I played Old School Hack last night, with Risus Monkey, a few of his regular players, and Gaptooth, and it was pretty great. I have a good idea I'm going to use this one myself sometime: the awesome point system gives me pretty much exactly what I want out of a one-shot, and the character creation system... oh, man, the character creation system. Only one character in the party can be of any class at a time, and all the information for a class can be contained on a single page, so class selection is literally a matter of just throwing down all the class options the GM wants to make available down on the table and letting the players go through them and take them as they call dibs. I decided to play a Swashbuckler, and my goal was to rescue a princess -- any princess, I didn't really care who.
Risus Monkey is a great DM, his player's are extremely entertaining, and Gaptooth, in addition to running the most memorable goblin PC I've ever seen (he was convinced he was Link, and ended up on a leash for most of the evening), is an excellent artist. If he doesn't upload the picture(s) he drew of his character soon, go whack him until he does. The whole thing was pretty much perfectly in line with what I want out of a one-shot. Fast, goofy, fun.
More importantly, it was one of the few times I've had the opportunity to play with a DM who really knew his stuff. The vast majority of the DMs I've played with have been very new, and very young -- often people I'd gotten into the game myself. The handful of times I've played with who had played for a few years before I met them (in real life) it's been similarly disappointing -- either their play style clashed dramatically with mine, or they just weren't very good. RPG blogging has, in fact, been my only reliable system for finding good DMs: DMs who are as serious about the game as I am, and at it long enough to get good.
I'm not exaggerating (much) when I say that this was the most fun I've had in a single night of gaming in the last couple of years. The game I played at GenCon with Roger the GS of Roles, Rules, and Rolls was great, and I ran a few decent one-shots during college, but it's been a while since I did a one-shot that was kind of a party at the same time and where everyone was pretty much on the same page, game-wise. Been a player in that kind of a one-shot, never.
It's really reminded me that I need to play these dang things more -- in person, with live people who know what they're doing. Some other members of my high school group who have moved back to the area have been talking about running "something," but I'm really not convinced at this point that anything's going to happen -- it's one of those everyone-says-"we should run a game"-but-no-one-makes-it-happen things. Hopefully I'll be able to meet up with this new crew on a regular-ish basis, but otherwise I may need to start trolling the local game stores (Or maybe Google Plus? That's how I got this invite in the first place.) for games to join.
And now, quotes:
"Let's see if he can beat the whore's indifference."
"Hair creme probably looks like a healing potion to him."
"Red thing that appears to be Swiss! You said you would come with us?"
"Hey! Where's my rope?"
"Hey! Where's my lamp?"
"Hey! Where's my hair creme?"
"Every two weeks I am dipped in caramel, and then it's ripped off!"
"Gaptooth, the ogre proctologist."
"The only ogre proctologist."
"I'm invisible to horses!"
"This is how we roll."
"Poorly. Haltingly. And with a lot of innuendo."