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OSR Solo

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OSR Solo rules

These rules are intended to allow you to play an OSR, in this case meaning 0D&D, B/X style games, without a Dungeon Master.

The game you will get using these rules will be a sandbox style adventure, you will not need to do any Dungeon Master [DM] style preparation although having a few stock NPCs or appropriate level would be helpful.

No DM?

The normal cycle of play is that the DM describes the scene and asks what do you do? The players describe their actions. The DM describes the effects of those actions and the cycle repeats.

In solo play there is just the single character and no DM. You start by imagining your character in the game setting and play them through all the social interactions, all the NPCs and events that would normally come up. At some point you will reach a point where you would normally ask your DM for more information. Are there any guards? Are there any ways out? What can you hear? At this point the solo rules come into play. You pitch your question in a Yes/No format. The solo rules will then return an answer to your question much like a Magic 8 Ball toy. It is then down to you and your improv. skills to decide what does this answer mean right now? Often the first thing that comes into your head is the answer to go with.

If you just got yes and no answers things would get boring quite quickly. These rules are designed to throw up twists and turns into your character’s story.

Solo is a perfect way to learn a new game, test your first adventures and going beyond just making characters when you are first getting to know the rules.




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Reviews (2)
Discussions (6)
Customer avatar
Michael M April 26, 2021 12:11 pm UTC
This is a neat resource to actualy create modules too!
Customer avatar
Daniel M January 27, 2021 10:51 pm UTC
Hello there! so far I've had a fun time using the solo rules and it help me give the games a bit more structure. Though something that might arise is why would combat be resolved? does it have to keep it all simple and less overwhelming? sometimes i have a hard with that whenever i just possibly end up with a combat scenario. Unless that is to be normal if using the RPG system and much of its mechanics. Another thought too, if reaction rolls are dealt with from an RPG system. the rules in OSR Solo have it where you can have friendlies or foes. it could be possible to use the oracle and not the reaction roll from an RPG?
Customer avatar
Peter R January 28, 2021 8:10 am UTC
You can turn smaller fights into single oracle rolls. If you come across a one or two creatures and you do not want to run a full combat you asked how likely you are to win a fight against these? Once you know the likelihood, you can ask the oracle, do you defeat them. You will get one of the yes-no answers and that will tell you how the fight went. You can if you want incorporate a reaction or morale roll with that. If the fight went badly, and they failed their morale check, they may have escaped you and run off to sound the alarm, if the fight went well (yes or yes, and...) you could have slain them or captured them.
Fast combats like this stop battles slowing the flow of the game. You can play out the really important battles in full.
In OSR games, in my experience, it is much more important to avoid unnecessary fights. Use the oracle to see if there is any cover to hide behind to avoid fighting guards for example. OSR characters are a lot less invincible than 5e characters, for example.
Customer avatar
Daniel M January 28, 2021 9:36 pm UTC
Ah I see, this definitely helps a bunch to when combat ever start/stop, thank you.
Customer avatar
Patrick B September 22, 2020 10:30 pm UTC
The preview for this shows the OSR horror rather than OSR fantasy
Customer avatar
Peter R September 23, 2020 3:40 pm UTC
I have tried fixing this repeatedly, but have resorted to contacting Publisher Services as I cannot get this fullsize preview to work. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Customer avatar
Patrick D April 18, 2020 12:08 am UTC
A great, lean and compact guide to play my stacks of old RPGs!

Question for Peter RB: How do scenes fit into playing a published module? I was under the impression that your guide allowed to play published modules (in their own rules system) by following the storyline nearly verbatim, but scenes allow "...skipping a block of time..." and "...pick the scenes you want to play..." and "...pick the most exciting scenes..." That sounds more like creating one's own modules or sections (designing on the fly). While that's great for player and character agency, doesn't that distort the intent of the module? For example, if I'm playing (AD&D 1E) DL1 Dragons of Despair, and I don't feel like playing the encounter with Kisanth in Xak Tsaroth, then (according to the Scenes section) I don't have to. But this kinda throws the storyline into chaos (Yeah, I know, my OCD is showing a bit, eh?)

All in all, I love the simple approach of this guide. I've a mind to try it...See more
Customer avatar
Peter R April 18, 2020 2:12 pm UTC
Running a module solo is easy to do, but lengthy to explain.
Take a look at
Working on the principle that for every one person who asks, 99 people didn't, I have added the guidance to the main document. If you make sure you are getting the email updates from PPM, you will get an email telling you when the rules have been updated.
Customer avatar
Patrick D April 19, 2020 2:55 pm UTC
Thanks Peter, I understand a bit more now. I get your point. Still a bit different from my expectations (of playing a published module nearly verbatim), but I suspect it's a journey I'll have to experience myself and will likely end up with a method that comes close to yours. Quite true that everyone plays solo differently and in their own way.
Customer avatar
Peter R April 19, 2020 3:09 pm UTC
Some modules are more role-play heavy and some, like B2 are more dungeon crawling. I haven't played DL1 so I don't know it.
Regarding ASOIAF, I was talking to Green Ronin about solo rules dedicated to the game when they lost the rights. You can use these rules with any game, as you suggest, but as a licensed property I cannot sell these as compatible with that game.
Customer avatar
Joel C December 24, 2019 3:18 pm UTC
Excellent work! OSR solo has quickly became one of my favorite tools to use for solo adventuring
Customer avatar
Peter R December 24, 2019 5:18 pm UTC
Thank you, the feedback is greatly appreciated.
Customer avatar
Stephen Michael P July 11, 2019 7:51 pm UTC
Did you intend to put the whole text in the preview?
Customer avatar
Peter R July 11, 2019 8:15 pm UTC
Yes, I wanted anyone interested to actually see exactly what they are getting and the logic behind the design decisions I had made.
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This title was added to our catalog on July 11, 2019.