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  1. #1
    Minty23185Fresh's Avatar
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    Solo Play and Revealing/Populating the Map

    Im trying my hand at Solo Play. A question or two for those Fantasy Grounds Solo Players out there. I know there are at least a few.

    Im playing WotC modules, Adventurers League and Big Book. How do you go about showing the map? And placing the combatants?

    For Adventurers League modules its rarely difficult. The maps are typically single area, like a room or cavern, combat maps. But for something like Princes of the Apocalypse, or Tomb of Annihilation, the maps are multi-room. Sometimes, multi-level. Theres not much facility in FG to help one expose only the pertinent portion of the map, so as not to spoil the next several weeks of game time.
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  2. #2
    damned's Avatar
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    There really isnt a good option here Minty

    The modules havent been setup with Solo play in mind.

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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Minty23185Fresh View Post
    I’m trying my hand at Solo Play. A question or two for those Fantasy Grounds Solo Players out there. I know there are at least a few.

    I’m playing WotC modules, Adventurers League and “Big Book”. How do you go about showing the map? And placing the combatants?

    For Adventurers League modules it’s rarely difficult. The maps are typically single area, like a room or cavern, combat maps. But for something like Princes of the Apocalypse, or Tomb of Annihilation, the maps are multi-room. Sometimes, multi-level. There’s not much facility in FG to help one expose only the pertinent portion of the map, so as not to spoil the next several weeks of game time.
    I set up the map on the GM side and then connect with a player session on a second instance. I try to play honest as best I can. If it is homebrew, to help with combat I use random encounter tables. For prepared content, I just don't read ahead and read through the situation. Think of it as like a narrator telling the audience what is happening and you playing as the unknowing hero. Treat it like interactive fiction when going through those defined modules. You are reading through the book and then the character reacts to the situation.

    Solo play for me is about playing both sides and getting the story out of the play. It's not about winning or losing. I have lost a ton of heroes in solo play cause of unforeseen events due to random rolls. It adds the charm to the play that the next character may stumble across my old character's corpse. Course most of my solo play is theater of the mind. It works faster and better for the situation as you can see the combat in your mind. I feel maps kinda bog down solo play unless you wish to use it as an overhead map and use a group token to keep track of your movements through it. Combat for me is better served as a theater of the mind endeavor to keep the story moving along. So my advice is use maps more as a overview of what the character sees. Set it up (if not already there) and then try to forget about it. So in a way FG has a ton to offer especially if the LOS is already setup for modules like that. It's a different style of play when working through adventures already setup. Homebrew I think you can just forgo the maps entirely.
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  4. #4
    Minty23185Fresh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by damned View Post
    There really isnt a good option here Minty

    The modules havent been setup with Solo play in mind.
    Thank you damned, I knew this, just needed a guru to confirm it.

    So, if I understand you correctly, what you’re hinting at, is that I need to write another extension. Is that about right?

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you’ve said:
    1) maps need to be opaque masked from the get-go in the GM instance
    2) when NPC combatants are added to the map using the predefined encounter (if it was originally set up in module) they need to be visible through the opaque mask
    3) I can then incrementally expose area around the NPCs to the dimensions of the room or wherever they are. And add the heroes.

    How’d I do? Was I listening well enough?
    Current Projects:
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    Player: Curse of Strahd
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    Tutorial Blog Series: "A Neophyte Tackles the FG Extension".

  5. #5
    damned's Avatar
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    I wasnt suggesting that but if you can make an extension to enhance solo play I bet it would be well received.

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  6. #6
    Minty23185Fresh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by damned View Post
    I wasnt suggesting that but if you can make an extension to enhance solo play I bet it would be well received.
    Just heckling you...
    It seems to be what I do, look for reasons to, and then write extensions.
    Current Projects:
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    Player: Curse of Strahd
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    Extensions: Bardic Inspiration, Druid Wild Shapes, Local Dice Tower, Library Field Filters
    Tutorial Blog Series: "A Neophyte Tackles the FG Extension".

  7. #7
    Minty23185Fresh's Avatar
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    Thanks superteddy57. In my very limited experience running Solo, it’s amazing to me how closely I parallel your suggested methods of play: complete honesty w.r.t. PCs and NPCs, and the situations they’re in, as well as incremental reading to avoid spoilers.

    I’ve found sections like the module “Overview”, “Background” , and “Hooks” are often major contributors to spoilers. Fortunately for me I am a really slow and methodical reader anyway. I read a few lines, and ask myself, “Do the heroes need to react to this?” If not read a few more.

    Your suggestion of foregoing maps completely is a good one. The whole combat theater is in only one mind anyway, mine. It would be a good exercise for this tired old brain of mine. If I find this too difficult I can play it out on a blank image, and marvel at the detailed map later.

  8. #8
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    I haven't done solo play in a few decades, but I wouldn't worry about revealing the whole map in advance. It doesn't necessarily tell you a whole lot if you don't have the story details to go with it. Yes you have to deal with secret doors and traps. Maybe you can setout (written or in your head) standard things the characters do so that you know if they would search for something or not. Or maybe setup a random table when you encounter a secret.. I rolled a 67 and that says that "Character is oblivious to danger, but is dancing with their ten foot pole. Secrets in the floor are detected."

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    I haven't done solo play in a few decades, but I wouldn't worry about revealing the whole map in advance. It doesn't necessarily tell you a whole lot if you don't have the story details to go with it. Yes you have to deal with secret doors and traps. Maybe you can setout (written or in your head) standard things the characters do so that you know if they would search for something or not. Or maybe setup a random table when you encounter a secret.. I rolled a 67 and that says that "Character is oblivious to danger, but is dancing with their ten foot pole. Secrets in the floor are detected."
    Dealing with secrets can be a breeze. I still believe you have to figure out when to be GM and when to be player in solo play and this is one of those situations. If the GM side knows there is a secret of some sort then I would force a roll to decide if the character sees it or not. Rolls are supposed to fill in the gaps and answer the questions you have. Does the character see the hidden knife in under the cloak? Character rolls investigation and I assign a DC based on the standard how difficult scale. If the character succeeds, the story continues with allowing you to decide how the character found it. If not, then the story continues with the character unaware and onto the next decision for the character. I use what the system gives me to complete the story and help answer questions.
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  10. #10
    damned's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    I haven't done solo play in a few decades, but I wouldn't worry about revealing the whole map in advance. It doesn't necessarily tell you a whole lot if you don't have the story details to go with it. Yes you have to deal with secret doors and traps. Maybe you can setout (written or in your head) standard things the characters do so that you know if they would search for something or not. Or maybe setup a random table when you encounter a secret.. I rolled a 67 and that says that "Character is oblivious to danger, but is dancing with their ten foot pole. Secrets in the floor are detected."
    If writing your own adventure then dont build a full map - just use rooms.
    But I think that Minty is referencing playing store bought material.

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