Tales of the Dice

I just want to share. There are no questions here or anything like that. I’m just super excited to be running a game again. So I think I’ll just keep this thread as a sort of down and dirty journal. (If it should be in another forum, feel free to move it.)

We have played five sessions so far. Our schedule is two Friday nights, then a Friday night off. Repeat. So, not as frequent as every Friday, but more frequent than every other.

Session 1. New Year’s Eve. My sole player had made a character awhile back for a campaign that never kicked off. (Darn you, coronas!). He was hanging out with me at my place. He had a character, but he had not played before, so we sat down so I could show him the dice basics using a couple hypothetical situations.

That turned into several hours and an actual, cohesive scene and I gave him some XPs. We decided to play again the following Friday night even if it was just going to be a solo game.

His character is Glocknar Spleetor, a Gotal scientist who was working for the Empire when he began to discover he was Force-sensitive. He split and now he’s on a journey to learn more. Engineer (Scientist, Force-Sensitive Emergent)

During the session, he broke into an Imperial-guarded university research facility to steal research on midichlorians.

The highlight of the session: two guards discover him in a lab collecting datapads. Glocknar tries a Deception check on them. It fails, but he rolls six Advantages! The guards demand he goes with them to see the security captain, but they allow him to keep all the datapads and didn’t notice the blaster in his hand underneath the stack of stolen datapads.

He does manage to escape the facility after somehow shooting his way out and stealing a speeder bike.

4 Likes

Session 2.

Another friend who had a character from a previous campaign years earlier heard about the game and wanted to join. We remade his character new. Enter Loko Deeps, grizzled Gungan warrior. Hired Gun (Marauder, Enforcer).

Glocknar made it back to a local town where he could sit beneath a tree and look through the stolen datapads. Loko, also new to the town, was nearby minding his own business.

Guards from the research facility tracked the thief back to the town, Hell’s End, and attempted to sneak up on him in the woods. Loko saw this activity and decided to help out. Together, they defeated the security guards.

Highlight of the session: toward the end of the battle, the guards, knowing they were outgunned, began to flee further into the woods. They found a boulder to duck behind for cover. Loko tried shooting them but missed… with a Triumph and a couple Advantages! He explained that the “boulder” the two guards were hiding behind was actually a mound for some kind of vicious ants! The ants began crawling all over the guards, forcing them from cover.

Loko’s player described the insects and Glocknar’s player added, “with glowing eyes!” Thus devil ants were created. (Of course, I’ll go on to use those against my players in a later session.)

Second highlight: wow are their dicehands cursed or something. Two PCs vs. four basic security guard type minions. Not even stormtroopers. It took the entire session to play out what I thought would be done in just a couple rounds of combat or so. LoL

2 Likes

Session 3. (The third Friday in a row; we had not yet established the schedule.)

After the battle from Session 2, Glocknar and Loko took some time to get to know each other over a couple brews at a local cantina in Hell’s end. Three hombres entered and walked up to their table. They said the local “boss” Shann Fhear wanted an audience with them.

The entire session was just RPing with Fhear. He is a retired Umbaran pirate prince who does not like the attention that killing Imperials in “his town” might bring. He informed the PCs that they have to return to the facility, kill everyone, blow the place up, and leave evidence behind that would frame the rebellion. With that, and a certain amount of deniability, Fhear is certain that he could persuade investigators to move on and leave Hell’s End alone.

Their was no offer, no pay. Just Fhear telling the PCs they had to “finish the job.”

Highlight of the session: there really wasn’t one other than the RP. Fhear allowed the PCs to root through a crate of bargain basement blasters. A Perception check discovered some grenades in the crate. They received some detonite charges to use. And off they were to go.

2 Likes

Session 4 and 5. It took two sessions to play out this encounter.

I invited another player to join the group. He likes what he’s ready about the system, but has never had the chance to play. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time having him create a character, so I offered him one of my characters (I often create characters just to entertain concepts that pop into my head. No real plan to play them myself, but I do consider them mine.)

Enter Kol Varro, human jetpack racer. Scoundrel (Hotshot, Modder)

Kol owes Shann Fhear a lot of money, so Fhear sends him along with Loko and Glocknar to help them in exchange for dropping a bit of his debt.

The three attack the facility late at night and make some decent headway the guards before things go… interesting. Glocknar shuts down the facility’s generator which opens a cage containing a mated pair of nexu. Kol uses a detonite charge to bring down a communications array. Their dice rolls are horrid. It takes Glocknar five attempts to rig the generator (only a Hard difficulty) to explode. Loko misses his attacks a lot. At one point, I used a Despair to have him toss away his melee weapon. They finally manage to succeed in their mission goals, though.

