2 person campaign?

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I'm not a very active D&D player, mostly because I don't have very many people close-by to play with, so I'm always pumped when the chance comes along to play a quick campaign. One of my friends and I have recently been trying to set up a way to play over skype, considering she lives about 11 states away from me. Only problem with this is that we are both fairly new to D&D, but I have a bit more DM experience, and a bit (more) of a sadistic attitude (which im sure is a prerequisite for being a DM -ba dum unce- ) when I'm creating adventures and such.
I'm rambling so I'm gonna skip straight to the point. Do any of the more veteran players have any tips for a 2 person game? I'm sure it's possible, but i would expect it to be difficult, with either one PC and the DM, or the DM also having a PC, where in which could cause problems with the plot considering I would know exactly what would happen.
What would you say is the best way to go about this? And do you have any adventure/campaign ideas to help us out as well to start us off so we could build from there?
Any help at all would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you!
What would you say is the best way to go about this? And do you have any adventure/campaign ideas to help us out as well to start us off so we could build from there?
Any help at all would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you!

Consider allowing your friend to use a couple hirelings to help her. Whatever she chooses to play, draw up companions that would aid her. If she plays an in-your-face, frontline hack-n-slash type of character, consider setting her up with a hireling who can heal and maybe a ranged attacker. If she plays a character who is vulnerable in close-quarter confrontations, set her up with a meat shield character who can take the heat off her and someone who can buff her and help her stay alive.

The hirelings don't need to have the same degree of ability that her PC will have (and they probably shouldn't), and they don't need to have as much personality or detail to assist her. They can simply be mercenaries along for the ride. That way, she remains the star of the show, but every fight isn't a 1-on-X slugfest. Of course, if she would prefer being a one-woman-army, then give her what she wants; just don't make every fight an ordeal that a solo character can't handle.

Also, keep in mind when making encounters what she can handle and what can simply wreck her. Some status conditions, like dazed or dominated, will immediately steal her hopes of seizing victory, and some enemy tactics are going to be overly brutal if she is on her lonesome. It's also a good idea to consider the consequences of losing beyond death; rather than having her character die if she loses a battle, think of more interesting alternatives. Instead of being slain, perhaps she is taken prisoner with the intention of being pressed for information, but finds a window to escape. Perhaps, after falling victim to her aggressors, she is taken away and prepared for sacrifice by a mad cult, but manages to free herself and thus becomes poised to destroy the cult from the inside.

Off the top of my head, I don't know of any adventures that are ideal for a one-person party, so I can't help you there. As for campaign ideas, you could ask her to write up a background for her character and use that as a springboard for drawing up the adventure. Did she grow up in a monarchy that has fallen into ruin? Perhaps her character can be an agent of the Crown, performing good deeds on behalf of the throne to establish herself in the Court, or perhaps she can be recruited into the resistance that is attempting to oust the king and establish a new government. Was she raised in a church or is she devoted to a particular deity? You could create an adventure in which she is tasked by the church of [insert God here] with confronting a menace to the faith, be it a lich who seeks to use an army of undead minions to assault a town loyal to a goodly god, or a dragon that has taken over an isolated shrine and established it as a base of power.
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56790678 wrote:
Until you've had an in-law tell you your choice of game was stupid, and just Warcraft on paper, and dumbed down for dumber players who can't handle a real RPG, you haven't lived. You haven't lived.
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Lady and gentlemen.... I present to you the Edition War without Contrition, the War of the Web, the Mighty Match-up! We're using standard edition war rules. No posts of substance. Do not read the other person's posts with comprehension. Make frequent comparison to video games, MMOs, and CCGs. Use the words "fallacy" and "straw man", incorrectly and often. Passive aggressiveness gets you extra points and asking misleading and inflammatory questions is mandatory. If you're getting tired, just declare victory and leave the thread. Wait for the buzzer... and.... One, two, three, four, I declare Edition War Five, six, seven eight, I use the web to Go!
57062508 wrote:
D&D should not return to the days of blindfolding the DM and players. No tips on encounter power? No mention of expected party roles? No true meaning of level due to different level charts or tiered classes? Please, let's not sacrifice clear, helpful rules guidelines in favour of catering to the delicate sensibilities of the few who have problems with the ascetics of anything other than what they are familiar with.
56760448 wrote:
Just a quick note on the MMORPG as an insult comparison... MMORPGs, raking in money by the dumptruck full. Many options, tons of fans across many audiences, massive resources allocated to development. TTRPGs, dying product. Squeaking out an existence that relys on low cost. Fans fit primarily into a few small demographics. R&D budgets small, often rushed to market and patched after deployment. You're not really making much of an argument when you compare something to a MMORPG and assume people think that means bad. Lets face it, they make the money, have the audience and the budget. We here on this board are fans of TTRPGs but lets not try to pretend none of us play MMORPGs.
90571711 wrote:
Adding options at the system level is good. Adding options at the table level is hard. Removing options at the system level is bad. Removing options at the table level is easy. This is not complicated.
57333888 wrote:
112760109 wrote:
56902838 wrote:
Something like Tactical Shift is more magical than martial healing.
Telling someone to move over a few feet is magical now? :| I weep for this generation.
Given the laziness and morbid obsesity amongst D&Ders, being able to convince someone to get on their feet, do some heavy exercise, and use their words to make them be healthier must seem magical.
158710691 wrote:
D&D definitely improves mental health; Just as long as you stay away from these forums ;)
What would you say is the best way to go about this? And do you have any adventure/campaign ideas to help us out as well to start us off so we could build from there?
Any help at all would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you!

