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Lindsey

One Shot RPG Ideas

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I'm planning on running a Dog Might One Shot Game Night for some of our new apprentices that have never played RPGs before. Anyone have ideas for a great system to learn on? Our newest Lumberjacks are super enthusiastic but have never role played.

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I was thinking of Dread or Fiasco but I know they really want to roll dice and I'm worried Fiasco might be too difficult to role play for newbies. 

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What about Shadowrun?  Near-future Seattle, and they're a group of cyberpunk thieves.  Plenty of dice, the runners aren't necessarily even supposed to be acquainted before being hired for the job, and you could just run the one heist.  Think Ocean's Eleven in cyberpunk and you're robbing a corporation.

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17 minutes ago, TheAuthorOfOZ said:

What about Shadowrun?  Near-future Seattle, and they're a group of cyberpunk thieves.  Plenty of dice, the runners aren't necessarily even supposed to be acquainted before being hired for the job, and you could just run the one heist.  Think Ocean's Eleven in cyberpunk and you're robbing a corporation.

Is it easy to play? I need to teach them how to make a character, play the game, and run through an adventure in about 4 hours. 

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2 minutes ago, Lindsey Rode said:

Is it easy to play? I need to teach them how to make a character, play the game, and run through an adventure in about 4 hours. 

If you've never seen it before then I would say it's actually not especially easy to pick up.  Shadowrun uses fistfulls of d6s and it's a "Number of Successes" game.  That's why I mentioned it, because you said you wanted dice rolling.  But I guess I can't recommend it now, especially if you want to run through character generation.  I was operating under the assumption you'd be doing pregens.  That's what I usually do for brand-new-to-RPGs players. 

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Just now, Lindsey Rode said:

Actually Pre-Gens are not a bad idea. I didn't even think of that :P 

Whenever I run a one-shot at Cons, I have PARTIALLY completed Pregens.  I make more characters then there will be players, give basic equipment and foundation of basic stats, but leave a few choices of abilities open and ready to plug in.  If you think they won't really know how to "Roleplay" then give the characters alignments and personalities for them to follow because sometimes it's easier for new players to pick up a predefined character manner.  But if you think they're up to the challenge, leave alignment and attitude open.

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This is some really good advice, especially since I've never tried to run a game for so many new people before. Thanks!

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1 minute ago, Lindsey Rode said:

This is some really good advice, especially since I've never tried to run a game for so many new people before. Thanks!

Anytime!  This really only applies to things that use dice and powers like D&D or Fate.  If you wind up running Dread of Fiasco, all this advice is pretty much useless. :D

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Posted (edited)

Pathfinder isn't too bad. It's open source so there are a lot of free resources out there or you can buy digital versions of books. There are loads of pre-made adventures for it too for a variety of player level and skill level, you can teach character creation for them or use pre-gen characters. We've played loads of campaigns through that system. To make character generation easier for the first time through, have the players use the 'recommended' feats and skills layout. It's definitely not ideal, but I feel like skills and feats are two of the more arduous tasks of character generation along with spell selection, especially for a new player.

 

I liked Shadowrun, but character creation can be quite complex.

 

On a side note, I would recommend checking out the Critical Failures series of books by Robert Bevan if you have a chance. Somewhat juvenile humor, but fantastic novels for the RPG fan. In fact, it might even be a good audio book listen prior to starting the campaign. One of the characters in the book is a newbie, so they will have someone to relate to. The series follows a group of friends that find a GM through an online message board because none of them want to GM the game. I won't go much further, to ruin the story but it's pretty dang hilarious. I actually think it does a really good job of explaining the role playing game genre and, especially for a new player, it gives some idea of what it means to role play. I've found new players fall into one of two categories, they either get bogged down by the rules and try too hard to do everything 'by the book' or they clam up and ask everyone else what they should do for the first couple of sessions.

Edited by Ian Coyle
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2 minutes ago, Lindsey Rode said:

For this group the more juvenile humor the better I think.

In that case, get the audio book(s), there are four main books in the series and another group of short stories detailing solo/small group stories of individuals within the group. Enjoy them as a group over the course of a couple of evenings and then indulge in your first role playing experience with the new lumberjacks! They will enjoy the heck out of Cooper and Julian as they try to outwit the GM, Mordred.

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I haven't played the 5e version but in 3.5  Ebbron was a great mod that the is easy to mod into a one shot I'd also recommend getting info from the players for an idea of what they want to play and an alignment and have characters ready to play. If you want to give them a feel for the role play element give characters out a day early and ask them to create a back story. Also look into Hero Labs from Lone Wolf Dev not sure how often you DM but its used to track and create NPC but it works well with creating and setting up for one shots and the pages are easier to read to new people. 

http://www.wolflair.com/

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13 hours ago, TeX001 said:

I haven't played the 5e version but in 3.5  Ebbron was a great mod that the is easy to mod into a one shot I'd also recommend getting info from the players for an idea of what they want to play and an alignment and have characters ready to play. If you want to give them a feel for the role play element give characters out a day early and ask them to create a back story. Also look into Hero Labs from Lone Wolf Dev not sure how often you DM but its used to track and create NPC but it works well with creating and setting up for one shots and the pages are easier to read to new people. 

http://www.wolflair.com/

I really like the idea of giving them pre-gens but then asking them to come up with some more story. More importantly this wolf lair thing is going to be amazing for my regular games. How did I not know about this! 

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Wolf Lair is awesome for DM's. Pathfinder put out some decks that I like to use sometimes for both Critical Fumbles and Critical Hits that spice up the storytelling and make for some epic and funny moments for your players. I've never liked the simple double damage or auto fail aspects of rolling a 1 or 20, so they make it a bit more fun for the DM too as it gives you ideas to make combat (or even mundane skill checks) a little extra excitement.

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3 hours ago, Ian Coyle said:

Wolf Lair is awesome for DM's. Pathfinder put out some decks that I like to use sometimes for both Critical Fumbles and Critical Hits that spice up the storytelling and make for some epic and funny moments for your players. I've never liked the simple double damage or auto fail aspects of rolling a 1 or 20, so they make it a bit more fun for the DM too as it gives you ideas to make combat (or even mundane skill checks) a little extra excitement.

Yes, agreed. The Crit hit and Crit Miss decks are an absolute MUST. Lindsey, you can use mine....if your new game sells well.

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1 hour ago, TheAuthorOfOZ said:

Following up here:  I want to know how this went!?  Did your new apprentices enjoy it and level up to seasoned gamer level?

We still haven't been able to do it yet. With the Kickstarters and the holiday season prep it's been too busy. I'm demanding a holiday game night though!

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I may have found another RPG group.  Jameus has a group already, but is going to be starting another one in the near future.  It's been about 10 years since the last time I did a d&d crawl, so I'm looking forward to it.  Lindsey, you are lucky to have so many handy people to play with.

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52 minutes ago, Barb Bliss said:

I may have found another RPG group.  Jameus has a group already, but is going to be starting another one in the near future.  It's been about 10 years since the last time I did a d&d crawl, so I'm looking forward to it.  Lindsey, you are lucky to have so many handy people to play with.

Yah after so many years of having trouble finding a group I feel really lucky that I have so many friends that play now. Keep us updated about your game!

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