Highlight of the session: on the second floor of the research building proper, Loko and Kol encounter a handful of research assistants trying to hold their ground behind a hastily erected barricade. Using the darkness and a glowrod to blind the assistants, Kol makes a Deception check to convince them that he and Loko are security guards and to come out from hiding. The assistants all stand up and gather together behind the barricade, thinking they are safe. Loko tells them to catch “this comlink” to use if they need help, and he throws them a frag grenade! Four of the five assistants, minions of course, go down. The final one is easily dispatched.

2 Likes

Commissioned artwork for the PCs can be found over in the Character Art thread. Kol and Loko are there now, and I hope the Glocknar art will be done by this Friday, which will be session 6.

Oh, can I say… I’m not sure how I feel about something. The third player absolutely loves my jetpack racer character, Kol Varro. He wants to keep playing him instead of making his own. On one hand, I’m flattered that he likes my character that much. On the other hand, he has absconded with my character!

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If you ever play in the future you could probably modify it. I love when players use character concepts that I’ve come up with. I seldom create the whole character though, but usually know race, career, skills, a few talents that fit (or whatever is applicable for the game). So making a character together with the player is usually very quick in those cases. :slight_smile:

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You may be joking around, but I’ll say this anyway: Your character is still your character. I mean, how many people out there have played Oskara or Pash from the EotE beginner game? They are unique each time, regardless of what the paper says is their starting point.

2 Likes

This is why I love the narrative dice system. The dice results get the players and GM into the game, thinking up story points that would have never developed with a simple pass/fail system. Many of the most interesting and memorable things during a night of play occurs due to minds interpreting dice results. A side benefit is everyone joining in, even if it isn’t their turn, to help interpret dice results. Alleviates not-my-turn boredom.

6 Likes

Yeah, I’m mostly joking. ;) He is enjoying the character, and even though he didn’t want to change any of the numbers I chose when I created my character, he is now spending XPs in ways that I would have done differently. I also have a “clean” copy of the character for me. Now the question is whether or not I should also be spending his XPs on my copy…

During the last session, my Loko Deeps player said, in reference to the narrative dice mechanics, “every time we play, my mind expands a little bit more.” That’s definitely a win for me and this campaign!

This week is Session 6. During the last session, the players were kinda grumbling that they were “murdering” a bunch of scientists for this retired pirate guy. The Kol Varro player said, “yeah I was hoping to do heroic stuff.”

Of course, they chose to do the pirate’s bidding, right? He said kill the scientists, and they went and killed the scientists. Not for any gain, either. The pirate didn’t offer anything, isn’t paying anything. There was a subtle hint that bad things could happen to them if they didn’t do it, but nothing was implicitly said. So the PCs chose to kill all the scientists and report back. They could have created some different options, right?

However, that being said, I am planning some heroics for Session 6. They will be given a chance to rescue some twi’lek slaves being bought by the Mining Guild. They will be on an unrelated “milk run” sort of mission for the pirate boss, who will be paying them this time. To rescue the twi’leks, they’ll have to ignore the easy, paying mission a bit. We’ll see if they choose the heroics over the pay. :smiley:

2 Likes

This is actually good stuff for down the road in my opinion. The “law” could be sent after them for helping the pirate. Let the players understand that everything potentially has consequences. If they respond with, “But wait YOU sent us on this mission!”, then you respond with, “Actually no I didn’t, as a GM I don’t actually exist, the pirate sent you on the mission, which you accepted, and thus went along with the dastardly deeds”.

Your players feel they must follow the adventure you have laid out for them!?? :smile: I think most GM’s have the complete opposite problem.

Your players are possibly very new to RPGs I think? You may want to let them know that they are allowed to go off the rails, so to speak. They aren’t forced to follow what you have prepared for them. But, be careful. While this could be a eureka moment for your players as they find their new freedoms…this could be a eureka moment for your players as they find their new freedoms. Thus, be prepared for what comes next. Be prepared for having to respond to their sudden left turns in your adventure. Please don’t try to force them back onto the rails, just let it flow and try to come up with stuff on the fly. It may be aggravating if you prepared tons of stuff they don’t get to. But, some of the best moments in GMing for me is when I’m surprised where the story went. Fun stuff.

