Using ChatGPT as a Solo RPG Referee (Ellie V, Rockergirl)

This was an interesting experience for me. I'm still very much experimenting with using ChatGPT 3.5 as a solo GM, but I think with this latest session focusing on Ellie V in the Night City of Cyberpunk 2020, I've made some good progress. 
I started this session by defining new parameters for the game to make it more interesting. Working off of what I learned with several false starts trying to build everything up for the previous post (Seiji Noguchi,) I constructed a prompt, then just dropped it right there in the middle of gameplay (well, at the start of this session, but in the middle, overall.) ChatGPT, amazingly enough, seemed to understand and retain what I'd asked it to change and do, and as a result, the experience was much more satisfying. 

It's actually starting to feel like a real run through a 1-on-1 game. There are still little tiny improvements I could suggest (I still think it's being too easy on me) but honestly, this was a good, solid, satisfying experience.

Transcript follows:

Me: ChatGPT, I'd like to modify the parameters of this game we are playing. First, I'd like you to make the game more gritty, suspenseful and difficult. Please challenge me with novel and dangerous situations that will be difficult to navigate through as we play. Second, please assign character statistics for my character consistent with Cyberpunk 2020. Please roll a die when I attempt difficult actions and keep my character statistics in mind when you do, modifying the ease or difficulty of the roll depending on my character's relevant statistic. Third, please keep your responses concise where possible. 

Understood. Let's modify the parameters:

Character Statistics (Cyberpunk 2020):

Body (BOD): 6
Dexterity (DEX): 8
Intelligence (INT): 7
Reflexes (REF): 9
Tech (TECH): 5
Cool (COOL): 7
Empathy (EMP): 6
Luck (LUCK): 6
Game Modification:

I will introduce gritty and suspenseful challenges that will test your character's abilities and decision-making.

I'll roll a die (1-10) for relevant actions, considering your character's statistics to determine the ease or difficulty of the roll.

I'll keep responses concise to maintain a fast-paced narrative.

Let's continue the story. What's your character's next move in the gritty and dangerous world of Night City?

Me: Do I own a motorcycle?
Yes, you own a sleek and modified motorcycle, perfect for navigating the dangerous and chaotic streets of Night City. It's a valuable asset in this gritty world. What's your next move?

Me: What kind of motorcycle is it?

It's a customized Yamaha Rapier, equipped with enhanced speed capabilities, stealth features, and additional armor. A reliable and nimble ride for the unforgiving streets of Night City. What's your plan, Ellie V?

Me: I'm going to start up my Yamaha Rapier and take a fast ride through the city to clear my head.
As you fire up the Yamaha Rapier, its engine growls to life. You weave through the neon-lit streets of Night City, the wind cutting through the air, momentarily leaving the chaos behind. The cityscape rushes past, each neon sign and dilapidated building a testament to the harsh reality of your world.

Rolling a die for a chance event during your ride: (Roll: 8)

The streets seem unusually quiet until you notice a group of Boostergangers ahead, eyeing your bike. They might see it as a tempting target. What's your move, Ellie V?

Me: Are they just eyeing it or are they making moves?

They're eyeing it with increasing interest, and you notice a couple of them exchanging hushed words, perhaps contemplating making a move on your Yamaha Rapier. The atmosphere grows tense. What's your plan, Ellie V?

Me: I give them a confident grin. I pick out the leader of the group and I catch their attention. "Hey, you like this bike, choom?"

The Boosterganger leader, a wiry figure with cybernetic enhancements, smirks and nods appreciatively. "Yeah, sweet ride you got there. What's it to you?"

Rolling a die to gauge their response to your approach: (Roll: 6)

The leader seems intrigued by your confidence. However, the group remains cautious. What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: I grin wider. How many of them are there?

There are five Boostergangers in total, including the leader. They eye you warily, but your confident grin seems to have intrigued the leader. What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: I nod at the leader again. "What's your name, kid?"

The leader smirks and replies, "Call me Razor." His cybernetic eye glints as he sizes you up. "What's yours, Rockerboy?"

