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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Sajiri's Avatar

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    Default You have two people

    You have two people for an RPG. Not two players and a GM, just two people.

    Both want to play.

    Both want to try GMing.

    There's not a whole lot of free time to take turns with one gm one game, the other does the next.

    Finding more members isn't really an option.

    What are your suggestions on how to still have fun with RPGs and make it worthwhile?

    This is basically my situation. We've tried larger groups, but nobody is really in our area who is interested in playing. We've tried online chats, but timezone differences make it incredibly difficult to get and keep everyone together.

    We've talked about/tried solo player games but the other person (who has been GM) thinks it needs multiple characters played by the player, and the other (myself) doesn't really know how to run any solo game with no experience in GMing at all or real solo games.

    We live together so it's not like it's hard to sit down and play, but both with jobs means we don't have all that much free time that we aren't spending doing other stuff.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: You have two people

    Play GMless games. That way you can play without needing to run solo games or worrying about who gets to be the GM.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: You have two people

    Simply put, look at scenarios and options that reward solo play. Heist-style games tend to be great for this... too often, your thief winds up having to deal with Sir Clanks a Lot and the Wizard of a Thousand Stinks, rather than going in as a proper ninja.

    Rather than multiple characters for the player, though, work on NPCs who provide needed services, without necessarily being on the adventure; if you've played SWTOR, think of how the Bounty Hunter team is initially supposed to work... you've got someone providing you intel, someone helping with your tech, and someone providing overall ops, while one person is the sharp end of the stick.

    For inspiration, watch movies. Die Hard. James Bond. Heck, Rambo. Anything where you have a singular character who is responsible for most of the mayhem.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: You have two people

    I'm actually playing in a one GM/one player game right now (in which I play only a single character). It's worked out great. I have a campaign journal, if you want to check out a concrete example.

    It's 3.5 D&D, although I wouldn't say that it's the best choice of system. We're using it for playtesting purposes.

    I would suggest a system where the player has some direct mechanical ability to effect the narrative, and that isn't particularly lethal. Mouse Guard (for gritty medieval stuff), the Dresden Files (for modern fantasy), and ICONs (for superheroes) are all systems I've also considered doing 1on1 stuff with. Scheduling ~5 adults is becoming progressively more tedious, so I've given it no small degree of consideration.

    If you want to do something involving storytelling and collaborative creativity, but that isn't roleplaying-focused, necessarily, you could check out Microscope. It's a game about world-building, and it has some roleplaying in it, but it's mostly about 2+ people creating a big expansive timeline for a setting together (which, technically, you could then play in with a different system).

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Sajiri's Avatar

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    Default Re: You have two people

    I should say a little more- it's not that there is any fighting over who gets to GM/play or anything like that. It's more along the lines of he has ideas for (multiple) campaigns to GM, and I want to play in them. At the same time I have ideas for my own things that I also want to GM, but we don't exactly have time to have 2-4 separate games going.

    He's used to playing in larger groups (hence the multiple characters). I'm not all that experienced though and actually prefer to just play in tiny groups while I'm still gradually learning. We played online games but it was too much of people joining and leaving and so much retconning to pretend those characters were there all along- got stressful after a while. Our games were designed to have more people but didnt work out. We want to get back into it but it's always kind of awkward not knowing how to handle it with just the two of us.

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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: You have two people

    Alternate running and playing solo games. I strongly recommend that your character hire several henchmen.

    You each have one huge advantage: your DM fundamentally sympathizes with the difficulties of single-person play.

    But this one truth remains. The object of any two-player game of D&D is to find more players.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Pixie in the Playground
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    smile Re: You have two people

    It's not only possible to have fun with a one-on-one game, but it can be turned into a memorable experience.

    Here's how we did it:
    The player thought up a character. He (sometimes me, sometimes my friend) really fleshed the character out with detailed backstory, goals, acquaintances, unique equipment, fighting style, etc.
    The GM only started to build the adventure after the PC was (nearly) complete. He created plots that uniquely suited the PC*, and left it up to the player to decide which ones to deal with first and how.
    Having just one player made it very easy to improvise, and having a fleshed out PC made it easy to plan in advance. And after just a few sessions the story started building itself, and required less GM preparation.

