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ALONe: A Solo Game Engine BETA
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ALONe: A Solo Game Engine BETA

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(BETA-Get involved and shape the game!)

Some tales best unfold ALONe.

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ALONe (A Lonesome October Night) is a solo game engine designed specifically to support role playing with only one player and no Game Master.

Whether you want to play a cunning streetrat surviving by their wits, a demigod raising an immortal army to storm the walls of heaven, or a mercenary warrior who just wants to live through their next campaign, ALONe can help you tell your story.

ALONe makes use of the GameMaster's Apprentice cards, and so includes with it the instructions for those cards and a black-and-white, PnP preview of the genre-neutral GameMaster's Apprentice deck, half the length of the full set. More stories can be told with the full deck of cards, or with the addition of the genre-specific decks, also available from DriveThru.

March 2020 Update: Version 4 is live! Also: Stay home and game!

This most recent update includes a TON of new content, and is almost entirely re-organized to flow better and include more detailed examples when necessary. It also represents what I believe to be the final version of the rules! Barring editing, this is ready to begin layout--not that feedback would be unwelcome!

Highlights include:

  • Living campaign worlds with recurring cast members, plot threads, and so on!
  • Spontaneous conversations and dialogue with NPCs!
  • An adventure-creation framework to make it easy to build both short- and long-term content!
  • And a ton of edits!
Also, for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, I've reduced the price of my PDF GameMaster's Apprentice decks (and other cards) by 90%; please, grab a deck for $0.99, stay home, and game!

This is a BETA PRODUCT. It is not finished, not edited, not formatted, and without any significant art resources. Money raised from PWYW purchases will primarily be used to pay for editing, layout, and art, and your feedback and comments will let me make sure the actual game is as excellent as possible! Please direct any questions or comments to Nathan Rockwood at LarcenousDesigns@gmail.com.

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Reviews (3)
Discussions (9)
Customer avatar
Damien F April 12, 2020 7:45 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hello Nathan, I intend to pay the price of your product to help supporting its development, but I'm wondering if I'll have a free access to the final product when it's finished ? Cheers
Customer avatar
Nathan R April 12, 2020 7:59 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Thanks so much! And yes, anyone who downloads/buys this as a beta will always have access to a free pdf version. I may add a paid print on demand option, depending, but that will have the same content!
Customer avatar
Nick B April 08, 2020 2:45 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Nathan! I recently purchased GMA for Sci-fi. I'm still tinkering with it. I created a character in Traveller and with the cards she ented up in prison for six months right out of her career in Skyport. Hilarious! I'm interested in ALONe, how close are you to wrapping up the Beta version?
Customer avatar
Nathan R April 08, 2020 7:32 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hah--I'm glad the setup made for an interesting story :-)

The Beta is just about done. The most recent (v4) update is, I think, feature-complete, and now I am working on editing and getting a layout artist involved. I *might* add some more special case/genre specific rules and suggestions, but those wouldn't change the content already in it.
Customer avatar
Felix M September 11, 2019 5:22 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Although this is developed specifically for solo play, I do not see a reason why this would not work as a coopGMless game. Is that true?
Customer avatar
Nathan R September 14, 2019 1:19 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Sorry for the delayed response—Yes, it definitely can be used for a cooperative group game with no true GM. You can work as a collective to interpret the cards, or take turns running the engine as a sort of pseudo-GM, or whatever you agree to! As long as everyone is on the same page about what fits the game, it works well!
Customer avatar
Felix M September 15, 2019 2:57 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi, Nathan. Thanks for the response. I meant playing with more than one character. I think your game (and card decks) would go to the next level if they were advertised as a GMless system, rather than just a solo game. From what I can see so far, there is nothing preventing running two or more characters, but it would be good to have the rules say so and perhaps make some accommodations in the game flow for more than one player.
Customer avatar
Nathan R September 16, 2019 12:45 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Gotcha! I definitely agree, and also do have some more commentary about running multiple characters in the next iteration!
Customer avatar
Felix M September 08, 2019 4:10 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Curious about when do you reshuffle cards back into the deck. Intuitively I would think that you need to reshuffle the dean cards immediately, sine you do not want to affect the odds, like the bell curve, by removing cards.
Customer avatar
Nathan R September 09, 2019 10:20 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
I suggest shuffling after every three or so draws, if you draw and leave them separate, but I tend to hold the deck in my hands while playing, and idly cut the deck, flip cards, and shuffle while I think. Instead of drawing cards, most of the time I just randomly cut the deck, look at one exposed card, and then go back to idly shuffling.
Customer avatar
Felix M September 11, 2019 5:24 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks, Nathan. I would recommend adding this to the book in the next iteration. With my board gamer background, this is what I look for when manipulating a deck of cards. Very interesting system! Looking forward to getting a deck and giving it a try!
Customer avatar
Nathan R September 14, 2019 1:16 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Thanks for the suggestion; I may just do that!
Customer avatar
De E January 02, 2018 5:19 am UTC
PURCHASER
Is this project no longer being updated? Thanks in advance.
Customer avatar
Nathan R January 02, 2018 10:35 am UTC
PUBLISHER
It’s actually getting close to being my next project for completion! Having KickStarted and released the Fantasy Deck Of GMA cards, I’m shifting gears to work on a hopefully-final draft of ALONe. If you have any feedback, please email it to me at LarcenousDesigns@gmail.com!
Customer avatar
Wendy G April 14, 2017 8:48 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Absolutely amazing! I absolutely love everything and this has greatly reduced my GM stress AND given me something to play by myself. When everything has to come from one person, I love getting ideas from something besides myself. It opens up so many stories and is not too open ended or too exact.

One thing though... I noticed this only comes with half the cards, is there somewhere I can buy all the cards?
Customer avatar
Nathan R April 14, 2017 9:17 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Thanks! I'm really happy to hear the system works well for you :-)

The full Base Deck of GameMaster's Apprentice cards (and all the genre decks--sci-fi, horror, etc) can be found in my store here on Drivethru: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/6395/Larcenous-Designs-LLC
Customer avatar
Max E July 01, 2016 1:43 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Great

I'm very interested in the final product.
Customer avatar
Guntis V February 06, 2016 9:06 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Looks very promising!
I like so much info packed on a single card. Great. Will tell about these everybody around.
Customer avatar
Nathan R February 07, 2016 2:06 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Thank you; I hope the cards (and ALONe) work well for you!
Customer avatar
Guntis V June 06, 2016 7:09 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Had first play session with my daughter, after a bit playing by myself. I like it! Really, I believe this game has a great potential. However, I also believe it's best audience is outside our current geek folks: those who are somewhat repelled by mainstream sword, magic and laser sabers/guns mayhem. :)

And it means, that I'd write a book a bit different - easier to digest, avoiding insider jargon, so that a first-timer could understand it easily.

That said, I nonetheless maintain that ALONe is a really fun game. Both playing in a group, and alone. Especially alone - I prefer this one to some three other solo games I've tried yet.

And I really wish you, Nathaniel, to get nice illustrations for this book. It deserves to be very beautiful. As much as it is fun.
Customer avatar
Will J December 14, 2015 7:34 am UTC
PURCHASER
This is a deifferent type of croud funding (aka Kickstarter) campaign, very innovative. :-)
Customer avatar
Nathan R December 16, 2015 12:07 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Thanks, though this is more like an accidental bonus from my GameMaster's Apprentice kickstarter than a separate crowdfunding project. I used this system to test out each new deck while drafting them, so I thought I'd see if anyone else likes it enough to help me polish it up :-)
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on December 13, 2015.