Welcome to the final part of this five-day experiment. Now, if you noticed, I’m doing this in alphabetical order (Epic D6, Mythic GM Emulator, Oculus Trifold, Covetous Poet, and Tiny Solitary Soldiers), so this is why this is the last thing I’m trying out. As I noticed, Tiny Solitary Soldiers isn’t even the name of the system, but rather the site.
Much like Epic D6, TSS’ Solo RPG system has its roots in Mythic, but for different reasons. This system was made to be handled faster than Mythic and similar products, and it shows it in the streamlined Yes/No chart. It’s actually how I expected the Epic D6’s way of getting answers would work before I read more into it. Half of a D6 reads yes and the other half reads no. They have varying twists of the classic ‘and’ and ‘but’, and also in the form of Twist Die, in which an extra die is rolled to see if it lands on a 1, and if it does, results in a twist.
Another interesting twist for this system is that you don’t ask if a scene is interrupted or altered, but rather if the scene is quiet or full of action. There’s a small chance that you could get a different scene all together. I can see how easy I can get into this, but as for how fast, I’m not sure.
To increase the bookending of this, we’re also having a return to the Tangent Zero dice. So with that, let’s begin. For this system, each scene has a “scene goal”, which you have to complete or fail the goal to end the scene unless the game calls for something else. Let’s see who our mystery person is…
Results: Gears and a sack of money
Jack’s person by the window seat was a man in greased overalls. He sat by the window, waiting for the time to tick on by.
A mechanic. Nice.
“So, how’s the trip?” The mechanic asked Jack.
“Fine thanks. A little rough, but I’ll manage.” Jack said.
Our scene goal is to find if the mechanic is our ally or foe. I figure that I’ll sweet talk him into helping me protect the witness, or at least befriend him. Get a good idea of what he is.
“Nice weather we have.” Jack said.
[Charm Check: 3, 6, 4, 1, 5]
“Yeah, a little shit, but it’s alright.” The Mechanic said with a chuckle.
Well, he doesn’t seem to give off any bad vibes to me, so he’s gonna pass as ally for now. And with that, the scene ends.
Scene Rolling acts a bit weird. Three of the results will have a dramatic scene, two of them will be a quiet scene, and one of them will be a meanwhile scene…
[Scene Roll: 2. Dramatic]
Snakes appeared out of the blue and began to attack people. Jack got up and tried to get the Witness out of there.
[Nerve Roll: 6, 6, 5, 6, 4]
And he manages to get him out so fast, he managed to take the mechanic out of the danger as well.
My idea for the goal is to get them to safety.
[Q: Is the way to the pilot’s cabin full of snakes? A: 6 = Yes And]
The way to the cabin full of snakes. Not only that, but the pilot’s door is blocked off, with nothing else in sight for safety…
Well crap. Crap crap crap. Alright, I’m gonna have to do something.
[Q: Is there a fire extinguisher nearby? A: 4 = Yes, but]
Yes, there’s a fire extinguisher, but it’s almost empty. I’m gonna have him fire at the snakes with the extinguisher.
[Cool Roll: 5 + 3 + 5 + 4 + 6]
It’s a success and the snakes are… wait, are they completely covered?
[Q: Are the snakes completely covered? A: No, but]
No, the snakes are not covered, but some are starting to keel over. Rolling nerve to get past the snakes.
[Nerve Roll: 5 + 2 + 4 + 6 + 5]
And Guts to bust down the door.
[Guts Roll: 6 + 2 + 2 + 5 + 1]
Which he easily does. Maybe too easily.
[Q: Is it a trap? A: 2 = No]
Huh. So we get to safety, completing the goal and therefore the scene.
[Scene Roll: 2. Dramatic]
Okay, so what could be dramatic about this scene? My natural conclusion is that it’s a trap, but the thing told me it was… I’m just itching to break out the Twist in the middle of this. You roll two dice, the first dice shows what the twist is, but the second dice shows how it plays in the game, giving you a bit of play, especially if you involve stuff like Mythic’s Event Meaning or Story Cube-Style dice.
[Twist: 2 + 6 = PC, Ends the Scene]
… Yeah, Ends the scene is a twist, but we’ll ignore that. Especially since I figured out the plot twist.
As they get into the pilot’s cabin, Jack points a gun at the witness.
After taking out and being taken out by the four perps, I figured that this time the tables are turned and the perp is Jack himself. So now my scene goal is kill the witness. Think this is easy enough. Two hits, he ded, but first…
[Q: Does the mechanic stop Jack? A: 5 = Yes]
The Mechanic rushes to ram Jack.
[Nerve Roll: 6, 5, 2, 1, 1]
Jack gets pushed down, but didn’t get hurt. Instead, his gun goes pop, shooting the Mechanic.
[Q: Does it kill? A: 1 = No And]
The gunshot alerted the guards. As they come, the Mechanic starts beating up Jack.
Okay, I have one last shot at this…
[Cool Roll: 1, 6, 1, 5, 1]
A die roll with all the results being success/failure numbers… Okay, I think we’re ending the session on that.
Jack tried so hard to fire his gun at the witness, but the guards came and taze him.
[Damage Roll: 1 = Guts]
A taze to the stomach and he’s out. He is apprehended for causing the snake attack and for the attempted murder of the witness and the mechanic. And with that, the snakes on a plane were taken care of, the witness takes down the accused with a well timed testimony, and the mechanic lives his life out in Tahiti, for it is a magical place.
My personal thoughts on TSS’ system is that it’s very simplified. Epic D6 has a bit of a complex curve to it when adapting from Mythic, but TSS has the direct opposite. There are no odds or anything, just roll. Twists seem pretty hard to come by given you have a 16% chance of happening. I probably should have house ruled that odds for a twist would increase for each scene that passes without a twist. Regardless, it’s pretty good for what it does.
And with that, the Battle Royale Week has finished, and with it, my opinion for what the best system is. But, I’m not going to leave anyone out. I’m going to recommend all these emulators, because what might work for me might not work for you, but I’ll award them with a different award. So here we go!
Most Difficult System: Epic D6. It had the learning curve that almost made me confused, but given the competition, it’s not that difficult and you can easily learn the rules.
Most Easiest System: Tiny Solitary Soldiers. I wouldn’t be surprised at this, given that the reason this was made was because it was meant to be fast-paced. You can easily learn the rules and play through a session within half an hour.
Most Nostalgic System: Mythic GM Emulator. Okay, this was the only system I used for my RPGs when I need to do solo games, so naturally, playing with this becomes second nature to me. Chances are, before these other emulators came out, this was the one you guys played with if you were doing emulators.
Best Fluff: Oculus. I cannot express this enough. Oculus’ story of seeing other worlds is pretty good and I almost want to write a story based around that. It also makes for good story telling, since you have a completely different point of view than one you’re familiar with (that being the 3rd person limited) and it challenges you to write in that style.
Best Emulator: My personal favourite, though, has to be the Covetous Poet. It’s a practical all-in-one resort. Plot Creator, GM Emulator, NPC Simulator, you name it, it’s got it. However, it has its short comings in the form of limited genres. So far, only six or so genres packs are created, and while they hit major niches, if your game is of a genre that isn’t supported by Covetous Poet, you might not be able to fully play with it.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this week as I’ve enjoyed playing with it. Who knows, maybe I’ll try out other Engines. What Engines do you like that hadn’t been featured here? Maybe if I get enough, I can do another Battle Royale Week. Until then, Bon Voyage, gamers.