The Valentine’s Day Special (Part 1)

Alright, so let’s begin playing Bliss Stage. I personally can’t wait to play it right now. The only problem is trying to figure out how to start it off. I have the setup, yes, but not a starting scenario. And I have an idea of what to do, but I feel like it’s more of an endgame scenario and not something for me to start off the session with but something to close it out on.

Fortunately, Bliss Stage has that covered with a section of the RPG called “The First Action”, which basically describes how the game begins. We start with a scenario in which it’s discovered that alien remotes are located outside the base. I can see a scene where the Authority Figure, a person who owns the farm that the base is situated on, approaching Shun lying on a pile of hay and telling him that he has to fight. Continue reading

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[SGAM 2015] Let’s Play Braunstein! Part 4 – Four Is Death

Alright, let’s go back to the Braunstein. When we last left them off, Skyla and Drake are gonna fight, while the DJ and the Assassin have gotten to the bottom of the assassination… But they’re not saying anything. Well, time for us to settle this conflict once and for all. As we noted back in Part 1, Skyla’s forces are a bit crippled. Continue reading

[SGAM 2015] Let’s Play Braunstein! Part 2 – Cleaning Out The Rats

Alright, let’s begin playing some more Braunstein. When we last left off the game, Drake and Skyla ended up having their own problems to face. Drake ended up with a box of Paopu Fruit that can make a killing in the market. Meanwhile Skyla has a huge rat problem. Oh yeah, and the mayor’s dead…

Alright, I’m gonna roll up who moves out of their hiding hole and who doesn’t. Skyla and Drake will automatically exit. Continue reading

[SGAM 2015] Let’s Play Braunstein! Part 1: The Beginning

So beginning this month is the Solo Gaming Appreciation Month, where for a month straight, I’ll be playing four sessions of the same game. Now, what game will I be playing for SGAM? Well, how about a roleplaying game that doubles as a war game?

Confused? Well, let me explain. In the beginning, there were simply wargames. Then a person by the name of David Wesely, decided “Let’s have people play the roles of people in between the wars”. And thus, the very first RPG was born: Braunstein. This game was basically the baby steps to Roleplaying. There were no major roleplaying rules and it was basically a wargame with a story. Well, besides the scenario that the battles take place around.

So yes, I intend to play the first RPG solo. This will also be my first full-on War Game solo (though if you count it as such, that Kantai Collection RPG was my first). I decided to play the fourth version, as that’s more in-line with the war gaming aspect.

I’ll now begin the process of picking out my various rule sets and engines for this solo experience. Now, from what I can gather, I could pretty much use any sort of War Game system, as the main draw of Braunstein is the hijinx that ensures from the multitude of players playing various roles.

With that, I’m going with War Stuff from One Page Games. I feel like I’ll only break this out when it comes time to break it out. My Engine of choice will be the equally simplistic Tiny Solitary Soldiers solo RPG, as the engine was made with making narrative in skirmishes in mind. My NPC emulator of choice will, of course, be the UNE. As for Idea Generators, I’ll leave that up to Rory’s Story Cubes and Tangent Zero for that. And with that, I have picked out my tools.

Now we’ll get into the meat of the game. What is the story? Well… Continue reading

The Fan-Voted Quarter Quell Part 2

Alright, when we last left off our superheroes, they discovered a zombie plot going down in Serah’s own circus. They took a while to get together, but now that they have, they’re going to investigate the abandoned funhouse that seems to have all the answers they need regarding the zombies.

I noticed that I have relied too heavily on Location Crafter. From this point on, the next few scenes will be created with the other Drivers.

First scene will be made by Covetous Poet. Continue reading

Let’s Try Tiny Universal

Continuing on from Lasers and Feelings, I’m gonna do another simple to play game: Tiny Universal by Sophia Brandt. In a shocking twist, Tiny Universal is an Engine RPG, much like Tiny Solitary Soldiers or Oculus. I didn’t even realize that TSS can be played as an RPG. Tiny Universal follows a bit of an Apocalypse World style where two six-sided dice are rolled instead of one.

The other difference between TU and TSS is that TU has a slightly deeper character creation. You use three sentences, and of those three sentences, that’s your character. Hey, I actually have something just for this situation: Three Line NPCs. As it turns out, the generator already has 450 premade NPCs for me to use. Though, I’m gonna edit a bit of the NPC I’m about to use… Continue reading

The Solo RPG Voyages Quarter Quell #1

Hey, everyone. This is going to be a special Session. I figured, to celebrate 25 sessions, I’d go with a tradition that a fictional universe had for every quarter milestone. That’s right, I’m doing a Quarter Quell. For those who don’t know, a Quarter Quell is a special version of the traditional Hunger Games. Every twenty-five years, a gimmick for the games is drawn to spice up the Hunger Games. This can range from doubling the amount of Tributes in the games to even a nod to Survivor’s All Star seasons and have past winners return for a second round.

In keeping with the spirit of the Quarter Quell, I’m gonna be doing something reminiscent of the one featured in the second book of the series, Catching Fire, in which I’ll revisit an old game I played with new eyes. I’ll have a list of games, engines, and drivers on standby ready to be randomized. Whatever’s selected, I’ll use for the game. I’ve compiled the list from the past 24 sessions I’ve played. I’m not gonna bore you with the lists here, but if you’re curious, here’s a link to the lists I have.

So, without further to do, let’s do some quelling!

Our game we’ll be playing tonight is… Huh, Once Upon A Time. Not really a roleplaying game, but sure. I can shiggy dig. After all, I have come up with rules to make it an RPG. Maybe I can improve on them.

