Just thought I'd stick my t'pennyworth in as I have just (yesterday) started my first solo campaign.
I haven't played Traveller since the '80s and my old gaming group has floated off on the four winds. So, inspired by Andy Slack and other blogs, I thought I'd give solo gaming a try, partly to learn Mongoose Traveller and partly to get used to some new tech that I may use to GM games over the internet in the future.
A brief note on motivation, I like the unpredictability and endless playability of rpg's, for me computer games just don't cut it - and there is nothing like the traveller I want out there in any case. I want a story to develop and not simply generate characters or ships for no reason.
So far I've generated a character (it didn't go the way I planned, but I really liked the story that developed from his pre-game career so went with this one rather than the alternatives), set up a rationale and first scene to start the adventure and let him loose in the Spinward Marches. I've then used the random tables in Mongoose Traveller to generate some encounters, and used the Mythic fate table to answer questions concerning such things as availability, cost, how many, etc. These have been backed up with some D66 products to add flavour. After one short session, my character has left his start point, secured passage, and boarded a ship on the first leg of his adventure into the unkown. Initially, my campaign will run off the encounter tables (with reaction and possibly motivation supplied by Mythic), but I would like to explore the possibiity of using pre-generated scenarios (I have all the original CT stuff from GDW, Judges Guild, Gamelord etc., as well as some of the new ones).
From this limited experience of solo gaming, what would help me is the following:-
An easily accessible set of tables, organised by random encounter, trade availability, etc.
I would like to see a combined encounter / description aid for npc/animal, organised by location, and not by social group as they appear to be in 1001 characters and 760 patrons. By that I mean is if my character is in a starport I want to roll an encounter suitable to a starport and then flip to a selection of individuals or groups that fit the bill e.g. I encounter a group of police - half a dozen options giving group size (ideally several for each of the various group sizes - e.g. small 1-4, medium 5-12, or large 13+), stats, skills, equipment, reason for being there, and stance/reaction to the character. The mix of possible encounters will obviously vary according to location (e.g. starport, urban, rural, wilderness). Groups of npc's presented in this fashion would be ideal for security personnel, criminals, military (army/navy/marines), and perhaps starship crews, as well as for individual encounters with patrons.
I would also like a random terrain book. Something like the old Judges Guild 50 starbases - giving a map and brief key to locations. This would be useful for starports, urban terrain, and rural/wilderness terrain, as well a having a selection of builiding interiors that could be used as the situation demanded - admin offices, university, library, resteraunt, etc. This would allow me to concentrate on the story, and not on where to lay my hands on a map which I have not, subconciously, chosen to give my character an advantage.
I would also like to play pre-generated scenarios, there are suggestion out there as to how this could be achieved, but I think one way would be to chunk the scenario into the chapter style of quest books. By which I mean rather than having an overall GM briefing (or rather as well as), split the adventure into nuggets or episodes, with a player description which can be read by the solo gamer, followied by a small list of possible outcomes, akin to the way patrons are presented. This way the solo player knows there is something bigger going on, but is only drip fed it. It may be that earlier player choices preclude some of the later GM outcomes, but I think that is acceptable in order to present manageable chunks to the player, without having to explain the whole plot at the first episode.
As my campaign progresses, I'm sure I'll come across other things that would either save me time trawling through various resources, or to provide GM type answers, so I'll probably post some more thoughts here in the future.