Well, the second session - the one where we actually got to play - went off very well. The group gathered, made some last minute adjustments to characters and we began.
One thing that I had a hard time wrapping my head around was starting a game where all of the characters were supposed to really know each other when the players would be trying out their characters for the first time.
So, what I did was to start the entire game off with a flashback sequence. We flashed back to a time in which the previous rogue trader was in charge of their ship. In this introductory sequence, I pulled a little from 7th Sea and set it In Media Res. The campaign started off with the Explorer's ship being caught up in a massive space battle and their ship was poised to make the last few critical moves which would make all of the difference.
This, I hope, gave the players some context for their ship, their crew, and where they came from. During the interactive flashback, I allowed the players to get a small glimpse at the former command structure of the ship. I didn't want to start off the campaign by throwing a bunch of new rules at the players, so I didn't use the space combat section of the book. Instead, I made the entire sequence more narrative, and yet still interactive. It was just a flashback after all. I'll discuss how I did that more later.
Then, we flashed forwards to the "present" day, one year after the flashback. The Explorers stopped by Port Wander on their way into the Koronus Expanse. There, they repaired an ancient docking bay that hadn't been used in quite some time and gave their ship more Space Points. Also, they recruited a brand new member of their team. Instead of letting them talk to and choose from a group of NPCs I made up, I allowed the players to make up their candidate whole cloth. It worked out brilliantly. The players, as a group, decided upon the birthplace, upbringing, and background of one of the ship's major NPCs.
There was a bit of drama as the ship's Seneschal PC got an opportunity to unlock some hidden memories he had lost from his traumatic past. He recovered, and the ship was on its way.
As the coordinates for the Maw were entered, the Explorers had an encounter with a virtual intelligence hologram of the former rogue trader - Lucant Holocene. Already the interaction with the Holocene virtual intelligence has raised a fair number of mysteries and questions. It even prompted the players to make their first Endevour Card.
Now that I've used one in action, I'm really glad I made the cards now. I could have jotted down their Endevour in my notebook, but that can easily get overlooked from week to week. If I had typed it up and put on my laptop, I'm still likely to never look at those notes. However, having the objectives on an attractive card makes me handle and look at them more. And they are tucked into a pocket at the front of my notebook, so they are always the first thing I see when I open my notes.