When I started getting interested in RPGs again, years after a bad burnout, I didn’t have the opportunity to play in groups and therefore my attention was focused on solitaire systems.
Of all the rules-light systems discovered on the net, so1um proved to be the one that best suited my taste and my conception of the game.
It elegantly combines the mechanics of the classic D6 systems with the Risus clichés, guaranteeing the transversality that I have sought so much. It doesn’t claim to be a full or crunchy system and that is its strong point.
Matt Jackson version 0.6 is perfectly playable and complete on its own, but I have a soft spot for random prompt generation, being a creative with little imagination.
In addition, the oracle, descendant of FU RPG, had been honed by Graven Utterance. I therefore decided to replace it and also to reintegrate some tools of Tiny Solitary Soldier, which so1um was inspired by in turn.
So this version more than a revision is a collection of additional materials to support the poor of imagination like myself. I hope you may find it useful.
Roll 3d6 once each for Body (physical prowess & health), Mind (mental capacity & intelligence), Spirit (spunk & willpower). Even numbers are equal to 1, odds are equal to 0, sum them up. If you score zero, the stat equals 1. For Hit Points roll 2d6, count the evens and add this to Body score. Heroes begin with one cliché, roll 2d6 and gain another one cliché for each even number rolled.
When playing alone, it can be helpful to start with the story to define your character’s background in detail. The following table will help you with this task. Roll on each columnn or choose the one you prefer.
|1||The Paragon||Perfectionist||Brave||Bellicose||Parental Abandonment|
|2||The Cynic||Helper||Generous||Gloomy||Retired Badass|
|3||The Fool||Seeker||Witty||Envious||Mysterious Past|
|4||The Idealist||Mediator||Coscientious||Mean||Career-Ending Injury|
|5||Lovable Rogue||Enthusiast||Temperate||Lazy||Had to Be Sharp|
|6||Rebellious Spirit||Individualist||Loyal||Rude||Dark and Troubled Past|
This is entirely optional. If you need to determine the physical features of your hero, roll 1d6 on each column of the following table to determine appearance.
Figure out why your character is there and where they are in their story. Imagine a starting point for your adventure. If none comes to mind, roll on each of the following questions to generate a random adventure seed.
|3||Ally (friend, relative)||Exploit||Coercition||Treasure||Rumors||Environment|
|6||Blackmailer||Pursuit||Revenge||Confession||Object (map, journal, letter)||Space|
To begin play, ask a question that has a Yes or No answer, it is important to keep it simple. Then consult the Oracle: roll 2d6 one white, the other black (or any different colors you like). If white is the highstet the answer is Yes. If black is the highest, the answer is No. If both are low (3 or less), add But to the answer. If both are high (4 or more), add And. And amplifies, while But mitigates. No, And means things went really bad. No, But softens the blow a bit. Yes, But is successful but with a drawback. Yes, And is all kinds of awesome.
If circumstances are different, include an additional die in favor of the more likely outcome when you roll, but only keep the higher die of that color when you compare.
If the dice are equal a twist happens.
Roll 2d6 and consult the following lists to determine what kind of twist.
|1||A third party||Appears|
|2||The hero||Alters the location|
|3||An encounter||Helps the hero|
|4||A physical event||Hinders the hero|
|5||An emotional event||Changes the goal|
|6||An object||Ends the scene|
Interpret the two-word sentence in the context of the current scene. Twists will keep the plot and events going in unexpected ways.
Sometimes a closed Yes/No question it won’t be enough. To answer an open question, roll 1d6 once on each of the following tables (at least verbs and nouns, adjectives are optional).
At the end of the current scene, you may need to determine the general mood of the next one. In this case roll 1d6 and consult the following table:
A dramatic scene does not break the tension of the previous scene but carries it further forward, introducing further obstacles or difficulties. During a quiet scene there is time to take a breath, to heal, to make plans for the next steps and to deepen relationships. A meanwhile scene that takes place somewhere else than where the hero is. It cuts to villains or other plot-important characters.
When your character comes into dangerous or risky situations, determine Difficulty (either via narratory license or dice, see below). Use dice equal to Body, Mind, or Spirit for the contest, adding one die to the roll if a cliché is applicable. If ONE die rolls equal to the Difficulty or higher, you succeed!
Difficulty is situational and it is determined by events in the scene. There are cases in which, however, the difficulty could be different from that expected. Roll 2d6: if both are even, Diffulty scale up of one position, if both are odd Diffulty scale down, else Difficulty is as expected.
Combats are like a contests, but instead of rolling against a fixed difficulty, the opponents roll against each other. Each side rolls dice equal to applicable stats (adding one die if a cliché applies) and then compare results. The HIGH roll wins. If the die rolls are tie, the attack is a draw and no damage is caused.
If you succeed at a combat check, subtract one HP from the enemy. When taking damage, you may reduce the Body score instead of HP. Any subsequent Body contests use the current score. When Body or HP reach zero, death occurs. Heal HP at a rate one per eight hours of rest, one Body at a rate of one per day.
