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Old 09-08-2009, 01:34 PM   #21
mehrkat
 
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Austin Texas
Default Re: Only 1 player help please

If you want to avoid killing give him a regeneration/regrowth magic item or wish to give him the advantages. Slow 1 hp / 1 hour or so it means if he can limp away or crawl away or heck even stay still long enough he'll get better and you can throw some battles you wouldn't under normal circumstances because you don't have to avoid killing him. It keeps the game from turning into a campaign of attrition.

I often use it for my oft foolish 12 year old child in games.
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Old 09-08-2009, 01:58 PM   #22
Trachmyr
 
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Default Re: Only 1 player help please

I'd suggest giving him an escape clause power or item that allows him to get out of a particularly bad situation... but has limited or better yet, GM controlled (thus intelligent) uses.

Some Examples:
  • A teleportation device. Perhaps it has to be attuned to a particular spot with expensive reagents, or it takes significant time. But it should not have a time-limit... so if the PC forget's to attune the object, it might send him back to the tavern room (now occupied) that he was staying at 3 games ago. He doesn't know how to control it... or it's emotion triggered, fear is a good one. If he ever has to use his "escape clause", make sure the game is a bit tougher afterwards... the enemy has time to regroup, finish the evil ritual, what-ever. If he teleports too much, an enemy can always send spies to find out how... then set up an ambush at his "return site".
  • Another good one is the power of premonition... gives him for free the ability to see "signs and portents", give him intuition and/or danger sense. Then if a game goes horribly wrong, let him "wake-up" from it... it was just a vision. He ofcourse has no control over what is and is not a vision. Be sure there are penalties for assuming he'll "wake-up"... permanent injuries after a series of rekless acts is good, or even impose a "shaken" state for the remainder of the game after he wakes up (meaning he'll have to be even more cautious)... after all, he knows that death can very likely occur.
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Old 09-08-2009, 04:20 PM   #23
Ogo
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: the midwest
Default Re: Only 1 player help please

RPGs are somewhat unique in that they emphasize the group of adventuring heroes. This pattern can be found in lots of stories, of course (Lord of the Rings, super teams in comics, military stories) but the general narrative pattern in all of fiction is the single hero: a gumshoe, a martial artist, a vampire, a super-hero, what-have-you.

When designing scenarios for the group-of-heroes, you can be sort of "character agnostic", that is, you can think up challenges that are interesting or difficult in-and-of-themselves, and let the group collectively figure out how to solve them, giving each character a moment in the spotlight, (or helping each other suffer through failure)

With a single character you really have to design the scenarios with that character in mind. You end up, in effect, having to play exactly to that character's strengths, and only occasionally pressing against his/her weaknesses. So, it would help to work with the player during character design.

Think of it like this: nobody wants to see Columbo getting the crap kicked out of him by a bunch of pajama-wearing mooks, and nobody wants to see Bruce Lee figure out who poisoned the gardener at the country club! The same principle applies here; there's only two of you playing, so it ought to be interesting and enjoyable, not a high-lethality grind.

Whatever the character is should determine the kind of trouble he/she gets into.
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Old 09-09-2009, 02:40 PM   #24
baakyocalder
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Sacramento metro, California
Default Re: Only 1 player help please

The key to one-player and one-GM games is to tailor the game to the player.

You've got to communicate better than when you game for a group, because if that one player misses information, it greatly impacts the game.

You can't do the inter-party conflict like in a regular game.

You also can't have as many treacherous NPCs as in a regular party game.

Provide a mixture of challenges, but use those challenges which work for the player. It looks like you have a player who is playing a defense-oriented fighter, so maybe some hold some territory adventures (like being on guard in capture the flag) would be fun.

The hireling is a good idea. With only one player, there's no group camadrie so if you give the player a loyal sidekick and don't mess with the sidekick, then you've got a way to get them to roleplay. You also have, if done with discretion, a way to remind the PC of missed information.

Good luck!
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