I have a Pi-turned-router that works great as a WiFi hotspot, I'm using hostapd.
I would like to still be able to connect to the Pi's wireless ssid even when it's not connected to the internet, and would like to be able to access its locally running web apps. That's my question.
I've looked into things like Wifi Direct and bluetooth PAN's but have been unsuccessful thus far. I'm looking for somewhat of a clear(er) path to take, possibly an example.
EDIT, to add more clarity:
1) My Pi broadcasts an ssid, as it is a WiFi Hotspot
2) I can connect to that ssid from a laptop or smartphone. If the Pi has Internet, everything is successful. If the Pi has no internet, the connection fails (of course)
3) INSTEAD of failing, I would like to STILL connect to the ssid of the offline Pi, to allow get/post requests to happen with an app running on Pi's localhost that does not require internet
In the same way you can connect to/configure a router when offline, I want to connect to/configure my Pi router when offline, but NOT through Ethernet, via WiFi instead (or bluetooth).
The point is, if the Pi is offline, I can choose a connection for it remotely to get it online. As I mentioned, I tried using WiFi direct and bluetooth unsuccessfully, I'm sure the tech works but I've missed something along the way.
NOTE: There is no desktop environment installed, no RDP gonna happen. Pi is command line only, and it is to remain completely headlines - no accessing directly from monitor and keyboard - remote only