I also ran it sans map for that very reason. The moment the GM starts putting lines on the battle mat, you're quietly telling them that battle is happening. I did tell them that they thought the alien was their pet, but they thought it was of animal intelligence, and not sapient. Again, that part is probably my fault, and I'll probably say that the alien was thwle kids' "friend," not their "pet." That might help clue the players in on the preferred solution.
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I had fun running this last week.
A bit of ad-libbing on the dataphiles quest, created some hilarity. Once Granny Ceren realized she had "accidentally" done some hacking she all nonchalantly opened up a chest and pulled out a "go-bag" and started pouring gasoline on her house and told the PCs to help her work on getting a new identify for her and her son.
The 180-degree pivot in her language (but no change in her granny demeanor) was well received.
Everyone wanted to help out with "granny's go-bag"
Poor little Jubair was a little overwhelmed by it all though...
|⦵ Space Lucius|
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In Memorium wrote:Shady coroners can provide fresh corpses for this purpose with a bribe of 60 credits, though PCs may come up with their own creative solutions
Two of my players recalled that in a previous adventure they had dealt with a certain family of Ysoki on Absolom Station who bought dead bodies "of the books" as it were, and who were grateful to them for a favor they had done.
I ruled that with a decent diplomacy, they could be persuaded to part with a body for a mere 30 credits.
The players then sold the bodies of the thugs from the river ambush back to them, and got their 30 credits back.
I figured that was creative enough to count.
That’s how i did it. But, he Ysoki were kin, and I was in a tough spot, so they gave me the body I needed. A little “medical” work, and her own kid couldn’t recognize that it wasn’t her body!
We did end up giving them a body in return, though.
|Vincent Hatakeyama Venture-Agent, France—Paris aka 勝20100|
I run the scenario yesterday evening.
When I prepared it, I rolled in advance the random parts.
One of the player refused the implants, out of 6.
As Misroi, my player didn’t open up to Cerren right away, trying to find a hacker in the neighbourhood to fix someone comm unit, after pretending to be interested in their tomatoes. After some interaction with her, I let them remark her various datajack/implants which helped going forward. They wanted to connect a computer in one of her datajack, pretending some medical diagnostic, she indicated she could do some herself and discovered the files.
Some player wanted to let Historia-7 deal with the protection/faking her death, so I told the party it was their job. Historia-7 would have probably done the same, or would have done it herself but the party would have been considered as having failed the mission for her.
For the creature, it was a shapeshifter and as there is no description, I didn’t know what to tell them. One of the player wanted to keep it, but I pointed that maybe it should stay in the ship as it might have been there for a good reason.
The players focused on having the best racer, a bit similar to when I played it, and managed to won without too much trouble as we did. The race itself takes some time, as does the preparation part. I had trouble determining who shot at who too. I printed the stats from the end of the scenario, cut each racer and pilot and used some tape to hold a pilot and a racer together. I wrote down the player’s changes on theirs then put it on a flip-map where I just wrote down how far each pilot had gone (just in front of the pieces of paper).
The player questioned how it was possible to shoot without penalty from anywhere on the map. Explained it was for simplicity (there is already quite an important number of parameters).
I rolled for the nest for the creature but without indication where the nest is, I rolled again during the adventure. As I don’t know what the author had in mind with rice candy, I indicated he was eating mochi, but in my mind I was thinking dango (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dango).
One problem I have, and it is not just in this scenario, is when players tries to use different social skills that those listed in the scenario. For example, a character tried to use Intimidate on the child but the scenario calls for Diplomacy. I can’t find a way to convey that information without going meta.
I could have sworn I made a drawing for the nest locations, but I don't seem to have it anymore? I'll look for that when I get home.
As for the last bit:
If someone tries to intimidate a bunch of children, have them start wailing in fear, crying and whatever else children do when they get scared. Hopefully someone gets the hint that taking that route isn't going to be helpful.
As Jhaeman points out, the scenario specifically states that if the children are intimidated the check automatically succeeds. They're scared kids, easy to terrorize.
That said, never be afraid to reward creative play and use of skills. As long as the players can give you a good rationale for why a skill would work, or come up with a way to utilize it, let them. Just decide how the NPCs or environment will respond, and it may not always go as great as using more appropriate skills.