Rather than play the Quickstart adventure for the game, "Good Fences Make Good Neighbours", the players decided that they would create their own player characters and that I would run a scenario off the top of my head (what I call "on a wing and a prayer", though I did plan out a couple of the basic things for it). I was a bit hestitant, but Donna convinced me that it would work on Friday, so I was game...
The three players - Donna, David, and Kendall - showed up for the game around 10 to 7 last night, and we started in on the game. I went through some simple basics about the game world and the type of horror that Chill 3rd Edition deals with, and some guidelines about character creation. The players had mixed feelings about the Token system, but were game to create characters from scratch, rather than use any of the templates or pre-generated characters.
Character creation was actually a breeze, and we were ready to start playing after about two hours, leaving about an hour or so to play. Donna created Jane Kracmir, a Polish immigrant's daughter and journalist, who had a neat secret and was a practitioner of the Art. David, her husband, created Matthew Wilkins, a simple farmer recruited by SAVE after he encountered a creature of the Unknown and helped a SAVE team destroy it. Kendall decided to play Wendy Davis, a student from the local university recruited by SAVE after dealing with a horror in the university tunnels. All was good, and I was quite pleased with the player characters and the simple, yet not uncomplicated, group of characters they had created.
Once character creation was resolved, we got down to playing. I used a basic set-up - a haunted house - and the death of a real estate agent through "unusual means" to get the characters involved in the adventure, and over the next hour and ten minutes of gaming, saw the characters go from the depths of despair to the ultimate moment of victory over the creature (no, I'm not telling you what they fought!), with all kinds of other emotions thrown in, and with (what the players told me later was) a heightened sense of tension and fear as the adventure worked to its climax.
Granted that I simplified the game mechanics and rules somewhat for the one-shot, but things worked out very well, and the creature gave them a bit of a tussle before finally succumbing to the wits and sheer refusal of the player characters to give up. While the players were leery of the Token system (they started with 5 Tokens, 2 of which were dark), by the end of the evening, they all commented that it was one of the best mechanics of that type they'd seen in all the games we've played so far, other than Primeval. :) When they realised what the creature was, they loved the scenario and how I'd set everything up, and were glad that they were able to save the-- umm, no, not going to tell you about that, either! :) David and Kendall commented that they really liked the basic mechanics of the game - roll D100 and roll under what your ability or Skill is - and found it very intuitive.
Overall, it was a pretty enjoyable evening of gaming in the world of Chill 3rd Edition, and I had a good evening, and it seemed the players did, too. I'm looking forward to when the game comes out later this year, and I get to run it with a physical rulebook. All three players liked the game enough to tell me that they'll play it when I'm ready to run it, so that's a good sign. :)