September 1, 2014

RPG Solo – A Very Cool "Genre" To Play

A few months ago I found this website called RPG Solo. It's basically a virtual GM with a general purpose open system you can use to play RPGs by yourself, using the hints and tips from the GM to guide your adventures.

Instead of playing an actual RPG adventure as we know it, and put myself as a PC, I experimented with using it as an assistance for writing Fiction. When you don't know where to start or what to write about because there's just too much freedom, restrictions are probably the solution you're looking for.

This is a short story I wrote using it just to test the idea, and also to support another article I'm writing now that will link here. The following excerpt is from said article:

You don't have to follow all their rules and actually put yourself in the position of a PC, but simple write around and dictate (yep) NPCs Actions, Events and Effects until you lose the next idea, where you can use the randomization to inspire you going forward, or when you simply decide to leave an outcome to be decided by a dice roll, simply to make things more interesting.

The blue text are outputs from the virtual GM, everything else is my textual interpretation and adaptation of the ideas. (Please don't mind the "quality" of the Story, I'm not a Writer.)

I recommend going to the RPG Solo website and trying it for yourself. It's very fun!

Sidereal Impasse

Below average map.
Cheap alien artifact.
NPC negative.

The setting is occupied gate involving high quality anti-gravity generator and burning observatory. Your quest is to return stolen technology to the swarm staging area. Trying to stop you is the demonic assassin skilled in planetary cartography. You are currently at the industrial research station.

— "Here we are..."

— "Shut up, monster!" screams Mrs. Ferreira. The ferocious words come out inevitably punctuated by the lack of oxygen amidst the vapor leaking from the Engine's pipes, and from her swollen vocal cords. She has been screaming for hours.

Screaming with her crew, not with the woman in front of her. "If it's even a woman!" she thinks. A quick reading with the Bio-Scanner would be able to answer the pertaining question in the back of her mind.

But she doesn't have much time to think about that or to go looking for the Bio-Scanner in the tools room. The young Andreas' arm is bleeding, pumping out dark red blood. Mrs. Ferreira is an engineer, not a medic, but she can tell that the color and pressure of that blood means no good.

She needs the Med-Pack, not the Bio-Scanner. Not yet.

As a matter of fact, the Bio-Scanner isn't even the second thing she needs. The first engine is collapsing, leaking vapor from the cooling systems everywhere. The main control system of the ship should be shutting the engine off to prevent overload. Should, but isn't.

The Universal Orientation System of the biggest Industrial Research Station of the human colonies, commonly called by the crew as "The Map", is right now, for lack of a more suitable word, lost. "The Map" is lost. The most advanced Orientation System ever put in a non-military space-station, completely useless.

— "Such a bitter irony, isn't it?" commented young Andreas earlier that day, before the woman the emergency crew rescued from an escape-pod two days later teared his arm open with that weird cutting artifact she's now pointing at Mrs. Ferreira.

Andreas is unconscious, bleeding to death, and the first engine is about to explode any moment now, yet the Bio-Scanner is still there, in Mrs. Ferreira's mind. What in the word is this woman?

— "Yes, here we are. We're all on the same boat!" replies Mrs. Ferreira in a serious tone, trying to talk the woman-shaped thing into some logic that could, only maybe, open up some advantageous possibility later. "Later, as if I had time for that...", her engineer brain still trying to make long-term decisions even in an urgent situation like this one.

— "Ship!" the woman replies with an unsettling semblance of tranquility, "It's a ship, not a boat. As an Engineer, you should be able to tell the difference."

Mrs. Ferreira presses her jaw in disconcert. The monster is trying to get into her mind.

— "Do you think that's a joke? If the first engine explodes, we all die!" she shouts promptly trying to disguise her anger into a semblance and tone of pondered seriousness. "I won't lose focus that easily if that's what you're thinking!" she almost says out loud, but still manages to separate her thoughts from her words, "Not at this crucial moment!".

— "If you don't let me pass and stabilize him, I cannot go back to the engine to stabilize it."

