Before you start play you are going to create your PC and your crew members. You also create their personalities at the same time.
As you start to play, at the top of the scene, you will roll 1d10 for each member of the crew to decide their immediate behavior for this scene (see yesterday’s blog for behaviour) and you will roll a Save against Doom.
Mothership Solo is starting to come together into something genuinely playable! If you would like a discount on this rule book when it is released please scroll down to the bottom of the page!
If the scene saves, the scene proceeds as expected. If the scene fails the save, a major plot event takes place.
What does this mean?
Imagine your character wants to walk from engineering to the bridge. You are not expecting anything exciting to happen so you cut the end of the scene in Engineering and start a new scene expecting to arrive at the bridge. You roll the save vs Doom, and fail(!)
It is now your task to improv. what that failure means. What would change something twisting the plot or adventure? Going with your first instinct is normally a good idea and my first instinct was that was I hit the door open mechanism, it gave a dull ‘donk’* noise and didn’t open. All of a sudden I am locked out of the bridge. And there starts the story.
That is just my first reaction. It could have been that I got into the bridge and an incoming message was the plot point, or a console malfunctioned. Anything works as long as it made sense to you.
Who or what has locked down the bridge is now the focus of my story and I can roleplay on from this point.
What I am doing is trying to push more of the dice rolling to before the action in the scene starts. Leaving the actual playing less dependent on questions/dice roll/answer cycles that are the hallmark of regular solo play.
The next part of this advanced scene set up is going to be the generating a pair of facts.
Facts are incredibly useful tools in solo play. They are, in essence, answers looking for a question. They normally describe two properties, such as ‘blue’ or ‘crumpled’. These are rolled before a scene and you use them to answer a question or prompt your imagination. Maybe when I hit the door button it lit up blue, rather than green. If the story moved on and there was an stowaway on the ship and they had secured themselves on the bridge, they were dressed in a crumpled blue uniform.
These facts can be used individually, in pairs, or not at all. The power of them is that they exert an outside influence on your story. You may not like the colour blue, and rarely choose it.
One of the best Fact Generators ever written, in my opinion, was created by Ken Wickham for his ABS12 game. The game wasn’t to my taste, I like “rules light” but that was too rarified for my taste. His Fact Generator was based upon 2d12 giving 144 options. I also believe that this was released under the Open Game License. What I am hoping to do today is find my copy and slim it down to 2d10.
Do you member me saying that you would be rolled 5d10 at the top of the scene? The five rolls could be read as 3,7,1,2,7 or as 37, 71, 12, 27 and if you wrap around 73. One of those will be the Doom save. The next two are going to be our two facts.
My goal today is to find this fact generator, or if it isn’t OGL, create my own based upon how I remember it and build that into the scene set up.
Once this is done, I have all the ingredients I need to build the solo rules. The oracles are easy from this point in and will not be as frequently used as they are in other solo games.
*You know that noise when Windows won’t let you click on something because another dialogue box is open and needs to be closed first? That is the noise the bridge door made.