Solo Dungeons & Dragons?
Is it possible to play the world’s greatest game without any other players or even a Dungeon Master?
Given the social narrative and world building of the game, can one get a similar experience by oneself?
Let’s explore a few ideas for the game from a solo experience, and why there are some very real times when playing solo is a viable experience.
Why would one want to play Dungeons & Dragons solo?
As a Dungeon Master there are times that I want to try out an adventure, run-it-through before brining it to the table with my players.
Sometimes one might also have a character concept that they want to explore- see if something is viable over a couples of levels.
And what about the times when annoying things like work, school, or real life get in the way of D&D? Sometimes we have a shift in schedule where one can’t get to the table for a while.
All reasons to go solo.
One of the easiest ways to play D&D solo is to use the random charts in the back of the book- play it by the book.
Generate and populate a dungeon on the move, encounter monsters, and roll for treasure. Tactically this is a great way to learn the mechanics of the game, or try out a new character class that you don’t often play.
As a D&D rules simulation it is great, but as a game, attempting to explore the narrative it falls a bit flat.
One of the ways that I like to both explore the mechanics and grab the narrative is to run through an adventure with a character, or characters directly under my control.
Roll up a character, and assign them a brief bio- a back story of how they would act, and carry themselves in the game- think of it as a kind of AI.
From here, brining them through the adventure, when it comes time to make a decision the AI of the bio comes in with how they would act. In this way one gets to both explore the mechanics *and* discover the narrative of the story.
A third option, which is a bit more involved is to use a random number emulator like mythic- link here. RPG emulators that ask a series of questions for each adventure setting, allowing you to act and build in the moment, without know what is ahead.
It *is* possible to solo D&D, till you can get back in the game.