Author Topic: The Con game conundrum  (Read 3450 times)

kaiserjez

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The Con game conundrum
« on: October 06, 2014, 10:17:23 AM »
So, I'm running AW at a smallish UK con in a couple of weeks. I know that people have had troubles running AW at cons before and Vincent recommends himself that the system doesn't really sing until a few sessions in. I'm going to do a mix of GM pre designed setting and player input, basically I got a copy of Tony Dowlers excellent Seattle Doomsday map - Doomsday Map - which I will put in the middle of the table and let players draw over the top of it. There's space for 4 players and I'll bring along 6 playbooks and let them choose which ones they want. I'm thinking of doing love letters that involve all 6 playbooks, the spare two will become NPC's, so hopefully there will be some triangles already set up.
I'll make a few fronts as well and see what happens.

Any advice and which playbooks should I include? I definitely want a Brainer and I like it when players have a Hardholder so there's a bit of setting they can define straight away. As there might be players who have never played before I'm gonna avoid more complicated playbooks like the Macaluso.

lumpley

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Re: The Con game conundrum
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2014, 02:00:38 PM »
My usual assortment for con games is: brainer, chopper, gunlugger, hardholder, maestro d', and skinner. But then I usually add or swap in one or two of: angel, faceless, quarantine, savvyhead, or touchstone, depending on the imagery I've been dreaming up in advance.

-Vincent

kaiserjez

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Re: The Con game conundrum
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2014, 02:55:41 PM »
Cheers Vincent, nobody has ever played a skinner in a game I've ran before so I was thinking of putting one in the mix as I think they are cool. :)

Do you run with 6 players? It's only a 3.5 hour slot so I reckon I would struggle to give everybody a chance to do cool stuff with 6 players.

Munin

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Re: The Con game conundrum
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2014, 03:15:28 PM »
The most useful advice I can give for running convention games is to constantly ask the players questions and riff off their answers. A lot of players new to the system will be unfamiliar with having that kind of direct input into the story and will think it's cool that their ideas drive the game in an immediate fashion.

I think the hardest part of running a convention game is in pacing it properly. You'll want to build to some important denouement, something that gives the players a sense of accomplishment, and you'll want to time it such that that happens at the end of the session. This can be tricky depending on what's happening in your particular scenario.

And speaking of scenarios, I don't plan one. At all. I go in with a totally blank slate and let the plot be built from the players themselves. I've found one of the best things to do is to start them out in medias res with some situation, and ask them to fill in the details. Like, "OK, you guys are all in a pitched firefight. Keeler, who are you fighting and why?" Once you have their answer, "Sweet. Burroughs, where is this firefight taking place? What's around? And what are you currently taking cover behind?" Build off that and move to "OK, Damson, how is the fight going? Where are you and what is your immediate objective?" Flesh out the situation off their answers. And don't forget the Hx round, because that will give you scads of useful detail too. Using this approach I once started a convention game (with three players) where the first scene had two of the PCs tasked with effectively kidnapping the third, and it was hilarious.

One additional thing I've found that's fun is to do an epilogue, where you ask each player: "now that X has happened and Y has been revealed, what would your character want to do next?" This focuses players on the idea that this session could lead into a longer story, and drives right to the heart of the old adage "always leave them hungry for more."

lumpley

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Re: The Con game conundrum
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2014, 05:54:47 PM »
Kaiserjez: oh, no, I run for 4 when I can and 5 if I must. I just like to bring 6-8 playbooks to the table.

-Vincent

dutch-boy-blonde

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Re: The Con game conundrum
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2014, 10:41:08 PM »
I'm going to pop in and disagree with the general consensus here.  I played a 4-hour con game of AW at U-Con (it was reskinned for Harn) and it was a blast.  Character generation went smoothly, and everyone had a blast.  I think the chargen system of AW is suited quite well for convention play, it's just that new players might find the mechanics a little unusual.  However, our group really got into it.

Munin

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Re: The Con game conundrum
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2014, 12:50:50 AM »
Hahaha, those were my games! Which session/character did you play?

dutch-boy-blonde

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Re: The Con game conundrum
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2014, 11:19:31 PM »
I played the Battlebabe/Shieldmaiden.

Munin

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Re: The Con game conundrum
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2014, 06:55:42 PM »
Excellent! I'm glad you enjoyed the game! I know I had a blast running it.

If you (or anyone, really) might be interested, I wrote up an after-play of that particular session in story form over on the Harn forum. You can read it HERE.