Memoirs of a Gainer [single player tabletop RPG]

Posted this a few days ago but got slightly freaked out by suddenly having 15+ people looking at my Google Docs :sweat_smile: So going to try this again, but slightly lower pressure this time…

Memoirs of a Gainer is a prototype for a single player tabletop RPG, in which you write a journal for your character as they go through the ups and downs of gaining weight. It’s basically designed to be more of a writing aid than anything - you roll dice and draw cards, and this gives you a somewhat vague description of your character’s week, from which you can write your journal entry. This isn’t an original concept, but I haven’t really seen it applied to WG stuff before, so I thought it’d be interesting to give it a go.

For now I’ve only filled in a subset of the prompts - draw a new card if you get one of the blank ones. Any suggestions for new prompts would be welcomed!

Is this something that people would actually be interested in? I’m kinda torn whether to continue with this concept, focus in more on a particular setting, or work on something a bit more game-y instead (i.e. with more mechanics/built-in narrative).

Here’s the first draft: Memoirs of a Gainer v0.pdf (93.5 KB)

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This is super neat and I’d love to see it developed further! Particularly in the mechanics department, but if setting is more interesting to you that’d be cool to see, too!

edit: particularly, I think it’d be cool to see some way to mechanically add the spades deck mid-game!

Yeah, I think the main issue I have with the game in its current form is that it’s trying to be a bit too hands-off with the kind of story you’re telling, which puts a lot of the pressure on the player to interpret the prompts and come up with interesting ideas. Which is fine if you’re good at coming up with ideas, but I’m not (hence why I want a game that gives prompts :laughing:).

I feel like if there were some more mechanics and/or a more specific setting, that might be less of a problem, but haven’t quite figured that out yet :slight_smile:

Eh, there’s a limit as to how much can be done about that.
In a normal tabletop RPG, there’d be a game master to coordinate things. This however, is a game where you have to be your own game master.

Oh yeah, for sure - at the end of the day, any single player tabletop stuff is going to have to involve at least a little imagination on the player’s part :stuck_out_tongue:

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As a solo thing, I do like where it’s going for now - simple and sweet.

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How about for clubs they are related to career. For example, one could be starting something like clips4sale

I really like this. This would be great as a solo writing exercise. I am sorely tempted to try it out and post an “after action report” on this thread with my results.

Well, assuming there’s not a max character limit on here.

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This is a really good concept! It’d be cool to see this be added onto to make it more fun once you’ve gone through the weight tracker 10 times over.

What an interesting concept this is. I’d love to see it get fleshed out a bit more like maybe with some more mechanics and what you’ve already got added too. I mean you can’t just leave a quarter of the deck out can you? :stuck_out_tongue:

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I really enjoyed this! I decided to modify it a bit, but I went through fifteen weeks and got to two and 5/8s of progress bars. I wrote it in a third person style and, overall, I think you’ve made a really fun and quaint system.

(When I said “I decided to modify it a bit” I mean that I made it so that rolling a 1 removed a box and I always redrew when I didn’t get an interesting card.)

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I like what I’m seeing in this so far, I would love to see more work done on this (if you wanna keep working on it) and I’m looking forward to giving it a go.

2 things I feel like I should mention though

  1. In the Setup section, the Diamond suit isn’t mentioned, you only see it when you get to the Cards section. I know it’s a minor issue, but for a game like this I feel like it’s a good idea to spell everything out as clearly as possible.

  2. Maybe some of the either/or cards should be split between separate cards in order to fill out some of the suits and leave fewer blanks.

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I see what you mean on the Setup section, it’s definitely better if Diamonds get mentioned more explicitly.

However I’ll have to be critical about the second point tbh. The either/or cards have scenarios that function as apart of the same ‘theme’, two sides to the same coin per se. Splitting that apart would only make the game feel more shallow in practice I think, and it’s best to work on fleshing out each card as something unique.

Still, I’m genuinely excited for more of this myself!

Thank you for the comments! Don’t know if I’ll have time in the near future to keep working on this, but I think the changes I’d like to make if I do another version would be:

  • Pick a default setting so that the prompts can be a little less vague.
  • Nail down the unifying theme for each suit of cards - that way, if people wanted to adapt it to a new setting, they could just replace the prompts but keep the rules as is.
  • Add some way to reduce the weight tracker so that the character isn’t constantly growing (otherwise there’s no conflict for intentionally gaining characters!) - I liked the idea of rolling 1s clearing a box. This could probably be an optional rule though.

If anyone wants to take this idea and extend it in the meantime, feel free - it’d be cool to see some more single player tabletop stuff! As much as the multiplayer ones I’ve seen on this site look interesting, I think the majority of people would find it difficult to find people to play them with :stuck_out_tongue:

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I wonder if it can be improved somehow using AI Dungeon?(aidungeon.io)