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Karl Hendricks
Computer programmer, gamer, musician.
Computer programmer, gamer, musician.


Hi Everyone. Some time ago I seem to recall people talking about a PC Emulator... not a GM Emulator... but a PC Emulator. I can't seem to find that conversation thread and now I'm interested in trying to do something like that. I thought it would be fun to play a solo game as a member of the party with emulated fellow PCs and an emulated GM. It might also be fun to run some emulated PCs through some old adventures I have laying around... just to see how they fare. Does anyone have any resources for this? I remember it being different than NPC emulation; the PC emulator was like out-of-character player personalities and decisions.

Computer Programmers
We seem to have a lot of programmers in our community. I suppose this shouldn't surprise me, considering the subject material. I think designing and playing solo systems scratches that itch for automation that many of us feel. Solo gaming is at an interesting crossroads of simulation, emulation, procedural generation, and algorithmic logic. And of course, gaming.

So how many of you are programmers? Either by trade or by hobby?

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I finally got around to playing Four Against Darkness (4AD), a solo dungeon crawler. I decided to start with a published adventure, Caves of the Kobold Slave Masters. This module includes a pre-written dungeon, a random dungeon, and a final climactic battle. At this point I've rolled up my heroes and slogged my way through the first dungeon. Maybe I should have brought a cleric...

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Kevin Crawford, author of Scarlet Heroes among others, has started a Kickstarter for a revised edition of Stars Without Number. Like many of his games, Stars Without Number is super solo friendly. The revised edition will include expanded character options, starship combat, skill systems, improved random sector creation, and many more improvements while remaining backwards compatible with the current edition.

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One Page Solo Engine
After seeing +Alto Dizi's fantastic one-page "superlite" solo RPGs, I thought it would be cool to try and make a one-page sheet that contains a complete solo engine that can be used with any game system.

The idea is to condense all the essential solo components down to the very basics and make a super simple engine that new players can use to become familiar with the solo toolkit elements while still playing a game system they're familiar with. A specific goal was to include all of the major solo tools (scene structure, oracle, complex questions, NPC actions, dungeon generation).

Here is my first attempt at creating something like this... and I haven't actually... y'know... playtested it at all. So if anyone wants to give it a try or has any comments, please let me know. I took inspiration from pretty much everywhere... Mythic, CRGE, Scarlet Heroes, Location Crafter, So1um, various one-pagers, etc, etc.

Edit: Reposted because I messed up the link formatting and couldn't manage to fix it.

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Finally finished my first AP of Untold: Adventures Await! I've been working on this for awhile, but some unexpected travel derailed me for a bit. Anyway, here it is:

*Untold: PSI Division 6*
A squad of supernaturally enhanced agents investigates paranormal events and anomalies around the world. A little bit X-Files… and a little bit X-Men.

*Episode 1*
PSI Division agent Koji Shimizu investigates reports of a mysterious Mayan relic discovered off the coast of Mexico. When the relic goes missing, Koji uncovers an ancient blood prophecy and comes face-to-face with a paranormal threat thought lost for thousands of years.

To rephrase a question asked by +Josh McGraw:

What is a good game system for solo WAR gaming?

I've personally played a bit of Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes (ASOBH) in a solo session, but I really wasn't doing anything other than trying to make the best tactical decisions for each side. I know someone made a simple "AI" for ASOBH so your opponent behaves algorithmically, but I haven't heard of a solo framework specifically for tactical miniatures combat.

Anyone have any good resources?

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Here's a link to another World vs Hero game I've been playing. While it's not technically solo (it's 1v1 this time), I do use a lot of solo methodologies and tools during the game. I'm using Mythic to help setup the scenes, UNE for important characters, and Stars Without Number for planet generation. We've finished 2 of the 8 rounds and are actively putting out 6-10 new posts per week. Hope you'll check it out!
The Ithrian Gambit
The Ithrian Gambit

A recent post got me thinking about the components of a solo game session. It seem to me like it's fairly common to mix and match different solo tools to build a "toolkit" that you use for a particular game. Here's my attempt at breaking down the general components of a solo toolkit. Did I miss anything?

Game System
This is the game you are actually playing and probably the reason you're looking to play a solo game to begin with. It has mechanics for movement, task resolution, and maybe more.
Examples: D&D 5e, Dungeon World, Stars Without Number, Savage Worlds

Session Framework
Part of the GM Emulation, this is the framework that guides your session from point to point and ultimately to its conclusion. This could be scene-based or site-based depending on the type of game you're playing.
Examples: Mythic Adventures, The 9Qs, The Location Crafter, CRGE Threads, Scarlet Heroes Solo

The second half of GM Emulation, the oracle answers questions about what is happening. Usually this is a yes/no or yes/no/and/but type setup, and may optionally include likelihood and a chaos factor to make things more unpredictable.
Examples: Mythic Fate Chart, CRGE Loom of Fate, So1um Questions

Idea Generator
This category is fairly broad, but most games will need some sort of way to generate random ideas, events, and sensory information. Usually this is accomplished with large tables of random things that get combined in interesting ways and require interpretation. A game can use multipe Idea Generators to generate different types of content.
Examples: Mythic Complex Questions, Rory's Story Cubes, UNE, Maze Rats

Some systems combine some or all of these into one package. Others do one or two of them well and assume you will use other systems to fill in the rest. One of the fun parts of starting a new solo adventure is choosing the components that best fit the game. What do you guys think?

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Inspired by +Todd Mauldin and his podcast, I just finished my own attempt at playing Barbarian Prince. The game is a lot of fun (if somewhat harsh and random), and I'll probably make another attempt before too long. Check out the AP to see the fate of Barbarian Prince Cal Arath and his quest to raise an army to retake his throne. (Hint: it usually doesn't end well for him.)
Barbarian Prince 1
Barbarian Prince 1
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