View Full Version : One Shot Games

2010-11-22, 05:04 PM
Alright, since we are about to finish a long running campaign we might be doing some one shots between campaigns. Playgrounders what are some rules or general tips for running one shots?

I was thinking that they would be working for a mercenary firm and each session would be a contract. That way if the normal dm needs a week break or is gone for some reason, people can play the same characters and even have a little advancement between sessions. It would also be easy to slot people in. Have Playgrounders had more success with dungeon crawls or different types of encounters? What characters are easy to run in these games.

2010-11-22, 05:27 PM
Time's the biggest issue. If you don't know how long it'll take people to get through an adventure, your one-shot will turn into three or four evenings at least.

2010-11-22, 09:35 PM
We once ran a campaign where the PC's were trapped (for various reasons) on a ship that was sentient (but non responsive) that sailed an ocean connecting various worlds and planes. The ship would sail through mist for days at a time and then the mist would clear and an island would be there. The PCs would then head to the island to gather food and supplies, or to look for help etc.

Basically, this meant that each adventure session could be completely unrelated to the last because there was no need to describe how the PCs got from one place to another, they had the ship taking them there, and a new person could DM any session as needed, because the overall continuity did not need to be maintained, just the ship and the poeple on it. It allowed for players not showing, as their character just stayed on the ship that day instead of going exploring. Also, it was really easy to incorporate new characters, as every few weeks or so the mists would clear and there would be a person in the water, who the people on the ship would resuce and they joined the crew/adventure party. For example we got our magic items through the warforged artificer that we fished out of the sea after our second adventure.

So something like that would work quite well for a series of one offs.

For those interested, it turned out the ship was controlled by an illithid that was collecting characters with potential and deliberately taking them to islands where there was trouble/things to fight in order to get them nice and powerful for what ever purpose he had (sadly, we didn't find out).

2010-11-22, 09:55 PM
I forgot where I read it, but the main thing to watch for in one shot games are item prices. For one-shot games, single use times should cost significantly more.

2010-11-22, 11:48 PM
Yeah i was thinking of something similar to the ship idea. That sounds like it was awesome. What were some interesting premises for the adventure?

2010-11-23, 01:22 AM
Yeah i was thinking of something similar to the ship idea. That sounds like it was awesome. What were some interesting premises for the adventure?

One was that we needed to land on an island to buy large quantites of black powder because we had run out. The ship took us to your typical colonial port town (think port royal from pirates of the carribean). We were told that all black powder was pre-sold to the governer because he wanted to ensure the cannon were always able to fire, due to the port being constantly raided by goblin pirates. We offered to deal with the pirates in exchange for black powder, and they agreed. Long story short, we slaughtered the goblin community, only to be attacked that night by the people of the port, who it turned out were all were-sharks and swarmed out ship while we were completely unprepared for them. The goblins had actually been a chaotic good society determined to end the evil were-shark threat.

Another was that a group of Gith had noticed us, the ocean we sailed on being part of the astral plane if I recall, and had been ambushing us on various islands we had landed on. The ship eventually took us to an island that turned out to be the head-quarters of the Gith that was after us iso that we could put him down for good.

Another was that, after one such Gith strike, the ship had taken damage and needed to be repaird. basically, the ship was half real ship, half abberation, so no normal fix up job. The ship carried us, eventually (we got lost due to the ship not working correctly) to an island which was run by a mad-scientist type guy who preformed all sorts of experiemtns on undead, abberations etc. This was our heroes of horror style adventure, battling our way through zombies and undead to reach the dark castle on the hill, kill the vampire lord and take his research notes in order to work out what we could do to help the ship.

It was really a very fun campaign, because we could be in perma-frost snow one day and a baking hot desert the next, without losing the feel of the world we were adventuring in.