The astute will have noticed that, as of writing, this module is still not available. We're not backing down on our promise, but this is taking longer than even we expected.
If you're wondering about the hold up, you're very likely falling into the same trap we did. There is a fair bit of work involved in transforming the notes one specific GM needs to run a session into notes (almost) any GM could use to run the same session. Some GM's only need monster templates, some need everything but monster templates. Some only need notes for the central thrust of the adventure and will adlib any unexpected challenges, others memorise the adventure core but need quick assistance for how things might go off track. We need to make sure the notes we provide contain the right mix of parts for any GM and, in principle, we already knew this.
But the adventure chosen for the play test held some unexpected challenges. It's entire first act is an investigation. Witnesses, evidence, mystery, all that good stuff. Investigations are extremely challenging to run because you have to provide the right amount of resistance. It can't be a simple matter of picking up one piece of evidence and going straight to the accusing parlour. This is multiplied out by the need for multiple paths to reach the truth which is critical to give the players agency.
It was these unique challenges we did not expect. To put some perspective on this - our GM went in to bat with 18 pages of notes, which seemed huge to begin with. We're now sitting at 37. This is, in turn, creating its own problem: we need to make sure this information is organised in such a way as to make it useful. As established above, different GM's need different types and amounts of information. We have to make it fast to find what you need.
So how far along are we? Well we've now included all of the session-specific information we feel is necessary. The following work remains:
Each of these task will probably take several days so I'm not going to establish a release date but I will assure you this will remain our main priority until it's finished.
We will get this done, and it's important to me that we get it done right. I remember once buying an adventure module for the Serenity RPG that included a heist on a train. The heroes were supposed to get invitations, infiltrate a big on-board gala party and learn about the the safe and its security measures before carrying out the perfect crime. I was so excited for this, my mind exploded with images of that scene from Firefly where they get all dolled up and Kaylee gets that dress.
That module had just three quarters of a page on the party. A scene description and then a paragraph each on two characters (these being the only ones with pertinent information). This was supposed to be a 'take home and play tonight' adventure module and it had the stones to say 'you'll have to invent some other party guests yourself, try to make them an interesting and eclectic bunch as befits the Firefly universe.'
This module won't include a heist during a gala on a train (missed opportunity to be sure) but it's notes will be thorough and you won't need to invent a character unless you want to. Or if your players go all the way off reservation, that happens.
Except where otherwise noted, these posts are written by Stephen J Orion. Director of Scribed Starlight Press and creator of Wireless Soul Transmission.