PDA

View Full Version : Solo Campaigns



Thriondel Half-Elven
11-19-2008, 04:50 PM
I just wanted to know what everyone thought of solo campaigns. With one DM and one player.

Is it easier or harder?

cplmac
11-19-2008, 05:03 PM
I have never been the DM for a solo game, but I did play a PC in a solo game once before. I was given a character that was a fighter/mage/ thief. It was back when I first started playing. It wasn't too bad, but I had noone else to help with figuring out the "puzzles".

Webhead
11-19-2008, 05:23 PM
Personally, I like them for certain kinds of games or campaigns. I have run a couple of really fun solo games in the past, a couple in the fantasy genre (D&D) and a couple in the super hero genre (M&M). The very first RPG campaign I ever ran was actually a solo Star Wars game and it was excellent!

Solo games are great for allowing the deep exploration of a single character because that character is the entire focus of the story. But, solo games have to be designed from an understanding that they are just that...solo, and thus the challenges that the PC faces need to be within the scope of one individual. Granted, you can heartily mix in NPCs and that is often an excellent idea, not only because they can lend a hand with challenges, but also because they provide a means of inspiring role play and character development for your PC. In one of the supers game examples, the solo PC always traveled with his brother, who had super powers as well, and the PC was part of a larger team who could occasionally tag along to help when the mission called for it.

Solo games can be a great way to play. All it takes is a little work from the GM to get the most out of the solo experience and a player who is willing to be the real driving force behind the development of the game.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
11-19-2008, 05:50 PM
Did them often when i was a teen. I especially liked roleplaying dnd, top secret, traveller, and some others. Heck, when you had a few hours to kill, couldnt think of anything better.

Also, Webhead is correct. It does allow for 'the deep exploration of a single character because that character is the entire focus of the story.' Well put, btw.

ignimbrite
11-19-2008, 06:06 PM
played in: 1 on 1 Adventures #6.66 The Pleasure Prison of the B'thuvian Demon Whore by Expeditious Retreat Press. It was hilarious! The protagonist was Krunk the barbarian who had a loincloth that gave him a +4 studly bonus to Charisma! HAHAHA I loved playing that guy.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
11-19-2008, 06:14 PM
played in: 1 on 1 Adventures #6.66 The Pleasure Prison of the B'thuvian Demon Whore by Expeditious Retreat Press. It was hilarious! The protagonist was Krunk the barbarian who had a loincloth that gave him a +4 studly bonus to Charisma! HAHAHA I loved playing that guy.
Ha! I have that module, and a few other 1 on 1's. I've been meaning to either play or run it but the opportunity has yet to present itself. Glad to hear it was hilarious.

Valdar
11-19-2008, 06:41 PM
I've never been able to make it work, so kudos to those that have. I enjoy the social aspect of getting together as a group too much, and coming up with adventures for a single player seems like lots of work for comparatively little reward (compared to DMing for a good-sized group).

mrken
11-19-2008, 08:28 PM
While in College I GM'd Star Frontiers for one of my roomies. I didn't really think it was all that good but he seemed to enjoy it. Would ask me to skip class all the time to let him play.

After college I ran a campaign for about six or seven months for my brother. He enjoyed it quite a bit, but again it was not all that fun for me. Have done it a couple of times since and always the same, the player seems to enjoy it while I find it less so.

Total Nerd v2.135 (final)
11-20-2008, 12:17 AM
played in: 1 on 1 Adventures #6.66 The Pleasure Prison of the B'thuvian Demon Whore by Expeditious Retreat Press. It was hilarious! The protagonist was Krunk the barbarian who had a loincloth that gave him a +4 studly bonus to Charisma! HAHAHA I loved playing that guy.

so... was that a 1st ed module?

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
11-20-2008, 12:29 AM
so... was that a 1st ed module?
It was 3E. Here's a bunch more to choose from: http://paizo.com/store/byCompany/e/expeditiousRetreatPress/1on1Adventures

Grandore The Giant Killer
11-25-2008, 07:15 AM
As a player I've discovered Solos tend to be easier because you don't have a pack of other players doing lord knows what in the backround and screaming stuff like "WHERE ARE THE SOUR CREAM AND ONION CHIPS!?"

ChaunceyK
11-25-2008, 09:01 AM
I just wanted to know what everyone thought of solo campaigns. With one DM and one player.

Is it easier or harder?

I played one once, thoroughly enjoyed it...Blade of Vengeance. It was standard D&D from back in the 80's.

You play an elf (so you're a fighter/mage essentially, since elves were a class of their own) who returns home to find your village torched by a red dragon. So you're off to kill the dragon with some roadblocks along the way. Pretty standard concept, but it was fun. What I liked was not having to consult with any other players, having it be all about me for a change.

