Frequently Asked Questions
A. My name is Frank, I’m a guy who lives in Ohio. I like writing and gaming, which inspired this endeavor a couple years ago. The results were so good, I thought I’d see if anybody else might want them as well. The Covetous Poet is the name I made up to provide my book, and any future book of a related nature, something to be called. I’m not Sid Meier, I didn’t want to just drop my name across the title.Last updated:
A. It’s just me! As you might have been able to tell from the page, this is a labor of love. I created the system, wrote the charts, used and developed the system, am writing the book, making the layout, and doing the art.Last updated:
A. Here’s how it works: you’re going to start with a series of forms so you can easily write down all your information about the adventure you’re making up. Most of the forms have some creative prompts where you will roll results off the charts provided in the middle of the book, and then you will use those results to help inspire the writing process.
Starting with the Adventure Sheet, you’ll make up the basic plot and background of your adventure. Now, you don’t have to figure out everything all at once, it may take you days or even weeks to hone that perfect RPG scenario in your head and that’s fine. But once you have some general impressions and a few good ideas, you’ll move onto the First Act Sheet, where you’ll roll up some ideas for Events that will happen to the heroes and provide scenes. Then the Second Act, where you will create the Challenges they must overcome in order to achieve the ultimate goal of the adventure (often to thwart a villain). Then finally you will create your Third Act, which is the scene or series of scenes where the PCs confront the villain and have their final battle.
Along the way you’ll probably make up some NPCs and important locations that you’ll be able to detail out and keep track of on the forms provided.
If you want to expand out from the Three Act Structure you can, and I provide some examples of other forms and how to do them. For example the Modular Adventure is a popular alternative, where you basically use smaller One Act-long adventures strung together. A popular example of this would be The Masks of Nyarlathotep for Call of Cthulhu. And of course, you can make shorter adventures too, one acts or two acts, that resolve themselves much faster than a so-called “full adventure supplement.”Last updated:
A. The Three Act Structure (of course), the Modular Structure, the One Act, the Two Act, and finally the Five Act. For you extremely talented literary types who want Shakespearean style, personal plots in your adventures.Last updated:
A. The charts provide you random results for elements to the story you’ll be making. Things, locations, opposition, adventure genre, plot devices, personalities, clues, and motivations all have their own charts. The General Charts are for everybody, they contain results for each of those mentioned types that can be used by any setting, but if you’re using a fantasy-themed RPG, the Fantasy Charts have genre specific results that may provide an even better experience for you. And if we hit that first stretch goal, Sci-Fi and Horror Charts will also be added (charts for both).Last updated:
A. So it starts with the framework from the Adventure Creator. You’ll make up a background and plot for the adventure you’re about to run. The goal here though is just to provide yourself with enough information to start playing. You don’t want to settle all the details, you want your PCs to discover them.
Once you’ve got a basic plot ready, you’ll start actually playing your solo RPG session using whatever rules/system you want. The Solo GM System simply goes on overtop of that RPG you’re using to make it possible to play as one person. You start in the First Act, where small prompts will help give you ideas for what happens in the upcoming scene. You’re playing the GM, so it’s ultimately up to you to decide what happens, where scenes will go and so on. It’s suggested that you make a mix of expected scenes decided by your characters (“I wanna go to the tavern.”) and unexpected scenes (“You were just hit with a blackjack in the back of the head and your sword was stolen.”), both of which can be inspired by or added onto with the prompts you’ll fill in before you actually play out the scene.
Once your characters have completed enough First Act scenes, they unlock the Second Act. The Second Act is where the heroes begin pursuing their ultimate goal (stopping a villain, for example), by completing a number of smaller goals called ‘Challenges.’ You’ll decide what these Challenges are both by the logic of the story (you need to find out the identity of the villain) and by rolling up Challenge prompts to inspire unforeseen challenges (your best NPC friend has been poisoned by the villain and you need to find a doctor to save him).
Then finally, once the heroes complete enough Second Act Challenges they unlock the Third Act, which by this point should require less randomness. You will decide what the final scene or series of scenes will be and then play them out. They may still present challenges and puzzles for the PCs, which can add the exciting conclusion of your game!Last updated:
A. In my system you play as GM (handling any NPCs) and as the PCs. The goal when starting any scene is to have as much information about the beginning and setup of that scene as a normal GM would working out of a pre-written supplement. That way you know where things are going and what is likely to happen. But, random mid-scene things will happen out of nowhere, the actions of NPCs are not certain, the PCs running around in your imagination may have novel ideas that they express as events happen. You play out all of that, with the help of The Oracle, a cheat sheet of tables and instructions that help answer questions and create random results.
