Mon. Mar 27th, 2023

So, looks like I’ve got three episodes remaining with this season of Verge before I go on hiatus and we play a couple other games. If you have been keeping up with the adventure logs over on my Obsidian Portals site, you’ll be aware that things have been really heating up in the Moros system and I’m continuing along that vein with the rest, so I’ve developed a system along those lines. We’ve also added a new player, though unlike everyone else, he’s playing remotely (being two states away), which means that we’ve incorporated Fantasy Grounds, Discord, a microphone & speakers at the table. It’s been interesting, to say the least.

With Moros turning into a dumpster fire (which means its more like the headline news than I would like to admit), I needed a quick system to determine how badly it progressed as well as filling out the travel time as the PCs cross the system in a starship. To that end, I turned back to using tarot cards with this in mind:

  • Single draw per day
  • Major arcana (The Fool, The Magician, Wheel of Fortune) generally directly affect the PCs and might involve a starship malfunction or an unexpected meeting/event.
  • If I draw a Swords card, I treat this as a skirmish in the system. I then draw another couple of cards to determine who is involved with the first card basically being the aggressor, with Cups=12 Families, Pentacles (or Coins)=SpaceFarer’s Collective, Swords=Ducal Forces, and Wands=PKF. If a major arcana card is drawn between the involved parties, I try to incorporate that in some way.
    • For example, in the coming session, I drew a 10 of Swords on one day (which the website I’m using for these cards helpfully translated as “disaster strikes when one least expects it – it is swift and in this case, unavoidable.”
    • This already seems bad, so I drew the “aggressor”, annotated that, and then drew the Tower, which is, as I understand it, the worst card in the deck. “Inevitable destruction and the breakdown of something in our lives which we consider foundational.”
    • After drawing the target, what I decided is that Party A (the “aggressor”) is behind a major accident that drastically affects Party B, likely by causing a bunch of deaths, which Party B promptly blame Party A for. So using this does require a bit of interpretation, but it’s working so far.

Notably, with the whole system devolving into the before-mentioned dumpster fire as well as my declared “Expanse” influence, I’ve also hit on the idea of having a major fleet action take place between warring parties. We haven’t done any space combat in this run, so the Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition rules for that are untested, but from what I’ve read about them, they’re more designed for one-on-one action and basically boil down to a “chase.” With guns. As that won’t do for a fleet action, I glanced over the capital ship battles rules in High Guard … and that they don’t really look like what I want to use either. Which is leading me to utilizing the Full Thrust rules instead. I’m not entirely sure if that’s what I want to do since we need to incorporate our remote player, but that’s what I’m currently leaning toward.

Regardless, in the coming session, I’m expecting to effectively remove the PCs from the coming craziness, which required me to check with the players to see if they’re interested in doing the fleet action. Thus far, only one was “meh” about it, so I’m trying to figure out how to ensure he’s entertained as well.

But that’s getting ahead of myself. This coming week, the PCs are going to effectively be doing a space “dungeon crawl” and I’m trying to figure out a proper way to have that take place that doesn’t involve combat at all since they were engaged in firefights in the last two sessions. I’m also intending on forcing one of the characters to take the lead as his character hasn’t really had spotlight opportunities and is the one who is most likely to be the most knowledgeable about certain aspects of what they’re encountering.

So that’s where I’m at the moment. Huzzah!