Consider allowing your friend to use a couple hirelings to help her. Whatever she chooses to play, draw up companions that would aid her. If she plays an in-your-face, frontline hack-n-slash type of character, consider setting her up with a hireling who can heal and maybe a ranged attacker. If she plays a character who is vulnerable in close-quarter confrontations, set her up with a meat shield character who can take the heat off her and someone who can buff her and help her stay alive.

The hirelings don't need to have the same degree of ability that her PC will have (and they probably shouldn't), and they don't need to have as much personality or detail to assist her. They can simply be mercenaries along for the ride. That way, she remains the star of the show, but every fight isn't a 1-on-X slugfest. Of course, if she would prefer being a one-woman-army, then give her what she wants; just don't make every fight an ordeal that a solo character can't handle.

Also, keep in mind when making encounters what she can handle and what can simply wreck her. Some status conditions, like dazed or dominated, will immediately steal her hopes of seizing victory, and some enemy tactics are going to be overly brutal if she is on her lonesome. It's also a good idea to consider the consequences of losing beyond death; rather than having her character die if she loses a battle, think of more interesting alternatives. Instead of being slain, perhaps she is taken prisoner with the intention of being pressed for information, but finds a window to escape. Perhaps, after falling victim to her aggressors, she is taken away and prepared for sacrifice by a mad cult, but manages to free herself and thus becomes poised to destroy the cult from the inside.

Off the top of my head, I don't know of any adventures that are ideal for a one-person party, so I can't help you there. As for campaign ideas, you could ask her to write up a background for her character and use that as a springboard for drawing up the adventure. Did she grow up in a monarchy that has fallen into ruin? Perhaps her character can be an agent of the Crown, performing good deeds on behalf of the throne to establish herself in the Court, or perhaps she can be recruited into the resistance that is attempting to oust the king and establish a new government. Was she raised in a church or is she devoted to a particular deity? You could create an adventure in which she is tasked by the church of [insert God here] with confronting a menace to the faith, be it a lich who seeks to use an army of undead minions to assault a town loyal to a goodly god, or a dragon that has taken over an isolated shrine and established it as a base of power.

thanks for the suggestions! I like the idea of having low profile henchmen along. I never really thought of that haha.
I love RPG and played numerous times just two man.  Myself dming and my buddy playing.  I have much more fun with smaller groups and having only one person, and his undivided attention, allowed me to immerse my friend into my story.  I felt much more satisfied and fun even Dming, almost felt like a player immersed in my story.

Just allow the charactor to have Resources available, such as Contacts he can go to for information, healing, advice etc, as well as higher magic gear to be able to survive encounters.  Less players mean less options he/she need to be equipped to be able to handle, which is a great thing for the solo player.  The Dm can really deck him/her out.  True feel of a heroe on a quest.

