Blended Solo RPG (Session 1)
What is this? Is this a game? Well, yes and no.
This is my first foray into solo RPGs using materials I already have at hand. I've done a lot of research into how to play RPGs solo, (and I've probably watched a few dozen YouTubers playing solo RPGs- Geek Gamers, The Bad Spot and Me, Myself and Die are my favorites so far) so I feel confident in throwing a bunch of stuff together to see what kind of story I can make. The biggest hurdle I keep going up against is the same misgiving I had when I first started playing solo tabletop games in general about this time last year. What makes playing a solo RPG better than writing a book? For me, I keep coming back to this question. Why would I write up a story in someone else's universe when I could write a book in one of my own universes and market it?
Well, I'm no stranger to writing in someone else's universe professionally, but so far, the answer to why I should do this kind of writing-play has been the freedom it affords (and the fun.) There's less pressure in writing these stories and following them as they unfold. I don't have to outline, don't have to strictly follow literary conventions, extensively edit or triple check everything to make sure I'm not stepping on anyone's toes, copyright-wise. I don't even have to do anything super weird or original. Heck, it can all be fan fiction (like my Aliens + Five Klicks Playthrough) if that's the vibe that I find the most fun to chase. I just have to follow what I find fun in the moment, and maybe that's enough.
Anyway, for my first foray into solo roleplaying, I'm using Dragon Dice, Omen Quest Cards, Magic: The Gathering Cards and Story Cubes. It's a bit of a mess, honestly, but I feel like I need a lot of randomization support for my first time. I've also got copies of Table Fables and some FATE dice on hand, just in case. Some of these things might seem a little expensive (Dragon Dice go for about $1.50 per die at the moment, even used common dice) but these are all things I had laying around (some for over a decade) that weren't really getting any use, so I figured, why not give them a purpose? Heck, most of my collection of Magic Cards is from high school, but these days, you can go on Ebay and buy a box of a thousand cards for twenty bucks, making them a relatively cheap resource for creating interesting randomness in your solo game. I'm absolutely guilty of making such a purchase about five years ago.
Am I going to use all of these things? Maybe. Hopefully. Otherwise, they'll just collect more dust. We'll see as I play through a couple of turns. My system here is absolutely ad hoc, fast and loose, and all tied together with these basic instructions:
Lysandra (Level 3: Hoplite): A grizzled old Amazonian captain and leader of the party.
Ptolema (Level 2: Visionary): Trusted confidant and old friend of Lysandra, she interprets omens and speaks with gods and spirits when it is needed.
Alekto (Level 1: Soldier): Alekto is a young Amazonian soldier who is eager to prove herself in battle.
Thyia (Level 1: Charioteer): Thyia is a young huntress absolutely devoted to the Goddess Nylea.
Our setting is the Greek-flavored Theros campaign world from Magic: The Gathering and its associated D&D Supplement, which I'll be using when I need inspiration. This party of Amazons was shipwrecked on their way to a battle, and now they are simply trying to get home. A record of play begins below: