Dramune Run for the less than heroic PC party

chatdemon's picture
March 2, 2011 - 8:54pm
Just had a chance to download and review the Dramune Run remaster document, great work!

As with most SF adventures, the course of events in Dramune Run assumes the PCs will be the heroes, saving the Chukkahs from their fate at the hands of the Malthar, right?

Has anyone else added an option where instead of immediately ordering the PCs killed after his thugs drug and interrogate them for a week, the Malthar offers them a business partnership? Even if the PCs don't want to actively supply the Malthar with chukkah's to dissect, a PC with a few skill levels in Medical may be able to discover an alternative ingredient for the Malthar's drug, or the party coule be hired to crew the Gullwind in its new role as a smuggling ship for the Malthar's crime empire.

In a perfect world, all PCs would be heroic and do the right thing, but I've all too often found that that just isn't how things happen in a game. So do we try and coerce the players into being heroic, or do we twist the game's premise a bit and allow for shadier PCs?


Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
March 2, 2011 - 10:34pm
That is a Referee decision. :-)
In my experience I'll make some comments or pull a player aside to discuss. If they feel coerced they won't have fun. If they are working for a corporation there could be demerits, seizures, a bad name, prison for some decisions, whatever. They might need a learning experience. Of course Dramune Run isn't setup that way unless you change the story - maybe ownership of the spaceship only is legal if they free the chukkahs - the law firm will know since they have the documents transferring ownership.

I recently played a D&D game where the players made very non-heroic decisions. My character did not, however I did stay with the group. Later on they reaped everything they had sown. I'm waiting to see if the Referee will be merciful to my PC! :-)

rattraveller's picture
March 3, 2011 - 1:50pm
There is always the option for the players to turn evil. Of course with the tensions already running high in the region that would be a great time to introduce them to a Star Ranger run prison planet.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

jedion357's picture
March 4, 2011 - 5:02pm
I like to let players have options but I also like to apply consequences.

I think it depends on the individuals involved- I play in a 3.5 D&D game and the DM slavishly follows a module- to the point of irritation- I just dont think he can handle going off script. For myself I can handle following the script till the game bogs down and then I push to cut to the end which has lead to collisions of gaming philosophy.

If you wanted to have the Dramune Run as an adventure for less then heroic characters then I'd say re-write some of it.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Deryn_Rys's picture
March 4, 2011 - 5:38pm
I think over the years that I've game mastered I've never forced my players to be heroic, and in fact most of the stories that my friends talk about when we talk about adventures past stem from the many side deals and in party intrigue caused by allowing all types of characters to participate in an adventure. On the otherhand my best friends have always hated me as a player, because I tend to play characters that have their own agendas and will often try their best to come out with the best possible outcome for themselves (often at the expense of the group).

I have never had the chance to run through Dramune run either as a player or referree because when I had an active gaming group I was in the stage where I hated modules because I felt that I had better ideas, but now that I've matured I have started to read modules and see where I can work them into something for my various campaigns, but of course I don't have an active gaming group so these things sit in my hard drive gathering electronic dust, until I find an audience for them.
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"Hey guys, I think it's friendly." -Famous last words
"You go on ahead, I'll catch up." -Famous last words
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Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
March 4, 2011 - 8:21pm
Do any of you GM's interview player's?
When I run games locally I'm either part of an organization where I don't get to pick the player's or I'm play-testing and care about a broad spectrum of opinions.

When Frontier Space is published I plan on starting the "FS Club of w00t!"
We'll have a w00t'in t00t'in good time!

Deryn_Rys's picture
March 4, 2011 - 11:09pm
I've never interviewed players before admitting them into a game, as most of them have usually been fetted by my players before they introduce them to me. However it is a common proceedure at the end of each of our gaming sessions to spend at least an hour discussing the night's adventure and what went right, what went wrong, and updating everyone's characters.

When I use to guest DM for groups (to teach them the finer points of gaming) I also would spend some time before the game session getting a feel for the players and going over their characters for the game. Of course it got worse when I started using my modified rules because I spent more time explaining the rule changes during those initial hours before playing the game. 

I sometimes miss those days, but my energies these days are geared towards creating rules sets instead of game mastering but maybe someday I'll get a group together and see if I still have the knack for Game mastering that I used to.
"Hey guys I wonder what this does"-Famous last words
"Hey guys, I think it's friendly." -Famous last words
"You go on ahead, I'll catch up." -Famous last words
"Did you here that?" -Famous last words

rattraveller's picture
March 5, 2011 - 6:46am
A full discussion of what players want out of a campaign is curcial part of the first meeting especially if it is going to be a long running campaign. Everyone has different ideas of how a universe runs.

Had a Battletech campaign were in looking for the hidden pirate base on a planet one player had his character leave the dropship 5 minutes after landing walk into the first bar he saw and start asking where the pirates were forgetting the cover story. That is how it worked in D&D he explained.

Another time after talking to players the Star Frontiers campaign was killed and resurected as a Paranioa campaign since they mainly just wanted to kill each other off.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

JMcKeon's picture
March 30, 2011 - 10:55am
I am currently running Dramune Run as part of a larger campaign. The PCs are contracted by Star Law to infiltrate Malthar's organization. Malthar, as an 'audition' has them capture Garlus and the Gullwind, and return Cpt and Ship to him at Darkworld station. THey didn't have spacer skills, so they signed onto the Gullwind as passengers, and Garlus hires an NPC crew. So far, Garlus, and 2 of the crew are in freeze fields, and 2 crew have been spaced after the PC's were able to get their own pilots on board.

thespiritcoyote's picture
March 31, 2011 - 7:40am
I would say that it is a lacking element in many modules, intentionally overlooked so that there can be no claims of 'teaching bad morales', however, real life dosn't work that way, and if consequences become abudant or penalties to harsh, it becomes coercion, and again you loose players.

You can say... well then let 'em go! But at least for me, I know all to well how valuable a player is, at that simply isn't a viable, nor mature, solution.

Unfortunatly, once the game turns grey, or even dark, you are prety much on your own as a GM, modules that support such styls are far and few between.

Any homebrew module I intent to make public, usually has all 'alignments' covered. I have learned to expect the potiential ingenutiy of the criminal mind. Laughing

Point of fact, I have run that very module multiple times, with a varity of groups, and it usually ends up with a working for Malthar (or bide time and ursurp control) situation. I have heard enough reviews of from others to conclude that is the status quo.... survey says! Malthar is a bad arse Don, and even Star Law dosn't want to get too close.
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