Can you play D&D with two players?

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Whether that is with 2 players and 1 DM, or with 1 player and 1 DM, it is possible to play D&D. The most popular way to play D&D with two people is for one to be the Dungeon Master, and the other to be a player. You’ll have to adjust your campaign, as traditional D&D is designed for 4-6 players but playing D&D with two people can be a more focused and deeply rewarding experience.

In this guide, we’ll explore the possibilities of 2 player DND, including things you should watch out for and tips to help you on your duet DND adventure.

What is duet DND?

A duet D&D campaign distils the traditional group of adventurers down to a single hero and their storyteller. While traditional D&D games feature a group of 4-6 players, duet D&D focuses its spotlight on a single player, making every decision, every roll of the dice, and every interaction deeply impactful.

In a duet campaign, the dynamics shift, creating a more personalised and character-driven experience. With one player and one Dungeon Master, that player has all the spotlight, allowing the narrative to be finely tailored to their background, motivations, and choices.

With undivided attention on this player as the protagonist, the story unfolds in a more focused and intimate manner. It can also help new players get into D&D when you have social anxiety.

Is it possible to play D&D with 2 players?

Yes, you can embark on a captivating D&D adventure with just 2 players, although some adjustments and creative tweaks will be needed to ensure a balanced and enjoyable experience. If you’re struggling to find a D&D group, then don’t worry! You can play with 2 players, whether that is 1 player and 1 Dungeon Master, or 2 players and 1 Dungeon Master.

Regardless of the number of players, you will always need a Dungeon Master (DM) to play DND. While there are ways to play D&D solo by yourself, the DM holds the pivotal role of storyteller, so having one is essential to playing the game.

Can you play the D&D starter set with 2 players?

Yes, you can play the D&D starter set with only 2 players, but you will need to adapt the adventure to make it enjoyable and balanced.

Both the current D&D starter set, Dragons of Stormwreck Isle, and the previous starter set, Lost Mines of Phandelver, were designed with a party of 4-5 players in mind.

Tips for playing D&D with only two people

The biggest tip for playing DND with two players is to maintain clear and open communication. Regularly discuss your expectations, preferences, and be open to making adjustments if you spot something that would enhance the gameplay.

Here are some tips for playing D&D with 2 players:

  1. Adjust the challenges: tailor encounters, puzzles, and combat to match the party’s size and capabilities. There are many ways to balance DND combat when playing with two people, including: reducing the number of opponents, reducing the opponents’ hit points and number of actions, and give the player plenty of resources to help them out.
  2. Sidekicks: the Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit introduced an official rule for sidekicks. These are NPCs that adventure alongside the player that help make up for missing capabilities and allow that solo player to survive encounters that might be balanced for more players. You might also decide to play a DMPC as the DM, to help with balance.
  3. Play multiple characters: alternatively, you could allow them to control more than one player character. Allowing them to build their own party gives them the ability to face encounters that are designed for a traditional party of players.
  4. Streamline the rules: consider simplifying the rules of D&D to ensure a smoother and faster-paced gameplay experience. D&D Duet offers excellent advice on running games with two players.
  5. Focus on roleplay and the story: shine the spotlight on your player and allow them to indulge in a highly immersive and focused story.

Overall, the possibilities of playing D&D with two players are endless. While adjustments and modifications may be necessary, the rewards are well worth the effort: intense roleplay, powerful character development, and an adventure tailored to two players.

Make sure you read our guide to the optimal number of encounters in a day in D&D to understand the recommendations the Dungeon Master's Guide makes. From there, you can adjust the number of encounters to suit the difficulty and number of players you have.

Still unsure if the world of 2 player D&D is right for you? Perhaps you'd like to dip your toes into the cooperative gaming experience through D&D video games, where many captivating co-op adventures await, offering a taste of the camaraderie and excitement that D&D brings.

As you embark on your own D&D journey, whether with a partner or a friend, remember the importance of quality dice; the true instruments of fate. Treat yourself to some new D&D dice today!

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