DW - Single Player?

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Jingo

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DW - Single Player?
« on: July 14, 2012, 12:19:54 AM »
So... my DW gaming group lately consists of me as the GM and 1 player (my 14 yr old son). Yeah it's weird, but that's the way it is right now.

Couple of questions:

1) Does anyone have suggestions on running DW with a single player? I know it's not really made for that, since Bonds and inter-player relationships are such a integral part of the game, but I'm wondering if something like that can be modified to work with NPCs played by the GM? Ideas?

2) How do I leave blanks if the character knows nothing about the world? Here's what I mean: the way the first adventure and the world shaped from his questions, the character is a cleric to an unknown god (unknown by others) and comes from a reclusive village that was actually protected in ages past from some ancient danger that no one remembers why by some sort of magical barrier. No one has come or gone down the road leading in or out of the village for hundreds of years.

Except for him.

He stepped through the magical barrier and found himself in a world he knows nothing about. So far so good, but then I ran into problems. It feels like I can't leave blanks for him to fill in if his character has never been here, how would he know anything? Or are blanks more than what the character knows? Can it be something that the player can help out with even if the character knows nothing?

Similarly, can Spout Lore work in such an unknown world?

Part of the difficulty stems from me not fleshing out the world some the first place. I should have given more structure to start with and maybe it wouldn't have developed the way it did.

Things are getting better now that we have two sessions done, but still it's a little weird not leaving blanks. Ideas?

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noofy

  • 777
Re: DW - Single Player?
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2012, 03:56:54 AM »
Hey Jingo!
I've played quite a few one-on-one sessions with my partner and she and I have had a blast!
Just replace bonds with other PC's with significant NPCs, name them, make them important, people that the character cares about and then antagonise them. It makes for great story seeds. Just throw the player, a significant bond NPC and an antagonist with a contrary instinct together in a scene and watch the plot unfold.

I think you've hit on the concept of spout lore filling in the blanks as a co-authoring thing between you and your son (not the character) though certainly framing it within what the character may know, or what his  limited conception of what the big bad dungeon world could be like and thus 'predict' the possibilities.

I think its a grand opportunity to see where your story together takes you.  Since you haven't fleshed anything out, if the answers make sense and go with the world view you are generating together then that's epic! It creates plot points, mysterious happenings, locations, folks and monsters all waiting to be uncovered. Please let us know how it goes with the game.

Re: DW - Single Player?
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2012, 09:25:50 AM »
What about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?  Give the character a book.  When he spouts lore, ask him what the books says about the topic.  Then ask him how his character feels about what's in the book.  Why does he think the book is wrong?  Where does he think the author got that information?  What has obviously changed since the book was written?

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noofy

  • 777
Re: DW - Single Player?
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2012, 08:23:22 PM »
Now that is gold Marshall! That idea is wonderful! Who wrote the guide? Can you trust them, if you follow the advice blindly where will it take you? Is it as much a gazetteer as oracle? Wicked :)

Re: DW - Single Player?
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2012, 05:20:52 AM »
Here I am, pointing out the mechanical finesse of DW.

1) you have two principles that apply in this particular situation:
• draw maps, leave blanks: that just means you don't have to flesh out every detail of the world; you establish those details when they are relevant to the situation at hand.
• ask questions, use the answers: usually this means you simply are asking to the players "what do you do?" and react with your moves to their answers, but it also comes in play when you ask something like "how's the architecture of the southern realms?" and here it's just the player that replies to you, the character has nothing to do about it.

2) spout lore isn't just "roll to see if you know something about it".
• first of all, the character has to consult his accumulated knowledge, and what his accumulated knowledge actually is varies upon the character's story and background. If he's not consulting his accumulated knowledge, then it's not spout lore.
• for second, after he rolled, the GM might ask "how do you know about this?" but it's the player that has total control on the answer. He invents how the character learned that particular thing.
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.

Re: DW - Single Player?
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2012, 05:17:51 PM »
• ask questions, use the answers: usually this means you simply are asking to the players "what do you do?" and react with your moves to their answers, but it also comes in play when you ask something like "how's the architecture of the southern realms?" and here it's just the player that replies to you, the character has nothing to do about it.

That's not strictly the case - the GM is meant to address the character, not the player.  So, really you're asking "what's the architecture of the Southron Realm?" of the character.  The player can decide what the character knows and answers accordingly.

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Jingo

  • 25
Re: DW - Single Player?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2012, 03:11:42 AM »
Thanks for all the ideas everyone. Appreciated!