Fri. Dec 9th, 2022

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

It figures. I was so frustrated with the previous session that naturally I ended this one very pleased.

The narrative was intended to be simple:

  • Aftermath of the shooting of Adric Mason by Valerie Vaskor.
  • Spiirs enlists the PCs to serve as his retainers to the Gala.
  • The Gala transpires with each PC having A Moment:
    • Armin is mistaken by people for someone highborn – she retreated to hide.
    • Buck sees an old associate from his piracy days – he attempts to chat with her to find out what she’s here, but she ‘can’t be seen with him.’ She’s working.
    • Eddy flirts with the Countess of Natoko, then is drawn into a duel with her husband. Eddy’s Unluckiness kicks in and, despite his best efforts, he kills Lord Natoko. Disgusted, Eddy decided to leave the Gala.
    • Haank has a passing moment with CDR Krin, then learns about some stuff in the Fessor sub-sector while acting as bodyguard for Sir Korbin.
    • J-Aris counters a hacking attempt, then starts tracking the data trail to find out who tried it.
    • Sae observes his first commanding officer doing spy stuff but does not react beyond that.
  • Archduke Norris announces the promotion of his kinsman Josephine to Duchess of Regina.
  • Fireworks ensue … and then a EMP is triggered, disabling the security bots and other electrical stuff (including Sae’s bionics, but not J-Aris who is in some protected location.) Armed personnel drop out of the night sky!

The Good

Eddy’s duel went over extremely well. In retrospect, I should have gone ahead and cast Lord Natoko, but he was just there to get shot by Eddy, so that was fine. Throughout the entire Gala bit, the majority of the players (excluding the “audience” members who are just there to shoot/kick things) seemed to like what was happening. Following the game, at least two of the players definitely made a point to state that they really enjoyed the session for the character development opportunities. I was also relatively pleased with how I managed to get the various data points across. Interestingly enough, when the bad guys attacked at the end, Buck’s player immediately leapt to the conclusion that his former associate is tied to them … which she wasn’t before. She is now!

The Bad

We spent a lot of time in the beginning – more time than I would have liked – trying to figure out exactly what Armin’s player wanted to purchase. It turns out that she wanted what amounts to Black Widow’s gauntlets from CA: The Winter Soldier and CA: Civil War, plus some knife boots (wherein the knife is concealed ala those shoes dude wears in Kingsman (or the older one in the Bond movie with Connery.) We never actually got this figured out – I was leaning toward starting with the neuroglove in Ultratech and finding a way to shoot stuff from it; the boots are easier since they’re just assault boots (also UT) with a tricked out knife (using the Hidden Weapons rules in Martial Arts.) I just haven’t gotten around to fully figuring that out. Sae’s player also mentioned wanting to have a “John Wick suit” (which is armored and concealing of weapons.) That part was easier – Action 1 has the Disguised and Undercover modifiers which handle that.

Finally, Eddy’s duel and the ramp up to it dominated a bit more of the session time than I would have liked. In retrospect, I should have found a way to incorporate at least one other PC, maybe by having that character nearby when the duel is announced so s/he could act as a second. I should have also twisted the knife with Armin’s “Mistaken Identity” a bit more instead of just letting her skate out and hide.

The Ugly

I actually don’t have any “ugly” this time apart from my disappointment that I wasn’t able to really incorporate Armin or J-Aris as much as I would like, although, to be fair, both of those players are more “audience members” than the others so they don’t really give me much to work with. I suppose I could say that I once more had some trouble with words, which was definitely ugly. In the last two sessions, I’ve really stumbled over getting out coherent sentences, which is irritating as you can imagine. I should have written up a quick speech that the archduke would give so I wouldn’t stumble as much as I did.

Final Thoughts

So, missteps aside – missing a couple of dialogue notes I should have had prepared, a bit too much dicking around with the rules in the beginning, the ‘big event’ of the session dominated by one player – I was pretty content with how things mostly worked out. Next week will probably (depending on the PCs) end up being the ‘season finale’ and end my run as GM for the time being – we’ve got an Age of Sail game next, then its back to Banestorm. I’ve got a (hopefully) solid “Wait … WHAT?” ending in mind, though a lot is going to depend on PC actions next week.

As it stands, next week will also begin with the crew kind of scattered – Buck and Haank are with Spiirs; Sae is … elsewhere; Armin is probably hiding in the kitchen with the help; J-Aris is off the board, chasing down the hacking attempt (though that could still be in the immediate vicinity somehow); and Eddy was on his way out (so he’s probably in an elevator somewhere.)