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the mercenary

GM'ed for two total newbs last night..wackiness ensues

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A friend from out of state is visiting this week. The other day he says he'd like me to teach him how to play D&D. My roommate/best friend, who I introduced to Munchkin and is now hopelessly addicted, chimed in that he'd be interested in learning too. 

 

Well, I don't have any D&D books, just Pathfinder, and I burned out on level-based systems quite a while ago. I'm looking through what I *DO* have.....Shadowrun isn't really a good game for beginners and an almost-completely burned out GM.....Twilight: 2013 isn't great for beginners but I do have stuff written for it.....Palladium's system sucks all the way around and I won't play or run it if there are ANY other options.....wait, Edge of the Empire! Character creation is pretty fast, the system is relatively easy, and I'm sure I can come up with something for them to do.

 

So a couple hours later, we've got a human Gunslinger who's an alcoholic and a teenage Togruta female mercenary (I figured this was going to be one or two sessions at best, so he11 with it, let them have fun, I'm willing to break my "No Gender Swapping" rule and let a male player play a female character) that's a violent little psyhopath. Think Ahsoka Tano if she was a merc instead of a Jedi. And not a very nice person. 

 

I should also add that both players had had a few beers prior to the start of play, and kept drinking throughout. They didn't get trashed but they had to have at least been buzzed. OK, on to the hijinks.

 

We start off on the planet Centares, in the Muracie spaceport. Our protagonists have been bouncing around the edge of the Outer Rim, looking for work as they can find it. They're sitting at an outdoor cafe, eating lunch, when they're approached by a Devaronian. He asks if they mind if he has a seat, then sits without waiting for a response. He introduces himself as Kazic Endeel, and says that the two of them are building a reputation and he's got a proposition for them. The long and short of it is, he wants them to sn@tch (seriously? Why does this become asterisks?) a package away from a courier and deliver it to him. And do NOT open the box.

 

From introductions forward, they referred to him as "Devil baloney" (bologna if you want the proper spelling). I could only chuckle and shake my head. 

 

The first thing they do is immediately split up. Leoni (the Togruta) goes to recon the most likely route that the courier will take, and Tuvok (the human) heads to the port to see if he can get any kind of information that will make their task easier. He attempts to find a port security officer that's even more lax than usual so he can mug him and steal his uniform. A failed roll with advantage means he finds an officer that appears more interested in his datapad than what's going on in the port, but the guy hasn't moved to a spot where he'd be easily muggable. Rather than waiting, Tuvok decides to come up with a new plan. 

 

Meanwhile Leoni finds a spot in an industrial area that looks like it would be suitable for an ambush. Realizing that she has no way to communicate with Tuvok (they failed to buy commlinks at character creation) she has the brilliant idea to mug someone for their "space cell phones". After the other player and I point out the flaws in that idea, she abandons it and heads back to the rendezvous that they'd 'arranged prior to heading out'. I allowed this, since they're both new and there's a lot they don't realize or think of. She buys a couple commlinks and now they can talk. Woo hoo!

 

Much discussion and debate ensues, and at some point it occurs to them that the target may not walk from the port to his destination (an estate on the outskirts of the city), and to top it off they have only a couple of pistols between them and likely won't be able to stop a speeder. So they steal a speeder (successful Skulduggery check, with the added bonus of finding a spare key to said speeder in the vehicle) and head back toward the port. The courier is due to arrive any minute and they're still trying to come up with a plan....

 

The courier arrives. He has two Aqualish thugs as security. While the PC's sit in their stolen speeder and watch, one of the thugs leaves. The PC's see this as a perfect opportunity, and roll (float?) up to the courier and the remaining thug, intent on performing a "space drive-by". Initiative is rolled (I called it an ambush, gave them a free attack due to surprise...I'm not experienced with running this system, and I don't let rules get in the way of fun and a good story if I can help it, so maybe that wasn't the absolute right thing to do but I decided to reward them for a fun and entertaining plan), and Tuvok blasts the remaining thug into oblivion with a critical hit. Leoni failed the initiative roll, badly (no successes), so Tuvok goes again. He fires and scores a hit on the target, scoring another crit and crippling the man's leg (he rolled 00), dropping him to the ground. Leoni jumps from the speeder, vibroknife in one hand and brass knuckles in the other, intent on ending the courier and securing the box. Only she misses her attack roll....

 

Tuvok fires again. But Leoni is engaged in melee with the target, so here's a red die for you to roll Tuvok....and that's a Despair. Leoni, what's your Soak? 

