That Time I Played A Module And STILL Got Everyone Killed

At some point when I was playing D&D with Mythic, I was walking around a mall when I came across a calendar shop that sold board games on the side. One of them was a D&D Starter Box. Back then, D&D was in it’s fourth edition, the one where people agreed that it played more like an MMO than it did an RPG. I was unaware at the time, but D&D’s fourth edition was in its twilight years, as the version that would eventually become fifth edition, D&D Next, was in production.

Regardless, I bought the box, took it home, and realized its solo capabilities. Almost as soon as I was done doing the Mythic D&D experiment, I was right back into the fray. Rereading the liveblog I made so many years ago, it definitely falls in line with the writing I do now, to the point where it might be better for me to copy and paste snippets of the blog. So I will, but it’ll be in quotes so you get a better idea of where the old blog ends and the new blog begins.

Continue reading
Advertisements

I Try To Become Mayor!

Just when I thought I saw the smallest RPG in the form of One-Page RPGs, along comes Clones, An Arnold RPG made by Erika Chappell of Newstand Press. How small is it? Well, the rules are all explained onto one business card.

Yes.

A business card.

I knew I couldn’t pass soloing this game, so here we go. The plot is that I’m a clone of a person and that I’m wanting to take over the world. Now, the game is meant to be played with multiple people, as each of them would give a list of skills for you to do, but since I’m playing solo, I’m gonna change it up a bit.

Continue reading

The Voyager Goes On A Fantasy Trip

So, going into a journaling kick, I’m gonna play the Fantasy Trip solo engine. Now, I looked at the gaming system based off this engine and sufficed to say, I’m kinda interested. Now, I’m using the “In the Labyrinth” rule set, which expands a lot on the Fantasy Trip game.

Creating a character for this seems pretty straight forward. I have three stats, Strength, Dexterity, and IQ, to which I can spend eight points to increase. Going with a human Jack of All Trades with a 10 Strength, 10 Dexterity, and 11 IQ.

Each stat has different purposes, but if you’re familiar with OSR-style games, they’re pretty easy to understand. Strength (ST) is your health, spell slot, encumberment, and fortitude. Dexterity (DX) is your initiative, attack bonus, and reflex. IQ is your perception and willpower. However, IQ has something different, which is why I gave the remaining point to IQ. Effectively, they determine the feats and spells you acquire.

It’s a long story, but the point is that I have 11 IQ points to spend on any talent that isn’t higher than 11 IQ. Now, if seeing the ST, DX, and IQ acronyms make you think of GURPS, don’t worry. It’s not a coincidence. This system was made by Steve Jackson Games, who would later go on to make GURPS. One can even consider this the prototype of GURPS or even GURPS liter than lite.

This gives me some confidence in playing this game, as a gripe I had with some OSR games is that you don’t have any sort of choice in creating your character.

Continue reading

We’re Playing FATEL.

Screw it. I can’t play FATAL. The rules are so broken and crazy that I have no idea why I even thought this was a good idea.

Which is why I’m instead going to be doing FATEL: “Far Away Tales of Epic Legends”. It, obviously, uses the Fate Engine. Now, obviously this means I’ll use Fate Solo, right? Nope! Instead, I’m going to merge that with CRGE-Kai Ni. Not only that, but I’m also fusing a bunch of other Engines like Tiny Universal, Tiny Solitary Soldiers, Oculus, and a plethora of other systems to create the CRGE-Kai Ultrazord. As for Drivers? ALL OF THEM!

We begin our game with having to change our Anakim character into the heroic Orc fighter Mercedes Benzon and the Elf Thief Michael Jord Ang.

