[ Spoiler ]
This is an alchera, we should leave before we all are trapped on the metaplanes forever.
Cypher, stop inciting a panic.
This is not a panic, this is a perfectly reasonable fear based on prior experiences in alcheras.
I played this adventure as Cypher with Michael Barnes as my GM. He did a good job GMing it, especially given the large karmic discrepancy between some players, and my completely founded fears of following the plot. This mission has some good parts I really appreciated but seemed to be founded on a shaky premise.
What I liked:
There was hacking, magic, NPCs to talk to, and people to shoot. All of the four main roles had a place in this adventure.
The NPCs used gear from WAR! and Arsenal. That made me feel like the mission respected me, because I also use gear from WAR! And Arsenal. I appreciate that whoever rewrote that adventure, went and updated it with new source material. This is the only time I’ve seen NPCs wear Form Fitting Body Armor and Softweave.
First you get contacted for a super cheap mission. I was literally offered 2,500 a day for “one or two days”. That is so terrible that if I had not paid 4 dollars to sit at that table, I would have walked. I’ve been paid 5,000+ nuyen to do jobs that have taken a few hours of my time before. And they weren’t escort quests. Plus, why couldn’t the Johnson have told us about the island to start, and that we would eventually need to guard the professor on the island? It felt very rushed and unprofessional.
The first encounter with the Knights of the Dragon (or whatever they were called), was challenging because they had a mage and 5 other dudes. The second encounter resulted in 3 commandos coming into through the window as we kill them all (having heard them on the roof). Either add more commandos to make it challenging or don’t waste time with it.
The island. We knew there would be one from the title, and once we got there the adventure took a turn for the bad (discounting the fact that I was being paid basically nothing). *double spoilers!* the island is an Alchera (you can learn that the professor has written books about them before too, which puts your mind in that place). Because my character had played through SRM02-18: A Very Bad Day, he had been in one before. So I knew that alcheras were basically giant traps waiting to happen, where your drones turn into wolves and you get in metaphorical combat with a frog sorcerer who mind controls you all. Basically it’s very dangerous. As soon as I realized what was going on (about the same day we arrived), I started telling everyone this was an Alchera and we should be leaving NOW.
Ms. Johnson said “go talk to the head of the security team”
The head of the security team: “Go talk to my mage”
The mage: “Go talk to the professor”
I should have slabbed them all in their sleep, stacked them on the boat, and left that night. Unfortunately, my fellow players were annoyed that I was afraid of being trapped on the metaplanes FOREVER and refused to listen to my completely rational fears. I didn’t want to be a dick and just KO them all, so we stuck around.
Two days later, the alcehra disappears, proving me right, killing the security team (who should have listened to me), and resulting me driving a boat away saying “I told you so”. Finally the Johnson debates if we were there for 3 days or 2 (hint, partial days count, she wouldn’t pay up). She legit wouldn’t fork over 2,750 for us saving her life. I should have jammed her, extorted her, leal’d her, and thrown her body overboard when she didn’t pay. I hate being a softie.
Tl;dr: This adventure wants you to stay in an obviously dangerous place for very little money. If you want to leave, all the NPCs derp out and don’t realize how dangerous it is. If we had done the sensible thing and just left, the adventure would have ended an hour early. I don’t feel you can really make choices here as it’s either “do stupid things, or stop playing”. That is poor design.