I paid $3.00 for Searching for my Solemate a GM-less tabletop RPG from Ninja Penguin.
Based on what else I could I got for $3.00 on Itch, I made a mistake. It’s not yet worth the money. BUT! Searching for my Solemate is in early release. We’re told that the full version will have a beautiful cover and a pretty layout.
If the RPG gets those basics, then $3 will be a bargain, but the game was released 99-days ago, and I’m not sure how much progress there has been.
You play as a sock that has lost its mate after falling through an interdimensional portal known as The Machine.
Searching for my Solemate
Searching for my Solemate is billed as a GM-less game, but one person plays as a sock exploring a strange dimension in search of their partner after being whisked away by the Machine.
One person is the Narrator, who describes the setting but not the actions of the sock of their Ally. Isn’t that GMy to you?
In a typical 3-person game, another player is the Ally, a friend the sock makes on the way. In larger games, other players suggest details for scenes and take on roles of NPCs.
I’d say the game is more about consensus and community play than many others, but I’m not sure I’d call a game that casts a Narrator role a GMless game.
You can cycle through these roles, though, turn after turn.
At the start of the game, the group answers some prompts such as describing the sock, what the sock might be vulnerable to, what the experience of falling through The Machine portal was like and what plans for a return there might be.
Anything is possible on the other side of the portal, but since you’re playing as a sentient sock, we’re not here for the realism and Ninja Penguin doesn’t want any bigotry in the game.
Each time the sock fails a challenge, a counter is reduced by one. By default, that counter is a humble d6 that starts at 6. So, on your 6th failure, the sock’s journey has ended prematurely. It’s the next laundry day.
The game uses the system designed by W.H Arthur in The Sol Survivor. That’s a game inspired by Chinese Mythology, costs $11, and I suggest much better value.
You might struggle to work out how to use the system in Searching for my Solemate without Sol Survivor. Technically, though, Solemate is a standalone game, and you don’t need the other.
A pack of cards, sans Jokers, is used. Players use playing cards at the start of each turn, with the Ally and Narrator each using one to shape the scene. Then, at the end of the turn, the protagonist sock player uses a card to wrap things up.
The card values are compared, and if the protagonist card is better than the Narrator, then the challenge is overcome, or the best outcome achieved.
The game ends prematurely if the counter hits zero, but it can also come to a narrative end, perhaps with the sock back at the mysterious portal of The Machine.
The number of companions the sock has befriended on the way is the score. At the end of the narrative run, several cards are picked, and the lowest is used. If the score is higher than that lowest card, the sock has been reunited with its other half once it makes it through the portal. If not, we’re left with just one sock in the washing up basket.
I don’t regret spending $3 on an RPG about a sentient sock. I’ll forever get to say I’ve an RPG about a sentient sock.
I think I may have bought it prematurely. The concept is there, The Sol Survivor system is there, but art, layout, and a few tweaks on word flow are still to come. They may never come, but if they do, Itch.io will update my copy and my $3 will look like money well spent.
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