Stars Without Number Solo from Peter_R's blog

I have been working on a project for a while and it is finally coming together and I have something to show for it. If you are a member of the OSR or Solo groups on Gamer Plus you will have seen the first screenshot.

If you have read my previous blog on solo play, or you are a solo player, then you should have an idea of how solo role play works.

"Solo is a thing"

There are lots of purely generic "Solo Engines"* out there. Mythic is the big one but UNE and CRGE are popular as well. The advantage of a generic solo engine is that once you know how it works you can take to any game. The disadvantage of the a generic solo engine is that it can break the suspension of disbelief and pull you out of the game. If you are using d6 dice pools for all your skill rolls and combat and then suddenly it is all d100 and full page tables. The jolt is even bigger with rules light narrative/story teller games and detail/crunch solo engines like Mythic.

What I like to do is take the flavour of the game I want to play and the dice mechanics and create a customised set of solo tools for each game I play. If you have a table of probabilities for any particular event to happen or not it is not difficult to change it up or down from d100 to d20 to 2d6. Sometimes you lose options and sometimes you gain.

As a solo player I get to play every game on my shelves as I don't have to convince my group to give them a go. I also get to see innovations that make you think that these should be in every game, things so simple that you cannot believe you didn't think of them yourself.

With each new iteration of my solo rules they become slightly more sophisticated. Sophistication does not need to mean complicated. What they always do is stay 'in character' with the game they are designed to match up with. Once I am in the game I don't want to break out of it.

In SWN most challenges at the table are resolved with 2d6. 2d6 is also all you are going to need for the solo rules as well. SWN is perfect for sandbox play an and my solo engine is designed to collect together and build plots and missions that are progressing at their own rate regardless of whether you want to be a part of them or not. The rules do not railroad you and it is not uncommon for there to be more plots the central character is not involved in that the ones they are!

So as a teaser here is one of the spreads from the first draft of the SWN Solo rules. The protagonist is Jesse but don't worry, things turned out well. That day.

*A solo engine is the sum of the game mechanics that emulate the GM in a rolo playing game. 

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The Wall

Aug 2 '19
I dig the use of time and clocks that can be event driven rather than objective time or turn driven. The artwork reminds me of Ghost In The Shell.
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By Peter_R
Added Aug 2 '19


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