I have just spent the weekend running 5 convention games of Dungeon World at UKGamesExpo. Each slot was 4 hours and I took some ideas, dungeons and lots of gaps.
29 players later I would say it went well, a few players bought the game in the break.
For me it was an experiment:
I set each game one level higher, to get a feel for higher level play.
I also wanted to see how experienced roleplayers and new gamers got on with it.
I also was interested in what it was like to run with so little prepared.
All in all it was the most fun I have had running con games. I found the bonds mechanic really shone here, turning 6 strangers into a party (laughing, joking) with a history in 30 minutes. It worked like a charm every time.
I also gave them a random image for magic items for which they provided a name and its fiction. The players came up with more interesting, subtle and plain surprising items than I could have!
I would say the level increase was the least successful, it wasn’t a problem per se but it added complication with little reward.
For what it’s worth in future for con games I would set the game at second level with enough starting xps for them to level during the game.
For me it was difficult at times to avoid dropping into D&D habits of telling the players what they were doing rather than keeping the conversation going. I think I got better at spotting when that was happening.
New players generally got it and went with it in no time, I was amazed at how much of the game there is to “find out what happens” for the GM if you relax and let it, I enjoyed that immensely.
Next I need to run a campaign.