash:

And we get the king of spades, which is going to be in omen, a dire one.

SteelStash:

Do not discard.

SteelStash:

Place it nearby where you can see it.

SteelStash:

so a dire omen

SteelStash:

for the nine spades.

SteelStash:

A passing fisherman relates rumors of war, which stirs the ghost

SteelStash:

into a frenzy of dark memories.

SteelStash:

What is your own experience of war?

SteelStash:

Pull from the tower.

SteelStash:

So we will go ahead and roll our 100 D six and do some counting.

SteelStash:

So that's 14 ones which brings our dice pool down to 86

SteelStash:

and then another king.

SteelStash:

So the king of diamonds.

SteelStash:

In a moment of weakness, you confess something painful.

SteelStash:

The reason you came to be at the lighthouse, what is it and what do

SteelStash:

the ghosts do with that information?

SteelStash:

The two of clubs,

SteelStash:

what strange new sleeping habit have you picked up since your arrival?

SteelStash:

And for our final task for today, Woo.

SteelStash:

I was nervous.

SteelStash:

These six of spades.

SteelStash:

A message in a bottle washes ashore bearing coordinates, and a sketched face

SteelStash:

that looks shockingly like your own.

SteelStash:

What do the maps say your coordinates refer to?

SteelStash:

And we need to pull from the tower on this one.

SteelStash:

So rolling.

SteelStash:

86d6.

SteelStash:

And that was painful.

SteelStash:

That was 17 ones bringing our dice bowl down to 69.

SteelStash:

Huh.

SteelStash:

Nice.

SteelStash:

Except.

SteelStash:

We want nice high numbers here.

SteelStash:

All right, so

SteelStash:

day one,

SteelStash:

my dearest beloved.

SteelStash:

I have received so many strange sights in experiences, even in so short a time.

SteelStash:

Just today, a bottle washed a shore near the lighthouse, burying a picture

SteelStash:

that looked remarkably like me, though

SteelStash:

Weathered and haggard and near death.

SteelStash:

The only reason that I was able to even find this bottle was because a vulture

SteelStash:

sat atop pecking at it and staring at me before basically dropping it at my feet.

SteelStash:

And I don't know, a worse omen that I could think of.

SteelStash:

And this vulture just made me remember the time that, the time in the war when,

SteelStash:

when we hid in the trench and the vulture circled overhead and just in

SteelStash:

the next trench over, they were feasting

SteelStash:

and it's.

SteelStash:

As painful as it is to say it's good that I'm not home our child should not have

SteelStash:

to see this weakness in their father.

SteelStash:

Hopefully my time here will be able to help burn that weakness

SteelStash:

away to, to cleanse that weakness.

SteelStash:

Certainly given enough time being sprayed by the sea salt should cleanse anything.

SteelStash:

I, I only hope that it can help cleanse me of this cowardice,

SteelStash:

but at least,

SteelStash:

at least I do get enough rest.

SteelStash:

One interesting thing.

SteelStash:

Working a lighthouse is you, Your main busy times are at night and I was, I

SteelStash:

was expecting the switch to be hard.

SteelStash:

I was expecting the change in time to be difficult, but working,

SteelStash:

working at night has helped.

SteelStash:

Has helped to keep that though sometimes I do worry for my sanity as I, as I

SteelStash:

seem to see things as ethereal orbs dance at the corner of my sight.

SteelStash:

I hear whispers in the shadows taunting me for running away, for hiding.

SteelStash:

When

SteelStash:

I lay down and I know that, I know that they are right

SteelStash:

all.

SteelStash:

And before we wrap up day one, the last thing that we will do is we will roll.

SteelStash:

One day six to see if we can lay one of these ghosts to rest.

SteelStash:

And we got a four.

SteelStash:

So that is a negative.

SteelStash:

That is a negative.

SteelStash:

We do not lay any of these ghosts to rest.

SteelStash:

So let us roll once more to see how many tasks we have for our

SteelStash:

next day, Another five tasks.

SteelStash:

So day two, we have five tasks and 69 dice in our pool.

SteelStash:

So let's go ahead and get these drawn out and organized.

SteelStash:

Alright.

SteelStash:

All right.

SteelStash:

So the three of spades, you wake to the shrill of dozens of seagulls.

SteelStash:

feasting on the beached carcass of a whale.

SteelStash:

Do you partake?

SteelStash:

And we roll from our tower,

SteelStash:

and that is another 16 dice removed, taking our dice pool down to 53.

SteelStash:

Next card, the five of spades.

SteelStash:

I've gone all the spades and all the kings up front.

SteelStash:

This game is not trying to do well for any type of timeline.

SteelStash:

Five of spades, sunlight, Beautiful.

SteelStash:

All seen sunlight turning the sea in the sky.

SteelStash:

Brilliant.

