Shadowrun General > General Discussion

One-shots vs. campaigns

(1/2) > >>

I remember recently seeing someone on one of the forums (I don't recall which one though) state that Shadowrun in general (that is, all versions) is better suited for one-shots or linked scenarios than it is for full campaigns.

That got me thinking. I don't believe that they meant that campaigns are difficult or don't work (as proven by other postings I've seen about people playing campaigns through multiple editions), just that the rules are more aimed towards one-shots/scenarios.

What do you guys think about this? (I know, I know... That's a dangerous question to ask on the interwebs ;D)

Either way.  Shadowrun works well for the drop in for a game and never be seen again character, and you can have multi-year personal stories play out. 

The Run/Job/Mission based structure give you a good reason to pick up a single person for one gig and never see them again.  But building history, character, backstory, and resolving long personal story arcs are all as easy in Shadowrun as any other RPG.

SR has so much history that isn’t really accessible in a one shot except as a chance reference... ok characters might not last but we’ve had an ongoing campaign for more than a decade (scary when I look back at the beginnings!)

Michael Chandra:
I see Shadowrun as a TV series with seasons and red threats per season. Structuring it that way really helped me offer different scenarios and engage personal backgrounds while still keeping a central plot hidden underneath the waves. Works perfectly like a campaign that way. Think Supernatural or Blacklist.

Shadowrun does have the advantage that it's more friendly to one-shots than for example D&D. With D&D, often the bigger adventures people set up are really focused at long-term involvement, or might even demand someone play multiple sessions in a row due to being in the middle of a dungeon crawl. With Shadowrun, the end goal is set from the start and each session can be run individually. At the start, you get offered a job. At the end, you hope you're still alive and that you'll get paid somehow. Much easier to close a case or explain why a random person is there one run and not the next.

In some ways I would say that Shadowrun promotes campaign play due to its rich and ongoing background of its universe. The mission format can fit one-shot play easily as others have mentioned but you miss out some on the richness of the universe then.

When my original group first got into Shadowrun when 1e released we've been going with that campaign since through the editions. Thirty years in now, we still have two of the original characters and we still have stories to develop, arcs to complete and the universe, its depth has kept us going.

It really depends on the focus of the players and the GM whether they find that Shadowrun leans one way or the other. That to me speaks to the versatility of the mechanics and the universe that is Shadowrun.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version