I have not had a great gaming experience over the pandemic.
The biggest problem is, I'm old, and I don't have a very good computer: playing over Zoom or whatever just wasn't working for me.
- It felt like having a conversation via radio, because at the best of times, you get one person talking at a time. If you had bad "internet weather" or a poorly-performing computer, you practically had to finish every sentence with "over".
- Everyone thinks their laptop camera is acceptable, but they aren't.
- my laptop is garbage, with a tiny screen, and every virtual tabletop (VTT) taxed it beyond its limits. (my highly informal anecdata shows the most successful TTRPG streamers and users of VTTs are also streamers of high-end games)
So I got sort of down about it, but I discovered the "Solo RPG": play an RPG alone!
I'm trying to get into it, and it's going ... weird.
I started with the most-recommended source, Mythic Game Master Emulator.
Here's how Solo Roleplaying works. You start with characters and a setting/premise, like any regular RPG.
Then you ... I'm still not sure. You then "play", which is not unlike writing a novel, using a combination of your regular game mechanics and the GME random tables to stand in for players and the GM. You mostly ask a lot of yes/no questions about circumstances ("Are the guards paying attention? Is the merchant willing to haggle?" and so on) and there's some rules frosting for degrees of success and "chaos level".
Presumably you write it all down as you go along; since it's just you, you also need to have a better record of everything since you aren't playing along with a pre-written module (usually - it's an option, though) and you can't just ask someone what happened last week.
I'm having a little trouble getting started, because my usual storytelling method involves some collaboration with the players (in the case of an experienced group) or just having a pretty solid story to get things going enough for them to "take over" and drive the action, and I have neither right now.
As I mentioned above, there are options for playing regular 5E/etc modules but I haven't tried them. I may, I'm not sure.
So, I'm not sold yet. I'm going to keep playing with it, though, if only to see what sorts of interesting story ideas I can come up with for when TTRPG is a thing again.
Solo RPG with a Virtual Game Master
How to play tabletop RPGs by yourself: A beginner's guide to solo roleplaying | Dicebreaker
Solo RPG Resources | dieheart
Solo Role Playing Games | Inkwell Ideas