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One Lore – Solo Role-playing d100 lite

One Lore d100 lite solo roleplaying

I am 90% storm forward and 10% thinking and planning. A couple of weeks ago I read Lore 100 and I thought the system looked really cool. I wrote about Lore Sheets, and I liked the system and the game mechanic.

So, as usual, I stormed ahead and wrote the solo rules for the game.

The game plays really well as a solo system and I am pleased with it.

Today, I uploaded it to DriveThruRPG, as normal and everything is good.

WooCommerce

This evening, I was building the product page for my own store on this site. It has an option to list related products both on the site and on other sites. Great I thought, I can link to the core game. Lore 100 is not exactly a household name and this will signpost the game to people who don’t know it.

Off I went and added the base game as an add on to the solo rules, and that is when I noticed that Lore 100 is a free game. It comes in two flavors, Lore 100 and the Lore 100 SRDs. They even have their own take on an Open Game License, not the WotC OGL, that we normally see.

This leads to the realisation that I have a $4.95 rules supplement for a free game. Normally, it would be the other way around.

The funny thing is that the book is selling, and selling quite well. I am about to put up some more links to Sons of the Singularity, namely the Camlann Chronicles and Rational Magic. Both these books work perfectly with the Lore System, and it means that these can be played solo using One Lore.

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Lacking Talent

I am somewhat artistically challenged. I can do a lot of things but the two weakest facets of my personality are drawing and music. There is little or no need for music in solo role-playing books so that is fine.

Drawing and all the other visual arts, in contrast, would be an immense benefit, if it was something I could actually do.

What brought this on was a discussion about orcs.

I was a tweet this morning about OrcTober. I do like a good mega-thread and I was tempted, I was thinking I could get some ideas together, and then I saw Inktober. A 31 day drawing challenge. The chances of me producing anything passable everyday for a month is nil, but what if I signed up for one of these drawing courses, teach yourself to draw in a month, sort of thing. I could then share what I was striving for, and what I managed to produce.

The goal would be to be able to illustrate my own books, eventually. If you are a publisher, or aspiring publisher, you will know about the hundreds of dollars we spend even on simple stock art. Being able to create even simple ‘page fillers’, those small images you see in rulebooks that balance the columns of text, would save me about $100 a year.

Using off the shelf stock are also leaves you at the mercy of the limits of what is available. Some genres are over served, others, not so much.

So that is my goal. Throughout October, I am going to follow a course, learn to draw, and just for an added challenge, I will try to create at least one piece of stock art good enough to list on DTRPG for other publishers to use.

How hard can it be?

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A day of Playtime

Do you know those days where you are on the go all day, but achieve next to nothing. Today was one of those.

The image on the left may look like a set of solo rules for Index Card RPG, but it isn’t. That is a wasted half an hour using one of those really clever product mock up websites and a screenshot from Microsoft Word.

The naming Trial of One, or more accurately it has since been renamed Trials for One, comes from the trials in the Index Card RPG Core. Hankerin saying in the text to play them, solo, but doesn’t give any rules. I am building those missing rules.

But I am building them slowly. My handwriting is so bad that I cannot really show you any of the rules so far.

You will notice from the cover mockup that the genre is sci fi. The rules are completey setting and genre neutral, but the CORE gives us two settings, fantasy and sci fi, so I chose sci fi. If you like fantasy, do let this put you off.

If you look at a Crystal Worm, they make just as good an alien as they do fantasy monster, and don’t get me started on the Child of Azatoth, you cannot tell me that they don’t come from beyond the stars!

This is really a long post to say that I haven’t really made much progress today. I have killed a few characters, which is not ideal, muched about with some art, and made a few tables.

Still nothing worth showing. I hope to have more for you next week.

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ICRPG Solo – Work in Progress

If you are familiar with the Index Card RPG from RUNEHAMMER, you will probably recognize the node layout from the image here. ICRPG has a distinctive artistic style that indie writers are not allowed to emulate, for fear of a third party book being mistaken for an official publication, so In place of the regular map cards, I have been using Game Icons with my ICRPG Solo rules.

