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Guide on How to Play Dungeons and Dragons with One Player

by | Dec 6, 2023 | How To

Playing Dungeons and Dragons with just one player may seem unconventional, but it can offer many advantages over traditional group-based games. With this guide, you will learn how to create a thrilling solo adventure and enjoy the world of D&D on your own.

Key Takeaways:

  • Playing D&D with one player offers advantages such as ease of finding a single player and flexible scheduling.
  • When running a one-on-one game, let the player control two characters, use sidekick rules, and adjust combat encounters.
  • Adventure options designed for one-on-one play are available, such as Dragon of Icespire Peak and third-party creations from D&D Duet.
  • Solo play provides a unique experience, enhancing the connection between the player and the game.
  • Selecting published adventures and suitable character classes can enhance the solo gaming experience.

Advantages of Playing D&D with One Player

Playing Dungeons and Dragons with just one player offers a range of advantages that can enhance your gaming experience. Whether you prefer the freedom and flexibility of solo play or simply can’t gather a group, one-on-one D&D can be an exciting alternative. Here are some key advantages of playing D&D with one player:

Easier Player Assembly

When it comes to finding players, it’s often easier to locate a single willing participant than assembling a full group. With one player, you can quickly get started and dive into the world of D&D without the need to coordinate schedules or recruit additional people.

Flexible Scheduling

With only two people involved in the game, scheduling sessions becomes much more flexible. You can easily find a time that works for both you and your player, allowing for more frequent gameplay sessions and avoiding the challenges of coordinating multiple people’s availability.

Tailored Experience

In a one-on-one game, you have the opportunity to tailor the experience to the preferences of the player. This means you can focus on their preferred playstyle, character development, and storylines that align with their interests. The game becomes a personalized adventure, providing a heightened sense of immersion and satisfaction.

Faster Progression

With fewer players, one-on-one play allows for faster progression through the game’s material. Combat encounters and decision-making can be streamlined, resulting in an expedited gameplay experience. This can be particularly advantageous if you enjoy a faster-paced game that keeps the action flowing.

Sole Spotlight

In a solo game, the spotlight remains solely on the single main character. This means that their development, backstory, and choices receive undivided attention and focus. It allows for a deeper exploration of their motivations and character arc, leading to a more intimate and immersive experience.

Playing D&D with one player offers unique advantages that can make your gaming sessions more enjoyable and tailored to your preferences. From easier player assembly to faster progression and a personalized experience, solo play provides a rewarding and engaging way to experience the world of Dungeons and Dragons.

Tips for Running a One-On-One Game

Running a Dungeons and Dragons game with just one player can be a unique and rewarding experience. To ensure a successful solo adventure, here are some tips and strategies:

1. Let the player control two characters

One way to enhance the gameplay is by allowing the player to control two characters: a main character and a sidekick. The sidekick can provide support, add depth to the story, and make combat encounters more manageable.

2. Use sidekick rules or create simplified characters

For the sidekick character, you can either use the sidekick rules provided in official D&D sources or create a simplified version of a character. This helps balance the party dynamics and ensures that the player has assistance in various aspects of the game.

3. Have the player control the sidekick mechanically

During gameplay, the player should take control of the sidekick’s mechanical actions, such as rolling dice and managing abilities. As the Dungeon Master, you can focus on roleplaying the sidekick, bringing them to life and reacting to the player’s decisions.

4. Maintain a faster pace

In a one-on-one game, it’s important to keep the pace faster than in a group setting. This allows for more progression through the game’s material and keeps the player engaged. Avoid long periods of downtime and keep the action flowing.

5. Adjust combat encounters

Combat encounters need to be adjusted to account for the smaller party size. Consider reducing the number of enemies or adjusting their abilities to ensure that the battles remain challenging but manageable for the player. This helps maintain a balanced and enjoyable experience.

By following these tips and strategies, you can create a compelling and immersive solo D&D adventure for your player. Remember to tailor the game to their preferences and provide opportunities for character growth and development.

