New Adventure Start: Flatlined

All good points, Linwood. It can be done. It does, however, take a lot of work to not make the other players feel like sidekicks. And running a good campaign is hard enough as it is. Drastically uneven characters is an unnecessary risk in a campaign.
This is slightly confusing.

Some make a big fuss about honesty and trying to win to protest what they see as dice cheating. Here the rolls are unquestionably legitimate and still the issue of high stats continues.

Can someone explain to me what exactly is going on, and what the real problem is? Do you want char attrs capped at 9 or 10, or what?
Old School said:
All good points, Linwood. It can be done. It does, however, take a lot of work to not make the other players feel like sidekicks. And running a good campaign is hard enough as it is. Drastically uneven characters is an unnecessary risk in a campaign.
Again with the hyperbole.
Old School said:
ShawnDriscoll said:
Again with the hyperbole.

Again with the snark, without offering any thoughts of your own. Its okay, we’re used to it.

If you've played the Ars Magica RPG, you'll be familiar with handling mixed power level parties.

The premise of this game is super powerful wizards with sidekicks and minions. Each player will generate one of each giving them 3 characters, and an adventure might require them to be mixed. I could write more on it, but it's more efficient to direct you there.

In a Traveller situation. Sure, there is that one guy with all 12s but they can only do one thing at a time. Someone's got to do the other thing, and if anyone fails, the whole ship is gone and everyone dies.

It is slightly more of a workload on the GM, but it's by no means a game ending problem.
This is a lot of debate for a +1 or +2 bonus. So he will be able to act as if he is proficient in a skill even if he just has the skill (level 0). He is just going to come across as a broadly skiled, proficient person.

Now the issue is whether or not a +1 or +2 bonus in every skill will break the game. I do not think so, because the game has wafer jacks which means every person can get a skill boost for every skill they have. They just have to spend some money and get the implant. In my last game that is what one person did. They had a successful trade mission and got paid a bonus. He spent it on wafer jacks and a skill library. Same effect as what we are talking about and it did not break the game.
Started the adventure this evening. The players were suitably upset about being in cryoberth. Doubly so for one member of the group, his character had suffered a low berth mishap in the creation process, so this is a second time a low berth has caused an issue. He will be paranoid of every low berth scenario from now on.

The players looted the ship and figured a way out in short order. They headed for PS9 as expected.

A recon at the site and then meeting with the personnel grew a little confrontational with Hambley and Sayelle. There is a lot of mistrust, but in depth questions were set aside for later, after dealing with the creepers and the coming darkness.

The robotic specialist got a workbot functioning, and the pilot/engineer got power restored in the reserve power hut. As a group talking around the table, and rolling Xenology checks, they made the connection between the EMP and the disturbance of the creepers. They theorized about the ability to sense emissions, and wondered about building a silencer. Realizing this in iteslf was a transmission they reversed their thinking and want to put an emitter onto the robot to try and draw the creepers away from the camp. They are trying to get enough cable to string a power line from the reserve power out away from the camp to give the creepers something to distract them.

The lack of firepower is disturbing to the group. Counting rounds out and realizing they have fewer bullets than opponents is really aktering their thinking.

There were a lot of Alien one liners. (They nostly come out at night, mostly.) was a popular one.

All the players had a moment to shine, even the non Uber ones. :p Each is working on a project.

As night was falling the flames from a large bonfire lit up the hilltop. The light from the flames was reflected back from the chitin of the gathering creepers. Corey looked down the hillside and called out. "They're coming."

And that is where we left it. I will update the next time we play.
Sounds like it's going great, PsiTraveller! Flatlined was a lot of fun to run. Can't wait to hear how it all turns out.
I always tell my players I cannot roleplay high intelligence. They counter with I can't roleplay high charisma either. It balances out. :p
I tell my players their best asset is my demonstrated inability to consistently roll wel for their opponents.... :)
Played another session this evening, and ocne again the players came up with a good solution to the adventure... doing nothing. No disrespect to them at all, not doing anything, hunkering down in one of the garages with all the power off and the door barricaded is a winning strategy.

As night fell the players had another revelation that an emitter on the tower might draw the bugs away from the base, and them. So as the first creepers scuttled around the base two players made a dash for hut G and Hut C. Hut C provided wire, and the electronics whiz made an em transmitter from the spare parts they could salvage.

The Army based player ran wire from the cafeteria/kitchen to the tower, and a control wire to Hut H where the rest of the group were hiding. A few tense Recon, Stealth and Electronics rolls and an emitter was giving a signal on the far side of the camp.

One feeder found Hut G and the power cable and was shot. After that the group closed up the access door to the garage and hunkered down in the chemstick lit gloom. The camp was ransacked by the bugs, and the tower emitter was destroyed, as were the various buildings that still had some power restored to them. The player who had prepped the garage had specifically mentioned they wanted no power in the building at all, to prevent any emissions.

That was the strategy for the evening. Sit down in the gloom of the garage and wait for the bugs to go away. Since the rest of the camp was far more EM interesting this is actually a pretty good strategy. Hut G reserve power was zapped, and all the chewable cables were chewed, but all this made the garages less interesting since there was no power signature at all from those buildings.

