For my first game I ran the quick start adventure, but with the core book’s sample characters. The players chose the duelist and the thark guide. The events in the first scene went OK. It seemed weird for the lieutenant to also be a minion since they cost extra to add to the scene so I made them a full villain and only had one at all.
I played with the rules as is, so I did use the momentum once per turn rule. The first few turns were a problem because I had to get the players over their aversion to the threat pool so they could get enough dice. A few turns in I spent threat to coincide with the ship getting shot to tilt the deck and increase the difficulty for attacks and movement/defense for everybody. That encouraged them to go for the extra dice, but nobody thought to go to the helm and try to right the ship to get rid of the complication. Over all nobody really accumulated any momentum for very long though.
The white ape was a bigger problem. If I’d followed the adventure guidance of 1 +1 per 2 PCs they’d each have just been ripped apart. One ape brutalized them. Their dice turned against them for sure but the ape was brutal. I eventually forced it to make some rock attacks because I figured it would miss with those and waste a turn. They kept on having to throw threat in the pool to get enough dice to hurt it–especially once one PC took multiple afflictions. I kept spending reasonable amounts because otherwise I’d possibly have run out of beads (and I brought dozens). Even when I just bought 1 die I’d end up with like 5 successes. They finally won because when they hit I just said “Please just throw like 8 threat in the pool on damage dice” twice. There was no way I would use the ape’s hard to kill. I’d have been such a jerk to do that.
I’m not sure what went wrong in the ape encounter besides the players’ dice going cold. Sure the apes supposed to be scary tough, but there’s no way that they’d have survived two. Maybe I spent too much threat, but I’d have had a massive pile if I hadn’t. The game didn’t run as quickly as I’d expected.
I was disappointed with the quick start. No actual ending. It just stops. It’s not a complete adventure, just a demo that took almost 4 hours to run.