Or, when one shots become two or three shots.
At various Cons I’ve often seen games that are meant to be part of a bigger piece. For example, you play part 1 of a scenario on the Friday night, part 2 on the Saturday. Other variants have been sessions that run across 4 different tables, all at the same time, with 4 different GMs. There’s also the ‘gameshow’ variant, where you might have to ‘win’ one game in order to ‘compete’ in the next. (Sorry about all the ‘bunny fingers’, but you know how people can be about terminology)
I have mixed feelings about such things. I can see how it’s fun to try out new stuff at a Con, especially if it’s stuff you wouldn’t be able to pull off at your normal home game. Heck, that’s why LARPs go mental at Cons and try to run games for 200 people at once, just because they can. I can also see how it might be a way of telling an ‘exotic’ story, that involves, say, time travel or multi-dimensional shenanigans.
On the down side though, I’ve usually been a player at these type of affairs, and I can totally see how the GMs had a great time, but for me, not so much. Again, it’s all about risk management and playing the odds. Given that Con games are tricky buggers to put together in the first place, why multiply the work unnecessarily? For instance, two part games. You obviously need to put in a break point halfway through your story. How do you manage players who could only make one half of the tale? Do they ever find out the second half? How do you brief the later players about the events of the first? and at the end of the day, wouldn’t it just be better to condense and refine your game to get 4 hours of amazing game, rather than 8 hours of good game?
Then there’s the multi game. My good mates in the Kult of Keepers were very good at this sort of thing. you’d have multiple tables all running the same game, but of course with slight twists to each. The GMs would have set times to move players from one table to another. None of us knew this was due to happen, we just had one of those “Can I have a word outside?” moments with the GM, and he’d return with a different person, who basically knew less than we did. It was fun, really. Even though it was utterly confusing, if not disorienting. However, I have to admit that this is all with hindsight, and with the ability to catch up with the other groups to see what they’d experienced. If I’m really honest, I’d say I admired the game rather than enjoyed it. I absolutely bet the GMs loved it though. I bet they had a great time afterwards with their war stories of utter confusion and bewilderment. Let me state this out loud though, I don’t like being confused and bewildered in an RP, at least not long term, and I certainly don’t want that to be the point of the exercise!
Now don’t get me wrong, experimentation is a good thing, and a Con is a great place to try something out of the ordinary. I just want to make certain that when I put together an ‘out there’ game that I’m doing it to make a game that everyone enjoys, not just me. That’s not easy even with a trad set up.
Anyone ever had really positive experiences with these?