19 thoughts on “So, how do you guys handle running a one-shot?”

  1. My usual routine, with any one-shot, is to prepare stuff to get me in the mood, which I toss out and improvise in response to the players. Dungeon World seems very well suited to that.

  2. Jonathan Walton : Looking forward to seeing what that looks like. For Planarch Codex one-shotting, I’d be tempted to rock out with a job board in a seedy freebooter scum bar.

  3. From a play-by-post game I’m running for a couple of newbie gamers:

    “Your hovel is above the Freebooter’s Cup, a hole-in-the-wall tavern where other adventurers, tomb raiders, bodyguards, assassins and freebooter scum look for work. Posted on the wall are job notices.”

    “There is a cluster of adventurers looking at job postings, muttering to one another behind fans with pictures of monsters on them. All of them are brushing up against each other and concentrating on how to make ends meet and where to best risk their lives and ply their bloody trade.”

  4. Yup. Except I start with the roll to see how the last job went. It lets you assume that the party already exists and has some Hx. When we come across them, they’re already in the thick of it.

  5. To the OP: I use Tony Dowler’s Purple Worm Graveyard with some one-the-spot fronts and questions for a 4-hour one shot and Jason Morningstar’s Slave Pits of Dhrazu for a 2-hour one shot (in both cases including character creation).

  6. One thing I forgot but will add to the next version: the first couple times I ran Planarch, it wasn’t very good, as Ross Cowman and Jobe Bittman can tell you. I tried it more as a AD&D2-style “adventure” rather than a sandbox and it sucked all the life out of it. Random-roll jobs really changed everything and made it much more fun, both for the GM and players.

  7. Jonathan Walton Great ideas not only about giving players several jobs to choose from, but also solidifying the party by talking about their last job together. Love it.

  8. Yeah, that “how did the last job go?” question is pretty cool.

    In our game, we discovered that the party had been bribed by the flying monkeys that they were supposed to run off. Instant backstory, instant Fronts, instant angry employer.

  9. Print out a couple maps (just in case), leave them blank, show up, ask lots of questions, start with action.

    Zero plot planning though. I find the best stories are the ones I’ve woven from things the players tell me.

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