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TomPleasant
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One-on-one/duet campaign

Mon 14 Jan 2019, 21:27

My girlfriend wants me to run a one-on-one/duet campaign for her. What are your recommendations to make that work?

I’m thinking making successes be 5-6 rather than just 6 and/or giving her four more points for attributes and eight more points of skills
 
Jonas Ferry
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Re: One-on-one/duet campaign

Wed 16 Jan 2019, 20:46

I haven't tried one-on-one play with Forbidden Lands specifically, in fact I'm preparing for my first session right now, but I'd keep everything about her character and the rules as is, because I don't think it needs changing. If your planned adventure is too difficult, there are a couple of other options:

* Scale down the opposition, by turning the group of four orcs into one orc, or by reducing their strength attributes.

* Let her control multiple characters at the same time, each a PC. This can be confusing for new players, or for veteran players not used to it, but the right player will enjoy it.

* Add an NPC or two to the party, and have her pick relationships to them as if they were PCs. The nice thing with this and the previous option is that there's someone around to help the PC when they become broken.
 
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Rymdhamster
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Re: One-on-one/duet campaign

Wed 16 Jan 2019, 23:16

For strict rule stuff, I would maybe take a note or two from the monsters: let her grab more than one initiative card when facing multiple opponents and don't let lowered attributes effect the nummber of dice she gets to roll. 

I'd also modify the critical tables, basicly remove all the "you're dead" results and say: you will live, but you might get permanent injuries, and should probably wake up in a bad situation. Captured, robbed or otherwise. 

As for general inspiration, I'd recomend the fandible One Shot: podcast here

It's a husband and wife team doing star wars one on one. It's really good! Leassons from that is to let help each other build the details. Let her contribute! (it seems a bit of a staple of the Free Leuge games anyway =). Also, make sure the story can always advance forwrad regardless if she solves every puzzle or not. Never make something a choke point that must be passed or everything comes to a stop. 

Also, I'd say let describe the fundamentals of the character (a brave warrior, or a stealthy hunter, or a bright wizard), and then as a rule let her get away with the stuff which that character is about. Is she a fighter? Assume that a single goblin is no problem for her. Five goblins might be though, but not one. Bascily, take the first rule of Free Luege games to heart: only roll when it is really dramatic. Or, if you wanna roll a bit more, se the rolls more as inspiration and combine it with the above instead of just counting down stats. She want's to punch a goblin in the face, but rolled four dispairs? Well, she does punch that goblin in the face succesfully, but he pulls a hidden knife (that didn't exist untill now), and now it's a proper fight all of a sudden, rather then her reducing her strength by four. 

I'd see actual stat damage more as a last resort if you can't figure out something more fun to do with the dispair dice. It's the situation getting worse rather than her taking damage. 

Letting her succeed on 5+ would be a good idea, in my opinion. But then I think that should be done in any game, not just a one on one =)
 
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TomPleasant
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Re: One-on-one/duet campaign

Thu 07 Feb 2019, 12:07

Letting her succeed on 5+ would be a good idea, in my opinion. But then I think that should be done in any game, not just a one on one =)
I agree, but can you explain a bit more about why you think that? What are the reasons and the consequences? I imagine that would mean less need to push rolls and so fewer WP.
 
Morgoth
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Re: One-on-one/duet campaign

Mon 11 Feb 2019, 18:05

It depends on the type of game you want to play. Forbidden Lands is not really made for a skill use heavy type of game; its aesthetic is old school hex crawling the wilderness & combat. You could certainly set a game in a city or town where your wife plays a character like a Rogue and gets into all kinds of adventures; but again the limited amount of skills and their use in the game will start to drag. As combat is deadly and she is just 1 PC you won't be able to do much of that either; even a run in with the town guard will be extremely risky if you let the dice fall where they may.

You certainly CAN do it, but other games will do it better; I recommend The Dark Eye RPG (fifth edition), or even D&D 5e (this allows for more robust characters if you start her out at a higher level), or even Pathfinder.
 
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Rymdhamster
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Re: One-on-one/duet campaign

Tue 12 Feb 2019, 13:52

Letting her succeed on 5+ would be a good idea, in my opinion. But then I think that should be done in any game, not just a one on one =)
I agree, but can you explain a bit more about why you think that? What are the reasons and the consequences? I imagine that would mean less need to push rolls and so fewer WP.
Good point about the WP, it should be said it was the first thing our group changed from the basic rules, so instead of only gaining them through pushed rolls, you have a base pool of (INT+CHA)/2 rounded down (or what ever the two mental attributes are called). In addition to this, WPs are earned in the usual way, but they reset whenever you undertake a long rest.

