RPG a Day 28: Solo

Just like Day 25, I’m hoping the Starter Set will drop, because it has a solo adventure in it that’s a good intro to the rules and setting but this should probably be a more complex and complicated post than squeeing fandom. Solo games can be awesome, but you get deep into them, and if you’ve never done that before it can be very difficult to run and the action can be both fast and detailed.

Solo, to my mind, means a single player with a GM, rather than a pre-written game where you only play one person, or you’re the single commander of a team. Many computer games have campaign modes that are solo experiences, or are simply designed for one person play. But them, they’re intricate toys as much as RPG games. I like the definition of a game as a thing that has another person’s input as well as yours.

GMing for a single person means you’re every bit of input for that person, which is sometimes very intense, and because there is usually little chatter between characters, solo adventures are often very fast so you’re onto the next one quickly. I prefer rules-light games for solo GMing, and I wouldn’t want to do it in RuneQuest, at least in the long term, because I’d have to create new situations with conflicts in, which I’d have to at least think through in advance. Ouch.

There’s one exception, though. In the down time between our games, we often do IC talking, and sometimes we’ll have a situation like where we’re wrestling or rock climbing, and then one of us will usually GM to help things along. Those are fun, definitely. I don’t want to build my campaign around them, though. It’s the group play that I live for, with stand-out PCs getting spotlight time. RQG solo work in short bouts or off-camera is the way for me.

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