Saga Machine Solo Games

Saga Machine Solo Games

So in this post I'm going to take a step away from talking about Against the Dark Yogi for a while and turn my attention to a completely different topic that I've mulled over a bit in my spare time.

I'm a bit of a fan of solo RPGs. They're not quite the same thing as a full multiplayer game, but they're fun in their own right. I grew up on the Choose Your Own Adventure books, and later found similar books that added RPG stats to the mix, like the Lone Wolf books and the Fighting Fantasy series. I've also played a number of the old GURPS solo modules. And that got me thinking: How would I write a solo game with Saga Machine?

I don't have any official answer for this. Saga Machine was written with the intention of being a multiplayer game, and right out-of-the-box that's what it's best at. Nevertheless, it wouldn't take too much work to get it to run a solo game, and along those lines here are some of my quick-and-dirty notes on how to do it. (Note this is all first-generation Saga Machine stuff.)

Solo Module

Think of the rules to run a solo game as like a module. That said, what rules would you need?

  • Stat & skill rolls work as always
  • Traits that give circumstantial bonuses work as always, just apply best judgement
  • Luck
    • Spent to reroll
    • Serendipity gives +2 bonus if you can justify to yourself what it's doing
  • Powers
    • Each power lets you use an Int/occult roll in place of a normal skill roll under certain circumstances
    • Using a power costs a kalid/lunar part
    • You have a Focus rating; you can only use a power a max number of times equal to that in one battle
  • Combat
    • You have a health rating, works like HP
    • Each round you make opposed roll Dex/melee or projectiles, deal Strength damage
    • Weapon increases damage, Armor reduces it
      • Unarmed = 1/2 Str, 1-Handed = Str + Force, 2-Handed = 3/2 Str + Force
      • Lethal = +2 Dam, Soak = -2 Dam
    • Speed = Dodge Points. Per fight. Roll Spd to negate damage on success. Reduce damage by 2 on fail.
    • Fatigue rating; use fatigue abilities a max number equal to this
    • Any trait requiring extra action points = 1 fatigue & focus
    • Moving to close is an action, Moving away foam close is an action, provokes ZoCA. Combat starts at range unless says otherwise.
    • Evade combat = Opposed Spd action. May only be done at range. Says if you cannot evade. On a failed evade enemy gets a free attack where evader cannot deal damage
  • Enemy Combat
    • Monsters have a combat score as with PCs
    • Powers work as with PCs
    • Monsters always use their best attack (gives best roll+damage), including using powers until they run out of focus/fatigue to do so
    • At half HP monsters must make Det roll or try to evade. Unless says otherwise.
  • Encumbrance uses slot system
  • XP given occasionally in the text
  • Weaknesses give a luck when they mechanically apply
    • Personality weaknesses give a -2 to rolls when they would apply. For example, overconfidence would give -2 to evade and give you a luck regardless of the roll's outcome. Max 1 per weakness per numbered block.

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