One Player and One GM

ZorValachan
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Re: One Player and One GM

Postby ZorValachan » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:56 pm

On the wound penalty, i found even though it is a very easy rule, it's also easy to forget.

In OT i used the Masterbook 6 wounds (5+death) with the penalties at each level. My group remembered to use them, maybe because i had them on the character sheet. I kept villians at 4, but no penalties to cut down bookkeeping for me as the GM.

In TE, the simple -1 per wound is often forgotten by the same group. Hmmmmm now that i think if it, I've forgotten to use it for villians in TE, probably because of my OT influence. So I'm also at fault for this. So i can see this helping in multiple ways.
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Gargoyle
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Re: One Player and One GM

Postby Gargoyle » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:58 pm

Thanks Deanna, good insights.

I may house rule the wound penalties away completely. I could really see the death spiral effect when there was only one player, and the only reason it wasn't as prominent with group play was the presence of First Aid; I think getting rid of it may encourage people to not always soak wounds, and that should be more fun. I am mean and unlike ZorValachan always remind them of wound penalities so they are loathe to take wounds.

And cosm cards are really fun, so I will try three and see how it goes, and I start them with 6 possibilities instead of 3 and see how that goes. I may even throw an extra Attunement card in the deck in all my games, we really love the cosm cards.

The extra "ghost pool" of cards and possibilities does work pretty well with two or three players IMO, been using that for awhile, but with one player it feels more like a bigger hand and I don't want to make the hand size too big.
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Atama
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Re: One Player and One GM

Postby Atama » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:41 pm

utsukushi wrote:Rather than changing all the mechanics so that it turns out Storm Knights become exponentially more powerful the fewer of them there are, I would suggest changing the focus of your adventures.

That is simply an application of the Inverse Storm Knight Law.

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Kuildeous
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Re: One Player and One GM

Postby Kuildeous » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:54 pm

ZorValachan wrote:On the wound penalty, i found even though it is a very easy rule, it's also easy to forget.


As an aside, I use red poker chips with "-1" written on them in white-out. Then it's right in front of your face.

But I can see the argument for not having penalties in a solo game.

I think the large hand size will be less of a hindrance than you think. Torg players start off with too many choices to choose from, but there is generally no wrong choice for what goes in your pool. There may be better choices, but if a player puts a Willpower down instead of a Drama, it's not a bad choice. That Willpower can still be useful.

But after enough plays, players figure out pretty quickly that Second Chance > Opponent Fails > Leadership > Action > Adrenaline. It comes second nature to them. And if the player has to think through the cards, give them time. The only time they're wasting is yours, and you're too busy giving them a great story. It's not like you have another player tapping his foot impatiently waiting for his turn. I think starting them off with 8 cards or so that they can place in their pool 2 at a time would be great. Your player will figure out the hierarchy of cards quickly enough.

The big concern I see is how to get the player to use interaction attacks to trigger the favored action. Having lower defenses should make it so that mutli-action is worthwhile.
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Gargoyle
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Re: One Player and One GM

Postby Gargoyle » Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:13 pm

Kuildeous wrote:
ZorValachan wrote:On the wound penalty, i found even though it is a very easy rule, it's also easy to forget.


As an aside, I use red poker chips with "-1" written on them in white-out. Then it's right in front of your face.

That would work. Lots of counters like this already in the game though.

I think the large hand size will be less of a hindrance than you think. Torg players start off with too many choices to choose from, but there is generally no wrong choice for what goes in your pool. There may be better choices, but if a player puts a Willpower down instead of a Drama, it's not a bad choice. That Willpower can still be useful.

But after enough plays, players figure out pretty quickly that Second Chance > Opponent Fails > Leadership > Action > Adrenaline. It comes second nature to them. And if the player has to think through the cards, give them time. The only time they're wasting is yours, and you're too busy giving them a great story. It's not like you have another player tapping his foot impatiently waiting for his turn. I think starting them off with 8 cards or so that they can place in their pool 2 at a time would be great. Your player will figure out the hierarchy of cards quickly enough.


