• Adam Boyes

Do you need a GM?

I love playing RPGs but I also love the creativity and imagination involved in being the Games Master (GM).


Over the years I have collected many RPGs with dreams of finding the time and players to enjoy them. In the age of the internet, finding players actually quite easy thanks to social media and 'Looking For Game' (LFG) sections in VTTs like Roll20 or even dedicated websites like rpgtablefinder.com or the forum over on rpg.net.


But what if you play Solo or nobody wants to be the GM?


An Oracle is what you need! But what is an Oracle?


Basically, an Oracle answers the questions that you would normally ask a GM. Many Oracles also provide hints and prompts to stimulate your imagination, often sending your adventure off in directions you didn't realise your imagination was capable of.


There are dozens of Oracles to choose from. Some specific to the system you are playing while some are agnostic and can be used with any system and setting.


The most popular Oracle is the Mythic GM Emulator which comes in two flavors.


The Mythic GM Emulator Book where you roll on charts to answer your question.




Or my personal favorite the Mythic GM Emulator Deck


I have been using the Mythic GM emulator in my recent solo games of Forbidden Lands

Forbidden Lands isn't a solo game but thanks to Mythic it can be.


In this example, my character Tick has returned from hunting. We can ask the Oracle if the next scene (returning safely back to camp) works out as expected. We do this for each scene and the answer is based on something called the 'Chaos Factor'. In each scene we increase or decrease the chaos factor depending on how in control the characters were of that scene.



In this next clip, I ask the Oracle if Tick's home, a hidden glade within the forest, has remained hidden? An Ogre called Fatima had been looking for him. Now I decided that it's likely that it has remained hidden. It's been hidden for years after all. However, because things had been going well for Tick the 'Chaos Factor' was at 2 (very low). This meant my question got reduced from likely to unlikely. Unlikely requires both cards flipped to show yes. In this way, the Mythic GM Emulator ensures the action keeps coming. You have periods of calm reflection and then all of the sudden trouble comes your way. The reverse can be true when the Chaos factor is high. You can find yourself in trouble when suddenly help comes your way.


As you can see I ask the Oracle another question, 'Is it Fatima that has discovered them? The answer was yes. This then brings me to another great function of the Mythic deck, its ability to inspire new and creative ideas. In the next clip you see I ask the Oracle what is Fatima's plan? I flip two cards and use the prompts to stimulate my imagination. DELAY-HOPE


You quickly become used to asking these questions. I find sometimes I let my own imagination do the work while at others I like to ask the Mythic deck and see where it takes my imagination.


Let me know what you think. Could you see yourself using this in your solo games or even with your gaming group instead of a GM?

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