Thinking about the game itself

So, as much as it's interesting to think about the specifics of rules and such, there are a few practical considerations to running a game. Some of them are game specific: What city should I use? Should the game start with the escape and revelation of the setting, or should it start with the characters a little more established? How powerful should the characters be?

Others are more general: How many players? Where should we play? When should we play? How long will the game run?

The general considerations come first. This is a newish system for me, and I think I want to cap out at 4 or 5 players. 6 is a comfortable spot for me if the system is seamless and the setting already has player engagement, but neither is true in this case. Keeping it slotted to 4-5 also means that as I get more comfortable with the game, it becomes more practical to bring players in for guest shots.

Next, I'm disinclined to lock into a long campaign with an untested game and system. I'm not averse to it turning into one if we have a lot of buy in, but I think it's a lot more reasonable to start with a short arc and see how it plays. That allows a beginning, middle and end that can give some satisfaction and payout to the players (and myself) and gives a definite ending point where we can stop and ask what to do next. Maybe it'll turn into a longer game, maybe it will be something worth coming back to later, maybe it will be a horrible disaster. It's just good to have an opportunity to stop and ask.

As an aside, I expect the first session to be primarily about character creation. I know everyone
could just make their characters offscreen and bring them to the table, but I really feel that if I want players to buy into the setting (and each other) then the return on sitting down to talk things out cannot be overstated. I intend to come in with some ideas and a rough sketch of the setting, and I'm hoping to draw the players into helping craft the details.

So, given that, there are really only two timeslots - a short weekday night slot or a longer weekend day slot. Weekday slots need to be shorter - the window is really ~7 to 11, realistically probably closer to 7:30-10:30, so there's a need to make the game pop in short order. This is challenging, but it's also probably good for the game. There isn't
time in these slots for shopping expeditions and there's a lot of appeal to that. They also have the advantage that it's reasonable to expect a weekday night game to happen every week.

A weekend slot has the advantage of having more
time, which allows for more play, but it also allows for post-play socializing, which I enjoy a lot. The downside is that the lack of time crunch makes the games more lax, both in and out of character. Weekend games also introduce more scheduling problems because people, quite reasonably, tend to go out of town, have guests, and so on. They tend to start from an "every other weekend" plan, and then turn into "Once a month, you're lucky."

I guess, now that I put it down on paper, weekends are easier. Weekdays are more work, but are probably better. Now, no way in hell I'm doing monday night - Skyfall did a good job of illustrating why Monday nights suck for any gaming that requires brainpower. People (myself included) are burned out, and you don't tend to know how much the day will suck until it comes, so there's little advance notice on cancellations. Wednesday is boardgames, so that leaves tuesday, thursday or friday. We've got a historical bias against friday since we theoretically should be out partying or something, but I've gotten old, and I admit the prospect of gaming with friends on a friday night appeals a bit more than fighting the local crowds for a restaurant or movie. Well, no need to decide right now, but that narrows it down reasonably.

As to where: for the moment, the only option is my place. As players are selected, the hosting options will open up, but that's the last step.

The issue of
who is going to play is perhaps a bit more complicated. There is always a dance of trying to include people but simply not having the slots for everyone, and looking to avoid leaving anyone feeling left out or slighted. What's more, I don't want to ask everyone at once - if too many people say yes, I get a bigger group than I want to handle, so the process of starting gets slowed down a little. The smart thing to do would be to narrow down which night I'll be running the game on, and ask people with that as the understanding. Not every night will work for every player, and it is easier to have them say no up front then end up in a position where one night works for one player and another night works for another, and suddenly choosing the schedule becomes about choosing between players. Awkward.

So, speaking with the one player I know I have (my wife), Friday looks most promising, so I think I'll cement on that, and start takingn it to people.