Neal Watson
▶ Stars Without Number
2018-07-13T23:47:49.361Z

On Monday I'm going to run my first SWN game, and I'm looking for any advice people may have.

The session is going to be a one shot to get a handle on the rules. The premise being that the PCs are part of a PMC highered to retrieve a pretech artifact and kidnap a couple people from a feral world. They're all going to be level 1, but have access to non power armor TL4 gear through their company.

Josh Peters
2018-07-13T23:47:49.361Z

So they have access to things like combat field uniforms, plasma projectors, and mag rifles? That's cool. Just remember that level 1 characters usually will not survive first contact with their enemy. A level 1 warrior can only hope for a max of 12hp at first level with a max hit point roll, 18 Con, and the Die Hard focus. That's two or three laser pistol hits (on average) and the warrior is no more.

Encourage indirect approaches to their mission! Combat is still quite lethal at level 5, with stims and psychic healing!

Alistair Langsford
2018-07-13T23:47:49.361Z

My $0.05 worth (used to be 2 cents worth, but inflation...)

Sounds ok, but depending on your group, and approach to things, you could have the mission making them more ‘good guys’. Its the recovery of an item, perhaps found by archaeologists or researchers who need rescue/extraction. That can lead to some positive reactions with NPCs, organisations etc in the game fiction that might help you grow the one shot into a mini campaign. PMCs don’t all have to be painted as ‘the bad guy’.

If its an initial one shot to learn the rules, are you going to give them a couple of pre-gen characters each to run to deal with casualties? Just so you can all get into it faster. It helps if you maybe have a standard few loadouts prepped for them to choose between rather than equipment list shopping. Char-gen and the equipment list can easily burn 1 or 2 sessions if you let it. If they get two characters each, and they’re different sorts of characters, they’ll also get to experience more of the system and maybe work out which they like most.

For new rules, I also sometimes set up a simple encounter to demonstrate the system, especially combat. To myself as much as the players. If you have spare characters ready this can be part of the game.

Other than that: best of luck and hope it goes well.

Neal Watson
2018-07-13T23:47:49.361Z

Thanks guys. To clarify, they people they're supposed to kidnap are bad guys. It's sort of a shades of grey mission. Also, since it's a one shot, half of the players are making evil characters for the fun of it. And they don't even know about the kidnapping yet.

I didn't make load outs, but we've been doing char gen on discord all week, so it's done already. Still, that was a good idea. I probably should have posted this before we started character creation.

Neal Watson
2018-07-13T23:47:49.361Z

Also, yes, they all have combat armor and good weapons. So I'm hoping it should help with survivability. We did have a discussion last night about how even the guy with 9 hp could get one shot by if something connects.

Josh Peters
2018-07-13T23:47:49.361Z

If the bullets start flying during a kidnapping/heist, it's pretty much a failure anyways, no?

Neal Watson
2018-07-13T23:47:49.361Z

Not necessarily, but if any combat lasts more than a round or two they'll have to be really lucky to survive as more and more enemy reinforcements arrive. I'm going with a random encounter type system where chances of running into patrols increase/decrease based on their actions. An active fire fight is going to greatly increase those chances with rolls per round of combat.