Running a Con Game

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spak_man
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Running a Con Game

Post by spak_man »

Hi there everyone

I've recently been invited to run a game at Draconis 2008 here in Montreal, and I've been tossing around the idea of running some good ol' C&C. The thing is, Ive never run a Con Game before, and I'm terrible at writing short adventures. The Thursday Nighters can attest to that, the part we got done of Gamma World was less than Half of what I had written up, and I rushed (steamrolled, bulldozed, massacred.. you get the Idea) through the intro to get things started as quickly as possible.

Anyways, I have a couple of questions/requests for you all

1) Any suggestions for good modules to run at a con? Ill be using pre-gen characters to maximize play time as the game slots are 4 hours iirc. I'd like to have the characters at aprox 3-5th level to help show off the SIEGE engine a bit. I'm also looking for something that will help play up the differences between C&C and 3.x/4th

1a) Failing that anyone have any tips for writing short, one-shot adventures without my brain wandering off and trying to create a campaign?
2) Any advice for someone running their first con game? Experiences, anecdotes, or even real advice from someone with more con experience than myself would be appreciated

3) I was thinking of printing out a couple of copies of the C&C Quickstart rules, getting them bound and giving them out after the game. Any other advice for Freebies (or cheapies) to give out? Any legal issues I'm blissfully unaware of regarding giving out material available freely online?

Thanks

-Andre
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"A DM is like a duck." -Aramis
"thats the one where you explode. You sure you wanna do that?" -Titania
"It has a Rate of fire bonus of ... Ouch!" - JarredMcgee

serleran
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Post by serleran »

Con sessions are not meant to be "completed" per se, especially if its "tournament style." So, for the levels you suggested, I'd go with Dark Chateau. Its involved enough to keep you going, and enticing enough to keep the players guessing.

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Post by cheeplives »

Some advice from my first C&C game at GenCon last year:

1) Let the players make their own characters... C&C is all about speed. Show it off if you have the time to.

2) Come up with "standard equipment" for each class and let the players just take that with some slight modifications. Equipment selection is always the slowest portion of a game...

2a) Have sample spell lists with all the details listed out to make magic users easier to handle.

3) Try to encourage each PC having a connection to at least one other PC before play starts. Make sure the players understand that connection. This is really helpful in mixed groups of people who haven't played with people who have. It can be as simple as writing down a few "hooks" on pieces of paper (for example: "You think of another character as a younger brother" or "X character saved your life in an earlier encounter..."). Take a few minutes to give the players time to familiarize themselves with each other's PCs... group dynamics can really help con games

4) Keep things moving... don't get bogged down in a rules call or looking things up. Remember that the SIEGE Check is your friend... when in doubt, SIEGE it.
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Buttmonkey
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Post by Buttmonkey »

I'd recommend going in the opposite direction -- i.e., stick with pregens.

Yes, it's possible to roll up C&C PCs very quickly, but whenever I've had newbies do chargen, they spend a ton of time looking through each of the classes to get a handle on their class abilities. I would expect this to be even worse with medium-level PCs since the players would have to absorb class abilities that wouldn't be in play with 1st level PCs. Providing the players with class-appropriate equipment lists will speed things up, but just picking a class and going through the roll-up procedure can take a ton of time. Just my 2 coppers.
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spak_man
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Post by spak_man »

Yeah, I'm pretty sure I will be sticking with pre-gens.

It'll save some time, especially considering I want to start at slightly higher level. I'm thinking of allowing some customization however (for example, allowing spell casters some choice of spells; you have spells W, X, Y, Z and 2 from this list, Fighters chose their weapon specialization, etc..) just a little something to let the players have some say in their character

-Andre
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"A DM is like a duck." -Aramis

"thats the one where you explode. You sure you wanna do that?" -Titania

"It has a Rate of fire bonus of ... Ouch!" - JarredMcgee
QUOTES FROM GMS
"A DM is like a duck." -Aramis
"thats the one where you explode. You sure you wanna do that?" -Titania
"It has a Rate of fire bonus of ... Ouch!" - JarredMcgee

serleran
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Post by serleran »

If you allow fighter's to choose their weapon specialization, you might also consider giving them something like "weapon +1" instead of "specific weapon+1" so they can always make use of their WS, unless they really don't want to, of course. Otherwise, they're just going to take the WS with whatever magic weapon they have (assuming they have one, naturally.)

