GM Commentary: The Verge, 1×01

Recap here.

I covered most of my thoughts in the GM Notes on the recap, but I’ll redo them here.

  • We spent an hour or so sorting out equipment for the characters. This was to be expected.
  • WxMAN was out on vacation, so the need for his character to be delayed by the TSA equivalent. He’ll be showing up next week.
  • I declared the people-mover was probably an Exeter-class but in retrospect, it should have been a Xuan Wu. I’ll be changing that for the future.
  • The entire investigation was intended to go by more quickly, but we’re still learning the system – this was the first actual bit of gameplay we’ve had – so there’s a learning curve. Plus, everyone was involved with the investigation and it made sense to let the players take me where they wanted.
  • The Shrike is straight up ripped off from Dan Simmons’ Hyperion Cantos. No idea what I’m going to do with it; I just threw it in as flavor with an eye toward it being spacer lore. I even jokingly referenced the “Cult of the Shrike.”
  • I used the Traveller Emulator to spin up Mr. Roberts and man, the dice were not kind to him. He had no characteristics above 9 and most were below 6; INT and SOC were both 4, so I declared that none of the PCs really got along with him. One of the random elements that showed up on the emulator was that he had been in a monastery so I said “a type of monastery” and mentioned that he’d frequently chatted with Rostya (who spent a career as a Truther (from Traveller Companion). This was intended as a one-off joke, but one of the players asked if Roberts had perhaps been a member of the Cult of the Shrike … so I went with it.
  • I enjoyed explaining how screwed up the culture of the Twelve Families was and even decided on the fly that each of the major colonies have “dueling arenas” so disputes can be settled properly.
  • Everyone was in the process of leaving the “street-captain” – a phrase coined by CommJunkee that I promptly stole and “canonized” for the game – when MagMan had his character react to my street captain muttering crossly about the Taareh. This led to the cliffhanger which will be resolved at the beginning of next session, one way or the other.