A while back I came across Quest Calendar on Reddit/Kickstarter, a single-player RPG in the format of a tear-off day calendar; It’s a fun RPG that only takes a few minutes out of your day to play. It has also opened the door for me to explore the Solo RPG genre, which I was previously unaware had even existed. I have been playing Starforged on-and-off for a few months and it is positively delightful; It’s a PbtA (Powered by the Apocalypse) based tabletop RPG that can be played either solo, co-op or guided; My chosen method of play is sort of a blend between a tabletop roleplaying game and a creative writing prompt.
You see, I love journaling and drawing/watercoloring as a form of personal creative expression and I really like dice rolling TTRPGs. I also really really love world building but I really really don’t want to DM a game. Starforged seems to do a decent job of scratching the odd combination of all 3 itches. So lately, there have been more than a few evenings spent with my Traveler’s Notebook, a printout of some of the rules, dice, a cup of tea, and background music to set the mood. It’s also nice having other activities that aren’t in front of a screen or don’t require daylight and expensive sporting equipment.
One thing that I really like about PbtA systems (vs D20 based systems like DND) is that I feel it is a better balance of chunky stat things vs narrative based actions. The systems is also open enough to make it fairly easy to incorporate other role-playing systems. For example, I really like Stars Without Number’s method of sector generation as it’s more comprehensive so I have been using a blend of SWN and Starforged to generate new sectors and planets. I might integrate some of the ship building and ship combat rules, but I don’t want my campaign to get too mechanically “chunky” so we’ll see.
Here’s a couple of things that I have bookmarked that I either use or have bookmarked to look into:
- Stars Without Number: Mentioned above
- Bucket of Bolts: Another indy solo space RPG. I really like the idea of playing through this and then integrating any characters and ships into my Starforged campaign.
- Starship Geomorphs 2.0: In-depth ship building. It looked neat.
- itch.io Starforged Jam: Community created extended Starforged content. The Cyberpunk playkit interests me greatly as I am enjoying Cyberpunk 2077 play #2 (inspired by watching Edgerunners).
…I also really love how the community has officially unofficially adopted the standard sized Traveler’s notebook as an analog medium for this game. I have a notebook insert and folder with laminated cheat sheets that I use during play sessions.