November has come and gone and with it many of my grand ambitions for Solo Game Appreciation Month. I *did* manage to restart my long-dormant Ebon Knight Mythic GME/ICONS game, and for that I should be thankful. It was over a year ago when I left off with page 16 of my pseudo-comic. It was right around that time that my schedule took a hit and solo gaming fell off the table. But I've picked up the story and I have managed to crawl my way through page 20 by stealing a few minutes here and there after work and at lunch. The pseudo-comic format works really well for folks with a tight schedule, as you only really need to do a panel at a time.
So, yeah, that was a success. I'll even post some AP once I'm closing in on the end of the first "issue".
But my grand goal for the month was to come up with a new kind of card-based solo system based on the beats of Hamlet's Hit Points. I started hashing out some ideas HERE and the project seemed to have so much promise. But I found that my system kind of fell flat once I started to use it.
In a nut-shell, I basically came up with a system that translated draws from a standard deck of playing cards into emotional beats. Most cards resulted in procedural or dramatic beats (determined by context) and the number of pips determined if they were positive or negative (as per Robin's analysis, there was a definite negative bias). Face cards yielded special beats like Questions, Pipes, Reveals, Commentary, Gratification, Anticipations, or Bringdowns. Suit would provide additional inspiration, as per my Practical Cartomancy article.
The problem is that I totally got everything backwards. The reason the Mythic GME works so well is that the GME just acts as a glorified Magic Eightball with random twists thrown in for good measure. When playing a Mythic game, there is this natural kind of flow and you only really need to consult the GME when logic fails and answers are non-obvious (or when you just really want to allow for some unpredictable weirdness).
My so-called "Beat System" kind of put the cart before the horse. Given a situation, I'd draw a card and flail about trying to interpret it. I was hoping the cards would provide a cool dramatic structure, but in reality they just simultaneously provided too much and too little.
I still have hopes that I can do something with Hamlet's Hit Points because it really has been on my mind lately. But I'm most likely going to take my ideas and apply them more directly to play with the GME.
And speaking of Hamlet's Hit Points, Robin Laws will be crowdfunding a game called Hillfolk, which will be the first to use his "Drama System". Essentially, it's genre emulation for television dramas. Sounds fascinating!