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Beginner's Box Introductory Adventure


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#1 Kallabecca

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 12:49 PM

OK, I've tried to find the detail and can't… How are the characters supposed to know the ship is locked down and to go the Flight Control? It isn't mentioned in the introduction, or in the bar scene, or at the junkyard… At least not as far as I found. I don't mind adding the detail, but find it funny that it seems to have been overlooked…



#2 DylanRPG

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:07 PM

I've been flipping through the Adventure Book, sure that I would find the reference, but I think you're right, there isn't one.

It's a bit of an oversight, but I think it's an oversight born out of assuming the players would apply Star Wars logic and know spaceport docking procedure.

I think it is sort of a Star Wars thing, where the freighter lands, and it has to get the go-ahead from a control terminal somewhere to leave. I've seen this device used in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, for example, where the PC has to access the computer controls to allow the Ebon Hawk to be commandeered from a military base on Telos.

But you're right, there should be something in the adventure book that specifically states you can't just walk onto a freighter and fly it away. A character should say this to the PCs probably, maybe the Devaronian bartender in the cantina.


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#3 x13phantom

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:10 PM

page 17, the box you read to the players says the docking clamps are on the ship.



#4 WittyDroog

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:56 PM

I recall a couple of references, both in the first opening "read to the players" section as well as a couple of NPC's mentioning it (I think the bartender)



#5 DylanRPG

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 02:26 PM

Then I fail. I will now feed myself to the sarlacc monster.


Indeed, it's on page 17 in the read-aloud section.

The GM is directed to read it (or paraphrase it) when the PCs approach space control.

So the players do actually have to be near this location to get the information, I suppose.

If they head straight for the docking bay, they will find out their oversight soon enough.
 


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#6 Kallabecca

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 04:28 PM

x13phantom said:

page 17, the box you read to the players says the docking clamps are on the ship.

OK, but nothing prior to that point would clue the players to head to the Spaceport Control which is halfway across the bluff from the spaceport itself.



#7 Kallabecca

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 04:30 PM

DylanRPG said:

I've been flipping through the Adventure Book, sure that I would find the reference, but I think you're right, there isn't one.

It's a bit of an oversight, but I think it's an oversight born out of assuming the players would apply Star Wars logic and know spaceport docking procedure.

I think it is sort of a Star Wars thing, where the freighter lands, and it has to get the go-ahead from a control terminal somewhere to leave. I've seen this device used in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, for example, where the PC has to access the computer controls to allow the Ebon Hawk to be commandeered from a military base on Telos.

But you're right, there should be something in the adventure book that specifically states you can't just walk onto a freighter and fly it away. A character should say this to the PCs probably, maybe the Devaronian bartender in the cantina.

You don't see it in any of the movies and I'm not a Star Wars computer game player outside of the very old X-wing games. In the old WEG Star Wars the only time a ship would get locked down would be if its owner failed to pay the docking fees.



#8 WittyDroog

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 05:08 PM

Kallabecca said:

OK, but nothing prior to that point would clue the players to head to the Spaceport Control which is halfway across the bluff from the spaceport itself.

The problem is that this opening adventure is not supposed to be played as a traditional RPG scenario. There's actually a very rigid structure to it. The reason the players are assumed to know that they need to disable the locks is because the adventure book very specifically tells the GM to move the game to the spaceport after obtaining the hypermatter drive:

Page 6. "The Adventure Structure"

"The adventure is presented as a series of Encounters. The encounters are numbered and presented in the order that the PCs are expected to proceed. Because the individual rules concepts are introduced gradually, encounter by encounter, players are strongly encouraged to proceed in the order presented here. If the PCs attempt to skip an encounter, the GM can explain that they will be passing over vital rules, or can allow them to skip and pause the game while he or shee reads the skipped encounter and shares the rules concepts contained within."

 

The reasoning behind this is that the beginner's box really isn't like a random 1st level adventure, but rather it's a game demo to teach you the principles of gameplay in an additive structure. The spaceport scene reinforces the ideas of combat and interaction, while adding the teaching of how to use stealth, the difference between Cool and Vigilence, and hacking. If your GM doesn't want the ship to be locked down he can either tell you about these concepts or make them some other kind of scene.

 

Escape from Mos Shuuta is like an encounter on rails, whereas Long Arm of the Hutt has more traditional encounter structure with some player leeway.



#9 Kallabecca

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 05:33 PM

WittyDroog said:

Kallabecca said:

 

OK, but nothing prior to that point would clue the players to head to the Spaceport Control which is halfway across the bluff from the spaceport itself.

 

 

The problem is that this opening adventure is not supposed to be played as a traditional RPG scenario. There's actually a very rigid structure to it. The reason the players are assumed to know that they need to disable the locks is because the adventure book very specifically tells the GM to move the game to the spaceport after obtaining the hypermatter drive:

Page 6. "The Adventure Structure"

"The adventure is presented as a series of Encounters. The encounters are numbered and presented in the order that the PCs are expected to proceed. Because the individual rules concepts are introduced gradually, encounter by encounter, players are strongly encouraged to proceed in the order presented here. If the PCs attempt to skip an encounter, the GM can explain that they will be passing over vital rules, or can allow them to skip and pause the game while he or shee reads the skipped encounter and shares the rules concepts contained within."

