Here’s the adventure log for the past session.
Not much there, right? Yeah. There are two reasons for that: first, it’s been way too long ((Like, about six weeks.)) since the session. I’ve been lazy getting things updated, and that means details fade a bit. Second, it was not a great session, and that’s all my fault.
What did I do that caused it to not be a great session? I made the players ((That’s the PLAYERS, not the characters.)) afraid to do stuff. I went too big on the described threats and obstacles, which made the players decide to not engage with them. This led to them mostly sitting in Sundog and slicing the station systems to free Jopsi, and Jopsi trying to make his way through the station pretty much alone, dealing with obstacles on his own.
That made for a sucky, not-very-Star-Wars-like game session. The players were too convinced that they couldn’t be heroic, or that there was too big a risk, to try the fun stuff. There was no infiltration of the station, no diversionary space battle, no desperate leaps into vacuum to escape ((I swear, one day I’ll get them to try that.)), no… Well. You get the idea.
Since then, I’ve been thinking about what I need to do to avoid that problem in the future. Here are the things I’ve come up with:
- Emphasize the heroic, cinematic nature of both the Star Wars universe and the Fate Core system. Make sure the players know that they can go big with their actions.
- Make it clear that, when I’m describing how overwhelming the opposition is, it’s partially to help the gang think about options other than combat, and partially so that, when the good guys triumph, they’ll know they’ve done something AWESOME.
- Talk about how the action in games doesn’t have to be combat. Chases, infiltration, cons, heists, investigation – these can all be rendered as active, interesting things if approached the right way.
- Make sure everyone’s well-versed in the Fate Core combat paradigm. The system lets you control how much you’re risking in play. Conceding when the fight isn’t vital to your character gets you a setback, not death. Death only enters the play when you decide it’s important enough.
- Be more careful in building scenarios to make sure there are always action-filled ways forward, and that they are more apparent to the players.
So, that’s what’s on my mind as I think about the next session.
Hopefully, I’ve learned my lesson.