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Release One White Eye - A Poe Inspired Solo One Page RPG

Gamenomicon

Villager
Day after day, moment by moment, you feel it staring and waiting.

You feel the pressure on your skin, your bones, your soul. Can it truly see?

You do not know.


One White Eye is a solo horror RPG on a single page. Inspired largely by classic Edgar Allen Poe tales of suspense and terror such as the Pit and the Pendulum and The Tale-Tell Heart, One White Eye places players in the shoes of an imprisoned protagonist. What you may have done or not done to deserve this fate will be revealed as you play. All you need are a d20, a d6, and something to record your journal entries on.


Be warned that this game only ends in despair.

Pick it up on Drive Thru RPG or on Itch.io.

One White Eye Cover-Itch.jpg
 
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Gamenomicon

Villager
I've been fascinated by the concept of solo tabletop games ever since the release of the Lord of the Rings LCG and my realization that a coop card game meant that it could be played solo as well. I had not followed the thought through to RPGs until more recent years, however, but among other things in 2020, I discovered Wretched and Alone and the many games based on it, English Eerie, 1000 Year Old Vampire, and more. And those concepts just wouldn't leave me.

So, while out running on Thursday evening, a nugget of an idea hit me while I was out jogging. The name, One White Eye. Sometimes ideas hit you like that. A singular phrase or image, that you can't shake. This time it was both and the fixation on that one awful body part led me straight to Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell Tale Heart.

But why fixate on an eye in particular? If I wanted to use this idea for some type of game, then the player will need to do something to or have some relationship with the eye. Hearts of course, represent life, but what's the strongest connection for an eye? What do they do? They see. They watch. And so, I hit on the idea that the player was being watched.

From here, I needed a reason for the eye to be watching. And what's more, I needed a way to fixate solely on the eye and to not let the bearer gain too much focus, nor for the player to be able to leave the eye behind and no longer be tormented by it. Aha! The player must be imprisoned in some way. Which leads, naturally, to another Poe story, The Pit and the Pendulum.

Now with the heart of the setup established, I had only to craft a game system. This also came quickly with the realization that a game of such narrow scope really only needed to be a single page. Thus, the system would have to be short and tight as well. As mentioned, I've been researching a great deal of Wretched and Alone games over the past few months. It's a great system and setup. I only had to figured out how to strip it down in size as 52 prompts is a great deal to fit on that single page. I needed a smaller number, but still needed some random determination to change the flow of the game. And thus, a d20 with twenty prompts.

Of course, one of the best features of W&A using a deck of cards is that it eliminates the recurrence of the same prompt more than once. With a d20, this is a problem, unless you institute a reroll each time you get a number you had previously used. But a simple reroll felt narratively and mechanically flat. Where's the risk or reward in this game? How does it end?

Which lead straight to the idea that the game won't stop you from rolling the same numbers and prompts, but it will twist what happens. Everyone lies all the time. They lie to each other and the lie to themselves. What if each time you rolled a prompt over again you had to admit to something that you had lied about previously in that prompt? Surely someone imprisoned like this has been lying about something.

From there, we just add a quick d6 roll and an escalating tracker of your Dread which must be beaten or elsewise you succumb, and there you have it - a game!

After this, it was just a matter of writing it all down and working up a nice layout on Friday. I hope you all enjoy!
 

Gamenomicon

Villager
I also took the opportunity to try my hand at a bit of an audio drama style rendition in our latest podcast episode. I hope folks enjoy!

 

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