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DM Yourself - solo roleplay for 5e, D&D and OSR adventures
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DM Yourself - solo roleplay for 5e, D&D and OSR adventures

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Welcome to DM Yourself – a guide for soloing existing adventures/campaigns written for Fifth Edition (5e), other editions of D&D or OSR. The system enables you to play these adventures with a single character, as close to the way they are written as possible. The aim is to allow players to enjoy these adventures solo with the minimum of preparation, work or additional rules, and maximum immersion. The guide includes:

  • How to Prepare for the Adventure – Increasing the PC’s power without making them invincible, putting in safeguards and rebalancing the action economy for a single PC, setting up default behaviours and choosing a difficulty level.

  • How to Read the Adventure – When to skim-read and when to deep-read, where to start and what to skip (and when to come back to it), how to avoid spoilers (but not get hung up about them), and using flashbacks.

  • How to Play the Adventure – How to act as your own GM, using immersive roleplaying rather than reading-with-dice, dealing with maps and using fog-of-war, making binding decisions and using hindsight to help you deal with secrets, traps and hidden treasure, how to run encounters and a simple AI for enemy behaviour, and interacting with NPCs.

  • …and lots more in the Appendices – a minimal DC Oracle system, pages of extended Immersion Tables and AI Combat Tactics tables, guides to soloing several of the most popular 5e adventures, how to adapt DM Yourself to other systems, and quick reference sheets.

DM Yourself was developed with the support of over 500 backers on Kickstarter, and includes all of the stretch goals from that campaign.

It’s going to be an exciting journey, so let’s get started…


 
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Reviews (5)
Discussions (8)
Customer avatar
Antonio W June 19, 2021 10:51 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Love this book. After months of using this I can confidently say its the only Solo resource that, after first read, I don't feel there is another layer of book-keeping. Just some guidelines to be remembered. The only criticism i have is on the POD, whilst it looks lovely, the font is far too small for the book format. I would even purchase it again if the font was larger. Aside from that, this is THE resource for soloing modules.
Customer avatar
Roger P June 19, 2021 9:56 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I would like to know if DM Yourself would work with Adventures in Middle Earth. Someone tried?
Customer avatar
Antonio W June 19, 2021 11:01 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I feel this could be applied to any module of any system it terms of the overall concepts. Of course the are other system agnostic solo resources out there, but for pre-written modules, this is maybe the best one in my opinion.
Just adapt the "super pc" rules to the other system and you're set.
Customer avatar
Roger P June 21, 2021 8:03 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks Antonio. I noticed in AiME's published adventures the text to be readen aloud for the players isn't boxed nor reamarked, and this setting includes new rules quite different to 5e edition core (travels, audiences, etc.). So it seems AiME's adventures are more difficult to adapt to DMless playing that the WoTC's D&D ones, or those published by Goodman Games, for example. I believe, like you, they can be played solo and DMless following DM Yourself method, but I am interested to know if something have tried before and his/her impressions, advices, etc. Anyway I expect to play an AiME adventure solo before too long, and, if I think there is something worth remarking, I will share here my impressions.
Customer avatar
Robert W April 03, 2021 5:29 pm UTC
I had a question with number or characters.
How does this work for a person who uses 2 or 3 generated characters?
Do you use the same charts for each character or is this a true solo...one generated character??
Thanks in advance.
Customer avatar
Tom S April 03, 2021 7:42 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hey Robert,
The recommendation in DM Yourself is that you use 1 PC and 1 Sidekick. Two reasons for this: firstly, it's more immersive to be playing a single PC that's your character, just like in non-solo D&D; secondly, as PCs get to higher level there can be the issue of "analysis paralysis" as you try to work out the optimal combo of moves/abilities/spells that 2 higher level PCs are capable of....the good thing about a Sidekick only having a (relatively) small set of things they can do, is that their choice of action is usually pretty straightforward. I found even with 2 PCs, combat could take a *long* time as I tried to work out the best moves.
BUT...that's just my personal preference. DM Yourself has rules for how to balance adventures for 1 PC & 1 Sidekick, but if you want to take a whole party in, then just ignore the rules about rebalancing for a smaller party. If you'd rather do 2 PCs instead, then maybe keep the balance rules, but play on Hard difficulty. DM Yourself is...See more
Customer avatar
DWDalton Adventures L January 21, 2021 3:13 pm UTC
PURCHASER
For some reason I'm not allowed to write reviews, so I'll put it here.

Tom Scutt's "DM Yourself" is intended to be a solo RPG tool, and it's a most excellent one. But his real intent is deeper and more subtle. Dare I say nefarious? He's secretly training you to be an author.

Five stars.
Customer avatar
Joanne L February 23, 2021 11:46 am UTC
I could not agree more with this, even if I wanted to.
Customer avatar
Tom S February 23, 2021 1:52 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Thank you both so much :) Comments like this really make it worthwhile.
Customer avatar
Chad F December 03, 2020 1:30 am UTC
PURCHASER
Customer avatar
Antonio W December 01, 2020 2:37 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I’m so happy to know there will be a POD. Absolutely the best resource for soloing published adventures. Just went through the Ruined Tower of Zenopus with it. IMHO it beats all other methods I’ve tried. And unlike many others, this one in well written.
Customer avatar
Tom S December 16, 2020 10:35 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Thank you, Antonio! Really glad to hear that you're enjoying DM Yourself :) POD is now available (and it's turned out very nicely!)
Customer avatar
Neva C November 12, 2020 8:57 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Will this get a POD version? That is my preferred format for longer texts.
Customer avatar
Tom S November 13, 2020 8:37 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Yes it will. I got the proof yesterday. It looked really good, but I've made a couple of minor changes to the cover, which unfortunately means it's probably going to be another week before it goes live.
Customer avatar
Neva C December 12, 2020 5:57 am UTC
PURCHASER
Any updates on this? I was hoping to add it onto an order I've been building to save on shipping.
Customer avatar
Tom S December 12, 2020 11:11 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Neva. Sorry for the delay. The 2nd proof has been printed and I'm waiting for it to arrive. As soon as it does I should be able to make the POD version available.
Customer avatar
Neva C November 04, 2020 11:28 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Would this work with Basic Fantasy or Castles & Crusades?
Customer avatar
Tom S November 05, 2020 9:13 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Neva. Yes for Basic Fantasy (it requires a little bit of adaptation, but there's guidance in the Appendix on how to do this). I don't really know Castles & Crusades, but I think it should work for that. As well as the rule system, it also partly depends on the layout of the adventures you want to run - do they have clearly boxed/italicised location descriptions? If they do, that definitely helps when using DM Yourself.
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64
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File Last Updated:
December 21, 2020
This title was added to our catalog on November 03, 2020.
Publisher
Tom Scutt
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