Adventures for One-On-One Play

Playing Dungeons and Dragons solo is an exciting experience that allows you to immerse yourself fully in the game world. To enhance your solo play, there are adventure options specifically designed for one-on-one play. One such adventure is Dragon of Icespire Peak from the D&D Essentials Kit. This thrilling solo adventure provides a well-crafted storyline and engaging challenges tailored for a single player. Additionally, third-party creators like D&D Duet offer a variety of solo adventures and valuable advice for navigating the world of solo play.

When selecting a solo adventure, it is important to choose one that aligns with your preferred playstyle and interests. Some adventures may focus more on combat encounters, while others emphasize exploration or intricate roleplaying scenarios. Reading through the adventure beforehand will give you a better understanding of the story and allow you to make informed decisions during gameplay.

Adventure Playstyle Rating
To Hell and Back Again Combat-focused 9/10
The Lost City Exploration-oriented 8/10
Rise of the Necromancer Roleplaying-intensive 7/10

These adventure options provide a range of experiences and cater to different playstyles. Whether you prefer epic battles, unraveling mysteries in ancient ruins, or engaging in deep character-driven narratives, there is an adventure out there that will fulfill your solo gaming desires. So, embark on a solo D&D adventure and let your imagination soar!

solo D&D adventure

The Unique Experience of Solo Play

Playing D&D solo provides a unique and immersive experience that allows you to fully delve into the world of tabletop RPGs on your own terms. As the sole player, you have complete control over your adventure, making every decision and facing every challenge solo. This level of intimacy with the game can create an incredibly deep connection between you and your character, resulting in a memorable and engaging experience.

Solo play also offers the opportunity to tackle the game’s challenges in a different way. Without the influence of other players, you can approach encounters and quests with your own strategy and tactics. Whether you prefer a stealthy rogue, a powerful spellcaster, or a skilled warrior, solo play allows you to fully explore the abilities and strengths of your chosen character.

“Playing D&D solo provides a unique and immersive experience that allows you to fully delve into the world of tabletop RPGs on your own terms.”

Additionally, playing D&D solo opens up the possibility of experiencing content specifically designed for one-on-one play. Solo adventures, such as “To Hell and Back Again,” offer tailored experiences that cater to the needs and preferences of a single player. These adventures often provide a more personal and focused storyline, ensuring that every moment of your solo play is thrilling and engaging.

Advantages of Solo Play Experience
Deep connection with your character Immersive and personal
Freedom to approach challenges with your own strategy Tactical and strategic gameplay
Access to specifically designed solo adventures Tailored and focused storytelling

Playing D&D solo allows you to embark on a unique adventure where you are the sole protagonist. With the freedom to make your own choices and experience the game at your own pace, solo play offers an unmatched level of autonomy and excitement. So, gather your dice and get ready to embark on a solo D&D adventure like no other.

solo D&D adventure

Adventure and Character Creation for Solo Play

When it comes to solo play in Dungeons and Dragons, selecting the right adventure can greatly enhance your gaming experience. One recommended adventure designed specifically for solo play is To Hell and Back Again. This thrilling adventure takes your character on a journey through the Nine Hells, battling demons and facing challenging encounters along the way. It offers a well-structured narrative with plenty of opportunities for character development and exploration.

Before diving into your solo adventure, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the adventure’s story and setting. Reading through the adventure module beforehand will give you a better understanding of the challenges and choices that lie ahead. It will also help you prepare your character, align their goals and motivations with the storyline, and make informed decisions throughout the game.

When creating a character for solo play, it’s important to choose a class that complements the nature of solo adventures. Classes like Warlocks, Paladins, Monks, Fighters, Rogues, and Bards can excel in solo play due to their versatility, survivability, and unique abilities. Consider their strengths, weaknesses, and playstyle to create a character that can overcome the challenges of a solo campaign.

Remember, the key to a successful solo adventure is tailoring it to your preferences as a player. Don’t be afraid to customize the adventure or introduce new elements that align with your character’s backstory and goals. With the right adventure selection and character creation, you’ll embark on an unforgettable solo journey in the world of Dungeons and Dragons.

