Advice on running o...
 

Advice on running one-shots with new-ish players?  

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drl2
 drl2
(@drl2)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 16
18/01/2020 2:12 pm  

So last year a gaming/comic store opened just a few miles from home (hurray!) with a big common play area and two smaller (quieter) rooms.  They have a lot of weekly games and periodic special events, focusing on MtG, Warhammer, and D&D primarily (and probably in that order).

I've dropped in on a number of D&D sessions there as a player and made connections with a few of the regulars, and have mentioned MP a few times and there's been some interest expressed.  Work and family obligations make it tough to dedicate to running another game on a regular schedule (and I'm currently in the midst of a months-long writers' block on planning my own home campaign, so we've been falling back on published D&D modules :p), but I've been considering offering to run a few loosely-connected one-shots at the store to add a little variety.

My main concern with this is that these sorts of events don't allow for the sort of prep time you can have when running a game for a group of friends.  MP strikes me as being somewhat "front-loaded" in terms of complexity as a trade-off for its tremendous flexibility, vs. the "pick a class and roll six stats" model most of the likely players would be familiar with.

Of course I could just pre-build a few example characters and let people choose between them, but I'd really prefer not to eliminate the creative side of character design.  On the other hand, you can't have 5 people building characters and still have time for an actual game session of any significance in a game-store one-shot environment.

 

Has anyone here tried this out?  Any suggestions on the character creation dilemma or about any other aspect of it?  I've never run a one-shot either (in any game) so I need to put some thought into timing, etc., after being used to just pausing to pick up next week where we left off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MP Character Generator: https://mpgen.drl2.com
My gaming blog: https://gaming.drl2.com


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Grackleflint
(@hireling)
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Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 110
19/01/2020 9:02 pm  

I would build some very basic heroes for them to choose from. A Blaster (Power Blast, Heightened Expertise), Brawler (Natural Weaponry, Invulnerability), a Controller (non-violent character that uses Grapnel or Paralysis Ray to neutralize characters without hurting them, and Heightened Expertise to hit more reliably). I would follow the Standard Power character rules (150 CPs total, 80 for Abilities, 70 for Basic Characteristics), give them each 4 Abilities with 20 CPs each (again, keeping it simple). I recommend 1 to 2 offensive powers, 1 -2 defensive, and avoid Abilities that are overly complex or marginally useful.


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Grackleflint
(@hireling)
Estimable Member
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 110
21/01/2020 8:55 am  

@drl2

I re-read your post and thought of something you could do to add some player choice to the characters. You could have each one have a pool of powers to choose from. So for instance, the Blaster pre-made character could have:

  • Heightened Expertise
  • Armor or Heightened Defense
  • Sonic Blast or Disintegration Ray
  • Teleportation or Flight

The Brawler could have:

  • Natural Weaponry
  • Heightened Strength or Heightened Agility
  • Invulnerability or Armor
  • Super Leap or Speed

Have one play style defining Ability that is not optional so that their characters are effective in combat no matter what other Abilities they choose.


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dan2448
(@dan2448)
Active Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 14
21/01/2020 9:15 am  

My suggestion (based on personal experience once, 6-8 years ago, as a player, in a very similar circumstance) is to present pre-made characters for the 1st session and then, at the end of that 1st game session, offer to work via e-mail with any players who would like to create their own characters to use in any subsequent game session.


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bkadams
(@bkadams)
Trusted Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 82
22/01/2020 10:31 am  

Great suggestions from @Grackleflint and @dan2448.

I would only add that you not allow modifiers -- make the characters as basic as possible.

Good luck with this and I would love to hear how the sessions go!


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Majestic
(@majestic)
Estimable Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 119
22/01/2020 12:06 pm  

Excellent advice so far.  Another option that would take a ton of the prep work out of the equation would be to set up a simple battle between the Crusaders and the Crushers.  All of them have been converted to MP already (saving you a ton of work on the front end), and are pretty basic, not super complex characters that would help teach the game.

V&V GM and player since 1982, my current campaign is 29 years old


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