As many of you know, the primary way I’ve been enjoying tabletop roleplaying over the last year has been by running solo games for myself. It isn’t perfect by any means, but once you get used to it, solo roleplaying is quite a bit of fun. But I have encountered a bit of an issue, and I’d like to know how other solo roleplayers feel about it.
Short campaigns, or Long ones. Which do you prefer?
I’ve tried running short campaigns, and some longer ones as well, and I see benefits to both. But here’s the thing: I have pretty much started to focus on shorter campaigns, basically one-shots, because this allows me to enjoy more games, without getting bored. Some of the games I have played over a longer period have been great (“D13 RPG”, being one great example), but many others just get so dull!
Am I the only one having this issue?
I don’t think it is the games that are the issue, at least not for the most part. Mostly, I think the issue is with me.
Here’s what I mean: I am primarily a GameMaster at heart, although I have been on the Player side of the game many times, as well. But my primary focus has always been as a GM, and this makes solo roleplaying difficult for me. Why? Because generally you are using oracles to emulate the GameMaster in solo roleplaying, while you take up the role of a player.
Nothing wrong with that, as I said, I can be a player, sure. But where the problem lies is in the randomized storyline.
In solo roleplaying, you use oracles to inspire the story you are playing. In this way, you are both the GM and the Player, which is fine. But you are also “playing to find out what happens”, and in my experience this gets really weird, a good portion of the time.
It’s like this: The longer the campaign goes, the weirder and more disjointed the storyline gets, so I find that shorter campaigns are more fun for me. Can longer campaigns work? Of course. But I find myself guiding the story more and more, which gets away from the whole point of solo roleplaying, in my opinion.
Actually, the point is to have fun, in the end, so I suppose it doesn’t really matter if I slip into guiding the story sometimes, as opposed to sticking with what the oracles say. Then again, am I really “playing to find out what happens”, when I find myself just coming up with what happens off the top of my head, instead?
So basically shorter campaigns are what I prefer. I tend to stick with the oracles more, and don’t get bored or confused as easily, compared to longer campaigns. But that’s just me. If you have something to say on the subject, please leave a comment below, and we can talk about it there. Otherwise, let’s talk about it in the Discord server.