Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Solo

After using the Mythic Game Master Emulator from my side of the screen for awhile, I decided to take it for a solo spin a couple of months ago.

I was playing around with a dice roller awhile back, and I asked it to spit out a set of character stats, 3d6 in order. I liked the stats, and turned them into a Flashing Blades character, Urbain de Foresta, a chevalier with a checkered family history and a penchant for games of chance and women of easy morals.

So with a character in hand, I fired up the flash-based version of the emulator to see how Monsieur de Foresta would do.

The chevalier visited a Marseillais tavern to do some gambling. He was invited to play cards by a debauched marquis, and after cleaning the libertine's clock, found another man's rapier slapped across his coins. The tavern keeper told them to take it elsewhere, and the chevalier followed the bravo out of the tavern, after collecting the coin and one of the cheap trollops servicing fawning over the marquis.

Outside the chevalier found himself ambushed by the bravo, then attacked by the trollop he picked up in the tavern and another ruffian, one of the marquis' lackeys.

A three-on-one fight did not look good for the chevalier. The bravo was a better swordsman, so the chevalier would not be able to defend himself against the other two. The chevalier decided to try a trick, entangling the bravo in his cape, then running him through. In a flash the most dangerous of the three opponents was down, but the chevalier didn't count on the trollop, who managed to grapple him and try to choke the life out of him as the other guy bashed away at him with a bastinado. Unable to fight back due to the deathgrip of the trollop, he took a hard shot to the ribs.

Finally breaking free from the trollop and brandishing his sword, the lackey decided he'd had enough and ran away. The trollop, on the other hand? Again she tried to choke the chevalier, then when he broke free again, she aimed a vicious kick straight at his junk, then tried to tackle him! Unwilling to cut down a woman, but hemorraghing hit points from her relentless attacks, he smacked her twice with the flat of his sword, and she backed off at last, screechig insults at the chevalier.

The commotion attracted an audience, three cut purses with drawn daggers. The chavalier, weary and hurt from the attacks, decided to beat a retreat, but the cut purses followed, so he looked for a place to make a stand, finding a stairway where the thieves could only come at him one at a time. Faced with the prospect of fighting a swordsman by turns, the three slunk away in the darkness to find easier prey.

The chevalier made his way back to his lodgings, his winnings stuffed safely in his doublet.

I used a mix of rules, from the Flashing Blades core and some Traveller rules I ported over for my campaign, and the emulator, and I have to say, it was much more fun than I expected it to be. The emulator allows me to throw out ideas as they come up and kick back replies that often take the action in unexpected directions - that's perhaps the hardest thing to come by in solo play.

Frex, I never considered that the trollop the chevalier picked up for a roll in the hay was in league with the bravo and the lackey until the encounter began; I tossed the question to the emulator, and in short order she was kicking the chevalier's ass.

At one point the chevalier was about to lose what little coin that remained to him; at another his life came down to making a parry successfully as a rapier slashed at his head. The 'session' was exciting and funny by turns, and I found myself hanging on the die rolls to see what would happen next.

I've done the solo dungeon exploration thing with D&D and the solo merchant trader thing with Traveller, and I can say this was a notably different experience, fun in ways I didn't expect. After using the GME with my regular game, it proved to be a fascinating tool for solo play.

I kept a log as I played and wrote the whole thing up as an adventure log on my campaign wiki as well. I enjoyed the experience enough to try it a couple more times.

Nothing can replace the social aspect of gaming, the back and forth between the players and the referee. But I'm also acutely aware of the fact that that social time can be very hard to come by. A little fix of solo play now and again seems like a good way to keep the fire burning.

2 comments:

  1. That sounds like good fun, especially when other players aren't available.

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    Replies
    1. It surprised the heck out of me - I really didn't expect it to be half as much fun as it was.

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