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Auteur Sujet: [GM Only] Running "Havoc on Irminger"  (Lu 1418 fois)

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Hors ligne BlueRonin

  • Humain(e) en immersion / Human in immersion
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[GM Only] Running "Havoc on Irminger"
« le: 28/11/2016 - 13:53:58 »
 I just introduced a few of my friends to Polaris this past Friday by running the "Havoc on Irminger" adventure (available as part of the Quickstart rules). The evening was a great success, and the players were keen on exploring the world of Polaris further! I would like to share my experience with other GMs on how I ran the adventure, in case anybody else is as new to the game as I was and is planning the same.
 
 In preparing for the evening, I decided that I wanted to run the adventure at a pretty fast pace; focusing on introducing the players to the underwater environment of Polaris as well as the mystery of the Flux. With this in mind, I made quite a few notes to myself to keep focused on vividly describing the environment and its mood. I did not present the players with more than some basic world description, however; but I did spend a little time introducing the core mechanic of skill tests/target numbers/success margins etc. I also provided each player with his own success and failure margin table along with their character sheet.
 
 I set the scene as the players belonging to an adventuring crew along the lines of "Firefly" or the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar in "Matrix" - handing out the Surgeon, Technician, Pirate and Diplomat pre-gen characters to serve as the away-team (I avoided the more melee-oriented characters on purpose). The players got some time to adjust the backstory to the characters, present themselves to each other, and then we started the game with the captain of their small sub giving them their mission brief just as they approached the Irminger docking station.
I had broken the adventure down into the following loose plan:
 
Estimated time: Approx. 3,5 hours (1 Session)

Scene 1 (Exposition): Arrival at the Irminger Station (approx. 20 min)
Establish the setting of the adventure and the Polaris RPG in general.

Scene 2 (Complication): Negotiation (approx. 30 min)
Confront the players with the complication of negotiating for ‘Oscar’, but try to surprise them with the Polaris twist.

Scene 3 (Rising Tension): All Hell Breaks Loose (approx. 100 min)
Let the players work their way through the station, escaping the out-of-control flux and looking for a way off the station.

Scene 4 (Climax): Docking Hangar (approx. 40 min)
Combat scene where the players fight to get out before the docking hangar floods and escape is cut off!

Scene 5 (Denouement & Resolution): Leaving the station (approx. 20 min)
While resolving the characters’ escape, introduce the cliffhanger of being aggressively hailed by a Hegemony Cruiser.
 
We played through the adventure a bit quicker than I had imagined, but it did not feel rushed (at least not beyond the sense of urgency which was the whole point of the story). I am very happy I made sure to focus a lot on the setting and mood initially, as once the players were surprised by “All Hell Breaks Loose” they were already invested and immersed – and the story ran itself from that point on. All I needed to was to keep the tension high as they escaped from one location to the next.

To aid myself in this I had made a photocopy of the map and added notes on what to expect in each location. This really helped, saving me from having to check the adventure text each time. I had also used gortogg’s aid to keep track of combat (http://www.polaris-site.com/forum/index.php?topic=4063.0).

The only part of the adventure I felt could have been better was the climax in the final room. Combat is highly simplified in the quickstart rules, which is great to get quickly into the first adventure but challenging to make the final combat feel particularly interesting. If I were to run the adventure again I would focus more and creating some narrative/role-playing challenges in this scene in order to completely avoid combat as a primary focus in any part of this story.

As for the adventure itself I would strongly recommend that any GM planning on running this also has the Core Rulebooks to refer to while familiarizing themselves with the quickstart rules. There were several points I struggled to understand until I was able to see the “whole picture” in the CRB, especially regarding damage. Had I not had a firm grip on this before we started I would have struggled during the session.
 
In summary, I would recommend GMs to make sure they got a solid grip on the rules elements of the quickstart rules, to focus primarily on setting the environment and mood of clandestine operations and paranormal crisis in an underwater facility, and to have a clear plan regarding the narrative in order to keep the pace right!

It worked well for my group, so I recommend other GMs curious about Polaris to try it as well! Good luck!
« Modifié: 28/11/2016 - 13:59:13 par BlueRonin »