So, what's up now? Recently, John posted a nice concept and write up about freestyle solo delving on his blog after some discussion around the ’sphere on the subject of dungeon crawls. John came up with a nice simple system for inspiring improvisation as you go.
As most who read this know, simple is my motto. I thought that any solo GMless adventure can run this way. So I've modified this concept somewhat for my own purposes. I don't have a name yet for this, but here's what I'm doing:
The rules are simple — FU RPG provides the engine, but Rory’s Story Cubes provide the inspiration. The adventure starts with a randomly determined (2 Cubes) motivation that ties in with the character’s backstory. A two-Cubes adventure title provides the context for events. From that point forward, roll a single cube to inspire a new scene or element. The “Die of Fate” (borrowed from John Harper’s World of Dungeons) will provide a context for the scene/obstacle/element’s interpretation.
The first adventure's anchor and character’s motivation must be explicitly defined and short-term in scope so that it is attainable in a few brief scenes. When the motivation has been met or the character fails, it proceeds to the next adventure/chapter. At that point, select or roll a new motivation. If none can be found, write a narrative cut scene featuring an antagonist produced spontaneously by rolling nine Cubes and freely interpreting. The Cubes will answer Who? What? When? How? and Why? building a motivation for the enemy that will help build new adventures and bring future conflict into the protagonist's life. These motivations need not be (and perhaps shouldn't be) clearly defined — they should only heighten the suspense, danger, and provide new hooks to build adventures. I will try to include at least one antagonist cut scene for every two or three adventures/chapters.
This will, by no means, be limited to dungeoneering. I will use this to develop a new campaign set in a familiar setting. Meet our protagonist:
Relationships: Xavier Zalibar—a Zhentarim agent who she once served and betrayed. Sanbar Axegrinder—a dwarf and former mentor and friend. Other enemies include former colleagues of the Black Dragons, and other members of the Zhentarim.
Drives: Seeks to right regrettable wrongs done during her time with the Black Dragons.
Descriptors: Tactician, Tough as Iron, Fencing, Uncompromising
Gear: Trusty Broadsword, Headstrong Charger
FU Points: 1
Conditions: ☐Angry, ☐Trapped, ☐Unconscious, ☐Scared, ☐Dazed, ☐Injured, ☐Tired, ☐Dying
☑ = checked
And for the cubes that build the short-term motivation...
…beauty, weather, leading to gold? …happy, innocence?
We will go with the motivation, “follow the map leading to the naive king’s tomb, where the golden death mask is said to lie” that will also be the first adventure’s title.
Lastly, a shout out to another great new actual play solo rpg blog! Welcome Carsten and his blog, http://solospelunking.wordpress.com/