Day 1, and as I said in my Day 0 post, I've been caught hopping. I have nothing prepared. This is going to be even more stream-of-consciousness than normal...
When I think 'RPG Scenario' my mind goes to one-shots. I know this isn't really what the word means in this context, and that a published setting can also fit in there, but because I tend to think of these as 'campaigns', one-shots and 'short-campaigns' are what I'm going to talk about.
I'm very lucky in that since I returned to role-playing two or three years ago, I've fallen in with a couple of regular crowds. One, at my FLGS, plays the Barrowmaze mega-dungeon as an open table. The other, which is an on-line crowd (the membership of which is fluid) I've met since lock-down. In neither of these cases do we often play one-shots.
But thinking off the top of my head, there are a few one-shots I've played in the year which I don't count as scenarios - for example, the Flash Gordon using the Index Card RPG and the attempt we had at playing Under Hill and By Water. Is this because they weren't following a 'published scenario'?
And in the Wasters games that are my current expression of the hobby, we have a 'job/mission' to go out and complete, as we did when we were playing Odd Sci-Fi. Why don't I see these as 'scenarios'? They obviously are.
There are definitely some games I've played that I do consider 'scenarios':-
None of these were less enjoyable for being a 'scenario'.
So to me, a scenario is
- short and contained (not a campaign)
- probably published