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I am looking to find out if solo RPGs exist, and which you'd recommend.

I do not mean "one-on-one" 1 player + 1 GM games. I really mean "1 person."

Update: After receiving two (fine, up-voted) answers that indicate Choose Your Own Adventure solutions (which rocks with nostalgia), I should add that I'm not looking for simple linear decision tree gaming. A counterexample: I've got my own little creative-writing mini-game where I write out a story, but once every 5 sentences a series of dice-rolls forces my written sentence into something else, and I have to adapt as writer. Not really an RPG, but also non-linear.

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A game with only one player is not an RPG. As such, a solo tabletop role-playing game cannot exist. I realize that this statement is controversial. Let me make my case. I'm basically defining "RPG" to answer the question. My argument boils down to "an RPG requires an audience for the role-playing." It's very difficult to answer this question without doing so. 1. There's no official definition of "role-playing game." We can argue semantics (and I am), but the best definition at this point is one that will be accepted by the majority of people who play tabletop RPGs. 2. There –  Adam Dray Jan 28 '11 at 18:57
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You can totally still roleplay even if the only one there to experience it is you. –  okeefe Dec 22 '12 at 9:29
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Who says an RPG requires an audience? –  Keoma Feb 7 at 20:04

34 Answers 34

Yes Solo Tabletop Roleplaying Games exist. As already mentioned the Dwarfstar games are excellent especially Barbarian Prince. However unfortunately they are not being supported or sold anymore (except for a small treasure on ebay).

I created a Solo Tabletop Roleplaying Game back in 1987 which incorporated elements of everything that has been mentioned here from Barbarian Prince, Tunnels and Trolls, and Choose Your Own Adventure.

It is called Journey To The Overland and is now being funded by Kickstarter. There is A LOT more info there and a community that is growing and anxious to add new content to it.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1235706284/journey-to-the-overland-a-solo-tabletop-roleplayin

Thanks for letting me reply.

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Some of the DnD board games like Legend of Drizzt or Wrath of Ashardalon can be played solo, though those concentrate on combat and are more fun with a group.

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Old letter based rpgs?

Old adventure-game-risk books? (numbered sentences, pages, if you roll 1-3 turn to number 23, if you roll 4-6 turn to number 88, if you die i laugh... )

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Can you expand on what you mean by Old letter based rpgs? –  Phil Jan 15 '13 at 13:00
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Play-by-mail games still involve other people that you're interacting with, even if it is very slowly. –  SevenSidedDie Mar 25 '13 at 7:35

This site acts as a virtual game master. It's kind of does like you said where it's a creative-writing mini-game where you write out a story. You can set random things to happen or just have it answer your questions. There are some good examples in the forums.

It implements multiple systems like Mythic and FU the Free Universal Role-Playing System.

http://www.rpgsolo.com/

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The link to the thread in question: Rory's Story Cubes. (@Keoma) –  SevenSidedDie Jul 28 at 18:06

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