If you're reading this post, chances are you've already read one or more posts about the South Texas Minicon taking place next month in New Braunfels, TX. There's a website and everything. Last year it was a bit ad hoc, but this year we're actually trying to organize it a bit better with a rudimentary registration system. We'll also have a dealer's table. How that happened is beyond me, but it did. Looks like NTRPGCon has decided we're important enough to "sponsor", which works out for both parties. It may or not be a rumor that I will have a large flask in my possession at the con; perhaps you should find out.
Like last year, I want to run a game but am having difficulty picking something. I thought DCC would be good, or maybe Mechwarrior. After thinking a bit, the former lends itself to multiple sessions mostly due to the funnel taking a while to produce an actual party. Surely you can make 1st level characters, but that sort of defeats the whole point of the game and eliminates what appears to be the most interesting portion. A con session with massive deaths is appealing, though; but D&D-like games are in abundance. Mechwarrior would be pretty cool although I doubt anyone wants to play it at a con because once the first battle started we'd be stuck there all day. Screw that. That'll go on the back-burner as the G+/Skype game I talked about before. What is needed is a game that's quick, deadly, non-fantasy and which lends itself to one-shots. Taking a lesson from last year, here is what I learned: don't try to be kitschy unless everyone is on board. If you're going to go that route, it needs to be stated in the beginning so the players know how to approach the game...you can't come up with a concept that you think is really cool but could be played numerous ways. It should be patently obvious going in what to expect, lest you create a train wreck. I'm not blaming myself entirely for last year's fiasco, but I'm sure the players were expecting something much different. Not to mention the pregen I used was written for 8 year olds (no joke).
Given that, I think I'm going with Paranoia simply because it's scifi (sorta) and ridiculous. Plus it fits my style in that the players generate 90% of the conflict. I much prefer player-driven games vs. GM railroading, and when I have to supply not only plot hooks but extensive encounters to encourage pursuing those hooks I start becoming disinterested. That is bad. Sure, it's a con game, the players expect some railroading and will follow hooks without much effort on my part, but if I can put most of the onus on them, better for me.
So, Paranoia...it's deadly as hell, funny and requires no one to learn the rules. Plus just about any sort of plot can be shoehorned into a session. I'll have to look through my stuff to see if I have anything that'll fit within a 3-4 hour time frame, but if not I might write up a short scenario. Chris and Mack were talking about a STMiniCon adventure giveaway thing anyway, so maybe I'll do a Paranoia scenario based within the Hill Country after the apocalypse. Maybe.