The TL;DR outline recap can be found here if one doesn’t want to listen to just over 4 hours.
So. That happened. Suppose it makes sense – I really liked how the previous session played out so I was due for a crap night. Let’s try to break this down logically.
Well, I don’t think I forgot anyone’s name so I guess there’s that. Sae’s player blindsided me with his intent to straight up murder Mason should he be acquitted, but I didn’t vapor lock so that’s a plus as well. I also managed to at least set some stuff in motion for the future – a long-distance “fetch” quest, a recruitment possibility, the reveal that the ship’s cat recently had kittens – so I suppose this wasn’t a complete loss, but beyond that, not a lot of “good” to report.
Pretty much everything else falls in this category. The trial parts were boring and confusing to the players – they didn’t say so, but I could tell based on interactions – the so-called investigation was meandering and ultimately went nowhere, and then the conclusion was just dissatisfying. I could have legitimately skipped most of this session and everything would have played out pretty much the same way. I had a decent grasp of the mechanics I wanted to use, but I should have just done all of that in the background and … gah.
I struggled early on with words – for some reason, I just could not get them to flow – and nothing really got better. In retrospect, I should have abandoned my plans once Sae started making noises about taking out Mason himself and then gone with that. There, I could have then had him follow the serial killer to a hotel only for Mason to end up dead … or maybe stumble into a trap of some sorts. One positive came out of my above-mentioned inability to form coherent sentences was the shooting: I’d intended to say that Valerie shot Mason and then killed herself … but I got them transposed so she killed him and shot herself.
This entire scenario worked a lot better in my head than in the game. What I should have done is fast forward through the trial entirely and just have had it be a background element instead of a major component of the adventure. Letting Sae, for example, dig into the security breach with an intent to plug it violently would have made for a far more interesting and exciting adventure.
Now I’ve just got to get my head back in the game and start focusing on the second half of the adventure which is the Holiday Gala…