"To start, everyone has 7 dice in their dice pool, and 0 experience points. Write down 7 and 0, because you'll need to track those numbers. Beyond that, the most important thing to understand is that this game system is very forgiving. You can probably succeed at most of the rolls you make, if you want to. When you try to overcome an obstacle you're going to roll a handful of dice, which you get by using the skills and tags on your character sheet, and by taking dice from your pool. Don't worry about saving your pool dice, spending them all is ok. When you're low on pool dice, we'll do a refresh scene, which is how we learn more about your character. Refresh scenes are the best part of the game."
Scene 1: The Brig
Once everyone is situated and comfortable with the basics, start the scene in the brig.
Describe the security measures keeping the crew trapped, and then turn to Vance and ask him if he has a plan. It's important that you ask Vance because it gets the game rolling, he's captain of the ship, and he's got the Key of The Plan.
If Vance takes charge and tells people what to do, then remind him to take an XP for hitting his key. If someone else jumps in and does something before Vance does, that's an interesting power dynamic for you to play with.
Right up front emphasise that you'll encourage people to take XP, but that they don't need your permission and that they can be pretty loose on what counts as hitting a key. I've always had trouble with players not taking enough XP, never with players taking too much.
After the brig happens the PCs will have all sorts of ideas what to do next. If they're being indecisive then ask Vance or Blackbird to make a decision and do it. If they need some direction there's a whole lot of stuff you could throw their way...
Your possessions were taken from you and are currently stored at location X
If you want to escape on the Owl you'll have to get to the hanger and get the ship fueled
Maybe if you get to the bridge you can convince Captain Hollas to help you
If you did escape then the Hand of Sorrow could still chase you down, unless someone sabotaged the engines...
Mechanic: Refresh Scenes
At some point a player will run out of dice, or there will be a brief lull in the story. Time for refresh scenes! Usually players will have something they want to see, but if they're not sure I'll suggest something. Some classics suggestions are "Give me a flashback scene about how Blackbird and Naomi first met" or "What does Kale know about Blackbird and her mission? Can we see a scene or flashback about that?"
Place interesting complications in the PC's way, but be mindful of your time limit. If your goal is to have them escape the Hand, then make sure they're flying off by the end of the session.
I'm usually ok with the PCs splitting into two groups, if there are two things they want to get done. In that situation I try to switch between the two groups pretty frequently.
Use your named NPCs.
Captain Hollas can make a dramatic entrance basically anywhere on their ship.
Count Carlowe and/or his minions can also make an appearance if you need some excitement.
Ask the PCs about their previous encounters with these characters. Use these NPCs to help the PCs hit their keys. Uriah Flint can show up too, but I tend to keep him to flashbacks and the end of the second session.
Remind Vance that he can teleport. Encourage Blackbird to do magic. Tell Naomi that she really doesn't have to roll to break things, because her hands are like sledgehammers and it's scary. Give Kale a chance to do mechanic stuff. Give Snargle opportunities to de-escalate violence, or save an enemy's life when they really shouldn't.
It's a lot easier than all that makes it sound. You'll probably end up ignoring most of my advice and instead figure out stuff that works for you. Good luck!
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