When you use a piece of gear intended to perform a particular task, you may reroll one die once. Dice are then compared again to determine the outcome of the contest. Characters can only benefit from one piece of gear, weapon, or armor per check and are only allowed to reroll one die once per check. Note that in combat it is assumed all are properly armed/armored and this rule would not be applicable.
Clichés are tropes that define your hero. They depend primarily on the setting you use. But the reverse is also true: a cliché can suggest a lot about the game’s setting if you don’t have ideas on how to get started.
A good way to create a character in the absence of inspiration is to rely on random lists (like the Big List of Cliché below), or the random generator (like the one on TV Tropes). Either way randomly generate until a cliché clicks in your mind. At this point the character (and perhaps the setting) has taken shape.
Obviously no one forces you to randomly generate anything (as well as the other generation tables above are only designed as aids in case your mind is “stuck”).
A cliché should summarize your character’s iconic characteristics such as their profession, their skills, their background and any information that has to do with their past and even their desires and any moral and personal affiliations.
The following list comes to the aid of uninspired players. It contains a selection of classic stock characters that you can use verbatim or to unlock your creativity.
|11||Absent-Minded Professor||Deceptive Disciple||Intrepid Merchant|
|12||Action Hero||Defector from Decadence||Kid Hero|
|13||Martial Artist||Dirty Coward||The Klutz|
|14||Amoral Attorney||The Ditz||Knight in Shining Armor|
|15||Angry Man||Brainless Beauty||Know-Nothing Know-It-All|
|21||Badass Normal||Idiot Savant||Living Legend|
|22||Barbarian||Upper-Class Twit||Lovable Sex Maniac|
|23||The Bard||Dumb Muscle||Mad Scientist|
|24||The Berserker||Dogged Nice Guy||Masked Luchador|
|25||Best Served Cold||Double Agent||Master Swordsman|
|26||Big Eater||Dream People||The Most Wanted|
|31||Blood Knight||Dr. Jerk||Narcissist|
|32||Bounty Hunter||The Eeyore||The Nicknamer|
|33||Bruce Lee||Erudite Stoner||Non-Powered Costumed Hero|
|34||Casanova||Ethnic Magician||Overly Polite Pals|
|35||The Charmer||The Everyman||Person of Mass Destruction|
|36||The Cheerleader||Fake Ultimate Hero||Proud Warrior Race Guy|
|41||Chick Magnet||False Prophet||The Quarterback|
|42||Childhood Friend||Farmer’s Daughter||The Reliable One|
|43||Church Militant||Fat, Sweaty Southerner in a White Suit||Renaissance Man|
|44||Cloudcuckoolander||Fille Fatale||The Rival|
|45||The Confidant||Femme Fatale||Romantic Runner-Up|
|46||Control Freak||The Fighting Narcissist||Self-Made Man|
|51||Cosmic Plaything||Forest Ranger||Serial Romeo|
|52||Cowboy Cop||Gadgeteer Genius||The Scrooge|
|53||Crazy Awesome||Glory Seeker||Sickly Neurotic Geek|
|54||Crazy Survivalist||Gold Digger||Smart Jerk and Nice Moron|
|55||Crossdresser||Guile Hero||Smooth-Talking Talent Agent|
|56||Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass||Half-Human Hybrid||Spirited Competitor|
|61||Cute Bruiser||Hardboiled Detective||Starving Artist|
|62||Cute Mute||Head-Turning Beauty||Tomboy|
|63||The Errant||Heavy Sleeper||True Craftsman|
|64||Danger Deadpan||The Hermit||Wandering Minstrel|
|65||Dark-Skinned Redhead||Human Weapon||Willing Channeler|
|66||Death Seeker||Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance||Winged Humanoid|
Non-player characters follow the same creation rules as heroes, making use of more appropriate clichés, depending on the kind of foe, which can range from the same as the heroes to the classic villain clichés (like Evil Overlord, Mad Scientist, Mastermind, etc.).
The following bestiary contains extensive examples covering multiple narrative genres and which can be used as a starting point and comparison to create your own encounters.
