There always seems to be a post about solo play every now and then. I think that needs to be a dedicated optional tag of “solo” we start using so we can filter solo-focus posts easier haha. This is a great discussion.
How has Mythic helped?
Here are some pics of some of the things i use for Solo RPGing. Ultimately I think it comes down to what type of player you are, what type of GM you are and finding a balance between the two.
Type of Players (Prioritization In Decision Making)
- Social Interactions
- Exploration Focused
- Solving Mysteries/Puzzles
- Learning the Lore thru play
- Stat/Game Mechanic Optimization
Types of GMs (Preparation Efforts and Resources)
- Plan every single detail (encounter) no surprises
- Everything is a surprise, use tables and RNG
- Plan by Session, session-goal centric
- Play like a board game with tables, maps, grids, cards etc.
These are just some ideas.
Personally I like using the physical stuff as much as possible. Even solo I enjoy using a grid (using dice for random placement helps too) with physical dice and any props I can.
I have steered away from using a Character Sheet and jnstead just use a bunch of blank poker cards to keep track of items and base stats, abilities, etc. It’s much easier to flip a card over if it’s broken/disabled or hand someone a card when they get an item. When I’m solo it’s fun to see my collection physically grow in front of me. Of course you have to have some way to keep track so I use a journal like most and just write some bullet notes. The carda keep track of the big stuff but I might want to remember something specific about a particular NPC or a clue or something that I wouldn’t have in card form.
Breaking down how most Solo RPGs work:
- Method of Progression (Character Sheet)
- Method of Keeping Track of Physical Space (Maps)
- Method of Randomness (Oracles, Deck of Cards, Dice)
- Method of Control (Monsters, Weather - Tables)
One of my favorite ways to construct character motivation is thru the Belief, Instinct, Goal concept from Mouse Guard. It helps keep your character consistent and even acknowledges that these must be often challenged. Almost ALL stories include a character with something they want but something is getting in the way. How the character deals with that issue is what makes a story interesting or intriguing.
Oh and before I forget for Loot are you asking how often to include it and which Loot tables to use? I include at least one Loot per game, sometimes more. Gotta have some type of reward but it has to be possible to not get or else it doesn’t feel earned.
All games are voluntarily attempts to overcome unnecessary obstacles! -Bernard Suits