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kckamas
9 August 2002, 02:45 PM
I wanted everyone to tell me what they think of my first serious attempt at Gamemastering. This is my first RPG to play, and I've only had it for a month and a half. I played with my 2 brothers, who are 10 and 13. I'm only 15.

This is what I had written out ahead of time, it isn't the whole adventure, which will be part of a longer campaign, I was ready to start so I decided just to do what I had so far:

As you sit in the lounge chair, you listen attentively to Commander Dirk as he speaks, "We've received information from a contact working in the city of Hujii, which is a major city on the planet Nuruul This message has caused us to believe that the Imperials may have a secret presence on the planet, which is openly neutral, and has been, until now, left alone by the Imps. We'd like you to investigate the matter, and return here, alive. If youíre discovered by the Imperials, well, then... We won't talk about that. Do you have any questions?"

Commander Dirk's extra info:

Hujii is a major star port city, and its major exports are high level technologies and computers, specifically starship electronics and even Nav computers. Its imports include: Droids, Luxury Goods, and Foodstuffs, in that order.

Nuruul is a planet with a temperate climate. It has lots of mountains, trees, lakes, etc. In addition to its technological exports, its secondary industry is tourism. Beings from across the Galaxy come to see the beautiful scenery and the wild-life.

He characters are given 800 credits of spending cash, and 1000 credits worth of supplies from the armory. The armory has pretty much anything they need. They can either take their own ship, or they are given tickets for a ride to Nuruul on the luxury shuttle Bright Star. En Route, they stop at Tilli, the reason isnít important. While there, they prevent a purse-snatching and earn the hatred of the Darkclaws, the local band of rough and toughs. The Darkclaws are armed with Vibrolashes and slug thrower pistols.

Typical Darkclaw: Thug 2; Init +0; Defense 10 (+0 for class); Spd 10m; VP/WP 0/15; Atk +3(2D4 +1, Vibrolash) or +2ranged (2d6 slug thrower pistol); SV Fort+4 Ref +0Will +0; FP 0;DSP 0; Rep +0; Str 13, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 9, Challenge Code A.
Equipment: Vibrolash, Slug Thrower Pistol, 100 shots of ammo for pistol
Skills: Intimidate +3, Jump +1, Climb +1
Feats: Toughness, Weapon Group Proficiencies (slug throwers, vibroweapons, simple weapons) Weapon Focus: Vibrolash




The characters will be in a mildly busy street, with a myriad of shops on either side. Beings of a variety of races, mostly human though, fill the streets. A human woman screams, and she is yelling that someone took her purse.
<Spot Check>
<10+>you see the perpetrator of the crime take of down a side street.
<15+>You notice that he is also a human, and wears tan pants, a white shirt, and a burgundy, waist length cape.
<20+> He has a tattoo on the back of his hand, itís a dark-colored avian claw

Here is what happened:
I read the introduction, then answered all of their questions, including making up a government, the names of the contacts, their descriptions, etc. on the spur of the moment (I forgot to do it before-hand). I also asked them whether they wanted to take their own transport or ride on the "Brightstar". They decided on the bright star. I gave them their spending cash, and encouraged them to spend it, so as to appear wealthy, but to remember that it had to last for the whole mission (in character of course) .Then they went to the armory. They wanted somekind of armor they could wear under their cloaks, and I remembered reading about a blaster-resistant jumpsuit in a star wars book. So i made up some stats for that: You can buy either just a shirt, or the whole jumpsuit. It has the rules for the blast helmet/vest in the RCRB, except the shirt has DR 1 and the whole thing has DR 2, I charged them 300 for the shirt, and 600 for the whole ensemble. I also made up some stats for various models of hold-out blasters, some with slightly longer range, or more power, etc. In the end, they decided on purchasing a Palm-Fletchette Launcher (stats courtesy of this site).
After they had prepared for the mission they boarded the shuttle and everything went as normal on the journey, when they landed, the split up and my 10 year old brother decided to stay onboard. He was playing a Duros scout, pretty much a pilot/good to have in a gunfight type of guy. My other brother, who was playing a Zabrak Con-Artist type character, decided to go shopping. He heard the lady scream and pursued the thief. He rolled 19 on his spot check, so he didn't see the tattoo at first. He pursued them and after a while of chasing, I had him, and the NPC take a fortitude test. The NPC failed, and the Zabrak slowly caught up with the thief. He did a flying tackle, and I made my brother do a DEX check, and the thief did a Reflex save. The DEX check was higher, so the thief was tackled. Then they started scrapping, so I had both of them do an attack check. The thief won, and punched the Zabrak for 3 damage. Then the Zabrak backed up and started to pull his hold-out blaster. The thief dove at him, but this time the REFLEX save beat the DEX check. So the Zabrak simply side stepped the attempted tackle and then put his foot on the Thief's (thieves?) neck. I ended the encounter there, mainly because I wasn't sure what should happen next.

