Tilt – An Oracle for Solo Roleplaying

This post is a continuation of my playing around with Mork Borg. I want to get a grip of non-authoring solo and I was pointed in the direction of Tilt, and I was kindly send a complimentary copy today.

The book is in several sections. The first is a simple generic solo oracle. The tilt system uniquely treats your character, all the NPCs and the world differently. It is an almost reciprocal system, if the odds are in your favour the odds are against the other elements of the game world.

Unusually, you do not really shift the odds for yes or no depending on the question being asked. With the Tilt system those odds are relatively fixed. They can be moved but the majority of the time those odds remain fixed.

The second part of the book deals with how and when you can shift those odds, and that dovetails into establishing facts in your game world, and interacting with the game system you are playing.

Cutting Up

The third and final part is all about the Cut up, non-authoring system. For me, this is the pure gold in this book. The reason I struggled so much in my efforts this week was because I was doing it all wrong! (No surprise there!)

Imagine you took a book of dark and threatening fantasy, the sort of thing that Mork Borg was made for, and then cut it all up into 5 word snippets. Next you draw out a collection of these snippets and lay them out.

Reading through the snippets you look for common ideas, threads and themes.

Here is a pile of snippets.

Each was named Salome.  
.  Count Trocero of Poitain 
them which men to kill 
remembered great horns of foaming 
and gagging on a mouthful 
his paddle across his knee
.  Drink a little of 
vein of sparkling gold running 
of his blows, breaking 
caress.   ‘Not a sound 
hurling down boulders from every 
of his sword.  A 
had poured over the walls 
not fear, nor any 
Aquilonians shudder for centuries to 
the men who killed your 
her sword in her hand 
us in better shape to 
merchant of Velitrium.  They 
a deep, clamorous roar 

I have certain ideas I want to inject into the story. The first is that my character is a bit of a lowlife, from a poor background. I also an imagining a mountainous and rugged country.

Now taking some of these sentences I can try and piece them together into something resembling a scene.

Drink a little of // and gagging on a mouthful // remembered great horns of foaming // vein of sparkling gold running //

the men who killed your// merchant of Velitrium.  They // Each was named Salome.

What this suggests to me is that of being in a tavern and overhearing a private discussion. There is much drinking of strong spirits and then tongues being loosened by drink.

The conversation turns to the death of a merchant. I tested an oracle with the question of Am I related to the Merchant of Velitriun, the answer came back as Yes. So now we have these people talking about the death of a relative by men known as Salome.

The Tilt rules suggest cleaning the text up to make it more legible, or at least coherent. I am not sure I will do this just yet. As with anything new, I am rather slow and tentative. In most of my own books, I tell people that if you are new to solo, don’t worry if it starts off very slow, and feels cumbersome. Well, that is how I feel now just by trying a different technique.

What I quite like is that the places are being offered up to me. I can see how the scenes are suggested by the texts. I almost never start my solo games in a tavern. I try and be more Hollywood and start in the middle of hot crisis.

I am going to carry on with practicing this and see how it evolves.

If you want to give this a go I seriously recommend checking out Tilt. The book is 17 pages, costs $2.75 at the moment, and is available on DriveThruRPG.

1 thought on “Tilt – An Oracle for Solo Roleplaying”

  1. Thank you for the mention and concise review. I linked it to my DTRPG blurb along with the video in the other post.

    Regarding the oracle part of the product, because of my own proclivities, I have a strong need for things to feel fair. I also like creativity in problem solving, thus the oracle is designed to act as an inherent obstacle. As a player, you have a rough idea of the odds of something when your Tilt number is on the more unbalanced side, and this is intentional. You’re supposed to weigh those odds, and decide whether you want to improve them or not (preferrably via the RPG system).


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