Based on this one adventure, I'd say it was easier, but then again, I didn't feel the puzzles were terribly difficult. The most difficult puzzle that I can remember involved a bridge that returned you to the direction you tried crossing it from...shouldn't take alot of imagination to figure out how to get across.

ChaunceyK
11-25-2008, 09:05 AM
As a player I've discovered Solos tend to be easier because you don't have a pack of other players doing lord knows what in the backround and screaming stuff like "WHERE ARE THE SOUR CREAM AND ONION CHIPS!?"

Not to hijack the thread, but does anyone remember a D&D video game that had a trailer or an easter egg or something that involved a bunch of heroes & monsters actually PLAYING an rpg? I remember one of them poking around in the kitchen looking for snacks, and ending the dialogue with "If there are any girls there, I wanna DO THEM!!!"

Funny, funny video...gotta be on YouTube somewhere, but I can't remember what game it was from so I can look it up. :(

Grandore The Giant Killer
11-25-2008, 09:16 AM
You my friend would be talking about Dr. Demento's D&D.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUz8F2xU7tc

Very funny video using that for cats playing D&D.

Kalanth
11-25-2008, 09:32 AM
I have run and played in solo games and they are generally really entertaining. When I was younger and had more time we would use those solo campaigns as background / introductions for characters. It would add depth and story to a character and really gave new spice and life to the tired old "you meet in a bar" routine.

Webhead
11-25-2008, 11:48 AM
Not to hijack the thread, but does anyone remember a D&D video game that had a trailer or an easter egg or something that involved a bunch of heroes & monsters actually PLAYING an rpg? I remember one of them poking around in the kitchen looking for snacks, and ending the dialogue with "If there are any girls there, I wanna DO THEM!!!"

Funny, funny video...gotta be on YouTube somewhere, but I can't remember what game it was from so I can look it up. :(

Dead Ale Wives Watchtower. The same audio as the vid that Grandore linked but with 8-bit Theater/Final Fantasy sprites instead.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHdXG2gV01k

"I'm attacking the darkness!"

Very funny.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
11-25-2008, 12:01 PM
Hilarious, thanks for posting.

bitbucket
11-25-2008, 12:21 PM
I guess I'm mixed on the idea. Short answer, I've never played in nor run a solo campaign.

I had some friends who ran a game in a rental car while driving from El Paso to Dallas, and back again. They had a blast doing it - no map, miniatures or anything. The DM sat in the back and the player drove. They switched out on the way home.

Then I had a DM in North Carolina who was constantly running solo campaigns for his wife (at her insistence). Poor guy couldn't pop a beer and watch a ball game without the wife badgering him to run her in a game. This was all in the same world that he ran the regular gaming group in, and she wound up with all sorts of inside information on how the world worked, history, political intrigue, and even the future - which she promptly turned around and used as player knowledge during the regular game. :nono:

I've approached my wife about running some solo games in 3.5 to get us both up to speed on the system, but she passes - I think she enjoys the shared social aspect more than the game itself.

Webhead
11-25-2008, 01:31 PM
...Then I had a DM in North Carolina who was constantly running solo campaigns for his wife (at her insistence). Poor guy couldn't pop a beer and watch a ball game without the wife badgering him to run her in a game. This was all in the same world that he ran the regular gaming group in, and she wound up with all sorts of inside information on how the world worked, history, political intrigue, and even the future - which she promptly turned around and used as player knowledge during the regular game. :nono:...

Using solo games to give players advantages over other members in a group game is a no-no, but I wish my wife were as enthusiastic about trying out role playing as his wife was. Of course, I only drink beer socially (which means two or three times a year) and I have anti-interest in watching televised sports (which means I would rather do virtually anything else), so her insistance probably wouldn't bother me near as much. I actually *like* spending time with my wife and sharing the stuff that interests me is one of my favorite ways to do it. I've already managed to get her hooked on a couple of my favorite shows, now just RPGs...

Chi
11-25-2008, 02:44 PM
Just so everyone knows how it is going! He is the Dm and I am the player and so far it has been a lot of fun, I am very shy around people so it usually takes me a game or two to get going, especially if I don't know the people all that well. I think the nice part about is that because thriondel is my fiance and we live together, we can play everyday if we want to even if it is just for a couple hours. I think that he enjoys it too. He has so many game ideas that he wants to run so now he can try them all out with out having to find a hundred people for different groups and we don't have to worry about someone quitting the game.