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Post by spak_man »

serleran wrote:
*snip*you might also consider giving them something like "weapon +1" instead of "specific weapon+1"*snip*

Not quite getting what your saying here... do you mean that btb its supposed to be a SPECIFIC weapon , say "My Fathers Long Sword" or "The long bow I carved from the old rosewood back home"? Or do you mean that I should let them take a weapon type as a specialization for example One handed Swords, Polearms etc.. instead of Short Sword, or Poleaxe?

or am I completely misinterpreting what your trying to say
-Andre
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"A DM is like a duck." -Aramis

"thats the one where you explode. You sure you wanna do that?" -Titania

"It has a Rate of fire bonus of ... Ouch!" - JarredMcgee
QUOTES FROM GMS
"A DM is like a duck." -Aramis
"thats the one where you explode. You sure you wanna do that?" -Titania
"It has a Rate of fire bonus of ... Ouch!" - JarredMcgee

serleran
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Post by serleran »

No.

This is what I am saying:

If you say "the fighter has a longsword +1" then the player is most likely going to take longsword as the WS.

If, on the other hand, you just say "the fighter has a magic weapon" then you can decide if the weapon they select to have WS is, in fact, the magic one. So, if the player selects battle axe, you can then say "the magic weapon is a battle axe" that way the player does not feel "required" to take WS in whatever weapon you're providing them with. In this way, if you decide the magic weapon is not the weapon they have WS for, they may, or may not, use the magic weapon most often... depending on what is called for (like, a magical mace being better against skeletons than a WS nonmagical sword...)

Its all up to the illusion of option.

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Post by cheeplives »

Well, I ran a 3-5th level adventure at GenCon with a group of C&C novices and a few complete newbies to RPGs. I let them make their own characters and we got through the 8 characters in no time... it did help that I had char sheets with all the class abilities listed out right on them... so I could hand a packet of char sheets to each player and the person could pick the one they liked the most.

So, while I prefer pregens for most con games, I see no problem with doing C&C gen if you have the time to spare (I did pad an extra 30 mins into my game length for generation).
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spak_man
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Post by spak_man »

ok, I get it thanks for the clarification

That's a great idea, Ill be sure to use it and claim it for my own

MUAHAHAHA..

-Andre
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"A DM is like a duck." -Aramis

"thats the one where you explode. You sure you wanna do that?" -Titania

"It has a Rate of fire bonus of ... Ouch!" - JarredMcgee
QUOTES FROM GMS
"A DM is like a duck." -Aramis
"thats the one where you explode. You sure you wanna do that?" -Titania
"It has a Rate of fire bonus of ... Ouch!" - JarredMcgee

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Breakdaddy
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Post by Breakdaddy »

Just from my perspective of course: I ran a 4 hour game at Troll Con this year. I wrote it myself and made sure that there was a synopsis posted on the wall at the con so that people knew what they were signing up for. The synopsis follows this post in case you're interested in seeing how it was written. I did two days (about 3 hours per day) of research on Gaelic/Celtic mythology and wrote my outline (less than a page). I then wrote the adventure based off the outline with an eye towards open-endedness so that I didnt set the characters up on a railroad (by necessity, such a short game requires a bit of railroading but I tried to minimize this by laying ample clues and making it mission based). If you want to use a published adventure, you are going to have to look for a really short one, as most are set up for more than 1 4 hour session. I would personally write a synopsis of something you think would be cool to run and then go for an outline thereafter. Study the outline and then write something that is short enough to complete in one session. This can be helped by not having a lot of NPCs but focusing on the few you do have by giving them a lot of personality and having each of them loaded with bits of information about the adventure. Most importantly, be prepared for the adventure to TOTALLY derail (luckily mine didnt this time!) and have a couple of other adventure hooks in your head in case they want to go a different direction (something they shouldnt do since you posted a synopsis of your adventure for them to read already.). My synopsis follows. It was a really fun game and it even helped convert a guy who never played C&C over to the cause (by his own admission):

