WashingCon, where Partner, Tom, and I will each be running a game of Red Markets out of this convention packet we're putting together, is coming up this weekend. I think it's going to be the first time we'll be running it for folks who haven't played in this system yet, i.e. the actual intended target audience. Well, Partner and I will. Tom may have run it for some of his local new folks, I'm not sure.
I did run it for the Technical Difficulties crew on Sunday — we all found some extra time due to the long holiday weekend (thank you Labor movement). And it's a good thing we could play this weekend because the scenarios are definitely four hours long. That told me that I need to trim down the one I ran (a trade caravan mission) because that was all the job. Four hours is the right amount of time for a convention session, but I need to build in time upfront to teach people the basics of the system. And time to remind and reteach system stuff during.
So. Out goes the middle stop-over on the trade route. I'd initially put that stop in because the whole thing didn't feel like an actual trade route with only two stops. But that's my assumption. And it was in the job as a purely roleplaying opportunity. One I haven't figured out how to use to prompt the player debate I was looking for. So, out it goes.
I could, theoretically, leave in the random (scripted) encounter that preceded it. But honestly I think I'll be getting more time back by cutting the encounter than the stop, so out that encounter goes too. Which is a bit of a shame for the players, since a lot of the money they could scavenge on this job is in that encounter. The players are just going to have to do a better job negotiating than the TD crew did this time – they ended up AT equilibrium. Which made for some fun banter in game. “So about that 10 bounty we're getting…”
I do still need to pull together a script for the teaching portion. Even if that doesn't end up in the final packet, I need it to remind myself of all the rules new players don't know. Because at this point I've just internalized a lot of them. Especially the basics which are all I should be getting into with new players.
Wish me luck folks...