A concerted effort of the Lone Wolf Role-Playing Google+ community, SGAM occurs for the duration of November, and is dedicated to the enjoyment of solitaire tabletop gaming.

Use the #SGAM and #SGAM2017 tags on social media Google+ to join in!


SGAM 2017

Solo Gaming Appreciation Month starts in a few days (November 1st!) is here, so get your Oracles and Rules ready! Or be prepared to make new ones!

Table of Contents

Dedicated to Zach Best

As you know, we recently lost Zach Best, founder of Conjecture Games, creator of many great products geared towards solo play, and, of course, a great person. Therefore, we have decided to dedicate this SGAM 2017 to him.

If you’d like to help out Zach’s family, consider purchasing Zach’s Book or one of his Conjecture Games products on DriveThruRPG.

The Why and How of Solo-Gaming

Along with the dedication, we will put together a collection of solo gaming tools and examples to create a pdf to help people understand the why and how of solo gaming. Everything is welcome, from tools to actual plays. Tell +Chris Stieha if you want your stuff included in the compilation.

How can you participate in SGAM?

There’s lots of ways!

  • PLAY and post!
  • Create tools and post!
  • Make NPCs and post!
  • Even if you don’t post, PLAY!

P.S. Don’t forget your #SGAM and #SGAM2017 hashtags.

What can you use?

Everything! Check out Zach’s work, but use anything that you want. Everything is welcome in the compilation.

Do we have any themes?

Feel free to do what you want, but we have some suggestions:

  1. People use some common elements to inspire their story
  2. People start with the same story seed
  3. Develop NPCs using UNE and post them for people to use

Week 1: Shared Story Structure

One possible theme for SGAM 2017 is the shared story seed and elements. Again, feel free to join in, but don’t feel obligated – solo play is about doing it your way!

Zero Tarot

+Chris Stieha used Todd Zircher’s Zero Tarot to create a set of images that we can all draw from to drive our story.

Zero Tarot

Interpret these how you will. Do they set up the story? Do they describe the story arc? Do you focus on the images? The names? The interpretations?
It is all up to you!

Week 2: Adventure Grab Bags

+Spencer Salyer from Wisps of Time has generated several adventure “grab bags” to get your game started! As this year’s SGAM is dedicated to Zach Best, the focus here is on Conjecture Games’ Universal NPC Emulator.

Using UNE, Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells and its Addendum’s adventure generators, and a random word list generator found at Fifteen Minutes of Fiction, Spencer has come up with several sets of details to spur the imagination, get those gears turning, and take you off in unexpected directions. Oh, and.. a challenge!

The Challenge

What? A challenge?! Well, sort of… It’s more of a “see if you can do it, but hey… sorry there’s no real reward except your own self-satisfaction and bragging rights amidst your actual play peers” kind of thing. Anyhow…

I hereby challenge thee to:

  • Include all the words from the word list in your story / actual play write-up
  • Use UNE to “motivate” the Antagonist and Supporting Character (or any/all NPCs), then to emulate their interactions.
  • Forget about all this and use UNE, SS&SS, and/or AdventureSmith to create your own story seed (don’t forget the word list!)
  • Have Fun!

The Grab Bags

Below are three grab bags generated using Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells. The fourth grab bag was generated using only UNE! Feel free to mix and match, or roll your own. And, of course, come back and tell us about it!


Desolation in the Unthinkable Tunnels

Goal: Attack/Kill/Destroy Location
Location: Wilderness Isolated mountain peak
Antagonist Supernatural Entity Living energy
Support NPC: Organization Adventuring party
Complication: Resource Unlimited resources for the enemy
Reward: Knowledge Location of legendary treasure

Words: snowfall • dupe • require • prejudicial • preclude


The Minstrel of the Last Dimension

Goal: Explore/Discover New path
Location: City-State Local temple
Antagonist Irrantional Monster Vampiric primitive humanoids
Support NPC: Adventurer Weird sorcerer
Complication: Victims Innocent monster
Reward: Magic Artifact Technological machine

Words: illigitimate • fragrant • misappropriate • ringworm • peerless


The Cosmic Throne

Goal: Attack/Kill/Destroy Influential person
Location: Borderlands Enemy territory
Antagonist Organization Assassins clan
Support NPC: Supernatural Entity Immortal ghost
Complication: Supernatural Entity Lost alien
Reward: Treasure Invaluable sacred idol

Words: metropolis • pastor • magnesium • court • showcase


The Profane Flower

Generated using UNE.

Cast member Power Motivations Demeanor Bearing Focus
confident witch strong collaborate advice; comprehend distress; abduct enemies prejudiced reputation antagonist
nefarious aristocrat strongest realize academia; record ghosts; promote strength knowing history relics
lazy outcast comparable burden lust; compose knowledge; burden the government inquisitive petition current scene
titled servant comparable conceive vigilance; hinder intelligence; report pleasure scheming negotiation future action

Words: petrify • arch • char • gnawing • uh-huh


What Do I Do With All This?

Use the grab bags to start your adventure or the next scene of your current campaign. Given those elements, how can you weave them together into a cohesive story hook? Play it out, write it up, and #SGAM it!

For more information on how this was set up and how to use it, check out this post.

Week 3: Zach Bestiary

As you all know, SGAM 2017 stands in memoriam of Zach Best, founder of Conjecture Games and author of several significant works in the solo-roleplaying community. As discussions about a theme for Week 3 came up on the Lone Wolf Role-playing G+ group, +Todd Zircher shared his idea of a collaborative effort to create, collect, and share UNE-generated characters.

