Why do you solo RPG?
#1
Why do we solo rpg? 

So, I was eating lunch two weeks ago with some friends, and one of my table-top buddies who I used to play regularly maybe fifteen years ago ago tried to get me to come join a new campaign he's starting up via Zoom. But for some reason, getting back into a regular game just didn't appeal all that much. Maybe because I'm too much of an introvert...

I tried to explain about solo role-playing. 

He didn't get it and gave me a sort of blank look.

"You probably think that's weird," I said.

"Yeah I do," he chuckled, and then added, slightly mocking. "Do you argue with the game master?"

As I reflected on it, I admit that on the surface it can seem a strange thing, this hobby of gaming single-player in a genre that traditionally involves other people. But what's been your experience when you bring up solo RPGing with traditional RPGers? And what's your take? Why do you do it?

Is it because you're an introvert like me?
Is it that you can't find a traditional game or don't have time for one but still love the hobby?
Is it that we can't get enough tabletop or virtual RPGing and want to fill the gaps?
Is it that you have many games and ideas that you want to explore on your own?
Is it that you want to share your stories with others?
Or something else?

For me, it's a bit of all of the above... but also there's a certain freedom to it that you don't get gaming with others. I can move at my own pace and explore options and rules as I please, plus I can share writing and stories in a non-stressful way. Doing it here on this site, is a creative outlet for me. I also enjoy being surprised by my own stories when it shifts and changes. I don't get that random surprise factor when plotting out a novel...

Anyway, what moves you to solo rpg?
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#2
I could go on and on answering this, but I'll try to be short and keep it to the main points.

The primary reason I PLAY solo is simple -- I don't have a role playing group, either locally or virtually. I know if I put in the effort to I could find a group either at the game store or in an online community, but then there is still the issue of time. With solo I can play when I am able and for how long I have available. Another benefit of playing solo is that it gives me the opportunity explore several different game systems and tools, something that would rarely happen in a live game.

The reason I POST my gameplay is because I like to create and share with others. I've blogged, podcasted, and wrote in many different nooks and crannies of the internet over the years and it's something I enjoy, even though I've never had a big following. Posting these narratives gives me that opportunity. A lot of my campaign write-ups have nothing to do with the game rules but are simply me imagining the story. Soloing is a great storytelling medium for me because it is constantly providing prompts and cues to move the tale along, something that has bogged me down in the past when I write purely from my own thoughts.

Another creative outlet solo roleplay offers me is image manipulation (often referred to as Photo-shopping). I have been doing this for fun for years and once I saw other solo players include images in their posts I knew that was something I wanted to add to my own. Many times the images I use require little more than some cropping or basic enhancement. But every now and then I need to create an image that simply doesn't exist, such as Sylralei and Kristopher's Shadow Creatures or Vyncent's "Lucky Charm."
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#3
Solo RPG is pretty interesting when you like to do everything by yourself or you're just a real pro that wants to get on the top alone. Personally, I don't see any reasons not to play with your friends. Usually, when I am playing alone, I don't feel that good as I play with my friends. It is times more fun and you get used to it very fast. Then you cannot play without them and the game becomes less interesting. The same story was when I was playing Mike Tyson Punch-Out!! and boys were quitting little by little until I remained alone in this game.
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#4
I'm still new at it, but from the little I've done it's been really fun and surprising to see what kind of story develops from one's self. I guess I'd describe it as a feeling of wonder. Plus, with source book/table PDFs on a tablet, a dice-rolling app, and things using an online document, I can play anywhere I have a few minutes to myself.

A big part of it is also necessity. I come to solo RPG having never played multiplayer RPGs in my life. I'd grown up reading 80s comic books, and despite all the ads for tabletop games I never knew anyone that played. Anyway, having not read comic books in ages, I randomly came across a copy of the superhero game Champions 5e about three years ago.

The character generation and the discussion of genre tropes reminded me of what I'd loved about superhero comics. The idea of the game felt like so much fun, the exploration and wonder of it all. Of course, being a middle-aged man who never played and having no friends with any RPG experience didn't leave me many opportunities to set up a game.

Champions/Hero System proved a little too complex for me, and I wound up creating characters for fun using Mutants and Masterminds and ICONS. It only recently occurred to me to seriously explore if there was a way to actually play a game, if only by myself. That's what led me to solo RPG (not to mention this forum).

I guess this is all a long way of saying I'm playing solo RPG for the sense of creative wonder it brings me, something I'm not sure I've felt since I was a kid.
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#5
(10-20-2020, 06:08 PM)Donnabell87 Wrote: Personally, I don't see any reasons not to play with your friends. Usually, when I am playing alone, I don't feel that good as I play with my friends.

Certainly, a lot depends on why someone plays tabletop rpgs. If they play mainly because they like the social aspect of the game --  enjoyment comes from playing with friends -- then solo roleplaying probably wouldn't be for them and might even seem pointless. On the other hand, if one plays because they enjoy the mechanics of the game -- rolling dice and seeing what happens -- as well as creating fantastic stories in a fictional world, then playing solo might be something they would find appealing.
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#6
(10-21-2020, 10:28 PM)vasimo Wrote: I guess this is all a long way of saying I'm playing solo RPG for the sense of creative wonder it brings me, something I'm not sure I've felt since I was a kid.

It's great that you are finding this hobby satisfying. Gaming, imagination, and creativity have no age limit. I'm in my 50's and I am having a blast trying out different systems and writing imaginative stories. I can see myself doing this for some time to come. Glad you're here.
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