Continue reading

Let’s Enter The Doom-Cave Of The Crystal Headed Children

In the last post, I mentioned how I was gonna tinker with CRGE-Kai for playing Lamentations of the Flame Princess. This is to be a permanent upgrade for CRGE-Kai, though also an experiment. Previously, I played a game with the Ursa Minor engine, to which I fell in love with its mechanics. I decided, like with Mythic, to borrow those mechanics and implement them into CRGE-Kai. And thus, CRGE-Kai Ni is born. For book-keeping purposes, it’ll be referred to as CRGE-Kai, but from here on out, I’ll be calling it CRGE-Kai Ni. So, what did I add to CRGE-Kai? Well, the Turmoil system.

To recap, Ursa Minor has its own Chaos system, but it changes depending on how the characters interact with the game world instead of if the scene ended well for the players. An example would be asking townspeople around about Andrew. Although in Mythic, this would be smooth sailing, Ursa Minor would add a point of Turmoil due to how the characters effectively brought up old scars in the villagers and thus cause them to act wearier.

It also has its own random event system and a system where you can roll out entire sequences of scenes in just one roll, such as perception checks or travelling. There’s a lot to take in, so I recommend you read my Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells game to understand these mechanics. For their own Incident Rolls, they’ll replaced the Altered Scene results and Ambiguous Events.

As for how I’ll go about the module, I looked up the Lone Crusader’s proposed idea, but ultimately decided against using it. The reason is that it involves stripping the module down to base elements. I played around with a module before without needing to do this, so I figure I can manage. Alright, let’s begin this experiment.

Continue reading

The Coziest Den

I always have a rule of thumb for picking out RPGs to play. If the setting is interesting enough, it’s worth a check. If I feel like I can play this solo, it’s worth a play. There were definitely games that I solo played just because of its setting and premise: A Flower for Mara, Titan World, and Bliss Stage being such examples.

This game is no exception. A Cozy Den has this for a setting: players are a race of snake people called Lesbisnakes who are part-human, part-snake, all lesbian. The game takes place during the chilly winter months as Lesbisnakes live in dens to hibernate. The more Lesbisnakes there are in a den, the better, and the aim is to make… a cozy den. Roll credits.

This setting is just amazing and it’s not because it appeals to the LGBTQ community, since lots of games can be tailored to appeal to that demographic. You play as a snake girl who lives with other snake girls to survive the winter. It’s a simple slice of life kind of game, which you barely see any of in modern RPGs. The closest ones are games that try to emulate Stranger Things, such as Tales from the Loop or Kids on Bikes. Not to mention that romance is involved in this game, hence why it’s this year’s Valentine’s Day game.

The engine I will be using is CRGE Kai since I barely use that at all even though it’s my go-to engine. Not only that, but I will be using the Social Focus Table from Mythic GM Emulator’s Variations. Character Creation is simple because I’m the only person here. The idea is that the group must be unanimous with what species of Lesbisnake they want to play as. I’m going with a Garter Lesbisnake.

We unfortunately come across a problem. The book mentions a character sheet, but as I skimmed through it, I saw no such sheet. This is an appropriate time to point out that I have a physical copy of the game and not a PDF. Thankfully, I found a sheet on the official website and it just so happens to be a Garter Lesbisnake. Though it wouldn’t matter which species it was that much given how everyone plays the same species and as such every option for each species is virtually the same.

However, I decided to take advantage of a feature that the book had. You could say that this is sponsored by Bits and Mortar, as it’s with them that I was able to nab myself the PDF of the handouts, the necessary half of the game that was missing from the book. With Bits and Mortar, you can get free PDF copies of physical books you’ve purchased, or in this case, handouts, provided they were published by someone who has joined the initiative. A good chunk of indie developers have joined this initiative, including the publisher of this game, Serpent Cyborg, and my favorite company due to their constant stream of character development-driven games, Genesis of Legend Publishing. Definitely worth a check out if you have a book of a game you like to see on PDF.

Continue reading

That Time I Got In A Food Fight And Threw Feathers At A Misogynist

There was a second adventure in the Sailor Moon RPG that I solo’d. This one is a little more freeform from the previous one, as it allowed you to make your own characters. This was called the Children of Mercury and as it says, it’s about the children of Amy taking on an old threat.

