Reviewing All The Engines I Used In The Past

Back when I started Solo RPG Voyages, there were only a few available Engines one would normally need to play solo. There was at least five that most people pointed to, to which I made one of my very first posts a five-day marathon of playing the same game, same setting, same story, but the difference was how the Engines worked.

This was what I called the Solo Engine RPG Battle Royale Week and it was a means for me to get out of my comfort zone with the Mythic GM Emulator and try out Engines in a controlled environment so I could look exclusively at the Engines and not let any outside force like how the game plays or a plot point causing the game to drag and distract from the Engine’s overall quality.

However, as soon as I made that, I was given the request to review another solo Engine called CRGE. One month later, I find another solo RPG Engine for me to play with… and another… and another… Eventually, I wanted to do a second Solo Engine RPG Battle Royale Week, but I kept doing other things that occupied my time.

Now it’s almost impossible to pick just five Engines for a sequel. With solo gaming becoming more mainstream than ever before, more and more Engines are made to cater to various degrees of player. There’s even one author that creates Engines tailor made for certain RPG systems. What adds to this increase is how easy it is to make solo Engines.

For instance, I can take dice from the Genesys RPG system and use the symbols to interpret yes and no answers. Easy. I even made a system using the lowest numbered dice called the Coin, Tumbler, and Caltrop system or CTC for short. A coin is used for yes and no, a d3 (a tumbler) is used to see if it’s a “but”, “and”, or neither, and a d4 (a caltrop) would be a controller to see if a plot twist would be coming.

So now I have the situation of having so many Engines to try out and not enough games to pair them with. Granted, some are easy to pair, like PPM’s Engine or even cases like Ironsworn where the Engines come packed with their own games. However, it’s come to a point where it feels more pragmatic to read the Engine and make conclusions to how it plays rather than devote entire sessions to playing around with it.

Earlier, I made a review scale for RPG games based on how soloable they were, under the idea that any game can be played solo. The problem was that I had way too many variables and scored it on a ten-point rating. Worse still, it shot my own ideas and mission statement down and even made the system as a whole feel like more busywork than a two-paragraph review.

So, with this, I feel like it should be a little more restrained. Instead of numbers, I’d bring the Engine into a few categories based off ease of use, if the Engine is focused on mechanics or story (more on this later), and whether the game has a twist system. Rather than grading it, I feel like it’s more appropriate to see what sort of people would enjoy the Engines.

I’m not going to go into all the nitty gritty details like the odds of getting yes vs. no or how often you trigger an event, since that’d be edging towards reviewing and I’m only making recommendations for this list.

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That Time I Had To Save Scientists From Rats But Got Killed By Zombies

While RPG Solo wasn’t the best at generating adventures, what got me hooked onto it was how well it kept my interest by offering an instant “copy to forum” option, which enabled me to paste into my Actual Play thread. The ease of how everything worked made me want more, and so, I made a second campaign under this system: Being an Energy Rider is Suffering. This was set during a zombie apocalypse, like the first full-fledged campaign I tried to run.

Unlike the other campaign though, this is your typical, run of the mill zombie virus infecting people. The big twist though is that zombies can be controlled. Unfortunately, these zombies are being controlled by gangs who would rather use these zombies for crimes. The only hope to stop them lies in the Sonic Arrow, a bow and arrow that has its frequencies tuned to the same kind that controls the zombies, thus overrides and even disables them.

This Sonic Arrow was made by Hope’s Peak, a scientist haven where they’re working round the clock to find a cure. The weapon is given to someone who found this zombie apocalypse thing to be the perfect excuse to try and be a hero.

I made this with a sort of time-keeping system in mind. The way it works is that I kept track of my character’s health, infection rate, food, the weather, the time remaining, and even fame. In my opinion, I liked this system a lot more than the simple hero ranking system, since there’s a lot more info to extrapolate from it.

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That Time I Killed A Bunch Of Superheroes To Be #1

A year before I created this blog, I logged two campaigns on RPG Solo. It was a site that, much like RanDM Solo, would facilitate solo play by allowing the user to a built-in array of rollers, generators, and even custom tables. Back then, it was something that any solo player can just hop in and play. Nowadays, we have more options, like RanDM Solo and even AI Dungeon 2, the latter of which has had so many quality of life changes since I played with it.

However, there was a special sort of magic that came with having an entire suite of solo gaming at your fingertips and RPG Solo scratched a much-needed itch of mine. As a sort of tribute to it (it’s not dead, just dormant), I will retell the campaigns I had from this site, starting with my first: Being a Beat Rider is Suffering.

It seems funny that almost every one of my first attempts at Solo Playing always have the genre of superheroes. There was me reading with Marvel FASERIP’s system in my early days of discovering RPGs, one of the first solo RPGs I recorded for Solo RPG Voyages was a game of Capes, and now this is set in a superhero universe where heroes are ranked based off their… well, heroics.

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