I combed through the first ten pages this time, but 1-6 were pretty light work.
- Page 9: Having an NPC attempt a Social Skill check against PCs is a rather fraught subject, and I’ve never seen it done in an official work (though I may be forgetting or unaware of something). While I certainly agree that NPCs should get the opportunity to attempt checks against players, not everyone sees it that way and some never take that approach.
I’m not sure how to better handle that situation, however, in no small part because that’s how I would handle it. One option is to flip it around. Ask the PCs how they want to initiate the conversation, then call for an appropriate social skill check (e.g. Leadership), and use Threat or Despair to seed false information.
- You don’t give the PCs any advantage for having talked with Darga (“he didn’t tell us we’d find you here”). Not necessary that you do, just something to consider.
- Page 6: You never describe Shass at all, even though you detail the previous two characters (“male Neimoidian” “female Neimoidian”).
- Page 10: The map is very, very rough. I think you’re better off without it. It isn’t really needed, and the description I give in my rewrite is pretty clear. If a GM thinks he needs a map, I think you’d be best off letting him draw up his own map. One of the drawbacks of using a map for this kind of thing is that if you aren’t extremely good (or extremely vague, which works well for very large maps), you’ll tend to limit what can be imagined by the players rather than assisting or expanding their imagination. It also doesn’t reflect well on the product as a whole, because quite frankly it’s very sloppy.
Grammar et al
- Page 2: “population are” is incorrect (“population” is singular). Better phrasing for that really would be “population lives.” While you used “live” and its variants too many times previously, you didn’t need to remove it entirely.
- “Military presence” is fine, as long as it’s what you mean. “Empire” or “Imperial” includes more than just the military (bureaucrats, politicians, police), while “military” is just that: the military.
- “Adventure Summary” paragraph two has two periods at the end. Should either be one or three, and I’d recommend one since it isn’t the final paragraph.
- Page 3: “Centralized” (…in the bridge cities) is American English, so you might want to change that to “centralised” (likely you simply copied what I wrote).
- “It’s bridge” should be “its bridge” (“it’s” is a contraction of “it is”)
- Page 5: “Having already met Darga the day before.” I’d recommend either “having already met Darga—” or “having met Darga the day before—” As written, it effectively says that on the previous day, they already met him (e.g. “I already ate today”), rather than what you mean which is that they met him for the first time the previous day. While it would be understood, it isn’t good technically.
- “(and more nearby)” to “(with more nearby).” It reads more smoothly and eliminates a repetition of “and.” I can’t cite a precise rule, not off the top of my head, but “with” makes more sense for the parenthetical statement here.
- “has gone missing” again, should be “went”
- “gets annoyed at” could be “is annoyed by.” I prefer the second, but I can’t tell you the first is wrong.
- “gives them [BOOST].” I’d add “on social checks” to the end of that, just to make it clear. You have enough space that it shouldn’t wrap onto another line.
- FYI, the “line” issue I was talking about was a zoom error on my end.
- “Like most criminals” is fine, but modifies too much. Thus, you’re saying that most criminals wish the party to find the truth. I’d recommend “stolen, and like most criminals, he has many enemies; he wants the party to get to the truth.”
- “Check” shouldn’t be capitalized.
- Shortening the name to “Zarra’s Imports and Exports” is a good move.
- The font size of “A successful Average Negotiation check” is abnormal.
- “Survival” should be capitalized.
- Page 7: Formatting is crammed, overlapping text boxes. Is this unique to me, or are you seeing the same thing? If it’s a problem in the original, it’ll be plainly visible.
- “unfold” is unclear. My mistake, when I was originally writing it I didn’t realize it could be read as “before you unfold” like “before you unfold the map.” Try “As you look away, you see vast grasslands unfolding before you, passing in a blur as the speeder skims just a meter off the ground,” or something similar.
- “Three hyphen- hour-long”
- Looks like an extraneous space before “is,” it’s indented.
- “For each net…” paragraph. Extraneous spaces following two sentences.
Page 8: “The party arrives at the farm while local hustlers are attempting to extort the farmers.” The extra adjectives for the farmers can be safely dropped for this, particularly as it’s already been established these are Darga’s slaves.
- Rather than jumping straight to “if killed,” maybe add something along the lines of restitution for any intervention. Not in those words, but to get the effect that he may be looking to punish/“fine” them for involving themselves at his expense.