 

Yep, Tuvok blasted his partner in the back with a blaster pistol. 

 

The courier manages to pull his own weapon and fires at Tuvok. Net of no successes, but he did get a Triumph. And with that, the PC's stolen speeder is disabled. It drops the foot or two to the ground. Tarja finishes off the courier and the duo grabs the package and tries to figure out how they're going to escape. A blaster bolt impacts the hulk of the speeder near them, coming from the other side, and they realize that they forgot about the other Aqualish thug. He's dispatched quickly and the team books it out of there, looking for another speeder to steal. They find one, which turns out to most likely have been the vehicle that their target was going to use. A quick Skulduggery check (with a Triumph...are you kidding me?) transfers ownership of not only the speeder, but also two heavy blaster pistols that were in the speeder, to the characters. They flee the area.

 

And immediately decide to do the ONE THING they were told not to do. They try to open the box. And are successful. Inside are a bunch of datapads, which they start checking out. Since neither has any kind of computer skill, I didn't encrypt them. Also I wanted them to realize just how badly they screwed the pooch by opening the box. On the pads were shipping schedules, cargo manifests, and financial data. Reading through it, they learned that their employer and the employer of the courier they just eliminated (Tarja Kann) both work for the same person, a Teemu Fyr. Who is an underboss in the Black Sun cartel. (I had to explain the significance of the Black Sun)

 

Contact is made with Kazic in order to transfer the package and collect the rest of the payment. These two are paranoid AF, and while Leoni meets with Kazic, Tuvok is a few blocks away with the package. She tells Kazic that after she gets the rest of the money, and they're not killed so that loose ends can be tied up/witnesses taken care of, her associate will contact Kazic with directions on where to retrieve the package. There's a bit of back and forth, and ultimately Leoni contacts Tuvok to send a picture of the box via their communicators (I'm having a hard time getting them to understand that their 'space cell phones' don't have SnapChat). I think they might realize how much of a mistake that was, because Kazic's people trace the transmission and find Tuvok. They take the box and communicate back to Kazic that the box is secured but it's been opened. Kazic has been more amused at the antics of the PC's than angered, and he pays them. Paranoid to the last, the PC's make sure to open the box containing their payment while still at the table with Kazic, just in case it's a bomb instead of money. Kazic is both amused and irritated at the entire affair, and tells them that they've "just bought chips in a game that they don't understand", and they owe him their lives. When he collects on that debt, for example by having another task for them, they had better follow directions and not screw up like they did this time. 

 

Thus ends the first installment of the insanity of Tuvok and Leoni. The players tried to get me to continue, but it was after midnight by this point and I was tired. They said it was a lot of fun and kept pestering me to come up with some more, so I'm going to call it a success. Not bad for not having any ideas until after the characters were complete and ready to play, AND I burned out as a GM many years ago. I know they're going to want to play again before Sunday, when I have to leave for work, so if anyone has any ideas for adventures, I'm all ears. Or eyes, since we're writing, not speaking. 

Edited by the mercenary

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To each their own. I've yet to see a gamer that can play the opposite gender worth a ****. Females are as bad at playing male characters as men are at playing female characters. I don't particularly like playing "Wacky Fun Time Fondling Myself in the Mirror" or any of the other bulldrek that I've seen from gender bending. It's disruptive, at *best*, and I don't enjoy it. And my outlook on basically everything is if it's not beneficial, enjoyable, or mandatory, I don't do it. 

 

Not to put too fine a point on it, but you're not there, it's my game and I'll run it how I want. 

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3 hours ago, the mercenary said:

I don't particularly like playing "Wacky Fun Time Fondling Myself in the Mirror" or any of the other bulldrek that I've seen from gender bending.

Holy carp, dude. 

I was about to chime in in agreement with the penguin; but if this is the mentality of the people whom you're GMing for, then I don't blame you one bit for imposing restrictions.  As you were.

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1 minute ago, Vorzakk said:

Holy carp, dude. 

I was about to chime in in agreement with the penguin; but if this is the mentality of the people whom you're GMing for, then I don't blame you one bit for imposing restrictions.  As you were.

 

I've seen similar before. Maybe not to quite that level, and it's been many years, but stupid stuff and a complete inability to actually think and act like the opposite sex led me to imposing one of the few constant restrictions I have when GMing. There hasn't been much middle ground among my experiences. It's been either phenomenal players that made every session a blast, or total turds. Maybe I just have bad luck.

