Awesome First Meeting

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Awesome First Meeting
« on: February 18, 2013, 01:13:21 AM »
I know a lot of emphasis has been placed on how quick and easy character creation can be and how you can throw characters together in 15 minutes and get right down to play. Swapping to Dungeonworld after a few months of fairly bland uncharacterized DnD, I figured the group could use some well defined characters. We spent an hour and a half on character creation and I am VERY happy with how it turned out. An entire story for how everyone met has been established and I'm very happy with the way bonds turned out between the party. Our 6-man party consists of

Douglas the Hungry the Barbarian - a dwarf from a stuffy religious tribe that has very ancient traditions surrounding their worship of a god of stone, he got out of there at a young age to seek the freedom of adventure with...

Naphetal Fir'kan the Bard -  I home-brewed a race for this guy. He wanted to be a bear person, so I invented the Vastjorn, a tribal culture that lives in the far north. Their racial bonus is "Whenever your feet touch natural ground take +1 to arcane art". Naphetal was the war-drummer and a master tactician for his tribe in a war of the Vastjorn. When his tribe won, he, being quite young, knew of nothing but war and couldn't find a place for himself in the new peace. He travelled South through the mountains of dwarf-tribes and met Douglas' tribe. They got along well and Douglas joined him on his journey South. Naphetal plans on taking some barbarian moves through multi-class moves as he levels up, being things he's gathered from the tribal war of his people and he learns from Douglas as they travel.

Grogdoer the Cleric - A human worshipper of Clem the Orange (color, not fruit, he doesn't worship a fruit), god of the downtrodden and forgotten. He chose the precept of suffering, saying that an individual who has suffered will understand those who are oppressed. Grogdoer happened to be in a gnome empire with a rather malevolent emperor spreading the word of Clem the Orange, which happened to be a large contributing factor in the beginning of a rebellion against this emperor (who I just realized really needs a name). Grogdoer was imprisoned and recently freed right before the beginning of play. We'll get to that in a bit.

Thinda the Druid - A halfling of "the river delta", Thinda has lived in isolation by the river for a long time, not concerning herself with the affairs of civilization or empires and waiting for her calling to come her way. During this rebellion some injured soldiers went floating down the river to her. She fished them out of the river and patched them up, but then sent them on their way, not involving herself with their rebellion. A while later she met Douglas and Naphetal. She appreciated their eccentric behaviors and similar distaste for civilization and decided to join them.

Hue Sauger the Fighter - A human who had an abusive father. When he was a teenager a pixie stole his mother's ring and he sought out the pixie to retrieve the valuable object of one of the only people he knew who truly cared about him. At this point his mother suddenly died, but Hue found the pixie. No longer feeling obligated to protect his mother from his father, Hue formed an unlikely bond with the pixie and he left his abusive father to travel with his new friend. They ran into a booming gnome empire and decided to settle down, Hue with a burning desire to prove to himself that he could protect the weak and abused, and finding a perfect chance when whispers of revolution travelled the city.

Tali Audenstorm the Thief - Yet another homebrew race, the aforementioned pixie. She's about 2 feet tall, so size isn't really that much of an issue. I've determined that a part of the magical shenanigans of pixies is that every night their wings wither and grow anew, this way making it so when her wings are damaged she isn't permanently cheated out of her racial power: when carry 3+STR or less she can fly. You got a lot of her backstory in Hue's, but good to add she was a spy/scout for the rebellion. Also now good to note that Hue and Tali were some of the rebels that washed up Thinda's river after they had lost a major battle, and that Hue and Thinda broke Grogdoer out of jail at the end of the revolution.

At this point Douglas, Naphetal, and Thinda were together, and Tali, Hue, and Grogdoer were all together. With the revolution over, Grogdoer, Tali, and Hue began traveling together and the two groups happened to run into each other. Hue and Tali's previous meeting with Thinda brought the two groups together. They have done some petty adventures together but nothing seriously worthy of note, but Thinda has recently heard from the animals coming up the river that a coastal town is having trouble with a restless spirit.