- “Your speeder slows to a stop” is extremely passive language. If it were automated with a particular destination such that the characters really are passive, it would be appropriate.
- Unless “Darga’s Blue Guava Farm” is a proper noun, “blue guava farm” shouldn’t be capitalized. Fruit is only capitalized if it has something like a country’s name (e.g. “Barabel fruit,” but notice only the proper noun part is capitalized). If it is a proper noun, I’d suggest you try coming up with something more creative.
- “Poorly hyphen- maintained.”
- Generally, this paragraph could do with some rephrasing. It describes what you see, but not from where you see it. I’ll try rewriting the whole thing, see what you think:
You spot the farm well before you reach it; the blue guava orchards stick out boldly in the otherwise flat, drab grassland. There’s a break in the wall of purple trees, a dirt road under a sign reading “[name of farm here].”
As you pass into the veritable forest of colorful fruit trees, you notice the ripe blue guava fruits hanging from delicate branches still clad in their purple leaves, and you see the water-distribution infrastructure running between the rows, but beyond all of this, you catch a glimpse of a poorly-maintained house, as drab as the grasslands on which it was built.
The dirt road turns and would bring you right up to the house, but a large speeder truck is blocking the road. A male human is loading large cargo crates into the back while two other men lounge against the side, seemingly uninterested in helping the man struggling under the weight what you guess must be fruit.
A female human just off the road is frantically picking fruit and loading it into another crate nearby, and looking past the speeder truck you can make out a group of people around a water well, a massive Trandoshan and three rough-looking individuals.
- Page 9: “Allow the leader…” I’d recommend just saying “call for the party to make a Perception check.” Perhaps add something about “as they get out of the speeder” or whatever (so they can see around the truck better). Note that you made the difficulty die pink by mistake. Also what’s the source of the upgrade? It doesn’t have to be stated, but if I know why it’s there I can better advise you.
- “Blaster Carbines and Rifles” shouldn’t be capitalized, they aren’t proper nouns. I know they’re the names of official items, but even still, don’t capitalize them. If you were writing a forum post and wanted to distinguish, it would make sense, but I don’t recommend it here.
- Change “ones nearest” to “the two leaning on the truck.”
- Say that they notice that the Trandoshan is holding a child soaked with water, and another man is on his knees. Perhaps this could be information granted even on a failure condition. I didn’t put it in the original text box since the speeder truck blocked it from sight.
- Also mention that the woman off the road, the man loading crates, the boy, and the kneeling man are all dressed similarly, in worn clothes.
- “Addresses the players”
- Try “calls to” instead of “addresses” and “in his” instead of “in a”
- You are inconsistent with the addition of extra hisses. I’d recommend minimizing the addition of hissing within words (“thessse”) because it looks weird and messes up how you’d read or say the word. Some, like “master” have a more pronounced “s” sound and you could get away with it. Hissing is also a kind of accent or emphasis, not just a compulsive tic, think about what they might choose to stress, and consider that some words (like “once”) might be stressed that way, but have no good way of “hissifying,” and what that means if you hissify every “s.” At any rate, reread through and see how to adjust.
- “this may sound” should be “it may sound.”
- “The Trandoshan knows nothing”
- “business comma, requiring him to make another Deception check.”
- “If at any point no comma” “…to his story comma, or start…”
- “successful Opposed (pool) Charm, Deception…”
- Change “take a few crates” to “take what they have” “take what they have already loaded”
- Extraneous space after “leave.”
- “credits offered.”
- “Opposed Coercion check.”
- Tactics: This whole section will need a rewrite based on the layout adjustments I proposed and if you remove the map like I suggest.
Points to consider
- Trees can provide cover
- The bad guys can take cover behind their truck, giving +2 Defense
- Dropping the kid should be a maneuver, unless the Trandoshan has been dangling him over the well this entire time.
- Besides the kid, there are two male farmers and the female farmer (maybe husband/brother or husband/father, if the distinctions become relevant).
- Uninvolved NPCs can just act at the end of the round, no need to track their initiative if they aren’t participating in the combat.
- I would not recommend the Trandoshan diving into the house immediately, especially if no one else does (though if they do, then go for it). I’d suggest that either he only go into the house when the PCs defeat some of his men or that he never retreat into the house.
Alright, I’m beat. I’ll do more when I get the chance. The statblocks definitely need to be cleaned up, hopefully to the point where we can fit them into the prose in the standard FFG style.
Other than that, I just need to comb through the questions.