Despite a special thanks from the creator, I had nothing to do with the creation of Shipwrecked! Blaise reached out to me prior to writing this solo adventure for advice and I was able to point him towards some examples of solo D&D resources I consider to be iconic (from authors Paul Bimler and Ashley Warren). Blaise passed along a copy of this solo adventure to me not as a request for review, but as a token of gratitude. Nonetheless, I think solo D&D is an under-appreciated form that is all too relevant these with COVID-19 cases on the rise. You don’t have to resign yourself to only playing with family members in your household or via some virtual tabletop to keep yourself and your loved ones safe in a pandemic. You can go it alone.
I’m not sure I need to explain in detail how solo D&D works. It’s actually as simple as it sounds. You run a session for yourself, by yourself. You roll for your character(s) and you also adjudicate the rolls that would normally be handled by the Dungeon Master.
Blaise created a wonderful adventure with Shipwrecked! that quickly became a best-seller as well as spawned two sequels (part 2 is also already a best-seller). It’s brief and, aside from bringing a character if you choose to, there is no prep time required. If you find yourself with a couple of hours of free time you can jump right in and play a fun adventure wherein you awaken on a deserted island and search for a way to escape it.
Depending on how you like your D&D, I concede that solo adventures may not be for everyone. If you love the collaborative story-telling and social interactions of group play, you will miss that not just here but in all solo adventures I’ve done. Additionally, if you enjoy playing your character across several adventures and campaigns to create a compelling biography, it’s more challenging to do so with solo adventures. But I contend it isn’t entirely impossible. You just lose the aforementioned benefit of little to no prep time. But if your style of play involves long-running story arcs, then prep time isn’t really a burden, is it?
- fast-playing with no prep-work necessary
- comes with a pre-generated character whose inventory and abilities are carefully considered for this adventure
- bringing a pre-existing, or new, character into this adventure may give you continuity issues if you have grand plans for said character