Into the Void Ref’s Notes Sessions 27

“Due to reasons” it took while to get to this session. I will admit that I still have a bit of anxiety about each session. I always want it to be the best session ever. Truth is they are all good because I have a table of engaged players who make it good. You can spend all the time you want and have the most incredible stuff prepared but if you players are a bunch of house plants it will not be fun.

Anyway, our gaming group is great. I can’t say that enough.

This was the first time I’ve used a published adventure in our campaign. Though I own dozens of Michael Brown’s short adventures, and I think every one of them is brilliant, this was the first I worked into our game. Michael gives you what you need to run a fun session (or sessions) without, as he says, “stepping on the Ref’s toes.”

This was the culmination of a game spanning four sessions. Over the course of those sessions I think one shot was fired. No one was shot. There were no real “fights.” Four sessions of roleplaying and problem solving.  This is actually not unusual for my campaign and this group, and I’m continually astonished at the ability of Traveller, a great gaming group, a good and flexible scenario, and and adequate referee, to create an engaging and satisfying game.

Maybe everyone else’s games are like this? I have no idea. Growing up playing a monster-killing loot-grabbing style of D&D, superhero mayhem with Champions, and murder hobo style Traveller, I’m just surprised at how well this is going. Had any of us had the skill and desire to do things this way as teens I think it would have been well-received.  As it is, we have fallen into this during our middle-aged years, and that’s fine. I’m just so happy with this campaign. I can’t imagine ending it. Ever.

This was session 27. During session 26 I already knew I wanted to use the Energy Transfer adventure from Michael Brown and I had a “plan” for how it might work in. Needless to say my inventive and resourceful players did not do what thought they would (which I expected would happen). I had to do a little thinking on my feet to create a seamless transition into that scenario for session 27. I’m pretty happy with how that went. As a Traveller referee it was quite satisfying.

As often happens, we ended this series of sessions with a lot of nice loose ends. The campaign continues to generate its own internal drama with long-term NPCs, possible backstabbing and intrigue, and lots of options for the players.

Really, in all likelihood this “story” is not really complete. There are some things they will almost certainly deal with upon returning to their home base on planet Mylor. Fun awaits.

Traveller Stuff
My little custom Traveller campaign notebook (sheets are all in plastic sheet protectors), Classic Traveller Facsimile Edition, and small session notebook with maps, notes, and scenario.

As I prepped for this game I thought a lot about the elegant simplicity of Classic Traveller. Being able to consolidate the important stats of all the NPCs on one page of 5.5″ x 8″ notebook is a hell of a lot simpler than having character record sheets all over the place. I love my games with more complicated characters, but the simplicity of Classic Traveller is nice. It’s genius, really. Marc Miller is a freaking genius. Looking at newer versions of Traveller, Cepheus Engine, and some of the variations on CE like Sword of Cepheus I can see the influence. They are all a bit more complex, but not that much! A Sword of Cepheus character, even one with a lot of spellcasting ability, could easily fit on a note card.

The thing is, when I’m running a game I like all my stuff to be concise and very easy to locate. This is why I’ve taken some rules from the Classic Traveller books as well as the Cepheus Engine stuff and made my own little 5.5″ x 8.5″ binder. The rules we use a lot are all there, as are all the PCs, the important NPCs, the ships, the planets, and the gear. With that notebook, a small notebook with my scenario notes and maps, a copy of the Classic Traveller Facsimile Edition, and a copy of Cepheus Deluxe or Light, I’m mostly ready to go. I typically bring the Mongoose Traveller Central Supply Catalog along, as well as the Cepheus Engine vehicles book just in case I need it.

I’ll stop blabbering now.

2 thoughts on “Into the Void Ref’s Notes Sessions 27”

  1. Thanks for the mention of short adventures published and available on drivethru. I read the synopsis of @10 and they sound engaging!

    A solid group of players is essential. Since moving from Dallas a few years back, I’ve finally found a newly assembled group of players (all GMs as well), and we are currently role playing the sh1t out of Delta Green. I’ll rotate in DCC soon, and another is planning to introduce the other folks to GURPS.
    We’re attracting the attention of some other folks too as we’re right now playing out of the FLGS.

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