Solo GamingMany people use solo gaming for different reasons.
Some people can't group up with anyone because of living conditions. Some use the systems to test out games before playing in groups. Some GMs use them to pretest game settings and adventures. Writers use them to create stories. Some just prefer less hassles and enjoy solo gaming.
Whatever the reason, solo gaming engines are becoming more popular as time goes by.
First Solo Gaming IntroductionAs a tool for testing out content and game systems is the reason that solo gaming websites, blogs, groups, and hangouts caught my attention.
While making my way to the Google communities for Lone Wolf Roleplaying, I came across the beta testing plug for Alone: A Solo Game Engine. A few weeks prior to this post I had seen a November gaming video showing the use of the author's prior product The GameMaster's Apprentice decks.
CoverThe cover is a art piece by David Tanimura which may be one or similar to one of the collages found the artist's site http://www.musashimixinq.com/. If so, collages are juxtaposed pre-existing images rendered in transformative ways, to create new meaning - in this case the figure and the world seem added and the cityscape seems filtered almost cartoon-like.
IntroductionI don't know why, but I had a rough time with the five concepts shown in the introduction: beats, downtime, fragments, descriptors, and vignettes. My troubles could stem from the fact that these appear like colorful grammar terms. Something inside me recalls the struggles that I had learning English grammar.
Downtime reminds me of transitional scenes.
Fragments remind me of sentence fragments at first, but they seem to be fate/fudge points.
Descriptors remind me of grammar term or a computer term which has something to do with data. I guess they are like Fate Aspects.
Beats remind me of poetry.
Vignette, I had heard before and am unsure of what it meant. It sounds like a scene changed by fate points.
Once my mind turns the mechanics into Fate terms, I have an easier time using the system, since I already know Fate somewhat. I'm not sure why the Fate terms weren't used since they are OGL from what I have seen at their game site.
Card MechanicsAfter the somewhat rough time I had with that first section, things picked up with the system. The card mechanics was easy to learn or come up with ways that I could use the half-card-deck included in the beta game.
I found myself reading the included Game Master Apprentice GMA book and applying those mechanics mixed with the Alone system.
I do like the Likely Odds system, which from what I have read in other posts is similar to the Mythic engine. I do realize now looking back at my first two sessions, that I didn't use the Elemental Symbols to interpret the ! results. Next time I play, I will have to utilize them. When they came up in game, I had interpreted the ! as meaning 'and' because of the demo scene. I forgot about the Elemental Symbol mechanics mentioned in the section.
The Random Event system seems clear enough. I found myself in game play using it together with the sensory info, catalysts, and Runes. Less used for me was the tag symbols, though I did use them twice at least.
The Tension Level?The tension level was mentioned, but I am not sure how it affects the game mechanically. I don't know it's purpose. Maybe something like chaos amount that I have heard about in Mythic, but I don't see it applied to the game mechanics.
The Answering QuestionsThis section is easy enough to understand.
The FlowchartI do like the Drawing a Random Answer section of the flowchart. I used the Narrative selecting Odds method rather than the Mechanical methods so far. I would like to test out the mechanical method next gameplay.
So this character is merciful, compassionate, and forgiving but can backstab, control, blackmail, and trap those that they feel betray their trust.
Now I go to the backstory.