Session 0 of The Verge

Man, I’ve been behind the curve. We did our session 0 on Friday with some eclectic characters (as is Traveller’s forte, I think.) I mixed in a bit of 2300 AD because it fits the setting a little betting, but I probably should have just picked one and went with it instead of picking & choosing. Regardless, player characters can be found on the Portals site for this campaign.

There were some really interesting elements that did come through with the character creation that have altered (slightly) how I’m thinking about a bunch of things. For example, the Anya Kingston PC ended creation with the Scout Mishap where she was found on the edge of known space with no memory of how she got there or what happened. She also mustered out with a subduralcomp and a neural jack, so the player decided that she didn’t have those before & has no idea how she got them – I need to remember to mention to the player that this should really be worrying since it requires brain surgery to install either. That said, I’m currently leaning toward both of bit of cyber-tech being very advanced which will play into the eventual reveal as to who is responsible.

Amusingly, in the other game in this setting (but using GURPS), my character, AJ Trent, has a 4-day Amnesia disad regarding what happened to his ship; I don’t want to use that same angle there but interestingly, they’re touching a couple of the same story beats. Whatever happened that cause AJ’s amnesia basically drove him from the military and resulted in him having an unconscious hatred of the Tohre-Chi species of aliens, while Anya interacted with the Tohre-Chi beforehand (and it went south) but was hearing whispers & strange dreams until her Mishap. I’ve got a fairly decent idea where I want to go with that.

During the creation process, I also screwed up with Baefre, AirMan, Lothrain Free Company (that’s the way his species do their names) in that I pushed the player to do something he probably wouldn’t have during an Event, which resulted in him entering the Prisoner career for two terms (which really jacked up his stats.) We discussed offline once I realized what I’d done and with everyone else’s permission, he redid one of those terms by entering the draft and going into the Scout career. He ended with an event where his ship was destroyed by unknown parties which forced him out of the career, and the player (wisely) decided he was done. This works out nicely for me because I think the character has now either left the military intent on finding the parties responsible or may have been assigned to do so secretly, but regardless, this Enemy matches up nicely with a party I’d already had in mind for the future.

The psion PC, Illya Carhart, is causing me to rethink some minor stuff to work in the psionic community pre-career education option (from Traveller Companion), but that’s fine. Luckily, I don’t think that’s going to come up immediately, but it’s something I’ve got to get a handle on. Apart from that, he’s pretty easy.

I’m also slightly worried about the Ephraim Lee character because he’s such a squishy guy. The first real firefight they get into, I’m worried he’s going to get ganked. Outside of combat, he looks to be their face guy – Broker, Deception, Leadership, Persuasion, Steward – but when the bullets start flying, that’s when I’m worried. We’ll see how he plays out … he could be the best of the bunch.

And then there is Rostya. The player decided to go “all-in” on the random dice rolls so his characteristics/attributes are where the dice landed. He randomly determined which career to enter, and whether to stay in. Every decision was randomly determined … and the character actually turned out to be somewhat interesting. He did a decent job of working in a coherent plot narrative through.

Tonight, we’re ostensibly onto session 1 and the beginning of the actual campaign, but we’re down one player (Rostya’s player) because he’s out of state, and none of the players bought equipment, so I expect that’s probably going to end up taking the bulk of the session … though I might be surprised. Should we actually get started, I’m planning on running a revised version of “High and Dry”. Writing Rostya out temporarily is easy enough – the PCs are basically taking a “space bus” or plane trip to the target planet so he’s going to get held up by the TSA equivalent and miss his flight. He’ll catch up. Again, that’s presuming we don’t go until really late screwing around with equipment.