I haven’t read the whole thing yet (just skimmed it this evening), but this PDF download appears to be a pretty fair primer on solo role playing gaming:

Dungeons & Dragons Solitaire

Although it deals specifically with (from what I can gather) 3.0/3.5/4.0 Dungeons & Dragons, the principles are applicable to any role playing game. The author speaks specifically of the old Central Casting books for creating PC/NPC personalities, which touches on what I find to be a core concept in solo RPGing: the more books & rulesets you have, the easier solo gaming will be. When playing Hideouts & Hoodlums, for example, I use the random dungeon tables from the 1st Edition AD&D Dungeonmaster’s Guide for creating subterranean hideouts. I’ve used the similar random tables from TSR’s Indiana Jones GM’s Screen to create ruins for GURPS Conan, Call of Cthulhu, and a variety of supers games. The random mission tables from Spacemaster are useful as adventure seeds for nearly any RPG. I used the NPC background tables from Legendary Lives to create Fireball’s personality in our Villains & Vigilantes campaign.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Read the booklet. It’s 16 pages long and covers the core concepts I wrote about in my early blog posts, but in somewhat greater detail. Yes, it’s more fun to play RPGs with other people. But solo RPGing is very useful for testing adventure ideas for your game group, and it’s also a great exercise in creativity — sometimes you have to figure out how to make a weird random result fit into the theme of an adventure or campaign, and it’s a lot of fun to put these oddball puzzle pieces together just to see what the final “big picture” looks like.

Have fun! — Steve

Copyright 2011, Steven A. Lopez. All rights reserved.

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