One shot Con games

  • 5 Replies
One shot Con games
« on: June 23, 2012, 04:32:03 AM »
For those that run one shots, especially at Cons, would you like to share any of your experiences?

Thanks in advance!

Re: One shot Con games
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2012, 05:37:32 PM »
Don't skimp on character creation - go through step by step, ask a ton of questions and make sure the players detail the bonds.  Bonds work best in the GM gets involved - don't just sit and nod and take notes, dig right in.  The more tension the bond creates, the more the GM should ask questions.  If the Thief says "I stole something from Xotoq" don't let the Thief say what it is - ask Xotoq instead!  Turn things around.  It'll get folks involved.

Have a dungeon map (with empty spaces and with prep) ready and attach a single front to it (again, leave some space).  Throw the players in part-way through.  Tick off a couple of Grim Portents, start the characters mid-dungeon and let them work their way out.

XP is a very end-of-session reward, so it might be good to try and time things to do a false end-of-session mid-way through, depending on how much time you have.  It shows the players how the game works and can really drive them forward for part two.  I also like to come up with a special quest for each class that they can share with the other players or keep a secret - something they'll get XP for if they do.  Finding a special treasure, saving an NPC, learning a secret thing.  It ties the characters to the game.  You can do this as part of a "love letter" move or just a note to the player when you start.

Re: One shot Con games
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2012, 06:03:15 PM »
I've run three "Powered by the Apocalypse" games at cons now (2 MotW, 1 DW) and PC gen has taken between 30 and 40 minutes for each and it's made for a very "RP rich" group. would you consider this about the right length of time for a 4 hour slot?

Hadn't thought of having a mid session "End of Session" move, I will definitely include that!

The quest idea is good to, although that might require more on the spot thinking than I can muster nowadays... :)



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Re: One shot Con games
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2012, 11:45:47 PM »
Everything suggested above is brilliant.  I would add two small tidbits from my own experience:

I do the end-of-session move when they camp for the night.  I find it works out pretty well (we get 2 or so in per game).

One trick that I find invaluable at a con is to always start in the middle of action.  Seriously, nothing gets the blood pumping like a good fight, and make sure to let the players have input.  If you start with exposition about a cave, or an entrance, the players tend to be timid.  This is a new game, they're exploring bonds, figuring out what they can say and what they can't, trying to decide on moves etc.

If you start with someone putting their weapon up to a hilt in something, having a weapon arcing down onto a shield that's protecting a party member, you get camraderie, the establishment of 'party', and folks having some rapport and familiarity with the rules very quickly.

Saying "there's a cave passage ahead of you, what do you do?" usually gets countered with "What can I see, what's around me? Where else can I go? Are there any tracks or traces? What have I heard about this cave?" and so on.

When you say "You see the war-club arcing towards your head whistling through the air ... WHAT DO YOU DO?" folks usually get into the scene much quicker off the bat I find.



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Re: One shot Con games
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2012, 03:20:26 AM »
Stras, word. Seriously, that's the most helpful thing, start with ACTION and make it personal :)

Not that I've run a con game but still, awesome advice.

Re: One shot Con games
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2012, 04:56:36 AM »
All good stuff, keep 'em coming! :)