[RPG] Suggested house-rules for Pathfinder one-on-one storytelling


I'll introduce myself quickly. Played a lot of RPG in teens; mostly AD&D for fantasy, but also Call of Cthulhu and Cyberpunk for those other settings. I lived kind of remote, so all we played was homebrew, didn't get our hands on any published adventures.

I've got a lovely wife and we sit at home a lot in the evenings because we've got kids. Would love to get back into roleplaying, but lack a group for the moment, so we'll have to go one-on-one. My wife hasn't played a lot, but knows the concept. So it'll be an adventure (pun intended) trying this out, getting to know her and her character in a different setting.

She would like to play fantasy (Tolkien, Martin's A Game of Thrones, etc.) and a friend of mine bought me the Pathfinder core book as a christmas present, so we'll use this system and homebrew adventures.

We are both interested in the idea of more storytelling adventure and character development. Puzzles, challenges, and the occasional fight would be good, though not too much politics and social intrigue. The game would be more of a mystery/investigation adventure and not so much encounter/fighting based.

Are there any house rules/mechanics you would suggest in order to make the Pathfinder system flow well and adjusted to our needs/wants?

Best Answer

Solo Itself

I don't think there are any house rules required to play Pathfinder one-on-one. There are solo adventures for Pathfinder from Expeditious Retreat Press and have been for other D&D versions over time as well. All that's required is DMing. Since there's one PC, they will need difficulties tuned to them and some kind of safety net in case of bad luck - a NPC friend, or fate points, or something.


If you are concentrating on more storytelling and whatnot and it's low combat then most of the problem isn't getting killed so much as getting stumped. If you're going to do lots of investigation consider Lorefinder, the Pathfinder/GUMSHOE mashup, which changes investigation skills to not block PCs. I playtested it and it brings the good parts of GUMSHOE (Robin Laws' investigative system that powers several Pelgrane Press games) to Pathfinder.


In our Pathfinder games we stopped using XP a long time ago; the DM advances us when it's time. That removes the grind incentive and allows story development without artificial combat.


We also about half the time use FATE aspects and points in Pathfinder. Essentially we declare three aspects to our character, and when one gets us in trouble we get a point, you can spend a point for a reroll or a +4 if it can be linked to an aspect. FPs reset to 3 at each level. I am ambivalent about how much they really help with roleplaying, but they do present a consumable resource PCs can use when they think it's important.


In terms of NPC relationships, I have a separate question open to get good relationship mechanics for Pathfinder but no one's come through yet really.

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