Solo roleplaying

All discussions regarding Board, Card, and RPG Gaming, including industry discussion, that don't belong in one of the other gaming forums.

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Blackhawk
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Solo roleplaying

Post by Blackhawk »

Yeah, I know. Purists go away. Let people have their fun.

My story: Back in the late 80s as a friendless nerd, I wanted to play D&D. I was obsessed. But one thing a friendless nerd lacks is friends. So I taught myself how to play D&D by multi-handing a full party and walking through the classic modules in classic murder hobo Monty Haul style. Knowing how to play RPGs eventually did lead to me being a friendful nerd, and decades of traditional RPGing, but I have really fond memories of those early months. To this day, when I want to learn a new RPG, I'll grab miniatures and a mat and run practice combats.

So, in one of the other threads, people started talking about systems to play RPGs (traditional pen-and-paper RPGs, also D&D) without a GM. I asked for some clarification.

The Yellowking says:
YellowKing wrote: Sun Dec 19, 2021 10:44 am I'm part of a D&D group on Facebook, and apparently people have had success running full campaigns of published boxed/book adventures using DM Yourself and other various solo tools. It's likely the only way I'll get to experience those stories, so I figured it's worth a try. I'll try to keep the board updated with my findings.
The Smoove says:
Smoove_B wrote: Sun Dec 19, 2021 12:15 pm I have...so many solo RPG tools. I'd happily add to a thread.
So, here you are. A writing prompt!
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by dfs »

Many many many years ago a company called Avalon Hill released a board game called Magic Realm. It had.....to put it politely ...an obtuse rule set. It had a lot of components. It was merciless and complicated. It also gave the player the ability to adventure in all types of roles.
Now, a lot of people hated this game. To this day it's original ruleset is the butt of many jokes in board gaming circles. But to some of us this game was nothing short of divine.
The bad news is that the game is long out of print. A quick google shows prices start at $175 and prices of $500 are not uncommon.
The good news is that a cadre of players created a 3rd edition of the ruleset which is .....I'm not going to insult anybody and say that it's easy but it is comprehensible.
In better news others have extended the game with different components and ideas (check out the book of quests).
In the best news of all, somebody ported the dang thing to Java. Google Realmspeak and give it a go.
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Smoove_B »

Full disclosure - I have been trying to solo role-play for ~3 years now. I haven't quite figured it out as my ideas of role playing are really tied to a traditional GM/Player interaction. That there could exist a system that allows me as a solo player to somehow keep myself in the dark about bigger picture plot items while still following a story that has elements of surprise, puzzle solving, narrative resolution, etc... is really where I struggle. I have always viewed myself (in the role of a GM/DM) as the "facilitator" - moving around all the set pieces to help whatever story the players are helping to create, "emerge". Doing that as a solo experience...I struggle.

So with that, I will provide some tools. I'm not even going to get into rule systems (though I can in another post) as there have been a few that allegedly facilitate solo play. Invariably the tools are usually tied to a rule system (like FATE or D&D), but most are flexible enough to be used on any. YMMV.

DM Yourself by Tom Scutt is probably one of the most popular tools I've seen mentioned by so many. I own a copy and it's really well done. I think in terms of a single book that's relatively short and cheap to acquire, you really can't go wrong. My biggest knock as an owner of the physical copy is the print is borderline illegible - it's tiny to keep the book size small and reasonable. If you get a PDF and are comfortable reading an electronic copy, it won't be an issue.

He did just publish DM Yourselves which is a follow up that allows more solo play and/or playing with friends and no GM. It arrived at my house last week; haven't touched it. It will also be on DriveThru in the next few months.

The next system that is usually recommended is the Mythic Game Masters Emulator and Mythic Variations (that' a link to #2, what I own). Unlike the D&D based framework that Scutt provides, the Mythic system is FATE based (I believe) so resolution is on a spectrum, which should help with narrative development.

The last system is the Game Masters Apprentice, a series of card decks. That link is to the original set that is system neutral, but he's published additional decks that are fantasy, noir or even horror themed. The idea here is that instead of resolving things on a table and with dice (like the previous two), you're drawing a card and finding a specific location that will resolve a question or provide a narrative prompt.

