Solo Guide

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Solo Guide

Post by bottg » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:08 pm

Over on there is a thread about the current Bundle of Holding and someone was asking about Solo rules. I know they have been discussed here, and I have decided to push those up the publication list so that it will likely be my next AFF book. Here is the plan so far:

Hopefully it will tie in dungeon crawls, wilderness and city. I envisage it as a "Procedural Guide", building on the random dungeon etc generators already there and fleshing them out. So you should be able to do a "Starship Traveller" type solo with it, wandering from planet to planet. Or a "Deathtrap Dungeon", "Forest of Doom" or "City of Thieves". I should be able to incorporate tables and mechanisms to include overarching plots, important and irrelevant NPCs etc.

It will be a "Build-your-own-gamebook" type system!

What are your thoughts on this, what would you like to see?

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Re: Solo Guide

Post by Dawndeath » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:50 pm

This sounds fantastic! I'm always on the look-out for solo rules and adventures - being stuck out here in China means there's not much tabletop roleplaying action going on in my neck of the woods.

I particularly like the idea that it will be adaptable to different genres. I'm currently shifting my attention between both fantasy AFF and Stellar Adventures - it's like trying to decide which is your favourite child...

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Re: Solo Guide

Post by Robb 1 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:43 pm

I agree with Dawndeath sounds like an excelent idea. You could use the book to play test adventures prior to unleashing them on your unsuspecting party Magine their faces when your own PC Staggers out half dead and bleeding warning them of the horrors he/she has faced. Anexcelent story building tool i shall lookforward too it :D

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Re: Solo Guide

Post by Zettonsperson » Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:07 am

Would this guide include an adventurer motivation generator? It's a bit hard to create an adventure without a motivation for why I, or the character, should care about what's happening, or even about going adventuring. Specific goals, like "gather ten thousand gold pieces" would be a bit nicer than generic "revenge" or "greed" which is usual in other adventurer motivation generators.

Another useful feature might be rules for decision-making, which for myself I usually ask a yes or no question and roll a dice, yes is even, no is odd. It works, but only with certain questions.

How about a monster motivation generator? Whilst its fine to go bashing up a bunch of orcs just because they're near a village, why are they there? What do they want? How do they feel about the village? Did the villagers move onto the orcs' hunting grounds? Maybe I'm just a little too realistic in my thinking. And it could be used for all creatures, from simplistic "lion wants prey" to complex "Alush the felinaur shaman has strong religious feelings about puny humans being near his clan and wants to sacrifice them in the hopes of expiating his ancestors' sins against Rogaar Lord of Lions"

Perhaps a regional or worldwide event generator to provide the background for monster motivations, adventurer motivations and campaigns? Something like "it's been a hard winter and all the crops of the Kalzad Orc clan were blighted, and the animals of Lashien Village were not, so the Kalzads are raiding for food".

As a solo-player, its hard to come up with a character concept that feels right, so perhaps a character concept generator? Something with a background, a motivation for adventuring and a selection of special skills and talents? Something that creates a character who's not just "Bragod the Barbarian" or "Avkad Axebeard the Dwarf".

All of these are available in other rulesets, but something that fits AFF and doesn't need copious adaptation would be nice.

Sorry if this seems like a rant.

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Re: Solo Guide

Post by bottg » Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:05 am

All good ideas that i am adding to my list!

There will have to be some generalisations that will require the player to fill in the details, but it should still be a very workable idea.

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Re: Solo Guide

Post by HedgeWizard » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:25 pm

This is great news. As a 100% solo player I’ve used every available set of solo rules with AFF and SA as well as making many home brew versions. Really interested to see what you come up with.

Some things I would suggest:

- make it tailored to AFF and SA, it needs to fit with them and allow the player to really embed themselves these universes. Good random tables help, but not so random as to be a mishmash of everything. Also idea generators (eg random word tables) can be really good for this.
- don’t spell everything out. As a solo player I want to exercise my imagination, make me use it. Give prompts and help me in building the scene but let me do some of the work.
- resistance, throw some curve balls. I don’t want my plan to always work. Put unexpected obstacles or opportunities which force the story down paths which I wouldn’t have imagined.
- easy. I’m doing everything myself. One of the reasons why I use AFF or SA is that I don’t have to juggle lots of stuff in my head simultaneously to make it work. The solo rules should add minimum overhead. Burning out when playing solo is easy because you are doing everything. In this 2d6 are your friend: use them to the max!

The risk is that you are going to be compared to the game books (what many of the non-initiated think of when they imagine solo games). Don’t try to recreate the books create something new.

These are just some very initial and very high level thoughts. I’m happy to contribute in any way to making this happen! (He sais while straining his hand in the air going “pick me! Pick me!”)

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Re: Solo Guide

Post by Slloyd14 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:05 am

I love it!!!

I tried writing an AFF solo and have written Tunnels and Trolls solos. One of the biggest amounts of work is giving rules or guidelines for how each spell will work in any given situation. Some are easy - fire bolt could be used in place of a ranged weapons. But then you have several spells that grant flying or invisibility or create illusions. It's impossible to come up with every possible option and it seems unfair to do what old Tunnels and Trolls did, which was going to a matrix at the back to see if there was a section for the spell and if there wasn't, then there is no effect.

You might just need guidelines for when these spells are useful and then let the player decide if the spell works.

I can imagine flying to be a particular pain in the neck.

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Re: Solo Guide

Post by LordArioch » Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:25 pm

I'm fully on board with this concept. Sounds very appealing.

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Re: Solo Guide

Post by Lorian » Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:25 pm

I love the idea of this!
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