Mrs. Ferreira keeps talking while trying to ignore her fears that this demon cannot be reasoned with. But she has to try, losing hope won't do any good. "If he dies, we all die!"

Mrs. Ferreira is bluffing and hoping it sticks. She's not worried about her own old and achieved life, and would certainly give it up to save young Andreas, and certainly yet, she would proudly die to kill this traitor all in the same day. She doesn't care for the cost of the International Research Station either, she only works for the Corporation because they fund her research. But the lives of the crew, which are many, clearly out-weight the life of young Andreas alone.

"Even if he dies, I still have to save everyone else!" she thinks, and that simple thought of it scares her. As Chief of Enginery for twenty years, Mrs. Ferreira have always been responsible for many lives in the station, as any error committed by her or those under her orders would put everyone in danger.

"Of course she won't fall for this bluff..." thinks Mrs. Ferreira. "It's such an obvious situation and I'm clearly the one in disadvantage here".


The woman looks down on the unconscious young Andreas. "Alright!"

The Engineer can’t really believe her ears.

— "I’ll fix the boy. You fix the engine" says the woman with the tone of who's definitively settling a deal.

— "You 'fix' him?", Mrs. Ferreira can't hide her disgust for the choice of words, "Do you think I’m stupid or what?". She can't tell if she's acting out of anger or simply being pragmatic in her distrust of the murderous demon, but quickly writes the question out of her mind as it doesn't really matter right now. "I'm not letting you alone here with him and go fix the Engine while you kill him and escape!", she concludes from her own words it was both, after all.

— "Where would I escape to? As you said yourself: we're all on the same boat, dear engineer" talks the woman so calmly it seems she's even oblivious to the current state of affairs, "This kid wasted enough of my time by attacking me and now the last escape pod has already been used."

The detached, condescending words make the engineer's blood boil again. She's ready to shout, jump, attack the monster and fight to the death. Nothing else matters. "Wait," a thought stops her muscles now ready to do anything that comes out of it, "she means it?" Mrs. Ferreira ponders in surprise. "It's unbelievable! The bluff worked!?".

Before Mrs. Ferreira has time to work out the certainity of those those thoughts, the woman lowers the artifact she's been pointing at her all this while and starts regulating something in it. Mrs. Ferreira stands confused for a few seconds. "Should I attack her now? It could be my only chance! Or maybe it could be throwing my only chance away".

— "So are you letting me pass or not?", her words seem to come before her though settles, "I have to bring the Med-Packs to stabilize him right now!", urges her, trying to keep following the path of diplomacy since it's already been taken anyway.

The woman crouches and points the device at young Andreas again. "There's no need for that. I got it sorted."

This time not only she can't sort if the time is for words or actions, but her entire body is frozen with shock. A scream wants to come out of her lungs but the air stops dead at her throat, and what follows only deepens her despair.

A red flash comes from the device and the light involves the entire room, accompanied by a weird loud noise that quickly fades away, bringing together all other noises with it.

"The fucking bitch killed him in could blood!", her thought's mixed between the sudden emotional shock and the necessary means to fix the situation with the Engine. "And I believed this monster's words once again!" thinks Mrs. Ferreira, already feeling guilty for what has unfolded.

The sudden flash of light is so bright she feels dizzy for a while. Her pupils forcibly shrinking with the disproportionate increase of light in comparison to the dim darkness she slowly got accustomed to after all these years. Everything went black for a couple seconds.

— "This will do!" the calm voice of the mysterious woman breaks the sudden deafness caused by the noise, "The wound is sutured and he won't bleed to death anymore."

Mrs. Ferreira's vision is only coming back again, everything is so blurry she can barely make up the general shapes of the woman and young Andreas in front of her.

— "I did my part of the deal. He's fixed!"

As her eyes re-adapt back to the emergency lights of the I.R. Station and the words from the strange woman reach her ears, Mrs. Ferreira looks in disbelief while still trying to understand what had just happened.

— "Now you fix the engine!"

No comments:

Post a Comment