Said old threat is Jadeite, the first general Serena had to fight. He was put into an “eternal sleep” by Queen Beryl and as a result, was the only surviving member of the Negaverse. After the Wiseman, a villain from a later season, was defeated, it caused an energy surge that revived Jadeite, who spent the next thousand years building up both an army and his own strength. Basically, the plot to Dragon Ball’s Resurrection F movie.

Meanwhile, Neo-Queen Serenity, who we used to know as Serena/Sailor Moon, has devised plans for what is essentially a Galactic Federation, to which the children of the Scouts would be assigned new planets. To that end, she created a space-time chamber that will allow instant teleportation to other worlds. However, Jadeite has figured this out ahead of time and decided to concoct his plans…

So, Amy and her husband Greg had gotten busy and can have a maximum of eight children. Surprised I didn’t go ahead with that and name the game “Eight Kids and Counting”. In fact, I feel as though I never did this game any sort of narrative justice.

Continue the Story

That Time I Went To A Resort And Threw Roses At People

The first time I ever tried playing a solo RPG with the intent to write a story about it was playing with Capes. It was a very early version of the Surging Shark and Magnetron duo where Magnetron was a villain named Magster. However, I never added the mechanics to it, so in the end it never felt like a true proto-SRV actual play. I can, at a later point if you guys want, post the story I wrote up for that, on top of another story where I utilized a Japanese card game and tried to translate it into an RPG, but for now, let us talk about the wonderful world of licenced RPGs.

Personally, a licenced RPG is a good way to introduce people to RPGs. Much like how the Pokemon card game was a gateway game to Magic the Gathering, an RPG based off a show could attract people to try Dungeons and Dragons. Now, granted, you can just tweak a system and make it based off anything. That’s how Titan World was made. But there’s something cool about a company trying their hand at a licence and creating a game out of it.

And sure, you do have cases where a licenced RPG (say… Buck Rogers) be the doom of a well-established company, much like what ET was to Atari and the second gaming generation as a whole, but then you have the Fantasy Flight version of Star Wars, which has a unique story telling die system that fits the theme of the sci-fi franchise.

Licenced games are also a way to introduce RPG fans to the source material, much like how the D&D movie introduced me to the franchise or even how the Star Wars D6 games fleshed out a huge chunk of the classical Star Wars lore. In this case, I was introduced to a game based off the famous magical girl series: Sailor Moon.

Continue the story

Shane and Sinclair, Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells

SGAM 2017 had a challenge that I unfortunately didn’t undertake due to a combination of not being aware of it and not having the overall time for it. It involved using Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells’ adventure generator. This year has a variant where we use the Zero Tangent dice to randomly generate a quest, though I have done two so far.

So instead, I’m gonna just play Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells. Functionally, it’s similar to the OSR-style Shifter Bots, but there’s quite a few variants. Not to mention it has a built-in adventure generator to spice up your campaign. However, I already had something in mind, so I sadly won’t be able to touch upon this, but perhaps for a later game?

And, just to further spice the game up, I’ll be taking a look at a new engine: Ursa Minor. It has a mechanic similar to CRGE’s Surge Counter or Mythic’s Chaos Factor where it increases or decreases during certain events. This is called Turmoil and it increases and decreases with set conditions. The usual “if things go without a hitch, it goes down, but if things go to pot, it goes up” schtick. However, it also changes depending on random events as well and it even changes if you critically fail or succeed on reality-bending powers like spell casting. It then plays a role in determining random events or even adding to Yes/No answers.

On paper, it seems that Turmoil is Chaos Factor and Surge Counter’s love child, hooked up on steroids. As such, I may take great pleasure in testing this. With that out of the way, we’ll begin our game with Shane Swosh and Sinclair Spears, two private eyes who have a self-employed company by the name of Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells. They have begun to offer half-priced quests due to their increasing debt to the Baron of Huldra. Recently, they had undertaken a quest to investigate the disappearances of two dwarves who had went to go explore the Ruins of Pelgar. Continue reading