Adventure Submission - Darga's Missing Cargo

Ok, that’s what I did. It does clean up pretty well.

I think the quickest and most effective way to apply any such treatment would be orally, with perhaps the idea of drinking the bone marrow being repellant providing a hook for roleplay.

Alrighty then! I thought of having them find some kind of regenerative drink instead but… whatever. We’ll leave it up to the GM to work around it if they find it too unsavory.

Ah, yes! Reminds of this gem:

I liked that!

My elder sister, P-40, is a librarian and general book/writing enthusiast, and my eldest sister, P-38, is a professional editor. You can see their influence on my own work. xD

I am not surprised =)

  • “receives”

Hmm… can you confirm the line this one is on? I suspect it is this line but I think “receive” is correct

Since two of the crates are empty, they receive 80% of the agreed-upon amount.

  • Do the webs have to be “giant”? You could just have it be as simple as the PC putting his hand in the wrong place and leave it at that. There isn’t a wrong decision here, I’m just prompting thought.

Let’s keep them giant to keep the PCs guessing. It also gives a line to the GM to conjure up giant spiders if he wanted to be that way ;).

The mention of “damaged or destroyed” is very clever and I approve. It solves for why something secured within a backpack or on the PC’s person might be affected without being lost. I just hope that GMs don’t take advantage of the “destroyed” stipulation, but there isn’t really any good way you can account for that unless you say “a piece of equipment is damaged or a minor item is destroyed.” (come to think of it… that’s a good way to account for that)

That is basically what was intended, so sure.

Alright! That is one full revision complete!

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You are correct in your analysis of that line, but it’s the wrong line. Here’s what I was referring to:

By now, the party has developed some familiarity with this section of the caverns and receive bb on Survival checks to retrace their steps.

Party=receives vs. PCs=receive

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Ah… no wonder I couldn’t find it because in our efforts to reduce the size of the dice pool I changed it to reduce the difficulty instead and modified the wording somewhat.

Alrighty then!

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I know it is a little early for that but if you were looking for guidelines on creating a party for the PBP test run, I would suggest:

  • Use only Age of Rebellion core rulebook content; if you don’t have that one, then EotE would be OK… I’m just not familiar with it.
  • Use starting XP + 50
  • Make a party of 4 characters
  • Use a good mix of classes
  • Keep min/maxing to a minimum for stats & skills
  • Equipment-wise, go with what you feel is reasonable for characters who are starting out but have had a few missions under their belt
  • No force users

I’ll be back in about a week!

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That’s what I was intending. I’ll work on statting them up soon. It should only take one or two more reviews before we’re ready to run it.

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Alright, starting on page one and going all the way through to the end. This is not a style review, but is still focused on adventure cohesion, mechanical applicability, and quality of writing.

As a review, most of the important or glaring bits have been caught and so the suggestions will become accordingly more subjective or nit-picky. I do, however, only suggest changes that I actually think ought to be made, or at least considered, and there are some that were simply previously missed.