SteelStash:

Hughes on a crisp, clear day.

SteelStash:

Why do you shun it

SteelStash:

and roll from our tower.

SteelStash:

So rolling.

SteelStash:

53 D six.

SteelStash:

All right.

SteelStash:

That wasn't a bad roll.

SteelStash:

We only got six.

SteelStash:

We rolled six ones bringing our dice full down to 47.

SteelStash:

Task three.

SteelStash:

The Jack of Clubs got really worried there for a second.

SteelStash:

All right, The Jack, You hurt yourself gravely during the day's chores and

SteelStash:

conduct impromptu surgery to save yourself from turning for the worst.

SteelStash:

This isn't the first time you've done something like this, is it?

SteelStash:

And now we need to roll from the tower once again.

SteelStash:

So rolling.

SteelStash:

47 D six,

SteelStash:

and we got 11.

SteelStash:

Bringing in our dice pool down to 36.

SteelStash:

Task number four, the four of clubs you, promised yourself you

SteelStash:

would return to the world improved.

SteelStash:

What skill are you cultivating in the privacy of the lighthouse?

SteelStash:

Are you succeeding?

SteelStash:

And for the final card, the queen of clubs.

SteelStash:

The wick extinguishes and it takes you all night to light it again.

SteelStash:

What miracle do you pull off at the last minute to stop

SteelStash:

a freighter running a ground

SteelStash:

and we need to roll 36 D six

SteelStash:

and we got eight ones bringing our dice full down to 28.

SteelStash:

My beloved.

SteelStash:

I woke late this afternoon to the cry of goals, and as I approached my window

SteelStash:

to see what had them in a frenzy, there was a beached whale on the shore

SteelStash:

near the lighthouse, and they were feasting upon this bloated carcass.

SteelStash:

And I felt the revulsion, though maybe it was just the glare of the.

SteelStash:

That was revolting me.

SteelStash:

I have already adapted to the late night hours and the sun is just a

SteelStash:

painful reminder of the life that I've left with you and our child.

SteelStash:

And

SteelStash:

I hate it for its memory.

SteelStash:

I have, I have decided to work on my wood carving.

SteelStash:

You always encouraged me to do it, and it is a skill that I never

SteelStash:

allowed myself time to practice.

SteelStash:

But when you're out here at the edge of the world with nothing but time and no

SteelStash:

one to even converse with, while you need something to keep yourself occupied.

SteelStash:

Unfortunately, while I was working with a piece of wood today,

SteelStash:

my hand slipped and the knife dug into my arm.

SteelStash:

I had to quickly apply a pressure dressing and after several minutes when the

SteelStash:

bleeding had slowed, I grabbed a bottle of, I grabbed a bottle of the high spirit

SteelStash:

alcohol and poured on the wound to help sterilize it before grabbing my needle and

SteelStash:

thread and sewing my arm back together.

SteelStash:

My fingers move sluggishly, but they still move with time.

SteelStash:

They with time.

SteelStash:

There should be no difference.

SteelStash:

Unlike the other men whom I have had to help in similar fashion.

SteelStash:

In the trench.

SteelStash:

In the trench, everybody's a doctor.

SteelStash:

When the doctor is two trenches away there's only so much reasonable effort

SteelStash:

one can make in order to get someone back.

SteelStash:

Sometimes all you could do was what you could to just try and help.

SteelStash:

As the sunset, a storm came in and it blew the windows of the lighthouse open

SteelStash:

and dampen the wick causing it to go out.

SteelStash:

This of course, is this, of course is dangerously bad as the ships rely on

SteelStash:

being able to see the lighthouse in order to avoid the rocks, and I could

SteelStash:

hear in the distance the horn of what sounded like a freighter, and I knew

SteelStash:

that I had to get the wick up quickly.

SteelStash:

Luckily, I still had some of that.

SteelStash:

I still had some of that alcohol left.

SteelStash:

So I grabbed, I grabbed one of the bandages, and after res

SteelStash:

securing the windows, I soaked the bandage in this alcohol and.

SteelStash:

I placed it in the, I placed it in the mirror assembly and lit it just until,

SteelStash:

just until I could get the wick replaced.

SteelStash:

Luckily the freighter avoided the rocks and we avoided adding to the ghosts

SteelStash:

who continue to laugh and taut me.

SteelStash:

I look forward to the days when this is done and I can return to

SteelStash:

you and our child and the light.

SteelStash:

Before we move on to day three, let us roll one D six to see if

SteelStash:

we settle one of these ghosts.

SteelStash:

That is another four.

SteelStash:

That is another negative.

SteelStash:

No ghost settling.

SteelStash:

So moving on to day three.

SteelStash:

Our dice pool is at 28.

SteelStash:

We have three outta four kings already in play.

SteelStash:

Let's see how many tasks we have for today.