How exactly you’ll play out scenes depends on your personality, style, and imagination, but the Solo GM System will be there to help you however you play. As the GM, you’re encouraged to feel empowered, to make up events with authority, but if you get jammed, if your ideas feel trite that day, or if you don’t want to make up that particular event yourself, the charts and Oracle are there to provide you with answers of all sorts.Last updated:
A. The most popular solo RPG supplement to date is Mythic, I believe most solo RPG enthusiasts have tried it, and it's an excellent supplement in my opinion. But I also found that I wanted more than it could provide in terms of story creation and depth of assistance during sessions. Mythic works via GM emulation, the book acts like a GM for you while you play the PCs. The system I've created takes a different approach, you will play the role of the GM too, which is why I call it the Solo GM System.
As GM it's your story to control, the Guidebook is there to assist you and make sure you have a good time. It provides you a structure of acts for your scenes to fit into, so the story makes narrative sense and has a natural dramatic flow to it. The many charts included in the book are used to help inspire you on the fly so you can quickly create scene set-ups and start playing them. And finally the Answer Oracle helps you in-scene, answering basic questions such as "Yes or no," or how does an NPC react or converse with your PCs, and so on.
The goal behind it all was that I wanted to play solo games where I could make up the story as I went, but still felt like I was playing a pre-written supplement in terms of story. This book was my answer, and I'm really happy with how it's all come out.Last updated:
Q. I like the idea of your book, but I’m wringing my hands at the thought that the approach you provide me will be too formulaic. I’m an artist, I cannot be constrained!
A. The Adventure Creator and Solo GM Guidebook is definitely open form, and meant to be used and contorted however you would like to use it, to suit your individual style and needs.
Adventure writing, like all other story writing, is an art form and cannot be contained within the bounds of any formula. Yet, it still needs tools, techniques, principles, and forms. For example, crafting a world class musical instrument is an art form, yet the craftsman still needs his tools to shape and hone the wood or metal he’s working with, and forms to ultimately achieve (violins, cellos, trumpets and so on). Yet he can imagine new musical instruments (as someone indeed did before we ever had violins, cellos, or trumpets) and he can find new or better methods to use his tools. The goal of my book is to provide the tools, to show the popular forms, and then let you do with them what you will.
And the Deluxe Version of the book will go into detail how I’ve broken down popular supplements to see how they work, and in turn how you can quickly and easily use my process to do it yourself. Assuming of course you are as great a genius as I am!Last updated:
A. I’m planning for a February release of the PDF, and a late March or April delivery of the physical copies. As Kickstarter reminds us all, it is a website for projects, and projects such as this one are working with estimates. I honestly don’t think it’ll take me longer than that to turn my hundreds of pages of notes into proper prose, format the pages, create the artwork, and so on.
Either way I will try to keep everyone updated every two weeks or so (I will try not to annoy you with over-updates as such, but I do compulsively write).
Also remember, if the Stretch Goals are met, that will add time to the length of the project. They’re Stretch Goals because I haven’t actually done them yet.Last updated:
A. I’m going to use a print-on-demand service to make the books. The regular version will be color cover and black-and-white interior. The deluxe version will be full color. Both will be softcover.Last updated:
A. Here’s the skinny on the levels...
Troll Level - Like the project or the moxie of the author and want to see it succeed, but aren’t actually interested in either adventure writing or solo roleplaying? Donate at the Troll Level, starting at just a dollar and help the project reach its funding goals! You’ll receive an email of thanks along with a Troll eBadge, which is of a cute troll also saying thanks.
Elf Level - Want all the content of the book with none of the work of holding it in front of your face? Become an Elf Level Supporter and for your $10 contribution you’ll receive the PDF of The Adventure Creator and Solo GM Guidebook when it’s finished!
Slayer Level - Perfect for the discriminating book purchaser and role-player, by contributing $25 to achieve the Slayer Level Supporter you will receive a physical copy of The Adventure Creator and Solo GM Guidebook (interior printed in B&W), along with a PDF copy for you to download and enjoy.
Dragon Level - The top tier for donors, at $40 you can become a Dragon Level Supporter and receive the Deluxe Edition of The Adventure Creator and Solo GM Guidebook, printed in full, amazing color, and containing all the extra thoughts, diversions, and discussions about adventure writing and solo roleplaying that the author is otherwise compelled to edit out of the regular edition meant for the general public for reasons of clarity, brevity, and to prevent its radical ideas from causing riots and a breakdown of social order. This is the Director’s Cut version of the book, so to speak. And besides getting the physical copy mailed to you, you’ll get a PDF of it to download! Bonus!Last updated:
A. Personally, I dislike videos for projects that do not naturally lend themselves to a video. For example, I’m writing a book. If you don’t like reading the description, you’re going to hate the 150 to 200 page item filled with words I will be sending you if you sponsor me.
And I might be in the minority on this, but I don’t enjoy watching the videos for projects like mine, I tend to skip them, and frankly I think a poorly made video doesn’t help you convince people. Kickstarter stats that confuse correlation for causation be danged! Hence, no video for me.Last updated:
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