Saturday, July 5, 2014

Solo and Lone Hero D&D Adventures? A party of one...

I woke up this morning wondering if there were many solo D&D adventures. I'm talking about one-on-one or head-to-head style one player and the DM type adventures. Turns out there were, though finding them wasn't the easiest. There are also apparently a number of solo-as-in-D&D-solitaire adventures: I suspect the first 7-ish on the list are really D&D solitaire, and the others are head-to-head, one-on-one, or lone-hero ones. But here's the list I've found:

Actual solo/solitaire D&D modules:
  • Ghost of Lion Castle (BSOLO)
  • Mystery of the Snow Pearls (CM5, red viewer)*
  • Blizzard Pass (MSOL1, invisible ink)*
  • Maze of the Riddling Minotaur (MSOL2, Invisible Ink)*
  • Midnight on Dagger Alley (MV1, red viewer)*
  • Lathan's Gold (XSOLO)
  • Thunderdelve Mountain (XS2)
One player + DM modules:
  • The Gem and the Staff (O1, Thief 8)
  • Blade of Vengeance (O2, Elf 7)
  • Eye of the Serpent (UK5, Ranger/Druid/Monk + 3NPCs)
  • Fighter's Challenge (HHQ1)
  • Wizard's Challenge (HHQ2)
  • Thief's Challenge (HHQ3)
  • Cleric's Challenge (HHQ4)
  • Fighter's Challenge II (HHQ5)
  • Wizard's Challenge II (HHQ6)
  • Thief's Challenge II: Beacon Point (HHQ7)
  • Cleric's Challenge II (HHQ8)
The ones marked with an asterisk look like bad options: they use either a gimmicky red plasic "magic viewer" or an invisible-ink revealing marker, and also aren't on Not all the others are on D&D Classics either: the modules in italics do seem to be available in pdf format though. So not all of these are really out there as options, but maybe the BSOLO and XSOLOs will show up eventually, though I suspect these are really solitaire adventures (Cover images are easy to find online, but not the back cover or first page where you'd find this info). The gimmicky ones might be harder to track down and/or missing the vital gimmicky component on the second hand market. Obvious potential problems if things are already revealed or marked up or just plain inaccessible.

Some of these predictably use a pre-generated character (not uncommon for older D&D modules, especially coming from tournament play), or a small set of classes (e.g. Wizard's Challenge, etc.). 

Given the HHQ series in AD&D 2nd Edition, there's actually a reasonable looking array of these adventures on paper. Unfortunately, the reviews of these things are sparse and nonexistent, and most people who are even proficient reviewers for old school modules might not have much experience with solo adventures.

As far as I can tell this is a comprehensive list of published TSR adventures. Since the wikipedia List of Dungeons and Dragons Modules doesn't go past the year 2000, there may be 3rd or 4th edition stuff. I know there was one truly solo 4e adventure in the D&D Insider nonsense: as in one player without a DM. The 4e Red Box apparently had a couple "solo" adventures which seem to be to get the DM to learn the rules, and there's a Dragon magazine followup solo adventure to those ones. But there could be some later edition stuff or Dungeon adventures that I missed.

Expeditious Retreat Press published a number of 3.5/Pathfinder one-on-one adventures. It looks like the compendium updated the 3.5 adventures to Pathfinder, and they seem like the next reasonable place to look for one-PC D&D.

Also, there may be some modules/adventures like Beyond the Crystal Cave which have very little emphasis on combat: this type of module could essentially be a solo module too, but I'd have to look into it in detail.

[Update: a bit more info in part 2. Also check out the comments below.]


  1. I think the two "EX" modules, Dungeonland and The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror could also make good solo adventures.

    Though I've run a few 2 player 1 GM games, I haven't run any one-on-one games. I've found that mostly it just requires smaller numbers of enemies and/or making sure the players have 2 PCs and/or a multi-classed PC that gives them a nice array of options and/or if they're just a since class being mindful of the challenges they will find both challenging and achievable.

    1. I feel like we tried a one-on-one Mage game back in the day.

      I'm less keen on the solution that small groups just get hirelings or play two characters each. It looks like that's a solution some of these modules use... I think the gestalt rules from 3.5 ( might help as well giving players (the player?) a few more actions.

      I bet it might be a good chance for classes that summon, animate, or otherwise get companions, like druids, rangers, necromancers, or conjurers. That's at least a little more story-oriented, though a particularly charismatic character might naturally have followers too. "Normal" D&D rules (and 4e in particular) seem to really demand the 4-person party, but I was wondering if smaller groups might allow for some of the marginalized or otherwise wonky stuff to shine (evil characters, thieves/rogues/assassins, necromancers and death priests, one class parties, etc.).

  2. There is also:

    9387 Sword and Shield 1–3 John Terra 1992 Thunder Rift setting. Introductory adventure

    9435 Rage of the Rakasta 2–4 William W. Connors 1993 Thunder Rift setting. Can be played as a sequel to Quest for the Silver Sword or as a stand-alone.


    Also there is the 1 on 1 compendium for Pathfinder which has a series of 11 solo adventures for various levels.

