The Verge: Postscript

Right. Last Friday was the “season finale” of my run and I still haven’t commented on it. I should probably do that, eh? My brain is already shifting gears toward a GURPS: Banestorm game I’ll be running for my other online group, so I really need to get my thoughts down before the shift is already complete.

Well … the run ended. I ran the crash scene ripped out of “One Crowded Hour” with the players using their characters’ skills but actually being a group of other characters, specifically one of the PKF ships that slammed into the wormhole during our “introductory” space battle stuff (that has turned into the only one thus far.) Out of the six characters, three died before the crash but the other three survived, albeit badly injured (one of whom was critically jacked up.) I’m going to have to keep that in mind for the second season.

I then jumped back to the actual characters (sans the one who went into the wormhole to “fix it”) and tried to hurry things forward without thinking; the crew were going to be taken into custody aboard their own ship by some hot-tempered marines, but I sort of skipped some stuff to get there and began to get some pushback from some of the players, especially one I didn’t expect to argue. I was literally on the verge (pun intended) of having my very aggressive marine shoot the character resisting – who was not the one I’d expected to be a problem, to be honest. Ultimately, I realized that I’d done a poor job of setting the entire situation up, so we backtracked a bit & I allowed the characters to do a little bit of social engineering and things settled down.

Characters were interrogated – I intentionally evoked the Martian interrogation of the future Roci crew in The Expanse – and then … we immediately jumped to them all waking up, strapped in the shuttle as it arrives on Lubyanka and the “Tarkwall Gulag.” I’m planning on running Prison Planet for the second season, with the PCs effectively being political prisoners due to one PCs Enemy pulling some strings. I asked the Facebook Traveller group about running that adventure, but didn’t get a lot of useful feedback, so I’m clearly going to have to sit down and fully read the adventure instead of just skimming it for the “good parts.” I’m already aware that somethings will need to change – there’s a whole subplot about an AI in the prison that doesn’t work in the setting … but one of the characters has an Enemy who was evidently part of a cult who worshipped AIs or something, so that’s likely how we’ll approach that.

I’ve also (after the fact) realized that I wrote myself into a corner with the Taareh character who went thru the wormhole. He’s discovered an honest-to-God Dyson Sphere on the Otherside and is being drawn into that, and I’m not entirely sure how I want to proceed with that. I’m currently leaning toward maybe doing a one-off session (or heck, maybe every other session with him/them) where we spend time with him & the survivors of the other PKF ship, but nothing is written in stone at this point.

Overall, I was nominally satisfied with this run. As with all games, it had some high points and some low ones. The Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition system is riddled with “wait … what?” rules and inconsistencies, and I personally still prefer GURPS, but it worked out relatively well enough for our needs. I fully expect that we’re going to end up having to implement some more house rules down the road to fix the various issues we keep finding – like how a freaking sling has a range of 100m (!) but an autopistol (e.g., a modern ACP) only has a range of 10m! And so on.

I’m awaiting feedback from the other players about how they thought … for all I know, everyone was bored senseless and I need to completely change everything…time will tell.