Player Emulation is going to be an important part of my Mothership solo rules. For this to work, the player and the player character are treated as one and the same.
Imagine as d10 table with each characters main modus operandi and then major personality traits. A single 5d10 bucket of dice tells you how they are likely to behave and several aspects of their personality. This will allow you to play these NPCs with some level of consistency between scenes and sessions.
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My first draft of the player make up table looks like this.
|Roll||Personality||Comes across as ..||Can be…||A bit…||Sometimes…|
|0||Blunt/No verbal Filter/honest||Chatty||Demanding||Callous||Smart|
|2||Living off past glories/||Ruthless||Attentive||Daredevil||Blunt|
|4||Weak willed/ self serving||Dramatic||Precise||Arrogant||Timid|
|6||Skilled/dedicated to the task and team||Cheerful||Flighty||Competitive||Methodical|
|8||Driven/self motivated/ go-getter||Indecisive||Assertive||Peacemaker||Loner|
|9||Blunt/No verbal Filter/Self Serving||Flamboyant||Argumentative||Forgetful||Pessimistic|
So if my first roll was 7 8 2 0 5 my crewmate would be: Noble (7) but indecisive, attentive, a bit callous and sometimes rigid in his thinking
This gives me enough to play this NPC and keep them behaving with a level of continuity from session to session.
As we are put under pressure we can all act contrary to our normal modes of behaviour. At the start of each scene, we are going to roll a behaviour for each person present. These are very similar to the Dominant personality characteristics. Did you see that I recorded the number (7) after my crewmates dominant personality? Each scene, when I roll for their behaviour if I roll below their true personality, I will shift the roll up by one, if I roll above it, I shift the roll down by one. This just makes sure that people will always tend to act like their dominant personality trait.
At the top of a scene, I will roll 1d10 for each crewmate.
|0||The character acts out of character in a negative way.|
|1||The character behaves in a negative way.|
|2||Something from the character’s backstory negatively influences their action.|
|3||The character indulges or expresses a vice or ignoble facet of their character.|
|4||The character takes the easiest and safest possible option for them.|
|5||The character acts in accordance with their current desire or to preserve their well-being.|
|6||The character uses an aspect they’re comfortable with (a skill, profession, tactic, or similar).|
|7||The character expresses a noble facet of their character.|
|8||Draw a new Behaviour. Play any behaviour; interpret it positively as the character’s action.|
|9||The character acts out of character in a positive way.|
So my crewmate, who is naturally Noble (7), at the start of the next scene gets a behaviour roll and rolls 5. This is below his regular 7, so I move it up to a Skilled (6).
I know this all sounds rather confusing but when the rules are finalised it will all make sense, honest!
What’s The Gain?
Mothership is a ‘minimal rolling, maximum role playing’ game. Solo role-play often relies on several dice rolls to answer questions and establish the facts in the character’s world. There is little of no prep before the session, so it has to happen during the game in a minimal, improvised fashion.
These sophisticated personalities are created at character creation. That is fine, it doesn’t impinge on play. Once you have that skeleton personality you should be able to imagine each crew member playing their role, without having to resort to dice rolls during the scene. The random behaviour roll makes the NPCs more dynamic and more independent, without having to make more oracle rolls during the scene.
That was the goal at least.
Mothership Solo Rules
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