Collaborative Play · Solo

A very small thought on the Solo 6

solo 6Among the array of tools I use for GM-less gaming is the “Solo 6“.  This is just a fancy name for a single d6 that can be used as a GM-substitute when you’re in a pinch – you can read about how it works here, if you like.  It’s ridiculously simple.

Having done quite a lot of gaming with it now, I can say that it’s surprisingly effective (especially because it seems so unpromising to begin with).  Naturally, it’s usually better to use a more sophisticated system, if you have one – but sometimes the system just doesn’t cover the kind of question you want to ask.  That’s when a stop-gap measure like the Solo 6 is really handy.

Ok, the Solo 6 is kind of stupid, but you like it anyway.  We knew that already.  What’s your new point?

Well, recently I’ve started to feel that maybe the solo 6 isn’t quite doing the job as well as it could, largely because too often it seems to give me a “yes, but…” or a “no, but…”,  in situations when it would have been better if it had given me a simple “yes” or “no.”

The “yes, but…” and “no, but…” answers are really nice to have once in a while, since they force you to think a little harder, and imagine a little further, on your own initiative.   But they also require a lot of you, as a player, and I guess I want the system to do a bit more work for me.

A really fancy d8, just to add to the drama.

So – MASSIVE FANFARE!  WORLD-SHAKING ANNOUNCEMENT COMING! – nowadays I’ve been experimenting a little with what I hereby dub the SOLO 8.  (GASP!)  If you’re not an avid GURPS gamer, then you might not fully appreciate how extremely difficult it is for me to admit that something more than d6’s might be required when gaming.  But I digress.

Basically, when you don’t have a GM, you just ask a yes-or-no question, roll a d8, and then interpret the results as follows:

  1. Yes, and…       (i.e. an emphatic “yes”, with something extra added to take it further, make it bigger, louder, more so)
  2. Yes
  3. Yes
  4. Yes, but…        (i.e. a qualified “yes”)
  5. No, but…         (i.e. a qualified “no”)
  6. No
  7. No
  8. No, and…         (i.e. an emphatic “no”, with something extra added to take it further away from what you proposed)

If you’ve been watching carefully around here, you’ll already have spotted that this is simply the good ol’ Solo 6, with an extra “yes” and an extra “no” tacked on for good measure.

I’m hoping that this little tweak will help the Solo 6 8 to do its work better – it will come up with simple, clear, direct answers a bit more often, but will still generate demands for more nuanced answers on a regular basis.  I plan to experiment with it a little further in my current game, and then let you know how it goes.

(You’ll notice that even with this astonishing, unheard-of choice of dice, I’ve kept that great, GURPSy “a low roll is a good roll” feel.   I’m not a complete heretic.)




6 thoughts on “A very small thought on the Solo 6

  1. Let me start by saying that I really like what you did here at the Collaborative Gamer and all the work you did to create this solo system. Thank you.

    I’m using your system to create a series of adventures on my blog and further the line test some stuff for my Dungeon Psionics campaign.

    I’m having fun using the Solo 6. But I agree that more plain yes and nos will be better.

    I’ll test it and when I publish my solo experience I’ll give you a shout out.


  2. I’m so glad to see you posting again! Welcome back! I hope your GURPS game is going well… sure would be nice to read some adventure logs (hint hint) or new adventures of Temian Fell (if you can find the time)… I love your system and use it to supplement when needed.


  3. Very happy you are back (even though I just found this blog)! I use a different system.

    Ask a question and create two or more answers. Each answer starts with a d10.

    If the answer is more interesting/probability, it gets a d12. If an answer is less interesting/probability, it gets a d8.

    Roll all dice, the highest number is the answer!

    Optional, roll on the Transition Words Chart to spice up a Yes/No answer.


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