Solo Games for Solitary Times

I wanted to shout out a sale I was having on my solo RPGs as well as to make some space to highlight single-player games folks love. Not only are people like me missing income from this pandemic, but I’m sure we would appreciate some awesome TTRPGs we can play solo.

The title I’m most proud of is Spooky Action at a Distance. This is a hack of plot ARMOR (which I also recommend if you like mecha anime) but puts you in the perspective of having to navigate first contact with “the alien.” You define the alien as you play and see how your character, humanity, and reality itself changes in the process. This is very much influenced by stories and movies like Story of your Life, Annihilation, and Contact. I wrote a series of posts on my Patreon to illustrate how this game can tell a story.

MATR1X 0VERL0AD is a cyberpunk solitaire card game where you play a hacker stealing and killing the rich. The base game is free and requires only a deck of playing cards. There’s a paid expansion, MATR1X 0VERL0AD: CYBERMANCY that uses a deck of tarot cards to create a campaign mode that slowly introduces new cards, complications, and twists in the narrative.

One Trillion Years was my first tabletop RPG I published on itch.io and it lets 1-4 players take on the roles of various aspects of humanity as you travel forward in space and time and try to survive as entropy envelopes the universe.

And finally there is World Maker, my attempt and gamifying the collaborative world-building you see in games like Dungeon World. With a deck of cards you are guided through creating an elaborate fictional universe in different genres by randomly generating characters and improvising a map, timeline, and factions to fit their needs.

All these are on sale and can be bought as a bundle, and each one also has community copies available. If you are also experiencing financial hardship right now and would like to play any of these games, pick up a free copy.

As for games that I didn’t make :sweat_smile: I fell head-over-heels in love with Dungeon Solitaire: Tomb of Four Kings when I saw it recommended here on the Gauntlet forums. It does a great job of capturing the feeling of lethal dungeon crawls by giving you limited resources and a straight forward risk/reward loop. It’s free and all you need is a deck of cards to play. If you enjoy that I also highly recommend Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls. This set of rules introduces mechanics for a tarot card deck, as well as advanced options that use a custom deck of tarot cards. Well worth the price in my experience.

What solo and solitaire RPGs would you recommend?

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Ironsworn and Mythic GM emulator are my favorites. Ironsworn because it gives you that gritty Game of Thrones feel and the many, many “oracle” tables helps give you enough prompts to inspire the imagination Mythic GM emulator because you can use it with any system and any game adventure. It just gives you the tools to turn those adventures you have never gotten to run into a solo game with just enough unpredictability to keep it fun.

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It’s not an RPG, but since prep can be play I’ll toss in How To Host a Dungeon which gives you a procedure for creating a dungeon that has a strong sense of history.

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And on the off chance that someone wants to read a session report for the very old solo not-quite-RPG Citadel of Blood, here’s mine from a few years back.

Ironsworn really is one of the gold standards out there for solo play. Now with the improved character sheets on Roll20 it’s so easy to get a game going.

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This seemed like the right time to dust off an old idea for a one player game. I just wrote this in the last couple of days, so be gentle. :slight_smile:

Mission Critical uses only a deck of playing cardrs. It’s like solitaire as a story generator. I like to play it as gritty near-future police action like Ghost in the Shell.

It’s here for pay what you want .

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My game A Cool and Lonely Courage can be played in diary mode as a solo story game. You can find it at IPR here

https://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/A-Cool-and-Lonely-Courage-Print-PDF.html

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Or try out the amazing designed-entirely-for-solo-play Thousand Year Old Vampire by Tim Hutchings, also on IPR

https://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Thousand-Year-Old-Vampire-Print-PDF.html

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