I've just wound up the Star Wars Saga Edition game I have been running for my local club. It's a Clone Wars era game that I'd envisioned as a lead up to Order 66 and the fall of the Jedi. The last session ended with the party ambushed unexpectedly by Clone Troopers during a New Hope-esque award ceremony.
I'd only planned past this point in the vaguest of sense, so it seemed like a good end of season cliffhanger for Season One of the game.
I've signed up to play a game next, which is quite unlike me, and have decided to work up some one shots to have in reserve should the regular GM not be able to make it.
As soon as I started thinking in terms of single session or two session games a whole new world of possibilities opened up to me.
I normally have an idea for a game, then see if I can use it as the foundation for a campaign. Which means that I usually end up running games that lose steam after certain story arcs have completed.
Focussing just on one short arc eliminates that.
I feel liberated.
I can run that Trail of Cthulhu game that has bootleggers and feds running afoul of the Mi-Go in the wilderness without worrying how to make the characters work in an ongoing campaign.
The World of Darkness Aliens vs Predator (Azlu vs Werewolves) idea? Perfect for a throwaway evening. It's not as though the characters could be used again.
One mental obstacle I've had to hurdle is the idea of a pre-genned character.
I've always been adverse to doling out ready statted characters to players. I've always enjoyed character creation myself, and pre-gens prevent that pleasurable experience. Sometimes I can't get behind playing a pre-gen, and I've had players from past games tell me that they don't feel like it's their character.
However, I found myself statting characters for two of players my Star Wars players. They told me what they wanted, and I generated something in that ball park.
I thought it worked pretty well, and received no complaints.
I'd run a one shot Trail of Cthulhu game a few months ago, and pre-genned some characters for that. About eight characters. I only got three players, who were spoilt for choice.
They all professed to enjoy themselves, and I loved the interpretations they bought to their characters. It was an experience I'd love to repeat.
At the moment I'm working up a one shot game for Pathfinder, using only Goblin PCs. By necessity it will be a one shot, as I don't expect the survival rate to be high (although the Goblin Barbarian I've statted is surprisingly hard to kill...)