Tales from the Gazebo – We Have the Tools, We Have the Talent!

We Have the Tools, We Have the Talent!
By Cape Rust

Here we are at last. We’ve asked a bunch of tough questions to ourselves and our players. We know what our players want out of their next game. We have shaped and influenced the situation so that the game will be fun for everyone involved, what’s next? We actually get to plan. Huzahhh! Knowing what we know now, we have to remember the fun first rule and even at this stage, less is still more.

This is what I love to think of as the calm before the storm. This is the time when it is all about you. By now I hope you have synthesized all of the input and observations that you have been gathering from your group. Now it is time to embrace the Good Idea Fairy (GIF).  If you are like, me she has been hovering around your head like a pesky mosquito. Now it is time to let her sink her teeth into you! All of the information and knowledge you have gained up to this point should have acted like a weeding-out process. You know what your players want and what they want to avoid. Now is the time where you use all of that great stuff to build a foundation for your adventure.

So let’s go back to the Firefly game I mentioned a few weeks ago, we’ll use that as the basis for this new adventure. There are a limited number of supplemental materials for the Firefly game which can be an advantage and a disadvantage.  Because this is the first time we’ve run the game in our group, I will count it as an advantage. There are less outside products my players might try to bring in to tweak their characters. If I only have to worry about information from a few sources then there is less to learn. We are in luck because my group already has three copies of the rulebook; which is one less thing I have to worry about.

The GIF prompted me on the Firefly idea and set me on the right path, but the information I got from the rest of the group is going to help me the most. My players bought off on the Firefly idea, so that is good. Some of the information that they gave me will cause some major adjustments from my original idea, and believe it or not that is a good thing.

When the GIF first hit me it was with running a mostly planet-side game that focused on a group building up enough resources to buy a ship. I love the idea of the characters needing to struggle for every resource then through grace and guile, obtaining their ship. After talking to my players I found out that two of them were interested in playing pilots and one wanted to be a mechanic. Sure there are land vehicles that the pilots could drive but it is not the same as a spaceship. Remember that player that wasn’t into futuristic games? He is one of the folks that wanted to fly a ship, so I would be screwing him and the rest of the group if I am not willing to change my plans to keep the players happy.

So here is where I start to clip the GIFs wings! Instead of my original Idea I need to look at a situation that will give pilots a chance to fly, my mechanic a chance to fix things and…. I can’t forget about my other player. He has said he will figure out what he wants to play during the character creation session. That is a bit of a wild card that I will have to deal with at a later date.  So instead of my planet-side idea I will have to switch it to a more space-based adventure. This isn’t a big deal, but it will force me to get real smart on the ship combat rules.

Even though it seems like a blatant rip off from the series, planet hopping and wild rides en route is the order of the day. Sure this isn’t my original idea or even an original idea, but it will give my players what they want and I won’t have to spend extra time breaking new ground. Sometimes the original idea is much harder to execute. The new direction that the game is taking is not as far off from my original idea as you might think. Next week I’ll discuss how a to pull this off with minimal work.

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