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Darkstryder campaign = Cthulhu in Space and other questions
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Solo4114
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:38 pm    Post subject: Darkstryder campaign = Cthulhu in Space and other questions Reply with quote

I won another ebay auction recently which came with a copy of Endgame. Reading through parts of it, especially the notes on developing the campaign, I kept thinking how this basically sounded really, really Cthulhu-inspired. Anyone else ever notice this?

Other questions:

Anyone played any of the Far Orbit book? Reading through it, it struck me as interesting, if a bit complicated. Same story with Darkstryder and playing 3 characters at once. Entirely doable, I think (just shift focus per adventure session), but complicated.

I loved the detail on the frigate in Far Orbit, and the notion of playing a campaign with a capital ship, rather than a tramp freighter, but it struck me as a bit daunting to take on a task that big.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Darkstryder campaign = Cthulhu in Space and other questi Reply with quote

Solo4114 wrote:
I loved the detail on the frigate in Far Orbit, and the notion of playing a campaign with a capital ship, rather than a tramp freighter, but it struck me as a bit daunting to take on a task that big.

I tend to agree, and a lot of my house rule work has been geared toward simplifying capital ship use in gameplay. Is there anything in particular you're wondering about?
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Solo4114
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:02 am    Post subject: Re: Darkstryder campaign = Cthulhu in Space and other questi Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Solo4114 wrote:
I loved the detail on the frigate in Far Orbit, and the notion of playing a campaign with a capital ship, rather than a tramp freighter, but it struck me as a bit daunting to take on a task that big.

I tend to agree, and a lot of my house rule work has been geared toward simplifying capital ship use in gameplay. Is there anything in particular you're wondering about?


Just generally curious about whether people did that, how they handled both campaigns, and whether they were actually all that popular. I've seen mixed reviews of Darkstryder. Some folks LOVE it, others found it...meh. I've seen less about Far Orbit, I guess because it was the last WEG book published? I dunno.

The concept of running a crew with players playing multiple characters seems intriguing to me, but I suspect it would only be popular with folks who really wanted to try something different. Still, I like the general idea behind it.
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Falconer
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’m interested in DarkStryder just because Timothy Zahn’s novel Vision of the Future made the Kathol Outback seem like a really interesting region to adventure in. I wish it were presented less as a railroad and more as a sandbox, but, I think it can be adapted to that style.
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Solo4114
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Falconer wrote:
I’m interested in DarkStryder just because Timothy Zahn’s novel Vision of the Future made the Kathol Outback seem like a really interesting region to adventure in. I wish it were presented less as a railroad and more as a sandbox, but, I think it can be adapted to that style.


It's tricky. The setting itself can stand on its own, I think. I think you could get the player characters involved and willing to pursue the campaign without necessarily having foregone conclusions within the story (e.g., "Character XYZ dies, and that's why you go off to avenge them.").

There could be other reasons you're on the mission, or doing what you're doing, or you could provide the players more of a degree of autonomy in some settings, while still having them play "predetermined" characters in other settings.

I think part of the difficulty is the scope of the characters' interaction with other higher ups. In a random adventure where the PCs are playing Rebels, it's pretty easy to, say, have them meet with their handler or a command staff person or whatever, who assigns them a mission, and then off they go. Realistically, the PCs shouldn't just say "Yeah, screw that, we're going to Nar Shaddaa instead, to go take on a Hutt crime lord." They're part of a military structure, and should realistically be following orders, albeit given a degree of autonomy in the execution of those orders.

But that makes more sense when you have the illusion of an entire galaxy to explore in executing your orders, rather than being on a single ship that's on a particular mission. Sure, you can go on away teams and such, or take a shuttlecraft or fighter craft out for a spin, but you're on the ship, in unfamiliar territory, and required to pretty much stick with the program.

Similar story with Far Orbit. You're ostensibly part of the crew of the Far Orbit, and you can't just go off galavanting around. You're about as hemmed in as you would be otherwise, but -- and here's the real key -- it doesn't feel like your choice. In the random adventure, yes, you'll go to [location X] to follow up on [lead ABC], but it's still with the understanding that you don't have to do that. Or even if you do for the adventure to really progress, you could always just go sandbox your way through the galaxy and ignore your superior's orders.

When you're on a single ship, though, you can't do that, and the limitation is abundantly clear. You're part of a privateer crew, or the crew of the FarStar pursuing a Moff in the Kathol Rift. You can't just jump ship and go do your own thing, and you're stuck going wherever the ship is going, and going on the missions that are assigned to you.

I think a really savvy GM could probably create a better illusion of control, while still keeping the players basically on track, but it's harder to do when they're stuck on a ship.
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Falconer
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My idea (riffing off Whill's) would be to prepare multiple sectors. Like, start the players off in the Minos Cluster, and say, to the West is Elrood Sector, and to the East is Kathol Sector. Keep 20 rumors handy at any time, and let the players pick up which ones they want to pursue. That way, if they abandon any given scenario, I’m fine with it. I would also let them figure out their own configuration, but, I would by default allow only one character per player, and I would presume a tramp freighter crew with rebel sympathies but not in the chain of command.
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Solo4114
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Falconer wrote:
My idea (riffing off Whill's) would be to prepare multiple sectors. Like, start the players off in the Minos Cluster, and say, to the West is Elrood Sector, and to the East is Kathol Sector. Keep 20 rumors handy at any time, and let the players pick up which ones they want to pursue. That way, if they abandon any given scenario, I’m fine with it. I would also let them figure out their own configuration, but, I would by default allow only one character per player, and I would presume a tramp freighter crew with rebel sympathies but not in the chain of command.


That would make it a lot simpler, and really just treat the book as a sourcebook for the setting, rather than trying to use any of the adventure.

I actually am intrigued by the notion of playing multiple characters, including at different levels of the shipboard chain of command, and a capital ship (regardless of the size). I think to do the capital ship storyline effectively, you'd have to have people at multiple levels, which could be a hassle, but I think you'd have to approach it from the perspective of "Ok, we're playing basically episodes of Battlestar Galactica, rather than films in the Star Wars series" so you get different playsessions focused on different characters. One session might be all about the command staff, another about an away team, and another about fighter crews. Or merge away teams and fighter crews, and occasionally allow away teams to mix with command staff for missions.

The thing is, I think it's asking A LOT of your players to stick with a campaign long enough to make it satisfying, when you're jumping from one group of characters to another every other session. You might have a hard time feeling as if the story is really progressing because you might be playing with the same characters only every 3rd session or something. Some players might dig it, but I wonder how many would really be on board for that the whole way through.
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The Brain
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Falconer wrote:
My idea (riffing off Whill's) would be to prepare multiple sectors. Like, start the players off in the Minos Cluster, and say, to the West is Elrood Sector, and to the East is Kathol Sector. Keep 20 rumors handy at any time, and let the players pick up which ones they want to pursue. That way, if they abandon any given scenario, I’m fine with it. I would also let them figure out their own configuration, but, I would by default allow only one character per player, and I would presume a tramp freighter crew with rebel sympathies but not in the chain of command.


In a bit more detail...How to make a Traveller sandbox
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