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Have you ever considered reading or writing to scratch that itch?


If you're in a frequently changing environment, you could use that as an outside influence. Whenever you come to a decision point, look around and the first (or the first unique) thing you see has to be incorporated into what's happening. You'd probably want to match your game location roughly to your location to decrease incongruity, but you could correlate cars to carts or pick out aspects of what you see, like color.


Philosophically speaking, it makes you wonder what is so magical about randomness that suddenly transforms something from “just writing “ to “not writing”


Even in writing, some people like to have a writing partner to bounce ideas off of and to have to negotiate their interests with


Belonging Outside Belonging / No Dice No Masters games like Dream Askew. They’re not generally designed to be solo but easily could be.


I'm not sure how many could actually be converted to solo. These games are almost all about relationships between the members of an "outsider" community (it's where the "Belonging Outside Belonging" name comes from, even), so the interactions between the players are crucial to the story. Pokemon Tales is an exception, but it's definitely a rarity in this family of games.


[Top 10 Games You Can Play In Your Head, By Yourself: Second Edition](https://a.co/d/2dL9dW1). They even have a subreddit r/GYCPIYHBY It seems fake but is actually entertaining


There are techniques for "mental dice" - [this is the one i favor](https://latenightzen.blogspot.com/2020/02/silence-of-dice.html) - but certainly you could have a system like this to eliminate randomness (and wow is this gonna be minimalist): You start with 5 tokens Every time your story comes to a choice, you can either spend a token to succeed, or accept the consequences. When you are out of tokens, the story either shifts significantly, OR you lose (whichever makes sense)


Oooh I like that a lot!


That is awesome.


I am wondering if a point buy system would work? Here are two very super-minimal TTRPG that I found on itch. They talk of tokens, but maybe it's possible in another way (memory? finger counting? string of beads? pocket of pennies?) [https://gwyllgi.itch.io/key-and-token](https://gwyllgi.itch.io/key-and-token) [https://aarongoss.itch.io/tiny-tokens](https://aarongoss.itch.io/tiny-tokens)


Hey, thanks for the link to Key & Token! I've spent a lot of time building tools for randomless play. You might be interested in the diceless oracle system Myriad https://gwyllgi.itch.io/myriad. I also have tools for determining the weather, time of day and diceless combat on itch.


Thanks for the link, that's really interesting. I am a big fan of anything that uses images over words. When I downloaded the Myriad PDF, I noticed the file had the hex flower instead of the nodes version that is in the image preview. ([https://gwyllgi.itch.io/myriad](https://gwyllgi.itch.io/myriad)) Is that intentional?


Thank you so much for catching this and letting me know! I've fixed the upload :)


Np. I am looking forward to checking it out.


This question reminded me of this other thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/Solo\_Roleplaying/comments/fy5t1y/silent\_dice\_a\_toolsfree\_gm\_emulator\_and\_random/


People often joke that solo rpg is just writing but with more steps - which is true to a degree. I'm pretty sure if you take away randomness, then it _is_ just writing


I second mid-narrative surprise, it's the reason I play solo even though I have a gaming group. That and the level of immersion and frictionlessness it allows. Utilizing some pretty simple tricks allowes me for more surprise and excitement than I thought possible at first. So, it is kinda like writing, but with less burden of editorial decisions and with a real sense of discovery, so like reading as well.


Same is true with a group. It’s just collaborative writing. I think the distinguishing feature that makes it a game, whether 1 or many players, is mid-narrative surprise. There’s a tavern, everybody can reasonably expect they’re about to see entering a tavern, seeing some patrons, ordering a drink, hearing some rumors. It becomes a game when something alters or enriches the expected. So you just need some way to surprise yourself without dice. One way might be, every time you’re intuiting an outcome or setting a scene, you MUST choose some element of surprise large or small. Make some little mark to indicate that choice and how big a surprise you satisfied. By some method of your own choosing, regulate what the required amount of surprise must be over the course of your game. Some examples: With D&D you could corellate gaining a level with overcoming (Level * 3) units worth of surprise. A big surprise is 1 unit. Small = 1/4. Middle = 1/2. Pick your own scale. In FU-RPG you could do something similar but require the overall story arc for your game session to require, say, 3 total units worth of surprise. You’re likely to have at least beginning, middle, and end scenes. More or less as you see fit. But you MUST choose some level of surprise for each scene. If you really wow yourself with a surprising turn or if you overcome EXTRA surprise, you get a FU point.


Haven't tried it but [Daydream Universal](https://i.4pcdn.org/tg/1612877833266.pdf) by u/calculus-bomb is designed for this Edit: [Preliminary update](https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PuA4EdSRQRXSISQ4TkfD6V49GncHFjl9/view?usp=sharing) by u/calculus-bomb


Noticed the link doesn't work, at least not for me, so I'll share a preliminary update here. After some months of testing, it's in the middle of restructuring and rewriting, but usable I hope. Now called [Daydreamer](https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PuA4EdSRQRXSISQ4TkfD6V49GncHFjl9/view?usp=sharing). I plan to add more general advice for playing "in your head" and definitely some detailed examples of play.


Seconding DDU I actually reached out to the creator via email (since I noticed the original link is no longer working) and he said he’ll post a new version soon. Good to know someone had a save those


Thanks for mentioning! My game in its basic form does indeed not use RNG, though I added dice rolls in a later version.


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Not solo by design but I think [Descriptors RPG](https://descriptorsrpg.com/) is very soloable in your head. You make a list of adjectives for your character. You spend them to overcome obstacles, you suffer failures to add new ones to your list. That's basically all the rules. Edit: Actually one more rule, you pick a noun to describe your character. If the challenge is relevant to your noun, you can spend any adjective even if it isn't relevant to the situation.


[Pokémon Tales](https://iron-echo-games.itch.io/pokemon-tales) has no randomisation at all. You get tokens for fluff narration and introducing problems and spend tokens on solving problems.


With a journaling game like Sentinel, you could replicate the randomness by thinking of a number before looking at the list of prompts, or just looking over the list and choosing one you want, instead of having it randomised at all. Aside from that, I'm also curious about the answer, because I'm trying to imagine what that would look like. Probably a short list of steps you go through, prompts you answer in order?