 

The reasoning behind this is that the beginner's box really isn't like a random 1st level adventure, but rather it's a game demo to teach you the principles of gameplay in an additive structure. The spaceport scene reinforces the ideas of combat and interaction, while adding the teaching of how to use stealth, the difference between Cool and Vigilence, and hacking. If your GM doesn't want the ship to be locked down he can either tell you about these concepts or make them some other kind of scene.

 

Escape from Mos Shuuta is like an encounter on rails, whereas Long Arm of the Hutt has more traditional encounter structure with some player leeway.

And I very much understand that. But prior to that section, nothing read to the players would present them with the information of where next to go in their railroad journey to escape. It starts them at the bar. The bartender points them to the ship and the junkyard where they can get the part needed for the ship, but nothing, not the intro, not the bar, not the junkyard gives the clue that the ship is locked down and to go to spaceport control to unlock it. So, this is still a very big oversight in the structure of the adventure.

I just wanted to make sure I wasn't the only one that missed the vital clue the players would normally be given to lead them from A -> B -> C -> D… Instead we have A -> B -> C -> E… with D being missed in the adventure presentation, so the players would miss it unless the GM flipped the page and went, "Oh, you need to go to spaceport control now"…



#10 WittyDroog

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 06:47 PM

The characters are assumed to know that the ship would be locked down, which is why they move on from there. The crawl on page 17 iterates that the characters knew they had to go to the space port if their intention was to steal the ship.

"If you're going to get off Tatoonie, you need to disable the docking clamps holding the Krayt Fang in its landing bay."

No character told them this, because this is information any pilot like Pash would know about. They wanted you to get the part first before moving onto the spaceport so that you got a grip of interaction skills.

 

And obviously the GM would know to move onto Encounter 4 because we assume he read the section of adventure structure and understood there's a particular order. There's no confusion unless the GM didn't actually read that part and let the team go hog wild. Remember this is NOT the kind of adventure where you let your players go exploring on their own, at least it's not designed like that, it's just to teach you the game.



#11 x13phantom

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 07:04 PM

Kallabecca said:

x13phantom said:

 

page 17, the box you read to the players says the docking clamps are on the ship.

 

 

OK, but nothing prior to that point would clue the players to head to the Spaceport Control which is halfway across the bluff from the spaceport itself.

Actually the whole adventure, from the opening crawl on the back of the read this first and the clues after point to the ship as a way off the planet. But you are right it does not tell you the ship is in lockdown untill you get to the space port.



#12 Kallabecca

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 07:14 PM

x13phantom said:

Kallabecca said:

 

x13phantom said:

 

page 17, the box you read to the players says the docking clamps are on the ship.

 

 

OK, but nothing prior to that point would clue the players to head to the Spaceport Control which is halfway across the bluff from the spaceport itself.

 

 

Actually the whole adventure, from the opening crawl on the back of the read this first and the clues after point to the ship as a way off the planet. But you are right it does not tell you the ship is in lockdown untill you get to the space port.

And the spaceport isn't where they need to go to unlock it… They have to go to the spaceport CONTROL… which is a building not near the landing bays of the spaceport. So, as I've said, the issue isn't with getting them to the ship, but getting them to encounter 4 from encounter 3 purely based on the information presented to that point. I, the GM, didn't know the ship was in lockdown until I was reading through encounter 4. Yes, I'm reading this well in advance of running it, hence why I have the time to figure out what I was missing, which is nothing… So, clearly information is assumed that shouldn't have been…

The crawl (on the back of the sheet and in the adventure book itself) fails to mention it. As do all the other encounters… In fact, looking at the map of the hanger, I can see there is a control room right there… which could be used to unlock the ship…



#13 WittyDroog

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 08:05 PM

Kallabecca said:

And the spaceport isn't where they need to go to unlock it… They have to go to the spaceport CONTROL… which is a building not near the landing bays of the spaceport. So, as I've said, the issue isn't with getting them to the ship, but getting them to encounter 4 from encounter 3 purely based on the information presented to that point. I, the GM, didn't know the ship was in lockdown until I was reading through encounter 4. Yes, I'm reading this well in advance of running it, hence why I have the time to figure out what I was missing, which is nothing… So, clearly information is assumed that shouldn't have been…

The crawl (on the back of the sheet and in the adventure book itself) fails to mention it. As do all the other encounters… In fact, looking at the map of the hanger, I can see there is a control room right there… which could be used to unlock the ship…

 

I'm trying to tell you that it's assumed a character like Pash would know the ship was locked down, and the text on page 17 confirms that.The way the adventure book leads you from encounter 3 to encounter 4 confirms that (SOMEONE knew, or else the characters wouldn't be going there). I think the point that's going over the head is that it doesn't matter how your characters came to know the ship was locked down as it's not relevent to the mission. Again you're looking at this as a 1st Level Encounter and not as a game demonstration packet. It's kind of like how some trading card games have a prebuilt deck and the instructions have you play a specific hand card by card, holding your hand. It doesn't matter what choice you have, the game is trying to teach you so it's specifically showing you how to play, the strategy isn't important at that point. As a GM, new or experienced you are supposed to just run the booklet page by page with perhaps doing one of the "Other Adventures" presented later in the book inbetween the encounters. I just don't understand why this is a detail to get so hung up on. 

