Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Catch-Up Adventure

Since my computer has been on vacation for over a week I missed out on one of our gaming sessions. But, this may not be a bad thing. Rob said my character, Ashling Anubus, left an elf rune and that I would meet up later. I dig these side adventures. I know when I GMed I would have periodic short single sessions with players when they split from the main party. These adventures developed the characters depth and gave them a bit of 'played' history. So when that character rejoins the party they have something more going on.

Tonight Rob and I will be doing one of these catch-up adventures. I have no idea where I was headed. I'm sure I had a damn good reason to go where I went.

In the beginning of a campaign I will sometimes schedule one or two solo sessions with players. Short sessions, maybe two hours long, to get their character acclimated to the campaign world. During these initial games I allow them to tweak their character. Maybe something wasn't working out the way they expected or they set up an all forest tromping dude when most of the campaign was set in desert. These beginning sessions help the player shape their character and develop a history that exists outside the adventuring party.


  1. Good post, and good ideas. I personally love playing 1-on-1 Swords and Wizardry, although I think that the heavy balancing that makes DnD 4e an EXCELLENT 6 player fighting game makes it kind of difficult to play solo.

    I am currently in a sandbox campaign in S&W with my wife, that I hope to document as I play some more. Since solo play often leaves a character underpowered (we're exploring Stonehell unmodified by ourselves) we find that a lot more role-playing gets done between the two of us, with her asking her hirelings for help, camp talk, etc.

    It's a different experience from big-group DnD, but I think it's good for people who are new to roleplaying. It allows them to get into the spirit of 'being' their characters, when they would possibly be too embarrassed to participate in a room full of people.

  2. The post and the above comment are really interesting reading.
    --Good stuff. :)

  3. So THAT'S what the rune said. Syrivald failed his intelligence check and just stood there scratching his head, wondering where Ashling had wandered.

  4. @RB> Ha. I think you figured it out better than the other elf in the party. I have no idea where I am headed but can't wait to see what happens when I get there.

    @TS> Thanks. This morning I was not having much luck figuring out a blog. So when all else fails write about something that is going on.

    @AM> That sounds great. Where I live the gamers a few and far between so there is a lot of one on one or small party campaigns. With skype and fantasy grounds we've been able to reach out to some other gamers (well, one *waves at Ken*). Please let me know how you are enjoying Stonehell Dungeon. I bought it a month or so agao and I've only had times to glance through the first few pages.

  5. @Timeshadows Thanks for the support! Ha ha.

    @Tim Shorts I'll send a comment your way re Stonehell. Just a preview: We're loving it!

  6. *facepalm*

    Sorry, not used to how blogspot works, since I'm on wordpress. I thought it would reply a little bit differently. Annnnywho...

    Yeah, we're loving Stonehell! I've made it the centerpiece dungeon of a small sandbox we're playing in (roughly the same map and storyline as the Wilderfast that I'm describing on my blog as part of my Into the Wilderfast boardgame). It's quite exciting, and the surrounding territory gives the PCs a chance to level up before going deeper into Stonehell, to make up for their low combined levels.

    My wife is good at roleplaying, but doesn't enjoy the stats-and-combat portion of S&W as much as some other players, but that makes Stonehell play to her strength. She made friends with the Dwarven Architects in room 19 (I think), convincing them to show her the secret passage to the orc chambers. Unfortunately, she barged through without thought of an ambush. She ended up with the entirety to the orc warband on her tail.

    She and the dwarves led the orcs on a madcap race through the dungeon, surviving only because she managed to convince the cannibal barbarians in room 5-ish that they hated orcs more than dwarves. She made good her escape while the barbarians and orcs were going at it.

    Overall, I've found that there is a lot of opportunity for both roleplaying and traditional dungeon-crawling. It's one of my favorite suppliments right now.