As previously mentioned I'm running adventures in the Perilous Halls of Sorrow at Arisia 2015 this next weekend. I'm pretty excited about it, but really don't know what to expect. I'm quite used to my GM style with my group of players and not sure how it is going to translate to a group of strangers. So maybe the excitement is actually a bit of nervous.
I created an excel sheet that generates characters for Hackmaster and then tweaks them out to be closer to the BXDH system that I've been working on. All of the characters are playable, but some are more playable than others, which is definitely metal. Players are going to the top two characters sheets and can choose between them. The discarded sheet goes back into the stack. Some of the characters generated are henchmen (or Shopkeeper by hackMaster standards). In this case (and they are clearly marked) the player gets the henchman as a loyal follower - an extra body to bring along on the adventure and feed to terrible monsters and grind up in nasty traps. Seriously - one shot gaming henchman are fodder ... and the players are going to need it :)
I wrote a short script/outline to go over "How to Do Everything" - it quickly covers the details of the character sheet (one page) and the general rules on how to do stuff. It should take 10 minutes to walk through. Hopefully I'll also be able to get some tone across while doing the walk through - metal, old school, rulings not rules, and encouraging players to do awesome things for the sake of it.
Even at a con game I still need this inspiration. While I have a damn lot planned out getting the players involved makes all the difference. I'll ask what rumors the characters have heard about PHOS or Royston Vasey (I named the mudhole village after League of Gentlemen), and get them into making notes on the index cards. After that, they can do as they please, but they'll end up in the PHOS one way or the other (it is a con game after all).
Also, characters belong to a n association of some kind - the Iron Brotherhood, Night Watch, that sort of thing. Other than the mage lineages, I don't have any details on these and will let players imagine and play them as desired. This might actually link up with the secret missions below.
I'm still focusing the game on exploration, but there needs to be something more clearly defined for a Con game, so I've got a specific but somewhat hidden plot-line for the main dungeon. But, as this is a portal into the Underworld, the players can change course and go explore other areas - one option they can come across early is an unrelated (but equally horrible) side dungeon temple to a Forgotten God (never a good thing to run across unless you love death and loot).
I was thinking of adding in some extra secret missions for players to make things a bit more interesting and, honestly, paranoia-style. Not sure if this is a good idea as there are plenty of other things going on, but for players who aren't all about "Enter the Dungeon? Fuck Yea!" it might help motivate.
My home machine shit the bed on Saturday ... maybe the mobo, but not really sure. I've never seen anything like it. Luckily I take most of my notes in a notebook and got some 50 character sheets printed out before that happened. I should be fine. I'm travelling all this week for work. SO I'll have time on the flights to do things, but I would really prefer to be home ... and my wife is sick ... and I'm traveling all next week as well. But enough complaining.