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Old May 10th, 2018, 05:17 PM
stepanxol's Avatar
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A roach companion
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Welcome to the Bazaar! Or: how does this thing work? [READ THIS FIRST]

Welcome, traveler! Feast your eyes on the many wonders of the Bazaar!

Here you'll find everything you've ever dreamed in your solitary journey in search of cozy, small-scale adventuring. No more sharing the spotlight with hulking brutes, snotty savants, sneaky rogues or clerical do-gooders! Here you are the main attraction, the only guest of honor, the sole protagonist of a saga destined to be etched in stone!


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This is a place we've decided to set up to facilitate solo play (ie, one-on-one playing with a single player and a DM) on RpgX. It's nothing complicated: basically, anyone can ask for a game, offer to host or one or, ideally, both. In fact the idea is to have a game exchange, but it's not strictly necessary to make a "trade": maybe the system you want to play a game with and the one you feel like GMing don't match with your interlocutor's, or you don't feel ready to GM yet, or maybe you have written an awesome solo scenario and you're just itching to test it on some hapless players! It's all right, don't worry! The denizens of the Bazaar are not picky: any system, any style, any idea is allowed and welcome!

So, what are you to do?

First of all head to the OOC thread to introduce yourself. It's only polite...

Then you can post in the matchmaking thread, specifying if you want to play or DM (ideally both), along with your favorite systems, settings and scenarios, etc. As I said we're not picky, you can stick to the big ones like DnD or go ahead and experiment with unusual systems or settings. A friendly GM will add your entry to the BIG TABLE (please check out that post before asking to be added, since it contains a few instructions).

I wrote an article on systems designed for 1-to-1 play which you may find interesting.

You can also browse the game forums (which are generally public) to have an idea of how the various scenarios can develop.

Finally, the ineffable bananabadger has written a nice post about the best practices to follow for the best 1-to-1 experience. It's here, just below these post!

The current hosts (GMs of the Solo Bazaar) are stepanxol, Leviticus, bananabadger and HotsuSama. One of the GMs will set up a folder for your game as soon as you request it in the thread. In case they don't, just PM one of them (the names are linked to the profiles). Have fun!
I have sworn the Oath of Sangus
Come over at the Solo Bazaar, have a cozy game!
#BARD4LIFE. 'Nuff said.

Last edited by stepanxol; Jun 5th, 2021 at 05:55 PM.
Old Oct 24th, 2020, 01:44 PM
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So you're about to set off on a 1-to-1 Adventure?

Here's some advice—culled from past game experiences in the Solo Bazaar—for having the best experience. Feel free to follow any or all of these suggestions.

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Artist: Frederick van Valkenborch
  • Go Short: Think of the game in terms of a one-shot. A one-shot doesn't have to mean "boring, small dungeon crawl." If you have a sandbox, have the player and the GM decide on one goal that the player is trying to achieve. If you are using a module, break it down into stand-alone chapters and choose the best one for starting off. Focusing on a short game means both parties are more likely to be able to finish the adventure ... and closing a game feels good for both the GM and the player. Once the one-shot is over, both parties are free to explore another system and game ... or begin the next chapter.
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    Holiday Bazaar by Anastasia Zaielinski
  • Optimize for 1-to-1: Even if you are not using a system adapted for 1-to-1 play, consider streamlining battle/decision rolls, avoid plot moments that would hinge on two-player "assists," and allow players to take a greater role in world-building narratives since they won't be imposing on any other players' ideas or goals. (Click here for a link to stepanxol's overview of systems optimized for 1-to-1 play.)
  • Exchange and Respect Goals: Before you begin, tell each other what you want to get out of the game—and adapt your play style for one another. For example, maybe the player wants to try out mechanisms for a high-level yuan-ti cleric; if that's the case, then the GM should have an adventure that allows this character opportunities to apply their best spells and abilities. Maybe the GM wants to explore narration and mechanics for a massive Old West shoot-out; then the player should be willing to steer their character and the story into a situation that would allow for this to happen.
  • Agree on Post Rate: This is important for any PbP game, but more so when there are no other party members to pick up slack (or slow you down). Agree in advance what the expected post rate will be, respect that and communicate with one another when it needs to be adjusted.
  • Be Responsive: In a group game, you sometimes have 5 or 7 parallel stories that share little but a common thread; in these situations, only one of them has to respond to the GM in order to move the main narrative along. In a 1-to-1 game, it is crucial to carefully read each other's posts—not only to keep the story moving but to be able to enjoy playing off of each other's prompts, jokes and ideas. A 1-to-1 game has immense potential for fast-moving, creative and delightful story collaboration—use it to its full extent.
  • Keep an Open Mind: With 1-to-1, you are exposed more directly to another person's ideas, tastes and mindset. Each GM and each player has strengths and weaknesses ... try to respectfully resolve or allow to pass over any gaming approaches that aren't your cup of tea and identify and appreciate the best aspects that each person brings to the table.

Last edited by bananabadger; Dec 23rd, 2020 at 07:51 AM.
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