As of this post, some of these tools are on sale, so I'll stop here and my next post will be tools that support the systems above.
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Smoove_B »

dfs wrote: Sun Dec 19, 2021 1:55 pm Many many many years ago a company called Avalon Hill released a board game called Magic Realm.
I had a friend make me a PnP copy of Magic Realm a few years ago that included two or three supplemental books that were created to teach the rules. It is easily the most complicated (and detailed) thing I own. I should take a photo because it's both impressive and intimidating. I have repeatedly tried to crack the rules and it's...dense.
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by baelthazar »

I'm trying to remember, there was a Sitcom episode (Big Bang Theory or Community maybe) that includes this crazy (fictional) fantasy board game with all sorts of rules and parts, a giant board, and a massive scale. I always thought it was a lampoon of Magic Realms. Can't remember what show it was, though.

I have been having a blast playing Ironsworn. It hits a lot of the same feeling as RPG playing, but in a much easier to deal with rule set.
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Smoove_B »

baelthazar wrote: Sun Dec 19, 2021 2:44 pm Can't remember what show it was, though.
Cones of Dunshire on Parks and Rec.

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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Smoove_B »

My first post covered three popular rule systems for resolving solo RPG efforts, so now I want to focus on some of the supplemental material I've acquired to help round out general content. I actually think this is my most favorite part of role playing (at least, as a GM) - collecting and gathering idea. When I look at my collection of RPG materials from my salad days in high school, I have so many RPG supplements - books of monsters, lairs, magic items, quests, locations, etc... all things you can add to fantasy or genre specific settings with some minor tweaking.

So here, my additional materials would support the kind of solo experience you're looking for. For me, trying to find a system that has an overland hexcrawl element but still allows for quests and dungeon crawling is critical (he said, while foreshadowing).

To help create maps, I've poked around with both the Hex Kit by Cone of Negative Energy and Worldographer by Inkwell Ideas. I think for the right person, they're likely perfect tools, but for me I'm really trying to get away from using the PC to role play - I envision it as an activity I can use to get away from the monitor. It's also why I haven't really explored The Augur, a tool that was specifically developed for Ironsworn (but I think can be used for many other systems if you're motivated).

So instead of software, I've settled on Pocketlands Geomorph cards. There is a rule set that goes with the cards, but if you just wanted to be able to create a map and use your own rules, I think these cards work great.

If you then want to scale down from an overland map into a more tactical map, I've settled on Loke Battle Mats. They're not the cheapest solution and they do take up some space, but in terms of versatility, I've yet to find a better option for pre-generated grid maps. I don't own it, but in terms of cost/space, this seems like a really good option as you're not only getting maps, but they include tokens.

If you want to scale down even more and get something to help create dungeons, I've settled on The Deck of Many Dungeons. I'm not sure what the status is with this creator, but the only way to get a printed copy (that link is to PDF) is through The Game Crafter. Their prices are comparable with DriveThru for card decks, but they are much slower in my experience.

To deal with content creation, I am a fan of the Table Fables series by Madeline Hale. I'm linking to her site for credit, but all of my purchases were from Amazon. Her books are just filled with thematic tables and were originally designed to help a GM develop content on the fly.

I own but haven't really used The Deck of Tales by the same creators as the Gamemaster's Apprentice material I've linked in the other thread. These are...a bit more abstract than I'm comfortable with, but if they fit your creation/play style I'd imagine they're rather useful.

I think the last thing I'll mention are the Sidequest Decks by Inkwell ideas. They're organized by theme (fantasy, horror, sci-fi, etc...) and really just give you some prompts to help fuel creation. They also have various NPC decks (which I own) that do the same thing - give you a name, picture and a backstory and allow you to then springboard into relevant content.

Hopefully that's enough to get y'all started. I've spent considerable time looking at so much stuff to try and figure it out. I think all that is left is to mention the rule systems (RPG rules), but that's actually my weakest area of exploration. I have a very difficult time using or learning systems that aren't based in traditional AD&D framework - it's my own personal issue and unfortunately just how I'm wired. Ive tried learning the FATE system (for example), but I just can't seem to process it all. I'm an RPG grognard, apparently.

