[GM Emulation] 2 players, No GM, and Secret of Zir'An

edited May 2008 in Play Advice
So, I've got this thingy called "Mythic" by Word Mill publishing. You can read their blurb here:

Obviously, I could poke around at the yahoo group and dig up various people's suggestions there. And I'm starting to sort through the group.

Broadly speaking, it seems like Mythic will be able to handle many of the "duties" of a GM. But, I'm curious to hear from folks that have tried doing something sort of like this, only without having the benefit (?) of Mythic. "This" being: a traditional rpg, and 2 people playing, with neither of them being a "GM". My wife isn't comfortable (or really interested) in running a game, so it seemed to me like a perfect opportunity to try out Mythic (which I picked up a while ago) as well as mess around with Secret of Zir'An.

I'm comfortable running games, and I've done a fair amount of one-on-one play for my wife, with me as the GM. While we both enjoy it, I decided I'd like to actually be able to _play_ with some of the games that I've got. As the group that I run stuff for is a White Wolf/d20 only group, it doesn't leave me much choice.

The core system of SoZ seems a bit fiddly to me, but I tend to like lighter systems these days; Zorcerer of Zo is my "go to" game. My wife likes the fiddly stuff more, so I figure we'll go ahead and try the default system for a while. At some point I plan on using Spirit of the Century to power SoZ for a while. Depending on how the core system of SoZ plays out, the switch to trying SotC might happen sooner rather than later.

What sort of pitfalls might I expect in playing a traditional game, where my wife and I are sharing the same amount of control of the world and game? I realize that the both of us are going to want to be on the same page as far as game expectations, but after that things get a bit hazier for me.

In case anyone is wondering why SoZ (and SotC) instead of something else... I've got a large number of games. So many in fact, that I've sworn off buying anything until Jan/Feb 09. In part it's because I wanted to try and actually _do_ something with all the stuff I've got. I narrowed down the choices to: Monsters and Other Childish Things, Talislanta, Cat, and Secret of Zir'An. My wife made the final pick. For a while it looked like it was going to be Talislanta, but since I've been running a fantasy game for a while (almost a year now?) she decided she wanted something different.

And she likes the idea of being a pirate. Airship pirate is a strong possibility.

SoZ is a nifty enough setting, and I've wanted a chance to take it out for a spin. Plus, I've been wanting to try out Spirit of the Century. Since SoZ is kind of a blend of Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow mixed with Fantasy Setting, it seems like an easy enough fit with SotC.

Any suggestions? Any other folks with actual experience doing something like this?


  • I've been running a solo game using the Mythic GME and Mythic Variations to drive a superhero story running under the Truth & Justice PDQ rules. So far, it's been a blast. (If you dig through the RPG.net archives, you'll probably find a couple of threads about Mythic where I have posted about the game).

    I recommend using Mythic Variations as well as the basic Mythic GME, it adds several useful ideas.

    The coolest thing about Mythic is that, even though I'm the only one playing, so ultimately I must be the source of all the ideas and themes of the game, the unfolding plotline still manages to surprise me. Mythic provides 'kick in the head' sorts of inspiration that drive the story in different directions than the players might originally intend. It works kind of like IaWA's Oracles, by handing the player or players random input, and asking them to use their logical and pattern-finding skills to build that input into the ongoing story.

    In my game, I never saw the romantic triangle subplot coming -- but Mythic provided the input to look at the established situation in that light, and then I said "Of course! That explains why he's acting that way!" and it became a thread in the story. Likewise, the opening action scene turned out to be more like a framing device in the imaginary comic: The subsequent interrupt scene developing another plot thread ran away with the story for the rest of the first issue. That was cool, and made me believe that Mythic really can do what it says.

    Good luck with your Zir'An game! I'll be interested in hearing how it works out. I've been curious about Zir'An for a while, but haven't been (quite) willing to spend the money.

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