  3. There is also this one although not an official publication:

  4. and another.... I keep posting them because you were right they are not easy to find and anyone searching will probably stumble upon this page :)

    GL0 The Haunted Tower

  5. Also by playing around with the url in the one above there is this one:

  6. While this one isn't strictly a one-on-one module reading this comprehensive review the reviewer suggests that after playing it several times he considers it better played as such.

  7. Nice work, Anonymous. Not sure if you noticed there's a part 2:

  8. I didn't post the link in the last message because I went in via the page "index of" so I didn't think they were legal but it seems that it is.

    There are thousands of magazines here:

    Probably many more solos in them.

  9. For some reason it didn’t post this last time, it must have been confusing with the last Anonymous post, I shall try again.

    I hit the mother lode this time Dungeon Magazine has lots of solo adventures. Below are the ones I have downloaded and confirmed. I used this site for reference, it has brief descriptions of the games.
    This site: has all the magazines.

    Note the first site only covers the first 71 of the 202 issues so there are probably many more solos in the other issues but I haven’t checked those.

    I did realise there was another page thanks but only after I had posted, I don’t think I doubled up on anything though apart from the Pathfinder Compendium.
    I am currently running one of the modules in the compendium as a pbp and converting L2: The Assassin’s Knot for another Pathfinder solo.
    I think with all of the ones below my search for more material is over, hopefully this list will prove useful to others.

    Issue #1: ELVEN HOME, THE D&D adventure, 1-4 characters of levels 1-3
    Issue #7:NIGHTSHADE AD&D adventure, 1-4 characters of levels 1-3
    Issue #12: AT THE SPOTTLE PARLOR D&D adventure, 1-3 characters of levels 2-4
    Issue #22: TOMB IT MAY CONCERN AD&D adventure, for a paladin of level 4-6
    Issue #28: NIGHT OF FEAR D&D adventure, for a single 1st-level character any class
    Issue #29 :MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD AD&D adventure, 1-6 characters of levels 1-4
    Issue #30: ELMINSTER'S BACK DOOR AD&D FORGOTTEN REALMS adventure, for characters of any level
    Issue #30: WRASTLE WITH BERTRUM, A AD&D adventure, 1-8 characters of levels 2+
    Issue #35:WHALE, THE AD&D SideTrek adventure, 1-4 characters of levels 1-3
    Issue #39 :FLOWFIRE AD&D SPELLJAMMER adventures, characters of levels 5-9 (any party size any class)
    Issue #39:ULRICH MONASTERY, THE AD&D adventure, one cleric PC of levels 5-6
    Issue #43: JACOB'S WELL AD&D adventure, one character of levels 2-4 (any class)
    Issue #45:GRITZEL'S GUIDANCE AD&D SideTrek adventure, one character of level 9+ (warrior or priest)
    Issue #47: WHEN THE LIGHT GOES OUT AD&D adventure, one priest PC of 1st level
    Issue #48: SLEEPING DRAGON* AD&D COUNCIL OF WYRMS adventure, one dragon PC
    Issue #49: HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW AD&D adventure, one PC fighter or rogue level 1
    Issue #51: NBOD'S ROOM* AD&D adventure, designed for one PC of level 4-5 (any class)
    Issue #53: SPELLBOOK MASQUERADE AD&D adventure, one wizard PC of levels 3-5
    Issue #54 : EYES OF THE ICEBORN AD&D SideTrek adventure, one wizard or priest PC of level 4-7
    Issue #58: BAD BATCH OF BROWNIES, A AD&D adventure, one druid PC of levels 1-3
    Issue #62: GHOST AT WIDDER SMITHER'S, THE AD&D adventure, for 1-4 characters of levels 1-3

    Solo only no DM Reqd:

    Issue #9:DJINNI'S RING, THE D&D Solo adventure, level 3 elf character
    Issue #12: SCEPTRE OF THE UNDERWORLD AD&D Solo adventure, level 12 human fighter
    Issue #20: WHITE FANG AD&D Solo adventure, level 10 human thief

  10. Don't know if they meet your criteria for a solo module, but TSR put out a series of books back in the day called "Catacombs Solo Adventures"

    They were large format, Choose Your Awn Adventure/Fighting Fantasy, style books with a bookmark/character sheet and dice needed to be rolled. That website has a download for one of the adventures, Gnomes 100, Dragons 0:

    On that note, would the Fighting Fantasy books qualify as solo adventures? You had a basic character sheet and you needed to roll dice...

    1. Yeah, those sound like solo adventures to me. I was really interested in the one-on-one type game when I made this post, but there's a bit of overlap between the notions.

  11. As this is apparently one of my most searched for posts, these things also have been called "duets". Advice on running games with one player can be found here:

  12. Just wanted to say guys that this is an excellent wee resource! Been hunting the t'internet for a good while with nothing really fitting the bill. I'm looking for both one-on-ones AND solo play by myself and i'm really struggling to find anything by way of printed adventures.

    Glad i found a place where the information is all collated nicely. So i just wanted to say thanks. (",)

    As an added caveat, once i started searching titles i noticed the pdfs were all on one site. i found all of the above mentioned at:

    Hope you find it useful.

    Keep up the good work buddy. And my thanks again.