Gaean Reach or other setting

edited December 2014 in Forum Discussion
Rambling Explanation.
Can you play this setting one on one?
The sad state of gaming in my little town is that I only have one player left.
We are currently looking at Esoterrorists and then Trail.
I wanted to do a soft start with Fear Itself, hence my other post about a intro scenario for Esoterrorists. But that seemed to be a no.
I talked the player into giving it a go and then started reading the scenario in FI. I am no not so sure one on one will work (or one player with sidekick), as the scenario had a lot of flashback scene's for multiple players.
So will Gumshoe work one on one (+1 NPC)?
I did just have a brain wave that maybe Gaean Reach could work better, as the inspirational material is just one character hunting down his enemy.
Any body with some inspiration as we game in a couple of days.
I could of course jump straight into Esoterrorists or make up my own lead in (but my time is so limited), but maybe some one could help out.
My previous attempts to start a Gumshoe game have not worked out, but this is the one player from way back who always wanted to give it a go and I don't want to muck it up for him, but maybe its just not suited to one on one.


  • Must be a bad time of year to post questions. (smily face)
    Or the forum has gone entirely to 13th age (another smily face)
    Or I am too impatent.
  • I think Gumshoe would work extremely well as a one-on-one game! As you mentioned, Gaean Reach seems certainly inspired by the single protagonist in the Demon Princes etc. One thing to watch out for in a 1-1 game would be tying clues too closely to a particular skill. A single character is unlikely to have the full range of Investigative skills, but as long as the GM has the mindset that information is there to be passed out, the particular skill shouldn't matter.
    Good luck!
  • edited December 2014
    So, do you think I should have the one player as a super dude with all or nearly all the investigative skills. Or keep it more believable maybe with a side kick to fill some skill gaps. Or as you suggested, keep it a bit vague as far as specific skills?
    Thanks for replying also, I was feeling a little lonely.
  • I understand! The boards can be a bit quiet! I try to do my part, although I am no expert. Anyway, to your question. I would keep it vague. Let the player's actions and dialogue count for the interpersonal skills, even if those skills are not on the character sheet. The Notice skill can substitute for many others--crowds behaving strangely, similarities between new items and known items or people, engine gauges behaving uncharacteristically, etc. I think the main point is mainly not to let the absence of a skill prevent the character learning a clue. Another way to do that is to design your core clues around the character. Make sure that each scene has at least one clue that the character will discover based on a skill you know the character has. Add detail to those clues but doing so requires a spend. Robin Laws points out in the Page XX article "Two things that bear repeating about Gumshoe" is that even though adventures are written to link clues to skills, characters can always obtain the clue if the player provides an alternate explanation that is appropriate to the genre. I'd say the character gets the clue if its appropriate to the plot--and it should be, otherwise, why have the clue!?
    You can keep the game from becoming too linear by ensuring each scene has multiple clues and the character will have to choose which clue to follow. If your PC is actually pursuing Quangos Vorn, have the game start with reports on sightings of 3 of Vorn's known associates. Or take a look at the Page XX article "Five Places to Look for Quandos Vorn" and have the PC learn of two or three of them in order to have to decide where to go.
    I think you'll have a great time!
  • Thanks Mel, very much appreciated.
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