Solitary Role Playing

1
edited February 10 in Game Discussion

I started solitary role playing this summer in August. I read a few articles on the topic to help me get started but I never found a place that actually described a solitary session. So, I created my own blog and starting writing about the game I'm running and how I go about it. Hope you like my humble contribution to this different but gratifying form of role playing.

D&D 5e Solitary Play
https://jeuxdredi.blogspot.com

Comments

  • 1

    Cool, Marc! I've never done this myself. Interesting to see how you are approaching it!

  • 0

    @Ray_Otus does solitaire gaming. Me, I don't get it. My favourite part of RPG gaming is the interaction with the other players, and once that's gone, well, wouldn't that be like practicing your part in a play in front of a mirror? "ForSOOTH! FORsooth! no. Oh, oh... FORSOOTH, I SAY!".

  • 0

    @Apocryphal said:
    @Ray_Otus does solitaire gaming. Me, I don't get it. My favourite part of RPG gaming is the interaction with the other players, and once that's gone, well, wouldn't that be like practicing your part in a play in front of a mirror? "ForSOOTH! FORsooth! no. Oh, oh... FORSOOTH, I SAY!".

    Not sure you read my blog. Everything is randomized so you don't know what will happen. It's not a novel or a play. That is what I find interesting with that format. There are several FB Groups with 1000s of members who discuss this format. I'm seeing an explosion «solo» material coming out for this segment of the market.

    Also, it is a good way to generate adventures for actual play with other people if you are stuck.

    I've been having so many problems getting a stable group of players together for the last 10 years I just decided its not worth the effort. The only standard RPG games I participate in now are occasional one-shots two or three times a year.

  • 0

    @clash_bowley said:
    Cool, Marc! I've never done this myself. Interesting to see how you are approaching it!

    Thank you! it is really bizarre at first playing a rpg alone... but once you get the characters moving and you randomize the answers to the characters questions, the ball starts rolling and before you know it you've played for a few hours and it is fun. No spotlight huggers, no rules lawyers, no last minute cancellation, no player VS player personnel conflict, etc. Just pure fun.

    My next project will be a sci-fi rpg scenario.

  • 0

    @MARCC said:

    Everything is randomized so you don't know what will happen. It's not a novel or a play.

    No, of course not. I assumed it was all random. Perhaps an example of what I mean would be better:

    Let's say your character is an opera-loving uplifted crocodile security chief on a space-ship, and he comes across some intel after performing a scan that there's a lot of trouble on board the trading ship that's approaching your vessel. So you go the narcissistic monkey captain of the ship to inform him that he shouldn't let the trader dock. But the captain really likes sequins, which the trading ship is full of disco outfits, so you have to try hard to convince him.

    In a player-to-player game, you would actually speak the words you need to convince him, and he would reply back with his own words, some of which might surprise your. You would then either let the result of the conversation play itself out (old school) or resort to some dice mechanism to resolve the 'social combat' (new school). But either way, words were spoken by both people, and neither knew what the other person was going to say.

    But what do you do when solo rping? I assume the dice roll is a given. But did you speak the words? Of both characters? Did you have to really think about what to say to convince the other character (who is really you, because it's solo play)? Did you try to be manipulative, threatening, or conciliatory, subtle or bold, polite or rude? Because it's that part of roleplaying - the interactive conversations and problem solving - that I most want to have, and I can't imagine how it could play out in a satisfying manner in solo play.

    But maybe you can convince me?

    Also, it is a good way to generate adventures for actual play with other people if you are stuck.

    This does sound like a pretty cool side benefit to the exercise, however.

  • 0

    @MARCC said:

    @clash_bowley said:
    Cool, Marc! I've never done this myself. Interesting to see how you are approaching it!

    Thank you! it is really bizarre at first playing a rpg alone... but once you get the characters moving and you randomize the answers to the characters questions, the ball starts rolling and before you know it you've played for a few hours and it is fun. No spotlight huggers, no rules lawyers, no last minute cancellation, no player VS player personnel conflict, etc. Just pure fun.

    My next project will be a sci-fi rpg scenario.

    Awesome! I read your blog posts! I can see how it works! Have you tried the Mythic GM emulator? other people have said it works very well - http://www.wordmillgames.com/mythic.html - but I haven't tried it. I have too many games over the net and face to face to set aside time for trying stuff like this, but it interests me!

  • 0
    edited February 12

    @Apocryphal said:

    @MARCC said:

    Everything is randomized so you don't know what will happen. It's not a novel or a play.

