You Have 10 Minutes To Prepare!

With all this talk of Old School and New School going on these days I’ve got to wondering. In fact it was a comment on Game Of States latest post that gave me a good kick. I don’t judge a game by how it plays instead I judge a GM by how he preps and runs that game.  Ideally I shouldn’t be able to tell what system is being used apart from the very basic game/combat mechanics. That’s how I like my games run.

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If I were to ask you to prepare a gaming session for a bunch of random new players using your favoured system how would you go about it? There are a few examples that jump straight to mind.

  • Sandbox it. Throw the players into the random town and make up everything as you go.
  • Grab a book that you know inside out and have the players run through a few of the chapters.
  • Take a film and stretch it out a little. This takes away having to create locations from scratch as you can beg/borrow/steal almost everything from scenes.
  • Go for that Lvl 1-4 adventure you picked up years ago and never had the chance to run before.
  • Throw them in to your current campaign setting and roll with whatever happens.

They are all valid methods but if I’m completely honest if you didn’t go for options one or five I’d be less likely to play in your game. It’s completely hypocritical of me as I regularly use two and three for my campaigns but I want the GM/DM/ST/whatever you want to call yourself to be able to think on thier feet and accept anything the players manage to achieve or mess up.

So if you did only have 10 minutes to create this n00bfest I mentioned how would you go about getting it ready and running it?

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3 Comments

  1. Chgowiz says:

    If people wanted to play AD&D, I’d toss them into my Dark Ages campaign.

    If people wanted to play old school, I’d probably run them through my Egyptian/Tomb robbing adventure that I ran at CODCon. I really like it as a way of introducing old school play and I’m going to start using it as an ongoing-intro module. I may even start a list of the “fallen” :D

    What would you do?

    Chgowizs last blog post..Ultima Update – Chargen done

  2. Bob says:

    In all honesty it would depend on what the players wanted setting-wise. I’ve always got fantasy and sci-fi campaign settings being written so they would be thrown into whichever one tickled there fancy.

    As I tend to create my settings with the intent of making them system neutral I’d always pick up the simplest ruleset for that setting that came to hand. For fantasy it would most likely be the D&D Rules Cyclopedia that would would come to hand first. Simple enough for beginners to pick up if they really want to see the mechanics and its a game I know inside and out. For sci-fi I’d be running for my old WOD books. The system is story-driven and very basic mechanics wise which helps them get the bug of playing to the story rather than number crunching stats. It also adapts very well to almost any modern/future setting. Again I know the system inside out.

    When the game actually starts it would be very much a sandbox affair. If I’m to own up to everything I’d actually be using them to write some of the backstory for the setting. A bunch of pluck adventurers went to the mountains to see what they could see and came back heros style of history.

  3. Oddysey says:

    My megadungeon is kind of designed with that in mind; it uses a ruleset (Swords & Wizardry) that’s pretty easy to learn, and once I get around to making some character gear packages character creation will take about five minutes.

    Barring that, my usual go-to option is KordCon. Every year, a bunch of adventurers get together to drink, fight, and go on quests. Just say, “you guys all saw X on the quest sheet this morning and decided it looked like a fun time” and go. It’s pretty much gold for impromptu, low-stress gaming.


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