Friday, February 12, 2016

What would a "Lumpley Principle" for Solo RP look like?

I think I've arrived at a provisional definition of Solo RPGs, along the lines of the Lumpley Principle (see definition of LP at

System (including but not limited to 'the rules') is defined as the means by which a person commits to (settles on) imagined events during play.

The underlined part is my modification. I'm not sure yet if the best word is "commit" or "settle", so I leave both for now.

Does it matter? Who knows. I'm hoping it tells me or someone something about solo RPGs that takes their design somewhere interesting. Definitely puts the emphasis on how a player settles on what action "really happened" in play. You know, the stuff you report in your actual plays or that makes it into your write ups (if you write).

See some ongoing discussions here:


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

#WritingWithDice: Reframing the act of solo roleplaying

This is an implementation of something I've been musing and working on for a long while. It's built to provide a structure around writing fiction during those parts of a game when you are not engaging with creative aids (oracles, idea generators, etc).

I'm looking for playtesters, so I'm putting this out there as an open source thing. The google doc to the text is at this #WritingWithDice link.

If you have a chance to give it a test drive, let me know how you like it. If you happen to have G+ or Twitter, I'd like to request that you use the tag #WritingWithDice  in your post, if you don't mind. :-)  Just makes it easier for me to search feedback. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Solo Gaming Appreciation Month - 2015


We are currently discussing a possible revival of the Solo Gaming Appreciation Month started by John Fiore in 2011. If you wish to join the discussion, you're more than welcome to drop by at 


Friday, February 13, 2015

What if the slots on the Mythic GME Thread List were a limited resource?

Meaning, what if you had a set limit on the number of Threads you could add to the list? How might this affect your solo gaming using Mythic? 

Other variations on the thought: What if the limit was only on the number of unsolved threads? What if it was an absolute limit per adventure? 

I've started a thread (ha ha?) at

Not sure if it'll spark discussion, but the thought made me wonder. I've yet to try it, but I suppose a side effect could be a more focused adventure, given the number of slots was small enough...maybe. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Solo Role Playing IS GM'ing


So, I guess I’m not done harping about the thought experiment. I just feel like it’s confirming some obvious things, while at the same time opening me to new perspectives on this thing of ours we call “solo roleplaying”.

One obvious thing that it has driven home in a way that feels final is the fact that if you try to solo roleplay outside of the CYOA or the most basic random dungeon/hexcrawling experience(or with games that don’t require much content creation as you’re taking on a player role), you’ll have no choice but to assume the GM mantle. There is no such thing as truly emulating a GM. Each time you ask a question, and each time you interpret a pair of keywords, you are in fact assuming GM duties. The only thing the dice mechanic we call an “emulator” is doing is ratifying or denying the output that you came up with when you assumed the creative duties of the GM as you were imagining possible states of the imaginary world outside of controlling your PC.

This is pretty obvious, and many of us have touched upon it before. I still insisted in looking for ways to actually have an experience that was less like assuming those GM duties.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Un-Solo RPG G+ Forum: Mixing solo and social RPGing

This community stemmed from an idea that was itself inspired by a thought experiment. What if one could create a social RPG experience that was equivalent to playing an RPG in solitaire mode? This is an imperfect implementation of that idea, and also an imperfect answer. I am hoping that whatever it turns out to be, it is fun to do. 

 Thanks for participating!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Solo RPG and "Just Writing": A thought experiment

Edit: I added more clarifications so as to make my intent a bit clearer (hopefully)

From the Lone Wolf Roleplaying group

I wonder if some of you would indulge me and carry out this thought experiment for me:

Imagine you have an RPG group, and that you play regularly. You actually gather physically in one place to game on an actual table. It can be any RPG you like.

Here's the twist: there are a couple of restrictions on how you can communicate.

1. You have all agreed that you will only roleplay and communicate by writing stuff down in one notebook (or electronic device) you all share at the table.

2. You can only write things in character or in an authorial voice.

3. The only OOC communication allowed are written questions to the GM. Only questions about the world and NPCs that can be answered with a 'yes' or a 'no'.

4. The GM is an actual human but wish only contribution will be to answer yes or no questions. This is the only way in which you get to know what happens in the GM controlled world. (Basically, if an idea embedded in your question matches what the GM has in mind or appeals to her, you get a 'yes' and that means the idea is true in the fictional world)

Does this still feel like role playing? Has it crossed into the realm of a collaborative writing exercise? Is that in itself not roleplaying?

Tell me what you think.