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24

One good way to handle this is to make your GMPC a "follower" of the other PC -- that is, they're less experienced, less familiar with the world, generally less capable (you can do some of this with feats and skills, by having your GMPC less skilled in things like local knowledge, politics, tactics, etc., but competent in things like actual combat, survival, ...


22

A rogue could perhaps play solo. But only if she devoted herself to stealth and avoided all out combat at all costs. D&D is a very much a party based game. And it's best played with a table full of friends, each with their own character. But at the same time, occasionally circumstances require something less than that ideal. There are two options. Go ...


17

I played D&D solo with my dad as the player for almost six years as a kid. We ran AD&D and 3.5 D&D. Frankly, it surprises me that more people don't play the game this way. It makes for an extremely good bonding time, it's a lot of fun, and two people with a good relationship can create some very great campaigns together. Here are a few party ...


15

As a direct answer: You probably aren't going to find one. Now, to explain why: Pathfinder's not designed for single-PC (also called "one-on-one" or "twosie") play. Sure, the mechanics support it, but encounter and spell design go way off track. Any ability which would normally incapacitate a PC in a regular party can effectively become a "save-or-die" ...


14

I've done a lot of one-on-one GMing. I lived with a family in 8th grade, and I had a 3-4 days a week one-on-one that went on for a year, as well as a few others early on, a few in college, and then 2 relationships and finally my wife. System is the first question for a lot of reasons. The first is you have to find out what kind of game the player wants. ...


14

Your comment on another answer implied you wanted to hear more about play style, pacing, and social dynamics, so I'll take a (long, it turns out) stab at that. Spend a lot of time with the both of you discussing what the character wants to accomplish. Continually checking in and talking about the character's (and player's) objectives during the game will ...


14

A few weeks ago I started DMing for my wife, who also plays an Essentials Hunter. We started at level 1 and are now nearly level 8. Here are a few things I've picked up along the way. Recognize the shortcomings of a Hunter The essentials Hunter, unlike the typical Ranger, doesn't have the possibility of having a beast companion. As such, you will find ...


13

I've run plenty of solo adventures before, both with sidekick characters and with the player on their own. There are several key factors I've found when running solo adventures that make them more enjoyable Pander to what the player likes as much as possible; that isn't to say you make everything a cakewalk - far from it. What you need to do is find what ...


13

It is a problem that Lost Mines of Phandelver is designed for 3-5 player characters (PCs), plus a DM. I'm playing Phandelver at the moment with a group. One session only two players turned up, and I discovered how deadly this could be with no modification. With one PC and no modification, you would likely not last past the first encounter. As far as I can ...


12

I find the physical situation of roleplaying and looking straight at each other's faces is often be too intimate when playing 1 on 1, so I like to have a shared map or other visual reference that's between us, or that we're at 90 degree angles from one another both facing the map. Both the player and GM should have things they want out of the game. They ...


12

My advice is twofold. 1. Talk with the player Lets face it, most problems end here. If you haven't talked to him about the problem, do it the next time you see him. Ask what he wants in a role-playing game, and tell him what you want. Then compromise until you are both satisfied. 2. Use a system that does not require a GM This is a slightly different ...


12

First, don't call your character a PC. What you want to do in this case is to give a long-term NPC. Don't worry, NPCs are people too, your player can enjoy roleplaying without you making a GMPC (which is usually not a good idea). Now onto the actual question: The NPC could be subservient to the player. A loyal servant, somebody under their command, a hired ...


11

My recommendation: don't have "other PC" roles at all. The default Paranoia assumption - a team of Troubleshooters go shoot trouble - is based on the intrigue and backstabbing possible in a full party. A single GM cannot replicate that, especially as you'd blur the troubleshooter treachery with your depiction of a hostile and treacherous world. So don't ...


11

New players generally come in two sorts: people already well versed in games like Magic and Risk, maybe Strategy Board games and Fantasy Video games. And people without any exposure, trying to get into it because their significant other is already gaming. It's very easy to find a game for the first group because that's only explaining the rules. They ...


11

I would love to just say "yes", but actually it depends on the player and style of play. If you have a player who is good at coming up with details themselves, and you play the game in a very "ask questions" kind of way, and you're good at roleplaying NPCs as self-determined entities, then yes, you can have some awesome games. There are a couple caveats, ...


