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Thoughts on Solo Scenarios/Campaigns?


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Just wanted everyone's thoughts on running solo scenarios and campaigns. I used to game with a group of 5 in total (1 GM and 4 players) but with life being as busy as it is (new job, new kid, new house, everyone moving...) I'm now only able to get together with 1 other person. I've been GM'ing and he's been the player, and it's been working surprisingly well. I used to play Rifts/Palladium games and I have a feeling those would be very difficult to run with only 1 player (or any traditional RPG/D&D party style game), but I'm finding that Call of Cthulhu runs really really well with only 1 player. It almost runs better because you're able to really heighten the dread because the player is COMPLETELY on his own.

Any thoughts on solo'ing?

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CoC is one of the better RPGs able to do one-on-one sessions - simply, because the horror gets more personal and intense.

I sometimes do solo games by using "Mythic GME", a tool that works very well for free form adventures. To use it for pre-written adventures, I tend to use Mythic as a Player-simulator, rather than a GM-simulator. I find it working out very well that way and use it to test scenarios and adventures before I throw them at my players. It's always fun, especially when bored on long travels :)

Ah, and with Mythic GME nearly any RPG works. You can even simulate a group of players when using it as a Player-Emulator.

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What I miss? Letting the players distract each other as I figure out what the hell's going on. Player's coming to consensus eats up a lot of time. Normally, I try to stream line that down so the game momentum doesn't suffer. With a single player the action moves fast and it can sometimes be a challenge to keep up.

Single players do not have as many resources as a group of players do. What might be a simple task for three players can turn into a serious challenge for one player. Also, multiple players mean that it's likely there will be more ideas floating around the table. One player can only have so many ideas. This can really make itself felt when there's a situation and the player is just not in the right mindset to approach it.

What's great about a one on one game is how much stuff you can get done. Focus on story and character goals. Make sure you've NPCs to spare. Take breathers so you can get your head in order.


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Unfortunately that is true. Player and GM have to work closer together and share ideas (without railroading). It is more difficult, but it still is a good experience and game.

Thanks for all the ideas everyone. I definitely agree with the above. I'm having a great time with the solo campaign so far. With Call of Cthulhu (Dark Ages), I'm finding it really heightens the tension. The player is truly on his own, to fend for himself and as such, has to be more resourceful. It does time a considerable about more effort on my part as GM but the amount of detail and the depth of the story is really appealing. I'm having a much deeper experience with solo campaigning so far than in a year and half's worth of "power gaming", which used to be reduced to who had the bigger gun and the most damage capacity.

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