HOWEVER, with all this detailed out, I think I might have finally found THE solo RPG experience I've been looking for - the D100 Dungeon rules + D100 World Builder (newly released). I'm still reading through and messing with it, but when the time is right, I'll bust out a new thread.
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by $iljanus »

I would love to here your impressions of the World Builder! I have d100 Dungeons and a few of the expansions but the World Builder sounds like a really good edition to round out the d100 experience!
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Smoove_B »

Yeah, once I get some more time behind the wheel I will. I told a friend about it all a week ago and he's gone off the deep end - can't stop playing. I really think this could be it...

Sort of related, if you're not completely convinced on the idea of Solo RPGing and want to dip your toes, the Solo Skirmish: Cult of Mol'Goroz book by Paul Bimler is a great start. It's a 5E compatible solo adventure-ish game that really leans into the tactical/combat possibilities of 5E (not just theater of the mind) Yes, there are (basic) quests and story events, but it's really a system that allows you to focus on playing a character class in a combat role against AI controlled enemies. It's solo play, but you control two characters (standard) or a way to play with 4. The author (Paul Bimler) writes quite a bit of material for 5E, not all solo, but certainly lots of content.

If you own Fantasy Grounds, it's also available as a virtual table top module. If you're playing with just the booklet, having things like the Loke Battle Maps or whatever random terrain/minis/features you have sitting around is perfectly fine if you're into that type of visualization. Its certainly not necessary - you can just play with this booklet, dice and paper (along with your 5E rules).
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by baelthazar »

Speaking of decks, I heavily invested in The Story Engine and the newer Kickstarter, Story Engine: Deck of Worlds. You could easily use the original one to create random NPCs and motivations, then role play from there. The Deck of Worlds looks even more useful when it comes, as it will help generate locations and histories. Here is the link https://storyenginedeck.myshopify.com/ ... s-boosters.
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by baelthazar »

Smoove_B wrote:
baelthazar wrote: Sun Dec 19, 2021 2:44 pm Can't remember what show it was, though.
Cones of Dunshire on Parks and Rec.

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I didn’t watch that show, but I think you are right.
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Blackhawk »

I'm going to dig deeper into these posts (and links) when I have more time, but a couple of things until then
Smoove_B wrote: Sun Dec 19, 2021 2:02 pm
DM Yourself by Tom Scutt is probably one of the most popular tools I've seen mentioned by so many. I own a copy and it's really well done. I think in terms of a single book that's relatively short and cheap to acquire, you really can't go wrong. My biggest knock as an owner of the physical copy is the print is borderline illegible - it's tiny to keep the book size small and reasonable. If you get a PDF and are comfortable reading an electronic copy, it won't be an issue.

He did just publish DM Yourselves which is a follow up that allows more solo play and/or playing with friends and no GM. It arrived at my house last week; haven't touched it. It will also be on DriveThru in the next few months.
That looks interesting, and I did grab the pdf. It's sort of the way I used to play, but codified rather than making it up as I go. I would probably tweak it, though, as I do prefer playing with a party in those types of games. The interaction between the classes in combat is a lot of fun for me. But this does seem like a great framework, especially if I can adapt it to other systems.
Smoove_B wrote: Sun Dec 19, 2021 3:29 pm I'm really trying to get away from using the PC to role play - I envision it as an activity I can use to get away from the monitor.
I agree. And with the right system, it'll give me an excuse to get my toys out. Believe me, I probably have enough maps, map grids, poster maps, and game mats to paper every wall in my house, and enough miniatures to populate them all. And I have enough sets of dice to equip a small army. I miss those things.
HOWEVER, with all this detailed out, I think I might have finally found THE solo RPG experience I've been looking for - the D100 Dungeon rules + D100 World Builder (newly released). I'm still reading through and messing with it, but when the time is right, I'll bust out a new thread.
I looked at some reviews for that, and it looks really intriguing. How much do these benefit from hard copies? Are pdfs good enough, or will I be wishing for physical books? (One metric is how often I'm likely to be flipping through to look something up.)
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Smoove_B »

