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Author Topic: Best one-shot rpg  (Read 5332 times)

BedrockBrendan

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Best one-shot rpg
« on: March 07, 2017, 10:00:52 am »
I think there is greater focus on long-term games here, but is there an RPG you think is particularly good at one-shot games (or even mini, 1-4 session campaigns)? Doesn't matter if it is due to the mechanics, core conceit, or setting.

Tristram Evans

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Best one-shot rpg
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 10:17:03 am »
Quote from: BedrockBrendan;949803
I think there is greater focus on long-term games here, but is there an RPG you think is particularly good at one-shot games (or even mini, 1-4 session campaigns)? Doesn't matter if it is due to the mechanics, core conceit, or setting.

Risus lends itself to fun one-off sessions.

Lady Blackbird is based entirely around a single in media res adventure.

Ghostbusters
seemed to be at its strongest with one-off "adventure of the week" games.

Hard to imagine playing The Farm more than once...
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Rincewind1

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Best one-shot rpg
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2017, 10:24:24 am »
While not technically an RPG in any traditional sense, Fiasco is my go-to one-shot game.
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Best one-shot rpg
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2017, 11:01:48 am »
A Rough Night At The Three Feathers for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. It's a true darling of perilous adventure, and a gem of a mini-adventure that can be reliably run in one evening. Night of Blood is also fantastic - it can be done in about 2-3 hours tops.
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DavetheLost

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Best one-shot rpg
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2017, 11:50:17 am »
Deep7 offers the 1PG line. Games based on popular movie genres. The character sheet and rules need for play fit on one page.  They are designed for quick oneshot games.

Cakebread and Walton's OneDice system works well for short adventures or campaigns. Largely because of its very simple mechanics and quick character generation.  It lets you get to the fun bits quickly.  It is robust enough to stand up to longer play if you so desire.

Crypt World from Goblinoid Games, or its ancestor Chill, works very well for a Monster-of-the-Week style game.  I have seen many one shot CoC games. Probably most horror games lend themselves to one shot scenarios.

I totally suck at running them, but I expect that espionage games would lend themselves to a single mission style.

Any game with quick character generation, smooth mechanics, and a clear mission oriented scenario should work for a one shot.  The less the players need to learn and know about the game mechanics before starting play the better.  Even a complex game can run a fine one shot if all the players are familiar with it. Character generation can be side stepped through the use of pre-gens.

Simlasa

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Best one-shot rpg
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2017, 12:27:13 pm »
Quote from: DavetheLost;949821
Crypt World from Goblinoid Games, or its ancestor Chill, works very well for a Monster-of-the-Week style game.  I have seen many one shot CoC games. Probably most horror games lend themselves to one shot scenarios.
Agreed, horror games generally favor one-shots over loooooong campaigns. I've done longer campaigns of CoC, even sandbox... but it becomes dark urban fantasy with moments of horror.

The Whispering Vault... sort of supers/horror... can be run as a longer campaign but I think it also thrives in small episodic chunks.

Matt

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Best one-shot rpg
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2017, 02:01:42 pm »
Quote from: BedrockBrendan;949803
I think there is greater focus on long-term games here, but is there an RPG you think is particularly good at one-shot games (or even mini, 1-4 session campaigns)? Doesn't matter if it is due to the mechanics, core conceit, or setting.


West End Games 1st edition Ghostbusters. Learn the rules in 5 minutes, make a character in 2 minutes, grab one of the many adventure ideas, have a ball, then set aside.

Larsdangly

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Best one-shot rpg
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2017, 03:41:42 pm »
If you want to do a one-shot session in a more traditional fantasy rpg setting, complete with real fights and so forth, I think your best option is the basic games in the Fantasy Trip series (Melee and Wizard). Character creation takes literally a minute, and the game is fast but surprisingly sophisticated in play.

Ronin

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Best one-shot rpg
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2017, 06:38:05 pm »
Any of the OneDice games from Cakebread & Walton. Ton of genres to pick from.

I'm also a fan of the 1PG, XPG games from Deep7
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cranebump

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Best one-shot rpg
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2017, 06:40:54 pm »
Dungeon World is pretty good (or Freebooters). Everything is on the character sheet. "GM Moves" are basically the thing you'd do anyway, but often with triggers.  I've enjoyed our long-running campaign with it, but am finally starting to miss rolling the dice myself, so we'll be moving on at some point to an M20 hack.
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Best one-shot rpg
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2017, 06:55:01 pm »
Trollbabe is created for this;).
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Voros

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Best one-shot rpg
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2017, 10:35:48 pm »
CoC works very well as a one shot. I've enjoyed Fiasco and want to try Lady Blackbird sometime soon.

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Best one-shot rpg
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2017, 03:13:32 am »
Sorcerers & Sellswords makes for fantastic one-shots.
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TrippyHippy

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Best one-shot rpg
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2017, 03:36:43 am »
Call of Cthulhu, because it gives full leverage towards character death, appropriate to the genre.

Paranoia, because its a perfectly set up scenario structure that can be replayed indefinitely, that involves no character development whatsoever to generate a good time (and up to six character deaths per player!).

Ghostbusters, for being the first, and arguably still the best rules light system with an easy-to-engage-with light hearted scenario set up.  

Unknown Armies, which actually has an excellent series of One Shot scenarios in this slim little classic.

Puppetland, which lasts precisely one hour and is a curiously perfect little diceless game.

Toon, for a night of inconsequential absurdity.

HoL: Human Occupied Landfill, for a night of inconsequential, offensive absurdity.

Feng Shui, for being an easy to introduce pick-up-and-play, kitchen-sink action movie game.

Prince Valiant, for having a system so simple, even children can literally pick it up and play.

The Whispering Vault, which is entirely designed and set up for one shot scenarios.

Doctor Who, which is also entirely episodic in scenario set up, with a TV show for inspiration.

Traveller, for having random tables set up for lazy scenario designers.

Fiasco, for having random tables set up for designing scenarios in any genre.


Your Favourite System, because lets face it, any game that you are familiar with can be used for a one shot as you wish.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 03:46:14 am by TrippyHippy »
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Best one-shot rpg
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2017, 03:39:54 am »
Quote from: TrippyHippy;949960
Your Favourite System, because lets face it, any game that you are familiar with can be used for a one shot as you wish.

Seconding this.  My Favorite System is perfect for a one-shot game.