Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Solo GPC: Two Years On

Two years ago today, inspired by ChicagoWiz's late, lamented blog posts about solo D&D sessions with his wife, I outlined my own ambitious plans to tackle the Great Pendragon Campaign with my wife as solo PC. Although 2011 saw a less packed schedule than 2010, the grand old campaign is still rolling along. This year saw the death of Des's first character, Sir Herringdale, after an epic 30-year career span and the arc of Herringdale's daughter, Lady Meleri.

The Meleri adventures were always intended as a bit of an experiment; how would I fare as a GM, presenting adventures that did not center around combat (indeed, that rarely featured combat at all) and focused more on inter-personal relationships, social climbing and status, and other such "out of genre" activities?

Looking back, I'd have to say that I struggled. RPGs tend to take two elements as a given: combat and the supernatural. Running a campaign that featured very little of either was definitely a challenge, all the more so for doing it with a single player. Still, all in all the Meleri arc was a success and we definitely added some memorable moments and stories to the unfolding canon.

It might have been partly due to the challenge inherent in the departure from the normal Pendragon game  structure that slowed me down, but this year's reduced schedule (advancing the timeline a mere 10 years compared to 2010's 30) was also down to several real life interruptions and (more significantly) the happy development of finally getting together a solid, reliable face-to-face gaming group. There's only so much gaming time to go around, and the priority largely went to the group.

Having said that, my main gaming resolution for 2012 is to finish the GPC. We're exactly halfway through, chronologically speaking. With 40 game years to go, this is doable with weekly sessions; we even have 12 weeks worth of wiggle room to account for skipped weeks or multi-session years (of which there are bound to be at least a couple).

As it happens, we'll be starting off the new year with a new character. I'll save the details for the next session report, but here's a teaser in the form of a Christmas gift I gave to Des; like last year, I painted up a miniature of her character, this time in the form of Lady Meleri. Her fate and the reason for the entry of a brand new character at this point can be gleaned from the caption on the base...

Miniature from the excellent Thunderbolt Mountain "Arthurians" range
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