My first post
covered three popular rule systems for resolving solo RPG efforts, so now I want to focus on some of the supplemental material I've acquired to help round out general content. I actually think this is my most favorite part of role playing (at least, as a GM) - collecting and gathering idea. When I look at my collection of RPG materials from my salad days in high school, I have so many RPG supplements - books of monsters, lairs, magic items, quests, locations, etc... all things you can add to fantasy or genre specific settings with some minor tweaking.
So here, my additional materials would support the kind of solo experience you're looking for. For me, trying to find a system that has an overland hexcrawl element but still allows for quests and dungeon crawling is critical (he said, while foreshadowing).
To help create maps, I've poked around with both the Hex Kit
by Cone of Negative Energy and Worldographer
by Inkwell Ideas. I think for the right person, they're likely perfect tools, but for me I'm really trying to get away from using the PC to role play - I envision it as an activity I can use to get away from the monitor. It's also why I haven't really explored The Augur
, a tool that was specifically developed for Ironsworn (but I think can be used for many other systems if you're motivated).
So instead of software, I've settled on Pocketlands
Geomorph cards. There is a rule set
that goes with the cards, but if you just wanted to be able to create a map and use your own rules, I think these cards work great.
If you then want to scale down from an overland map into a more tactical map, I've settled on Loke Battle Mats
. They're not the cheapest solution and they do take up some space, but in terms of versatility, I've yet to find a better option for pre-generated grid maps. I don't own it, but in terms of cost/space, this seems
like a really good option as you're not only getting maps, but they include tokens.
If you want to scale down even more and get something to help create dungeons, I've settled on The Deck of Many Dungeons
. I'm not sure what the status is with this creator, but the only way to get a printed copy (that link is to PDF) is through The Game Crafter
. Their prices are comparable with DriveThru for card decks, but they are much slower in my experience.
To deal with content creation, I am a fan of the Table Fables
series by Madeline Hale. I'm linking to her site for credit, but all of my purchases were from Amazon. Her books are just filled with thematic tables and were originally designed to help a GM develop content on the fly.
I own but haven't really used The Deck of Tales
by the same creators as the Gamemaster's Apprentice material I've linked in the other thread. These are...a bit more abstract than I'm comfortable with, but if they fit your creation/play style I'd imagine they're rather useful.
I think the last thing I'll mention are the Sidequest Decks
by Inkwell ideas. They're organized by theme (fantasy, horror, sci-fi, etc...) and really just give you some prompts to help fuel creation. They also have various NPC decks (which I own) that do the same thing - give you a name, picture and a backstory and allow you to then springboard into relevant content.
Hopefully that's enough to get y'all started. I've spent considerable time looking at so much stuff to try and figure it out. I think all that is left is to mention the rule systems (RPG rules), but that's actually my weakest area of exploration. I have a very difficult time using or learning systems that aren't based in traditional AD&D framework - it's my own personal issue and unfortunately just how I'm wired. Ive tried learning the FATE system (for example), but I just can't seem to process it all. I'm an RPG grognard, apparently.
HOWEVER, with all this detailed out, I think I might have finally found THE solo RPG experience I've been looking for - the D100 Dungeon rules + D100 World Builder (newly released). I'm still reading through and messing with it, but when the time is right, I'll bust out a new thread.