 

If it's ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL that some NPC tells your players that the ship is locked down there are many opportunities to do so if you want to use your imagination, you can even add a line of text explaining such event to either the junk shop owner or bartender's last lines. Maybe they overhear it as they're walking down the street, who knows. It honestly shouldn't be much harder than just moving on to the Spaceport Control and if the players ask "Why would we go there" explain to them that its standard protocol to secure a ship and that they need to get release such holds if they're going to get off this rock.



#14 aramis

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 11:55 PM

A beginning adventure should have included a pointer on that issue. Keep in mind  that the intended audience includes 12-15yo, never played any RPG, may not even have played any boardgame besides checkers or candyland. The rails need to be pretty obvious, and the key information that a player should know should probably be mentioned in the text.

A skilled GM should have no problem with the adventure as it is currently written - assuming he's read it ahead of time - but it shouldn't have needed any modifications for Joe-12-year-old to run it for his buddies glitch free on the included rails if it is in a beginner box. 

The lack of a clear reason why to proceed to Control instead of to the ship is a glitch that could be a problem for many a 12-15yo 1st time GM who has no experience with RPG's.

(Which is why, stupid as the old D&D module B2 really is, it was a wonderful starting D&D adventure - read the box for the requisite room, deal with the room's contents, pick which door out, resolve next room. Almost no room to mess it up. Almost. And rails so easily followed that they glow in the dark.)



#15 WittyDroog

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 12:03 AM

I don't see why you need a skilled GM to deduce that you need to go to the Control room, you just need a GM with reading comprehension who will read the pages in the order presented. I mean this set holds your hand every step of the way so you don't goof up.

 

It says it clear as crystal, black and white, page 6: "The encounters are numbered and presented in the order that the PCs are expected to proceed. Because the individual rules concepts are introduced gradually, encounter by encounter, players are strongly encouraged to proceed in the order presented here."

You finish Encounter 3 at the junk shop, then move to Encounter 4 at the Control room. This isn't asking your players "What do you do next" but rather "Now that we're done here we're going over there". It's a scenario on rails.

 

Am I just going bananas or something?



#16 Kallabecca

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 09:41 AM

Well… my question was asked and answered… and the answer is… FFG didn't include the detail before that point…

The rest can be filled in by the mistake of the FFG writer making an assumption. An assumption on the knowledge level of the players, and the GM, right at that point in the module in regards to "how things work in the Star Wars Universe"… and we all know what it means to ASSUME…



#17 DylanRPG

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 12:52 PM

Kallabecca said:

Well… my question was asked and answered… and the answer is… FFG didn't include the detail before that point…

The rest can be filled in by the mistake of the FFG writer making an assumption. An assumption on the knowledge level of the players, and the GM, right at that point in the module in regards to "how things work in the Star Wars Universe"… and we all know what it means to ASSUME…

 

Your question was answered by myself in this way, and incorrectly.

The answer is that the players know it because the GM tells them, and the GM tells them because the book tells the GM to tell them, because the adventure is a beginner's adventure in which the players are guided on a linear path. There is no oversight, assumption, or mistake on the part of FFG.


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#18 WittyDroog

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 05:44 PM

Right, there's no mistakes or assumptions in that the writer thought players would know. He took the chance of players knowing out of the equation by simply saying "This is where you're supposed to go" and the reason you're supposed to is because the book says so. 

 

As long as you follow the instructions step by step as FFG has painstakingly labeled all over the place, you don't actually have to read any of the materials as long as you read it in the order it's presented and you'll do fine. Assuming you actually read what's on the page and don't gloss over anything of course.



#19 x13phantom

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 08:40 PM

There is one place in encounter 3 after getting the part needed on page 16 under "We got it!" it says what should be done next.



#20 Pariah77

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 02:13 AM

I've ran part of the adventure that came with the Beginner Box and noticed it made no mention of why the ship was locked down.  But all I did was quickly improvise and say the ship was locked down due to unpaid docking fees Trex owed from a previous visit and an issue that the female officer in command of the control center had against the Hutt and his lackeys.  As for how the heroes learned about the ship being locked down, I simply told them that they had heard about it while in the cantina and again while they were at the junk shop.


Like most pre-made adventures, this one needs a little polishing by GMs.  But overall, I think its a simple, fun game that was really designed to introduce FF's system and to get you right into the Star Wars universe, which I think they did an excellent job of doing.






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