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Which RPGs did you play in 2023?

aramis erak

I am really perplexed by solo playing RPGs. So much of RPG play is basically just people interacting that I can't imagine how that would work. I can get solo playing board or strategy games.
There are several ways solo-play works, I've enjoyed only two of them in the past, and now only enjoy one.
  • Solo Adventure Modules using "numbered paragraphs" (which often are actually multiple paragraphs. Each decision point the author puts in directions to different "paragraphs" by choice. Each mechanical interaction also has the results leading to different paragraphs. This has been around since the mid 1970's.
  • boardgame mode. The mechanical interactions are prescribed by conditions, often by table roll or chit draw. The best of these is, IMO, Master of the Amulets - where the potential locations of plot interactions are marked on the map, and a series of counters (cardboard tokens) randomized face down, then placed face down on the marked locations. AS you move on the map, you check for random encounters as the GM would, roll for reaction, fight any fights indicated, and then continue the travel; when you get to a counter, flip it to reveal if it is an encounter, dummy, or event. It's very similar to playing the old Avalon Hill Wizards, which works very similarly.
  • Randomized wandering mode: pick a map, go seeking adventure. Include a check for dungeons. When a dungeon is found, randomly generate it as you explore it. This is very similar to the mode of Rogue-like computer games, tho' with an overworld as well as the labyrinths.
  • Journalling with prompts - this is a spectrum, but basically, you set a goal, use "oracles" (tables) to answer questions about your impediments.
    • Many such oracles can be used by GMs to prepare adventures they then run; I've done this with a few games - use the oracles to generate the adventure
    • Some have thematic specific oracles for various purposes, others have merely procedures for specific yes/no/maybe/check later type decisions.
I used to love the paragraph driven solos. I still enjoy them occasionally. Not a lot of RP, but enjoyable.
I love the boardgame mode - both in officially-a-boardgame-mode of Wizards, the solo scenarios for Star Fleet Battles, and the boardgame linked to RPG encounters of Master of the Amulets, as well as the computer equivalent: Quest for the Rings for the Odyssey 2 (the boardgame triggered fights which then were played out on the console).

It's worth noting that the boardgame mode is directly comparable to the wide array of 8-bit and 16-bit era CRPGs... but they just fully automated the process to various levels of RPGish fidelity.
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I run Compose Dream Games RPG Marketplace
I GMed:
  • The last few sessions of a Spire: The City Must Fall campaign
  • About 20 sessions of The 13th Fleet (Spoofy take on Star Trek, FitD)
  • About 20 sessions of Stonetop, which is still ongoing (PbtA iron age fantasy)

I played:
  • Finished a Temple of Elemental Evil 5e campaign
  • Played in the biggest railroad I've ever been a part of in a 5e campaign that lasted about 20 sessions
  • The last 10 or so sessions of a Stonetop campaign
  • About 10 sessions of Dogs in the Vineyard
  • About 6 sessions of A Thousand Arrows (warring states Japan PbtA)
  • About 15 sessions of Mouse Guard
  • Just stared a 5e campaign of Descent into Avernus tonight
  • About to start a campaign of The Between tomorrow (PbtA Victorian monster hunters)
Oh man, The 13th Fleet, that's been so tempting but I haven't got to it yet. Glad to hear you had a great time with it. I should check if they are going to be making it out to Game-Itoba at the end of January.

Let's see what did I play?
Ran a couple games of WILD: Wake Initiated Lucid Dreaming - a one-on-one and a con game with 4 players.
Ran a few sessions of my game Simple Superheroes at various conventions
Ran a session of Centurion: Legionaries of Rome
Did a bunch of playtests of my new game God-Killer Prophecy (a one shot GMless game with teeth - the classic story of a chosen one on a quest to slay a dark lord. There's a ash-can version available now, I'm super pleased with it.)

Pretty sure I played a game of Vanagard.

A little surprised that I haven't run my Dungeons Unleashed "Crimson Shield" campaign since January . . . ouch. We'll probably get in a session of this soon or perhaps Fight to Survive.

I don't believe I played in another GMs game this year.


Not sure I can remember all the games where I've tried playing out a few encountersby myself or with one player to see how the rules work in practice, so I won't list those. However I can list the campaigns and one-shot games.

Campaigns: Star Trek Adventures (complete), Runequest (1 complete, 1 just starting), Traveller (current), Barbarians of Lemuria (complete but only eight sessions)

One-shots: The One Ring 2e (the adventure from the Starter Set), Fate (2 different one-shots), Call of Cthulhu, Thirsty Sword Lesbians, Pendragon (and Paladin, iirc), WFRP 4e, Swords of Cepheus, Forbidden Lands, Arrows of Indra, Questworlds, Barbarians of Lemuria. Mostly in short, two-three hour adventures on a holiday when we put our regular games on hiatus for everyone to run something short and simple and maybe play out some different rules.

D&D 5e (I was a player in a campaign that wrapped up in March)
Pathfinder 2e (GM for Beginner Box/Abomination Vaults AP)
Call of Cthulhu (Ran a couple scenarios from the Starter Set, just recently bought the Mansions of Madness book because my group enjoyed what they've played so far so much they wanted to work this into the rotation more often)

Next year I'm planning to run Pendragon and some OSR stuff like Knave 2e and Dolmenwood. Some of my work friends that have never played a TTRPG have expressed interest, so I'll be testing some stuff out with them to see what they end up liking.


Our group played 5E D&D, 2E D&D sporadically for the first few months of 2023, then put our game on hold for the summer. In September we started a Modern AGE campaign which has been really fun even if we haven't quite learned all the rules yet.


D&D 5E (2 separate campaigns)
Pathfinder 2E and 2E remastered
Shadow Dark
Blades in the Dark
Fallout 2d20
Some game from Matthew Colville where you played against an endless stream of enemies to see how long you could last.

Queer Venger

Dungeon Master is my Daddy
Im the dungeon master for a monthly in person 5e group of 6-7 players, we are 3/4 of the way through Curse of Strahd and our next campaign will be Spelljammer + Planescape. Im also running a weekly vampire the masquerade (5e) Discord group of 4 players. Until recently playing in a monthly call of Cthulhu game.

Looking forward to 2025 and my vampire group will be trying for the first time the new werewolf the apocalypse game.
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