Blades for the REALLY short one-shot

I’ve read this and it’s great.

But in the one-shots I’ve played (4 hours?) we’ve typically done around 2-3 short score-downtime cycles, depending on if the GM did character creation. You get a sense of the flow of the game as it’s meant to be played, even if you aren’t using some of the advanced rules.

So what do you think you’d do to run a really short one-short? A demo-length, hour-long game. Something where you are just doing one score. No cycles.

Has anyone done this?

My first thoughts on it would be:

  • Pre-gens
  • No Crewsheet
  • Maybe even use World of Blades for extra simplicity?
  • Start the game in the action, no “get offerered a job” scene or anything. Bam, you’re on a speeding train.

And then this is my big idea:

  • Hack entanglement rules to be more like the fallout rules in Fiasco or something.

So instead of providing narrative hooks that spur more play (brilliant, of course, for a longer game) they instead provide interesting ending scenes for these characters. Maybe each player rolls for their own character, based on a personal heat score and their stress level or something.

Outcomes would be things typical of the genre, the same kinds of arcs you might get in a full Blades game (retirement, locked up or hanged, burned out, starts a crew of their own, taken out by a rival, etc.)

This super short one-off would, in a sense, be emulating the final act of a crime movie, rather than a season of TV, the way Blades does as is.

(The reason I am thinking of these things is because FiTD designers, like me, have to constantly wrestle with the fact that, really, we’ll be lucky if people play our games for a single session. We should be designing for that experience even more than the longterm one. MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE POSTED THIS IN FORGED IN THE DARK :sweat_smile:.)