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3 hours ago, the mercenary said:

I don't particularly like playing "Wacky Fun Time Fondling Myself in the Mirror" or any of the other bulldrek that I've seen from gender bending.

Well, not to put too fine of a point on it, you need better players. I've seen plenty of playing cross genders without teenage boys playing a girl with DDDDDD titties going "Are there girls here? I want to do them!!!!!1!".

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1 minute ago, Desslok said:

Well, not to put too fine of a point on it, you need better players. I've seen plenty of playing cross genders without teenage boys playing a girl with DDDDDD titties going "Are there girls here? I want to do them!!!!!1!".

 

*shrug* As I said, to each their own. 

 

Also as I said, it's been years since I've seen this sort of thing. It's one of those things that you never forget, like seeing how badly a munkin/power-gamer can abuse a system. 

 

Now maybe you could just forget the tenderbutt about my personal rule, and let it go, especially since it doesn't affect you in the slightest?

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4 hours ago, the mercenary said:

he wants them to sn@tch (seriously? Why does this become asterisks?)

For the same reason the first name of the original Robin (now Nightwing) becomes asterisks. It's slang for a type of genitalia.

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3 minutes ago, Nytwyng said:

For the same reason the first name of the original Robin (now Nightwing) becomes asterisks. It's slang for a type of genitalia.

 I just didn't know that the censorship code was that restrictive/on the ball/whatever you want to call it.

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1 minute ago, Tramp Graphics said:

You mean Richard Grayson? ?

Very few people refer to Richard John Grayson by that name. :P

Even more frustrating on that front, though...way back when DC had message boards, their profanity filter did the same thing. So, readers couldn't refer to one of the publisher's most popular characters by his commonly-used civilian name on the publisher's own site. ?

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11 hours ago, the mercenary said:

The long and short of it is, he wants them to sn@tch (seriously? Why does this become asterisks?) a package away from a courier and deliver it to him. And do NOT open the box.

It becomes asterisks because in the UK, that's slang for the female genitalia.

On the same level of the US slang that also means cat (and famously used by the current President)

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7 hours ago, the mercenary said:

Also as I said, it's been years since I've seen this sort of thing. It's one of those things that you never forget, like seeing how badly a munkin/power-gamer can abuse a system. 

It seems to have worked out fine in this game, at least.

As for the next adventure... my first instinct is a mission where the consequences for disobedience are immediate and dire... but then of course, you have to prepare for the possibility that they press the proverbial big red button. ...So, dire, but not actually lethal. Say, stealing a ship and piloting it to specific coordinates using a specific flight plan - failure to do so results in crashing the ship in a jungle, or perhaps getting the authorities on their tail due to stumbling into a sensor sweep. In this instance, it's not even their employer who punishes them, but the circumstances of their mission. The lesson there is "If you had trusted me when I told you to jump, you would have dodged the blade swinging at your ankles and been fine."

Sorry for being super abstract, it's difficult for me to come up with concrete plans quickly.

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7 hours ago, Yaccarus said:

1% of post: Mentioning rule of not playing people of an opposite gender

1% of post: Mentioning how the filter censors "sn@tch"

98% of post: Describing an adventure

 

Yet the replies are devoted to the first 2, Robin/Nightwing, and Richard Grayson

Totally disregarding the 2% the other 98% was a great read so thanks Mecenary ?

Personally I love reading about other people’s games... it’s the most entertaining stuff on the forum for me & I wish there was more of it!

As for your next adventure how about a heist... I hear that a scientist from a minor corporation has gone rogue & has taken over one of their secret underground labs! The Corp is looking for a crew to find out what he’s up to & bring him back in for “debriefing” but they want to keep the job quiet... That last bit may be a problem for Leoni & Tuvok though ?

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1 hour ago, Dusk Raven said:

It seems to have worked out fine in this game, at least.

As for the next adventure... my first instinct is a mission where the consequences for disobedience are immediate and dire... but then of course, you have to prepare for the possibility that they press the proverbial big red button. ...So, dire, but not actually lethal. Say, stealing a ship and piloting it to specific coordinates using a specific flight plan - failure to do so results in crashing the ship in a jungle, or perhaps getting the authorities on their tail due to stumbling into a sensor sweep. In this instance, it's not even their employer who punishes them, but the circumstances of their mission. The lesson there is "If you had trusted me when I told you to jump, you would have dodged the blade swinging at your ankles and been fine."

