ESL-Anon Guide to Solo RPG with Novelai
- ESL-Anon Guide to Solo RPG with Novelai
- How to Play
- Bonus - What about The Cooms?
- Bonus - Actual Play
Hey you! Yes, you! Do you want to play rpg, but have no one to play with you? Do you want to write a story, but have no inspiration on how to continue it? Do you want to play a really long text adventure, but struggle with a beakless AI that can't keep your story coherent? Then, my partner, you have come to the right guide!
In this guide, I will show you how to take advantage of both the textual and technological worlds to have the best Solo Rpg experience available on the market!
Before you begin, you will need some "ingredients".
Of course, you won't be able to use AI in your solo rpg without having an AI. For now, since neither Holoai nor Ai Dungeon is compatible with Novelai's lorebook formatting, this will be your best option. Once you get a Novelai subscription, I recommend you also get the latest version of...
This tool is extremely necessary for any quality story you want to generate with Novelai, as it allows you to have greater control over what exactly you want the AI to generate, when and how. We will use this tool extensively throughout the guide. You can skip it if you prefer, but I warn you that you will feel as if you are riding a bicycle without wheels.
You can get the latest version of Pocket Notes here: https://github.com/l-io-n/AI-Resources/tree/main/NovelAI/Lorebooks%20and%20Biases/Pocket%20Notes
Solo Roleplay Tools 18 for Google Docs (Or any other Solo RPG Tool)
This tool is not mandatory, you can replace it with whatever you want, such as using the www.rpgsolo.com page. However, for convenience, we will use this tool throughout the guide, because it is easier to use and allows you to better save your adventures.
Mythic GM Emulator (Or any other Solo RPG Oracle)
You will need a good GM Emulator to continue this guide. The most famous and recommended would be Mythic, but if you prefer, you can use any other you like, or even just use the [ Question: ] command from Pocket Notes. Take a read of the Mythic manual to learn how the GM emulator works. It is quite simple, and shouldn't take too much of your time. If you want, you can still read the manual's expansions (Mythic Variations, Location Crafter, Creature Crafter and Adventure Crafter) and it's monthly magazines to get more ideas on how to use it to its full potential.
Fate Core (or any RPG System you like)
Choose an rpg system that you are familiar with to use in your adventures. I recommend that you choose a system that is simple enough that you don't break your immersion by looking for rules in books, but at the same time has a strong focus on storytelling over realism. In this guide, we will use Fate, as its narrativistic and simple style seems ideal to me. This part is also optional, you can safely use just Mythic and the AI to judge the success and failure of your actions, although in my opinion it would not be as satisfying.
This module is specifically designed for using Pocket Notes with Novelai. It is extremely useful if you notice that the AI is simply ignoring your commands. Combine it with the Storywriter setting for greater results.
Rpg Generator Expansion, Boring to Sexy, Scenes, Descriptions and Moods, and Other Expansions
Since Pocket Notes was released, several small "addons" have sprung up to expand its capabilities, bringing new options such as item generators, clothing-based description creators, etc. We won't use these in this guide, but if you want to, you can use them.
Mythic Variations 1
The first Mythic expansion contains a section with specific rules for different game genres, such as horror, mystery, action, epic adventures, etc. I highly recommend using these if you want to further define what kind of adventure you want to play. Mythic Variations 2 contains rules for detailed questions, NPC behavior, etc., but this is not so necessary because the [ Question: ] command from Pocket Notes already serves this purpose very well.
Do you want to play some setting, but are not sure which one? Ah, you already know the setting, but don't know which plot you will play? Novelai, with any scenario and plot generator, is your solution! But if you want to try the more traditional way, you can go for the Instant Games alternative! This manual contains tables for automatically generating scenarios, stories, and even characters. It is extremely useful to start your adventures if you don't know where to go.
The Universal NPC Emulator
This tool is especially useful if you want to define an npc well as soon as it appears. If you keep a character sheet on him, even better, as it gives you hints about how strong he is compared to your character. It even gives you ideas for dialogs!
Once you have the manual, you can use this tool to avoid having to check through the tables manually.
This page is simply the best page we have at the moment for playing Fate, being able to create completely customizable sheets, as well as scenes, aspects, etc. In your scenes, in the Notes section, you can even use it to keep track of the Threads and Characters of your adventure.
How to Play
Step 1 - Define your Story
Once you have all the necessary material, you have a little bit of work ahead of you.