10

I find one of the best genres for one on one RPGs is the superhero genre. Think about it, guys like Spiderman, Daredevil, Batman, Superman, Captain America, etc are always fighting the baddies on their own, so it's not a stretch to set up one player with a main superhero (and maybe a sidekick) and go on an investigation. Villains & Vigilantes (old ...


10

The Fighting Fantasy books are, as you've already discovered, particularly bad choices if you don't want a lot of fighting. I would start not with any published setting--especially since high fantasy and slaying goblins and dragons seem to go hand-in-hand--or even with the idea of a role-playing game at all, but rather collaborative storytelling. Take some ...


10

Solo Itself I don't think there are any house rules required to play Pathfinder one-on-one. There are solo adventures for Pathfinder from Expeditious Retreat Press and have been for other D&D versions over time as well. All that's required is DMing. Since there's one PC, they will need difficulties tuned to them and some kind of safety net in case of ...


9

Mars Colony is an excellent 2-player roleplaying game that was just released. You each take the roles of the Savior of Mars who's being politically "air-dropped" from Earth into the Mars Colony to help solve its problems, and the role of the story-guide who introduces those problems, complicates them, and roleplays the locals the Savior interacts with. It's ...


9

I think, in a case like that, it makes sense to a certain extent to tailor the story to that player's character. Think about the kind of character they built, and let their decision and their abilities drive the adventure. This is more than just a question of game mechanics. If they play a ranger, the events of the game can center around what's happening ...


9

I've quite happily run one-on-one adventures with no changes from the base rules. A higher focus on minions is handy to come within the XP budget and access to personal healing is a must. It works better with defenders, leaders, and controllers than strikers. (Strikers really do require a party behind them to perform at their best.) My own experience ...


9

It wasn't gestalt, but I was in a game where a monk was given full BAB. He behaved like a proper melee character. I would give them full BAB in the future and not bother imposing a penalty.


8

If your goal is to come up with great stories together, I would recommend a combination of all three - have your wife make a 'primary character', and then each story arc, she gets a new set of NPCs. It's kind of like Conan the Barbarian / Sinbad the Sailor / The Doctor - as you travel around having adventures, you have 'local party members'. So say your ...


8

Let the player play two characters I know this might not be exactly what you're looking for, but maybe you just let the other person play two characters instead of having one of your own involved. This can be a bit tricky with him trying to play two characters, but in a recent campaign I played in (1 on 1). I played a barbarian and a wizard. The only thing ...


8

Make a GMPC that cannot help Good examples of this are for example golems, zombies, or animal companions. You can ask them for help all you want; they cannot make decisions for themselves and only follow orders. They might instinctively fight on their own accord, protect their charge with their lives and follow him anywhere but no matter how often you try, ...


7

Tailor the game to the two of you. You have opportunities that are not possible with a larger group. My primary experience with 1:1 gaming is with my spouse of 15 years. We played RPGs intensely the whole time. The game was heavily tailored to exactly what each of us wanted to get from the experience. So all manner of interesting stories and changes were ...


7

It's not geared specifically towards two players, but The Big List of RPG Plots is my first stop in similar situations. Any Old Port in the Storm, Don't Eat the Purple Ones, Recent Ruins, and Stalag 23 would all be fairly easy to set up, and well-suited for a single player to handle.


7

Go to Drivethrurpg and select the rules system "D&D" and the subsystem "Basic/BECMI" then sort by price (resulting page). This includes several free beginner adventures for B/X D&D but you'll have to search the list to find the ones that meet your needs. There is also a shared spreadsheet of products released in the OSR (a loosely affiliated set of ...


7

As long as the spells are of the correct level it should be balanced Let's talk about what we mean by balance. Option 1: "Will these bonus spells cause the character to be significantly more or less powerful then a character is expected to be at a given level?" As long as the bonus spells are all of a level the character would be able to cast normally (...


6

Superhero games are GREAT for one on one gaming. Think about it: Batman, Wolverine, Spiderman, Daredevil, Hulk, Superman, the list goes on, solo superheroes are always going on adventures by themselves. Work up a mini-campaign to be finished in one night, with the other guy playing the lone wolf superhero trying to finish the goal. It doesn't have to be all ...



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