Tabletop RPGs as Solo Adventures

I’ve always found trying to play a roleplaying game solo to be of great interest (maybe because my best friend is my dog), but not a great exercise. Games just don’t support the format. But maybe they could? Maybe the old “choose your own adventure” stories hold a key here?

If you’ve read them, you’ve likely had a similar rush to the one you get when you the GM tells you how terrible your decision turned out for you. If that isn’t what we’re looking for in solo RPGs, I don’t know what is.

Even video games are reinvigorating the “choose your own adventure” format; just look at the success of TellTale Games’ lineup of (great) “choose your own” games.

Customization is the Key

I haven’t played a TellTale game since the first Walking Dead series they released (not for lack of want, let me tell you), but one thing I noticed in that first game, and especially the aforementioned “choose your own” books from the 80’s, is the lack of character customization. And for a tabletop roleplaying game, customization is everything!

My Pitch…

A solo game where you create a character and”play” through a series of adventures, “leveling up” certain skills along the way, as well as gaining new items to use (TellTale uses some of these concepts, but I’m going back to tabletop/fiction stuff now). And those items can have big repercussions for future decisions – “progress through <option A> only if you possess <device option B from the last chapter>.”

That could be a fun exercise for a small DTRPG release next year (Siri, put it on the To Do list), but this is a digital age, we need…multiplayer solo gaming (that’s how you all play your MMOs anyway, amiright?). So we include a posting template on a web page that lets you plug in your choices. Then out comes your personalized story, to share with all of your friends on social media.

So, who’s ready to invest?

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9 thoughts on “Tabletop RPGs as Solo Adventures

  1. Hey, Ryan. Nice post. Have you joined the Lone Wolf Solo Roleplaying community on G+? It’s a fantastic resource with links to various engines that work like what you’re describing. In the 80s to mid 90s there were several series that allowed you to play customized characters.

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  2. Publish an idea hmmmmm , well it is more lateral thinking , spotting an app and having a eureka moment and going with what the imagination brings , none of those stories were pre planned just the character concept and a little tweaking of fate core , essentially I removed the consequences and the aspects and changed what happened and what the character reacted to given the specific situation , try it out , you can get the B/W cards free from rpgnow ( search for “Alone”) , pick a setting ,

    well try this one ” you are waiting at a train station in the early hours of the morning”

    now pick a genre and thats it go for it and see where your imagination take you

    Rob

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  3. Hi Ryan, if it’s solo roleplaying you crave, you could do well to read The Lone Crusader’s blog ( http://thelonecrusader.com ), where he tells you that you CAN play solo: http://thelonecrusader.com/you-can-play-dungeons-and-dragons-solo-no-really

    Although he is very much interested in Dungeons and Dragons, I believe his advice can easily be applied to other roleplaying games. He explains different options of how to play solo, and gives great examples of each, showing his thinking as he plays, so you can really understand how to do it. His posts made the difference from me wanting to play roleplaying games solo, and actually being able to.

    Happy Adventuring!

    Adventure Girl

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