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September 3rd, 2020, 23:24
Originally Posted by JFarrell71 View Post
You don't have to go so far as to compare them to Choose Your Own Adventure books or gamebooks like the Lone Wolf or Fighting Fantasy series (which were more of an RPG than the former, with stats and dice based combat). There are plenty of solo player RPGs that took their inspiration directly from tabletop.

Elder Scrolls: Arena from 1994, for example. The developers of that game would be shocked and amused to be informed that the game is not a "true" RPG, lacking a party as it does. They have spoken at length directly about the fact that their desire in making the game was to replicate tabletop RPGs in a digital form.
Their design goal was:

Design goals
Initially, Arena was not to be an RPG at all. The player and a team of his fighters would travel about a world fighting other teams in their arenas until the player became "grand champion" in the world's capital, the Imperial City.[6] Along the way, side quests of a more role-playing nature could be completed. As the process of development progressed, however, the tournaments became less important and the side quests more.[5] Role-playing elements were added to the game, as the game expanded to include the cities outside the arenas, and dungeons beyond the cities.[6] Eventually it was decided to drop the idea of tournaments altogether, and focus on quests and dungeons,[5] making the game a "full-blown RPG".[6]
And, yes, Bethesda and the army of fans the series generated, has been probably the biggest contributor to the idea that RPGs can be single character where that single character can be good at everything. @crpgnut , the site's arch Bethesda nut, even claims to hate party-based RPGs (though no-one knows if he's just trolling at this point).

And yes, single character games that have lots of classes for that single character and are otherwise pretty much exactly like an RPG are what is described as "Close Enough". However, if that was to be considered the de-facto RPGs template of what an RPG is, then, obviously, you lose the whole concept of Role, because your character will never have a Role.
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