[Solo gaming] Automated GM tool...

edited April 2014 in Make Stuff!
This is a copy/paste of a post on my blog. Long story short, I slapped together some javascript to create a tool that would throw random events at me as I concentrated on my fiction. I'd call this maybe a storygame with a focus on the story-writing part. :) If you're familiar with the Mythic GME and it's random events, this will be familiar as well since it's the same structure. The difference is in the content of the events (not the keyword descriptions that accompany the events to provide creative inspiration).

If you do play around with it, do let me know your impressions, specially of the "fictional positioning GM tool". If the tool seems viable, I'd like to maybe make the directives I call "Fictional Alterations" better (much better). They are there to basically provide "pushback" to whatever you as a player are trying to do to affect the fiction.

Here's the long copy/paste...

Automated GM Tool

This is yet another take on the Mythic GME's idea of random events that throw the player twists that they must incorporate into their game. The Mythic GM works as usual, with the twist that now events will come up without any input from the player (i.e. no interaction with the fate chart, or whatever).

The rest of this post will focus on the "Fictional Positioning GM" (boring name). This tool is based, obviously, on Mythic events, but also on my (mis-?) understanding of fictional positioning from posts I've read around the net. The tool is meant to create resistance or "pushback" by challenging a player’s fictional positioning. This tool attempts to approximate the feeling of resistance provided by another player that challenges what you are trying to insert into the fiction.

The way the tool attempts to do this is by interrupting the player’s flow with a set of directives that I unimaginatively call Fictional Alterations, along with a set of Random Keywords meant to help with inspiration. Your job then is to ask, “What is the tool trying to change, and how?” The “what” should generally be the last piece of fiction that was set down. Think of it as the tool saying, “Hold up one second. It’s not exactly like that.” The “how” depends on how you interpret the Alterations and Keywords.

A note on interpretation: Give yourself wide latitude in your interpretations, and also feel free to ignore any and all keywords if it speeds things up. However, do keep in mind that the tool is trying to provide resistance, so don’t shy away from interpretations that add wrinkles or obstacles.

Once you’ve made sense of the Alteration and Keywords, you have two options: Go along with the change (‘say yes’ to the ‘GM’, haha), or declare a conflict. How the conflict is played through depends on what type of conflict system the RPG you are playing has. If the conflict system handles narrative control, the conflict will likely be about what goes into the fiction. If the conflict system is less explicitly about narrative control, (say a system that only allows you to alter the fiction through attributes and skills), you might have to deal with the Alteration AFTER it enters the fiction. **

**Say, for example, that the tool seems to suggest that an enemy attacks you and wounds you. If the conflict system is more heavily about narrative control, you may be contesting the very fact that the enemy enters the picture. If the conflict system is less explicit about narrative control, you may not be able to contest that fact, but you may still be able to avoid the attack, via say a high “Charisma” attribute, or a high skill in combat.


  • edited April 2014
    -never mind, it kicked in for me. Why can't I delete posts? :(
  • I should have mentioned that the intervals between events will be between 5 minutes and 10, randomly, after clicking the start option. That is if I converted milliseconds to minutes correctly. I'm not sure yet what time interval would hit the sweet spot.

    Do ask me any questions that you may have!
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