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[Suggestions] What would need changes to make EP a 1-on-1 game?

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Libertad Libertad's picture
[Suggestions] What would need changes to make EP a 1-on-1 game?
Most tabletop RPGs are group-focused, usually requiring around 3-6 players due to the game mechanics supporting a team of roles. Dungeons & Dragons has classes, Shadowrun has runners with different strong points, and even superhero games tend to assume a "superteam" playset. However, there are times when you can't gather together the whole group, times when you want to show a new player the ropes or just have a fun game with your spouse or significant other without worrying about their PC survival rate. In recent months I've become enamored with a series of house rules known as Black Streams: Solo Heroes. It is a product designed for old school Dungeons & Dragons spin-offs in mind. I began thinking that this kind of playstyle can (and should) be done for other popular RPGs as well. Vampire the Requiem had a minor entry for this in one of their "Chronicle Guides," addressing system considerations and other stuff. Game mechanics-wise, what changes would have to be made to the system to support 1-on-1 gaming in Eclipse Phase? More Construction Points would be a necessity. Probably around 200-400 points. The large amount of skills in the game mean that a successful PC will need to be multi-talented to shore up for weaknesses, where in other games their fellow partners would do so. Maybe a reduction or freebies to equipment which grants bonus Initiative Passes. Being able to do more in a round becomes all the more vital. Suggestions? Comments? Advice?
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ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
Depending on their initial
Depending on their initial set-up in terms of resources and whether or not they have unfettered access to the system mesh, a PC on their own can easily have a number of AIs with 60s in practically every concievable knowledge type skill, and can have AI drivers with 40s for every active skill. A lone PC who doesn't fork themselves a bunch of times will flourish as either or both of a manipulator (moving others into position to do their bidding,) or/and a drone swarm controller Generally speaking, a game with a solo PC should have [i]far[/i] fewer opportunities to die.
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Aldrich Aldrich's picture
I've run a few 1-on-1 sessions, and haven't really encountered a need for changes to game mechanics. I think that balancing is better done by the GM tweaking the environment, than by making exceptions to the written rules. Combat is usually at the heart of the problem - I think you have 3 basic ways to address it: - Avoid combat entirely - Reduce the difficulty of the encounters - Pump up the power of the player Avoiding combat is my go-to solution. I.e., my 1-on-1 games focus on narrative and investigation. I play closer to mirrorshades than to pink mohawk, so if a player wants to go in guns blazing the have an incentive to either come up with a plan that a solo operative could pull off, or to drum up some NPC support (both of which require roleplaying, and aren't combat in of themselves). Reducing encounter difficulty is also pretty straightforward. Instead of a professional hit team with rail sniper and drone support, you get jumped by a pair of gutter punks who try to brain you with a piece of pipe, etc. Pumping up the player with sweet gear (including speed boosts) works, but only if your player is into that sort of thing. If they don't want to keep track of 12 actions and 4 drones per combat round, don't make them.
kindalas kindalas's picture
Some ideas
Give them a ton of Skillsofts and a few helper AIs that double as NPCs. Make it so that the player can't get the AIs to shut up.
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Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
The way I see it? A DM that
The way I see it? A DM that knows what they're doing is all that's really needed. The nice thing about pen and paper RPGs is you have a DM who can tailor the adventure to suit a party's needs. There's no reason to toss more power to the player so they can act like a party of players, when you can just change the encounter itself. Hell, being a solo player opens up opportunities to go more in-depth with certain niche roles that are usually taxing on other members who don't have the right skillset (diplomacy, stealth, shit like that). If all else fails, you can have NPCs to fill in other roles. Heck, maybe let them utilize their networking skill to hire helpers for the job. That's assuming you don't want to go the AI farm route
OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Rules wise there really aren
Rules wise there really aren't any changes needed but it depends on your play style and the adventures you choose. I play with a buddy sometimes in a long standing campaign. We both have two characters and there are 2 npc's in a group of 6. We will each take a turn at GM for one adventure and the other plays the 4 pcs while we share the npcs. Per gentlemans agreement we dont *try* to kill each others characters when we have a turn at player. We do try for tpk when we gm ;-)

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Lorsa Lorsa's picture
I have played Eclipse Phase
I have played Eclipse Phase as a 1-on-1 game quite a lot. If you are two people that likes roleplaying, loves Eclipse Phase and has more time than your other friends there's no reason at all why you shouldn't do it. Same goes for other games of course... Giving extra creation points is definitely something you shouldn't be afraid of doing. I once made a character with 1500 CP excluding the morph and while she was certainly a bad-ass character, she still had lots of things she couldn't do and by no means were good at everything. It just meant I could be pretty good at both combat and social stuff at the same time. I'm mostly GMing these things though, and my player's characters always seem to want to do one thing that does help make up for the difference in group size; making her muse into an AGI. Not only does it provide more skills than a regular muse would, it also gives lots of roleplaying opportunities. Likle this: Daria (the player character): Whisper, can you help me hack into this door panel? *silence* Daria: WHISPER! Whisper (the AGI): Wait... what... errr, yes? Daria: What are you doing? Whisper: Uhm... just playing this new multiplayer simulspace game over the mesh, Dragon Quest 4. It's really fun, I can cast spells in it and everything! Daria: But you have a Multi-tasking implant! Whisper: Yes... and... ehm... I made three accounts... it's so hard to find decent people to team up with! Daria: Wait... does this cost anything? Whisper: Yes, they have a monthly fee. Daria: And how did you pay for it, I didn't know you had started earning your own credits yet? Whisper: Well... you know how I have access to all your accounts...? Daria: So you spent my credits on [b]three[/b] accounts to some simulspace game? Whisper: That is... a correct summary of the events. Daria: Alright, fine. Can you at least help me get this door open? Whisper: Hold on, I just need to kill this boss. Daria: NOW! ------------------------- That was for the first solo campaign we had. It worked very well, and there was certainly very little need to avoid combat as Daria was an Infiltration / Spray weapon specialist and had a heavily augmented Ghost. By using stealth to initiate fights she managed to take on some fairly impressive amount of foes at the same time. Yes, lots of speed does help. The current campaign is a lot less combat centric, and almost all damage the player character has done so far has been using psychic stab (with the positive trait that makes it do more damage). So it's definitely possible to run these kind of campaigns in Eclipse Phase. If you need some more detailed advice let me know and I can help you more later.
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Xagroth Xagroth's picture
From start
Really, if the character gets created as a "forking seed" from the get-go, there should be no problems. Of course, we are talking about a guy with about 60% to 65% in everything he can lay his hands on, and AGIs are a little more friendly to "power gaming" a toon in two parts of the game (infosec and something else, as long as it's not social skills); this is because a beta fork can only have up to 60% in skills, and loses 5 points on each attribute (if my memory serves me). Of course, one could completely disregard this and go for Alpha forking instead, but depending on the type of game that might become a no-go (remember alpha forking is not legal sunward-wise). On the gear side, cheap options include the use of ghostrider modules and modified ectos, or going for cheap synthmorphs. In the end, however, a 1-on-1 game tends to be less interesting than a groupal game, unless is part of one: going on "side quests" or personal profit options, like trying to make your own "powerbase" with some nanotech, an asteroid cluster, a synthmorph, and lots of software support. Nothing stops you to make your own (or steal or intercept...) hidden base with a farcast system and spare morphs growing in case you need them. Of course, you would need to ship them off-site, so adventure opportunities should be great ;)