SteelStash:

A blessed two.

SteelStash:

So for our first task though, we have the two of spades, which is great.

SteelStash:

I know that's gonna be a tower roll because spades always are.

SteelStash:

So the two of spades on your daily walk, you find something grotesque.

SteelStash:

An alien caught in a tide pool.

SteelStash:

Do you keep it?

SteelStash:

And for our final task today, the eight of diamonds, the warmth of sunrise

SteelStash:

stirs a memory of a childhood trip.

SteelStash:

One you had forgotten about until now.

SteelStash:

Where did you go?

SteelStash:

Why did you never go back?

SteelStash:

All right.

SteelStash:

And now we need to roll our dice full for the two spades.

SteelStash:

So that's 28 D six.

SteelStash:

And Blissfully only got five ones, so that takes us down to 23 in our dice pool.

SteelStash:

My beloved, while walking today, I found the most interesting

SteelStash:

creature in a tide pool.

SteelStash:

It was almost like a jellyfish or an octopus.

SteelStash:

It was spineless, almost amorphous in shape.

SteelStash:

A blob of membrane and tentacle and antenna twitching and

SteelStash:

pulsing in the shallow water.

SteelStash:

Alone,

SteelStash:

Alone in its own world, an uncaring world that left it here to potentially

SteelStash:

dry out and die in the sun.

SteelStash:

And

SteelStash:

I almost, I almost rescued the thing.

SteelStash:

I almost took it back to the lighthouse with me just to, just because of how

SteelStash:

much it reminded me of myself, left here to alone, adrift though where

SteelStash:

this creature was in fear of drying.

SteelStash:

I am in fear of drowning, of being sucked into the sea.

SteelStash:

It, it calls to me like it did that one summer in my youth.

SteelStash:

When we went to the beach, my family went to the beach and I stood there

SteelStash:

on the edge of the beach staring into this great, vast nothingness that was

SteelStash:

the ocean filled with awe and terror.

SteelStash:

And it is difficult to, it is difficult to put into words the feeling that

SteelStash:

I got at the time as a child staring at this incomprehensible mass.

SteelStash:

Before me.

SteelStash:

And while we never went back to that beach, after all, we were from the main

SteelStash:

we were from the Midland and this was like a special one time thing to the coast.

SteelStash:

I still remember that, that sense.

SteelStash:

And I never, I never felt it again.

SteelStash:

Even, even when I boarded the boat to cross overseas for the

SteelStash:

war, there was never that sense.

SteelStash:

And as I stand here on the lighthouse, still I lack that sense of awe.

SteelStash:

I'm just, I'm just filled with the terrible dread of the

SteelStash:

uncaring vastness before me.

SteelStash:

And before we wrap up our day, once more.

SteelStash:

Rolling.

SteelStash:

One D six to try and settle a ghost.

SteelStash:

Five.

SteelStash:

We got closer but no ghost settling.

SteelStash:

So moving on to day four, we still have three or four kings, all

SteelStash:

10 tokens, all 10 ghosts on the board, and our dice pool is at 23.

SteelStash:

So rolling to see how many tasks we have for today.

SteelStash:

Another two.

SteelStash:

It's almost like the universe is trying to take it easy on me unless this is a king.

SteelStash:

Aha.

SteelStash:

Three clubs.

SteelStash:

You discover a naval mine caked with rust and trailing a broken shame lodged

SteelStash:

in the rocky cliff below the lighthouse.

SteelStash:

What if anything, do you do about this pull from the tower?

SteelStash:

So time to roll that 23 D six and see how low it gets.

SteelStash:

That is another four one.

SteelStash:

So we drop from 23 to 19, 23 19.

SteelStash:

But here at the end of the world, there are no kids on the loose, just ourselves

SteelStash:

and our ghosts and the three of hearts.

SteelStash:

Looking glass, foggy and bent out of true, at least until you repaired it.

SteelStash:

But once you do, you see something out there you wish you hadn't.

SteelStash:

What was it?

SteelStash:

And pull from the tower.

SteelStash:

So time to roll our 19 on the tower

SteelStash:

and that one hurt.

SteelStash:

That was seven.

SteelStash:

So that takes us down to 12.

SteelStash:

My beloved, I do not know how much longer I can last out here.

SteelStash:

While walking, I noticed a, I noticed that the waves had brought an old mine

SteelStash:

up alongside the cliff, and there is, there's nothing that I can do about this.

SteelStash:

This is way too far down.

SteelStash:

I don't know anything about these explosives.

SteelStash:

There is, There's no hope of me doing anything.

SteelStash:

And yet the temptation to, the temptation to throw a rock

SteelStash:

at it to see if it's still.

SteelStash:

Functioned if it would still go off, if it would still serve its

SteelStash:

purpose of destruction and bring that destruction upon the cliff in the tower.

