Have you ever questioned your origins?
Leaned back on your heels, chewed on the finer bits of what you’re made of, and paused to evaluate what that means?
Most folks, I think, have had an identity reckoning of some sort in their lives, varying in scale and complexity. And now there’s a solo game that captures that experience.
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Yourself as a Solo TTRPG
Yourself is a solo tabletop roleplaying game by Kaden Ramstack. Distilling the essence of what it’s like to grapple with identity, the game explores belonging, with core themes focused on introspection and heritage. It uses the same system as Anamnesis by Samantha Leigh. You can pick it up for $5 on Itch.
Players take on the role of someone who has just discovered that they’re a Changeling among humans. Through prompts matched with randomly drawn tarot cards, players navigate the changes of what being a Changeling and member of the fae means. From relationships to body adjustments to what the future holds, the game asks what it means to be Yourself.
How to Play Yourself
The game plays fairly quickly broken over 5 acts. I finished in a little over an hour with this music accompanying me. Content warnings include rejection, abandonment, body dysmorphia/dysphoria, minor fantasy-based body horror, and self-doubt. While a tarot deck is preferred, the rules have options for playing with a French deck. There are two different ways to play the game: you can draw the same number of cards each act or you can roll a six-sided die and draw that many. I played it simple and drew three each act.
Yourself as an Experience
While on its surface Yourself is a game about the player secretly discovering they’re a Changeling, it serves as an allegory for transitioning. Players will likely have thoughts and concerns similar to those who are considering or have gone through the process. The game offers a powerful look at the difficult decisions one might have to make as well as the celebrations they can be afforded. Finally, players must ultimately face themselves and evaluate what their discoveries mean.
At first sight, Yourself is a low-fantasy game about being more than human and reckoning with the consequences. But it also reveals a vivid look at what it means to be human and feel at odds with what you see in the mirror. It’s a lovely and special game, especially if you’re interested in meditating on identity and the ways in which we make it.
If you’d like to read my journal, you can find it here.
Review at a Glance
|Content||There are 56 short prompts with pointed questions for introspection. Some of them did seem to overlap, but this wasn’t often. The PDF is thematic.|
|Rules difficulty||The rules are extremely simple and easy to remember.|
|Accessibility||There are 4 versions of the game, including a stylized PDF, a text only PDF, a text file, and an epub.|
|Time commitment||The game lasted me about an hour, and the author also estimates that as the usual length of play.|
|Final thoughts||Changing is hard. Profound, transformative change is harder, especially when there are those who refuse to let go of your past. Yourself offers a careful and delicate look at the difficulties and joys of accepting who you are.|