Favourite Con One-Shot – RPGaDay 2023

The question is:

Favourite Convention Module / One-Shot

I run a lot of these. It’s my dominant involvement in the hobby — or certainly has been over the last decade or so.

You cannot really go too wrong with something like a Dungeon Crawl Classic‘s Funnel adventure. A Funnel provides the meat-grinder approach to taking a group of ordinary folk and working them over to uncover their adventuring potential. The low prospect of success seems to be at the heart of the fun.

I have run The Portal Under The Stars, included in the Corebook, on several occasions. Right from the very first room, there’s a very real potential for fatalities, which is the idea. These hapless folk throw themselves into harm’s way without any essential tools to guarantee success. There’s a glorious range of other options, as the Funnel is a perennial favourite for those wanting to try DCC. Check out anything marked as a 0-level adventure.

Another favourite one-shot from recent memory is Chariot of the Gods for the Alien RPG. It might seem that this isn’t a one-shot to anyone who has read it, but I have handled it that way on several occasions. Pace is your friend. Better still, visible countdown timers on the table and a notion that each Act should last no longer than an hour, with only a little wiggle room in the first for introducing people to the game and their characters.

It’s a really good reason to pick up the Alien RPG Starter Set, which includes character cards, maps, handouts, the adventure, and the fancy Alien design 6-sided dice.

I think, like DCC Funnels, the low prospect of survival adds to the experience, but probably for different reasons.

And, to blow my own trumpet, Save Innsmouth is a frequent return journey for me, ravaging the student population of the Miskatonic University since its original release in 2016. I have run this many times for many different people and steadily expanded and polished it over the years.

It features in the newest edition of Cthulhu Hack with expanded advice on varying the length of the session (I’ve run it in 2-hours, but it could spread across two or three sessions) and filling out the details with background, flashbacks and other discoveries.

Maybe it’s just me, but survival in this one is low, too. Is that my essential ingredient for an enjoyable one-shot?!

RPGaDay is a prompt-driven experience in tabletop roleplaying, initiated by Dave Chapman of Autocratik and powered by you and me.

The prompts for this year are as follows — and you can find out more on Dave’s website.


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