Rolling Solo

Rolling Solo. A Basic Start

Duncan Thomson

So it's time to delve into Solo RPGs and some of the generators around them.

Time to enter a world of adventure and oracles, of generators and the whims of the luck gods.


A lot of people started over covid, mostly because it was the only way they could game

This is the first of a series of articles around solo gaming and using generators for them

I'm hoping to...

  • Explore different systems and methods of playing solo rpgs.
  • Take a look at how random generators are used in solo rpgs and what's out there
  • Build some tools and tables related to solo rpgs
  • Find ways to play solo rpgs without screens. I'm trying to reduce screen time in the evenings
  • Find ways of playing Solo RPGs while travelling. With the above point this means playing mostly without rpg books and doing prep up front on cards or using card-based tools

Tools At Hand

As I'm starting I'm in my flat in England which is fine. I wanted to not use a screen that evening so looked at what was on the shelves.

Looking at RPGs have

  • WFRP 1st Edition (too complex for solo)
  • WFRP 2nd Edition (hmmm nice idea too big a book)
  • DnD 5e (will come back to this one)
  • Savage Worlds Adventure Edition (a great possibility)
  • Dungeons and Dragons Red Box (from a car boot sale in the UK, a possibility for starting)
  • Pathfinder 2e (love it but too big a book)
  • Shadow of a Demon Lord (don't know it well enough)

And a lone DnD 3.0 Player's Handbook.

Of those the classless one is Savage Worlds so I tried that. I came up with a system for random characters and they ended up...interesting or unbalanced. There's also quite a lot to a savage worlds character and they are very capable compared to dnd starting counterparts.

I decided to come back once once I'd built a savage worlds random character gen and had more experience with solo games. And a podcast mentioned Me, Myself and Die plus other solo savage worlds resources.

Resources So Far

I'm writing a Guide to Solo Generators so getting to know some tools out there

But also started listening to podcasts and looked at a few other tools. So far have been Tales of the Manticore, Die Alone and Sub-Class Act and Errant Adventures.

For new RPGs I found Knave and Maze Rats, and a few similar ones. Looking at classless and basic options but playing around

A Night of Basic

And then plans were disrupted when I had an hour before bed and decided to try a game. The only thing quick to use was DnD basic which would suit fine. And in the box was the Keep on the Borderlands, as good a place as any to start.

To my resources I added the Ultimate Toolbox, as it has a tonne of random tables to help decides what happens.

Rolling up I had - Vincent (Str 6 Dex 11 Con 10 Int 7 Wis 13 Cha 8), lawful cleric, HP 3 (plate, phobia of snakes) - Sekai (Str 7 Dex 7 Con 6 Int 10 Wis 11 Cha 7), lawful mage, HP 2 (read magic, ancestor created a potent weapon, nightmares of suffering a wasting disease, silver dagger, lots of food) - Margaret "Marge" (Str 12 Dex 8 Con 9 Int 10 Wis 6 Cha 9), neutral rogue, HP 3, (obsessive about certain foods, hobby of gardening), leather, longbow) - Charlie (Str 13 Dex 11 Con 12 Int 10 Wis 10 Cha 11), female fighter, HP 3 (plate, 2-H sword, raised in the wild,megalomania) - Eraral Deathflame (Str 14 Dex 9 Con 14 In 8 Wis 9 Cha 10), chaotic dwarf, HP 4 (lots of languages, plate, superstitious and always watchful for omens, uses coarse language)

Using the optional roll for re-rolls if get a 1 or 2 at first level, all of them rolled a 3 for hit points. Of course.

In next update we'll see how they do at the keep and caves...

More Solo

If you have your own advice or solo gaming suggestions, leave them in the comments or on my Discord server