Blackhawk wrote: Sun Dec 19, 2021 6:44 pm I looked at some reviews for that, and it looks really intriguing. How much do these benefit from hard copies? Are pdfs good enough, or will I be wishing for physical books? (One metric is how often I'm likely to be flipping through to look something up.)
It's hard to say because I think it's a personal preference. My buddy sent me a picture of the World Builder book he has in hard copy - now with all kinds of indexing tabs because he said he's constantly flipping through things. i am just generally a big fan of having the paper books to thumb through (I enjoy holding them, I'm weird, I know) over a PDF. However I do acknowledge it's likely faster and easier to do so on a PDF.
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Blackhawk »

Smoove_B wrote: Sun Dec 19, 2021 8:20 pm
Blackhawk wrote: Sun Dec 19, 2021 6:44 pm I looked at some reviews for that, and it looks really intriguing. How much do these benefit from hard copies? Are pdfs good enough, or will I be wishing for physical books? (One metric is how often I'm likely to be flipping through to look something up.)
It's hard to say because I think it's a personal preference. My buddy sent me a picture of the World Builder book he has in hard copy - now with all kinds of indexing tabs because he said he's constantly flipping through things. i am just generally a big fan of having the paper books to thumb through (I enjoy holding them, I'm weird, I know) over a PDF. However I do acknowledge it's likely faster and easier to do so on a PDF.
I prefer pdfs for learning the rules these days. I like that I just need to carry my full-sized Kindle Fire around to read multiple books, plus I use OneNote for games and like to 'screen snip' out sections to put in there. But when I need to reference them a lot during a game, I prefer dead tree books. It's a lot faster to fan through and find a particular table than it is to flip through page by page on a reader, or guess at a page number, or jump through search results. But that all depends on the book and how often it's necessary to look up a rule or chart.
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by baelthazar »

Not to keep banging this drum, but the Ironsworn Core rules are free as PDFs: https://www.ironswornrpg.com/downloads

Also, Four Against the Darkness, which I have not played but heard great things about, is on sale: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/18 ... _purchased
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Smoove_B »

I think those are great rule systems designed to let you play a specific system as a solo experience. But if you want to play Pathfinder or 5E as a solo game, you need to do more work.

I think I've only found one "classic" RPG system that is truly designed to be played solo and that's Scarlet Heroes. It was specifically created for a 1 player / 1 DM experience, but you can also play it in true solo mode with just that core book. It is closer in design and gameplay to AD&D than something like Ironsworn and the creator even published a solo guide for a way to think about old-school D&D using the Scarlet Heroes framework. This is actually based on a game called "Labyrinth Lord", which I'd never heard of but was an early 1980s D&D homage, published in 2007 using the OGL.

I know that Traveller is solo friendly, as well as Forbidden Lands, Twilight 2000, and The One Ring.

I've tried messing around with Basic Fantasy and the GURPS Dungeon Fantasy system, but neither really clicked. Someone even made a solo ruleset for GURPS known as SURPS, which made me chuckle.

My point here is that there are lots of options if you're willing to use specific rule sets. But if you're trying to solo content that historically isn't solo friendly (i.e. D&D), things get more complicated (potentially). At least, that's my experience.
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by baelthazar »

Did we mention Alone in the Dark? The publisher of that one, Parts per Million, has a TON of solo rules for various rulesets, like Dungeon Crawl and Dungeon World. In fact, for $85, you can get a giant bundle of ebooks on solo RPGs. https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/28 ... n-the-Dark
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Smoove_B »

Ah, another I forgot to mention - yes, Alone in the Dark. To me, this is a game very much like Ironsworn in that it's all about the narrative. Yes, there is dice rolling, but these types of games (and I don't really know how to classify them) are coming from a different framework than something like D&D or Pathfinder - which is very much rooted in that classic dice rolling mechanic. I could be mistaken, but I think some of it goes back to the creation of game systems like FATE or Dungeon World - systems that changed how roleplaying was done by shifting the dynamic away from the DM and giving more creative agency to the players.
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by baelthazar »