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We’re actually all old grognards. My two younger players are 47. I’m 52, and the oldest is 58. We have all been gaming since the '80s. I started in 1980 myself. Back then, there was only the rail. You followed the adventure as the Great Old Ones laid it out, and that was it. Maybe they are stuck.

I’ve had players in the past go off the rails. It used to be frustrating. I used to write out very involved adventure plotwork and scenes. I think there’s a point in GM evolution, where you realize you’re not writing a script for a movie or TV show. The characters will do other things. My adventure writing these days just consist of notes. The NPCs want to do this, they want the PCs to do thatThis is what happens if it happens, this is what happens if it doesn’t. That sort of thing. You cannot prep for everything, of course, but you can be open to whatever happens and roll with it.

I was being a bit facetious here – tongue-in-cheek blaming the players for not having a more heroic adventure. But your thoughts on the rail are very valid! I will have a brief conversation about it with them on Friday.

Thanks, @Sturn !

4 Likes

Session 6 (2/19/21)

Not a lot of action last night; it was mainly an RP and exploration session.

The retired pirate prince hired the PCs to accompany his resident doctor to a place called Bazaar. Bazaar is basically an outdoor flea market on the planet Wrea. Merchants come and go. There are a few merchants who are semi-permanent traders here, or can be at least found here more often than not. There is no law or government at Bazaar, not even a proper name. While most of the traders are legit, more or less, there are the occasional black market types.

The PCs go with the doctor to Bazaar. Once there, the doc tells them to enjoy themselves while he engages in some private business with a group of merchants. The PCs went shopping, but that was interrupted by a young man who recognized the jetpack racer Kol. The guy introduces himself as Korendil Kuat and claims to be a jetpack racing enthusiast. He himself is also wearing a jetpack.

He offers to buy them lunch and the four of them engage in some social RPing. At the table next to them are a couple humans in Mining Guild jackets. They receive a holocomlink call and are loud enough to be overheard. Their conversation revolves around an apparent slave purchase. The person on the other end has 17 twi’leks for the Mining Guild officers to pick up and he expects the rest of the payment. “Meet in three hours at the following coordinates.”

Kuat prompts the PCs with “we gotta do something about that!”

The highlight of the session was the chaos of the three PCs’ reactions to the situation. Gloknar, the Gotal scientist is very afraid of the Mining Guild (no reason - the player just wants to be extremely wary of the power and horrible ethics of the MG) and doesn’t care enough about slaves to want to rescue them - actively arguing against their rescue. Loko, the Gungan warrior whose own people are forced to labor in the Imperial work camps, is all about rescuing the twi’leks but wants a solid plan. Brash, young Kol just blasts off into the air heading out to where the MG’s ship must be parked. No back up, no plan… just WHOOSH! and he’s gone! And NPC Korendil Kuat is shocked and dumbfounded and thinks the Gungan is the only reasonable one here.

We ended the session with Kol and Kuat at the MG’s freighter, the two MG officers walking back to their ship unaware of the trouble they’ve attracted, and Gloknar and Loko following them. And no one having a solid idea of any sort of plan at all!

Session 7 next Friday!

2 Likes

As a former Twi’lek slave my character approve of this message.

3 Likes

I want to have an extra threat in the slavers’ ship besides the two slavers (a Zygerrian ranged guy and a Trandoshan melee guy) themselves. But what?

Not another slaver or slaver helper. The two slavers are fine by themselves.

An additional, ornery prisoner perhaps? The PCs rescue him, along with the Twi’leks, but he wants to fight?

Not a Force user.

Not a droid.

Not a creature.

Maybe a uniformed Imperial like a moff or general. He doesn’t want to fight, per se, but definitely represents a danger… or an opportunity.

Maybe a wanted criminal like a well known, evil guy. Do they rescue him, or kill him, or try to bring him in to justice?

Some other sort of threat might be interesting. Like, a gravely wounded Wookiee who needs medical attention in a hurry or he will die. (But the PCs would have no investment in that. “Dang, he died. Sorry about your bad luck, hairy. At least we saved all the Twees.”)

Some other sort of non-combat threat?

Ideas and thoughts?

I think I have it. The holding cells the slaves are in are booby-trapped to prevent escape attempts.

They are going to require a code to type in. You cannot simply unlock and open them. It will be a non-combat threat to defeat.

When the PCs enter the hold, they’ll see several cells with Twi’leks and a couple other cells with Wookiees destined for another sale elsewhere. One of the Wookiees is dead; he tried to force his cell open and got electrocuted.

The Twi’leks will point that out and tell the PCs the cells need to be disarmed. Then let them take it from there.