Eventually the night passed and the bugs departed. The survivors immediately set to repairing power and control to the antenna to contact the nearest base. The players also made sure that the power system was able to be turned off at night to reduce emissions.

I skipped over a trek to the nearest base. The group did repair a buggy and returned to the crash site to grab the food they had left cached at the beach.

The group continued with the garage hideout, prepping the center garage and reinforcingf the door and window, and making somewhere else more intereasting to the creepers.

I had a rescue ship take them away to the Class D starport after a couple of days. From there the party started asking about how they ended up on the planet. This pretty much wrapped the adventure and we started on a return to Tobia and the HW of Stern Metal offices to find out how they got there.

I avoided a fight with the Skill jacking crew. The party publicly accepted the officail story of paperwork mistake on their low berths. Obviously that was how they got to the planet. Only when they made it to Tobia did they start asking about compensation and asking more questions.

And that is where we left it. A fun adventure and the players made some interesting decisions all along the storyline. They focused on not giving the creepers a target, which I thought was a good move on their part.

Has anyone else thought of what sort of hush money the Megacorp might offer these folks to get an agreement to not sue? What do you think the offer would be?
Depends on the megacorp’s evaluation of the risk. If the players appear to be more or less creditless drifters the offer might be pretty low - say Cr500 and a High Psg each. If the players have connections with important people that could cause trouble the offer will likely be more generous - perhaps tied to a “take it and leave the sector” rider.

A typical thing in legal circles today is to base a settlement offer on expenses incurred by the injured party plus lost wages, maybe with a multiplier for emotional distress and what not. That might be a good first offer...

Other possibilities - Sternmetal might offer them jobs, maybe a worn-out Seeker and charter them to do some prospecting for them in an asteroid belt some distance away. That could keep them out of the public eye for weeks or months and could create a dependency that could be leveraged to the megacorp’s advantage.

They could arrange a job offer indirectly by having an associated firm (or person, or even government) drop a potentially lucrative opportunity in their laps - the catch being that they have to get underway immediately. A survey contract or small-package special delivery for a party with a scout ship would be a natural. A contract supporting a new colony, or even something like the new Exodus adventure might work too.

I suggest making it a negotiation - maybe testing the players’ Broker and Diplomat skills. The megacorp would likely adhere to a plausible deniability line, along with a “we’re very sorry such an unfortunate mistake happened” stance that would make it there was an opportunity to bargain.
Played again the other night.
I realized that a report of kidnapping and interplanetary hijinks will take months to sort out. The police were notified and will work on getting information. This will take months, It was on a different planet after all. The threat to trade and mopery and dopery in the spacelanes is a serious accusation, and the players have some pull. One is well known (high Social score), the other a decorated soldier, the third a prize winning scientist. SO this will not be swept under the rug.

The company in question offered to settle and the players signed the NDA to get money. One player who had rolled Ship's boat for a benefit sold the craft. Now rich the player asked about buying a TAS membership, and the availability of Augments.

The players had no ship, but as Fate would have it a Contact or two offered a nice job for a Security team and the Scientist. I combined the crew of the Theories of Everything with MakerGod and had the players sign on as crew for the expedition.
The players had money and were on a high tech world with access to Tech. The gun types bought guns and ammo for the expedition and the others bought various goodies. The Central Supply Catalogue was in great demand.

The players settled into their various roles as the expedition set out for the Reach. (and I moved the starting point to Tobia, so the ship had several Jumps to get to Marduk. There was a layover in Torpol and some minor negotiations then on to Marduk to begin scans of the system.

The crew took the Pinnace to the Highport to meet with the DIrector. The Lab ship began a spiral orbit to map weather patterns and take shots of the planet for background information.

On the Highport the crew split up somewhat. The security detail escorted the Professor to the Director's Admin block to deal with paperwork for the expedition. The pilot stayed on board the Pinnace to take on supplies.
The attack by the Oghma raiders was played up for action and gunfire. The players were escorting the Professor to the ship when raiders got through a set of doors with their intrusion rig. A nasty little gunfight broke out, hampered by the fact that one of the players had not snuck a weapon onboard. Luckily one of the players had and managed to drop a raider. The other player scooped up the enemy rifle and began to spray and pray the enemy. All this while trying to keep the professor alive.

I players got through the raiders and headed for their docking section. The pilot had been watching the video feeds and saw the raiders stealing pallets of goods.

The situation settled down eventually. (The players once again buttoned up their ship and stayed in one spot. Their thinking was that any movement by a ship would be seen as pirate activity.) The players were invited to meet with the Director of the Highport. An offer to chase the raiders to Oghma and mount a rescue operation for one of the staff was made. The players said they would develop plans and get back to the Director.

That is where we left things. I am going to add an extra mission, I have also written a module about the Oghma raiders and want to play it out. After that I will be putting it on Drivethru. (Blatant plug!!)

So the players are trying to research what they can about Oghma and try to figure out how to mount a rescue operation. Fun times.