I have spent today reading the DS&DS rules. I am not finished yet, but I have a document with 79 notes that will eventually contribute to a set of solo rules for the game.
There I was happily ploughing through the book, when some one pointed out that there were a set of solo rules in Appendix O [Optional Rules]. At first, I thought Why have I not heard of this as a solo game? Then I read the instructions. The Solo game rules use solo to mean on player and one GM. Not solo as in one person. The optional solo system built in is an abbreviated version of the Scarlet Heroes system.
This is good news as the system looks like it was written by someone with solo experience. Take this section…
Another option is allowing a “Yes, but” kind of result when the result is within the Difficulty (you manage to pick the lock, but you suddenly hear the alarm sounding in the distance; you correctly translated the old scriptures, but the truth behind it shattered your mind, making you lose 1d3 Sanity points; you’ve made a great effort and managed to lift the rock and release your companions, but in doing so you sprained your muscles taking 1d3 points of damage to your Physique; you closed your eyes and ran away from the Pleasure Daemons, but their image will haunt you for weeks, and you will need another Willpower test to sleep every night).
Now that sounds like it has fallen straight out of GM Emulator oracle.
And this section…
It’s important to notice that Luck Rolls can be the result of both the players’ questions about the scene (“So, are there any barrels of oil inside the workshop?”) or the desire of the Referee to find out about something (“As you remove the skull from the pedestal, the whole complex starts to shake, and rocks start falling from the ceiling. Make a Luck Roll to see if any one of them falls on you!”).
What is going on, I believe, is that the GMing style of DS&DS is that of improvisation. As soloists we are used to improvising these sorts of details, and it helps when the underlying game is designed to account for that.
Right now, it is looking like this is going to be an easy build, unless that is famous last words.
I haven’t finished the read through yet (I have read char gen and game mechanics).
The big challenge is going to be, how to keep the horror in a horror RPG.
The most innovative part of these rules, I believe is going to be insanity. I have a pet hatred of roll a die or go insane, and even worse, roll on this table for your insanity. I spent many years roleplaying with a friend that suffered from clinical depression and spent most of that time hiding it from just about everyone.
I am determined to have something lovecraftian in its nature without the need for imposing mental illness on people. Stress without trivialising mental health.
This is going to be one of a trio of lovecraftian solo books I want to get out before August 20th. So that is enough for today, time to get back to research!