I created a solo writing role playing game called Welcome To Faraday and I think you’re going to dig it.
Okay, let’s go through a few things you might be thinking:
WHAT’S A SOLO WRITING ROLE PLAYING GAME?
Alright, a solo writing rpg is a “game” you can play by yourself, and by play I mean you end up writing something as you go through the game.
It’s usually a document with a set of prompts that get you to think about what your character does and what might happen along this story/journey that’s loosely laid out and then you fill in all the details – like a Choose Your Own Adventure, but each chapter isn’t written out with a choice at the end, you have to do the writing of each section, and we just help out with the choices/options of what comes next.
I’ve recently fallen down a rabbit hole of solo writing rpgs – you can see I wrote about them here.
I’ve bought and read a whole bunch of them in the past year. Some are great, some are less great – usually it comes down to the general idea/genre/story, and then it’s the ability for the prompts to inspire creativity without being too guided, or too flat and vague.
The best ones create a chance to write a short entry every day where you follow your character through something interesting. The way I see it, if someone sat down with their notebook, pencil, and a d20 and just did one page a day, they’d come out of the process with a little stack of cool moments, ideas, pages, and their brain would be all the better for it. The world, too, if they decided to share it.
This one was created using the Second Guess System by Gamenomicon – which is utterly brilliant in construction – and inspired by their Hard Case game – a brilliant single page of construction and genre. I love that this model/structure was created, and then shared for free, and it really set my brain on fire. It’s about 5 minutes to read, and then you’re ready to go make something awesome!
WHAT’S WELCOME TO FARADAY ABOUT?
Welcome To Faraday is a suburban horror rpg where I position 3 mysteries, and you use this 1 page document to guide you through interactions and moments in your little town of Faraday to solve the mysteries, or not. I don’t provide the solutions, to be clear, you do that. All of the hard lifting is on the side of the player, I just provide the inspiration and general framework.
When thinking about this, I had the following things firmly in my mind: ‘Salem’s Lot, The ‘Burbs, Stranger Things, Suspiria, Home Sick Pilots, Kids with Bikes, and my own childhood in the 80s riding my BMX to the milk bar. This is the vibe, tone, and stuff I’m looking to also inspire.
A mash up of strange and surreal amongst the simplicity of suburban life. But the main horror element is decided by the player. I have set the mysteries, and the prompts, but you get to decide if it’s vampires, or aliens, or a sadistic megacorporation, or werewolves, or whatever you want. I wanted that flavour to be chosen by the player, but the setting and everything else is set up by me.
WHY DID YOU WRITE THIS?
I really want to teach creative writing with these, so I’ve been thinking about them a lot, studying them, and working out what I like best about them. Also, as a writer, I just love the creativity they inspire in my own brain.
I know I’m mostly writing comics, and I bang on enough about that, but I forget sometimes to mention how deeply I love writing of all kinds. I’ve written prose shorts, back up essays in comics, reviews, I edited a whole book of essays about Daredevil [it’s true], and I write a lot of D&D adventures I run at school and with my mates. As I fell further into these journaling games, it became another cog turning in my brain.
The perfect intersection between teaching these and playing these was to be creating these. The creation is just as creatively satisfying for me as playing one, and hopefully then other people get to play something new.
I am also 100% going to use this one in the coming semester’s Suburban Horror unit I’ll be teaching, so there was that motivation to create the exact tool I wanted/needed, also. That’s the reason why this exists and what pushed me the extra step to make this one specifically.
But even beyond that, I just like writing and creating stuff. This is how my brain works. So with no major script due on my desk, and a bit of time sitting at my table over a convention day, I put my brain to use on this.
I absolutely cannot wait to make more. I have some other genres and ideas I’m mentally sketching out and am dying to get to.
WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH THIS?
You should go check the game out and download a copy.
I’ve put it up where you can download a copy for free. You can elect to donate money, too, but please don’t feel obligated to do so. I want to get this out there so here’s what I would love:
- Share the link with people you think will dig it
- Download a copy for free – I’m sure that’ll help me on some kind of algorithm, right?
- Maybe have a go at writing something – even if it’s just the first prompt, the first page; I’d love to see what people come up with!
And that’s it.
I love the idea of a one page rpg where you have to write something.
I love suburban horror.
I love creating things.
I love sharing stuff I’ve created.
Welcome To Faraday. Hope you survive the experience.