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Author Topic: [TSOY] How do I run a con-style short demo?  (Read 4163 times)
Andrew Craig
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Posts: 7


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« on: July 27, 2006, 02:52:42 AM »

Hey folks,

I understand that TSOY gets the twenty-minute demo treatment at cons, and since it seems like a much more efficient and effective way of encouraging people to play than just talking enthusiastically (my current method) I'd like to be able to run one myself.  But I've never seen one of these con demos, so if anyone who's played in/run one could tell me how they go, that'd be great.  I'm interested in stuff like...

How much information is on the character sheets?
What situations do you use?
What rules do you highlight?
What rules do you ignore?
When do you wrap it up?

(Basically, I've just read the ten-minute Capes demo, and I'm wondering what a similar thing would look like for TSOY.)

Cheers,

Andrew
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Andrew Cooper
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Posts: 724


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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2006, 04:54:16 AM »

I've run a short introductory game with my group.  It was more than 20 minutes but mostly that's because a) I let them create characters and b) I wasn't really trying to hit a time limit.  However, what I did could totally be scaled to run in 20 minutes and having seen a good many of the game demos at last year's GenCon, I'm pretty confident that I understand how the quick demo works.  Here's my scenario.  Make up better names for the characters and the McGuffin.

The Characters:

A Guardsman:  He works for the Baron and was recently sent to retrieve The Magical McGuffin of Doom.  He had the item but was attacked by agents of a rival noble on the way home and chased into an ancient ruin filled with ratkin.  One of the ratkin stole the McGuffin.  The Guardsman should have the Key of the Mission at a minimum.

Enemy Agent:  Works for a rival noble who wants the McGuffin also.  He has chased the Guardsman into the ancient city.  Key of Bloodlust works pretty good here.

Ratkin:  This Ratkin lives in the ancient city.  It's littermate is the one who stole the McGuffin... which is shiny and cool and he/she likes it.  Key of the Guardian and the Key of the Litter are good here.

The Baron's Daughter:  She hates her father (pick a reason that makes sense).  She's learned that the Guardsman is returning with the McGuffin.  She's gone to make sure he doesn't return with it.  I forget which Keys I had for her since I don't have the sheet with me.

Set up:  The scene opens somewhere in the ancient city.  All the characters are present, as well as the Ratkin's littermate who has the McGuffin.  Everyone wants the McGuffin for varying reasons (or at least doesn't want someone else to have it).  Go!

That's essentially it.  It's a one scene deal that should end up with at least 1 BDTP and probably a couple of normal resolution rolls.  People will almost certainly hit their Keys and if paying attention will probably be able to get 1 Advance out of the situation.
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Clinton R. Nixon
Moderator
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2006, 06:23:33 AM »

I've actually got my con demo online: http://files.crngames.com/the_shadow_of_yesterday/tsoy_demo.pdf.

The way I run it is pretty much spelled out in there - one to two quick, hard-hitting scenes with each player, and then I ask them what they would do next, getting them hungry for more play. The demo as written, however, can be extended to last up to about two hours, if wanted.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Andrew Cooper
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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2006, 06:37:39 AM »

Clinton kicks ass.
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Ricky Donato
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Posts: 156

Just chillin'


« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2006, 08:38:10 AM »

Clinton does indeed kick ass.
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Ricky Donato

My first game in development, now writing first draft: Machiavelli
Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2006, 08:45:34 AM »

My demo, which will see heavy use at Ropecon, is like Clinton's, except:
- I use a custom character sheet, simplified to draw attention to the order and importance of rules utilized.
- I use a cliched Mortal Combat situation set-up to keep gamers happy; a duel or two are always a fine way of showing a system in action.
Otherwise Clinton's got it.
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Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
Andrew Craig
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Posts: 7


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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2006, 11:32:44 PM »

Thanks guys, I couldn't have asked for a better response.
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