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I am not a huge fan of solo conversions for RPGs. I role-play for the shared story and the dynamics that come from a mix of different players all playing their roles with that added element of chance that dice offer. If I am the only one playing, I can just write a story. That is what Crossed Paths Press seems to get so well in the new Covens of Midnight Solo RPG now in its last few days on BackerKit. It is a solo RPG that is essentially a journaling exercise featuring prompts from the creators driven via your previous choices and the randomness of a deck of Tarot Cards.
This was enough to get me to back it, and I wasn’t alone. The game definitely found a niche because they blew through every one of their goals by a mile. What’s interesting, though, and has me even more excited for the game, is that they just announced a partnership with the Alchemy RPG Virtual Tabletop.
Alchemy is the perfect choice for this partnership. They bring a unique focus to the aesthetics and atmosphere of tabletop play. Other VTTs have elements that can be used to set tone and feel, but Alchemy foregrounds those. That is what makes Alchemy so attractive to those of us looking to highlight such elements in our tabletop design. It can do crunchy, when it needs to, but it specializes in creating scenes that draw players into the story. Even in Alchemy’s beta, I found that using the VTT to set the scene and then having a player roll manually for a mechanic that was still in development was more effective than a VTT that was just a dice roller with a map and some images I could toss up as needed.
For Crossed Paths Press, this is obviously a win. They get to bring their title to more places and sell in more formats. For Alchemy, though, this move is a fascinating one. It open up new options for the Alchemy VTT as an interactive story-development and play platform. How far is it to move from this solo-RPG format to stylized visual novels released in steady chapters with full artwork and sound? I am not saying that Alchemy is going to do this, but it definitely has me, as a player and a creator, interested in the possibilities.