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Sunday, December 10, 2017

How I approach the Player Knowledge / Character Knowledge Dilemma in Solo Roleplaying

I dislike separating character knowledge from player knowledge, so if I have a story premise in mind, I will frame things such that I know only as much as the character knows. Otherwise, it would be better for me to be the GM and emulate the players .

One Way To Avoid That Split As a Player

When you're trying to avoid that player/character knowledge split, I think that the #1 thing is being conscientious to avoid omniscience. Anything that your character does not know is something that can't be treated as a fact. It's only a possibility that you as a player know about.

In my opinion, you shouldn't even attempt to confirm or deny a fact until your character is in a position to find out. Just leave it hanging there until such a time.

Hardcore Immersion

If you want to be even more hardcore, consider this:

Some GMs consider in-game player chatter to be in-character chatter.What if you considered your own in-game mental chatter to be in character mental chatter? In other words, if you find yourself thinking of some possibility, you should treat that thought as something that has also entered your character's mind.

Just remember, though, just because it entered your character's mind, it doesn't mean it's a fact. How your character reacts to these thoughts is in itself an interesting roleplaying exercise. Is she/he going to dismiss them as fanciful flights of imagination? Is she going to keep them in mind as a real possibility?

For me, that's going to be informed strictly by what's already been established as confirmed fact during the initial set up of the game's situation, and in the course of play.

If any of this doesn't make sense, or needs some examples, let me know.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Elena Yamamoto vs Wan Brothers Multinational - Face Off Scene

I still followed the same format that I did for Sarah Rheita's intro scene, where I don't write the actual play as fiction but as an interaction between GM and player.

In this case, I decided to GM because I had more knowledge about the in game situation, especially when it came to what Simao Okada of Wan Brothers had found out. I try to avoid having to pretend a character doesn't know something I do, so this is a nice way of dodging the situation.  That's going to be my rule of thumb now: If I know more than the character such that I have to play it as if I didn't know what I know, I'll GM.

My approach to concordances keeps growing. I decided that in some cases it made sense to incorporate a more traditional oracle as a way to add indirection. For example, generating a random event and using those keywords as my concordance search. I added a few other things to my personal method as well which you can find out in the spreadsheet notes.

If you want to read only the actual play without notes, concordances, etc, continue reading this post. If you want to see more of the nitty gritty, take a look at the spreadsheet:  Elena vs Wan Brothers Multinational  - Face Off Scene

Thursday, November 30, 2017

#SGAM2017 - Remember Tomorrow - AIWA Entertainment - Intro Scene

The last intro scene, and my last entry for this year's Solo Gaming Appreciation Month!

Read the actual play without concordances, mechanics or notes below, or see all those things in the spreadsheet here: Remember Tomorrow - AIWA Entertainment - Intro Scene

Zach's Bestiary is still accepting entries! Roll up your NPC with UNE and share with the world!

As today is the last day of Solo Gaming Appreciation Month for this year, I wanted to remind everyone Zach's Bestiary is still accepting entries. So far, we have 17 that I can count, and it would be great to get that up to 20!

You can enter your NPCs at this link:

You can also see what's already there (which is pretty cool) using this other link:

You can get UNE as PWYW here:

But, if you don't want to go through that right now, you can access my PDF copy at this link as a convenience, so you can roll those NPCs:

Or this automated UNE tool by Todd Zircher:

You should still download it at DriveThru in the future, because it's awesome.


Monday, November 27, 2017

#SGAM2017 - Remember Tomorrow - Wan Brothers Corporation- Intro Scene

Intro scenes lend themselves to narration so here is another monologue. I had a pre existing idea of which PC the Wan Brothers would oppose, so that drove my selection of available concordances somewhat. I did try to discover other ideas first, but nothing suggested itself.

Most of the other details were filled out by the first concordances that made sense.

If you want to see the actual play fiction along with the concordances and notes, you can skip to the spreadsheet here: Remember Tomorrow- Wan Brothers- Intro 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

#SGAM2017 Remember Tomorrow - Tokyo Police Department - Faction Intro Scene

Introduction scenes can be narrated or roleplayed out. It felt more appropriate to narrate an inner monologue for this Faction's representative NPC. The thing pretty much wrote itself, as the only thing I did was choose the concordances that I felt were speaking to the context, and transforming them into more readable fragments.  

As always, my approach to using the generator has kept evolving. This time, I front loaded as many concordances as I could before I began to look for a message. To do this, I used the same method of taking keywords from the Faction's character sheet, but this time I looked for meaningful concordances before I began actual play in earnest.  I still generated some while in play, but mostly I just worked with the ones I front loaded. Maybe that detail will be interesting to someone. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

#SGAM2017 Remember Tomorrow - Sarah Rheita - Intro Scene

This one feels a bit weird to share. 

I tried something new with how I use the concordances to write the output. The fiction in this one is not like a story, bur rather, I wrote things out as if a GM was talking to me as a player. I found it actually helped me immersion, but it makes me feel a bit silly sharing it. 

Still, I guess it's really a version of emulating other players. 

The notes were a lot more detailed and they might be interesting for some. The link to the google spreadsheet is at the end of the post.

I'm pasting a version of the actual play without the concordances or notes here, but it really makes more sense to see the actual play along with the notes and concordances to see how it all came about. :)