Like you though, I'm running one on one stuff for primarily new players, and also for players that will never really have good system mastery. My ex likes the game for instance, but will never understand all the rules, much less the nuance. Torg has a very high skill cap, so skilled players can do a lot more with the same resources.

The big concern I see is how to get the player to use interaction attacks to trigger the favored action. Having lower defenses should make it so that mutli-action is worthwhile.


Yes, (approved action you mean?) and this is why I'm considering reducing penalties for multi-actions and multi-target attacks. Using the combined action table instead is a good idea. Coincidentally the elven warden has the elven archer perk and that helped a lot, which made me think of reducing these penalties.
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ZorValachan
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Re: One Player and One GM

Postby ZorValachan » Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:20 pm

The main problem, is most of my games are online with roll20 and even with puting icons on their tokens, people are so accustomed to pushing the roll buttons, which calculate everything, they forget to adjust for wounds, stymies, very stymies, etc. I've added a modifier column, which is great for boosts/penalties for stats and skills, but need to add an 'everything' box for the things tgat apply to all rolls.

We've found it's just the nature of playing online with automated character sheets (same happens to some people in our Pathfinder game)
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Brandon_C
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Re: One Player and One GM

Postby Brandon_C » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:23 pm

Somewhat tangential, but several of the scenarios in Delphi Council Missions involve the PCs interacting with a Storm Knight operating alone. Those scenarios are good for ideas on what a lone SK could be expected to do.

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Re: One Player and One GM

Postby Savioronedge » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:12 am

Also remember, no one is going to send the Game Police to your table if you don't include specific aspects of the game in every adventure...if your 1 Character is not a combat-monster, there is nothing forcing you to include combat in every adventure, for instance.

With a group, you need more variety in experiences to allow every Character a chance to shine. With a single player, every adventure can be taylored for her strengths with a few "surprises" thrown in to keep it interesting.

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Gargoyle
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Re: One Player and One GM

Postby Gargoyle » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:37 am

Savioronedge wrote:Also remember, no one is going to send the Game Police to your table if you don't include specific aspects of the game in every adventure...if your 1 Character is not a combat-monster, there is nothing forcing you to include combat in every adventure, for instance.

With a group, you need more variety in experiences to allow every Character a chance to shine. With a single player, every adventure can be taylored for her strengths with a few "surprises" thrown in to keep it interesting.


Totally agree, sometimes non-combat encounters are more difficult to design though, just something I need to work on. I get too focused on combat stuff sometimes.
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Kuildeous
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Re: One Player and One GM

Postby Kuildeous » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:37 am

Gargoyle wrote:Totally agree, sometimes non-combat encounters are more difficult to design though, just something I need to work on. I get too focused on combat stuff sometimes.


I think combat is most people's go-to. It's almost universally the parts of the game that has the most moving parts. It's the largest time sink in most RPGs. That time sink translates into a speed bump which lets you tell the story at a slower pace (or too slowly if used poorly).

It's the system that lets players succeed based on a series of rolls. Contrast this with most skill rolls that are resolved with a single roll Most games have players do a single roll to talk the bandit into surrendering but several dice rolls to beat the snot out of him. Players have started to get the idea when D&D4 included skill challenges, sadly unaware that Torg already did this nearly 20 years earlier.

So thinking in terms of combat feels natural. At least for old fogey GMs, but I think it's a philosophy that is prevalent in many RPGs. The story is what happens between combats, though if you can make each combat a part of the story, then that's awesome.

I get it. When you're thinking up 4 hours of story ahead of time, you can cheat by having a combat or two or three in there. Then you might only need 2.5 hours of story to fill because the other 1.5 is tied up in combat. When you go completely combatless or have really quick combat, then you need 4 hours of story to fill. I find it easier to just throw a ravagon at them sometimes.

But yeah, with the solo, you can have her determine how the story will unfold. If she wants combat, then you oblige her. If she doesn't, then you have other challenges. And in that regard, you use her lack of combat as plot drivers. After all, how many stories are centered on the fact that the protagonist is not a super-soldier and has to outwit the more combat-capable villains?

But yeah, I get how you can get focused on combats. It's usually what happens within gaming.
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