Roleplay was cancelled this week. Damn it!
The set-up for the cancellation was interesting though and worthy of some comment. Firstly Zeb's player was unable to attend because he was off planning his wedding. He did, however, leave us a very useful out. His character was unconscious, having fainted in the assassination attempt and it was very easy to convert this into a coma. So he was written out. However, that allowed me to spring a surprise episode on him and them for the next episode and then flip flop back into the game after that. As a structure it was, in my mind, dramatically perfect. It would have hightlighted Zeb and Talia, whilst still involving the other players and it would have had that wonderful 'ST:TNG' style feel to the pacing.
And then Captain Amarr was ill and we had to cancel.
Of course, this is fine and I would never expect anyone to play through illness. Indeed, that exact self-imposed expectation was something that has caused sub-optimal play experiences in the past. It does mean, however, that during our next session Zeb will be back and the drama that I had concocted will be different.
The story elements will still be there - but the conclusion will be radically changed. Thats a good thing really, as it shows that the players have a real impact on the direction of the game (as should be the case) Maybe one day, the 'lost episode' may be unearthed, in all it's glory!
One thing that this illustrated for me is that the game definitely has legs. The fact that I could, legitimately, plan the fourth, fifth and sixth sessions ahead of time and STILL not have really disclosed the over-arcing story that covers the first 'season' would tend to suggest these characters have a vast depth of story to them and certainly we are going to be taking this at a slower pace than Buffy and probably Crescent Sea.