Rolling a die to gauge Razor's disposition: (Roll: 4)

Razor seems cautious but not openly hostile. What's your response, Ellie V?

Me: "The sheets call me Ellie V. Been making some noise lately. You might have heard of me?"

Razor's eyes narrow as he considers your words. "Ellie V, huh? Can't say I've heard, but I'm always up for some new tunes. What kinda noise you been making?"

Rolling a die to gauge Razor's receptiveness: (Roll: 7)

Razor seems intrigued, willing to hear more. The tension eases a bit. What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: Do I have an upcoming gig scheduled?

Yes, you have a small underground gig scheduled at a rundown club called The Rusty Nail. It's known for attracting a mix of edgerunners, Nomads, and those who appreciate the grittier side of Night City. The gig is in two days. What's your plan for the immediate future, Ellie V?

Me: I flick Razor the deets on my next gig, then kickstart my bike. "See you there, gonk. Gonna be fiery. Bring your boys."

Razor smirks, catching the details you flick his way. "Sounds like a fraggin' good time. We might just swing by." The Boostergangers disperse, and you kickstart your Yamaha Rapier, leaving them behind in the neon-lit streets.

Rolling a die to determine the immediate aftermath: (Roll: 9)

The encounter with Razor ends without conflict, and you speed away on your bike. The night is still young, and the gritty allure of Night City awaits. What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: I'm going to take my bike to the nearest dive bar and see if I can find some trouble to get into there.
You rev up your Yamaha Rapier and head to the nearest dive bar, the flickering neon sign welcoming you to a dimly lit establishment called The Rusty Barrel. Inside, the air is thick with smoke, and the low hum of conversation mixes with the distant sounds of Night City.

Rolling a die to determine the atmosphere: (Roll: 5)

The atmosphere is tense, and you sense an undercurrent of potential trouble. What's your approach, Ellie V?

Me: I'm going to look around and gauge the situation. What's going on?

You scan the room, taking in the scene at The Rusty Barrel. A group of patrons huddled in a corner, their hushed conversation suggesting a potential deal. At the bar, a couple of edgerunners nurse their drinks, eyeing the room with suspicion.

Rolling a die for perception: (Roll: 8)

Your keen senses pick up on subtle cues — a couple of Nomads in heated discussion, a solo nursing a grudge, and a fixer eyeing everyone with interest. The potential for trouble is high. What's your move, Ellie V?

Me: Do I know the fixer?

You recognize the fixer as "Coyote" Carter, a well-connected and shrewd information broker known for dealing in secrets and connections. Coyote's eyes lock onto yours briefly, a silent acknowledgment.

Rolling a die to gauge Coyote's disposition: (Roll: 6)

Coyote seems neutral but observant. What's your plan, Ellie V?

Me: Have I worked with "Coyote" Carter before?

Yes, you've crossed paths with Coyote Carter in the past. You've done a few gigs together, where Coyote provided valuable intel and connections. The fixer has a reputation for being reliable, albeit with a penchant for staying in the shadows.

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: What's he look like?

Coyote Carter is a wiry figure with a shock of unkempt silver hair. A pair of cybernetic eyes gleam from beneath the brim of his worn-out fedora. He's dressed in a mix of urban camouflage and tactical gear, blending into the shadows effortlessly. Coyote exudes an air of calculated mystery, fitting for someone in his line of work. What's your plan regarding Coyote, Ellie V?

Me: I'm going to order a chocolate stout beer from the bar, then saunter over and take a seat at Coyote's table.

You order a chocolate stout beer from the bar, its rich aroma mingling with the smoky air. Sauntering over, you take a seat at Coyote's table, the worn wood creaking under your weight.

Coyote glances up, a wry smile playing on his lips. "Ellie V, the Rockerboy causing a ruckus. What brings you to my corner of the night?"

Rolling a die to gauge Coyote's interest in your presence: (Roll: 9)

Coyote seems genuinely intrigued. The dimly lit table becomes a nexus of potential opportunities. What's your move, Ellie V?