First, it is highly recommended that you have written down in Lorebook any relevant information from the scenario you will play in. I recommend that you choose or create a small scenario so as not to overburden yourself in this part, or even choose an already created scenario that you know well.
Second, you will need to create a sheet for your character if you have chosen to play with an rpg system. Even if you do not use an rpg system, you will still have to write down in Memory or an entry in Lorebook the most relevant information about your character. Focus more on his story and what he is capable of doing. Also write down the most relevant part of the plot so far and the mission you are on.
Third, if you are playing in a pre-created setting, create in your Characters and Threads list (as explained in the Mythic manual) a special Character and Thread that takes you to another list, this one containing important characters and plothooks from the setting you are playing in.
Step 2 - Play It
Open a text file in Google Docs and start Solo Roleplaying Tools. Start a new scene, according to the Mythic rules. If you are playing in an already created Scenario, copy and paste the start of the scenario here.
Next, you will play through the adventure using Mythic's DM Emulator rules, as described in the manual. Use the oracle to answer your yes and no questions, write in natural prose your actions, and by interpreting the results of the oracle, write how the world and characters react around you. Remember to read the Mythic manual, as it contains all the necessary tips to play solo rpg satisfactorily. In short, play Solo RPG normally, as any other neckbeard of /tg/ would do.
Unlike them, however, you will have at your disposal the powerful tool that is Novelai.
Step 3 - Use the AI on It
First, whenever you are going to use the AI, copy everything you have written so far in your adventure and paste it into your Novelai story. DO NOT paste your dice rolls or the Oracle responses, obviously. Just paste the story.
In Author's Note, keep a note of where your character is located like this: [ Place: <location> ]
In Author's Note, also keep noted all relevant characters present at the location like this: [ Cast: <characters> ]
Whenever you need to describe a place, object, or character, use the command [ Describe: <element you want to describe>].
Whenever you want to perform an action, but don't know how to write it, use the command [ Do: <action you wish to perform> ]
Whenever you have a question that the Yes & No oracle cannot answer, or if you don't know what to do next, use the command [ Question: <your question>?]
Whenever you want a character to say something, but you don't know how he will formulate that dialogue, use the command [ Dialogue: <what does he say?> ]
Whenever you want to know the difficulty to perform some specific action, use the command [ Judge: <what you want to do?> ]
And whenever you are in doubt about what the GM Emulator meant by a random event, use the command [ Interpret: <the random event> ]
In short, use Novelai as a writing assistant, not as a writer, neither as a GM Emulator. Avoid leaving everything to the AI to generate, because in this way it can end up going off the rails too easily. Learn to use the things it generates as inspiration, rather than as a rule, because even with this method, the AI is still not perfect.
Bonus - What about The Cooms?
Uh... Okay, you want to get really Frisky with your story at some point, right? That's what the point of the AI is, says the ancient adage from /aids/.
Well, you will quickly realize that using this guide for smut doesn't work very well, and in the end, it will be looking like you are just doing ERP on yourself. This is not surprising, as RPGs are not really designed for this kind of situation (unless you are playing FATAL, in which case, good luck).
However, today I bring you two alternatives that allow you to pause your story and focus on your kinky scenes.
Alternative 1 - Stop Using the Oracle
This option is more geared towards those who want to play a long adventure, with pauses between scenes for some smut section.
At this point, you should already have some adventure written and generated noted down in both Google Docs and your Novelai Story. From here on out, if you want to have a "little colorful scene" with the tavernkeeper, or with your traveling companion, I recommend that you put aside Google Docs a bit and focus on using Novelai for this as you would traditionally use for these kinds of scenes. Once your smut scene is finished, copy the scene from Novelai and paste it into Google Docs, to continue your adventure as normal.
Alternative 2 - Use Mythic Variations 1
On the other hand, if you are creating a story that is 100% erotic, I recommend that you use the rules in Mythic Variations 1 to create your own theme, setting up tables focused specifically on what genre of smut you need. Write the tables down somewhere, and whenever your Mythic Oracle creates a random event, roll it into your custom table instead.
In this case, for the rpg rules, I recommend that you choose a fairly simple system focused on this, or just skip the rpg system part and try to play without one.
Bonus - Actual Play
"I need you to take care of the rats in my basement and the goblins in my attic. Once you have proven yourself worthy, I want you to kill the 2 gnolls inside my bathroom, adventurer."
In this section I will demonstrate how to play using this guide. We will use the Shitpostia lorebook as a scenario, and after preparing everything according to Step 1 of the guide, we will start our game.
