One Shot Wonder 2 :: Worst

One Shot Wonder: Worst
What was the worst one-shot you have ever played or GMed? What went wrong and what lesson(s) did you learn from the experience?

I played in a con game where the character creation for a dozen people lasted over 3 hours. I didn’t like that, even though the game was OK. I believe that it would be hard for a game to generate so much excitement that waiting for 3 hours would work for me.
Maybe that works for a six hour slot, but I don’t think so because it wasn’t ‘play’, it was sitting around. In a shorter slot, I’ve seen folks get an hour of play because of character creation using most of the slot. Ugh.



  1. “Fire Walk With Me,” a Twin Peaks based adventure, and my very first convention game.
    The GM had a player hijack the game, steal his plot-moving device, and chase half the players from the room in the first 1/2 hour of play. I didn’t know any better, so I stuck it out (with many thanks to the kind fellow player that let the effectively useless newbie tag on his heels.)
    In retrospect, I feel terribly sorry for the GM, whom I don’t think I have seen since – and why should that surprise me?
    In further retrospect, if I ever find myself in the same game/room with this fellow again, I will be the first to walk. It was horrible and the worst introduction to the con-game format I can imagine.
    I headed into the continuing/serialized games and have played one-shots only rarely since (at ACUS, anyway – I get braver when I am out of state, dunno why…)
    Funny how this ties in to other discussions out there lately, hmmm?

  2. With Everway you could make character generation into a sort of play–but it’s not the same thing.
    I’m glad I had all my TBR characters built or pregenned.

  3. Thanks for the post Arref. The idea of creating the characters for a one-shot is truly strange. We (RP-Artisans in Colorado) run an event where the characters and the event are created in the first hour (the GM is a player too), but it is tightly paced and most of the work (i.e. stats) are done for you (it’s called MadHacks), but that only works because it is so tightly paced and because the characters and the scenario are created in conjunction. I don’t think I would ever write a proper one-shot without having written the characters to go with it.
    Jenn, I liked your story and find that a lot of people have been turned off of convention games and one-shots especially by their first experience. I’m glad to hear you are giving them a chance again.

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