Mechanics
  • Page 9: As you might expect, I question the upgrade on the Perception check. Without an obvious cause, or a specified expenditure for Despair, I think this is best left to the GM, if he wishes to spend a Destiny Point to upgrade the check’s difficulty.
  • Page 17: You say “if either check fails and generates 3 Threat.” I recommend that the Threat condition only apply to the first check, as the second is effectively just a saving throw and, in my opinion, should be do-or-hopefully-not-die-but-fall-and-take-a-small-amount-of-damage. Particularly because the odds that the check will fail AND three Threat will be generated is incredibly small, to the point of being dismissible as a plausible outcome.
  • There is an issue with this entire encounter, which is that because the check is not required (which I think is the correct course of action), the event which can cause an encounter to happen (requiring checks to cross) is unlikely to occur, because the triggering event (Threat on a check) cannot happen! If they were compelled to cross this bridge in order to advance, and perhaps to retreat, the mechanical aspect would be more necessary. I’m inclined to consider slimming down the mechanics dramatically, placing less emphasis on the mechanics of a de-emphasized check.
Adventure
  • Page 9: Given the lack of certainty regarding the thugs attacking the party, I recommend changing the wording to say “may (come back)” rather than “will”
  • Page 13: Since there’s also a blood trail, you could simply remove any mention of a crate being dragged. The effect is somewhat redundant, while taking up additional space.
Grammar et al
  • Page 2: “For GM’s Eyes Only” Is this supposed to be plural GMs, or singular GM? If singular, perhaps “the GM’s,” but if plural, then “GMs’” I could really go either way, but it ought to change to match one or the other.
  • “Dawn of Defiance - Episode Two” could use an em-dash if you aren’t trying to match a specific style (on Windows, the code is Alt+0-5-1).
  • Consider changing “campaign. You’ll need” to “campaigncomma, but you’ll need”
  • “and came to be” should be “and how they came to be”
    While sometimes you can avoid putting the lead-in there, you can only do that if it is consistent through the list. (“I purchased flour, eggs, and bread,” vs. “I purchased flour, collected eggs, and sugar” which is really either two separate lists or “sugar” needs to have a qualifier. “I purchased flour, collected eggs, and borrowed sugar” vs. “I purchased flour and sugar and collected eggs”)
  • If you don’t like the repetition of “they came” (with which I sympathize), then I would encourage you to fool around with different wordings and see if you can either make the last question use unique words or make them all use the same lead-in.
  • Consider a transition into the next paragraph, to the effect of “but for the purposes of this adventure” or something.
  • “project, which has brought them to Zarra, the capital city of Cato Neimoidia”
    Reworded for a smoother read. The two uncommaed sentences sound a bit choppy. (“I went to the grocery store. The eggs were out of stock.” vs. “I went to the grocery store, but the eggs were out of stock”)
  • I sure am using analogies to human food a lot for someone who subsides of off fuel, oil, and water.
  • “Yet somewhere, within the ruins, lies the palace of Darga the Hutt.” Just a more dramatic rewording.
  • “readout, found on the next page, with the PCs” so it doesn’t read like you are sharing the readout with the next page.
    It is worth noting, however, that were this to be formatted like a book, it would simply be on the opposite page and such a clause could conceivably be dispensed with.
  • “To get in the good graces of Darga” would read a bit more smoothly as “To get into Darga’s good graces” (it places the focus on Darga rather than on “graces”)
  • The wording of the “has been tasked” part seems to imply that someone (e.g. the Rebellion) has ordered them to complete this job in order to get into Darga’s good graces. Is this intentional, or do you really mean that they are conducting this job in order to achieve the desired outcome? As simple a change as “accepted the task of” could resolve this.
  • “Small pack” could simply be “pair” since two does not a party make.
  • Consider “planet period. These will make(/provide)”
  • Page 3: The black square around the picture of the planet is less than ideal. Can you edit the original picture to remove that box?
  • You use “centralised” (ugh, removing the z makes me feel dirty :P) twice. I’d recommend changing the second use (“in the cities”) to “concentrated.” At any rate, “concentrated” is probably more accurate to what you’re trying to convey.
  • “it’s bridge” should be “its bridge.” “it’s” is a contraction of “it is,” while “its” is the possessive form.
  • Page 4: The “Star Wars” logo has the same problem as the picture of the planet, and in addition has the red spellcheck line below each word. You ought to be able to find a PNG of the logo on Google without too much difficulty.
  • There are also some mysterious black splotches on the page. Three repeating sets of three on the left-hand side, and one solitary dash-shape on the right.
  • I’m not entirely satisfied with the “to bring them closer” clause. As written, it doesn’t feel like it fits with the previous sentence. Perhaps “so that they may move closer to”? Places this more as a stepping stone, a door they must open, a foothold they must gain, in order to actually pursue their true objective. (This is on at least two other pages as well)
  • Page 5: No space before or after an em-dash.
  • You fixed the textbox clipping, but now the first line is above the textbox.
  • “directly” should be removed, or instead moved to before “to you”
  • “translates for you,” “for you” could be removed.
  • Perhaps “which requires” instead of “requiring”
  • “A few days ago comma,
  • When quoting multiple paragraphs, put a quotation mark at the start of each paragraph, but don’t close the quote until you’ve reached the end of the quote.
  • “where the shipment was first collected” should be sandwiched either by commas or em-dashes.
  • “They are neon blue” this is actually an excellent example of a lead-in left off, as the “they are” applies equally to both list items.
  • “They are run by Darga’s slaves” is irrelevant to the question asked (“Where are they?”). I recommend either changing the question, asking an additional question, merging this question with the next one, or simply eliminating the mention of slaves at this stage.