The Zach Bestiary

Todd’s clever moniker for this collection of UNE characters is The Zach Bestiary. His goal is to create a living resource for role-players to shortcut NPC creation for use in their games:

… it’s intended to be a resource for anyone either for NPCs as is or to inspire others. Have fun, create a few and we’ll share them all at the end of #SGAM2017…

He’s created a Google Form to collect your UNE-generated NPCs, so do give it a try and submit your responses to the form below.

Example

Todd also provided an example:

  • NPC: lazy burglar
  • Motivations:
    • comprehend charity
    • damage wealth
    • inform knowledge
  • Description:
    • They call Timothy Maulkin lazy. They say that he’s just a story telling braggart at the local pub. What they don’t know is that it is a ruse. Tim is a genius. He’s the Sherlock Holmes of minor break-ins and petty theft. Could he steal the crown jewels? Sure, but where would you fence those?

Submit your UNE-generated NPC to the Zach Bestiary

To submit your UNE NPC, simply fill out the Google Form linked below, and provide the details following Todd’s example, above.

Submit UNE NPC

You can read more about it here and we look forward to seeing all the submissions and sharing them with you at the end of SGAM 2017!

Week 3: Games Designed for One Player

The focus of SGAM tends to be around playing traditional role-playing games (intended for a group of players) as a single participant – usually with some sort of artificial means for compensating against the lack of players and/or GM.

It should be noted, however, that there are other games out there – many overlapping or closely resembling the RPG category, others stemming from roots in solitaire wargaming, board games, or card games – that are designed, not for a group of players, but for a single, solitary player. Or, in some cases,
scale easily: down to one player, or up from one player (in the off chance a group of players is willing and able to join you).

That’s what this post is about: sharing some of those single-player games for your consideration, and in light of our quest here for SGAM, your appreciation.

By no means comprehensive, but most of these were collected from suggestions by members of the Lone Wolf Role-playing G+ Community.

Check them out here!

Week 4: Zach Bestiary Continued

As SGAM wraps up for 2017, for the final week, we say, play it your way! Submissions of your UNE characters to the Zach Bestiary are still open, and we hope to collect more before the month is out.

Submit your UNE-generated NPC to the Zach Bestiary

To submit your UNE NPC, simply fill out the Google Form linked here, following on the examples below.

Submit UNE NPC

We look forward to seeing all the submissions and sharing them with you at the end of SGAM 2017!

Bestiary Examples

Here’s a sampling of what we’ve gotten so far:

  • NPC: lazy burglar
  • Motivations:
    • comprehend charity
    • damage wealth
    • inform knowledge
  • Description:
    • They call Timothy Maulkin lazy. They say that he’s just a story telling braggart at the local pub. What they don’t know is that it is a ruse. Tim is a genius. He’s the Sherlock Holmes of minor break-ins and petty theft. Could he steal the crown jewels? Sure, but where would you fence those?

  • NPC: cultured expert
  • Motivations:
    • review legends
    • realize the world
    • compel resources
  • Description:
    • Dr. William Huntgrave is a gentleman and a scholar of the world’s mythology. His air of cultured urbanity is an asset as he works to try and gather resources—funding, most likely, for his pet project, an exhaustive study of obscure legends and truths. He believes in his heart of hearts that this can only lead to an improved quality of life for everyone, an idealistic vision only he can see.

  • NPC: solemn drifter
  • Motivations:
    • offend deprivation
    • create affluence
    • join beauty
  • Description:
    • Archibald Dither displays the proper decorum in most any company or situation. His emotions seldom drift from an even keel. Except when it comes to bunches of money and the company of beautiful people and things. He gets quite upset if anyone hinders his attainment of such. Dirty pool kind of upset, but not overtly, if it can be avoided. He’s a sort of jack-of-all-trades, competent, but master of none. Keep him from being upset and he is a steady companion and true.

  • NPC: nefarious aristocrat
  • Motivations:
    • promote strength
    • realize academia
    • record ghosts
  • Description:
    • Weary of the incessant demands of diplomacy, dissatisfied with their meager returns in sovereignty, Atticus seeks more. Dominion. Control. Power! The pendant around his neck is no simple adornment, but an amulet of unholy origin. For each soul it consumes, Atticus grows in both knowledge and strength – but for how long, and at what cost?

  • NPC: Superfluous Gypsy
  • Motivations:
    • Take Dreams
    • Advise Wealth
    • Shepherd the Wealthy
  • Description:
    • She basically tricks rich people into giving her their money to the point of bankruptcy. Whether she gives it to the poor or herself is up to you.

  • NPC: titled servant
  • Motivations:
    • report pleasure
    • conceive vigilance
    • hinder intelligence
  • Description:
    • Belonging to a lesser household, the patrician life suited Randall quite well. His duties are few, his hardships fewer still, and as the youngest of his brethren, there is little chance of romance or the responsibility of carrying on the family name – all the better, considering his frail physique and pallid complexion. Despite all this, Randall knows his purpose in life – to dance the dance of political intrigue. Smiling, laughing, and nodding amongst the gentry, all the while collecting information, testing, probing, and connecting dots. Uncovering secrets for later strategic deployment, or to keep as his own – whichever serves him best – for one day, he will be the supreme puppet-master of the realm, pulling the strings to achieve his own desires.

Lastly…

Last, but not least, help get the word out about SGAM by sharing it on Google+!