That's right folks, tag line about says it all doesn't it? Now, I'm not going to give the play by play on what happened - though I will give the scenario for those wanting the idea - but I did want to let folks know (those who care) that the One Shot ran by a first time GM yesterday went off amazingly well.
The scenario was simple, a Science Fiction story. The players all woke up in a locker room of a star ship, with no recollection of how they had gotten there, what they had been doing previously, what they should be doing now, and all wearing strange clothes. A check of the lockers revealed weapons and some vital pieces for the ship (a hyper-coil for the engines, a core system for the life support, a key to be able to pilot the ship). The game was then to figure out what was going on, why they were there, and to survive by fixing the ship and recovering it, or just getting off.
A simple scenario, but one that works amazingly well for a one shot.
What I Learned
I wasn't expecting to learn anything with this one shot, instead figuring I'd be the teacher helping out the new GM when they got confused. Instead I did learn something. I learned just how unimportant systems are for a game. Sure, they make some things easier - like handling conflict - but our GM in question had next to no knowledge about the system. Just a few (5 maybe) sessions of playing in a game with it. He had to ask a few questions for rolls, but for the most part he was able to just go, and use narration to keep things running smoothly. Sure the combats needed the system, but aside from that it was really interesting to see just how little the system came into play with the game. I'd like to say part of it was the players as well, but a lot of credit for this goes to the GM.
What He Learned
I think the biggest thing that our new GM learned is that Players will very rarely do what you expect. He had been prepared with answers for all sorts of questions and venues of the plot and what was going on behind the scenes. The players didn't go anywhere near that stuff, instead focusing on the matters of hand and worried that the ship was going to crash into the sun (not an invalid concern!).
Considering this is probably the most important thing to know as a GM, that players will go and do their own thing, and that you need to find a way to not stifle that while still keeping them on track. He did that well - especially considering this was his first time - but it was still something worth learning.
The most important thing here is that everyone had a good time, and a new GM has been born. There may be more competition for who gets to run the next game. Then again, competition for next game isn't exactly a bad thing. Keeps everyone on their toes.