[Crosspost from G+.]
I played another DramaSystem one-shot at Big Bad Con
this weekend, which gave me an idea for a KristaCon/LongCon format DramaSystem game. But first, a quick tangent: you should go to Big Bad Con. It's a great mix of indie and trad games, and the quality of players and GMs is quite high. Sean Nittner works hard to make it the most organized con I've ever attended. Maybe next year a Pelgrane Press room to match the Evil Hat room? Anyway.
So we did Colony Wars, GMed by Sophie Lagace. This makes twice I've done a DramaSystem one-shot and yeah, it's hard to make it shine that way. I did see the nice self-limiting factor that DramaSystem does so well: it's really hard to chew up more than your share of the spotlight, because when you get what you want you're spending tokens and if you're a less generous player the rest of the table will call fewer scenes with you. Elegant.
I had a point somewhere. Where did I put it? Right.
I now want to spend a con weekend running a four or five session DramaSystem game. The setting is tripartite: session 1 takes place as an extinction event is about to hit Earth. The players are those leading the effort to get a generational colony ship off the planet in time to save humanity. They're going to decide who lives and who dies, where the ship is going, and what it's going to carry. Theme: survival.
The middle sessions are life on the colony ship, with the themes decided by the players. You might or might not have the same players all the way through; it's encouraged, but not required. Each session is a new generation and PCs don't carry over.
The GMs do take meticulous notes. One of the props I'd want to build during the course of the game is a family tree -- while the PCs don't carry over from game to game, I'm seeing each session's PCs as descendants of the previous ones. Family squabbles, tensions, and debts? Those definitely carry over. I think each session should have the scene log of previous sessions available.
Possibly also we build some mechanic for carrying over bennie tokens? I'm not sure how that'd work, but it's something for me to think about.
Finally, the last session is the first generation on the new planet. Some PCs may care a lot about the colony ship; some won't really remember what life there was like. Mmm, generational conflict. If the colony ship had frozen passengers, maybe some people remember Earth. Theme: renewal.
I think you'd need two GMs for this minimum, and three seems better. First, if you want really good notes on the sessions, you don't want to distract the primary GM. Second, it seems like a good idea to give the GMs a break. Two GMs means you can alternate notes/active running, and three would be luxury. Third, someone else to bounce ideas around is important.
I would seriously organize this.