Friday, 4 January 2013

Solo and thanks for the fish!

OK, so last time I revealed my intention to rationalise my collection, as ostensibly a solo playing blog I think I should start with my choice of solo role-playing mechanics.

First off Mythic is too fussy for me, what with the multiple d100 rolls, which with two dice I find neither quick nor easy to interpret. The legendary 100 sided die I have heard bad things about, so that's out. It won't come as a surprise then that I will stick to the FU die results for Yes/No questions, to remind you of what they are:

6 - Yes, and...
5 - Yes
4 - Yes, but...
3 - No, but
2 - No
1 - No, and...

This is spiced up with Bonus and Penalty dice, these being additional dice (upto to two more, or at the extremes three) that are rolled taking the highest or lowest result respectively. I think this is so much quicker I'd recommend it to everybody to try, even in those games where it may not be obvious to use it, like Two Hour Wargames products.

Fine so that's sorted, but then this lacks random events. Here I am going to vary things slightly, roll a die and random events always crop up on a 1, but depending on the genre I will pick a different sized polyhedral, I'd say the standard is a d8 and work up or down from that.

I guess I could select a different die depending on the game's story arc effectivley substituting this completely for the Chaos Factor, but I want to keep things simple so won't (I chucked this in in case you see merit in it, and if you do let me know!).

Random events

Despite the time I spent looking into a card draw mechanic, with my new spirit of just doing it I'm going to drop it. I'm not sure the results were defined enough, or would fit in with the story at that point. So what instead?

OK, so it has to be quick and easy, the lack of this being the charge laid by me at Mythic's door. However those random words are pretty cool, if only I could simplify it, so let's break the whole process down and build it back up again.

Step 1 - The Yes/No questions and Random event occurence
Replaced with FU and a funky die of my choosing as laid out above.

Step 2 - Event focus
Currently a d100 roll to select who or what the event affects. This could be simplified, or possibly removed altogether.

Step 3 - The event meaning: Action
Another d100 to select one of the words.

Step 4 - The event meaning: Subject
And another d100 to select a different word.

The simplied Step 1 definitely helps, but then I'm still left with 3 d100 rolls. As I said, I don't find these easy to read, so what's the alternative?

Well, there's really nothing I can do about Steps 3 and 4, there are 100 words in each and unless I want to trawl through and bring that number down I'm stuck. No, I think I'll stick with those, so that leaves the Event focus, here I'm thinking of replacing the d100 roll with a d20, this gives an easily read result with as broad a range of results as possible, OK so I'm upping and reducing some results by 2 or 3%, but so what, I think I'll live with it.

So to recap:

1) I will use the FU mechanic to answer Yes/No questions, together with a polyhedral, looking for 1s to generate a random event.

2) I will roll 1d20 and 2d100 (4d10). This can be accomplished in one handful, without getting messy.

3) Read the d20 for Event Focus

4) Read the 1st d100 (2d10) for Action

5) Read the 2nd d100 (2d10) for Subject

This might not seem to have changed much, but the FU dice, polyhedral and d20 do feel streamlined to me.

Have any of you tried to streamline Mythic too? Have you tried the above?

If you have tried this method I'd love to hear from you, to know if you thought it helped, have any suggestions or anything else.

By the way this doesn't mean I have stopped looking at solo mechanics, it just means I have found the solution for me at this moment in time, and so my other thoughts can now be left behind.

Until next time Steve


  1. Check this out.

  2. Sounds good. I have to think that there might be a way to use d6 for everything but my intuitive math skills are lacking. I'm about to head home from the holidays and will have more time to ponder it then. I'll be in touch.