Webhead
11-25-2008, 03:40 PM
Just so everyone knows how it is going! He is the Dm and I am the player and so far it has been a lot of fun, I am very shy around people so it usually takes me a game or two to get going, especially if I don't know the people all that well. I think the nice part about is that because thriondel is my fiance and we live together, we can play everyday if we want to even if it is just for a couple hours. I think that he enjoys it too. He has so many game ideas that he wants to run so now he can try them all out with out having to find a hundred people for different groups and we don't have to worry about someone quitting the game.

The two of you are very lucky to have each other! :)

SwirlinFlight
11-25-2008, 07:23 PM
A solo campaign's what I'm trying to write up right now, and I've been asking around for advice on it. I appreciate the idea of never having to have the player sit aside because the focus is always around him... but trying to write hooks that a single character could manage to resolve is difficult. I'm reading a lengthy thread on another forum to get inspiration on how to do so.

spotlight
11-25-2008, 08:26 PM
Hey I like that you tupe show. I couldn't help but laugh. btw, I think my gym teacher was gay. No wounder I prefer rpg, he could not decide his role either!!!

yeah, I know. loosy joke.

ChaunceyK
11-25-2008, 09:55 PM
Dead Ale Wives Watchtower. The same audio as the vid that Grandore linked but with 8-bit Theater/Final Fantasy sprites instead.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHdXG2gV01k

"I'm attacking the darkness!"

Very funny.

Found the original! Hysterical bit!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zng5kRle4FA

Kalanth
11-26-2008, 08:32 AM
Found the original! Hysterical bit!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zng5kRle4FA


There is a sequal to this out there, I will have to post a link when I get home.

spotlight
11-26-2008, 09:01 AM
Geezz. I don't know which one I like more...

Jcosby
11-26-2008, 01:39 PM
Well, this thread has gotten me to start a Solo game for my best friend. I'm going to do it as a PbPost here on Pen&Paper. We both don't have a lot of RL time anymore to do multi-games per month so a PbPost seems like a good way to go. I'm going to run him through The Star Of Olindor. He likes running roges and this solo game has a sequal to it.. so it should be fun.

JC

Kalanth
11-27-2008, 08:06 AM
Dead Ale Wives Watchtower. The same audio as the vid that Grandore linked but with 8-bit Theater/Final Fantasy sprites instead.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHdXG2gV01k

"I'm attacking the darkness!"

Very funny.

Here is the sequal to the original. No one has really done a good animation to it, but at least you can listen to it. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1e20K3Tmj0

Addis Hellfire
11-30-2008, 04:46 PM
I ran a solo campaign for my friend since the other two players (in a three player group) flaked out all the time. To be honest, it wasn't difficult to run it, but after the first three sessions, it was boring as hell. We both agreed that the group atmosphere, working together, and even the pain in the arse arguments that ensue were what made the game even more fun . . . I need a new group, lol.

tesral
12-02-2008, 03:27 AM
I run a solo on-line. Many characters, one player. We have seven game threads going right now. I D&D, 5 Star Trek, and 1 B-13.

Etarnon
12-02-2008, 06:06 AM
I've run solo games of AD&D 1e, AD&D 2e, AD&D 3.5, Top Secret, Traveller, Gamma World, Star Frontiers, James Bond 007, Boot Hill, Gangbusters, Star Trek FASA, Star Trek LUG, Conspiracy X, Indiana Jones.

I've played solo AD&D 1e, James Bond, and 7th Sea.

Works well, you just have to have a tighter plot, and yet more flexibility and the ability to improv like mad.

The actual player is the key, someone decisive, who brings energy to the role.

You need interesting NPcs, and situations. I usually use a DMPC as a sidekick, especially in Indiana Jones

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
12-02-2008, 09:40 AM
I've run solo games of AD&D 1e, AD&D 2e, AD&D 3.5, Top Secret, Traveller, Gamma World, Star Frontiers, James Bond 007, Boot Hill, Gangbusters, Star Trek FASA, Star Trek LUG, Conspiracy X, Indiana Jones.

I've played solo AD&D 1e, James Bond, and 7th Sea.

Works well, you just have to have a tighter plot, and yet more flexibility and the ability to improv like mad.

The actual player is the key, someone decisive, who brings energy to the role.

You need interesting NPcs, and situations. I usually use a DMPC as a sidekick, especially in Indiana Jones
Very cool. I wish i had the time to learn and play all those games. But hey, i've played half of the ones you listed. I guess i'll just have to continue living vicariously through you guys. Game on!

Chgowiz
12-11-2008, 01:24 PM
I've been talking on my blog about the OD&D-like (using microlite74, Holmes Basic and a mashup of my own houserules) solo game with my wife. We've played two games so far and it's been fun!

