Into the Void Ref’s Notes Session 24

Well, the PCs have only been back on their home base planet of Mylor for a few hours before they are back in the middle of it again!

Oh, before I forget, this was our first session back in Meat Space in over two years. We played in person.

So, so fun. I wasn’t sure how to start this session(s) when I began thinking about it a couple of weeks ago. They are back in civilized space. Back to their old watering hole the Happy Gluck. Back to old associates, frenemies, and complications. So I started this with a simple title for the session “One Night at the Happy Gluck.” Who doesn’t like a game where a relaxing night at the tavern turns to chaos?

So I came up with some ideas of ways to involve their existing friends and associates at the star port, what could have gone wrong during their absence, and some new NPCs.  One goal, after 9 sessions (taking several months to play) in uncharted space was to reintroduce the players to the NPCs in the game.  As you will see if you read the writeup, they are going to try to rescue the guy who tried to have them killed nine games back. Which is awesome! I love it. Complex relationships in an RPG.  To me, well, this is a huge success for me as the Referee. I am delighted.

We were able to use some of the PC’s more social skills. They of course used tactics even in the tavern, and everyone seemed fully engaged.

I think we are all getting better at this game. I have stated before in numerous places that now, 4.5 years into our campaign and now 24 sessions in, my players are just now really getting the groove of Traveller. Well, that isn’t entirely correct. They have always played the game very well. I guess what I sense is the buildup of the in-game history and lore of their campaign. I’ve run a lot of RPG campaigns in my life, but I don’t think any have reached this level of complexity or been this satisfying. My players of course love it when action happens, but they are equally engaged when they are roleplaying, scheming, negotiating, threatening, sneaking, or investigating.

I think that when everyone is really used to the idea of not leveling up all the time, and not worrying about experience points, the game can unfold in a very natural way.

When new players start with Traveller, I suspect that many are shocked and disappointed by the limits placed on them. No FTL communication. Space travel is expensive and takes a long time. You don’t hop in your ship and get to the other side of the galaxy in 2 hours. You probably use slug throwers for guns, and bladed weapons too. Ship combat is very expensive even if you win, and very prone to getting you killed. While psionics may exist, you probably don’t have that talent. You have to worry about money. AND — you are a fairly typical person. Oh, you ARE a Traveller, and thus more accomplished than trillions who never leave their homeworld, but you are mortal. You will never become that hard to kill.  The list goes on.

All of this kind of flies in the face of science fantasy and a lot of science fiction. Because we are talking about limits, and I think it is the limits in Traveller that make the game challenging and fun.

I’m glad I have a group of friends who can enjoy all this.

Anyway, this session was the opening of yet another adventure for Super Adventure Friends Co.  We are back to our original core group of 3 ex-Scouts and 1 former Army colonel. Four players is very manageable. We’ll certainly play online from time to time and I can get our member in Virginia back involved, and our other regular local member of our gaming group can play whenever he wants (with a little prior notice). It’s all going well.

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