Our engine of choice is… Fate Solo! Huh, the first and last of their respective list.

And finally, the two drivers that will come hand in hand are… Covetous Poet and Tangent Zero! Well, here’s to a nice run of the mill game! Continue reading

Let’s Write A Story About Beloved

Hey everyone. I originally had an idea in mind for what I’d do for Valentine’s Day and play Beloved, a rather cute and funny game where you play as a hero trying to beat undefeatable monsters, only to find that the damsel he’s trying to save is not his beloved, and each time you try again and again, you face even more unbeatable monsters, until you finally settle on a damsel you rescue (each time you do this, the damsel you rescue next will have one more trait that’s like your beloved).

I do have to say, it makes for some very hard-hitting brain teasers, such as “how can I beat this monster?” to more dramatic stuff like “do I push on, even though these monsters I face next will be even tougher?” and in the end it practically asks how much you love your beloved. It makes for an even crazier brain-teaser when you realize you are in control of how these monsters are unbeatable. Will you base them off a popular character; one you know is close to impossible to beat without quick thinking, clever planning, or even a last minute Deus Ex Machina? Will you start simple (a red dragon) but make the enemies more complex as time goes on (half-red-dragon Tarrasque brought back from the Shadowfell)?

Thing is, I’m not sure how to best do this for a replay blog outside of me posting a small story blurb about a fight between the hero and the monster(s) he’s fighting, then repeat that until the hero or I am satisfied with the damsel we rescued. I worry that I might not get the best ideas in my head for how I should make each monster unbeatable in their own way, and if I do, chances are I already have a good strategy of how to beat them in mind.

So I do what I always do when in doubt regarding the RPG: research. And what I found blew my mind. You remember when I said that the game provoked thoughts as simple as defeating a monster to something as complex as settling for less or pushing for more? The author of the RPG, Ben Lehman, has a lot of other RPGs that have this dramatic thought process. Hell, one of his latest RPGs is essentially a LARP scenario where you have one last video chat with a recently deceased loved one. This post explains in more ways than one about how thought-provoking Ben’s RPGs can become. One of his quotes regarding the RPG Polaris actually makes him seem like the RPG equivalent to Lemony Snicket.

What helped me decide on what to do for Valentine’s Day was this session done by the author himself and the discussion of Beloved, in which some people also talk about what the theme of the game is. I should stick to playing the game, but not in the way you think. I will write a narrative prose in tribute to the game and a possible theme it presents. For added challenge, I will do it in media res. Without further to say, let’s begin. Continue reading

Test Driving The CRGE Engine

Hey everyone. This is going to be a bit of a special playtest, since it’s literally a playtest. Conjecture Games’ founder, Zach Best, asked if I can test out the Conjectural Roleplaying Gamemaster Emulator, or CRGE for short. I agreed and here we are. The RPG I’m playing with this is another movie-based title: There Is No Spoon, by Steve Darlington. Unlike Ghostbusters, I do not have a starting scenario in mind, so any story I have will be generated by CRGE.

One thing I will note right now is that there is a section that addresses the paradox of solo RPG being more of a GM’s job than a PC’s job and makes a suggestion of how to separate GM knowledge from PC knowledge, which I give kudos for. One thing I also found interesting was a section devoted to multiplayer Play-By-Post RPGs. I am actually a veteran of PbP RPGs and that I believe is where I got my start to roleplaying. There’s a lot of nice information regarding what to do when solo roleplaying, including whether to ask a big question or ask smaller questions revolving around a bigger one.

Perhaps the most important is the advice of always asking “why” after your questions are answered. Most games I played never tell this to me, but instead say “conclude from there your answer”. For example, if I were to ask Mythic if this door is locked and it says yes, it will just tell me “the door is locked. What do you do?”, but if I ask CRGE the question, it will instead say “Yes, but why is it locked?” It’s pretty thought-provoking and I like it for that. In fact, that is actually how I’ll begin this game, by asking why. Continue reading

Revisiting Epic D6 and Making Corrections

Hey everyone. This is going to be a redux of the rules for the Epic D6 System. During the Battle Royale Week, I’ve been notified by Roryb, the author of the system, that I had indeed got the system wrong and told me how to properly use it, which you can see in the comments. I thank him for the clarification and feel a rerun would be in order. However, I’m not going to do Snakes on a Plane again, rather what I think is its base inspiration: Ghostbusters.

The test length is One-shot, so when I complete the story, the session’s done. One thing I liked about Ghostbusters is the multitude of Adventure Seeds and NPCs you can have. Rather than use one of the Adventure Seeds, I’m going to make a scenario based off the first NPC I see, as well as a two-part episode from Kamen Rider Drive. Just for context sake, the story of the Ghostbusters RPG is that, after the defeat of Gozer, the Ghostbusters branch out and become a franchise.

So the opening scenario is this: There is a Ghostbusters station down by Portland, Maine. The member count is roughly a dozen due to a recent outbreak of ghost hauntings, requiring more members to tackle the threats. This resulted in my character, a college graduate, being forced to apply for a job to there, because it was either “get accepted by those ghost-whispering quacks” or flipping burgers. Well, the pay was roughly better with the former.

So I get the job, and after a day of orientation, the President of Ghostbusters Portland, a.k.a my boss, tells me I have an assignment involving the haunting of an art museum. With some training of how to operate the Ghost Trap and Particle Thrower, the boss shoved by butt into an Ecto-1 and sent me on my way to the museum where our game begins. Continue reading