SteelStash:

This was made all the stronger as I fixed the looking glass and I looked

SteelStash:

out to see, and again was struck by the vast nothingness around me.

SteelStash:

This task was too much of a weight.

SteelStash:

This task was,

SteelStash:

this task was too much.

SteelStash:

I don't, I, I could never have guessed how difficult this would.

SteelStash:

And now as I stand here looking out into nothing, seeing nothing,

SteelStash:

I, I, I don't know how to go on.

SteelStash:

And before we finish our day, time to roll one D six for our ghost friends.

SteelStash:

We rolled a two.

SteelStash:

We still have all 10.

SteelStash:

All right.

SteelStash:

Moving on to day five.

SteelStash:

Let us roll to see how many tasks we have.

SteelStash:

Another two.

SteelStash:

Now I think they're taunting me.

SteelStash:

All right, so we got the ace of hearts and the eight of spades.

SteelStash:

So for the ace of hearts, you have discovered a stack of ship

SteelStash:

manifests hidden away by the previous lighthouse keeper.

SteelStash:

Among the hundreds of names within are the 10 that belong to your ghosts.

SteelStash:

Pull from the tower.

SteelStash:

Do not discard this card.

SteelStash:

Instead set it to one side in plain view.

SteelStash:

So ladies and gentlemen, I'm not gonna lie to you right now.

SteelStash:

I was supposed to have the ace of hearts out the entire time for the ghost.

SteelStash:

I pulled the king of hearts.

SteelStash:

Now, what we're not gonna do is we're not gonna try to figure out

SteelStash:

how to get the king back in the deck.

SteelStash:

We're going to leave it out because after all, we

SteelStash:

have made a mistake.

SteelStash:

And I have a feeling that our ghost aided in that mistake.

SteelStash:

So let's see what story these ghosts have to finish telling.

SteelStash:

Will they let me go mad or was this all a ploy in order

SteelStash:

to get to control of my body?

SteelStash:

But we do have to roll from our tower.

SteelStash:

So rolling.

SteelStash:

12 D six,

SteelStash:

and that was two ones.

SteelStash:

So our dice bowl drops down to 10.

SteelStash:

It will go into single digits.

SteelStash:

Next though, because we have an eight

SteelStash:

eight of spades, one of the ghosts barely sentient.

SteelStash:

Instead, it repeats its own death every day at the same time.

SteelStash:

What does the death, Why does it feel familiar?

SteelStash:

There we go.

SteelStash:

And rolling our dice tower.

SteelStash:

That is another three ones bringing our dice pool down to seven.

SteelStash:

My beloved, While going through some of the stored paperwork I found,

SteelStash:

I found the names of the ghosts that have been tormenting me one.

SteelStash:

So in particular,

SteelStash:

Jeremy.

SteelStash:

Jeremy was the previous light housekeeper, the one whom I replaced,

SteelStash:

and now I know the reason for replacing Jeremy because every day at sunset

SteelStash:

without fail, I see Jeremy's ghost walk off the edge of the cliff.

SteelStash:

And after, after so long,

SteelStash:

I, I don't blame him

SteelStash:

any longer and I fear that, or I hope that one sunset I will walk off with.

SteelStash:

And to roll our one D six to find out if we lay Jeremy to rest.

SteelStash:

That is a five.

SteelStash:

That is a negative.

SteelStash:

So moving on into day six, let us find out how many tasks we have today.

SteelStash:

That is also five.

SteelStash:

That is a big number of tasks,

SteelStash:

and at this point I feel like there's a high likelihood

SteelStash:

there's a king in here somewhere.

SteelStash:

And we got the five of clubs, jacket, diamonds, ace of clubs,

SteelStash:

Queen of hearts, 10 of diamonds.

SteelStash:

I have a feeling that today is the day we go.

SteelStash:

Insane.

SteelStash:

We do not get taken over by ghosts, but let us see what our prompts are.

SteelStash:

So , five of clubs, club.

SteelStash:

If I have a clubs, there are complicated mechanical works in the basement, whose

SteelStash:

functions are critical yet obscure.

SteelStash:

How do you manage?

SteelStash:

Does one of the ghosts help or hinder you?

SteelStash:

And we need to pull from our tower from this one.

SteelStash:

We need to roll from the tower.

SteelStash:

So rolling.

SteelStash:

7d6 and we got one one bringing our dice pool down to six.

SteelStash:

For the jack of diamonds, the ghost slither their fingers

SteelStash:

into your psyche and play act.

SteelStash:

A dormant memory they find there.

SteelStash:

What does this play?

SteelStash:

And rolling.

SteelStash:

our 6d6 ones.

SteelStash:

Onto the ace of clubs.

SteelStash:

A promised resupply arrives without incident and with it

SteelStash:

a delicacy from the homeland.

SteelStash:

What is it and why does it revive for your mood?

