By focusing on short, character driven, premade adventures, One Shot RPG is designed to solve the problems facing the average tabletop role player. The issues they experience relate to time commitments and getting a consistent gaming group together. One Shot RPG must respect their time, quickly get them into the game, and be easy to run, even if everyone can’t show for the night.
The Issue of Time
The average tabletop roleplayer has a family, a full time job, and countless other commitments and distractions. They may not have the time to invest into running or playing a traditional campaign, which at times can seem like a second job. One Shot RPG, as the name says, focuses on one shot adventures, adventures that can be played from start to finish in one night. Each product provides a complete experience and story that’s ready to fill one session of gaming. Players should start the one shot feeling like they have a challenge to overcome and finish with the feeling they’ve accomplished something meaningful together.
The Issue of Organizing a Group
Because each player has little time and multiple commitments, it’s hard to get a consistent gaming group together. When players can’t make it, the group may cancel that session, only to find out that someone else can’t show for the next planned date. Repeat this until the group never meets because someone will always be unavailable. The group may decide to go ahead and meet without the missing players. This can lead to the problems of being unable to tell a compelling narrative and causing drama around the player’s character.
Missing a play session is like missing an episode of a tv show, but the episode won’t ever be available on a streaming service. The rest of the group can summarize the episode to the player, but a summary is not the same as watching it live together. Major details in the adventure will be missed and awesome moments glossed over. It’s hard to tell a compelling story when people aren’t there to experience it. One Shot RPG solves this problem by presenting a short, complete story from start to finish. The narrative wraps up the major plot points during the session, and is designed to be finished in one night. The state of the story “resets” after each play through, meaning that missing players won’t have to know what happened to enjoy the next one shot. Next gaming night, the players that can show up will be able to play a brand new complete adventure, without feeling left out. That doesn’t mean each adventure can’t contribute to an overarching story, but the primary goal is to tell a narrative in one contained package.
Another issue that missing players cause in a traditional role playing group is what to do with that player’s character. If the group decides to leave the character out, they have to come up with excuses as to why the character’s not there all of a sudden. The player may feel left out and that they are being punished for having other commitments. The remaining players may decide that the group or the game master may take control of the character for the night. That can make the character feel like an afterthought, and cause tensions if the player wasn’t present when their character was involved in a major story moment. Imagine a player has to miss a session because on of their kids was sick, only to find out their character was severely injured because the group mismanaged playing as them. Or that their character had the skillset to overcome a major challenge, but they were sidelined because the game master was too hesitant to stir up any drama by letting the character take meaningful action.
One Shot RPG solves the problem of missing players by providing a set of premade characters for each adventure. These characters “reset” at the start of the next adventure, and each adventure rotates the group of characters. The characters available to each adventure are based on fulfilling a mechanical goal, so all characters will have a use in the story. If a player misses the adventure it can be run with less characters, and the character they “main” might not even be available for that one shot anyways. Players are free to put their own spin on the character they’re playing, while keeping the benefits of having a fresh character with each session of play.
The Issue of Preparation and Accessibility
In a traditional role playing game campaign, the game master is in charge of doing most of the prep work. Like their players, the game master also has a family and countless commitments, and doesn’t have that much time to create something unique. One Shot RPG provides game masters a complete setting, adventure, and characters as a baseline. The game master can then choose to incorporate their own material if they have the time, or they can use the one shot as is. Because most of the prep work is done for the GM, they are free to spend time creating content that will provide a unique experience that’s tailored to the group.
Providing a complete role playing game adventure in a single product demonstrates a focus on accessibility. Accessibility in regards to One Shot RPG means that the product is easy to pick up and play with little effort on the players or the game master. The setting and adventure is already created, players pick from premade characters, and the one shot comes in the game system the group is already playing with. The encounters have clear goals and there’s a clear path that the players can take towards “winning” it. All of these aspects are designed to get the group together, get them playing, keep them playing, and having fun.
The Issue of Game Systems
The role playing game community has fractured itself based on what game system they view as the best. This also has the side effect of fracturing the products and settings available to each system. A player’s favorite setting may not be available in the system that everyone else is playing. One Shot RPG does not introduce another system onto the pile. The products are designed to be generic, with little mechanical rules, instead focusing on the story. Rules and statistics for individual systems can then be created and offered to the game master and players as a separate download for free.
Introducing One Shot RPG
One Shot RPG is designed to solve the issues laid out above, catering towards the average strapped-for-time-gamer. The adventures focus on premade characters, which reduces drama allows players to get into the game quicker. One Shot RPGs are complete, short experiences, which reduces the prep work for the GM, which frees them up to put their own spin on the product. The group can get together when they can, while the players that have to miss won’t feel left out. In one night everyone will feel like they have played something exciting and meaningful in a sci-fi/horror setting.
Fostering a Community
By focusing on complete short adventures, using premade characters, and being systemless, One Shot RPG is able to foster a community of dedicated players. Fans will rally around their favorite characters. Any group of players can meet, choose an adventure, and have fun even if they’ve played the products out of order. Fans can port rules into their own gaming systems and share them with other fans. Game masters can share the changes they made to the story and how it benefitted their group of players. The drama and hassle of keeping a gaming group together, when no one can meet regularly, is minimized. Instead everyone is having fun. One Shot RPG is designed for everyone to have fun.