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Referee's Lounge Discussion of how to (and not to) Referee Traveller and Cepheus Engine games. No edition warring allowed.

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Old November 27th, 2017, 11:45 PM
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GypsyComet GypsyComet is offline
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For games (like Traveller) that can go off the rails *very* quickly, I tend to organize resources instead of arranging them, if that makes sense.

If I've laid the plans and clues toward an office building, then I'll have at least a basic map for said building. Maybe a few common ship's plans, some NPCs both specific and generic, rumors appropriate to the area, etc. It's all on hand...

...then the PCs go left instead of right, get a wild hair, and decide to shake down some small business completely off the path.

Well, I still have a collection of generic NPCs, and a map of an office building. It is not their original purpose, and they won't carry the same names, lock the same doors, or have the same motivations, but the players get a map and some people to talk to and/or shoot at.

And I still have the original location, people, and maguffins waiting if they decide, some sessions later, that those clues are finally interesting enough to pursue. Layer this enough times for enough different *anticipated* places and situations, and you have what you need on the table for nearly anything the players decide to do.

So what if your grungy crew of cargo slingers decide to start something completely against type? Odds are you can still trap them in that same office building while the zombie apocalypse happens outside, rescue those generic NPCs from the explosion at the port, or explore the wrecked ship out on Pad 666...


The same line of thought applies to published adventures. While I *might* run the CT adventure "Divine Intervention" as written (for example), I'm somewhat more likely to use the map, the politics, and the named NPCs in the routine race to keep up with crazy PCs.
We are all playing different games that happen to have the same name.

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Last edited by GypsyComet; November 29th, 2017 at 12:08 AM..
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