View Full Version : Two-man

2011-08-31, 06:35 PM
Due to personal circumstances beyond our control, it's been very difficult for my wife and I to play regularly with our D&D group. To keep our D&D humps filled, we've considered running a game with just the two of us when we feel like playing but can't get the group together.

The issue is that we've tried one aborted campaign a year or so ago with just the two of us and neither of us really enjoyed it that much. Before we try again I was hoping to get some advice from people who have done it successfully.

So if you've successfully run 2-person games before, how did you do it, and what made it successful.


2011-08-31, 08:04 PM
Is this a DM and 2 players, or 1 DM and 1 Player?

2011-08-31, 08:17 PM
1. There are worse reasons that led to couples deciding that they should have children.

2. *roleplaying in the bedroom joke*

3. Wait, is your wife a man?

5. I'm skipping the other number 5. It's just not appropriate.

6. You really should find a third person to either DM or be a player if you prefer to be the dungeon master. A three person group of 1 DM and 2 players works great in my group, but I've heard very mixed results about solo campaigns. They seem to breed DMPCs far too often and just miss out on the entire group dynamic that is necessary to a campaign.

If you end up stuck doing a solo campaign or doing nothing, try looking up a solo module or two on google. Someone has probably written a good one at some point in time.

2011-08-31, 08:38 PM
I used to specialize in Solo campaigns if that's what you're talking about, just one player and the DM. They tend to lean more towards social as the player is less of a footprint in combat.

As DM, make sure that you have a good deal of interesting NPC's, but you need to absolutely make sure that the player is the center of attention. Combat wise they'll likely need backup, the player is the lead of the band. If you have an NPC under the player's command disobey orders, there better be a very good reason for that. Also, be careful about providing ideas through NPC's, it has a way of lessening the player's accomplishments...

They are about as in charge of the story as you are, one-on-one is much easier to make a setting that everyone's happy with, as there's less conflicting interests. That is the real point where it shines. The player should be a driving force behind events (within reason, a level one character is not going to be determining the rise and fall of countries of course) it also makes it easier to work with a PC's individual enemies, as there are no other enemies to be in the way.

Think there was another major facet to be stated, but I'm drawing a blank at the moment, sorry.

2011-09-01, 03:39 PM
Ran solo campaigns with my wife as the sole player for a while. Haven't done it for a while, but not due to a lack of enjoyment...it actually worked out rather well.

I allowed her to hire henchmen to assist her, tried to play them sympathetically but fairly, and defer to her leadership. Other than that, it was mostly the same, just with somewhat limited interactions.

Lord Vampyre
2011-09-01, 06:13 PM
Hmmm.....have you checked out the Lone Wolf series of books? I've always enjoyed them when I needed my gaming fix. :smallwink:

On a more serious note:

You have a couple of options to make the party work:

1) Allow her to build a whole party of characters. The party leader will inevitably be who she refers to the most in social situations.

2) Run a set of NPCs as her sidekicks. This allows her to focus on the development of one character. This is more about giving her more fire power. You have to be careful with this since the NPCs will be fairly close to DMPCs and you don't want to out shine her character.

Fiery Diamond
2011-09-01, 07:50 PM
I've been involved in a couple solo campaigns, as player (with my brother as DM) and as DM (with my brother as player). I'll echo the others above:

1) It will most likely focus more on social interaction than combat, with stealth (infiltrations or assassinations) being easier to run than out-and-out battlefield style combat.

2) Giving the player an NPC ally/cohort or two can help, but don't try to make a full party. It will bog things down and hey, if the ally is constant rather than temporary, you'll be talking to yourself when NPC interactions occur, which will be all the time, so having lots of allies would make things... a little strange.

3) I wouldn't recommend the player playing a whole group, but you could try it if you like.

Things that were successful for me:

1) Stealth and social encounters are easy to run and play in solo campaigns. Stealth is actually easier to do in a solo campaign than a regular campaign.

2) The DM needs to focus much more on the interactions with inanimate surroundings - environmental challenges (whether manmade environment or natural environment) are easier and much more fun to run than in normal campaigns; and things like puzzles are easier to handle, as you should have some idea of what kinds of things the player should be able to figure out.

3) Make sure the PC is not a one-trick pony. Skillmonkeys, spellcasters, and gestalt characters work better than other options.

2011-09-02, 01:33 PM
I've heard that using Gestalt to help alleviate the 1 PC aspect can work out quite well. Then, as others have said interesting NPC's to help fill in holes but not steal the spotlight.

2011-09-02, 03:30 PM
I would recommend gestalt, a nice stat array and the leadership feat, which provides a roster of support characters under her relatively powerful main character. However, I would discourage having one player run multiple primary PCs, as my own experience with that set-up was not ideal (became hard to distinguish personalities and caused some unintentional metagaming). If the other characters under her control are cohorts and followers, however, that leaves the focus still on the one character, which might reduce the problems of a player running multiple personalities.