SteelStash:

The next time you're told to pull from the tower, you may choose not to,

SteelStash:

which is good cuz I'm having, I have a feeling this queen of

SteelStash:

hearts is going to be a pole,

SteelStash:

a revolver in three bullets, enough to permanently alter

SteelStash:

the tone of your stay here.

SteelStash:

Not nearly enough.

SteelStash:

Should the penal colony next door erupt?

SteelStash:

Where do you keep it?

SteelStash:

And we are supposed to pull from the tower on this.

SteelStash:

We are not going to do it on this one.

SteelStash:

And finally, 10 of diamonds.

SteelStash:

You catch yourself singing a favorite childhood tune, and with that you start to

SteelStash:

realize you've been singing it for hours.

SteelStash:

What is it and what brought it to mind?

SteelStash:

My beloved

SteelStash:

today was,

SteelStash:

today was difficult.

SteelStash:

The machinery in the basement is difficult to figure out.

SteelStash:

Luckily the ghost.

SteelStash:

Have no problem helping me maintain this lighthouse.

SteelStash:

They, they've had no issue helping with, keeping this weird equipment running.

SteelStash:

But unfortunately, to do so, they have to play in my brain and they play in my mind.

SteelStash:

And while they do, they continue to play these scenes from the war,

SteelStash:

these scenes, from the trenches.

SteelStash:

Luckily, I received the cookies that you sent me today, and you have, you

SteelStash:

have no idea how much they meant to.

SteelStash:

I will admit that I spared no thought to rationing.

SteelStash:

I I ate them all in one sitting.

SteelStash:

They were so delicious, even even stale.

SteelStash:

They were phenomenal.

SteelStash:

And I was so happy that I just, I sat in my chair and I sang, I,

SteelStash:

I sang a silly childhood song as I spun around in my chair singing

SteelStash:

round and around the mulberry bush.

SteelStash:

And I didn't realize how long I had been sitting and singing until at one

SteelStash:

point when I said, Pop goes the weasel.

SteelStash:

I squeezed the trigger on the revolver and I heard the hammer

SteelStash:

fall with a loud metallic click, and that jolted me from the song.

SteelStash:

It was already dark by that point, or this, it was

SteelStash:

already dimming by that point.

SteelStash:

And I don't even, I don't even remember grabbing the

SteelStash:

revolver from under my pillow.

SteelStash:

It was just in my hand and it just felt like the most natural thing.

SteelStash:

Luckily, luckily only one of the three bullets was in it.

SteelStash:

And I keep it in the, I keep it in the last chamber.

SteelStash:

Because after, after all, like I said, I only have three bullets,

SteelStash:

and that is, well, that really only serves one purpose If, if a dangerous

SteelStash:

situation arises, I, I really only have one option with that limited ammo.

SteelStash:

Now time to see how we do on settling a goes to rest.

SteelStash:

That is a one that is not going to do it,

SteelStash:

and that will bring us two day seven.

SteelStash:

So for day seven, I still have 10 tokens.

SteelStash:

On my ace of hearts, I have three outta my four kings out.

SteelStash:

I only have three dice left in my pool.

SteelStash:

How many tasks shall I do today?

SteelStash:

Three tasks.

SteelStash:

I have three dice.

SteelStash:

We have three tasks.

SteelStash:

All right.

SteelStash:

First up, we have the four of spades, the eight of hearts,

SteelStash:

and finally the ton of hearts.

SteelStash:

So for the four of spades, that is going to be the distant salvo of

SteelStash:

warships carries across the calm waters and not for the first time.

SteelStash:

Who is at war?

SteelStash:

Why does this escalation,

SteelStash:

who is at war, and why does this escalation make you fear for the future?

SteelStash:

Are.

SteelStash:

And we also need to roll from our tower.

SteelStash:

So roll three, D six.

SteelStash:

Outstanding.

SteelStash:

We do not have to pull anything.

SteelStash:

All right.

SteelStash:

Eight of hearts

SteelStash:

Jewelry, gaudy old, luminous.

SteelStash:

Worth a fortune.

SteelStash:

Anywhere but here.

SteelStash:

What is engraved on it?

SteelStash:

And for the 10 of hearts a musical instrument.

SteelStash:

What is it and how fine is its make?

SteelStash:

What surprising trinket do you find in its case?

SteelStash:

My beloved, I heard cannons in the distance today, and it

SteelStash:

seems that it seems that the war will never truly be over, that

SteelStash:

there will always be fighting and that it will always be just over the horizon.

SteelStash:

I disappeared from the sounds into another part of the lighthouse where

SteelStash:

I found a, where I found a violin case, and it seemed well made if a

SteelStash:

little water logged, but tucked inside.

SteelStash:

This violin was a locket, beautifully made and it seemed to

SteelStash:

be encaved with someone's initials.

