I have a confession to make: I like to play with myself!
As you know, I am still stuck at home, recovering from my recent heart surgery. Due to this, as well as COVID-19 precautions, I really can’t get together with anyone else (in person, anyway) to do some tabletop roleplaying. Of course I can do this online, but my previous attempts at this (as you can hear on our “Knights of the Tabletop” podcast) have been rather difficult.
So, anyway, what is the solution? Well, I’ve mentioned recently that I’ve been picking up some roleplaying games that are designed for cooperative and solo play. Meaning no GM required.
And yes, this is weird.
And no, I wasn’t one who was on-board for this sort of tabletop roleplaying, at least at first.
But like I said before, I’ve been giving some of these solo games (as well as others that are normal TTRPGs, just run with GM Emulator tools) lately, and… damn! I have been having a blast playing with myself!
No, I will not let that joke go. I’m going to keep a firm grip on it, and milk it for all it is worth!
Anyway, I’ve been spending the last few nights playing “Feng Shui 2” alone, using first CRGE, or the “Conjectural Roleplaying Gamemaster Emulator“, then “Mythic“, the D&D of GM Emulator tools. To be honest, I prefer Mythic, but CRGE is nice, too. I’ve would have started with games specifically designed for solo play, such as “Ironsworn” or “Seekers Beyond The Shroud“, but I wanted to start off with something I was comfortable with.
Well, I chose to start with “Feng Shui 2”, because it is my favorite TTRPG of all time, so I felt that was a nice way to start this journey off. I wasn’t disappointed, although mildly confused and bewildered at first might be fair to say.
I did note that the heavy randomness of these GM Emulators make building a cohesive storyline rather difficult, but once you step out of your “GM Mode”, and just let the game play out as the dice lead you, things get more interesting. Trying to force a story, when the dice won’t comply, makes for some weird and frustrating play. But like I said, if you just let go, and realize you can’t control what is going to happen, and let your imagination roll off of what the dice come up with, things get much more fun.
Well, what’s the plan now? Well, I am going to play some solo “Mythos World” tonight, again using the Mythic tools, to scratch that Lovecraftian itch. Yes, I could just play “Call of Cthulhu” instead, I have plenty of editions to choose from, but I’m doing “Mythos World” for one, big reason:
“Mythos World” is a PbtA game, which is a system I’ve been in love with since I ran some “Monster of the Week” earlier this year. While horror games can be difficult to use for solo play (as I have been told), because knowing what the monster is takes away from the solo fun, I chose to do this anyway. Why? Because “Mythos World” doesn’t have to be played with a specific monster or enemy in mind. I can just create an Investigator, and let the Mythic tools lead me wherever the dice rolls go. If need be, I will just come up with a menace on the fly, be it some unknown creature, cultist threat, or whatever.
Sure, you could do the same thing with “Monster of the Week”, but I will get there in good time.
Anyway, long story short, I have taken to spending my nights – since I’m up all night most of the time, anyway – roleplaying with myself. It sounds weird, I know. It is also not as satisfying as roleplaying with others, to be quite honest. But given the circumstances, it will have to do.
I plan on playing a different game every few days, as I become more comfortable with solo roleplaying. At some point, maybe I’ll be able to get My Lovely Bride™ on-board with doing some cooperative roleplaying?
Only time will tell.