So let’s talk a bit more about my solo tabletop roleplaying actual-play podcast, “Ronin Roleplaying”.
You see, I have all of the games I plan to play for this podcast scheduled out through Season 5 (2025), covering a wide assortment of TTRPGs, both new and old. I also make sure to include roughly four “Powered by the Apocalypse” games in the lineup each season (aside from the first), because I’m all about those games.
Now then, I did have plans to include only three PbtA games each season, and one from the related “Forged in the Dark” line of games (“Blades in the Dark”, “Wicked Ones”, et al). FitD games are an evolution of the Apocalypse Engine, their own distinct thing, while also remaining a part of the PbtA family.
But there was a problem. FitD games can in theory be played solo, with the right adjustments to the core rules, but then it isn’t the same experience. I did plan to play “Blades in the Dark” this June, for example, and have the relevant tools to make that happen, but after looking things over some, I decided to scrap the idea. Why? Because then I’d just be playing any other fantasy TTRPG.
I feel that if you take the Crew aspect out of a FitD game, you rip the soul out completely.
Therefore, I changed my plans. Instead of playing BitD, or any FitD game for that matter on “Ronin Roleplaying”, I switched those titles out for other PbtA games. Rather than dicker around with a FitD game in an insulting manner on my show, I’ll just play something similar, but less tied to the group mechanic.
This, by the way, made for a rather annoying change to my show’s programming. You see, I have already plotted out a whole bunch of Fantasy-based PbtA for the show, so much so that it became a bit of an issue covering for the FitD games from the Fantasy genre. But I got it done, without having to put “Dungeon World” on the docket.
I have a bit of a problem with doing that. Just saying.
Anyway, I know this really doesn’t matter to most people, but I think this is an important issue, really. When it comes down to it, most TTRPGs can be played solo, despite being designed for group play. But I have found that there are some TTRPGs that simply cannot work well solo, either because they are tuned too heavily for group play, or they lose the basic spirit of the game, when the group aspect is lost.
Now then, could I have made those “Forged in the Dark” games work on my show? Absolutely. Like I said before, I have tools that make playing FitD games solo easier. But I think it cheapens the experience, and I don’t want to do that, especially when I have other options.
By the way, I will be opening up games previously played on “Ronin Roleplaying” for repeat appearances starting with Season 6 (2026). This will allow me to replay the best of the best from the first five seasons, while adding in other games that are new to the show, along the way.