SteelStash:

No doubt this was meant as a gift for someone, A gift that was never delivered,

SteelStash:

that never reached its final destination.

SteelStash:

Just just as I will.

SteelStash:

I will likely never reach mine.

SteelStash:

All right, and now to see if we settle a ghost, we do not

SteelStash:

settle a ghost, so that is it.

SteelStash:

Four day seven,

SteelStash:

day eight.

SteelStash:

We still have three dice in our pool.

SteelStash:

Time to find out how many tasks for the day.

SteelStash:

Five.

SteelStash:

This may be our last day, folks.

SteelStash:

I know I said that the last time.

SteelStash:

I don't think I have too many get outta jail.

SteelStash:

Free cards left four cards.

SteelStash:

We got these seven of spades, which will be a roll.

SteelStash:

The two are diamonds, the four of diamonds, the 10 of

SteelStash:

clubs, and the two of hearts.

SteelStash:

So the seven of spades.

SteelStash:

Blackbird circled the lighthouse for hours, upon hours, and then vanish.

SteelStash:

What do you think you heard in their ceaseless?

SteelStash:

Crowing.

SteelStash:

And we need to roll R three D six.

SteelStash:

And that is one.

SteelStash:

One that takes our dice.

SteelStash:

Pull down to.

SteelStash:

For the two of Diamonds, recall how you felt when you saw the

SteelStash:

lighthouse for the first time.

SteelStash:

What do you feel when you look at it now

SteelStash:

for of diamonds?

SteelStash:

You brought a favorite book to read and reread during your time.

SteelStash:

What is it?

SteelStash:

10 of clubs.

SteelStash:

You can make a meal of anything, which is fortunate considering

SteelStash:

the state of your stores.

SteelStash:

Where did you learn such resourcefulness?

SteelStash:

And finally the two of hearts

SteelStash:

fine.

SteelStash:

China and Silver Wars strapped in place in a wood case of sturdy Make.

SteelStash:

What initials did the plate wear Bear?

SteelStash:

Who did you know with the same initials?

SteelStash:

My beloved today, the Blackbird circled overhead over and over and

SteelStash:

over and over again and again and again with their ceaseless kind.

SteelStash:

Why they insist on staying here.

SteelStash:

I do not understand.

SteelStash:

I do not understand why I stay here.

SteelStash:

I remember.

SteelStash:

Not too long ago looking at this place with a sense of adventure, a full

SteelStash:

hearty adventure, a foolish pride.

SteelStash:

Thinking that, thinking that I could survive this.

SteelStash:

And now all I feel is

SteelStash:

now all I feel is nothing.

SteelStash:

I lost the book that I originally brought.

SteelStash:

I don't even remember what it's called.

SteelStash:

It, it doesn't matter anymore.

SteelStash:

I may have, I may have thrown it off the side of the cliff.

SteelStash:

I, along with some fancy China set, I.

SteelStash:

To hear the sound of the dishware breaking.

SteelStash:

It almost reminded me of someone back home.

SteelStash:

But at this point, at this point, home no longer exists.

SteelStash:

All that.

SteelStash:

All that is left is the nothingness of the sea before me, and the eternal

SteelStash:

light that I must broadcast into it.

SteelStash:

And this task is beyond the strength of Mortal man.

SteelStash:

All right.

SteelStash:

And rolling.

SteelStash:

One D six to see if we release a ghost.

SteelStash:

We do not.

SteelStash:

Moving on into day nine, we have to be drawing to a close

SteelStash:

here soon Is getting late.

SteelStash:

I need this game to end.

SteelStash:

How many tasks?

SteelStash:

Four today.

SteelStash:

Six.

SteelStash:

There's my six.

SteelStash:

Been waiting for you.

SteelStash:

All right.

SteelStash:

Let's go ahead and arrange these six cards right quick.

SteelStash:

Hopefully one of 'em is a king.

SteelStash:

All right.

SteelStash:

Six of clubs.

SteelStash:

Queen of spades, Jack of spades.

SteelStash:

Eight of clubs, nine of hearts, three of diamonds close.

SteelStash:

All right, so for the six spade, or correction, six clubs, you have two hours

SteelStash:

of free duties every afternoon, Noon.

SteelStash:

For the queen of spades.

SteelStash:

A change in the wind brings the sound of work shanties from the

SteelStash:

penal colony, a single line from the tune claws at your mind.

SteelStash:

And we need to roll R two D six, and that is one.

SteelStash:

One.

SteelStash:

Our dice pool is now down to one for the Jack of spades.

SteelStash:

A late night cigarette invites a strangely candid conversation with one of the

SteelStash:

ghosts, and we need to roll the tower.

SteelStash:

I said I roll two instead of one, but neither of them were a one.

SteelStash:

The eight of clubs.

