Oculus Voyages

Alright, now let’s do something I had been talking about half-a-year ago: give Oculus a try. Just by itself. No other RPG system or Engine. Just Oculus and, like last week’s session, something that’s used for fortune telling as an Oracle. In this case: I Ching… Or iChing… Whatever.

When we last left off Jonny Indianapolis, he went off to face some thugs seeking to unearth a robot from Atlantis. With his mind-reading powers gifted to him by the Leviathan, the being responsible for sinking the powerful nation, can Jonny be able to thwart the bad guys? Let’s find out. Continue reading

Night Witches, Not Strike Witches

So, while I admit that playing Kantai Collection filled the slot for my World War II game in my theme of playing World War games (Cold War counting as an almost-WWIII), I shouldn’t so foolishly cast the European theatre to the side. After all, that’s the part of the war everyone remembers, not what went down in Japan.

So to remedy this, I picked up a World War II-themed game that took place in Europe: Night Witches. Made by the same guy that did Fiasco and played in the same way of Apocalypse World, Night Witches tells the tale of a team of women who flew outdated planes to drop bombs on German stuff to sabotage them. Sexism, death, betrayal, and all those lovely things you’d see on the battlefield ensue.

Now, this is where the problem begins to seep in for me. See, we’re playing as the Russians. The Stalin-run Russians. The Stalin-run Russians which had inspired a well known author to write not one, but two books satirizing the country. One of them was famous and is used almost every time people talk about something draconian and/or tyrannical, and the other one was 1984… if it was mashed up with Charlotte’s Web.

Yes, this movie exists. And its concept alone is awesome. Pictured: The author’s depiction of Stalin. Or Picard if he decided to voice a pig. I am not making any of those up.

As such, I fear that my depiction of Russia will be biased to say the least. For one, Russia back then was known to kill traitors, which the 588th Division, while some deviate from the norm, are not, especially since they are formed to help Russia win the war. Yes, there was sexism and homophobia, but I doubt they’re gonna pull a George and shoot them in the back of the head by the river.

Not to mention that Stalin himself approved of the all-women flying team, though under heavy duress and desperation. The worst the women may get is either a demotion or a trip to the insane asylum for roughly three months. I say this to help reassure myself that I shouldn’t make the Russians out to be the Capitol. I should also reassure myself that I shouldn’t make the Germans laughing jokes and have their higher ups be reduced to internet memes.

Sadly, these will be heavy urges for me to resist. So, I’ll implement a “Swear Jar” mechanic. In any case I am to make a reference to the infamous Hitler Rants videos or have the Russian government randomly execute people; I will mark one of the characters, which usually means something bad happens to them.

I’ve already picked out the engine for this game: Tiny Solitary Soldiers. It desperately needs to be used, and the fact that I’m playing a simple war game helps the decision making process. And as for what the overall Driver/Idea Inspiration will be, I chose the Russian Tarot Cards. I figured that, since I’m playing a game about Russia, I’d use Russian Tarot Cards.

Character Creation’s also simple, if a little more advanced than Titan World. We have our five playbooks that determine a character’s major trait, but we also have six classes for those characters to fall under. The difference is that the playbooks are for the character’s personality and not their class. To make a long explanation short, I’ll explain the ones I picked out for our quartet: Continue reading

Special Announcement

Alright, so today’s session will be delayed and will be up either by the end of the day or tomorrow. Blame procrastination. However, that’s not why I’m making this.

I’m making this announcement because this session is going to be the first session I’ll censor. Now, what can possibly bring me to censor a session and how much of it will be censored? Well, thankfully, only one session right now. But I must tell you the circumstances of why.

The game I’m playing is a game set in World War II-era Russia, around the time they got backstabbed by Germany and they fought back. Due to the dwindling number of soldiers, Stalin, through the persuasion of famous female pilot Marina Raskova, created a couple of regiments containing mostly females. One of them, the 588th, are tasked with a… quite weird task.

Their mission is to go over and harass the Germans by regularly bombing them with their outdated airplanes. These are the chronicles of the Night Witches. A true, historical story. So, what scene am I censoring, you ask? Well, it’s a pretty minor scene at best, but it details a bit of sexism and misogyny in it.

Long story short, after one of the girls lies about their brother unit, the 218th, sabotaging their planes, the NKVD (Secret Police, essentially) began to crack down on 218th and coincidentally find them either undermining their sister unit or outright beating them up. And with that, you guys have found out what scene’s getting cut.

I didn’t know what it was like back in the days when the Night Witches took flight. I wouldn’t know if they just took jeers from their brothers-in-arms or if I somehow depicted something that’d happen then. Whatever the case, I didn’t feel… comfortable. I rarely get uncomfortable in roleplaying games, and when I do, I try to push through it instead and try to get out of my comfort zone.

But then the situation got worse. In a random roll, the woman who ‘ratted’ the 218th out wound up bringing some NKVD members with her and outright labeled them as committing treason through the sabotage of one of their own units. The police apprehend them and…

Well, do you know how well Russians back then took treason? I personally think they take it rather well. Isn’t that right, invisible air next to Stalin?

Okay, joking aside, they were pretty ruthless. I just came to the logical conclusion that the two guys would get executed. The end result though caused me to get a bit more uncomfortable. Especially since I wanted to steer away from that kind of Russian stuff that George Orwell warned us about in his books. But that’s not why I’m censoring it.

The reason I’m censoring it is because I fear it may make others uncomfortable. I ultimately decided to cut the scene out, and write a brief summary about the scene sans the uncomfortable bits. It still happened, but the details are glossed over. However, that isn’t to say I’m completely removing it either.

This post isn’t all gloom. I want to give you guys a sneak peak into the session I’m working on, and I figured that the deleted scene would do just fine. Now, if you don’t feel comfortable with the topics of sexism, physical abuse, and executions, I’d suggest not reading below. For those who are fine with it and want to dive right in, well, click the link below.

Continue reading

The Voyage That Inspired The Name

Now, I told you all about why I named my site Solo RPG Voyages, but I never told you the story behind the inspiration. The session I had made out of a simple D6 system (Snakes on a Plane-style) and the Rory’s Story Cubes dice will now be told to you all. If you guys wanted a full-on session with the mechanics in tow, I apologize. This is just me retelling the story of my game.

I used Nine Questions as a driver for the game. I made my character an adventurer with these stats: Continue reading