On Wednesday, December 16th, two of the three of us met online for the third session of the Pilot Episode of the campaign.
If you are wondering what is meant by the use of the word campaign in my posts, I mean an ongoing game with a specific organizing principle. Ongoing tends to mean ‘until we decide to stop’. That is a common default for me, but sometimes campaigns are set to be limited to a specific number of sessions. That latter usage, however, tends to be qualified with an adjective such as “short”, or “10-session.”
First Response’s organizing principle is that I am running it for Ron, KC, and Joseph in the Original Series Era, with the characters being crew of the USS Avicenna with its Crisis Response duty assignment. No printed adventures are in use, and the campaign is not following a planned ‘adventure path’ nor is their an intention to facilitate a dramatic arc of some kind. This campaign is built from our discussions from before and during and after Session 0 with the influences of a short list of Original Series episodes, the characters, and ‘crisis response’ being given equal weight in preparation for play. The intent is to be reminiscent of episodic television wherein the series has self-contained episodes in the same setting, featuring the same characters.
This session was conducted with only two of the three Main Characters present, Ensign Yang and Lt. Korsakov. They embraced the notion of responding selflessly to the crisis and have pushed through uncertainty into a larger problem they may have found a good solution for… if they can pull it off! Likewise, the crew aboard the USS Avicenna found themselves juggling chaos on several fronts ranging from Starfleet communiques to alien probes.
KC’s reflections (due later in the week, including full-episode commentary track)
A recurring question has been about the relative level of difficulty the game’s competent characters face in their missions and the role of the Momentum Resource in buffering them from harm. I believe this has been inspired in part by the relative rareness of characters *this* competent in RPGs and by the approach I am taking as a guide into the rules. That approach is to establish basic competence with the core mechanisms (Part A) then shift to presenting rules in support of player action (Part B onward). Actions aboard ship are, understandably easier than those taken in hostile environments, and cautious or insightful play will obviate dangers less astute gamers might bring on themselves~
As Ron notes in a reflection, we won’t be able to answer the question of how much risk the game offers and how much weight are on the dice until several episodes have given us perspective, but I hope we enjoy the ride to that perspective!