SteelStash:

The ward under the penal colony visits and requests your help repairing something.

SteelStash:

Peculiar.

SteelStash:

What is it?

SteelStash:

Nine of hearts, A child's toy.

SteelStash:

A curiosity.

SteelStash:

Why does it pain you to think of children and their play things?

SteelStash:

Role on the tower

SteelStash:

A is a five.

SteelStash:

So safe ish and three of diamonds.

SteelStash:

You met a ghost once before.

SteelStash:

You think.

SteelStash:

What do you remember?

SteelStash:

What are you uncertain about?

SteelStash:

Pull from the tower.

SteelStash:

My beloved, the warden came by today and asked me with help

SteelStash:

on the search lights he wanted.

SteelStash:

He wanted help with coming up with a backup in case the electricity

SteelStash:

fell failed and how to, how to rig emergency flame lights.

SteelStash:

So of course I went over to the penal colony and I showed him, and

SteelStash:

while I was there, the workers, they had a song that they sang and.

SteelStash:

All I can remember is all I can remember is look down, look down as

SteelStash:

they sang over and over and over again.

SteelStash:

Look down, look down.

SteelStash:

And that pound is that, that still pounds in my head, in my mind.

SteelStash:

I can hear it and I wish I could just look down, but everything,

SteelStash:

everything is reminding me of home now.

SteelStash:

Every like, I found a toy today and it reminded me of the child that I'm

SteelStash:

not going to see the child that I am.

SteelStash:

I've left fatherless and likely penniless on this foolish pursuit.

SteelStash:

I have no doubt that I will not be returning home.

SteelStash:

There is, there is no way that I can be making it home now, and

SteelStash:

I doubt that the, I doubt that the company will honor its agreement with a corpse

SteelStash:

I mean, it's, there are so many ghosts here to, to agree with me on that, that I,

SteelStash:

I don't know why I, I wish I hadn't left.

SteelStash:

I should have been there for you and for our child and I'm sorry.

SteelStash:

All right.

SteelStash:

And rolling.

SteelStash:

One D six.

SteelStash:

Oh, we were so close.

SteelStash:

It dangled.

SteelStash:

It dangled on the sixth, but it went to a four, so we released no ghost today.

SteelStash:

Moving on into day 10 with one dice left in our pool.

SteelStash:

How many tasks shall we do another five?

SteelStash:

I've been saying it's the last day for the past three days.

SteelStash:

Who knows?

SteelStash:

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.

SteelStash:

Maybe my depression doesn't match the game.

SteelStash:

Maybe I should be more optimistic.

SteelStash:

What do you think?

SteelStash:

Cards?

SteelStash:

What do you think?

SteelStash:

Ghosts?

SteelStash:

What do you think?

SteelStash:

Audience let me know in the comments.

SteelStash:

Tennis spades.

SteelStash:

Not looking good for optimism.

SteelStash:

Seven of hearts.

SteelStash:

Nine of clubs, Ace of diamonds and nine of diamonds.

SteelStash:

So for the tennis spades, th rice, you see the silhouette of

SteelStash:

a man on the island watching you.

SteelStash:

You never catch him or see him again, but you find something.

SteelStash:

You're convinced he left for you.

SteelStash:

What did he leave?

SteelStash:

It may not matter.

SteelStash:

Rolling one D six.

SteelStash:

And there it is.

SteelStash:

That is our final one.

SteelStash:

Our dice pool is now empty.

SteelStash:

So if at any point during the game the tower falls, your mental state

SteelStash:

phrase, enough for the ghost to gain one last fatal foothole in their war,

SteelStash:

for your mind and body in their hunger, they take you oblating their, your

SteelStash:

soul, as they do, the game ends here.

SteelStash:

This game is, believe it or not, based on a real place,

SteelStash:

the San Juan Demento Lighthouse, more commonly known as Faro Delfin de Muno,

SteelStash:

which operated on Isla Delos off the coast of Tiara Del Foel from 1884 to 1900.

SteelStash:

The lighthouse was among other things, the inspiration for Jules Verne's

SteelStash:

novel, also titled The Lighthouse at the End of the World, As in this game,

SteelStash:

it was adjacent to a penal colony, which was the southern most human

SteelStash:

settlement in the world at the time.

SteelStash:

So that is the lighthouse at the end of the world.

SteelStash:

A great entry into the wretched and alone franchise.

SteelStash:

A great entry into the wretched and alone genre.

SteelStash:

Definitely, definitely hit the isolation wall.

SteelStash:

Definitely hit the depression.

SteelStash:

Well, maybe it was my own depression coming out.

SteelStash:

Who knows?

SteelStash:

Was I too real?

SteelStash:

But this is why safety tools are so important in a game like this.

SteelStash:

Remember, if you feel like you're going a little too far

SteelStash:

take a break, change the mood.