This might be something to consider.

As for the 5+, I haven't been able to convince my GM about this (he likes it when we fail), but for this one on one game I feel it would make the character a bit more bad-ass (I would consider leaving successes to 6:s for enemies).

It would reduce the need for pushing rolls which means less damage to attributes (the character will be able to do more stuff, for longer without having to stop and rest all the time), as well as damage to equipment (which i feel breaks to easily anyway). It will simply make the character last longer which, and reduce the need to constantly return to a village to get new equipment.
Especially since a one-character party probably wont have all the neccecart talents to be self reliant when it comes to maintenance.

It will also mean that once a roll IS pushed, it should give more successes per dispair in average, rather than an equal ammount. Again making the character feel a bit more awesome than an average one, and increase the fealing of things going the characters way every once in a while.

It also opens up for a new avenue to indicate difficulty of tasks: instead of just modifying the dice (in a game where the number of dice you get is often quite low unless you can manage to twist every situation to be about the one or two skills you acctually have decent values in), you can change on what number you succeed.

I, who prefer to roll dice pretty often even in minor situations, both as a GM and as a player, would probably make three tiers of difficulty based on this instead:

Easy tasks: succeed on 4+
Challenging tasks: Succeed on 5+
Difficult tasks: succeed on 6:s

I prefer this to "GM decides if you succed or not" as it makes the story a bit more unpredictable for both player and GM, without anyone person having final say (well... the GM still has final say but I hope you get what I'm trying to say here). I think this might be extra important in a one on one game, as fewer players mean less input of ideas and suggestions.
 
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9littlebees
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Re: One-on-one/duet campaign

Tue 12 Feb 2019, 14:39

There's absolutely nothing wrong with the FBL skill list for playing other types of games, it's just that Scouting and Survival are used more than in other games. Coriolis uses more or less the same number of skills, and is very much suitable for "regular" (more traditional) games. What you get with Fria Ligan's skill list is a game that feels more rules-light. I for one am very happy we don't have a huge list of skills.

Dark Eye and Pathfinder are hideously crunchy games that I would never recommend. Unless you like crunchy games. There are very, very few which are crunchier.

As for D&D 5e... Every single class is combat focused. It's absolutely not versatile unless you want to play a demi-god in a combat heavy game. Can you play other types of games with it? Sure. But nothing changes the fact that your pool of HP goes up every time you level making experienced characters hard to kill unless you throw stronger and stronger monsters or challenges at them. This turns most campaigns into an epic world saving quest, because you need to scale the challenges up with the player characters.

Forbidden Lands is great because you are always at risk of death. It puts the game into another category of fantasy RPGs - gritty fantasy. And that's why it sings.

Apologies for the pseudo-rant, @Morgoth, I'm not trying to pick a fight! I just tried Dark Eye (DSA here in Germany) last week and ran far, far away. It's horrid. There's a reason a common phrase in the DSA community here is "we play DSA for the setting, not the rules".

;-*
 
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lupex
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Re: One-on-one/duet campaign

Tue 12 Feb 2019, 17:33

My girlfriend wants me to run a one-on-one/duet campaign for her. What are your recommendations to make that work?

I’m thinking making successes be 5-6 rather than just 6 and/or giving her four more points for attributes and eight more points of skills
Is this her first gaming experience? If yes, I would probably see if I can get some other players to join the game, as that is a key part of the whole experience.

There is a question about having to change the rules, if you have to change them to a large extent then are you really still playang Forbidden Lands?
 
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Rymdhamster
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Re: One-on-one/duet campaign

Tue 12 Feb 2019, 17:45

If yes, I would probably see if I can get some other players to join the game, as that is a key part of the whole experience.
It doesn't have to be a key part of it. One-on-one roleplaying can be amazingly fun for beginners and veterans alike.
 
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lupex
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Re: One-on-one/duet campaign

Tue 12 Feb 2019, 18:06

If yes, I would probably see if I can get some other players to join the game, as that is a key part of the whole experience.
It doesn't have to be a key part of it. One-on-one roleplaying can be amazingly fun for beginners and veterans alike.
Agreed, and I have run many single player sessions in the past, but the group dynamic is part of the social aspect of most roleplaying games and it would be a shame if she didn't get to experience the full spectrum of the role play experience.
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