Solo RPG Player Forced to Live with Her Own Thoughts for a Little While
Nyah Harmon of Rochester, New York, sat down to play the Artefact journaling RPG, and was horrified to learn that she would be forced to sit in silence for a couple of hours in order to play the game. “I thought Artefact was going to be a nice way to play an RPG without having to coordinate schedules with three or more people. I wasn’t prepared for the reality of being alone with my thoughts. And I’m supposed to sit back and reflect on my past deeds multiple times?” Harmon shuddered. “I don’t know if I’m cut out for this.”
Harmon’s biggest fear is that she might have to take any responsibility for her own entertainment. “When a session goes bad, usually I can say the GM didn’t engage me, or that another player was causing friction. But now I’m sitting here looking at a few small notes I’ve jotted down, and there’s no one else to blame. I’m the one who can’t think of an interesting place for my item to be forgotten. I’m the one who can’t decide how long the item rests because I’m trying to balance how long in-game makes the most sense and how long I’ll be forced quietly contemplate my own inadequacy.”
Harmon says she may have underestimated how much of her life was spent letting other people fill the void. “Usually, I’ll have music playing, a podcast, or a Twitch stream. Anything to not give the voices in my head the chance to speak…” Harmon’s face lit up. “That’s it! If I can have the other voices pitch in, then I won’t have to come up with everything. I can just set up the prompts, and let them do all the heavy lifting. Suckers.”
When we left Harmon’s home, we could hear her asking her reflection whether a religious crusader would have a triumphant or devastating end.