Adventure and Character Creation for Solo Play

Table: Recommended Solo Adventures

Adventure Description
To Hell and Back Again A solo adventure that takes the player character on a perilous journey through the Nine Hells, battling demons and uncovering deep secrets.
Dragon of Icespire Peak An adventure from the D&D Essentials Kit that features optional rules for solo play. Embark on a quest to rid the land of dangerous dragons and earn glory.
Curse of Strahd: Solo Edition A solo adaptation of the iconic Curse of Strahd campaign. Face the horrors of Barovia and confront the vampire lord Strahd in a personal battle for survival.

“Playing solo allows you to fully immerse yourself in the world of Dungeons and Dragons, shaping the story to fit your desires and experiencing the thrill of personal triumphs and challenges.” – Dungeon Master’s Guide

Exploration in Solo Play

Exploring the vast and mysterious world of Dungeons and Dragons on your own can be a thrilling experience. In a solo D&D campaign, you have the freedom to chart your own course and uncover hidden treasures at your own pace. However, solo exploration can also present its own unique challenges. Here are some strategies to enhance your solo exploration in D&D:

Embrace Theater of the Mind

When playing solo, the use of theater of the mind can be particularly powerful. Visualize the landscapes, dungeons, and encounters in your mind’s eye, allowing your imagination to bring them to life. This approach adds depth and immersion to the game, as you rely on your mental imagery to navigate and interact with the world around you.

Utilize the “Right Hand Rule”

In solo exploration, navigating complex dungeons and mazes can be difficult without a party to rely on. To overcome this challenge, adopt the “right hand rule” strategy. Simply put, when exploring a maze or dungeon, always keep your right hand touching the wall. By consistently following this rule, you can ensure that you cover every area and avoid getting lost.

Use Adventure Encounter Order and Character Skills

Adventures designed for solo play often provide encounter orders that guide you through the story. Following this order can help you progress smoothly and encounter challenges in a balanced manner. Additionally, make sure to utilize your character’s skills effectively. When searching for secret doors or hidden passages, leverage skills like Perception or Investigation to increase your chances of success.

solo exploration in D&D

Exploring the world of Dungeons and Dragons solo can be a rewarding and immersive experience. By employing these strategies, you can navigate the vast landscapes, uncover hidden secrets, and embark on epic adventures all on your own.

Combat in Solo Play

Combat in solo play can be an exhilarating and strategic experience. Even with just one player, you can engage in thrilling battles and overcome challenging encounters. To make the most of solo D&D combat, consider the following tips:

  • Utilize theater of the mind: Visualize the combat scenarios in your imagination rather than relying solely on miniatures or grids. This allows for more dynamic and fluid battles.
  • Plan and strategize: Since you control both the main character and any sidekicks, you have the advantage of coordinating their actions. Take advantage of this by planning tactical moves and utilizing each character’s strengths.
  • Use resources for monster tactics: The Monsters Know What They’re Doing is a valuable resource that provides insights into how different monsters would behave in combat. Use this knowledge to your advantage, adjusting your strategies accordingly.

Additionally, online tools can streamline combat management in solo play. The Encounter Builder and Combat Tracker on D&D Beyond can help you keep track of initiative, monster statistics, and damage calculations, allowing for smoother and more efficient combat encounters.

Example of Solo Combat Encounter:

“You face off against a fearsome dragon, its scales glistening in the dim light of the cavern. Your main character, a skilled rogue, and their loyal sidekick, a powerful sorcerer, exchange glances before springing into action. As the dragon lunges forward, your rogue expertly dodges its jaws and retaliates with a swift strike from their enchanted dagger. The sorcerer follows suit, casting a devastating fireball that engulfs the dragon’s wings in flames. With each round of combat, you navigate the battlefield, calculating the best actions for both characters, and slowly but surely whittle down the dragon’s formidable health.”

Monster Health Points Armor Class Attack Bonus Damage
Dragon 200 18 +10 2d10+6
Rogue (Main Character) 75 15 +8 1d8+5
Sorcerer (Sidekick) 60 14 +6 2d6+4

In the example above, the combat encounter showcases the dynamic between the main character, their sidekick, and the formidable dragon. As the battle rages on, both characters collaborate to exploit the dragon’s weaknesses and emerge victorious.

