Solo Thief Adventures

A recent post on Grognardia features a player reminiscing about playing in Gygax's Lake Geneva campaign in a solo expedition to Castle Greyhawk (as a 1st-level magic-user, no less). It brought to mind what I've long considered a potentially really great untapped market -- solo adventures, specifically for Thieves.

It's always seemed like there's a bit of awkwardness around having "thieves" working with adventuring parties, when they're presented as likely to cheat and steal from the very party they're working for. On the other hand, I've had lots of occasions in my life where I it would be great to run a game with the one single player I had available. It seems like "solo thief" scenarios would be an ideal solution (ostensibly two problems cancelling each other out).

I actually had a lot of fun once running module "O1: Gem and the Staff", which is the one dedicated solo-thief module I can think of. It also offered a really nice opportunity to run a "mini-tournament" game where I ran each person in my regular gaming group through it individually, and then compared scores at the end -- among other things, this got a little "quality time" with each player to see their personal reactions and preferences.

As much as I'd like to see scenarios like that, I know I'm not the one to make them -- I think you need someone a little more steeped in noir, crime drama, Lankhmar and Thieves' World traditions than I am (which is to say, practically none whatsoever).


  1. I ran some solo thief adventures in 3e, mostly from the Thievery 101 series. We tried joining the Watchers, Periapt of Famidon, and Gambler's Quest to varying degrees of success.

    They should all work fine as old-school adventures (actually, they'd work better because of less dependence on skill point allocation). I think hit points would be a problem; when we ran these we were using a Wound Point/Vitality Point house rule.

  2. Don't sell yourself too short, Delta. The crime drama/noir stuff might be the reason for the thief to be there, but once they're in thru the 2nd. story window, it's probably about the same as stocking a regular dungeon.

    That being said, writing up a solo thief adventure sounds like a fun thing to try.

    That solo/mini tourney WAS fun.

  3. My first thought is of the adventure "Escape from Khosht" for T&T. Many of the Tunnels & Trolls solos were written in a way which would eminently well suit a shady individual like a Thief. They are often fairly cheap, and thus easy to try if you'd think they would work with, say, D&D.

  4. when they're presented as likely to cheat and steal from the very party they're working for I had to laugh at this, since I have spent most of my DM time with this issue. I think an urban setting would work well here, although they are not everyone's cup of tea. I think many of the traditional modules would also work well, so long as you created ways for them to sneak, scheme, etc.

  5. There's one for AD&D at the Delver's Dungeon site, as well as a solo for a fighter: http://www.thedelversdungeon.com/features/modules-main.htm

  6. 3rd ed had http://www.xrpshop.citymax.com/page/page/3906590.htm