  • Extraneous space after the Boost die.
  • Page 6: Extra period after “truth.” Either delete one, or make it an ellipsis.
  • You say “Setback die” and then put the Setback symbol. Redundant.
  • Unnecessarily bolded period after “Repulsorlifts”
  • I find it very amusing that the male Neimoidian’s speeders run well, while the female Neimoidian’s are prone to breaking down. Similar to the stereotype that you’ll see men fixing their own cars by the side of the road, and men fixing women’s cars by the side of the road. xD
  • The paragraph gaps on the right-hand column seem inconsistent. Most of them are wider, but then the unsuccessful/Threat/Advantage paragraphs are closer together. I take it that’s intentional, to keep the information properly grouped? If so, all’s well. I just wanted to check.
  • Bolded comma after [THREAT].
  • Page 7: Perhaps this falls under “style,” but the “bridge cities” banner is really unnecessary.
  • Page 8: The title banner isn’t centered.
  • “Read the following:” is a little bit high above the textbox, but it’s better than clipping into it.
  • Periods and commas go inside quotation marks, even if not part of the quote. “Tall” punctuation goes outside quotation marks unless part of the quote.
    Oh, wait—unless you’re writing British English, in which case all punctuation goes outside the quotation marks unless part of the quote.
  • Page 9: Misplaced dice, and unnecessary bolding of a period.
  • Why picking fruit “quietly”? The word can be dropped. If you wish to keep it, I would recommend placing it before “picking”
  • “them and silently mouthing”
  • “Heroes arrive” should perhaps be “party arrives”
  • “Read the following:” barely touches the textbox, but is really the best one I’ve seen so far. It doesn’t clip into it, and it isn’t too high above it. If you only have the three options, I recommend this one. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, however, so I’d move it up by a couple pixels (if you even have that type of control).
  • I think the dice should either follow “Opposed” or “Deception,” but should certainly precede “check.” However, I am not confident in that and would advise you to compare to published adventures, if possible, to find an “official” style. Any changes will need to be applied in multiple locations.
  • Change “though” to “although” (optional, but I prefer it)
  • Page 10: Extraneous comma in the description for the Trandoshan’s ability.
  • Consider changing “lets go of” to “releases”
  • Starting a sentence with a symbol is not ideal, consider taking from your grab-bag of “generated” phrases.
  • Technically, while more wordy, a proper description would be “2 soak and a wound threshold of 4”
  • Page 11: Change “helping” (escape) to “to help”
  • You say “potentially lethal,” but give no condition under which it is. Intentional? I’m fine leaving it up to the GM’s discretion, but am checking that you considered that.
  • “Causing” brings it into line with “dealing”
  • Instead of “causing,” you could say “Disorienting [the character] for five rounds”
  • Earlier, you say that some of Darga’s people are stealing from the slaves. Are the swoop gangers working for Darga, or is that description obsolete?
  • Good mention of the detour and its cause. Creates a potential “assumption hook” and also gives context to the later mention of a detour for some other job.
  • Page 12: Textbox clipping again.
  • Having the picture border the above text, while not bordering any of the edges of the page, doesn’t work so well. I recommend resizing it to fit the edges of the page (cropping as necessary), while hopefully leaving some space between it and the text.
  • Page 13: Unnecessary bolding of “or”
  • Page 14: “Caves, however comma, is only”
  • Page 15: “With a Hard” could be “With a successful Hard”
    While I know I discussed the elimination of implicit or redundant “condition” markers, here I think that it flows more smoothly with the sentence to actually say “successful.” Restructured, it would not be necessary.
  • In later “Areas,” you merge the two paragraphs for check modifiers into one. I would recommend unifying your style in that regard. Either keep the Boost and Setback modifiers separate here and change it elsewhere, or merge it here instead.
  • Page 16: Picture/textbox overlapping
  • I know it was my recommendation, but I’m second-guessing the “short-range fall” rewording. Urg. I’m not sold on any of the other options either. *spins propeller in annoyance*
    The main reason I don’t like it is because, well… I’m not really sure why. The problem with intuitive writing is that sometimes something just doesn’t sit right and you aren’t sure why. Perhaps my sister can bail me out… (perchance one or both of us forgot—if you’re reading this, we did)
  • Page 17: As it went unaddressed, I again recommend “disturbingly foul” over “disturbing and.” It really could go either way, but I prefer the former.
  • Not a mistake, just spatial formatting, but see if you can choose a slightly shorter adjective than “concentrated” so that it fits up on the previous line. “Concentrated” is also an odd choice there because nothing “concentrates” the light that passes through the hole.
  • “pile comma, and (lying?) amidst the bones” (rather than “admist”)
    Optional, but merges the standalone sentence into the previous sentence.
  • “Edges are,” not “edges is”
  • “darkness comma, shadowing several passageways which lead” or “darkness. In these shadowed corners are several passageways which lead”
  • Since “Disoriented” is an established concept, you can leave it at “Disoriented until the end of the session.”
  • You say it “counts as a Critical Injury.” Is it your intention that it increase other crit rolls by +10? If so, that’s fine. If not, and you just mean that healing operates in a similar manner, then I recommend you remove any mention of “Critical Injury.”
  • Page 18: Change “to attack” to “before attacking” (can work as-written, but I think the second is better)
  • I recommend changing “enemies” to “Narglatch”
  • “and since it has”
  • Page 19: As a matter of spatial formatting, if you change “valuables” to “valuable items,” it ought to fit better on both lines. If it doesn’t, consider selecting a substitute for “valuables.”
  • Page 21: Spiders bite, they don’t sting.
  • Special mentions:
  • “Jeff Greening comma, for”
  • “WotC comma, for”
  • “Cavern images were sourced through Google
  • “stats were found” (remove parentheses around the website)

