Scarlet Heroes

Scarlet Heroes, by Kevin Crawford, is a little gem of an old school FRP that I have already very briefly mentioned here at the time of its crowdfunding campaign via a Kickstarter.

The coolest thing with Scarlet Heroes is that it is really three products in one, and three that could have very well been sold separately.

The first 'product' is the setting itself: the Sunset Isles, a slightly Kara-Tur-like vanilla Oriental setting with a few original twists, like:

1- The Red Tide, a mysterious wall of demon-haunted mists that is slowly infecting the Sunset Isles.
2- The Shou, the savage aborigines that are being displaced by the more civilised races.
3- Non-'Asian' exiles that have fled their lands and invaded the Sunset Isles: the European-like Eirengarders and the Persian-like Eshkanti.
4- Spells that are different from the usual Old School D&D-ish spells.

The setting also has a slightly more south-east Asian feeling to it than your vanilla Oriental setting. Because of all the previously-discussed aspects, I think the Sunset Isles would actually work great in conjunction with Kenneth Hite's Qelong setting: I am pretty sure Aakom could be linked to the Red Tide, and the Varangians are an obvious match to the Eirengarders.

The second 'product' is a game system centred on one-to-one play, that is a referee with a single player. As a result, the single PC is a larger-than-life hero that can easily fell several opponents in a single round via the fray die mechanism.

The third 'product' is a very Old School (i.e., lots of tables!) system that enables you to play in solo mode. But this is no pre-written Tunnels & Trolls solo scenario or Choose Your Own Adventure book: this is a set of gaming aids that allow you to improvise as you go. Basically a solo narrative game but with Old School mechanics. Quite impressive.