Use NPC to help him and assist him w/out taking the action and focus away from him.  One of his contacts can be a NPC healer who may decide to go with him in the adventure but You can make the NPC just heal and not able to fight, which adds another challenge for the player to the encounter having to protect her etc..  A thief who helps with his set of skills such as traps, locks but is a total coward and will flee & hide every time there is a fight etc.  You want to stay away from putting NPC into combat mechanic, like rolling to hit and dmg etc.  That takes focus away from your player.

You will find 2 manning game is much more fun in every level compared to 5+ manning game.  

My favorite games are 2 to 3 man games.

Be Flexible.  Don't let dnd guideline/rules hamper you. Make the necessary changes to fit your game. 

Campaign?  Two man games ANYTHING can become a campaign or adventure.  Make one up.  My 1st two man adventure, I had my traveling buddy having to stop at a old gothic mansion in mid nowhere due to a bad thunder storm, only to discover its host was a vampire.  We started the game near midnite and we actually had a thunderstorm for real.  I gave my friend goosebumps Playing. It was awesome.

Best to make your own, since all adventurE modules are designed for 4 players.
I had planned to do a two-person campaign with a friend a few years ago, but he ended up moving out of the area before we could start. He was going to play two characters, a defender and a striker, who were brothers. They were helping their father, a fallen paladin, complete his last quest before he died.

The big trick was in scaling the encounters. Lots of minions and a few formidable opponents. You have to be careful to not overwhelm the PCs. Doesnt mean you don't challenge them, but them only having the two attacks/actions versus a large group, you have to give them the ability to tactically withdraw or shift the battle.

I also remember alot of it was winter and rock terrain, which was going to play a large part in the encounters. Also, lots of healing potions and I think we'd talked about Action Points renewing each encounter, rather than just at milestones or long rests.

Again, I never got to run the game, but we believed it was doable.
All of this is very good advice; I'll only offer one more observations from my experience running 1-on-1 (something I do constantly for my wife, who is honestly the best D&D player I know).


Balance means nothing.


In a regular group game, most GMs (the good ones, I think) make sure that everyone is progressing in power and/or importance at about the same rate.  Sure, the fighter might be getting awesome magical swords that the monk can't enjoy, but the monk just got a personal invitation to train with a hidden master or something else that sounds cool.  It would be awful if one character severely outpaced the others in either level, resources, or significance to the plot.


When all you have is one player, all that goes out the window.


At the moment, I'm running a game for my wife, where she is playing a rogue/paladin (in Pathfinder, but I digress).  She gets the best of either class (BAB from Paladin, Reflex save from Rogue, etc), and has the class abilities from both.  This makes her crazy overpowered.  But you know what?  It just doesn't matter, because there is no other player there to feel like they're playing second fiddle.  Use a 1-on-1 game to go *nuts* with your ideas, because you don't need to load-balance for what the party can handle.


The same holds true for storyline.  My wife doesn't know it yet, but her character's backstory is a sham.  She thinks she's the firstborn daughter of a duke.  Not so.  She's was adopted, after she was found as an infant in a steampunk-style escape pod that had been jettesonned from an orbital space station (legends tell of floating cities in this world's ancient past.  It turns out that legends tell more truths than anyone realizes).  She's a sky princess, for lack of a better way of putting it.  As she begins her adventure, she encounters magic items that only work for her, as though she has some hidden energy source inside of her that no one else seems to have.  She recently discovered that she is immune, *totally immune* to death effects because of this energy she carries.  Eventually, she may find the secret of her origin, and head back up to the station to reclaim her birthright and free her people from the malevolent being that now rules over them, and who will attempt to use the weapon systems on the station to rule over the planet.

Does any of that make sense?  Only kind of.  But I know my player, and I know that, once the reveal is made, she's going to think it's awesome.  In the meantime she gets to wreck face with smite-enhanced sneak attacks, lay on hands to self-heal, and enough skill points to stealth around in platemail like she was born in it.

Go absolutely nuts, and remember that, as long as the two of you are having a great time, the rules can just go sit in the corner and be sad, for all you should care.   
It's an online game?
Why stop at 1 player? Surely you can easily find other people in other states that would be willing to pop in... 
Why limit it to the states? If you are playing online, people across the pond may be interested too.
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SpeakingDemon, I envy you. Playing with wife is awesome!  wonder what other roleplaying you two do besides table top..Surprised
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