One-Shot Wonder 1 :: Best Shot

One-Shot Wonder 1: Best Shot
Tell us about your favorite one-shot adventure. Did you play/run it at a con or at a private venue? What made it memorable?

From a brand new gaming blog, we have a new meme.
Mmm. The memory must be going for I have to list them first.
Of Which All Others
In the Shadow of Greatness
Five Sides to Every Story
Dead Men Tell Know Tales
When you have Illuminated the Impossible
Bloody Grievance
Zephyr Silk and Argent Rose

…and the last two don’t count because the Players asked them to become serial games with new stories and revolving casts.


Probably not much point in ranking or dissecting them all except to say that some barely passed my own threshold of success but pleased Players and one failed due to thin inspiration and pacing.
The best, and most run one-shot is Five Sides to Every Story.
Five Sides is incredibly easy to run and quite fascinating every time. It was created one Sunday night at AmberCon North ’99 because we had a room full of people who didn’t want the con to be over. Somehow a series of jagged ideas fell together with five players and one cultural catch-phrase from Darrheabarr. “There are five sides to every story.”
The premise is very spartan but the play is everything. Five pregenerated PCs and the collision of two cliche plot elements. Plot One is you are in an old empty building. Plot Two is you don’t really know who you are, and so you don’t really know ‘why’ plot one. Both of these are used by Zelazny in canon.
But the secrets and struggle make the flow of the game really entertaining for GM and Players both.
What I like most about this one-shot is the Player interaction as they roleplay pre-gens that they haven’t seen until game start, the amnesia, the mystery of where they are and how they got there, and the interaction of increasing pressure to solve the layers of the onion before something irreparable happens. Like someone gets killed.
In each time I’ve played it, the Players have always had a blast and impressed me a lot. That’s definitely a success to me.

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3 comments

  1. Thanks for the post Arref. I think this game sounds great! Can I get a copy?
    You also touched on something that I think is great about one-shots, you can GM them multiple times and see (or hear about if you let another GM run it) how the event turned out with different groups.

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