I have a natural affinity to the ICRPG, you must be familiar with my love of the humble post-it note. It feels to me that Hankerin Ferinale and I were kind of on the same page with the desire to strip away all the necessary stuff.

My favourite quote from the rules is leave no content behind. The idea of moving anything unused back infront of the characters is dear to my heart.

Roll that d20

The solo rules the ICRPG are d20 based. I don’t normally use too many reference tables but in this case it felt like the right solution. The problem I wanted to solve was adventure creation. The joy of ICRPG is that you can deal out a new adventure almost at will. The harder part is integrating the location, goals and obstacles. Locations are easy, you deal them out. The goals and objectives are the harder parts. What I wanted to do was preserve as much of the unknown as possible.

I like the discovery aspect of roleplaying. That is part of why I like the sandbox style of play, adventures that can go anywhere and anything can happen.

ICRPG has Location/Obstacle/Goal at its heart. Without the obstacles this isn’t going to work. That is why I needed a mechanism to be able build obstacles on the fly.

Once you start down a particular design road, it is better for the player if you make everything work the same way. It keeps the player in the same headspace.

ICRPG Solo

ICRPG has very few game mechanics, and that suits my own rules light approach to solo play. This game has been an absolute joy to play and create for. What is strange is how many revisions this book is taking. I need to refine this until it is right. However many rewrites it needs.

I think you are going to see this one turn up on the blog a fair few times before it is ready.

Definitely work in progress.

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Building an Online Store Part II

WooCommerce-vs-Shopify

So, yesterday I started to look at two options for an online store. The first is WooCommerce and the second Shopify. The image to the right here is from Website Builder Expert.com and shows that other people reached the same conclusion.

To save you some time reading, the gist of it is that they are both viable, but shopify is slightly easier. Part of the drawback of Woo is that you need your own wordpress site and hosting. The second is that you need some technical ability.

The only downsides to shopify is that it costs more and is less flexible.

The thing is, the more extremes of flexibility are things that I don’t need. I am one person building a basic bookstore for my own books. I will not be the next Amazon.

The article also says that Woo stores take time to build. This is proving to be true. I now have about 5 items in my store. It is going to be a case of adding things bit by bit, a few per day. I think I can get everything added inside a month.

Woo agree with the article, they suggest that on average a Woo store waits 31 days before getting its first sale. I am going to start that clock from the day I have everything uploaded and live on the store.

Woo vs Shopify?

I imagine that I will end up with Shopify. The reason is not that it is easier, the reasoning is going to be time. As a one person businesses, if Woo + Lulu API is going to take more time to set up and maintain, that is time I cannot be reading, learning, playing, writing and playtesting new books.

I am not overly worried about print on demand at the moment. I want to get all the PDFs written and released first. During that time I know I can get the products listed in a Woo store.

I am also not expecting to be selling a huge volume. Roleplayers know to go and search DriveThruRPG. Getting word out about the my own store is going to be a long term endeavour. The Woo store will let me get an idea of what volume I will end up selling and whether the numbers will stack up to make a Shopify store viable.

Print on Demand

It is Print on Demand cards and books that are going to be the crunch point. To offer that from my own store will require either the lulu api or the shopify app. If I go shopify, I can integrate the shopify download centre and the shopify lulu app and have everything under one roof. If I go woo plus lulu api, I think the payments are going to get messy when people want print and PDF.

Luckily, I don’t have to choose yet. The way I am building the store means that if someone buys the PDF, their download link will work forever.

Plan of Action

So my plan of action is to write an extension of my business plan to include my own online store, research these two options looking at downloads, POD books, cards and possibly other solo kit like dice and other cool stuff. Work out how to market the store effectively to generate sales here in preference to DriveThruRPG, and how to optimise a product description.

That doesn’t sound too bad does it? Somehow it was so much easier when I just played games every evening!

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