Monday, January 16, 2017
so1um: solo RPG playtest
I have mulling a solo RPG method for a while now, it's been rumbling back there for about a year, and last night I finally had a spark of inspiration that resulted in a mostly finished product. You can download for yourself here.
Playtesting the madness
Before bed I decided to try out character generation, this took just a minute, so I decided to give it a playtest. I wrote it out in my journal as I went just to record how it went.
Body: 2 Hit Points: 2
Smarts: 2 Cliché: Brave Warrior
Will: 4 Goal: Plunder the tomb!
George starts at the entrance to a tomb, as he enters I ask "Does he encounter as he enters?" and rolled a 5 "Yes" and then a 6 "Monster" followed by a 2 "Neutral". I think a moment - a goblin I decide. George decides that the goblin might help him for a few gold, so he tries to convince him to help. I rolled a Smarts contest (perhaps should have used Will, but oh well, it was 11:58 at this point) and roll a 1 and a 6, giving him a "Yes, and" result. Not only does the goblin agree to help, but he walks into the tomb and shows George...I roll a 2 "Trap". The goblin shows him the trap, George provides him the gold and a thank you, then they part ways. Studying the trap, George attempts to figure out a way to avoid it. I roll randomly to determine how complex a trap it is and roll a 3 "Easy". I use his Smarts and his "Brave Warrior" cliché, rolling 1, 4, and 6, easily avoiding the trap!
Having passed the trap I roll again to see if George finds anything interesting, getting a "Yes" and a "Unique feature, helpful". Thinking a moment I decide an underground river lies below. I add some stairs leading down to a lazily flowing river. Then because it was "helpful" I add a small boat that is moored to the small beach at the bottom of the stairs. George hops into the boat and starts to row downstream, hoping for more adventure.
I ask "Do I find anything before I find a place to disembark?" and get a "No, but" result. Rolling on the next table I get encounter a "Monster" and randomly determine how hard an encounter this will be, getting a 6 "Hard"! Drat!
A large Cave Sturgeon (ya, I misspelled it) leaps out of the water, snapping at George who tries to defend himself. I roll Body + cliché and get 3, 3, and 5, not enough to overcome the creature and it slips back into the dark water after lashing him hard in the chest. I subtract one HP and George catches his breath, hoping not to see the creature again. Suddenly it leaps out of the water and strikes at him again. I take a deep breath and roll the dice....2, 2, and 3! George takes another hit and is pulled beneath the dark water.
After this combat, I reworked the system a little (it will be in the next release) so combat is a direct contest instead of a simple 'how difficult is this encounter" roll that resulted in my TPK. In the next version, monsters are built just like characters and results of combat are a head to head battle.