Alligator B:3 M:2 S:2 HP:4 Man-Eater Swimmer
Ape B:3 M:2 S:3 HP:3 Mighty Primate
Bear B:5 M:1 S:3 HP:6 Clawed Hugger
Boar B:2 M:1 S:1 HP:2 Wild Pig
Camel B:3 M:1 S:3 HP:2 Ship of Desert
Centipede (giant) B:2 M:1 S:1 HP:2 Carapace, Multi-limbed
Coyote B:1 M:1 S:2 HP:2 Scavanger
Crocodile (giant) B:3 M:1 S:3 HP:5 Primeval Reptile
Dog B:2 M:1 S:2 HP:3 Domesticated Wolf
Elefant B:5 M:2 S:3 HP:7 Proboscis, Ivory Fangs
Horse B:3 M:1 S:3 HP:3 Mane and Hoof
Jackal B:1 M:1 S:2 HP:1 Scavanger
Hyena (giant) B:3 M:1 S:2 HP:5 Evil Laugh
Leopard B:3 M:2 S:3 HP:3 Stealthy Hunter, Big Cat
Lion B:4 M:2 S:3 HP:5 Roaring Big Cat
Lizard (giant) B:4 M:1 S:1 HP:3 Big Reptile
Rat (giant) B:1 M:1 S:2 HP:1 Diseased Bite
Shark B:5 M:2 S:3 HP:5 Jaws, Madly Attacker
Snake B:1 M:1 S:1 HP:1 Poisoned Bite
Spider (poisonous) B:1 M:1 S:1 HP:1 Lethal Poison, Bite
Beholder B:2 M:4 S:3 HP:4 Spell-casting eyeballs
Owlbear B:4 M:1 S:3 HP:5 Grapple, Berserk
Dragon B:6 M:4 S:4 HP:15 Breath of Fire, Cunning
Gelatinous Cube B:3 M:1 S:1 HP:1 Doracious Devourer, Cold Resistant
Goblin B:1 M:1 S:2 HP:1 Sneaky little bastard
Gnoll B:2 M:1 S:2 HP:4 Hyena Face, Organized Clans
Lich B:5 M:4 S:3 HP:10 Undead Wizard, Highly Malign
Ogre B:4 M:1 S:2 HP:4 Furious Tempers, Gruesome Glutton
Skeleton B:2 M:1 S:1 HP:1 Animated Bones
Squidhead B:2 M:5 S:4 HP:6 Mind control, Illusion magic, Madness
Troll B:4 M:1 S:2 HP:4 Regeneration
Wraith B:4 M:2 S:2 HP:4 Weapon Immune, Draining Touch
Chtonian B:4 M:4 S:3 HP:7 Mind Net, Tentacle Lash
Cultist B:1 M:2 S:3 HP:1 Fanatic Worshipper
Deep One B:2 M:2 S:2 HP:1 Clawed Slasher, Acquatic Creature
Elder Thing B:2 M:4 S:3 HP:4 Radial Simmetry, Otherworldly Winged Creature
Ghoul B:1 M:1 S:1 HP:4 Darksighter, Flesh Hunter
Hound of Tindalos B:3 M:4 S:2 HP:3 Otherworldly Gaze, Alien Howlh
Mi-Go B:1 M:3 S:2 HP:2 Fungoid Crustacean, Amoral Scientist
Shoggoth B:3 M:0 S:1 HP:4 Amorphous Blob, Mindless Devourer
Star Spawn B:3 M:4 S:3 HP:8 Abyss Dweller, Eldritch Baiter
Yithian B:3 M:5 S:3 HP:5 Time Traveller, Toxic Spores
Femme Fatale B:1 M:2 S:2 HP:1 Shameless Seductress, Dark Action Girl
Gangster B:1 M:1 S:1 HP:1 Street Deliquent, Gunman
Golem B:5 M:1 S:1 HP:7 Alchemical Construct, Big Moving Statue
Mummy B:5 M:3 S:2 HP:5 Once a King, Living Corpse
Nomad B:2 M:2 S:2 HP:2 Wilderness Survivalist, Swordsman
Policeman B:2 M:1 S:1 HP:1 Legal Authority, Revolver
Savage B:2 M:1 S:2 HP:1 Hunter/Gatherer, Tribesman
Soldier B:2 M:1 S:2 HP:1 Trained in Weapons, Tactician
Vampire B:5 M:4 S:4 HP:7 Son of Night, Blood Craver
Werewolf B:3 M:1 S:2 HP:4 Moon Sick, Shape Shifter
Yeti B:4 M:2 S:3 HP:6 Abominable Snowman, High-Altitude Climber
Zombie B:1 M:1 S:1 HP:1 Silent, Infection
Arachnid B:3 M:2 S:2 HP:8 Chitin Hide, Octopodal
Black Destroyer B:4 M:3 S:3 HP: 7 Apex Predator, Sharp Mind
Bug-Eyed Monster B:4 M:3 S:2 HP:10 Hungry Alien Monster, Crawler
Combat Robot: B:3 M:2 S:1 HP:4 Rifled Arm, Programmed-to-kill
Floater B:1 M:3 S:2 HP:6 Jelly Creature, Tentacles
Miner Drone B:1 M:1 S:1 HP:2 Drilling Machine, Seek-and-Collect
Ooze B:3 M:1 S:1 HP:4 Toxic Splash, Tendrils
Pod Plants B:3 M:1 S:2 HP:4 Barbed Spines, Poisonous Thorns
Space Lizard B:5 M:1 S:3 HP:8 Formidable Predator, Giant Creature
Vermid B:1 M:1 S:1 HP:1 Pestilent Scavenger, Vacuum Resistant
Xenomorph B:5 M:2 S:3 HP: 12 Killing Machine, Acid Secretions
so1um 0.6 to so1um enhanced:
This ruleset is mainly a recollection of previously published works under free license.
Below are the sources of all parts taken from other material: