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Home » Caltrop Core » Worldbidding Solo Review

Worldbidding Solo Review

Welcome to the world of semi-competitive worldbuilding.

Worldbidding is a semi-cooperative, GM-optional mapmaking game where each player takes on the role of a contractor hired to construct some part of a world.

Players bid on contracts and then roll dice to see what they deliver – which, often as not, makes compromises in the name of profit and just getting the job done.

Bid low, roll well, and rake in that sweet, sweet cash. Upgrade your company and manage your reputation with the client.

Create world wonders. Watch the map develop in real time.

– Description from game author

This is a multiplayer game with solo rules. This review will only talk about the solo game

The Basics

Based on the Caltrop Core game engine, Worldbidding relies on a handful of D4 dice to make decisions and determine outcomes.

Your job is to run a company that fulfills contracts to help build a planet.

The game can be played as part of a group or in a solo setting. From a solo point of view, the idea is to select from a pool of contracts while trying to keep the clients happy.

Game Description

To play the game, you will need:

  • A handful of D4 dice
  • A character sheet
  • A notebook or a spreadsheet to record your jobs
  • Graph or hex paper to map the world as it is created

Setting Up

Your company will have four departments.

To start the game, you distribute 9 points over the four departments. Each department must have at least 1 point and a maximum of 4.

  • Biome – Grassland, forest, scrubland, desert
  • Climate – Very cold to very hot
  • Elevation – Sea level to tall mountains
  • Water – Streams, springs, river, lake, wetland

You will also keep track of bank, artistry, and reputation. The bank starts with 2, while both artistry and reputation begin with 1.

Generating Contracts

The solo rules recommend generating 4 or 5 contracts. A new one will be rolled to fill the space as each contract is completed.

Contracts are made up of three things:

The “department” (Biome, Climate, Elevation, Water), the level of finish the client requires (“level” 1 to 4), and how many need to be completed (called the “scope”).

A D4 is rolled to generate the first two values, and the sum of 2D4 is rolled for the scope.

Without anyone to bid against in a solo game, contracts are assigned set prices. The price is usually half the level, and the scope is added together (rounded up). Contracts requiring a higher level of finish or requiring more units will have a higher value.

What is so important about the contract stats?

When you work on a contract, you will need to roll a dice to see if you succeed. You succeed by rolling a value that is the same as or higher than the contract level.

Looking up the contract department (Biome, Climate, etc.) on your character sheet, you can determine how many D4 dice you get to roll. The more dice you roll, the easier it will be for at least one of them to roll the required level.

The “scope” of the contract tells you how many dice need to beat the level. If the scope is 2, and the level is 3, you will need at least 2 dice (matching the scope) to roll a 3 or higher (matching the level)

When you initially pick a contract, the value is used to give you extra resources. Resources can be added to your bank balance, or they can be used to boost the number of dice you get to finish your contracts.

There are a lot of other things you can do with contracts. You can abandon them, try to submit them unfinished, get subcontractors to help, convince the client your work was good, or change the client’s expectations.

If you don’t want to take a risk, you can do grunt work instead of taking contracts.

The rules contain a lot of other options to grow your company and improve your reputation.

All the while, you can use the hex grid to draw the world you are creating.

My Thoughts

This is a clever world-building game that you don’t win or lose. Instead, you keep playing until you have filled a hex grid or feel you have had enough.

I am amazed by what you can do with a handful of D4 dice.

The author has expanded the simple Caltrop Core engine into a robust game with depth and strategy.

I like that you can put the game away between sessions and pick it back up from where you left off.

The rules are written with a focus on having multiple players. Highlighted rules tell you how to play solo, but you may have to read them a few times or interpret them for single-player games.


How to Get It

Worldbidding was designed by Tian @si1verking