View Full Version : Single PC

Renz Ward
11 September 2002, 05:37 PM
I am currently running a New Republic era campaign with only a single Player character. He already has a few NPC comapnions ( 2 ) but I find my options are limited without taking all the fun away. Can anyone offer any suggestions. This is also my first game GMing Star Wars, altough I did an entire D&D campaign.

11 September 2002, 06:49 PM
well what I'd consider doing is, if there is a local game store with a gaming area, assuming you can avoid all the pokemon etc crap. just set up in there and play. you'll have new PCs in no time ;)

evan hansen
11 September 2002, 07:14 PM
Brian has a good point. You can also just put up lists in local gaming shops. A lot of them will have a bulletin board. Just make sure you list what type of game you're running, under what system, etc... so that people know the pertinent details (e.g., I'm running SW-RPG, d20, and I'm looking for XYZ player characters to fit any type of the following roles: blah blah)

You also might try recruiting any friends you have that don't role play but that like Star Wars.

That's how I got suckered into this whole thing... like 7 years ago. :-D

11 September 2002, 07:49 PM
In the meantime, I've found that working with one PC means there are certain things that you have to avoid... and certain things you get to do more of.

With one PC, you want to keep combat to a minimum. It should be in situations the PC can win (minor scuffle), the threat in combat isn't death (a few bruises in a drunken bar brawl), the PC can escape fairly easily (run away! run away!), or the combat is part of the adventure's climax. With only one PC, combat is really risky for the character. No back-up.

However, there are great opportunities for good role playing. The PC has plenty of opportunities to solve problems, sneak around, and interact with NPCs on a more detailed level. The PC also gets to use / has to use a variety of skills, some of which inevitably will not be his or her strongest.

With one PC, I find mysteries and intrigues are a really good way to go. There is a lot of problem solving and roleplaying, so the PC has to drop into character and exercise the brain! It'll involve skulking around, making contacts, narrow brushes with thugs - all kinds of good stuff! Along the way, the combat opportunities will be minor scrapes in the early stages, building to the big shoot-out at the climax.

The thing about a one-player adventure is that there will be more depth to the roleplaying, which means you have to be pretty good with your NPCs. Acting, my friend! Make them live, and both of you will have a blast. :)

12 September 2002, 07:24 AM
the other thing about having 1 pc is...

that one player accumlulates experience (in most games) at a phenomenal rate- thus, while the first scenarios are pretty wimpy, that character becomes a monster fast which necessitates a higher curve in the "hardness X # of scenarios"

My first year as a GM was basically myself and 1 player. After 50 levels in various occupations we retired the character into NPC status... it was a lot of fun but without others to increase the idea pool, Group Think becomes common.

12 September 2002, 08:20 AM
After 50 levels in various occupations we retired the character into NPC status
Do you mean to say that the PC was level 50? That's nothing short of incredible.

Clearly, awarding that much XP is a little problematic. If you're running a single PC and award how much XP is specified in the book, I would suggest making the difficulty the equivalent. In other words, if your PC wants quadruple XP, he or she had better be prepared for challenges designed for four characters.

Sorry about the little system specific stint there, I felt it needed to be addressed. If you're running D6, you won't have this problem, as experience is awarded differently.

On the main topic of keeping the game fun, I would suggest finding more players. The game group loses something when it's that small (larger groups tend to be better because of the varied personalities present in each of your players). Advertise, and try to find some players. Local game shops are good because they tend to be frequented by the type of people who would be interested in a RPG. Also, you can post on the Trader's InfoNet here on the Holonet, and see if anyone is looking for a game in your area.

12 September 2002, 09:57 AM
I have run single player games (and since I live in NY I am afraid to invite strange people to my house.) The bigest advantage to the player in a single game is that they have more freedoem. They do not have to listen to anybody other then them self.

As to the Level 50 pc I can tell you that I have had games go to crazy level ,each of my 4 players where abou level 65 when the game ended and it only ended then as my farther died (one of the players) and we did not have the hart to go back in it (me, brother, step brother and dad played it for 8 year's strait.)

12 September 2002, 10:11 AM
Only 1 PC and 1 GM is what I call a "Thieving run" game. My first few games were run this way the player ran a thief, ie. no end of fun for him to foil my well laid traps. it was a total blast.

12 September 2002, 03:45 PM
Do you mean to say that the PC was level 50? That's nothing short of incredible. originally posted by Jedi_Staalis

Different system- palladium fantasy rpg; basically the story teller's version of D&D in 1981-90. That game used occupation experience levels; ie, getting tough reaching a 9th level soldier? Switch (at -3 levels) to another occupation and it's easy to get that occupation up to 5th in a few scenarios. Unfortunately, since it was a story teller's version of D&D (90% of XP was awarded for ideas, playing in character, etc.), it had too much freedom and allowed for the powergaming of RIFTS to emerge... i digress.

There's a reason i switched to SWRPG- and it ain't for the milk and cookies at Vader's elbow.

But look at the d20 aspect of XP- just completing 2 simple and 1 medium challenge can raise a single character to the next level (i think). They don't have to share XP- that's the real clincher for a 1 player 1 gm game.

12 September 2002, 06:16 PM
Hmm, Ravager_of_worlds, I'm starting to get an inkling of what you're talking about. I'm a D6er, so the same rules don't apply. My advice, though, would be to tone down the XP awards in general, so that players don't expect to jump a whole level, regardless of how inexperienced they are.

13 September 2002, 05:20 PM
My advice would be to look to movies for inspiration. James Bond would never have been as cool if it was Team Bond. Edie Murphy in Beverlyhills Cop was able to wing it and cut corners because he was solo (with a little help from Judge "NPC" Reinhold). Single hero's abound in popular media, and you can use these types of stories for inspiration. When I played the James Bond RPG in my youth I remember thinking the game uber cheesy if more than 1 or 2 spys were playing. Of course that is before I got in to Mission Impossible.

14 September 2002, 01:38 PM
Playing with a lone PC can be really interesting. The problem that combats are much more risky, as many pointed out, is true. Usually a lone character can sort out considered as a Simple encounter for four characters of that level, and can scrape through a challenging encounter (but not if he's unlucky, or if he's got some disvantage) if he's prepared (this might be the climax of an adventure).

As for the XP issue it is more simpler that it seems (at least in revised d20): a challenge (that is the standard encounter) gives about 10% (actually 30% divided among the party members) the XP needed to level up, while a simple one gives one third (a total 10%).
And so the balanced encounter for a lone character (a simple one) gives nearly the same xp of the balanced encounter against a party. And this is exactly what it's supposed to be. And so the number of encounters needed to level up is the same.

if you don't have RCRB: a "challenging" encounter is one that depletes 20% of the total resources; it usually means one heroic character about of the same level of the party. If the opponents are more than one simply add the number to their level; a simple encounter is a challenging one for a party 2 or 3 levels lower.