Me: "Honestly? I'm itching to pull something big, Coyote." I take a long sip from my stout. "I want to stick one into Arasaka again, you feel me? Not just another bloody nose. Not just another CEO apologizing for a riot I pushed on him. I want something big. I want to make Arasaka hurt. I want to make sure they never forget my name. Dig?"

Coyote leans back, studying you with those cybernetic eyes. "Arasaka, huh? That's a hell of a game you're playing, Ellie V. You're looking to go beyond chaos and into the heart of the beast."

Rolling a die to gauge Coyote's reaction: (Roll: 7)

Coyote nods thoughtfully, his interest piqued. "I might know a route into the beast's lair. But it won't come cheap. You in?"

What's your response, Ellie V?

Me: "What you got in mind and how does a Rockergirl like me fit into it?"

Coyote smirks, tapping his fingers on the table. "There's a data heist on Arasaka's upcoming experimental tech. I've got a line on the job, and I need someone with the right flair to make sure it's not forgotten. A diversion, a spectacle — something only a Rockergirl like you can orchestrate."

Rolling a die to gauge Coyote's sincerity: (Roll: 8)

Coyote seems genuine, but there's a hint of hidden details. What's your move, Ellie V?

Me: "Not giving me all the deets," I challenge him with a smile. "Come on, Coyote. Aren't we tight? You need to keep shit hidden from me?" 

Coyote grins, appreciating your directness. "Alright, Ellie V. It involves a prototype AV, a hidden lab, and a lot of credits for the taking. But the heist is only the beginning. I need your touch to turn it into a legend."

Rolling a die to gauge the sincerity of Coyote's reveal: (Roll: 5)

Coyote's words hold weight, but there's a sense that he's still holding back some details. What's your response, Ellie V?

Me: "Spill it all, choom. All of it. What do you need me to do?"

Coyote leans in, lowering his voice. "The lab's location is off the books, but I've got a lead. You'll need to create a major distraction, a citywide spectacle, during the heist to divert Arasaka's attention."

Rolling a die to gauge the sincerity of Coyote's disclosure: (Roll: 6)

Coyote appears earnest, but there's a lingering sense of unspoken details. What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: "So you need me to do what I always do. You need me to whip up a crowd so the city's eyes are on me instead of on you?" I chuckle. "Is that it?"

Coyote smirks, acknowledging your understanding. "Exactly, Ellie V. A riotous symphony to steal the spotlight. You make Night City dance to your tune while we snag the tech."

Rolling a die to gauge Coyote's satisfaction with your response: (Roll: 9)

Coyote seems pleased with your grasp of the plan. "Think you're up for it, Rockergirl?"

What's your decision, Ellie V?

Me: "I'm not in this for the eddies, but you know I gotta ask. What are we talking here?"

Coyote leans back, considering the question. "For your role in this chaos symphony, a hefty cut of the cred from the tech. Plus, I'll owe you a favor. And you know how valuable my favors can be in this city."

Rolling a die to gauge the sincerity of Coyote's offer: (Roll: 7)

Coyote's offer seems fair, but there's always a sense of complexity in his dealings. What's your decision, Ellie V?

Me: "Preem. I've got a gig in two days at the Rusty Nail. Gonna have the usual mix of fire, street kids and even some boostergangers. Will that work, or do you need something sooner?"

Coyote grins, the cybernetic gleam in his eyes intensifying. "Two days works. Your gig at the Rusty Nail can be the crescendo. We'll synchronize the heist during your performance. Get the city talking."

Rolling a die to gauge Coyote's satisfaction with the plan: (Roll: 8)

Coyote seems content with the timeline. "We're in sync, Ellie V. We'll turn Night City on its head."

What's your next move, Ellie V?

Me: I finish my stout, say my farewells to Coyote and head out.

You finish your stout, exchange a nod with Coyote, and bid farewell to the dimly lit confines of The Rusty Barrel. The city's neon glow and the distant hum of Night City await beyond the door.

As you step back into the gritty streets, the plan set in motion, you can almost feel the anticipation building. Two days until your gig at the Rusty Nail, where chaos and artistry will collide. The city is yours to command.

What's your immediate plan, Ellie V?


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