Not sure where I want to go with this weeks blog. I'm kinda all over the place creatively.
This week, I finally busted open the writer's block I had solidly formed in my brain concerning one of the modules I wanted to write for GamerNationCon 2016, down in Dallas, Texas in April. I knew I wanted to try and write up something for Fallout, an urge that got even stronger once the damn game released last November. I'm not even done with the damn thing, I'm still playing, possibly only half way through the main story-line. I keep getting side-tracked by side quests, exploring the Commonwealth, building up the settlements I have founded, and answering all those damn "requests" from Preston telling me that there's another Settlement that needs my help.
"Did the Minutemen send you?"
"...you mean did I send me? The, apparently, only fstarking Minuteman member in this whole fstarking Commonwealth? In spite of the fact that I've got a frikkin' Castle with about two dozen guys in it who's labels state they're Minutemen? Me, the same guy who was here last month, saving your collective asses from those Raiders holed-up half-way across the map? Even though I've got 3 settlements within a much shorter distance, they traveled across Feral Ghoul Infested ruins and a Deathclaw warren to attack this settlement? And even though I've set up a defensive tower with enough Rocket Launchers and Auto-Lasers to bring down a Legendary Mirelurk Queen, a group of Raiders with pipe pistols and armor made from tires and kitchen utensils are somehow are able to bypass the defenses and raid your mutfruit trees! Yes, the Minutemen sent me; you long-term-memory-damaged incompetent half-wit!"
"Oh good, because we're having a real problem with these Raiders!"
"...tell me more."
...that rant too far too much time to sculpt. I need therapy.
So yeah, dam busted. Creativity flowing. This is good because if I can get this module done, it means I'm no longer dwelling on it and other projects can get up and running like my bi-weekly Wednesday night Skype game that my PCs are probably a week away from laying siege to my house with pitchforks and dice bags.
Ah, who am I kidding. I'm the only one with dice in this group. They use the app or EotE Hangout Tools to roll.
The Despair Session
Lets step back to my TFA/FFG campaign conversion. In my head, I like to think that a couple PCs from the GM's last Star Wars campaign that he ran back in college heard he was running some new PCs through FFG's Edge of the Empire and wanted to play their old characters. The GM allowed it, feeling that FFG is a nice system to allow more experienced players to game with new PCs (and it is, I can tell you). So at the start of Session 2, PCs Han Solo and Chewbacca join up to make a foursome. They have some nice intro RP interaction, and once all the PCs seemingly agree to work together to move along the GM's plot, the GM moves to the next scene.
Two things happen during this adventure; first, the GM rolls and triggers Han's Debt Obligation. Bala-Tik and the Guarvian Death Gang board Han's larger freighter looking for their money. Han tells the new PCs to hide while he and Chewie handle things. It's at this point that the second memorable event starts; the fickleness of the dice.
Every now and then, you'll have astounding luck in this system, either good or bad. There will be sessions where every die roll that could generate a Triumph will. It'll be like there's a two for one sale at Fizwaloo's Triumph Emporium. The opposite is also true; there will be sessions sponsored by Bachota's Discount Despair Shop. If you could roll a despair, you will.
This session turns out to be the later.
Han attempts to Deceive Bala-Tik, trying to appease him and give him more time. He fails, and rolls a Despair. Not only does Bala-Tik see through his lies, but the GM decides to have a little fun with the Despair and has the Kanjiklub gang board Han's freighter. While trying to calm down Kanjiklub, he rolls another despair, and both groups realize the Droid is the one the First Order is looking for, and have the insight to guess that the two fugitives the First Order seeks may also be on board.
Finn and Rey, not wanting to be idle, assess the situation. Rey comes up with a phenomenal idea to try and slam the blast doors closed, isolating and trapping the two gangs. It's a relatively easy check, one that the GM flips a Destiny point on to add some tension to the roll. It works; failure with advantage, but also Despair. The GM decides that she didn't close the blast doors to the hallway; she opened the blast doors to the rathtar holds. With the Advantage, the GM allows that to be spent on having the rathtars attack the two gangs first.
Hilarity ensues, and I think the only way the scene could be better presented was if Yakkety Sax was playing in the background.
The PCs have a few narrow escapes, Chewie takes a nasty shot and critical injury to the arm, and they all board the Millennium Falcon to escape. One of the rathtars attaches itself to the cockpit, obscuring the view and preventing a proper take off. Suddenly Han's player announces he wants to go to light speed from a resting position in a hanger bay. The GM, who would have flat out said "no" in previous editions of the game, has bought in to the "yes, and..." atmosphere of the FFG system. He affirms that the attempt can be made and pushes three red Challenge Dice and two purple Difficulty dice across the table. He also adds two Setback dice, because the view-port is blocked by a slobbering rathtar trying to eat the Falcon's cockpit. Han, a high "level" character with many sessions of XP under his belt, picks up his three yellow Proficiency dice and two green Ability dice to make the roll. He does; and after cancelling out a boat load of success, failure, advantage, and threat ends up rolling a net success with a Triumph and a Despair. The Triumph is used to rip the rathtar right off the cockpit and scatter the remaining Death Gang members across the ship. The Despair is used by the GM to cause a critical failure in the Hyperdrive that will scatter pieces of the Falcon across three sectors if they can't get it fixed. Fortunately, Rey is a whiz mechanic and makes the repair check to bypass the compressor on the Falcon's hyperdrive.
Finn, meanwhile, is trying to treat Chewie's critical injury but fails...and rolls a Despair, causing so much pain and discomfort that he enrages the wookiee. Chewie's player announces that he's throttling Finn as a way of displaying his displeasure at Finn's skill with Medicine.
The GM elects to ends the session there, with the PCs arriving at Takodana (he knows that there will be a huge fight at Takodana and doesn't have time to run it). Han's player says that this game is really rough on melee fighters and has his character hand Rey a blaster pistol. Rey grudgingly takes it, and spends some of this session's XP on buying some skill in Ranged (Light) weapons. She also spends 20 xp to pick up Force Sensitive Exile, and is now officially Force Sensitive.
Not sure if I'll continue this next week, or if I'll keep this on an every three or four week rotation.
I am having fun with this tho...
May the dice be with you.