Sundog Millionaires: Pirates of the Mollek Nebula, Part One

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Here’s the Adventure Log entry for this past session.

This past session was a little ((By which I mean a lot.)) less focused than the previous one. I presented the group with a fairly open plot – seek out the stolen MacGuffin – and let them decide how they wanted to solve it. Now, with most of the group coming from the D&D-style gaming experience, it’s taking them a little time to shift over to the more player-directed style of play that I’m using in Sundog Millionaires. I think I made a mistake in jumping right into such an open scenario so soon; a few more missions that get progressively more open may have been the way to go.

What I’m saying here is that I should have been providing a more clear path forward for the group, instead of dropping hints and waiting for them to construct their own path forward. The paradigm shift from D&D-style location-oriented adventures to player-directed adventures is a tricky one to make, and I should have been more on top of that.

All that said, the gang rose to the challenge. They took to the idea of creating advantage to give them help both solving the core mystery and arming themselves against future problems – essentially using create advantage for both investigation and planning.

I had a loose set-up of scenes that I could use to throw in the path of the characters, but I let the characters determine how they would pursue their goal, and they managed to dance around most of the early scenes. That’s okay, though, because they created their own interesting scenes – the entire Yan Retwin character and subplot ((Which evolved into the main plot, or at least unified with it, along the way.)) was a PC creation, as was the idea of a broker and setting up a meeting with the pirates.

As I say, the gang moved forward, but there was a lot of flailing about between things, as the group sifted everything they had just done and all the new information, looking for the “right” way to proceed. When I finally clued in that this is what was going on, I brought in the ninjas.

The ninjas in this case were a gang of thugs that I threw in to emphasize that time was passing, and that they had yet to actually come up with a complete plan ((Also because they were feeling a bit stymied, and I thought they could use a simple fight where they could be awesome and have fun.)). They made short work of the thugs, though the fight was a little more static than I expected. This was mainly because I had the bad guys box them in, so they stood there and fought, despite the fact that I had sketched in some interesting areas nearby ((An open market, full of stalls of stuff to get tipped over, and a loading bay with some crates and power loaders.)). I have to be a little more careful with the set-up of the conflicts, I think, to make sure that I provide enough opportunity for the characters to do cool, cinematic stuff.

They kept one thug to question, and managed to get information out of him. That meant I had to decide who had sent them, and why ((I didn’t bother deciding that beforehand because, if they took them all out, it wouldn’t matter. But they grabbed one even as they ran away from station security.)). I looked at the notes, and decided that Yan Retwin, whom the players decided was untrustworthy right from the start, had hired the legbreakers because he had an arrangement with Jyn Starfell, captain of the pirates.

That was about time to stop for the evening. I hadn’t planned on this adventure stretching over two sessions, but that’s what happened. For the second session, I’m going to try and provide a clearer path forward ((Without railroading – that’s always the balancing act. But making the session about the opposition being proactive should do that fairly well.)), and throw in some more action.

And that session happens tomorrow. Wish me luck.

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