Friday, October 16, 2015

Solo Superhero RP

My gang likes superheroes (we started with Champions, a couple of decades ago) but it's not the only thing we play. Right now we're playing Trail of Cthulhu, and 13th Age is next on the docket.

But really, I don't play at all right now--I've just started a job with a seventy-five minute commute, so I'm out of the house at six AM and generally get back twelve hours later. (Actually, seventy-five minutes is the time going there, when I can avoid traffic. On the way home, I can't particularly avoid traffic, so it's usually a little over two hours. And I'm driving, so I can't do work while I'm driving.)

I'm still trying to sort things out organizationally: I'm dropping all sorts of things on the floor. (Sorry to all of you I owe things.)

If I get to roleplay, well, it will probably be solo, except for the occasional play-test that I organize and which has to happen and which I have no idea how to make happen yet. But I digress to wail.

Anyway, on the drive in this morning, I was thinking about solo superhero games. ICONS and the Mythic GME work well (in my experience), but I think Supers! would work just as well. Even DC Heroes might work. I find that Mutants & Masterminds, Champions, and Marvel Heroic Roleplaying have too many bits for me to track; they don't end up being a good solo experience.

I think there are two flavours of solo roleplaying, at least as far as superheroes is concerned: solo roleplaying that adapts existing adventures, and solo roleplaying with improvised adventures.

The first is nearly a subset of the second. The game you're using handles task resolution, whether it's done on a task basis or an outcome basis. As long as you know what you have to do, you're fine. The solo part of it seems to fall into a couple of areas:
  • Scale the opposition to the hero(es)
  • Generate the kind of randomness you find when multiple people are adding to the mix
  • Make less visible the things you aren't supposed to know
(I assume that Steve Lopez' dictum applies here. We're trying to be fair to ourselves.)

The improvised flavour changes how you scale the opposition (it's not about ways to adapt, and some way of creating the "story" part of it. That's not strictly necessary, but it's rather like the difference between masturbation and sex--the story adds the emotional component.)

Like so many of my posts, this is less finished than abandoned, but here you go.