View Full Version : Need a few quick suggestions (Low-level solo campaign)

The Neoclassic
2009-07-19, 02:37 PM
I'm going to run a solo campaign for a friend. He'll be a level 3 elf rogue. He's interested in doing something with a lot of sneaking and stealing, but with some combat/diplomacy sprinkled in as well. I could use some suggestions for short adventures or overall plot arcs. I'd prefer ideas that retain verisimilitude- aka, he's useful to someone, but no queen or leader of the nation's mafia will be taking any interest in him (well, not in the near future). Thanks very much in advance!

Once I have an idea, I think I can run with it, so anything quick and not too detailed is just fine. Most of the setting is already created so that's not an issue. :smallsmile:

2009-07-19, 02:43 PM
You could run a somewhat modified 3.5 "The Burning Plague" adventure from WotC (it's free and you can download from their website), depending on which version you are going to DM, you might need to do some (quick) work on adapting the monsters/challenges.

To suit your player, you could have him sneak past the Room 2 into Room 5 (maybe changing the mines layout a bit so room 3 is in between 2 and 5), and try to talk the kobold leader into something (maybe helping him against the orc cleric, or maybe leaving the mine, helping the humans to rebuild the mines after the problem is solved; lots of hooks), and then some combat, with the zombies on Room 6, and the orc cleric, on room 7.

2009-07-19, 02:47 PM
Well, level 3 is about the right spot to be at the top or near top of local crime organizations. Not anything on the national level of course, but either an entire small town/village or a part of a city district .

He could be the leader of a smaller local branch of a larger criminal organization. Heading up heists, enforcing control of illegal activity such as drugs, stolen merchandise, and tax-free gambling. That makes him important by position, but without necessarily any direct connections. He still only interfaces with the organizations Lieutenants and stuff - doesn't deal with the bosses.

A new group could have moved in could have moved in on the turf he's in charge of. He can either choose to them get them to join up, through intimidation/diplomacy or take them out the old fashion way. Plenty of sneaking to be had in ditching a corpse.

This could take him up a few levels and gain him a few directly loyal lackeys as he works his actions get him more notice in the organization.

It's not the most original idea in the universe, but it works.

2009-07-19, 02:55 PM
Zombies are no good for a Rogue. :smallfrown:

I'd say this calls for a city-based adventure involving the local Thieves' Guild. Your player could join up, discover something is going on that he doesn't like (the guild leader is involved with an evil cult, or there are some political assassinations, or the guild's business is in some other way just too dirty), and he decides to try and stop them. Alternatively, your player doesn't join the guild and he finds himself targeted because the guild won't allow non-members to steal in the city.

Of course, that's assuming your player's Rogue is actually going to be a thief, which isn't necessarily the case.

The coolest thing about running a solo adventure is the player really gets to be the star or hero of the story.

2009-07-19, 02:55 PM
First, if it's a solo, I suggest increasing the number of skill points available; even if he limits the amount of skills of one type he picks, as a Rogue you'll need sneaky skills, lock/trap opening skills, observatory skills, social skills and some Knowledges...just to make a decent Rogue. Sneaky skills = 2, lock/traps/thievery = 4 (counting Sleight of Hand & Search), observatory = 3 (but Search overlaps with traps/locks so 7 thus far), social = 5 (counting sense motive & gather information, which let's face it every rogue should have) and knowledges = at least 1 (Local, though I can't imagine a Rogue not wanting at least few ranks in the others, such as Nobility & Royalty and Geography). That's already 13 skills minimum (assuming Knowledge: Local), or what a 20 Int Gray Elf Rogue gets.

And that's without going into the near-must Use Magic Device and exotic Rogue-skills such as Appraise, Forgery, Escape Artist or Use Rope, or indeed mobility skills (let's face it, every solo Rogue should have ranks in the physical movement skills) like Tumble, Jump, Climb, Swim, Ride and Balance. So yeah, I suggest just tossing him ~14 base skill points + Int and let him have his fun without having to go "ah crap, I lack ranks there TOO". He'd need something like 20+Int with a decent amount of Int to pull them all off maxed, so 14+Int seems right - normally Rogues aren't expected to be trapsmiths AND spotters AND slicks of the party at the same time, so the number is defensible, but for solo it simply won't do.

That said, note that a level 3 character is already way above average so he can have stature and a position already; an alternative possibility would be that he'd have gone solo until now, but now be joining a Thieves' Guild at this point out of necessity or interest, and do initiation jobs such as burglary (with or without something to actually steal) or shutting some problematic people up (style free, no traces) or even kill someone. Or he could have some assailants his previous exploits have slighted and need to lay low while making progress on whatever he was working on. Or he could be acting in a town where one mafia of some kind controls all crime and he's working freelance so he'd need to keep on his own exploits while eluding the mafia.

Or he might just be absolutely fixated about one completely unreachable thing thing, be it a person, an item, a magical transformation to some form or whatever and you can build the campaign around all the hoops he jumps through to pull off the master plan to get something he should have no chance of getting; this would be a very player-driven campaign so if going for something like this, you'd of course want to know if he's game for "leading" the game, and what the actual goal is (since it depends totally on his character). The first game I DMed was this style (one of the characters was hellbent on becoming a Rakshasa) and the players were kinda lost at first, but it turned out to be a great game - still, I can't help but imagine it would've been all the better had the point of the game been clearer from the start.

2009-07-19, 03:36 PM
Lemme throw you an idea I planned to use elsewhere.

Essentially the rogue could be a sort of "looter for hire", in which someone employs them to steal something from the manor or castle of a lord or something. In addition to whatever the pay offer might be, anything hawked from the locale during the job is also fairly claimed by the thief. Along the way you can establish some sort of plot, but that's what I've got to offer for now.