This past weekend I was in beautiful Regina, Saskatchewan for a wedding. While the bride entertained hosted a girls night out for female out-of-town guests, I was paired with a conveniently rounded-up game group for a BBQ and an RPG session. As if I planned it that way, Skulduggery serves perfectly for this sort of one-time pick-up game. Its lighthearted tone, simple rules, fast character creation and emphasis on one-shot play all came through once again.
For the third time, I ran “If Space Permits”, the comedic space opera scenario set in a decadent far future. I’m now seeing another selling point from a GM’s point of view: thanks to a loose, player-driven structure, the same scenario comes plays out very differently each time it’s run.
The scenario features a group of space traders attempting to corner the market on hallucinogenic jumpwine amid the chaotic bacchanal of an annual vine festival.
With the in-house group, a comedy of disasters ensued, with the final presentation to the Wine Council concluding in a hail of laser fire. When I ran it at Hammercon, crazy side action was the order of the day, and it was revealed that one of the crew members was being stalked by his killer clone. A high degree of player input reflected that group’s indie propensities. This last session was devoted to highly methodical scheming in pursuit of the collective goal.
Skulduggery scenarios throw a lot of balls into the air and encourage the GM to run with the ones the players choose to catch. If you design your own Skulduggery scenario, or use one from the book on groups unfamiliar with it, you’ll be able to run it a bunch of times and still be surprised by events as they unfold each time.