It wasn't what I was hoping for, but hey, it was free.
The description calls One Shot "a role-playing system designed for single session gaming." I didn't need to see yet another rules-light RPG system. I was more interested in its focus on single-session gaming. I was hoping to get some great insights and cool ideas on one-shots.
The 15-page document consists of 1 cover page, 5 pages on the game system, and 9 pages on a sample adventure.
The game system is yet another rules-light generic RPG system. There's nothing new there.
The 9-page sample adventure seems like way too much material for a single-session game, especially since it's "presented for only a single character." It's loaded to the gills with background material on the people, places, and history - way overkill. My eyes kept glazing over as I tried to read the walls of text. That wouldn't do in a single-session game.
What about the main thing I was after - tips on single-session gaming? Hardly anything.
If you skim the headings in the rules, not a single one of them makes any explicit reference to single-session gaming. You have to wade through the game system text to hunt for it.
The single-session advice comes down to not taking the long view. Yup, that much is obvious - no need to worry about session #2 if there won't be one.
But there's more to single-session gaming than not worrying about session #2. What about tips for engaging the characters from the start when, by definition, they have no history with their own characters, the NPCs, or the game world? (Reading pages of background isn't engaging.) What about guidelines on making the material modular so you can expand or compress depending on what the players do? How about some guidance on how to teach the players the rules quickly? What about techniques to keep the pacing crisp instead of (for example) letting one non-climactic battle chew up half of the available time? What about techniques to make sure you've got a rollicking good ending that's neither too early nor too late, that flows well with whatever choices the players have made, and that gives them a satisfactory resolution to the adventure? Are there any tips for finding a nice single-session balance that avoids excessive railroading (no decisions for the players) and excessive sandboxing (nothing in particular to do)?
None of that is present, but that's what I was hoping to see in a system designed for single-session gaming.
In short, I was disappointed. The rules system is light, but otherwise it does very little to aid single-session gaming.