Thu. Mar 23rd, 2023

The TL;DR outline recap can be found here if one doesn’t want to listen to just over 4 hours.

I left this session feeling pretty crappy. To start with, Mel had already advised me (and the rest of the players) that she was set on retiring her character Ella because she was thoroughly sick of being in charge and too many of the other players would frequently rely on her to decide what they did next. We’d also had a discussion about the merits and drawbacks of the PCs counter-boarding that resulted in Haank’s player stating that he was going to order a halt.

So I had the idea of the corsair breaking away and shooting up the ship even more, which would – in my mind – give Mel the opportunity to injure Ella sufficiently that she would not be able to go dirtside. (As a bonus, I could advance the Aris’ body being dead and him stuck permanently in the drone.) With this in mind, I had all of the PCs (but Eddy) roll on Casualties chart and gave Mel the option to pick one but she rolled … a 1. No damage. Urgh.

And to top that off, I didn’t take good enough notes last session about exactly what all was disabled on the ship following that first round of space combat so when I declared that the NPC pilot “dodged,” one of the players (correctly) reminded me that the maneuver drive had been ‘disabled’ (maybe? Have to check the recording.) So. Yeah. Need to take better notes. As someone with a degree in history, you’d think I’d be aware of that.

Anyway, this entire opening scene was a mess. Ella’s player was also apparently having mike troubles so she was typing everything which meant people kept talking over her and it was just a mess. Thankfully, once they got onto the Resolute, I was able to start getting things back on track although I still don’t like how we just sort of had Ella quit mid-stream. I think in my head-canon, I’m going to have to say she was suffering from a mild concussion or something and the physicians who looked her over wanted her to stay.

With the Aris-Jim thing, I’d already had an “Aris-In-Jim” character spun up that used Jim (the drone’s) physical stats and Aris’ mental ones. When the incident happened, I (accidentally) kicked Andricus off the server – I was trying to just force Release his two characters … but oh well – then Released this new character for him. Since then, we’ve started taking to calling it Ar-Jim … which totally isn’t going to make things difficult with an Armin in the group already. I also need to figure out how to get across the “OMFG! I’m DEAD!!! And in a robot shell!!!” issues across.

In the original source material, the adventure presumes that the PCs go dirtside in their own ship, but I figured this could work a little better. There is also a bit in the source material later where more of the piratey types show up on the planet, so I figured I could merge that together while simultaneously adding another “assault” scene later in the game when the PCs hit and take the fight to the vargr. I’ll have to figure that out shortly.

Once the PCs were dirtside, things got a little better with Mel taking over Armin for the time being. The usual talkers were able to do their talking and the quieter “audience” members were tagging along. The interactions with the street types went well and the PCs eventually were steered toward the cantina, which naturally led to a fight. The first person to go lethal in the bar fight was Sae … which wasn’t a surprise, but he’s had bad experiences with tempest users, so his actions weren’t a surprise. Haank’s player commented that he (Haank) screwed up here because he didn’t establish “Don’t start shooting people in the face just yet!” The fight went pretty much as expected, with the PCs leaving a bunch of corpses (or soon to be corpses) around the unconscious guy they were looking for who will (hopefully) lead them to his boss, who is the real person they’re looking for.

It did not occur to me until after the fight, but I screwed up … tempest uses have Enhanced Time Sense … so these guys should have been acting first. I need to figure out a way to set that up … maybe I should change the drug’s effects from ETS to something like +Basic Speed 3.0 to ensure they show up at the beginning of the combat tracker? I also need to re-examine their actual stats – the drug should enhance their strength, but not their actual HP which in retrospect, I think it does. I also need to figure out how to make these jackasses an actual, legit threat because thus far, they’re just roadblocks to get shot down in a matter of seconds. Maybe have them strike from ambush? A ST 16 guy doing an All-Out Strong Telegraphed club strike to the head could ruin anyone’s day, I think.

There are, I think, two to three sessions remaining in this adventure, depending on how the PCs progress, and I need to make some adjustments to what comes next. Hopefully next session will have me ending the game in a better state of mind and not convinced I’d thoroughly screwed the pooch. These last two sessions … man, they’ve really messed with my groove and I can’t quite figure out why.