Running Solo Games!

Hello everyone! I’m getting ready to run a game of Heart: The City Beneath for a friend of mine, and it’s going to be my first time running a game for just one person, and I’m quite excited! I think the basic fundamentals of GMing and playing a game will be the same, but I’m intrigued at the degree of focus on a particular character that running such a small game will allow.

What I’m wondering is whether people here have had a lot of experience running these kinds of games! What kinds of unique challenges did you face? Were there any sort of unexpected things that you found that you liked from running a solo game that you couldn’t get in a more traditional group? I’d love to hear about it!


Only lasted for about 10 sessions, but I ran a game of 5E for a friend of mine. It was cool! He got to play the Epic Hero, something you don’t normally get to do when there’s 4 other people who also should get the spotlight. Cool chance to tell a spotlit hero story.

My advice probably only applies to games retrofit to solo, instead of ones designed for solo. But the biggest would be to not overcomplicate it. You’ll be doing a TON of work playing everyone they interact with, so if there’s partners or friend NPCs that will be accompanying them, don’t give them proper character sheets. Abbreviate as much as possible, and keep the spotlight on the player’s character. It’s an awesome opportunity to let them flex and explore a space all their own that they don’t have to share. Great character study.


Overcomplication is the thing that killed our campaign BTW. I was trying to play like 4 PCs essentially, in addition to the rest of the world. Not advisable, it really is just a campaign-killer.


That game was great! But I haven’t had time to play it yet!