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Character Roleplaying and Dialogue - A Solo D&D Tutorial

In the previous few episodes on this blog I’ve introduced some solo roleplaying rules to simulate character behaviour in order to avoid meta gaming. I’m going to expand on this further now to give you a little more insight into what goes on behind the scenes in my solo games. Hopefully this will give you some inspiration and help you with playing your own games. I’ve already touched on how I change my perspective from a player to a Dungeon Master and make a roll to determine what action a character will take. I’ve also touched on the simple mechanics I use to determine whether a character will check for traps or listen for noise. In this article I'm going to discuss how I handle character roleplaying in regards to character dialogue. Character Roleplaying and Dialogue - A Solo DnD Tutorial Character roleplaying seems to be a significant barrier for many would be solo role players. I’ve also wrestled with this obstacle and found a solution that works well for me. Here’s how it

Tales of Mystara - The Palace of Evendur - Episode 2 - Monster Statistics - The Blighted Vine, Possessed Swords, Rug and Armour

During the introduction of the first episode of my second season of the Tales of Mystara podcast, I mentioned that I would be providing various visual aids to accompany the podcast. This will include things like maps, unique monster statistics and tables, as well as short articles explaining my solo role playing game mechanics (I have posted several of these already). You'll have to bear with me as these will come in many individual instalments across the life-span of the season, with the dungeon map coming much later due to my attempt to avoid giving away information that might spoil any surprises. In this post I give you some Monster statistics, which includes the blighted vine growing at the entrance to the Palace of Evendur as well as the possessed rug, swords and armour located in the throne room. Monster Statistics for the Blighted Vine, Possessed Swords, Rug & Armour The Blighted Vine is basically a rough BECMI conversion of a Vine Blight, which can be found in Dunge

Checking for Traps and Listening for Noise - A Solo D&D Tutorial

In a group game of D&D characters often want to search for traps or listen for noise. In solo games this is a tricky mechanic, especially if as a Dungeon Master you already have an idea of what lies ahead. This is especially problematic if you’re trying to run through a prepublished adventure module by yourself. I have my own simple way of handling such situations. Checking for Traps and Listening for Noise - A Solo D&D Tutorial In my last article I touched on player autonomy and how you can switch your perspective from DM to player to observer depending on the situation. So with your DM hat on you will need to determine whether a character will check for traps where there is a possibility of traps. It’s important to remember that in a group game a player would not always remember to check for traps. We can easily tie the chance of making such a check to the character's level. To handle this situation I roll a d10. The chance of checking for traps is equal to 1 plus t

Avoiding Meta Gaming with Character Actions - A Solo D&D Tutorial

In the first Episode of Season 2 of Tales of Mystara, I discussed some of my solo role playing mechanics, in an effort to help listeners better understand how I run my solo games. This is something I will try to do regularly in Season 2 and I figured it would make sense to include these short tips in this blog. I have been asked on several occasions how I stop myself from meta gaming, especially when running a pre-published adventure solo. This is actually a pretty easy thing to achieve, if you approach the problem of solo gaming in a certain way... Avoiding Meta Gaming with Character Actions - A Solo D&D Tutorial I've always approached the concept of playing D&D or other tabletop role playing games solo as a design problem that needs to be solved. For me, the problem is handled from three angles: The first angle is to emulate the role of the Dungeon Master, so I can experience the game from the perspective of a player. The second angle is to emulate player

Spell Casting & Spell Complexity in OD&D - An Old School D&D Tutorial

One thing that the OD&D rulebooks does not specifically state with any clarity is exactly how spell casting works in combat. There is no mention of it in the turn sequence given in Chainmail and of course, no turn sequence is provided in any of the three OD&D books so it seems to be left to the referee to decide how best to handle spell casting. The only rules provided that hold any kind of restriction over or clue regarding how spell casting works in regards to the turn sequence is on page 32 of Chainmail, which states "In order to cast and maintain any spell, a Wizard must be both stationary and undisturbed by attack upon his person." As well as Page 11 of Men & Magic, which states "Dexterity applies to both manual speed and conjuration. It will indicate the character's missile ability and speed with actions such as firing first, getting off a spell, etc." This latter rule is quite vague. Spell Casting & Spell Complexity in OD&D - An Ol

Is OD&D Melee Range 30 Feet? - An Old School D&D Tutorial

I wanted to cover a topic of discussion, which recently took place within the comments of one of my YouTube videos. The video in question was episode 5 of my Original Dungeons & Dragons Campaign . I have discussed how melee combat works in OD&D several times across that video series and have had to make several corrections on the matter because OD&D combat is quite challenging to grasp when trying to reconcile rules written in Chainmail with the three original OD&D books: 'Men & Magic', 'Monsters & Treasure' and 'Underworld & Wilderness Adventures'. I originally surmised that melee range is at 30 feet (usually written as 30'). This is quite peculiar as proceeding editions of D&D states that melee range is at 5 feet, so is it correct? OD&D Melee Range - An Old School D&D Tutorial On the surface 30' seems an incredibly long reach for attacking with any melee weapon so would immediatly appear to be an error or t