First game recap (http://oldguyrpg.blogspot.com/2008/12/running-microlite74-for-first-time.html)
Second game recap (http://oldguyrpg.blogspot.com/2008/12/playing-od-solo-game-with-my-wife.html)

What seems to be working is to use the NPCs as "guides" and not decision makers, to make some on the spot rulings that help the game to flow and possibly bring fun later on, and to just enjoy what you're doing.

Chgowiz
12-30-2008, 04:34 PM
I've updated my blog for some further recaps on my solo game with my wife:

Third game recap (surviving a puzzle room) (http://oldguyrpg.blogspot.com/2008/12/playing-od-solo-game-with-my-wife-third.html)
Fourth game recap (still in progress - falling in a trap and doing a Han Solo run...) (http://oldguyrpg.blogspot.com/2008/12/playing-od-solo-game-with-my-wife_30.html)

InvestFDC
12-30-2008, 05:00 PM
I thought it worked out great. My player would make a party of 4-5 guys and we could go for hours. A lot less time is wasted in game and you get a good mix of characters who, obviously, have very few conflicts.

Malruhn
12-31-2008, 01:04 AM
I cut my teeth as a DM doing solo adventures. It made me MUCH more descriptive as a story-teller, as there weren't four or more people listening for details.

Banshee
12-31-2008, 01:32 AM
I've both run and played in solo games. There are definite good and bad points to the solo game, both from the player's and the GM's perspective.

As a player in a solo game, I found the most positive aspect to be the fact that I never had to wait my turn when I wanted my PC to do something. Working together with the GM, we were able to craft a storyline that suited the both of us quite well. In fact, we did this using several game systems, and had similar results. The obvious downside was that with only the two of us, we did not have as many gut-busting laughs as we have had with larger groups.

When running solo games, I found that I was able to focus my creativity easier. I guess that should have gone without saying though- if you can't craft a game for one, how the heck could you expect to run it for more?

Anyway, I began using solo games as sort of "side missions" for individual PCs in the larger campaign. I'd so this for times when only one player was able to attend for whatever reason- it was better than cancelling. Each of the players was aware that if they failed to show for a scheduled game, whoever showed would still get to play, but their character would simply be "unavailable" for the session. This worked well, I think, because I always tried to run my games where there would be a definite conclusion to the main action at the end of each gaming session. With few exception, I was able to do this, and my campaign became like a television series.

I much prefer a group to a solo, but I also prefer to play versus not to play. :)

Lucian-Sunaka
01-30-2009, 04:12 AM
Personally, I love solo adventures, and have alot of fun GMing them. The thing is, with one person, its so much easier to help them build a story and interact with the world, because you don't have a hodgepodge of characters that all have different interests and different goals.

Instead of either A: Having the whole group interacting with people and sending mixed messages, or B: having one person be 'the face' and speak for the party and possibly mis-represent them, the character is a stand-alone individual. I never had any problems adjusting the challenges to a single player, I just brought out something interesting and between -2 and equal CR as approrpiate. Maybe DM's who actually plan their campaigns have more problems with it, but I'm all instinct and sponteneity, and it flies out even better with 1 person alone (though the challenge of a group is always a pleasure.)

nijineko
01-30-2009, 04:00 PM
i am currently playing a solo adventure: the return to the tomb of horrors. we game online and/or over the phone when we both have some time in sync. very fun. the campaign journal in my sig is written from that game as we go.

Severion
01-31-2009, 11:21 AM
I thought it worked out great. My player would make a party of 4-5 guys and we could go for hours. A lot less time is wasted in game and you get a good mix of characters who, obviously, have very few conflicts.

I'm currently in one of these type of games with my pastor (I'm a year older than him) we each have our own parties and we alternate DMing duties. It is an absolute blast.:D

spotlight
01-31-2009, 12:26 PM
As a teen, years ago, I did similar stuff with a friend. This was before rpg's were produced for sale, I think. like late '60's- early '70's. Of course, we did not play individual characters, but eack had our own space-faring race to lead around. We got so involved that we would pass notes to each other even in the middle of church services.

Still, it was quite a trip. we did our best to out do each other in what I would call real God- modeing. Which reminds me. Is it time for me to change my sig again?

Banshee
02-09-2009, 02:31 AM
Agreed. Sometimes when I was (or when I am) bored, I'd come up with an encounter table and some random events for a lesser-used PC of mine. I'd write the results down and sometimes pen a short story. Wow... I'm a geek! LOL

nijineko
02-09-2009, 04:57 PM
the dice roller i use has the ability to roll on cascading tables. perfect for randomized one shots. individually or as a group. you can even do event based triggers as it has counters and variable you can reference as well. =D