I wanna know what ya'll think, how I can improve, how often should I consult the dice, how much more or less I should prepare before-hand, how often I should give XP, and any other advice you might have.

Thanks!:)

malphas13
9 August 2002, 05:09 PM
Well first off for your first game you did better than I did. :) You seem to have the most important aspects of being a GM down so far, mainly making things up as you go along that are reasonable. The only "problem" could be in the flying tackles that were done towards the end of the adventure. That would most likely be a normal attack roll, possibly a grapple situation. Grappling rules are annoying though, so the way you did it worked faster and more smoothly so no loss there. :) I guess my only "tip" would be to read the Core Rule book a few times, especially those areas related to combat.

malphas13
9 August 2002, 05:15 PM
As for consulting dice, for smooth gameplay I try to do it as little as possible. :) For preperation usually about 1 hour/hour of game play works out ok. And if you suspect there may be a situation where the PC's will have to swim, or climb etc, then check up on the rules ahead of time, and book mark them so you can reference them quickly. Personally I don't give out XP till the PC's advance a level, but some people like to give it out every session, or at the end of a "chapter".

LiquidSaber
9 August 2002, 10:33 PM
Excellent job for a first time! Congratulations and welcome to the world of Star Wars game mastering and all the joys (and headaches) it produces! You have two lucky brothers, you seem to have a good "feel" for what games are suppose to be like, exciting, fun, fast.

Getting dowm all the rules will come with time, especially all the combat rules. Just wing it as you've done (try to stay somehwat consistent, switching over as you and your brothers figure out more of the rules).

Don't worry about making stuff up on the fly, as long as you have concrete sumaries of the world and environment and likely NPCs that's all you need, details are always added on the fly and as you feel is neccessary for player comprehension, so good job! Just make sure you take notes :p

Good planning (frankly better than what I do sometimes!) and keep up the good work. Just slowly work towards reading the rule book cover to cover (well, skimming at least) and keep visiting the Forums here. I learn just as much here as I do playing games and researching the rule book :D

kckamas
10 August 2002, 04:43 AM
I've read the rulebook cover to cover about twice, and the combat rules 3 or 4 times. I didn't use the combat rules, because they're pretty complicated, and require lots of dice rolling. And I couldn't find my d20 so we were sitting around the computer, using the diceroller.
I don't think you should HAVE to play by the combat rules. Its not a game like chess, where your playing against somebody. I "simlified" the combat rules yesterday, because I don't know them well enough and because they felt a little restricting.
Thanks for all the advice, oh yeah, please rate me too.

Krad-edis
10 August 2002, 03:24 PM
Wow! Thats pretty good. You are very organized, especially for fifteen! I was still throwing my socks behind my dresser instead of in a hamper at that age :D.
Did you find something out about your players? Your plans are not often their plans. Writing things out before hand would be a great tool for you if your players think exactly like you. They have their own ways of doing things, and even though it may look like you have every angle covered (which you did an excellent job at), they might see something that you did not and totally go against your well thought out adventures. Yes, I have had this happen several times to me in the past, in fact I have all my notes (65 pages front and back full of maps, NPCs, and plot hooks all centering around my players for the WEG version of star wars) in which only a third of it has been used because they decided not to walk down the alley on Nar Shadda during the third session, or did not take the advice of the Twi'lek Oracle, or did try and take advantage of the supposedly crippled bounty hunter.....things change in the blink of an eye when the players do something unexpected. You will probably see that the art of winging it is the best thing to do when it comes to GMing. The best sessions I have had so far have practically been improv. It gets frustrating after a while of doing all the preperation and having to wing it anyway. Those who insist on having everything well planned usually end up getting burnt out, though I say the bright side of writing everything out is that you may have plenty of material to throw back at them later. Again, you seem to be well organized, and don't get discouraged if down the road they move away from thought out plans and linear adventures. Just stuff your situations away and spew them back out whenever you get a chance to surprise the players...afterall, two or more can play at that game! :D

kckamas
10 August 2002, 06:54 PM
My clothes don't make it in the hamper, either.

