GM Commentary: ConsOps 2.07

Well. That happened. And … yeah. It was every bit as messed up as I feared.

To preface, we had some irritating technical issues at the beginning with the guy hosting the Twitch stream, which delayed us for almost an hour. After that, the team reunited (following Reilly’s betrayal last week), complete with the introduction of the two new (temporary) PCs, and they discussed their next course of action. And that’s where things started going south for me…

See, I’d planned on them going to Kuwait and do some B&E to discover some information on the ship they were tracking … so naturally, the Players came up with some perfectly reasoned explanations for why they weren’t going to go there. There had been some discussion about that happening on our boards that started late on Friday, but as I was still trying to sleep off the cold I’ve been (successfully) fighting off this week and our Friday F2F game had been canceled, I crashed early without really reviewing. On Saturday, I went into work for a few hours and glanced over their thoughts but still failed to really process this … which would come back and bite me.

So … rather than going to Kuwait where I expected them to break and enter, they instead went to Salalah, Oman after calculating where their target ship would likely be at. Two of the active PCs – the Baum siblings – would later stay on land where they sought out and purchased a deep-sea fishing boat, while Vega and Lynch would be in the plane conducting aerial searches.

I’ve sort of been using a revised Heat mechanic from Night’s Black Agents with the notion that it’s an Enemy frequency of appearance (starting at 3 simply because the PCs are PCs). Throwing cash around like they did – not only did they basically outright buy the boat, but they also bribed the boat-owner with the Action 2 +4 bonus (Action2, p15), so that’s bumped their Heat score in Oman to 4. I checked against that but rolled much higher so no Oman military showing up just yet.

And naturally, during this sequence, we had even more technical difficulties, though this time, it was on me. During the Fantasy Grounds games, I use (or rather, used) an X-Box controller for the push-to-talk for TeamSpeak. I fumbled it, dropped it, and did something that screwed it up so it doesn’t function correctly. While remapping in TeamSpeak, I kept remapping incorrectly, then growing progressively more irritated when that didn’t work. Finally got it fixed, after much gnashing of teeth.

Jumping back to the game, Lynch and Vega were patrolling in the plane, while basically checking the various ships in the lanes within the range that they had calculated their target ship to be on. I then rolled what we in this group call the “Universe Reaction Roll” which is just … a reaction roll but is used as a sort of “how lucky are the PCs at this moment.” We use this frequently to determine random crap all the time, so this roll was just to determine when said target ship appeared. And, of course, I rolled a 17, which translates to Very Good. So I decided that the ship was here and threw in some minor dialogue to relay that pirates had likely taken it.

As probably implied by my comments above, I was exceedingly frustrated by this session principally due to my being caught so unprepared by the actions of the PCs. Next week should be better since it’s mostly going to be combat (first, dealing with the pirate “mother ship”, then the taking of the container ship.) Hopefully … it’ll be better.