We are Annoum, a novice knight in the kingdom of Utah, carrying only armor, a sword and a shield. We will begin our adventure at Mr. Oldenberg's mansion, who will be entrusting us with the mission of expelling these pesky monsters from his house.
Normally we would start our first scene by rolling in Mythic to see if the scene is altered or interrupted, but for brevity's sake I will skip this part and start the scene more directly.
"I need you to take care of the rats in my basement and the goblins in my attic. Once you have proven yourself worthy, I want you to kill the 2 gnolls inside my bathroom, adventurer." Mr. Oldenberg said, looking at me through his glasses with an arrogant expression on his face.
I decided to start the adventure very simply, with just the opening sentence suggested by the anons and a short description of Oldenberg. In Author's Note, I have already noted that we are in Oldenberg's mansion and that there are only the two of us in the room. So that I don't have to write too much, I decided to use the [ Describe: ] command to have the AI describe to me Oldenberg's physical appearance and the look of the room we are in.
Mr. Oldenberg was wearing a black robe which matched his dark skin tone perfectly. Unlike most people who wear robes, he didn't seem very comfortable or confident about them.
I was standing in the main hall of Oldenberg's mansion. In one side there were stairs leading down into darkness. There was also a door that led outside where it looked like snowing heavily. On another wall there was a large portrait hanging up depicting what seemed to be two gnolls fighting each other.
Once I have my surroundings well established, I can start playing normally, using Mythic's oracle. What puzzles my character the most at the moment is why on earth this gentleman has so many monsters in his mansion walking around. So I decide to prepare some questions for the oracle to answer for me. Following the directions in the Mythic manual, I choose a probability for the answers to be Yes, and roll using the Solo Roleplaying Tools.
“If I ask him why does he has so many monsters inside his house, will he know how to answer me?” (Likely vs 5: 75%) Roll 8: Exceptional Yes
“Does he keep monsters in his house?” (Unlikely vs 5: 35%) Roll 23: Yes
“Did the monsters escape from where he keeps them?” (Somewhat Likely vs 5: 65%) Roll 65: Yes
Having these answers, I can infer using logic in why there are so many monsters walking around his house. Since he got an Exceptional Yes on the first question, I assume he starts explaining before I even ask. Here, I can either write his answers myself, or let the AI generate some for me.
[ Dialogue: Oldenberg explains that he keeps the monsters locked up but they escaped ]
"They've been in the basement for ages, so I kept them caged up, but they somehow managed to break free," Oldenberg explained, "I guess someone let them out."
In order not to disturb Mr. Oldenberg with questions, I decide to draw my sword and head for the stairs. This part I decide to write it down myself rather than letting the AI generate it.
I nodded silently, walking to the stairs with my hand on my sword handle. "Don't worry, Mr. Oldenberg, I will take care of these creatures for you. So I can prove that I am a capable adventurer."
The scene would end here, but before I go downstairs, I would like to know, using the oracle, if Oldenberg has anything more to say or do, before I go.
“Oldberg has anything more to say?” (50/50 vs 5: 50%) Roll 22: Yes
Random Event Occurs: NPC action: Adversity Death
And look at that! A random event! First, we scroll through our Characters list to see which of the characters in this adventure it refers to. Scrolling through my list, it appears that the character performing this action is the rats in the basement. I wonder what the random event meant by "Adversity of Death"? The first thing that comes to my mind is the image that the rats suddenly start running up the basement stairs, raging as if they already intend to attack me. Again, we can either use your imagination interpreting the meaning of the Oracle or use the AI. Choose which result you like best.
"Wait, adventurer, I have something to tell-"
Interrupting Oldenberg's speech, the sound of little paws running across the wooden floor echoes through the hall. Both Mr. Oldenberg and I stand paralyzed, trying to figure out where the noise is coming from, when suddenly a truly black river starts gushing up the stairs leading down to the basement - a river of rabid rats.
The rest of the scene would be a battle against the rats, using the rules of the rpg system of my choice, and then I would be dealing with the mystery of why the hell the rats came running out of the basement to face us up there.
But this is for another time. For now, I believe you, dear reader, already have a basic idea of how this all works.
If you think there is anything to be changed, added, or removed in this text, please let me know. Oh, and if you want tips involving Solo RPG in concrete, you can always visit the /SRPGG/ thread at /tg/.
I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of stories you'll have using this. Have fun!