Player, DM, and host of Friday Night RPG-ing E.G. is running a new campaign. With C.H.’s L5R “20-Goblin Winter” campaign completed as intended and A.T.’s D&D v.3.5 game on indefinite hold, this new game comes at just the right time.
On Friday August 16th, our group met to discuss the new adventure and decide on characters.
This will be a weekly game, with an original storyline and a new map and setting. This campaign’s world (politics, geography, era) is different from the world of E.G.’s three previous campaigns.
The setting is a small, walled town in a temperate-frigid region of a kingdom’s northern territorial holdings. An isolated wilderness outpost supported by five satellite villages, this settlement of 750-1000 people had annual contact with its patron kingdom until eight years ago.
Contact with the outside world was cut off when an unnatural blockage of ice choked the only sea route from the area, and kept it closed year-round ever since. The mountains to the west and fjords to the south are impassible on land. The story begins after a boat of capable warriors from the town makes its regular scouting mission to the distant ice-blockage, but this time does not return. The town leaders are concerned, and call a town meeting to decide what to do.
E.G.’s guidelines for character creation were pretty standard :
- Attribute generation is by the “roll 4d6, keep the best three dice, re-roll 1’s, roll as many sets of six numbers as you like and retain the best set” method. Our DM might have liked a point-buy system, but the group’s apathy for such a method led E.G. to go with a “god-mode” attribute-rolling.
- E.G.’s initial preference for character races was limited to those with shorter lifespans; humans, half-elves, half-orcs, halflings and to a much lesser extent, gnomes. The intent was to keep the characters somewhat cloistered. He later opened options to other races.
- All characters will start off having known each other for most of their lives – growing up together in the settlement. This was done to create an immediate bond between characters. E.G. said he’d felt that in previous campaigns, the Party felt like a group of dissimilar strangers who had “answered a Craiglist ad” and started adventuring together, with little common ground between them.
- All alignments are allowed, but players must be able to justify their character’s alignment in the context of the story and especially the setting. So it is nearly impossible to run an Evil character. Nearly.
- All Classes are allowed, if they fit the setting. Monks and Paladins would be the most difficult to fit into the small-town setting, and as it happened no-one chose those options. E.G. did leave the door open for unusual possibilities ( “Sven the Ninja” ), if he did so begrudgingly. And no Classes or Prestige Classes from published D&D realms (Red Wizards, Nightsong, Harpers, Zhentarim) will exist here either.
- The setting is “early Iron Age”, so while players may buy and start out with metal weapons as per Equipment Lists in the PHb (Player’s Handbook), E.G. warns that treasures looted from tombs and ancient places will not be of a “modern” metal type.
- As to enemy types in the starting region; magical beasts, aberrations, humanoid enemies (goblin, orc, hobgoblin, kobold), hostile natural creatures, and of course E.G.’s old favorite, undead.
- Starting gold as per tables in the PHb.
- Starting age in the 16-22 range for Humans; or very early adulthood for non-Humans.
- Knowledge : Local and Knowledge : Geography skills are both applicable only to the starting region and not to other localities or geographies elsewhere in the world.
Choice of character was encouraged to come from each player’s interest in who they wanted to play, instead of from a “what do we need?” approach.
Before the group discussion, T.R. had opted to be a female Halfling Rogue (Gøå Fínnbjørn), hers the only female character in the group. As too had G.R. preselected a Human Wizard (Cørün Düm’mån), with an eye to the Green Star Adept Prestige Class. E.G.’s world does not contain Starmetal, so DM and player agreed to frame out some admixture of [lodestone and a specific type of precious gem] as the catalyst of Cørün’s transformation.
Initially I had written up a Dwarf Rogue, but when E.G. discouraged long-lived races I then chose a Human Bard (Elroy Wick), looking toward the Virtuoso Prestige Class in the future.
This left other players to debate their interests. K.D. decided on a Human Druid (Yørgënsøn Übërsøn). M.H. went a new direction and chose Human Cleric (Külich), a Class he has not before played in v.3.5
T.F. initially considered Wizard, but changed his mind and went Human Warmage (Årmst). C.H. is a straight Fighter (Magnus), and may have selected Half-Giant as his race. The decision was not finalized.
By night’s end, A.T. had not chosen a Class, but was leaning toward (probably Human) Druid or Barbarian-Druid to eventually become a Master of Many Forms.
A.B., T.D., Q.D., G.W. and/or wife M.W., and B.P. were not present for this session.
After character creation, E.G. had each player in turn describe his or her character. The emphasis was on intangibles: what were they like as children, how did they interact with other kids their age, what are their personality traits ? Some players were able to improv a quick and suitable description, answering the questions. Other players not so adept at creativity on short notice did their best, which was pretty good despite having just decided on a character minutes before. Players worked their characters into a shared history of friendships and acquaintances within the group, to support E.G.’s precondition.
Then, there was a short introductory RP-ing session. Details on this, and more demographics about the starting region, will follow in another post.