There! That should be the final technical revision. All that’s left is style, which I have considered while writing. Below, I will outline the points we will need to consider so that we do not need to come up with them on the spot later and in the process forget something:

Style points to consider:

  • Headers
  • Pictures
  • Statblocks
  • Dice
  • References
  • Bolding
    • Bolding of symbols
    • Bolding of proper nouns
    • Bolding of internal references
  • Checks
    • Success/failure condition descriptions
    • Advantage/Threat condition descriptions
    • Triumph/Despair condition descriptions
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I’m working on the characters now, and how much backstory/established character traits do you want?

Would you rather them be completely blank slates beyond the mechanics (species being part and parcel of that), or should I write in backstory, character relationships, etc. from the get-go? My usual mode of operation is the latter, but I’m willing to abstain if you would prefer to work that out yourself.

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Would you rather them be completely blank slates beyond the mechanics (species being part and parcel of that), or should I write in backstory, character relationships, etc. from the get-go? My usual mode of operation is the latter, but I’m willing to abstain if you would prefer to work that out yourself

Feel free to flesh them out if that’s a thing you’d like to do :). It would give the playthrough more depth and help make it feel organic.

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I hope you’re doing well, I haven’t heard much from you in a while.

I’ve finished CharGen for all four characters, and worked out the backstories for everyone but the Diplomat character (because I find Diplomat-type characters usually incredibly boring), but this brought up a question: Who’s going to GM?

I had originally intended/expected that I would, but the subtext of your response makes me think that you may have had a different expectation.

I’m perfectly comfortable with either option, so I’ll gladly fulfill whichever role you would rather I do.

One reason to perhaps have me GM is that I’m quite experienced with GMing PbPs.

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Hi there chief!

I’ve just been working much more than usual and the family farm needed some TLC so I haven’t had much time this past little while… but I’m still around!

I’m hoping to tackle the last revisions next week.

Who’s going to GM?

Actually this whole time I thought the expectation was for me to GM… I hadn’t even considered you running it. That being said it probably would be better if you GM’ed it as that would be a more objective confirmation that the logic and sequence of events flows well as written.

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Glad you’re doing okay. Spending time with your family is far more important than this.