Moose
10 August 2002, 07:40 PM
Neither do mine and I am several years your senior. But great job on your first GM experience. I am a huge fan of changing rules to fit your groups style and wants, IMHO the rule books are just a guide or resource for GMs to base their own games off....I say run it however you want, but be consistent. Keep up the good work and welcome to the wide world of Star Wars RPG


p.s. put your clothes in the hamper...that way your parents will be more likely to buy you new sourcebooks...chores around the house was what got me into the RPG universe...good luck:D

ShmobyKnight89
20 August 2002, 05:06 PM
My advice is to get a feel for your players favorites. I have one group that really likes gambling, shopping and solving things outside combat and my other group likes to fight :)

I think it would be a much better idea to use the combat system (or at least have a very detailed set of house rules), otherwise you might end up not knowing what to do when your PCs say what their character wants to do, its happenned to me :D

The story is grreat, much better than some of my stuff.

Ravager_of_worlds
21 August 2002, 09:41 AM
good job on your first outing.

I just wish when i started... we had a holonet... or at least some decent web pages...

Agreed am I with Krad-edis- some of the best rpg is 'by the seat of yer pants'... but remember to stop the game when your creativity lags after 5 or 6 hours. That way you don't suffer an embollism (she was swimming in a YMCA pool...)

The combat isn't tough. Ease into it by just doing the basic dice rolls. Does the attack beat the Defense? Great, roll damage.

Then go into more advanced stuff, like, "Well, you are beyond 10 meters, so your blaster pistol suffers a -2 to attack."

That way, you start on firm, d20 ground (hallowed be WotC's name- smirk) and don't wonder why you're buying a whole bunch of supplements when you aren't even using the stats given. Saves a lot of worry and all players and gms are on the same page.

Again, great job for your first outing. Strive to make each scenario stronger, faster, better (becuase you have the technology, you have the man... the 6 million dollar rpg).

Wedge in Red2
21 August 2002, 10:23 PM
Hi kckamas,

Yeah, as the others said, good job on your first game. The first game I ever ran was no where near that good :).

One thing you might want to be wary of is using the DEX check/Reflex save mode of combat. This is very focused on Dexterity, which is already a pretty important stat in Star Wars. If your PC is going to try and tackle a pickpocket, remember that strength is going to be a factor too! As for the reflex save, you don't really need it, you can just compare the attack roll to the bad guys defense (which already has his Dex factored in). My concern is the pretty soon your players are going to realise all they need to be good at combat is a good Dex, and will forsake everything else in favour of getting a good Dex!

As Ravager_of_worlds said, if you just start out with basic combat, you can expand on it as you begin to learn the system better.


Originally posted by Krad-edis
things change in the blink of an eye when the players do something unexpected. You will probably see that the art of winging it is the best thing to do when it comes to GMing. The best sessions I have had so far have practically been improv. It gets frustrating after a while of doing all the preperation and having to wing it anyway. Those who insist on having everything well planned usually end up getting burnt out, though I say the bright side of writing everything out is that you may have plenty of material to throw back at them later.

Good points. I tend to be one of those "prepare lots" guys, and as Krad-edis points out, I do get a bit burnt out :).

What I have found useful is having a few generic stats around to help you out when things go off the rails. Keep stats, say, for Stormtroopers and an Imperial Officer handy, just in case the players are going to stumble in to them, or break the law, or are heading horrendously off track and you need something to re-direct them. These stats are in the Revised Core Rulebook, so maybe just bookmark them.

Me, I have a folder I keep a bunch of stuff in: some speeder stats, some starship stats, some NPC's, all that junk, so if my players suddenly turn around and say "I wanna steal a speder bike", I can reach into my folder and pull one out.

Also, it's really good that you've thought out the main points of the plot in advance. Quite often you think your players are going to go from A to B to C to D, but instead they go from A to E to B to D. As long as you know roughly where they need to end up you can wing it. Maybe the info you thought they were going to get by bribing an imperial officer they can actually find when they kill a street thug. All you need to do is understand how to link your encounters together!

Anyway, that's just me. Hope something in my rambling has maybe helped :D.

Jon