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Good Convention Scenario (under 4 hours?)

Is Mind Merchants a good convention scenario as far as fitting in the 4 hour time slot well?

Does the quick start still work if you use the sample characters from the core book instead of the characters from the novels?

Do the individual pieces of Phantoms of Mars work well enough stand alone to have a satisfying conclusion all their own and fit in a 4 hour game slot?

I imagine Mind Merchants would work well but it does have an open ended ending which may feel a like a let down to some players as a one shot.

If you’re going to get it into four hours I’d suggest having the players find their weapons as soon as they escape the cage. I had the breakout and fight the guards for their weapons and it really slowed things down. I think it might work well with the right players but it killed the momentum with our game (though we all had loads of fun).

Modiphius have a version of Mind Merchants on their YouTube channel which runs in under four hours, that might be worth a look.

If you’ve got the Narrator Screen then the adventure builder looks pretty good (I know the Conan one was great).

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Hullo, Werlynn,

I haven’t run the adventure at a convention at all, though I have run it on one of my gaming groups as a test scenario for the game back when it was still in Beta, but…

“Mind Merchants of Mars” would likely work pretty well for a convention scenario, but there are two provblems with it. First is the fact that it’s an open-ended scenario, meant to be the first salvo in a campaign. If I were to run it for a convention, I’d want to give it an actual solid ending so that the players weren’t feeling left down by the ending to what would really be a one-shot, rather than a campaign entry point. Second, the fight to escape the guards at the beginning could take longer than is best for a 4-hour scenario, especially since you also have to spend say 10 minutes explaining the game rules and mechanics.

Virginia of Modiphius ran “Mind Merchants” on the in-house gang at Modiphius in a set of four, roughly one-hour videos over on Youtube. I know that I plan to borrow the set-up and basic plot she ran for my campaigns.

That said, another option would be to write a scenario for a convention game. The adventure generator in the Narrator Toolkit might be good for doing this. :slight_smile: I’ve already generated a couple of basic stories for my gaming campaigns this way.

Hope that’s been useful.

JohnK

4 Likes

Thanks. Since time is short I may pick something I know better instead.

What about the quick start? Is the story really tied to the characters from the novels?

If I hadn’t put off finishing it I’d just do the Conan intro adventure I was working on, but I didn’t so I can’t.

Hullo, Werlynn,

The Quickstart scenario is actually one that I ran at CanGames 2018, and it worked rather well in the 4-hour slot. You’ll actually have about 3.5+ hours to run it, given that you need to go over the mechanics with the players and especially the Momentum, Threat and Luck rules.

I ran it twice at the convention, once with the characters from the novels, and once with characters that I created myself at the time using some scatterbrained ideas I had (since the early version of the character creation rules were a bit different). Worked fine.

JohnK

2 Likes

Thanks! 10char