Twice at Gen Con I got to run Razed for players new to the game and, in many cases, new to the Gumshoe system. Each game was an eye-opener.
Before I type another word, though, I’ve got to heap praise on the things that made these game sessions possible: Games on Demand and a slew of curious, open-minded gamers. Games on Demand was a hub of activity at Gen Con, busy with bodies throughout the show. If you’re unaware, Games on Demand is a matchmaking program that pairs players in search of games with GMs looking to run games. Many of these games are independent titles and some few of them (like Razed) are playtests. As a GM, you volunteer your time in one or more two-hour slots, list a bunch of games you feel comfortable running, and gather players from the gamers that assemble on the slotted hours—organic, easy, effective.
For example, in two different slots, when we had players looking to play something, they knew not what, I offered up Razed. In each slot I nabbed a full table of four or more players, based off this simple pitch:
Razed is a post-apocalyptic survival and investigation game forthcoming from Pelgrane Press.
In both cases, hands went up before I finished the pitch. So that’s the second thing I want to heap praise on: the willingness of gamers at Gen Con to try new games. A mighty thanks to all of you who played in my Razed sessions, truly.
Now, let’s talk about how my eyes were opened and what I saw.