|Evil Genius Prime|
|Evil Genius Prime|
I'm running a solo Legacy of Fire for a long-time player of mine who doesn't get much time to play these days. He's playing a 15pt buy Barbarian, starting at level 1, with fairly spread-out Ability Scores, & I haven't dialled down any of the encounters... so far he's blitzing it with no problems at all (just started book 2).
He had a couple of NPC Warriors with him for some of the early part, but didn't really need them. Later on a couple of NPCs with PC Class levels helped out in one big fight, but the PC did all the heavy lifting, so to speak.
Design-wise the guy's more 'jack of all trades' then I guess most Barbarians are (he's rocking several key Knowledge Skills, for example), since he knew he was playing solo.
Basically, since he's getting all the XP, and all the treasure (although he's pretty damn generous giving treasure away to NPCs), he's leveling faster than the AP suggests, which evens up the solo aspect nicely.
Mostly, he's just a really experienced player (first time playing this system, but a long-time role-player in general) who doesn't fall into the 'play by rote' trap. Always talks to NPCs, sets ambushes rather than walking into them, never goes in the front door when there's an alternative, gathers whatever information he can instead of being surprised by everything, etc...
Basically no adjustment is needed as far as the AP goes - it's more 'use what's there to the fullest' rather than 'have to change stuff'... making an effort so that NPCs actually like the character is, perhaps, the most important thing he does: most APs have plenty of NPCs who can offer help, advice, or whatever if the PCs actually bother to cultivate them.
He does tend to carry a lot of healing potions... but hasn't needed as many as I'd first feared (as a human character he started with Endurance and Diehard, just in case he was ever blatted below zero HP early on... but has never actually been that low on Hit Points!). One advantage of solo play is that the character can progress on his own terms: he can rest up when he needs to, he can use Climb and Stealth and Acrobatics to get around without having to worry about some 'nerd' style Wizard in the party who didn't get any physical Skills not being able to follow... or a heavy armour Fighter blowing the party ambush 'cos he can't Stealth to save his life, plus (as a Barbarian) he can run really fast when he needs to without having to worry about abandoning his Movement-challenged friends...
All in all, it's going well.
Just like the title says. Tell us about your duet game and how its going. Also feel free to include the kind of adventures your solo player is going on.
Do you use NPC's to help out the solo PC?
How do you adjust the CR of threats to compensate for one PC?
I have a few different things going on with the bro-in-law, actually.
For quite some time, we were playing a Shackled City campaign. I ran, using Maptools, and he played a group of 6 PCs.
We have also played a handful of one-shots, loosely based on the concept of an Adventurer's Guild, where he generated 35ish PCs where we rolled up 90th percentile stats, then assigned class and race using an algorithm to match class to the stats. That was pretty danged fun.
We have played through one of the One-on-One Adventures mentioned elsewhere in this thread (I played a 3rd level rogue, and he ran). Following this, we generated a group around the rogue, and a world around the published adventure, and I have been guiding a group of 5th level PCs (archer-ftr, cleric, druid, rogue, and conjurer) through a sandbox world.
Currently, we are running through an experimental encounter, using a group of 11th level Pathfinder PCs, on a very large scale map about 800 feet by 640 feet). The map is big enough that we have had orc sorcerers dropping fireballs at maximum range, and a zen archer firing a composite longbow at more than just the boring 2 range increments. Awesome. Running an entire tribe of orcs and their mysterious overlords is an interesting challenge, and I have been using Hero Lab and d20Pro to adjudicate. It is working out extremely well. In fact, it has made me wish that more encounters were designed with long range play in mind. Of course, this is very tough to do, because most folks don't have a table 800 inches long. It really only works well with a virtual tabletop.
|Evil Genius Prime|
I sorta play a solo game, sorta not, as a player. It's hard to explain, but I'll try:
About a decade ago, I lived in San Diego anf had a group of buddies with whome I gamed regularly. They were part of a group of gamers that went even further back together, some of whom had moved on. Well, we ALL ended up going our separate ways. But we stayed in touch, and nowadays we try to game online, via chat clients and/or Fantasy Grounds II, as often as we can. The problem is, we have different work schedules, and we all live in at least 3 different time zones. So what we've come up with as a solution is this: We all have several different characters, as many as 6, of varying levels, all in the same game world but in slightly different campaigns or stages of campaigns, and in different locales. The thing is, each of those sub-campaigns is a different combination of players' characters. That way, my friend who GM's can run something regardles of who is available to play and who isn't.
I'm running a solo Legacy of Fire for a long-time player of mine, etc...
Man, that sounds like a great time. I used to run a friend through solo stuff all the time, for many years. Nowadays he doesn't play at all. But man, I miss playing with him. Like your guy, he was a real experienced, real smart player. Lots of NPC interaction, was always coming up with interesting ideas, the whole nine yards. Played like a real commando, that one did.
I envy you!
On topic, I've run many single or double games over the years. The best of them always involved a higher mystery-to-battle ratio. The nice thing about running a mystery for one or two players is there tends to be more tolerance for NPC interaction and less impatience around the table, so events can unfold without feeling forced, and those mystery tropes that don't work so well with a big party, like a chase across rooftops where the suspect actually has a chance to get away (but leave a big clue behind, of course), have a better chance at success. Helps keep the tension alive.
I ran a game for a friend of mine. He was a solo Cleric and led a band of NPCs through out his career. It went from 1 - 18 before we quit.
I played the NPCs in roleplaying situations and he ran them in combat situations with me pitching in on personality quirks. Example: One of his NPCs was a rather snarky scout (rogue) who had a quirk that he was a Klepto. He collected 'trinkets' from every town he stayed in. Made for some great moments.
Also, his Mage NPC had a Familiar that was 'not fond' of his cleric. You know, you have a cat that hates one of your friends? Yeah, good times.
It takes a lot of work for you as a DM in my opinion as you only have one Player Brain working on options and plans. So, you have to keep the NPCs offering ideas (sometimes NOT the right option) and plans to keep them moving. At least I did.
If you and the Single PC are good friends, it could make for a very rewarding game. Mine was. Heck, we had a long drive one day (6 hours) and we roleplayed a session for most of it. I rolled the dice as he drove and we covered a huge amount of ground in his campaign!
Good luck and I hope some of this helped.
Have Fun out there!!
~ W ~