This is an attempt to aggregate resources that can be used to give a satisfying RPG experience in an hour to a small group of players. There are some general resources first and then they are listed alphabetically by system. If you come across anything that I should put on this list, please let me know! I’ll try and update it as I get suggestions so it’s a live resource list.
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General Resources and Notes
#1H1S – the original discussion on this blog
#1H1S Mk.2 – some further ideas
Simon Burley has blogged here about his process, and experience, with 1 hour demos of his own and other systems at various (gaming and non-gaming) conventions
Resources / Adventures by System
The Sword is almost an exercise in showcasing what makes BW different; probably not ideal as a first RPG experience, but a fun way to showcase some distinctive rules.
The Cthulhu Hack quickstart is playable in an hour, if lightweight horror investigation and likely PC death is your jam
Dungeons and Dragons, 5th edition
My own The Goblins and The Pie Shop fits nicely into an hour if you want light-hearted pastoral fantasy
In Volo’s Wake is a series of 6 1-hour mini-adventures available cheaply.
Spirit of the Century, the original pulp predecessor of Fate Core, produced this neat demo kit to showcase Fate mechanics at conventions.
Bite of the Crocodile God is a 1-hour demo for D101 Games’ Hunters of Alexandria written by myself
John Scott Tynes’ Puppetland is a storygame literally designed to be played in an hour; you’ll need a little longer to explain the concept and the rules such as they are
Into The Unknown is an adventure (“Quest”) in five 1-hour sessions, with links to pregens. I discussed/reviewed it here.