Recap and GM Notes: Traveller 4.02

The TL;DR outline recap can be found here if one doesn’t want to listen to 3 and a half hours.

Overall, I was left fairly satisfied with how the game played out but naturally, there were some issues I wasn’t wholly satisfied with, not to mention some positively blatant mistakes on my part.

 

On the Olympus recap, I listed three prominent errors I made during this that I immediately noticed.

  • Not having looked up the radiation rules beforehand when I knew it was going to come up.
  • Forgetting my intended plan regarding Aris’ Klutz disadvantage and the destruction of the aft section of the ship.
  • Not having the pilots make their actual launch checks in the box and ending the session with them ignorant of the results.

The first one I only classify as a moderate fail because A. the “you detect a radiation leak” was something I pulled out of my butt in order to delay the PCs from progressing toward the psyker for a little longer, and B. there actually wasn’t a radiation leak, but still, it did slow us down a little bit as at least one of the players insisted on looking the rules up and getting into what I considered minutiae.

However, the Klutz fail was wholly mine. I have that in my notes, but completely forgot to have it take place which resulted in the shearing off of the aft end of the Drake just seem like GM railroading. That entire bit would have felt more palatable if the players knew that one of the characters was ultimately responsible. So yeah … Fail on my part.

Finally, the secret pilot checks was not something that had occurred to me during play and, in fact, only occurred to the player who mentioned it after everyone had rolled in the open. That would have really worked a lot better, I think. Live and learn, I suppose.

Overall, I’ve been mostly satisfied with the first two installments of this run, hiccups and all. One thing I really need to work on is ‘GM Expectation’ as I’m quite guilty of that from time-to-time. For example, in my head, I originally intended to try and steer the PCs toward retrofitting the escape pods with thrust capability from the fighters, which was actually put forward as an option by one of the players before shot down in-game by another as not workable. I had to swallow my instinctive urge to correct the second player because I already felt guilty for not remembering to have the disabling of the Drake a PC’s fault.

Interestingly, this session ended with three members of the Drake crew alive and rescued where my original notes had them all dying. I think that, what I’m going to do there, is have this first come back to bite them in the ass – the senior lieutenant they rescued is now completely insane though he hides it well; think Michael Biehn’s Navy SEAL in The Abyss – but then come back the other way with the two enlisted guys being grateful and helping them out in the coming craziness.

Next up: aftermath of their madcap escape.