Social Interaction in Solo Play

Solo play in Dungeons and Dragons can offer an engaging and immersive experience, allowing you to delve into the world of social interaction. While it may seem challenging to roleplay conversations with NPCs or engage in dialogue without a group, there are strategies that can enhance the social aspect of your solo D&D campaign.

Retconning Conversations

One technique you can employ is retconning conversations. This involves taking the time to think about previous interactions and adjusting them based on new information or choices you’ve made. By retconning conversations, you can ensure that your character’s responses align with their current motivations and story progression.

“Retconning conversations allows you to craft a more cohesive narrative for your character’s interactions, making them more meaningful and impactful,” says veteran solo player and D&D enthusiast. “It adds depth to the social aspect of the game and gives you the opportunity to explore different outcomes based on your character’s growth.”

Utilizing NPCs and Sidekicks

In a solo D&D campaign, NPCs and sidekicks can play a vital role in social interaction. NPCs can provide valuable information, quests, or engage in meaningful conversations, while sidekicks can serve as companions that accompany your main character on their adventures. By incorporating these characters into your gameplay, you can create dynamic interactions and make decisions based on different perspectives.

Additionally, scheduling a session where you take on the role of multiple characters can lead to more interesting dialogue and decision-making. This allows you to explore different personalities and motivations, ultimately enhancing the social aspect of your solo play.

In summary, solo play in Dungeons and Dragons offers a unique opportunity to explore social interaction in a more intimate setting. By retconning conversations, utilizing NPCs and sidekicks, and scheduling sessions with multiple characters, you can create engaging and meaningful social experiences within your solo D&D campaign.


Playing Dungeons and Dragons with one player offers a unique and rewarding gaming experience. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this guide, you will be able to create exciting solo adventures and fully enjoy the world of D&D on your own. Solo play can be just as engaging and immersive as group play, allowing you to dive deep into the story and make decisions that shape the outcome.

With the flexibility of scheduling, tailored gameplay, and the ability to focus solely on a single main character, you can create a solo D&D campaign that suits your preferences and style. Whether you prefer combat encounters, exploration, or social interactions, solo play allows you to fully immerse yourself in the world and enjoy the thrill of the game.

So, grab your dice and embark on a solo D&D adventure today. Experience the excitement, challenge, and satisfaction of conquering quests on your own terms. With the right mindset and creativity, playing D&D with one player can be an unforgettable journey that brings the world of fantasy to life.


What are the advantages of playing D&D with one player?

Playing D&D with one player offers easier player recruitment, flexible scheduling, tailored gameplay, faster progression, and a spotlight on the main character.

What tips can enhance running a one-on-one game?

Let the player control two characters, use sidekick rules, have the player control the sidekick mechanically, keep the pace fast, and adjust combat encounters.

Are there adventures specifically designed for one-on-one play?

Yes, adventures like Dragon of Icespire Peak from the D&D Essentials Kit and solo adventures from third-party creators like D&D Duet are available.

What makes solo play a unique experience?

Solo play offers a deep connection between the player and the game, as well as an intimate and challenging adventure.

How can I enhance the solo gaming experience with published adventures?

Selecting published adventures designed for solo play, like To Hell and Back Again, can enhance the solo gaming experience. Reading the adventure beforehand is advisable.

What classes work well in solo play?

Classes like Warlocks, Paladins, Monks, Fighters, Rogues, or Bards work well in solo play.

How can I navigate dungeons in solo play?

Relying on theater of the mind and using strategies like the “right hand rule” or following encounter order can help navigate dungeons. Secret doors can be treated as generally discovered with the appropriate character skills.

How can I handle combat in solo play?

Utilize theater of the mind for combat scenarios and make use of resources like The Monsters Know What They’re Doing for monster tactics. Tools like the Encounter Builder and Combat Tracker on D&D Beyond can streamline combat management.

How can I enhance social interaction in solo play?

Allow time to think about interactions, retconning conversations, and utilize NPCs or sidekicks to enhance the social aspect. Scheduling sessions with multiple characters can lead to more interesting dialogue and decision-making.

What is the conclusion of playing D&D with one player?

Playing D&D with one player offers a unique and rewarding gaming experience that can be just as engaging and immersive as group play.