I ran my first one shot this past Sunday! It was really fun. It was supposed to be a casual one shot to relieve some of the tension of the epic campaigns that we run. I also wanted to give my husband, our usual DM, a break from the three year campaign we just finished. It was also his first time playing Dungeons and Dragons instead of running it.
Despite missing one of our regular players, I led the others towards a Fey Fayre full of wonder and whimsy. I bought the one shot on r-n-w.net for anyone interested in running it themselves. They played carnival games and won real life prizes. They also visited snack and drinks kiosks in the game which we tried to replicate in real life as best as we could. It was an interesting use of our Sodastream. There was also a talent show where the team was in the running to win the Grand Prize!
Playing the game itself was super fun. I had twists and turns ready for anything that might happen and it worked out well. They landed the necessary blow to the thief of the fayre to incapacitate but not kill him and managed to get the most votes in the talent show without any fudges from me.
Prizes for the games included plush toys, eggs that turned into dragons in water, consolation candy dot and marshmallow prizes, a canister of “liquid gold” slime. The Grand Prize was one of the those “gold bars” that have a precious stone inside and sometimes have real gold in them.
The game itself was amazing but I will say it was so stressful leading up the the day. I had to put together a lot of papercrafts to bring the fair into a 3D scene that the players could walk through. I didn’t get much sleep the night before so that was fun. The other weird thing that changed from being a player to being a DM was the disconnect.
The DM really can’t tell what the player’s are feeling. Every attention is being paid to running the game and there is no time to gauge if the players are actually having fun or if they are acting. We are an RP heavy group so it’s hard to differentiate between someone acting grumpy or being grumpy. This makes it hard to tell if you are doing a good job or not.
Afterwards it is just pure exhaustion. I felt like the battery had been unhooked from my brain and I just powered down. I barely ate something before collapsing. I did have enough energy to ask how my husband’s experience was.
He did not like it. He loved playing the fair and having fun but after having the cosmic control of a Dungeon Master he felt trapped in one single character. It was a gnome Artificer named Drip Drop. He wore a thick overcoat that was covered in hanging vials full of sloshing liquids. He will definitely become an NPC sometime in the future.
In the end we agreed that I would probably only want to run one shots as I don’t see myself running crazy long campaigns. I think I would start losing my hair if I did. Now, my husband is back to the DM chair and I am happily sitting with my new character waiting to see what new adventure he has in store for us.