Playtest: Tree Island of the Squirrel God

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Playtest: Tree Island of the Squirrel God
« on: October 13, 2014, 09:59:38 PM »
Overview: There is an island, on which stands a massive tree, where the two peoples who worship the Squirrel God – the 16 Warriors and the Acorn-Bringers – quietly feud over how to worship their deity the best.

The Cast:
• Azita (Dragon-Herald, Acorn-Bringers, played by Simone) -- Seer and eldest of 3 daughters (Nika and Asta being her sisters)
• Fiery Frank (Blacksmith, 16 Warriors, played by Alex) -- A fierce, straightforward blacksmithing type who recently the brat Orly as an apprentice
• Arsalan (Court Wizard, Acorn-Bringers, played by Michelle) -- A wise and brave magic-user, recently returned from abroad
• Hilda (Peasant Beauty, 16 Warriors, played by Kat) -- An heir of the Queen's of the old blood who likes to shirk labor, recently placed in charge.
• Farid (Wicker-Wise, Acorn-Bringer, played by Jan) -- Slightly-demented healer who lives underneath the tree's ancient roots
• Silas (Outranger, 16 Warriors, played by Timo/Alexa) -- Strong, silent type who loyally serves Ebrill

The NPCs:
• That Creepy Troll from the Darkness
• The Freelanders -- Keme, Eero, and Fulvius. (Keme presides over forestlands. Fulvius is ambitious and presides over prairie and owns a large fishing boat fleet. Eero has a beard and many herds on his land. All are dangerous and encircle the island.)
• Ebrill (Keep Liege, Acorn-Bringer) -- Manages the Feasts, recently left Hilda in charge
• Dev (War-Captain, 16 Warriors) -- Brutal, terrible man. Recently captured by Fulvius
• Zoish (Castellan, Acorn-Bringer) -- The person in charge of the island's defenses
• Abadi (Priest, Acorn-Bringer) -- A devout, affable priest whose son Orly is a total brat.
• Orly (Apprentice to Frank, Acorn-Bringer) -- A total brat.
• Henri (One of the 16 Warriors) -- One of the youngest of the 16 Warriors

What Happened: Arsalan returns from abroad with news that famine is affecting the lands outside the island. This may bring new threats, such as starving people invading the island for food. Meanwhile, Azita has been receiving strange visions of something dark beneath the island, as well as a potential invading force. Ebrill calls a meeting to assign the peoples to various tasks, and it becomes quite obvious that very different ideas about how to manage the place are at play. Fiery Frank turns his attentions to the island's weaponry, as Azita tries desperately to wrangle the ornery kids Orly and Henri. Hilda winds up getting out of any real duties, and sent Dev off to negotiate with Fulvius (as Azita also has a vision of Fulvius' warriors preparing for battle). Fiery Frank takes Orly as an apprentice. Silas sneaks off to do reconnaissance of the Freelanders, and winds up in Eero's court, negotiating a possible deal for the Freelander to invade his neighbor Fulvius. Dev is captured by Fulvius, and Ebrill goes off to save him, leaving Hilda fully in charge. Meanwhile, Arsalan and Farid head down to the catacombs beneath the tree to discover a dark passage that reveals a terrifying Troll. They are now both running away. Azita is mustering the rest of the warriors to meet the challenge of Fulvius' invading army, but it's taking some time.

That was first session, about a month ago. Second session is tomorrow night.

The main two questions:
• How do I get player-characters to be deeply intertwined from the start without something similar to Hx or Strings?
• How should we deal with the fatigue of reading through all these lists? (I think our group hit our "too much of a good thing" limit...)

*

lumpley

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Re: Playtest: Tree Island of the Squirrel God
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2014, 03:37:39 PM »
How indeed?

Legit questions! Thanks, Evan. I hope session 2 goes well.

-Vincent

Re: Playtest: Tree Island of the Squirrel God
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2014, 06:29:34 PM »
• How do I get player-characters to be deeply intertwined from the start without something similar to Hx or Strings?

One thing you can do is go around the table, having the MC ask each player something like "A, you did something recently that drew a lot of attention. What was it?" then ask the player to their left "B, was your reaction to that positive or negative? Do you like or dislike A as a result?" Then ask B what attention getting thing they did, and what C's reaction was, and so on. Make the actual questions more specific than that -- "what did you do when you were fighting that troll?" "What did you do when the Green Raiders hit the holding?" "What did you do when Vondor challenged your leadership?"

Even doing this once around the table with just one neighbor's reaction, you should get something for the players to work with, and find out a little bit about each character's back story.

Quote
• How should we deal with the fatigue of reading through all these lists? (I think our group hit our "too much of a good thing" limit...)

Don't even look at the big rights lists in the first session unless someone somehow gets an advance.

The rest, you've just got to take one at a time.