Smoove_B wrote: Mon Dec 20, 2021 12:57 pm Yes, there is dice rolling, but these types of games (and I don't really know how to classify them) are coming from a different framework than something like D&D or Pathfinder - which is very much rooted in that classic dice rolling mechanic. I could be mistaken, but I think some of it goes back to the creation of game systems like FATE or Dungeon World - systems that changed how roleplaying was done by shifting the dynamic away from the DM and giving more creative agency to the players.
These are based on the Powered by the Apocalypse ruleset (which was likely also inspired by FATE). It spawned a TON of narrative-driven games - Monster of the Week, Ironsworn, Apocalypse World, Dungeon World, etc. Honestly, I love D&D, but I would choose to play a PBtA game almost every time (and I enjoy being the GM/DM for a PBtA game WAAAAAYYYY more). They all have their place, no doubt, but I do find that boardgames often fill my D&D-lite need.

That said, the d100 stuff you mentioned looks really cool!

The people that do Mythic also have a Location Crafter, Creature Crafter, and Adventure Crafter. They are simple "oracle-based" systems, but good for random choice and brainstorming.
Last edited by baelthazar on Mon Dec 20, 2021 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by baelthazar »

Woah... it just hit me... I could totally run a Monster of the Week forum game. Let me think this through, if there is interest.
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Zenn7 »

baelthazar wrote: Mon Dec 20, 2021 2:16 pm Woah... it just hit me... I could totally run a Monster of the Week forum game. Let me think this through, if there is interest.
One vote for interest. :)
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Fardaza »

d100 Dungeon version 1 and 2 are available for free on BGG. https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/1537 ... ngeon-game

I've printed out v2 and played several games. It is a fun system.

Version 3 is available for purchase on the DriveThru RPG site. https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/24 ... 00-Dungeon

I've also been looking at the d100 Dungeon - Mapping Game. This makes it look and play like a true boardgame. I've almost pulled the trigger on this several times. You still have to buy the version 3 to play this though.

I would also love to hear about the World Builder for it! https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/37 ... _purchased

It all seems a bit expensive when you put them all together. The free version 1 was cool, but it definitely could be improved by the many, many add-ons.
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Blackhawk »

baelthazar wrote: Mon Dec 20, 2021 2:16 pm Woah... it just hit me... I could totally run a Monster of the Week forum game. Let me think this through, if there is interest.
There is interest pending details.
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Re: Solo roleplaying

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baelthazar wrote: Mon Dec 20, 2021 2:16 pm Woah... it just hit me... I could totally run a Monster of the Week forum game. Let me think this through, if there is interest.
I could be interested!
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by YellowKing »

I'd be interested in a forum game as well.
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Blackhawk »

Right now I've got DM Yourself and DM Yourselves on my Kindle (I was able to late-back the second title for five bucks.) I'd likely alter it a bit, as I actually prefer soloing games with a small party, despite the extra bookkeeping. I enjoy the strategic layer that comes from using the different classes abilities in conjunction with each other. And from what I've seen, the core non-mechanical aspects of the system will work with most other RPGs as well. I'd like to try it with Pathfinder 2e or Savage Worlds.

I've also got the free elements of Ironsworn waiting to be read.

D100 Dungeon (et al) really appeals to me, but the buy-in is enough that it'll have to wait a few months.

I'm still sorting through the other resources on this page. I'm being careful, though - the temptation to buy hits as I read, and I really need to watch that right now. I am also finding quite a bit of good information on this YouTube channel.
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Smoove_B »

If you're looking for another awesome Youtube channel for solo RPG fun (it's where most of my books/resource recommendations come from), Geek Gamers is fantastic.
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Blackhawk »

I am always looking for an excess of information to overload on!
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Smoove_B »

And unlike acquiring all the resources, the videos just take up your time. :D

The good thing is she will detail and explore many of the things I've listed as well as show you how they work when they're incorporated into a gaming session.
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Blackhawk »

Oh, since I haven't seen them mentioned here, I'll offer up a few of my favorite RPG links for generating ideas and content. They're generator sites, but they're the best generator sites (and totally free.) They're handy during play, but it would also be viable to generate relevant content in advance and either print it, or use it for inspiration. They're great for overcoming writer's block when GMing, and would work great for getting out of your own narrow vision when solo RPGing.

https://donjon.bin.sh/

This is the foremost. They have hundreds of generators. Some highlights:

Fantasy world generator - this is more than it appears. Set some parameters, click 'construct world.' Here is a sample, both a zoomed in view, and a zoomed out view, plus the key and an alternate style. The result is downloadable and printable (and you could probably manage a pretty good poster map from a Kinko's with this.)
Spoiler:
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Image
Image
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Everything under the sun - seriously, check the drop-down. Books, ships, quests, locations, heraldry, you name it.

