Okay! With all the hubbub about the new Captain’s Log solo RPG, I thought it would be a good idea to offer a general article about solo RPG. All of the questions are touched on in the book, but in case you are on the fence about giving it a try, here are the answers to some questions that might be rolling around your head. Maybe you can forward this to a friend who is wondering about delving into solo RPG.
1. What is a solo RPG? A solo RPG, or solo role-playing game, is a game where a single player takes on the roles of both the player character(s) and the game master (or referee). This allows an individual to play through an RPG narrative without the need for other players.
2. Why would someone want to play an RPG alone? There are many reasons:
- Scheduling difficulties: It can be hard to align schedules with multiple players.
- Practice: It allows new players or game masters to familiarize themselves with rules and mechanics.
- Personal challenge: Some enjoy the introspective nature of solo play.
- Storytelling: It offers an opportunity to craft personal narratives.
- Accessibility: Not everyone has a local gaming group or wants to play online.
3. How do you handle decisions without a game master? Many solo RPGs utilize randomization tools like dice, cards, or tables called “oracles” to determine outcomes and guide the story. Captain’s Log uses Probability Matrixes that operate in the same fashion. This introduces unpredictability into the narrative, emulating the dynamic feel of multi-player games.
4. Are there specific systems besides Captain’s Log designed for solo RPG play? Yes, there are systems like “Ironsworn,” “Thousand Year Old Vampire,” and others designed specifically for solo play. (Of course, I am biased and I think CL is the best.) However, many traditional RPGs can be adapted for solo play using various tools and techniques.
5. How do combat and encounters work? Just like in group RPGs, solo games often have combat mechanics. The difference is in managing both your character’s actions and the enemies’. Some games simplify this process, while others might utilize automated systems or decision tables.
6. Can I convert other RPG systems for solo play? Absolutely! With the use of randomization tools and solo-focused supplements, almost any RPG can be adapted for single-player action.
7. Is it like writing a story? It can be. While solo RPGs are grounded in rules and mechanics, the absence of other players can make the experience feel more like interactive storytelling. Captain’s Log has an entire chapter about how to generate great narrative stories.
8. How long does a typical solo RPG session last? It varies. Just like regular RPGs, sessions can be as short as 30 minutes or last several hours, depending on the story’s pace and the player’s preference.
9. Are there any online communities or resources for solo RPG players? Yes, there are forums, blogs, Discord servers, and even Reddit communities dedicated to solo RPG enthusiasts. They share experiences, resources, and advice. Star Trek Adventures and Captain’s Log have really active forums on Facebook, Reddit, and Discord where you can get your questions answered. People are really nice there.
10. Can I use solo RPGs to test out characters or narratives for group play? Definitely! Solo RPGs can be a fantastic testing ground for character concepts, backstories, or even whole world-building efforts you plan to introduce in group sessions.
11. Do I need a lot of materials or preparation? Not necessarily. While some games might have unique cards, dice, or books, many solo RPGs are minimalistic and require just a pen, paper, and some standard dice.
12. Are there digital tools or apps for solo RPGs? Yes, several apps and websites provide digital dice rollers, random event generators, and even entire solo RPG platforms.
13. Will playing solo affect my group RPG skills? It might improve them! Solo play can help you become more familiar with rules, develop richer character backgrounds, and hone your improvisational storytelling abilities.
Remember, the world of solo RPGs is vast and varied. It offers countless adventures tailored to your individual preferences. Dive in, explore, and enjoy your unique tales!