    *In one campaign (that I GM-ed) my friend played a half-elf mercenary, and here's what he had to deal with, all at the same game: protecting his employer against assassins; getting revenge on an adventurer, who betrayed and poisoned him 3 years ago; an unknown little girl who people said was his child; doing secret jobs for the city guard captain with his former army buddies.

    So a lot a mercenary work (and fighting when the game came to a climax), a little personal agenda, and a bit of suffering for being a half-elf in a human country.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: You have two people

    Does it have to be D&D? Shadowrun in the James Bond style could be quite doable.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: You have two people

    I've played a number of two player games. Most commonly we take turns with different characters running in a common world in parallel, but other variants exist. Unforgotten Realms is a web show I occasionally use as an example for people as to more or less what a good dynamic may look like.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: You have two people

    You could always operate games like a lot of video games do (jade empire, SW KotOR, Mass Effect, NWN, Mechwarrior, etc). Have a single main character backed by a team, but in any given situation the player only has one or two teammates with them. The Player controls the main guy, both Player and DM co-operate or reach an agreement on running the team and the DM runs things as normal. Pick your game of choice and play as crunch or fluff based as you like.
    Last edited by Kane0; 2013-07-19 at 12:16 AM.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Killer Angel's Avatar

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    Default Re: You have two people

    I'm going to suggest something different:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sajiri View Post
    We've tried online chats, but timezone differences make it incredibly difficult to get and keep everyone together.
    Have you tried in the "finding players" section? we have many aussies in the playground, so this should resolve the issues 'bout timezone.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Sajiri's Avatar

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    Default Re: You have two people

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    You could always operate games like a lot of video games do (jade empire, SW KotOR, Mass Effect, NWN, Mechwarrior, etc). Have a single main character backed by a team, but in any given situation the player only has one or two teammates with them. The Player controls the main guy, both Player and DM co-operate or reach an agreement on running the team and the DM runs things as normal. Pick your game of choice and play as crunch or fluff based as you like.
    This is probably going to be our best option. Last night we got talking about the pirate campaign he was going to DM that I had started a character for but never got around to playing- he said he's got a bunch of npcs planned that I would have to recruit, can die, be romanced etc (I laughed at that last one). 'You've got your kaidan, your garrus, whatever you want' I have 'never talks straight' and interspecies flings?


    Quote Originally Posted by Killer Angel View Post
    I'm going to suggest something different:



    Have you tried in the "finding players" section? we have many aussies in the playground, so this should resolve the issues 'bout timezone.
    I'll be honest, I had considered that, but I'm just burnt out on online games. We've had a couple people from here join too but didn't last. Even without timezone conflicts online feels like it moves too slow with people taking the time to type and I always seem to have 1-2 members of the group sending me messages in seperate chat windows when I'm trying to type my own responses x_x
    Last edited by Sajiri; 2013-07-21 at 09:30 PM.

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  13. - Top - End - #13
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Killer Angel's Avatar

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    Default Re: You have two people

    Quote Originally Posted by Sajiri View Post
    I'll be honest, I had considered that, but I'm just burnt out on online games. We've had a couple people from here join too but didn't last. Even without timezone conflicts online feels like it moves too slow with people taking the time to type and I always seem to have 1-2 members of the group sending me messages in seperate chat windows when I'm trying to type my own responses x_x
    Eh, I can feel your pain.

    Good luck with Kane0's suggestions, then!
    Do I contradict myself?
    Very well then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes. (W.Whitman)


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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiyanwang View Post
    Great analysis KA. I second all things you said
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeYounger View Post
    Great analysis KA, I second everything you said here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryu_Bonkosi View Post
    If I have a player using Paladin in the future I will direct them to this. Good job.
    Quote Originally Posted by grimbold View Post
    THIS is proof that KA is amazing
    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Killer Angel, you have an excellent taste in books
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Historical zombies is a fantastic idea.

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