Medieval demographics

Inns - seriously, the last three are such an amazing GM tool. I used to use my laptop instead of a GM screen when playing in person (it was nice not having to hide from the players), and I kept Donjon in a tab at all times.

Adventure

Dungeon generator - one of the best tools in the history of tools for learning a new RPG system. Create yourself a party, generate a dungeon, run yourself through it. Options for every imaginable variable, from a tiny keep full of undead to an Undermountain-sized dungeon. Make sure you old-school RPGers check out the 'Map Style' drop-down, including cross-hatch and classic. Choose your parameters, click 'Construct Dungeon.' It gives you a detailed map with every room, trap, treasure, and encounter labeled and ready. You can then print it, download it as a .pdf, or download a player's copy with all secrets and contents hidden (for solo, I can imagine printing two versions - a player's and a GMs.) Obviously, it's great for dungeon crawl gameplay. Don't expect a ton of depth here.

Here are a few sample dungeons, all small ones to show some options, plus a screenshot of a portion of a large one:
Spoiler:
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Town generator - this one lets you choose anything from a Saxon village to a coastal walled Aztec metropolis to a Dwarven mountain town. It gives you NPCs, notable locations, maps, the whole shebang.

They also have the usual name generators, item generators, and so on, plus sections of generators for specific systems, including AD&D, D&D 4e, D&D 5e, Pathfinder, Microlite20, d20 Fantasy. They also have 'weird fiction' and sci-fi generators there. For example, for Traveller fans.

Next up is Seventh Sanctum. - another great one, and it has a lot more than you'd realize at first glance. The 'generators' drop down leads to pages full of themed generators for every genre. They're more useful for idea generation than for practical table use (that's where Donjon comes in), but still worth a bookmark.

For some other map options using PC (again, printable), Campaign Cartographer is a standard (I really wish I'd been able to pick up the Humble Bundle a while back), and Inkarnate results in some of the best-looking maps.

Purely a somewhat off-topic aside (more for group play), and I haven't tried it myself, but check out Flowscape. If it works like advertised, it would be fantastic for offering players in a traditional RPG a great, detailed look at an important location. If there were a location that was going to be a central hub in a game (IE - players will be visiting it regularly for months), I could see creating a version that could be scrolled, or a fly-through video. It looks like you could even make a recreation of something like Phandalin. And it looks like it also supports model importing (now I'm imagining importing the same 3d model that a miniature was printed from - well, I would be if I owned a 3d printer.)

And it's currently three bucks on Steam.
Spoiler:
(˙pǝsɹǝʌǝɹ uǝǝq sɐɥ ʎʇıʌɐɹƃ ʃɐuosɹǝd ʎW)
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Fardaza
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Fardaza »

That's an impressive amount of stuff! Thanks.
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tylertoo
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by tylertoo »

Great thread! Thanks for doing this.

Santa brought this yesterday:
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I own no RPG minis, no terrain, but look forward to jumping in! I will use minis from other games and figure out other things for terrain, maybe maps from other games or something.
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Blackhawk
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Blackhawk »

Super-cheap terrain:

1. Get a table
2. Get a sheet (preferably an earth tone rather than Scooby-Doo, but whatever floats your boat)
3. Lay books on your table where the hills and shapes need to be.
4. Lay the sheet over the whole shebang.