Sounds good. I’ll post the character info soon with instructions on how to make character sheets for the game, and work on setting up a server.

There’s actually a few things I’d forgotten to do with the characters, like set up a basic personality profile. The reason I’d asked you those questions about if I should write all that up was because my intention was always to supply you with the characters. xD

Of course, as the player you can change pretty much whatever you want, but I rather like what I’ve got and I hope you will too.

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There’s enough of it that rather than posting each profile here, I’ve simply compiled it into a doc.

The characters are all fully built, all you need to do is transpose the stats and information into SWSheets, the online character sheet resource I use.

If you need information on the equipment, check my equipment spreadsheets.

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Page 9: As you might expect, I question the upgrade on the Perception check. Without an obvious cause, or a specified expenditure for Despair, I think this is best left to the GM, if he wishes to spend a Destiny Point to upgrade the check’s difficulty.

Hmm… I guess we just missed this one when we downgraded most of my upgrades ;).

Page 17: You say “if either check fails and generates 3 Threat.” I recommend that the Threat condition only apply to the first check

Ok. I moved the text accordingly and modified it slightly to reflect this.

There is an issue with this entire encounter, which is that because the check is not required (which I think is the correct course of action), the event which can cause an encounter to happen (requiring checks to cross) is unlikely to occur, because the triggering event (Threat on a check) cannot happen!

I like having the room and the mechanics there… otherwise it feels like a wasted opportunity. Could we simply make it more likely the Narglatch attack here instead of area 3? Or actually stage it to happen here? The group would still need to continue exploring to find the remaining crates and crew members.

Then again, the entire party is likely to have crossed together by the time the Narglatch attack, but it would add a sense of added danger to have the crevice behind them.

  • Page 13: Since there’s also a blood trail, you could simply remove any mention of a crate being dragged. The effect is somewhat redundant, while taking up additional space.

That being said, it does suggest that the crates would be in the cave, which is added incentive to go inside :).

Page 2: “For GM’s Eyes Only” Is this supposed to be plural GMs, or singular GM? If singular, perhaps “the GM’s,” but if plural, then “GMs’” I could really go either way, but it ought to change to match one or the other.

At this point in the writing it could be either since any number of GM’s might end up reading the adventure, but I lean towards the singular in this case.

I sure am using analogies to human food a lot for someone who subsides of off fuel, oil, and water.

That’s alright, it is reminiscent of how our teachers used to do it ;)

Page 3: The black square around the picture of the planet is less than ideal. Can you edit the original picture to remove that box?

Hmm… it’s not my strength but I improved it.

  • Page 4: The “Star Wars” logo has the same problem as the picture of the planet, and in addition has the red spellcheck line below each word. You ought to be able to find a PNG of the logo on Google without too much difficulty.

OK! i’m up to here on post #86.

I’ll do more when I can!

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I like the idea, I’m just not sure it’s utilized well. I’m also not sure how to fix that.

I don’t want to shake up the structure of the adventure too much, but it might be good to simply minimize the discussion of mechanics. You could simply say “unless they’re in a hurry, no check is required” and then say “should someone fall, it counts as a fall from Short range” and leave the rest of the mechanics to the GM’s discretion.

Moving the combat here makes some practical sense, but narratively rather falls on its face- except… I have an idea.
Maybe they (or just one) do (does) engage here, but retreat quickly, falling back to the lair. Then they attack at the lair as originally discussed.

That has some issues though, as it takes away some of the punch of the later fight, and you run the risk of PCs on hot rolls dealing with the Narglatch before they’re “supposed to,” which brings up the narrative issue of story structure. The fight with the Narglatch should be the climax of the adventure, with scrounging in their lair and then leaving the caves being the clean-up, but if you move the big fight earlier, then the rest of the slog through the tunnels feels much less meaningful and is the kind of thing I might hand-wave at the end of a session.

The exception to this would be if the Narglatch escape, but then you have the issue of encounter duplication.

That’s fair. I still think the mention could be dropped, but it’s your call.

I recommend singular. You’re addressing the reader of the adventure. That said, there’s nothing wrong with the plural and it can certainly be justified in the context.