SteelStash:

There was a reason why I was going so over the top on rolling

SteelStash:

to see if I free day ghost.

SteelStash:

Cause I needed that.

SteelStash:

I needed that strong mental break from my journal entry to my next thing.

SteelStash:

I was getting a little overwhelmed even for myself.

SteelStash:

So make sure you guys are doing what you need to, to take care of yourself.

SteelStash:

Remember, this is solo play.

SteelStash:

You have nobody to impress.

SteelStash:

You have nobody to do anything for except yourself.

SteelStash:

If it's getting too intense, if it's getting too much, take a break.

SteelStash:

Go do something else.

SteelStash:

Go play a nice cozy game, like as the crow flies.

SteelStash:

Which by all means, you can check out our play through of just

SteelStash:

scroll back in the way back machine to one of our first episodes.

SteelStash:

All right.

SteelStash:

Go play a fun game, you know, take breaks in the middle of it.

SteelStash:

This is fine.

SteelStash:

It's solo, it doesn't matter.

SteelStash:

The important thing is that you have fun now with all of that.

SteelStash:

Yes.

SteelStash:

This is a fun game.

SteelStash:

This is a, like, this is a good, this is a good game.

SteelStash:

The weakest element to me, honestly was how the journaling was framed

SteelStash:

because, because you start off with deciding whether or not you

SteelStash:

are sending letters or writing a personal journal, regardless of

SteelStash:

all of that, there are ghosts.

SteelStash:

and it was hard in the beginning to incorporate the ghosts into the journal.

SteelStash:

Regardless of, regardless of if I got a prompt or not, like even with

SteelStash:

a prompter was difficult because like theoretically my character is supposed

SteelStash:

to be starting off somewhat sane.

SteelStash:

They may not believe in ghosts.

SteelStash:

They may understand how crazy it sounds.

SteelStash:

You add to that, the fact that they are writing to someone back home and

SteelStash:

you run into the unreliable narrator issue, all the ghost stuff could have

SteelStash:

been omitted from the journals, which then detracts a large part from the

SteelStash:

game because this is a journaling game.

SteelStash:

So something like, something like your visit.

SteelStash:

Something like one of the ghosts visits you at the end of each day?

SteelStash:

Or

SteelStash:

I don't know.

SteelStash:

I don't know how to fix it, honestly.

SteelStash:

I don't.

SteelStash:

It just, I liked the inclusion of the ghosts.

SteelStash:

It, I liked the inclusion of the paranormal.

SteelStash:

It just, it feels hard to do that under the guise of keeping a journal or a log or

SteelStash:

writing a letter back home.

SteelStash:

Like, it just, it feels difficult with that because, you know, again, you don't

SteelStash:

wanna sound crazy, but if you go with the un reliable narrator part, then.

SteelStash:

Also what's the point?

SteelStash:

Like that's the key component of the game.

SteelStash:

But if you just full send, then like then you definitely get a chance to enjoy it.

SteelStash:

You definitely get a chance to have fun with it.

SteelStash:

Even though, even though you don't really find out about like who the ghosts

SteelStash:

are until you pull the ace of hearts, like I almost feel like you should

SteelStash:

roll them up at the start of the game.

SteelStash:

Just because you're gonna have plenty of spooky things, that

SteelStash:

you're gonna have plenty of spooky and ghost related things, that it might

SteelStash:

be nice to know who the ghosts are.

SteelStash:

Have some semblance of idea of who the ghost.

SteelStash:

But you know, that's just me.

SteelStash:

By all means.

SteelStash:

Again, do what you want.

SteelStash:

It's solo play.

SteelStash:

All right.

SteelStash:

But lighthouse, at the end of the world, great game.

SteelStash:

Great horror, horror game, A wonderful way to kick off a spooky solo month.

SteelStash:

If you were interested in this game yourself, you can find it at

SteelStash:

bannerlessgames.itch.io/lighthouse, and it is currently up for $10 there.

SteelStash:

So go give it a look, give it a check.

SteelStash:

Go ahead and pick it up.

SteelStash:

And if you do, make sure you tell them that steel stash sent, sent.

SteelStash:

And remember to take care of yourself this spooky season,

SteelStash:

and I mustache y'all to stay.

Show artwork for Lonely TTRPG

About the Podcast

Lonely TTRPG
A Solo Play Podcast
Lonely TTRPG is a show where I play and review solo TTRPGs.

Every other week, we play another solo TTRPG from across the indie community.

So join us as we roll, draw, and journal our way through some fantastic games.

About your host

Profile picture for John Stum

John Stum

Black Dragon Dungeon Company is a TTRPG podcast. We do weekly actual play podcasts and bi-weekly discussion podcasts where we talk about certain things about the TTRPG world.

You can reach us at blackdragondungeoncompany@gmail.com or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bddc_pod