Preparing to run at a con

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Zed

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Preparing to run at a con
« on: April 15, 2013, 02:21:32 PM »
I'm preparing a game to run at a con at the end of May (KublaCon, near San Francisco.) To speed character generation, and to simplify guaranteeing balance and niche protection, I was planning to offer only 5 playbooks for 5 players, and choosing the stats in advance, each having +2 in exactly one stat:

The Professional: Cool
The Flake: Sharp
The Mundane: Charm
The Spooky: Weird
The Chosen: Tough

(If a 6th player really wants in, I figured I'd keep the Sidekick in reserve, pre-selecting the stats choice that doesn't have any +2's.)

Players will select their own moves, as normal, and I'm planning to make history a little shorter, with everyone choosing only two history relationships (making sure that they get distributed evenly so it's also the case that everyone was chosen for two history relationships, so with incoming and outgoing, each player has four history connections.)

Thoughts? Would you feel frustrated if you showed up at a MotW game with this much determined in advance? Any other suggestions for handling a MotW one-shot at a con?


Re: Preparing to run at a con
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 03:48:35 PM »
Would I be frustrated? Not really.

For the rest, here's what I've found running convention games.

Firstly, restricting the playbooks will be fine. It's usually better than just having all of them available for speeding things up.

I'm not sure that choosing stats in advance will save much time. In my experience it is picking moves that people seem to take the most time on. I don't think you need to worry about balance as such - having one hunter good at a different rating won't necessarily provide it, either. That said, picking them as you plan to won't cause any problems!

In terms of niche protection, the playbooks should provide that via the moves available without needing to push the stats one way or the other.

For history, I suspect managing the numbers of connections will increase the time to sort it out by at least as much as you will save by reducing it. Again, this is something that I've found goes pretty quickly in play, with a few exceptions when people get stuck choosing a connection to a particular hunter.

To keep character generation going quickly I like to walk around the table, that way you can see if anyone is stuck or confused and help them out.

Also, I constantly forget to set highlights once the history is done, so remember that! That might just be me - I'm usually keen to get started on the mystery by then.

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Zed

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Re: Preparing to run at a con
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2013, 04:37:26 PM »
Quote
For history, I suspect managing the numbers of connections will increase the time to sort it out by at least as much as you will save by reducing it.

I'm planning to steal a technique from Todd Furler, who GM-ed a game I played at BigBadCon last year -- he had us create table tents for our characters, and as history connections were made to someone, that character's tent would get a red tab. The rule was that everyone had to have one red tab before anyone had two (and everyone ends up with two.) So the last player to select in the first round gets "stuck with" some given player for a history connection, but then the selection order reverses and that player becomes the first to select in the second round.

It went pretty smoothly and the management didn't add much time.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 04:54:38 PM by Zed »

Re: Preparing to run at a con
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2013, 04:50:54 PM »
Oh, that's a pretty nifty technique. Yep, in that case you should be fine!

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Zed

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Re: Preparing to run at a con
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2013, 01:58:26 PM »
One other thing I was thinking about... maybe scaling the starting luck down to, say, 4 given that it's a one-shot... has anyone played with varying the starting luck for one-shots?

Re: Preparing to run at a con
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2013, 04:03:21 PM »
Definitely. I recommend 3 normally.