I ordered Solipsist yesterday, paper and PDF, and spent a bit of last night poring over the PDF version. I’ll start out this potted review by saying that it’s shockingly good, easily one of the best Indie games I’ve read. Ever.
What is it about?
There are people who think so strongly and individually, that they can literally change reality, teasing out the fabric of the consensus and changing it. They are called Solipsists.
In this game you and your friends play a group of balanced Solipsists, struggling to fulfill your grandiose dreams, retain your desperate grip on reality, and fight the un-making of the Shadows before they can end the world for good.
A role-playing game about bending reality
The comparisons to MAGE: The Ascension will be obvious though as the author says elsewhere, the game is less weighed down by the paradigms of the common man and Solipsists spend more time fighting with their own Obsessions and Limitations than they do combatting the collective beliefs of the rank and file of the world. And that’s something to like.
It also smacks a little of the Shadow worlds of AMBER, noting that I never read the novels and base all of my AMBER knowledge on the great Diceless RPG.
The march of a reality-changing protagonist, barred only by their own minds and the conscious minds of other Solipsists (and the mysterious Shadow) is pure gaming gold. While it seems to add some structure and sense to the Amberite shadow wanderings, it also strips away the tiresome paradox mechanic from Mage leaving only a story-driven conflict mechanic that allows the players to control the story and, crucially, lose control of the story.
The writing is clear, the art sparse and the concepts clear. Thoroughly recommended.