I haven’t played a good table-top, dice slinging, rpg game in about six years. So the urge to play has been building for a while. But my schedule is absolutely packed to the brim and my old game friends also have schedules that are equally packed. There isn’t a way to fit in a gaming session with any regularity. Then Wizards of the Coast pissed off a huge portion of the D&D community with some rumored changes to their OGL and I decided to look around and see what else was out there. I came across several new-to-me rpg systems and I wanted to give them a try. Could I somehow play one by myself? Turns out many others have had the same thought and there are quite a few different ways to go about it.

I could look for a system geared towards solo play or pick up an indie pdf that “solo-izes” a typical group play system. There are also random tables galore on the web that I could roll against and techniques of using dice to answer “yes/no” or likert scale questions to try and run my own campaign… with myself.

But what I wanted was to play Dungeon Crawl Classics with the free pdf lite rules and the little adventure printed in the back. I did see another blog post of someone else trying this out. You can see it here Portal under the Stars – DCC RPG but I didn’t read much of the post since I didn’t want to spoil the adventure.

So I’m gonna give it a shot and jot down how I’m approaching solo play and what’s happening to my poor party as they enter the dungeon.

Solo Play Approach

  • Dungeon Crawler Classics uses a dungeon against a randomized group of level 0 peasants to generate characters. This process is called the funnel. I used the Purple Sorcerer - 0-Level Party & Tourney Generator to roll up 16 characters and then used a random fantasy name generator to give them names. Any character that makes it out alive can become a proper level one character and is ready to have more adventures.
  • I kept my characters grouped as they were on the random generator printout, which printed them out, four to a page.
  • I’m printed out the adventure and covered it with sticky notes. The only thing visible to start is the italicized player introduction text.
  • My initial approach is to write down a series of actions (max 3) for each group that they would do based off of the introduction text/room text. I’ll also roll and record the initiative at the group level.
    • I determined the marching order for each group and assumed that the one in the lead is the one taking point on any action that is happening. I also am assuming that my group remains clustered together as they explore.
    • Then I’ll reveal the next paragraph of text and try to resolve it with the actions I already planned out.
    • Combat will interrupt my table of actions and take precedence. Based on what they characters were doing I’ll know if they are surprised or not (at the group level) and I already have initiative. If characters needs to make a decision, say to run one way or another or to attack back, I will roll a dice to determine what they do.

Session Play Logs

I expect this adventure to take me a bit to finish. Both because I’m juggling 16 characters and because I’ll probably only be able to fit in 20-30 minutes of play time here and there.

When I finish a session I’ll post them and then update this section with a link.