View Full Version : DMing for one, completely newbie, player

Sir Enigma
2007-09-28, 11:03 AM
Hi all,
I'm in the process of trying to teach a completely new player (my girlfriend) the game. The hitch? I don't have any other players, and I don't have conidence in my ability to make up a solo adventure. Does anyone know of any free published-online adventures that can be run with a single person (probably a wizard)? I could probably add one NPC to the mix, but I don't want to be running an entire party. Any advice on this would be welcome - thanks in advance.

2007-09-28, 11:46 AM
I am in awe for the old O2 (http://paizo.com/store/downloads/wizardsOfTheCoast/classicDAndD/adventures/v5748btpy7mvd) module. Unfortunately it is OD&D but if you can grab it it should not be too hard to sobstitute the monsters for something appropriate. The overall adventure, on the other hand, is really well-made and actually ready to play.
One idea I'd take from it is to have a duskblade character. For a first-time player spontaneous casters are MUCH better and for a solo player at low levels something that can do more than three things each day is a must. The wizard is appealing, I know, but not quite ideal for a first time player.

2007-09-28, 12:19 PM
Indeed. I've had about 3 or 4 years of D&D experience, and I still don't feel like I understand the mechanics well enough to play a wizard (though I tried my hand at a sorcerer and seemed to do all right). Fighters are easy to run, as well as Barbarians, but if your girlfriend is looking into magic users...maybe Druid or Cleric would be an easier learning curve for her?

2007-09-28, 12:32 PM
Bah. Make up a fighter for her and throw her in a de of kobolds. Ah, classic!

2007-09-28, 03:04 PM
Hi all,
I'm in the process of trying to teach a completely new player (my girlfriend) the game. The hitch? I don't have any other players

How come you do not have any other players? Often it is very helpful to have additional players, even three other newbies to learn as well. It can create more atmosphere and a little less like the center of attention.

2007-09-28, 03:14 PM
If crimsons suggestions do not help and you are absolutely unable to find additional players, there are some threads around the forums about solo adventures/campaigns.
The gist:
Solo D&D is hard. The entire game is built to be played with 3-6 players. Encounters can get either extremely lethal or very easy.
Several good ways to fix this are available:
- Search harder for more players (the best option in my mind. The more the merrier!)
- Have the player play several characters (This can get awkward with roleplaying and can be hard for a new player, but it does mean the player learns about several classes at once which is useful.)
- Introduce a DMPC (I find this a good solution as well, although it has great risks. The good is that your character can show the player how to play the game, without getting out of character to explain things all the time. The character can also show special combat actions, spells, etc, etc. The bad is that your character can steal the show from the player. This should not happen, the PC is the star and your DMPC should always play second fiddle.)
- The Magnificent-all-of-the-above-optionŽ. Find another player, have him/her play several characters, have the new player play one character and introduce a DMPC.

Irreverent Fool
2007-09-29, 02:15 AM
Soloing isn't really what D&D is about, but you've got to work with what you got. There are a number of adventures I found online called 'Cliffhangers Adventures'. The low-level ones are soloable due to the fact that a lot of the combat/encounters occur against intelligent NPCs who can be dealt with in non-combat matters. I was teaching my girlfriend the game, but she was much too shy to try a new game with my other friends without knowing the rules. By removing a few of the enemies and toning down the weaponry of some of the others (longbow to shortbow for example) the adventures became much more survivable for a single character.

I highly recommend the series. They're well put-together and tend to have deep, involved roleplaying experience which is where the heart of a solo game is. You can probably find them through a search engine, I honestly don't recall where I got them. Send me a PM if you have trouble.

(Incidentally, monks make excellent solo characters.)

If you intend to stick with the solo character thing, see if you can find a copy of Unearthed Arcana (NOT Arcana Unearthed) and play by the gestalt rules. If she's a non-healer, pepper in some potions of cure light wounds (not too many, make them rare and special).

If you take Cube's suggestion about using a DMPC, don't play it as you would a character. Play it as a cohort or sidekick. Let her give the orders and you play out the NPCs actions based on what they would do given the orders. Treat is as an NPC. If you get into the PC mentality, the game quickly becomes little fun for the other PCs who don't have the advantage of also being the DM.

Oh, and NEVER EVER say 'I' when playing one of these characters.

Sir Enigma
2007-09-29, 07:23 AM
Hi everyone,
Thanks for all your responses - I think what I'm going to do is try the idea of having her run multiple characters; it'll be a good way for her to learn a lot of the mechanics at once, and she's smarter than I am, so I'm sure she'll cope ok.

Thanks for all your help, everyone.