Is it possible to play D&D 5e solo?
Is it at all possible to run a solo game where you act as the DM/GM for yourself? I know there was a 4th edition adventure published in an old issue of one of the D&D magazines but recently I read somewhere (Reddit I think) that the games Outbreak: Undead and Eclipse phase were good games to play solo.
Can anyone with experience with running a game of D&D 5e for themselves explain how to do so?
This may be related (4e): How do I get started playing Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition by myself?
Yes, you can run a solo campaign for yourself!
Now, that answer comes with some quick side notes. I am not sure about the reference you gave, however will offer some of my own in its place. I should note this strikes me as similar to playing as a party's NPC.
Reasons to Solo
- Learn the game. I have seen a number of my friends play solo campaigns with the express purpose of learning how to play the game. The D&D 5e playtests, new campaigns, and so forth are good examples. Typically they will play though it once (using either a single character or multiple) and take it as a chance to learn the game, while following the outlined rules.
- Test builds. Something I enjoy personally is testing how well a build works in combat. You can do this by simply playing a game by yourself and seeing how it functions in real life situations.
- You can do what you want to do, always. No party vote to decide which door to take, or which direction to go. Its always nice having 100% freedom to do what you want with your character(s).
- Look for campaigns that are pre-made, this provides for the best story related experience (since obviously any story you come up with is rather ruined since you know it from the beginning).
- Role-playing really has no significant use anymore.
- It is sometimes time consuming to have to roll/act for everyone.
- If the campaign is pre-built, these problems are vastly mitigated (since situations/scenarios happen automatically). However, if you have to build it yourself, the surprise factor is gone.
I would recommend using a pre-built campaign if you are looking for some fun time investments. Just play by the campaigns rules/settings and it should make for an excellent time. Also, random is what you probably want to do. Say you enter a dungeon, randomize everything from the number of rooms, to traps you might find, to even the monsters/items you encounter. The DMG has a lot of rules pertaining to how to randomize your campaign - I highly recommend using them (both for a solo campaign and general use).
> "Role-playing really has no significant use anymore." I can't agree. Even playing solo you'll be able to make decisions based on your character alignment or background. Even if it is just a random fight you might be legal or cruel in combat and choose between kill an incapacitated target or allow them to live and prepare defences for other ones.