One-on-One Games – Running RPGs

One-on-one games can be a lot of fun. They’re fast, personalized, and the player doesn’t have to share the spotlight. Here’s a few tips and reasons to play with only a single Player and Game Master

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‘Using NPC Companions’ video:

00:00 Hello Internet
02:15 Benefits of 1-on1s
05:01 Tailor the Game
06:27 Tailor the Character
08:00 Lower Combat Challenges
10:38 Lower Other Challenges
11:52 Sidekicks!
13:05 Sounding Boards
16:52 Stay Awesome


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22 thoughts on “One-on-One Games – Running RPGs

  1. I write so many “solo adventures” for my players, so that their 2-weeks-off income has a story. When they want to. It’s fun to write a TOTALLY rogue centric encounter for the halfling, or an intrigue riddled court scenario for the charismatic ranger.

  2. I think one would going to want to use a game system that really supports very capable PCs. I think the Modiphius Conan game is a good example. You've played/run it a lot more than me, so it's be useful to know if that feels like a good call.

    There's a one-on-one adaptation of GUMSHOE for Night's Black Agents, too.

    Otherwise, I very much agree about not having too many conflicts be overwhelming.

  3. I did this with my best friend from high-school and it was a blast. I was running a module, and we both had diametricallt opposed paladin characters. I basically ran it like a normal game,and I was able to compartmentalize away most of the dm info when I was playing the character. It actually turned out really well!

  4. If you don't have a video on Monty Hall and min/max campaigns, I would love to see one. As a Gen Xer I remember back in the day soo many people ran these over powered ridiculous campaigns and it was nauseating. Seemed like our crew were the only ones who played D&D and Cthulhu without a tool box full of magic items. These douchey players and GM's who were showered with wealth ,magic, and min maxed characters literally gave campaigns AIDS.

  5. One-on-one games are also handy for nervous GMs learning to run games. Find a friend you're comfortable hanging out with and run one-on-ones to get used to narrating, managing plot threads, and running combat in your system.

  6. The whole thing about having someone (sidekick) to explain the problem to and naturally come to a solution has a name when it comes to software engineering: Rubber Duck Debugging (, where you're encouraged to explain your coding problem to (traditionally) a rubber duck on your desk!

    In pop culture, it has been featured in other forms in a couple Sherlock-type "genius" stories. For instance, in House, at some point, Dr. House doesn't have his trusted assistants to brainstorm with, so he grabs the janitor and brings him into his office. The Janitor has obviously no medical knowledge and is utterly unable to help in a professional way, but House knows that the Janitor's simple and naive questions are still necessary to his thought process, and won't let him go until he solves the episode's problem!

  7. I find intelligent familiar-like companions to be really helpful in solo campaigns. It allows the DM to have a voice or be a sounding board when needed, but doesn't involve having a full-blown character to account for in combat.

  8. Early 1990s. Backroads around Avon, Clancy, Wolf Creek Canyon, MT. Toyota Supra. I used two dice, a D20, D6 in the ashtray (clean) Buddy is a driving prodigy. I would DM from the passenger seat & read the paperwork with the vanity-light on the visor. He would drive & talk, and I would roll. We ran Vault, Homlett, & some homegrown. Best friends. Effing halcyon days.

  9. "Less people to silence"

    Hushshshshs! Don't worry it's okay no-one will hear of this. The world will be right you just need to go to sleep. 🤫

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