I’ve played a bunch of games with 1 player and 1 GM and have really enjoyed them.
The characters develop and change so quickly; it is amazing.
Belief, Instinct, Trait, Humor and even Right Skill, Right Time are pretty easy. It is when we get down to Embodiment, Moldbreaker, Workhorse and MVP. Those are the tough ones.
Moldbreaker, now that I think about, isn’t that tough. Those moments when a character pivots and the GM has pushed on their Beliefs to the point where something tangible and foundational about the character changes. It comes not only from the GM pushing on the character’s beliefs but also in the player writing brave beliefs that offer situations that might change their character forever and push the game into totally unknown territory.
Last game Aaron’s character had a big one. He is a Marshal for a king’s northern army and as a leader, he’s shown a stern, stony face with only slight moments of humor and emotion. I would have never questioned his loyalty to his king.
Then he wrote a belief about reaching out to a former Marshal, Gondegal, who turned rebel and tried to hold one of the king’s cities with his own forces. When his hired mercenaries fled without any battle, he fled into the northern Stonelands, the very lands Aaron’s character, Boinn, is responsible for taming.
- It is only a matter of time before the Zhents contact Gondegal. I will reach out to him first.
The Zhents are an evil group of slavers who would likely reach out to Gondegal, wanting his skills and knowledge, getting him to lead their own army. The wording was so interesting to me. It wasn’t about bringing in a traitor but reaching out to a colleague. He brought Gondegal in but promised that if the king went to take his head he’d stand up for him.
For a second I thought Boinn was going to turn against the king.
It wasn’t a DoW (but perhaps should’ve been?). We had Boinn make an ob 5 Persuasion and Aaron threw every bit of Artha into getting that obstacle met.
It was a clear Moldbreaker moment. Boinn went into a direction that surprised both of us at the table, talking to an enemy officer, a traitor to his king and the traitor’s logic made sense - we could both feel Boinn considering it.
When we’re looking for Moldbreaker moments we’re asking, “Did the character evolve beyond their initial concept, forging into unknown territory in a way that surprised everyone at the table?”
Embodiment is an easy one with a group because it isn’t just the GM’s decision with more players at the table. The players can say, “Wow, you really played the hell out of that moment. I think X deserves a Personna for Embodiment.”
With just one player it feels like I’m judging some kind of performance.
Embodiment, Workhorse and MVP might have to be jettisoned for one GM/one player campaigns. Should something replace them?