Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A short one shot

So it's "fest" time. A buddy of mine that I regularly game with is heading to Japan in November and we're trying to give him a send off. Truth be told, he's a great guy and it's a shame to see him leave. But hey, real life. We all know something about that.

A "fest"? you ask... Yes, this is an extended gaming experience. We started it in University. Actually that's not completely true. When I was playing way back in Jr. high and High school we used to have sleep overs and play nearly all night, wake up the next day and play some more.

In University though we'd officially named it "fest". We'd gather a great big group of guys together (sometimes up to a dozen) and play all Friday night into Saturday, take a small break and play into Sunday. Then we'd pass out. Ohmanohmanohman...It was BIG fun. I was young, had the time and energy and we ALL had the passion. This was back in the 80's.

Now I'm older, have a family, commitments and all sorts of other things. Truth be told, my old group (most of the guys I'd gamed with in University) continued on with this crazy tradition for quite some time. But it's been years since that group has done this. It's a shame really.

But I have been gaming with another group of guys in the last few years and we've actually revived the tradition. So I'm back in the saddle per-se. 

The coming weekend is a fest. It's Ben's send off party. We'll be converging on a friend's house up in the mountains (neutral ground works well for these events, no interruptions.) and bringing lots of food, beer, games and just general good will. Our game of choice is going to be the current campaign we're playing in; A 4E game. We're all having fun in it even though it wouldn't be my rule set of choice. (But that's fodder for another post.)

Years ago we used to set up the fest as either an introduction or finale to a campaign. OR we'd create power monger characters for a one-shot. Big fun... But not this time, we'll be continuing in a campaign we've been playing in for the last few months. It's all good. It's a send-off so it'll be fun no matter what we do.

On to the title of this blog, "A short one shot". As mentioned above, we have a fairly large group of guys descending on a remote location in the mountains in order to play a game over a weekend. We'll be gaming from Friday night through Sunday afternoon. One of the logistical issues with something like this is getting everyone to the same place at roughly the same time. And to be honest, I think our DM might be having issues with his car.

So, in lieu, I've decided (all by my lonesome...i.e. no input from my comrades.) to throw something "old school" together, just in case. The question is "What do I throw together"?

I mentioned "old school" for a reason. That type of rule set is conducive to quick character generation and a light hearted romp through some kind of encounter. It's what OD&D was created to do. Am I going to use OD&D? In all honesty, I doubt it. I'm just not familiar enough with it to run a smooth, fast, enjoyable scenario. I'll quite likely be using my Castles and Crusades rules. They're fast. Not quite as fast as OD&D, but I know them better.

This type of game (very short, maybe a couple of hours max) lends itself well to the swords and sorcery pastiche. And that's what I'm going to try and leverage for this particular game. Now, I don't even know if this is going to come about, like I said, I've entered into this w/ no one else's knowledge. It's all my own doing. But it's fun. I'm enjoying the little exercise and I can re-purpose whatever I create for my sandbox game I plan on running one of these days.

Here's where we get to the gist of the post, what do I run? I've been looking at a few things, and here are some of the ideas:
  1. Gabor Lux's fantastic "The Tomb-Complex of Ymmu M’Kursa" in issue one of FightOn magazine.
  2. Thulsa's rendition of the timeless Conan classic "Tower of the Elephant" (from Footprints magazine number 13)
  3. Gabor Lux's "Isle of the Water Sprites" for the JG Wilderlands setting.
  4. Davis Chenault's "The Slag Heap"
  5. And truly any number of older things from my JG collection. (I've even thought that maybe I'd use a small portion of "Caverns of Thracia")
Anyway, I'd have to do a bit of converting on most of those things listed but I could honestly do much of it on the fly. I'd like to have something that's very focused and short to run the guys through. I'd have a set of characters premade for them and a list of magic items from which to choose. I think that I'm going to run something anywhere from 3rd level through maybe 9th or so. I'll have to see.

As an aside, I had my daughters rolling up pregen characters last night. The old 3d6 in order method of course! LOL

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