Sorry for being super abstract, it's difficult for me to come up with concrete plans quickly.

A power gamer can abuse this system with relatively small amounts of earned xp.

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Sounded like a fun session, given the mood around the table it was probably best not to get too heavy on the impending consquences as you did, they clearly wanted a cut loose plan.

I donno, why don't you make your next session about stealing something from a moving train? That should be pretty fun.

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From my perspective the first job sounded like a "test run" to see if the two would be willing to get their hands dirty and to see if they were the discrete type of merc.

Obviously Yes on the first count and No on the second.

And this would predict the type of mission that Black Sun would have them work next.  Maybe something a little more aggressive.

Debt Collection?  Go find the poor bloke whose fallen late on his loans and collect what they could (for a 10% collection fee).

Maybe chase down a John who was roughing up one of the Twi'lek girls a bit too much and "send a message."

Or on the lines of the Twi'lek girl, make a discrete visit to a local pilar in the community and shake them down for blackmail money or the "syndicate" will see to it that they're extracurricular activities will be made public.

Lets see.  What other mayhem could we come up with . . . (Again, where is my Devil Smiley Emoticon)?

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Sounds like a pretty good session for a couple of new gamers.

Sure, a bit on the weird side, but given they were tipsy that doesn't exactly surprise me, as I've seen many an instance of "hold me beer and watch this!" in RPG sessions after the player in question has knocked back a few more drinks than maybe they should have.

But in the end, it was all in good fun, and if you and the players had fun, then that's what really matters.

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Now that sounds like one heck of an adventure! Always cool to hear stories about others table experiences, and it definitely sounds like your players had fun, Mercenary.

(And TBH the limitations of comlinks have always confused me, as well.)

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19 hours ago, Desslok said:

Well, not to put too fine of a point on it, you need better players. I've seen plenty of playing cross genders without teenage boys playing a girl with DDDDDD titties going "Are there girls here? I want to do them!!!!!1!".

Sadly, the stereotypes exist for a reason.  And I've seen it on both sides, with female gamers playing male PCs that were either every negative male stereotype you could imagine, or were so "flamboyantly fabulous" that it's a wonder the house didn't burn down, so it's not just one gender that the issue comes up with.  To say nothing of female players playing out that very stereotype you mentioned and without the slightest drop of irony in doing so.

For some folks the notion of playing cross-gender can be unsettling.  I've gamed for years with a woman who's equally freaked out at the notion of gals playing male PCs as she is of guys playing female PCs, and gets a bit weirded out when the male GM portrays a female NPC.  She doesn't make a bit stink about it, but she still finds it creepy.  Beyond that one hang up (which she fully admits is a mental hang up and is fully on her), she's a dynamite roleplayer and aces at supporting her fellow party members both in and out of the game, and as such she's one player I'd never want to replace.

So the OP having such a rule in place, especially if they've been subjected to multiple instances of cross-gender playing going horrifically wrong, is perfectly sensible.  Besides, it's not like you're a player at their table, so what skin is it off your back if the OP general decides to disallow players from running characters of the opposite gender?

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42 minutes ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

So the OP having such a rule in place, especially if they've been subjected to multiple instances of cross-gender playing going horrifically wrong, is perfectly sensible.  Besides, it's not like you're a player at their table, so what skin is it off your back if the OP general decides to disallow players from running characters of the opposite gender?

"You can play a space wizard or a cyborg alien assassin a long time a go in a galaxy far, far away, but heckin no you can't play a different gender."

Like, just have a good session zero or discussion about it maybe, rather than a blanket ban. Literally tell them "I don't particularly like playing "Wacky Fun Time Fondling Myself in the Mirror" or any of the other bulldrek that I've seen from gender bending." Let them know where you stand on it and what you expect.


It isn't "skin off of my back," but it might not be the best practice because a lot of closeted trans people use safer places like video games and tabletop games to express their true self without having to "come out", for one reason. 

I also think being the judge of which is the "right way" to "think and act like the opposite sex" is sexist and harmful, because that means you have expectations of how they play their assigned gender. It could be liberating for a woman gamer to play a male character with stereotypical male traits, and not have to rationalize it to you where she might have to if she exhibited the same behavior with a woman character. And vice versa. That's not a best case scenario, but it is another valid reason that someone might play a character of a gender different from their own.

But I def think it's reasonable to expect them to not play "Wacky Fun Time Fondling Myself in the Mirror" at the table. That what self-insert fanfics are for.

Edited by panpolyqueergeek
for asterisks

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