    No, of course not. I assumed it was all random. Perhaps an example of what I mean would be better:

    Let's say your character is an opera-loving uplifted crocodile security chief on a space-ship, and he comes across some intel after performing a scan that there's a lot of trouble on board the trading ship that's approaching your vessel. So you go the narcissistic monkey captain of the ship to inform him that he shouldn't let the trader dock. But the captain really likes sequins, which the trading ship is full of disco outfits, so you have to try hard to convince him.

    In a player-to-player game, you would actually speak the words you need to convince him, and he would reply back with his own words, some of which might surprise your. You would then either let the result of the conversation play itself out (old school) or resort to some dice mechanism to resolve the 'social combat' (new school). But either way, words were spoken by both people, and neither knew what the other person was going to say.

    But what do you do when solo rping? I assume the dice roll is a given. But did you speak the words? Of both characters? Did you have to really think about what to say to convince the other character (who is really you, because it's solo play)? Did you try to be manipulative, threatening, or conciliatory, subtle or bold, polite or rude? Because it's that part of roleplaying - the interactive conversations and problem solving - that I most want to have, and I can't imagine how it could play out in a satisfying manner in solo play.

    But maybe you can convince me?

    Also, it is a good way to generate adventures for actual play with other people if you are stuck.

    This does sound like a pretty cool side benefit to the exercise, however.

    There is no actual role-play and no words are spoken... unless you have split personality syndrom! But you can enjoy a minds eye view of events just like when you are reading a novel. Everything is resolved using ability and skill checks. Sometimes opposed, sometimes standard. A close exemple are Social Challenges in D&D 4e where X number of successes was required to win the challenge. It is all explained in my blog. That is why I wrote it. ;-)

    When I started playing D&D in 1981, we didn't «role-play». We just rolled against our stat and lived with the result. Role-play came later. But it always troubled me that players with an intelligence 18 character couldn't «role-play» it properly because their real life intelligence was standard. So they uttered a role-paying blurb then rolled the dice. That role-play blurb is unnecessary since you can't really role-play that ability. Same thing with high charisma when you are a standard person. This method is very close to the original D&D with Morale checks and the use of Charisma/Intelligence checks to influence the predisposition of the NPC/creatures you meet. Just state what you character is trying to achieve and roll. So in essence I've returned to Original D&D with this solo method.

  • 0

    @clash_bowley said:

    @MARCC said:

    @clash_bowley said:
    Cool, Marc! I've never done this myself. Interesting to see how you are approaching it!

    Thank you! it is really bizarre at first playing a rpg alone... but once you get the characters moving and you randomize the answers to the characters questions, the ball starts rolling and before you know it you've played for a few hours and it is fun. No spotlight huggers, no rules lawyers, no last minute cancellation, no player VS player personnel conflict, etc. Just pure fun.

    My next project will be a sci-fi rpg scenario.

    Awesome! I read your blog posts! I can see how it works! Have you tried the Mythic GM emulator? other people have said it works very well - http://www.wordmillgames.com/mythic.html - but I haven't tried it. I have too many games over the net and face to face to set aside time for trying stuff like this, but it interests me!

    I'm aware of it but haven't read it. I found other ressources like The 5e Solo adventurers Toolbox by Paul Bimler. He also writes solo 5e adventures for those who like Lone Wolf adventure books of the 80-90s. I read Elminster's Guide to solo role-playing. I'm having a lot of fun designing my own system. It 50% of the fun just like building a house in the trees! :D

  • 0

    It's sort of like playing with a doll house. Except that the doll house is a dungeon or wilderness or space station or old New England church with terrible things in the basement. And there is no physical toys: house or dolls. And instead of just deciding what happens you sometimes roll dice to see if what you think would happen is going to happen. LOL. I don't know where I'm going with this. Just kind of rambling.

    It is NOT like tabletop role-playing. It's a creative exercise you can do in your quiet time that serves a few purposes:

    1. It's fun. It passes the time.
    2. It helps scratch the itch if you can't get to the table.
    3. It works your creative and mechanical muscles for when you DO get to the table.
    4. It can be a good excuse for writing or a writing exercise.
    5. You can use it to 'test' scenarios - like a dry run or (since you used a theatrical metaphor, play practice)

    I think solo play is a huge part of the early hobby because of the roots in wargames. Many wargames have solo play scenarios. And lots of early RPGs had solo modules.

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