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Running a con game of MLWM or DitV or what?

Started by John Kim, March 31, 2005, 04:08:10 AM

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John Kim

So, I'm pondering games to run for KublaCon, a Bay Area convention.  I think I can only go for Sunday and Monday, but I'd like to run two games.  One of them will be a Buffy RPG game, I think, but I'm pondering trying out an indie game -- like MLWM again or perhaps DitV.  Anyone have thoughts on running a convention game using these systems -- or perhaps just think it's a bad idea?  MLWM at least has a few notes on single-session play.  The tough part of either would be skipping character generation and going with pregenerateds, which I think is pretty necessary in a convention environment.  However, it seems reasonable to me, but I'm curious about other people's experiences and/or advice on it.
- John

GB Steve

I've run MLwM at a Con.

I think skipping character generation is a bad idea. The collaborative element of chargen is central to the game and really sets the scene for the players. Mind you, others have done this (a my life with Santa game which you can get on audio from and it worked fine. But I'd be loathe to drop it, it's a great experience and puts the players in the right frame of mind for the rest of the game.

On the other hand, I didn't let the players chose the Master. I think you can get away with not doing that at a Con without reducing the experience.

My con game worked quite well although one of the characters was not terribly suitable. I think you need to be strong as a GM in making sure that the set-up creates characters that are conducive to a good game.

We played the entire game in under 4 hours which was possible because of the low values of Fear and Reason.

Michael S. Miller

My Life with Master at a convention? I do it all the time.

Some previous advice threads:
[MLWM] how short can M&M creation be?
Pointers on starting a short game

Actual Play records:
[MLwM, InSpectres, WGP] Ubercon Spring 2005
[MLwM] The Destroyer of Dreams
[MLwM] Dr. Sweet's Clinic

All these games came in under four hours, because I tolerate NO dilly-dallying at the table. Master & Setting Creation in 20 minutes, Minion Creation in 25 minutes, Rules Overview and quick bathroom break in 15 minutes, and you're running the first scene one hour from the start of the session. I've got a few handouts I use to make this go smoothly. I'll send them to you tonight, if you like.

After that, the game runs like a well-oiled machine. Just go around the table: "What's your scene: A) Overture, B) Violence/Villainy in doing the Master's bidding, or C) reporting back to the Master and receiving new Command?" We play out each scene a little, roll the dice, finish off the scene, and BAM, head to the next person. by the end of your 4 hour session, the Master will be dead and your players will be saying "Whoa. That was awesome."

I urge you NOT to skip Master, Setting & Minion Creation, John. They are what makes the rest of it work so very, very well. Show up at the table with blank character sheets, an open mind, and a willingness to push people (both from a "push their emotional buttons" angle, and a "push them to keep from dawdling" angle), and this game will amaze you.

My rules of thumb for a 4 hour game:
for 2 minions: Fear 3, Reason 2, 1 point of Love to start, one Innocent
for 3 minions: Fear 3, Reason 3, 1 point of Love to start, one Innocent
for 4-5 minions: Fear 2, Reason 3, 1 point of Love to start, one Innocent
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I have run DitV several times at conventions with great success. I usually spend about 30 to 45 minutes with a quick character generation, then do initial conflicts for the characters. These are a great tutorial for the system, and then I run a pretty simple town with a solid demonic opposition (to make things nice and challenging). I have a couple of towns I have run previously, and I just re-use those. There are a whole bunch of nice meaty towns on the Lumpley Games forum here at the Forge that would work fine.

I think DitV is a good con game, it resolves quickly enough, and it is packed with interesting drama. I would recommend it.

Andrew Morris

Quote from: Michael S. MillerI urge you NOT to skip Master, Setting & Minion Creation, John. They are what makes the rest of it work so very, very well.
Yup. I was in the Destroyer of Dreams game, and what Michael says is true. I wouldn't have been nearly as invested if we'd skipped master and minion creation.

As to Dogs in the Vineyard, I think it works fine with pregenerated characters. I've only played it once, and it was at a con using pregens. I'm pretty sure it would be even more engaging if players created their own characters, but DitV has a strong setting to rest on, unlike MLwM, so I think it can run with pregenerated characters better.
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