The town of Carnwych is under attack! The Trow of Maeshowe on the Moor have risen up against the sleepy town in great numbers, ending the uneasy peace that has existed for two generations. The town militia has has been decimated and the entire community is on the brink of complete annihilation. Runners have alerted the priests of Odin at Stenness, who in turn have sent out a call for the Kyndroff to save the town from oblivion. The Kyndroff, an organization of bonded witch hunters that seek out dark fey and other malicious entities, have sent five of their very best to eradicate the Trow threat. Caradoc, Angwyn, Ganfael, Uther, and Kynon must use all the cunning and prowess they can muster to live up to the Kyndroff legacy and secure their place in the songs of the skalds alongside their legendary brethren.
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Breakdaddy
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Post by Breakdaddy »

A little more as I just thought about it: Have a list of NPC names just in case you need to pull one out of your... uh, the air. Also, dont inundate the players with descriptions as you have too little time. Go for an overall atmosphere such as a constant drizzling rain under a dreary grey sky. Focus on the five senses and occasionally give a bit from any of them. A creaky floorboard that groans in protest as the heavily armoured paladin plods across the floor or the smell of cooking ham emanating from an inviting Inn with tufts of smoke lazily wafting skywards. The Inn I just described would be PARTICULARLY inviting if the road weary travellers had just been splashing along a rain swollen muddy trail, thus steering them in the direction you wanted them to go.
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Orpheus
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Post by Orpheus »

Oh. You're running a game for a CONvention. By the title of the thread I was hoping for a way to scam some old lady out of her life's savings.

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Re: Running a Con Game

Post by gideon_thorne »

For con games, the old classics are still the best.

3 shells and a marble.
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Post by seskis281 »

Orpheus wrote:
Oh. You're running a game for a CONvention. By the title of the thread I was hoping for a way to scam some old lady out of her life's savings.

Don't put down the Grift... it's not just a living, it's a way of life.
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Orpheus
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Re: Running a Con Game

Post by Orpheus »

gideon_thorne wrote:
For con games, the old classics are still the best.

3 shells and a marble.

I was outside of a Rush show at the old Omni in Atlanta one time and some dude tried to rope me into playing a little Three Cart Monte: "No. No thank you." "Awww man. You just be scared." As if that was going to convince me to hand this bum my money. Like I'm Freddie "F'in" Flintstone: "Bet? B-b-b-bet?"

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Post by Greg Ellis »

You might find some useful opinions in this thread:
http://www.freeyabb.com/phpbb/viewtopic ... llordgames

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Breakdaddy
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Post by Breakdaddy »

Did you ever get this game off the ground? Im interested to know how it's coming along.
"If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you."
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spak_man
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Post by spak_man »

Oh, no news yet, the Con is the first weekend in October, so its still a ways off.

Ill keep you posted
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"A DM is like a duck." -Aramis

"thats the one where you explode. You sure you wanna do that?" -Titania

"It has a Rate of fire bonus of ... Ouch!" - JarredMcgee
QUOTES FROM GMS
"A DM is like a duck." -Aramis
"thats the one where you explode. You sure you wanna do that?" -Titania
"It has a Rate of fire bonus of ... Ouch!" - JarredMcgee

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Breakdaddy
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Post by Breakdaddy »

Ahh ok then, keep us posted!
"If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you."
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