Enlarge Image

Super deluxe stretch goals!
  • Buy some construction paper - cut out blue rivers and brown roads. Make them all the same size at the ends (3" is good), and make sure that the shapes all end on one of the paper edges.
  • Super cheap trees! (alternative: Hit the Christmas closeouts for miniature 'village' trees.)
The four levels of buildings, from cheap and easy to signing the divorce papers:

Level 1: Squares of paper, Legos, Lincoln Logs, small food boxes from the kitchen, empty Tupperware, books, you name it.
Level 2: Free papercraft! and Free papercraft!
Level 3: Retail papercraft! and Retail papercraft!
Level 4: Top-quality collapsible heavy card terrain by Battle Systems, the makers of Core Space.
Level 5: 3d printer
Level 6: Black Magic Craft DIY. Also, RFDHobyy and The Game Smith.
(˙pǝsɹǝʌǝɹ uǝǝq sɐɥ ʎʇıʌɐɹƃ ʃɐuosɹǝd ʎW)
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Blackhawk
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Blackhawk »

(˙pǝsɹǝʌǝɹ uǝǝq sɐɥ ʎʇıʌɐɹƃ ʃɐuosɹǝd ʎW)
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tylertoo
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by tylertoo »

Blackhawk wrote: Sun Dec 26, 2021 5:46 pm ((lots of great ideas))
Somehow I missed your awesome reply to my RoSD post. Thank you so much for all these tips. I am hoping to dive in this weekend.
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IceBear
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by IceBear »

I know about 10 years ago I was using the Mythic system to run a forum game here which was pretty much a solo game. It's basically a system that uses Yes / No questions and a table that has a percentage chance based on how likely it's yes or no.

I got a set of cards....game masters apprentice...that I use at tabletop sessions when I'm pressed for names, motivations, etc that help for solo play
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tylertoo
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by tylertoo »

tylertoo wrote: Sun Dec 26, 2021 3:11 pm I will use minis from other games and figure out other things for terrain, maybe maps from other games or something.
This is what I ended up using for my first RoSD scenario:

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The map is made up of cork placemats upside down. I used minis and standees from some boardgames: Gloomhaven Jaws of the Lion, Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth, and Descent 2nd edition. I made a river out of blue blocks and the rocks/bushes are cardboard chits from Gloomhaven. The buildings are coasters, upside down. Other terrain were ceramic items that my daughter made. Pretty basic, but it worked, and I had a blast.
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Redfive
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Redfive »

As an addition on mapping, I'd also recommend Wonderdraft.

Campaign Cartographer 3 is great, but can be obtuse IMO and Inkarnate makes prettier maps, but I've found that Wonderdraft really hits the sweet spot for nice looking maps that are very easy to produce quickly.

I was able to make the world map for my homebrew campaign in a couple of hours. It took me the better part of 3 days of free time to do this on CC3.

Wonderdraft version
Spoiler:
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CC3 version
Spoiler:
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Furthermore, it is incredibly easy to pull out a section of a bigger map to create same scale regional maps. Each of these took less than an hour to do. Very easy tool to use.
Spoiler:
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Blackhawk
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by Blackhawk »

Redfive wrote: Wed Feb 09, 2022 3:10 pm As an addition on mapping, I'd also recommend Wonderdraft.
Huh, that is a very cool tool. I'm putting it on my 'eventually' list.
(˙pǝsɹǝʌǝɹ uǝǝq sɐɥ ʎʇıʌɐɹƃ ʃɐuosɹǝd ʎW)
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baelthazar
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Re: Solo roleplaying

Post by baelthazar »

Blackhawk wrote: Wed Feb 09, 2022 4:25 pm
Redfive wrote: Wed Feb 09, 2022 3:10 pm As an addition on mapping, I'd also recommend Wonderdraft.
Huh, that is a very cool tool. I'm putting it on my 'eventually' list.
I've had similar experiences as Redfive. I managed to get deals on CC3+ (Humble Bundles) but it is very difficult to use. I used Dungeondraft (companion to Wonderdraft that focuses on Battle Maps) and get great results quicker than CC3+. Yes, if you can get over the CC3+ UX/UI, which basically looks like a drafting software from 1998, then you can do amazing things. But Dungeondraft is just amazingly easy.

Here is a CC3+ Battlemap (a Vault) that took me hours and hours and still doesn't look great.
Spoiler:
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Here is a Dungeondraft map that I did in short breaks working remotely (probably an hour) and used the same day in a campaign on Roll20:
Spoiler:
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