So while this wasn't my first foray into solo gaming, it was the first one where I didn't use a pre-made adventure. That would be my Mythras game, which I will eventually finish writing up. However, doing the super hero community college was a fun romp with some good stuff and some concerns for my next session. For those who want to read them, they are here and here.
So one thing I did a lot of in the first session was the creation of NPCs. Obviously, with NPCs comes the need to stat them. However, when I just create one on the fly and I need stats for them, I tend to take a while to get them up. And with something like a superhero school, there are a lot of NPC students and teachers that I'll need. So it's slowed down my solo game a bit when I'm trying to get some quick stats for my NPC heroes and villains. For random NPCs, I don't mind just rolling a simple Yes/No; And/But roll when they need to do something, but if it's a main villain or hero, I'd like some tangible stats for them. I wonder if there is some middle ground to do with this? Luckily ICONS's random attribute level table does a quick job of this. Still, I may need some sort of compromise with this to get something fast enough but still crunchy enough for a main villain. Perhaps combining the oracle I have (Game Master's Apprentice Deck) with the random power tables of ICONS.
That brings me another thing. Sadly, I don't have a lot of time, with work, house stuff, and GMing an M-Space game on Wednesdays. So I generally only have an hour or two to really game on my own. I've done a lot to streamline my game since the Mythras one, and the simplicity of ICONS makes it run by quickly. However, I have come up to some obstacles that do slow down the flow of the game. Creating NPCs on the fly for a scene can take awhile, especially for action packed comic book fights with multiple people duking it out. Other stuff includes looking up how powers work in ICONS. While the conflict resolution system in the game is very simple, looking up what all the different powers do takes awhile. Gravity Control and Probability Control are two that came up in a recent session that took me a bit to understand. Also, the powers are very vague on their ranges and duration. Is gravity control concentration? I don't know, it's very unclear and frustrating and I wish the powers were written better. Also, despite my familiarity with FATE, it can still be hard for me to grok things like tapping Advantages and Troubles. That requires me simply reading a bit more and playing more I think.
Lack of Focus
This one is more on me rather than solo rpgs in general. Because there isn't a group of people to engage with, I find that sitting down for more than ten minutes causes me to lose focus. This is especially true if I'm gaming at my computer. I do use Evernote for my notes and most of my rules are in PDF form. However I may have to bite the bullet and simply disconnect my ethernet cable so I won't be distracted. Sitting down for a long period of time without a lot of stimuli has always been difficult for me, and starting to do it is even harder. I tend to procrastinate it a lot more than playing with people. It's why I find that I can make it a bit easier by just writing what happened in the last session. It puts me in a more engaged mode, but man, it can be hard to keep that focus.
So for those of you that have a lot of experience with Solo RPGs and/or ICONS, I'd love to hear from you on how you solve a lot of these issues. Especially the 'lack of focus' for me. I enjoy these solo sessions, but I definitely want to make them better experiences.