A quick run down of bonds I particularly enjoy/find amusing:
Douglas says that Tali is puny and foolish, but amusing to him. He also says Naphetal shares his hunger for glory (and Douglas says this isn't his first adventure with Douglas, of course). My personal favorite--Hue is always getting into trouble, I must protect him from himself. Why is this so amusing? The two didn't talk together beforehand about this, and Hue says he worries about Douglas' ability to survive in the dungeon. Naphetal and Tali get along great, despite Tali and Douglas not, but Hue is often the butt of Naphetal's jokes, despite how it may annoy Tali. You know how bards are... Grogdoer doesn't trust Naphetal and for good reason, he insulted Clem the Orange. I guess one isn't really empathetic of the downtrodden and forgotten after winning a war. Grogdoer is working on converting Hue to his faith--he wrote this one early on while we were still brainstorming and the revolution hadn't really come to light yet, but it seems like he's already done with this one, but the fact is he actually converted him in an in-character discussion at the table while I was working with Douglas and Naphetal on their backstories, so I'm personally thinking that I should award him an experience for basically resolving the bond in the prequel! Thinda only wrote one bond, so I think I'll talk to her before the next session and get her to write one or two more, but oddly enough pretty much any bond anyone else wrote on her was positive--everyone trusts her, likes her, and wants to protect her. I feel she'll make great glue to keep the party together and become kind of the accidental party leader.

Anyway, that was a really fantastic session and I'm excited for next week. I've got lots of ideas, but I'm having trouble putting them together coherently, so help me brainstorm. I think I want this restless spirit to actually be trying to protect the city from something he pissed off during his own life. Initially I was thinking water elementals, but just now I had a much better idea. I also came up with the idea of a BBEG of a sorcer-lich pirate king (with 4 titles they've gotta be badass). I could very well make the thing this spirit disturbed in life a crew of pirates. I realize that it's in my best interest to get them out of town quickly and down into the dungeon, so I'm thinking a crew of pirates has a stash here that this guy stole some stuff out of. He could have been a pirate on a rival ship that told his family, who still lives in this village, that he was just a sailor on a merchant ship. This other group of pirates traced this guy back to town and not knowing he's dead, was about to go pillage the town and murder his family in the process when he, seeing them coming, used his spirity powers to scare them off with a big display of magic over the town, making the pirates think the city was under the protection of a mage. The pirates are now preparing to strike against the city they think was magically defended while the village is terrified of this spirit's magical showing and knows nothing of the pirates. I think I kind of just helped myself brainstorm while typing this, but any thoughts are appreciated.

Also: holy crap this is long.



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Re: Awesome First Meeting
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2013, 06:15:38 PM »
Trill, that's awesome! What a range of starting tensions and dynamics between characters.

Don't overthink or over prepare. You aren't out to
give the players a chance to explore your finely crafted setting. You’re not trying to kill the players (though monsters might be). You’re most certainly not here to tell everyone a planned-out story...

So all that stuff about the pirate lich king and the rival group of pirates and the magical displays of power etc.? That would be so much cooler if it evolved from actual play! Just start with the idea of a Pirate Lich King, give him an agenda, an instinct  and a setting and go from there.

You don’t know the heroes or the world before you sit down to play so planning anything concrete is just going to frustrate you. It also conflicts with your agenda: play to find out what happens. First and foremost, you describe the immediate situation around the players at all times. This is how you start a session yeah? Especially the first one:
Start the session with a group of player characters in a tense situation. Use anything that demands action... If the situation stems directly from the characters and your questions, all the better.
Leave lots of questions to ask the group and fuel moves during play. So if it were me, I'd be plonking the group as prisoners in the hold of the attacking pirate ship and have the tense situation of the hold beginning to fill with water...
Why are they prisoners?
Why is the ship sinking?
Is there any way out?

They are on deck of the ship with the freebooters preparing to sack the village of undead as a magical display rocks the ship sending pirates overboard...
Why is the village doomed?
Why have they fallen in with Pirates?
Who is behind the magical display?

Just put them at the entrance of the dungeon, or even in the bowels of the dungeon in the Sorcerer's Lair.
Who is this Lich?
What do they want?
Why are the characters here in this dungeon?
How do they escape?