Sundog Millionaires: Pirates of the Mollek Nebula, Part Two

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Here’s the adventure log for the past session.

We had a bit of an awkward change of characters in the middle of the adventure: Hal’s player wasn’t able to make the previous session, and Jopsi’s player couldn’t make this one. To deal with this, I rather heavy-handedly changed the last moments of the previous session, and said that Jopsi was arrested by station security when he was trying to sneak back to Sundog ((I’ll be giving Chris an extra fate point next session for messing with his character like this.)). As for Hal, I gave his player the option of just joining the group where they were on Kyra’s Wheel or having spent the last session infiltrating the pirates the group was seeking and starting aboard The Shadowed Hand. With visions of Lando Calrissian hiding in Jabba’s retinue at the start of Return of the Jedi, he leaped at the undercover option.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t very good and communicating this stuff to the rest of the group. The gang spent some time debating how to get Jopsi out of jail until I came out and said that I had done it just because the player wasn’t here. And then there was some discussion about whether they should be trying to catch the pirates in a complex sting, or just try and buy the box from them. This went on for a while before I clued in on two things:

  1. The group took my statement about how the pirates totally outgunned them to mean that they could not confront the pirates or else they’d die.
  2. I hadn’t bothered to tell anyone else that Hal was now undercover on the pirate ship, and Hal hadn’t mentioned it.

This is the old, old problem of GM perspective. The GM has more information than the players, and knows how it all fits together. Giving too much information to the players can ruin their fun – they like to earn their victories, and figure things out in play ((Your mileage, of course, may vary. I’m generalizing here, based on my experience as a player and my player groups.)). So, GMs are parsimonious with information, trying to provide just enough to let the players have fun figuring things out and point them in the right direction. But the information we give the players doesn’t have the same context for them as it does for us – we see the whole elephant, but we’re only letting them feel the trunk.

So, I clarified things a bit. First off, I restated that the pirates totally had the PCs outgunned – in a straight-up, head-on conflict. But no one said that any confrontation had to be a straight-up, head-on conflict. Second, I told Hal’s player to let the others know where he was and what he was doing.

You could see the lights go on behind everyone’s eyes. Within minutes, they had a plan to locate the pirate ship, dock with it, and steal the MacGuffin from under the pirates’ noses.

That’s when things began to rock and roll. Some highlights:

  • Stealth docking with The Shadowed Hand in the middle of a nebula.
  • Slicer battles to keep the fighter bays locked down and the power systems off.
  • Creeping through the dim corridors trying to dodge pirate patrols.
  • Trask igniting his lightsaber for the first time in the game, the blade burning through the piece of rebar he had attached to the hilt to hit people with.
  • Jowkabukk valiantly holding off the pirates so Trask could duel with Jyn Starfell ((I should have written this sooner, because I cannot for the life of me remember is Jyn Starfell was defeated or if he scarpered. I think he scarpered, but I can’t be sure. Erik? You remember?)).
  • Hal deciding to start firing Sundog‘s guns at The Shadowed Hand while they were still connected to each other.
  • The discussion between the players about maybe the best way for Hal and HK-86 to rescue Trask and Jowkabukk would be to blast a huge hole in the hull and then catch them in the Sundog as they were blown out into space ((Which sounded awesome! Note to my players: if you come up with a cool enough plan, no matter how bad an idea it would be in actuality, I will give it at least a chance of success. Think about what the movie scene would look like and, if it makes you go, “Whoah!” then it’s worth a try.))
  • HK-86 showing up in full-on maniac-killer-droid mode, shredding the pirates to rescue the critically injured Jowkabukk.
  • Sundog flying away into the nebula, leaving the crippled Shadowed Hand to the tender mercies of the Imperial cruiser that Hal had called in with a distress signal.

After the escape, the gang decided to open the box to see what the MacGuffin was ((I had told them it was just a MacGuffin, but that I also knew what it was. And it was not Marcellus Wallace’s soul.)). It turned out to be Mace Windu’s lightsaber. This had pretty much the effect that I hoped for – they stared reverently at it for a bit, then locked it back up for delivery to their client ((I had some ideas of what to do if they decided to keep it – consequences are important in my games – but they decided to stay honest. Not that that doesn’t have its own consequences.)).

The next session is tomorrow, and it will involve freeing Jopsi from jail, and possibly taking some revenge on Yan Retwin, the smuggler that sold them out.

Should be fun.

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