Into the Void Ref’s Notes Session 29

A few notes about session 29. Not going into too much detail about specifics from the Referee’s point of view as we just started this adventure.

For the first time ever I am using a classic published adventure from the old Traveller books. Two reasons. First, I was having trouble coming up with a good way to take the game at this point. I’ve been collecting the old books, and decided what the heck, let’s do it. Second, after watching some of Seth Skorkowski’s YouTube Videos I feel like I have a new appreciation of both how good many of those published classics are and how to run them.

So if you are in my group, don’t watch Seth’s videos! I might use some of the old scenarios he talks about!

This was one of those session where we had just finished a multi-session adventure. Sometimes deciding which way to take a game is not easy. In order to make this work I needed to get the guys back into space. They had a good reason to do exactly that, but could have decided to do some other stuff first. I might have needed to improvise a better reason. But rather and try to guide them I just sat on my hands. I let them hash it out. No forcing things. If they decided to do something else I would have made a game happen by responding to them. Turns out they did exactly what the scenario needed them to do anyway, so that was cool. We got underway. Sometimes as a gamemaster you have to just let things happen. It’s always better when the PCs aren’t railroaded. I’ve got a folder full of good NPCs and ideas for encounters. I can pretty much always make fun happen with the players’ help.

But I have to admit, it is nice to have DOZENS of concise 1-page adventures from Michael Brown and almost all the classic Traveller adventures and double adventures waiting to be to used.

I had to do a little massaging of the published scenario to fit it into the game, but nothing that major. This is almost always the case. I’m not running the published Third Imperium setting. So a few minor details had to be changed. I ran into this when running the last set of sessions using Michael Brown’s Energy Transfer adventure.

Something I’ve learned from reading Michael’s adventures, and that I’ve become very comfortable with, is finding new ways for PCs to use skills, and coming up with quick rules to determine their effects. For example, allowing the navigator to use his Nav skill to accomplish more efficient travel, save time, and in this case double the amount of time they’d have to accomplish their task upon arrival. They started with 1 hour under normal navigation, but for every 1 he could make his Nav roll by, I gave them an additional hour of time to work before falling into the sun. He made it by 1, so they had 2 hours rather than 1, which helped. I let the Engineer use his skill to gain information about the status of the clearly damaged maneuver drive. This kind of skill use, I think, lets players feel like they are valuable skills. It makes the characters a lot cooler. I had the pilot make a Pilot skill roll to match the speed and attitude of the target vessel. Without that, things would have been more difficult. He has Pilot-4, but he could have failed. Spacewalks and all the rest would have been a lot harder if he’d had to constantly be making adjustments, and using the docking clamp would have been next to impossible.

Once they were inside the ship, I again had to sit on my hands and just answer questions and let them explore. So many of us have been programmed to think that constant action is what makes RPGs fun, but it’s not. Exploration, suspense, information gather, time stress. These all made the game fun.

I can’t wait to continue.


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