So, a few more thoughts on the 1 Hour 1 Shot idea. There have been a few developments about this, and I’ve had time to think through a few ideas to help move this forward. The original post is here. I won’t duplicate that post, but the idea was that you should be able to have a satisfying RPG experience in an hour or less. Here’s a few more thoughts on how to make that happen.
The first thing was to try and gather everything in one place – so I’ve started a page here to collect together resources and 1 hour adventures.
Simon Burley, one of my gaming buddies, has been on a crusade to get more people into tabletop RPGs, and has toured tangentially-related conventions doing 1-hour demo slots, mostly using his own systems. He’s blogged about the process here and most of what he says it completely transferable to all but the most quirky systems. So, non-RPG conventions are a good start, if you can recruit the players.
I’m convinced that there are huge numbers of nearly-RPGers, either involved in adjacent hobbies like boardgames, video games, or wider geek culture, or viewing RPG sessions online. I think most of these folks would spare us an hour to get a taster of the hobby, and that can only be a good thing?
I also often find myself wanting to try a new system out to get a grasp of it before running it myself. This happened recently – it’s been a shamefully long time before I could get into a game of Blades in the Dark, and now I wish I’d tried it sooner as I’m sure it’s a game I’m going to run again and again. It would have been great if I could have found an hour to get a grasp of the system and setting from a GM who’d already done the heavy lifting of learning the system and setting.
The question of when to run #1H1S games is tricky, because a lot of our scheduled times are designed to fit around our idea of the ‘regular length’ session. If we want to introduce new gamers to the hobby, we need to be able to provide structures to change this. A few ideas
- A face-to-face Games on Demand system at the bigger conventions – even non-RPG ones. This already happens at UK Games Expo and some of the US conventions (although it isn’t really sustainable at the smaller cons over here) and it would provide a great chance to showcase new games.
- Online Games on Demand – I’m not really up to speed with the online gaming community and getting hold of games – all of the ones I’ve played have been word of mouth rather than publicly invited. But it might be worth setting up a slot where a GM is ready to spend an hour showcasing a game, either for gamers unfamiliar with the system or just people who want a short burst of RPG action.
- A speed dating system at smaller conventions. Say instead of signing up for one 3-hour session at a convention where 5 players have 1 GM, you sign up to 3 1-hour sessions with 15 players and 3 GMs. Every hour the bell rings, and you move on to the next game. The GMs can either run the same game 3 times, or mix it up and run different games. Would there be interest in this? We’ll never know until we try!
I’m sure there will be more ideas and thoughts to follow on this, but in the meantime keep a lookout for more #1H1S resources and comment below if you have more ideas about how to run these.
“it’s been a shamefully long time before I could get into a game of Blades in the Dark”
– I have space in an online game of BitD free if you’re interested.
I’m also happy to run a short game for you…however, I should warn you that if I had to strip Blades in the Dark back to one hour I’d probably end up jettisoning much of the stuff that makes it an amazing game: pretty much all of the faction game, turf, long term projects, heat, entanglements, vices, wanted status, incarceration and trauma etc.
Hence it could be done, but playing in a one-hour game won’t show you many of the subsystems you’d find/need in the full game – in fact since the emphasis of BitD is on the long-term development of a gang I’d question if its even still the same game.
If I really wanted to give the BitD *experience* in one hour I wouldn’t actually use BitD. I’d go straight to Blades and Darkness – a Lasers and Feelings hack which captures the score part of BitD perfectly whilst ignoring most of the long-term stuff.