Can I just say that I’m a bit giddy? That’s right – “giddy!”
Last night I started what is really the first campaign I have begun in earnest in at least a decade. I’m GMing. My two kids are among the 9 players playing and the rest of the crew is populated by the family of one of my best friends from college, who I gamed with a ton back in the day. And though the sessions will probably be a little shorter than my sessions in the past (we will probably average about 3 hours at a pop), we were engaged the whole time even if a few folks began getting a little antsy towards the end.
We have players ranging in age from 10 to mid-40s. A mix of guys and gals. We were using D&D 5e, but it really didn’t matter. We just needed characters of some variety and some rules to point to.
And this campaign is set in the world of the Lost Age we’ve been working on here at Moebius Adventures for the last several months. So I’m looking forward to exploring this bizarre world of “Muscles, Magic, Madness, and Mayhem.” What’s a game world without mayhem?
So how’d it go?
Cast of Characters
With such a diverse group of folks, young and old, you’d expect a unique collection of characters. Let’s run through the cast list and I’ll let you know what I wrote down when each player introduced their character with three pieces – their name, what they’re good at, and what they look like or how they’d be recognized in a crowd.
- Aevan Abyss – Good at: “People”; Description: “Pretty hot,” “Dude,” “Typically in leather armor.”
- Rianwen Vala – Good at: “Developing a rapport with animals.” Description: “Female druid.”
- “The Man With No Name” (I immediately shortened it to the acronym TMWNN, which became “Tim Wynn” so he is now known as “Tim”.) – Good at: “Breaking stuff.” Description: “Chain armor,” “Scruffy,” and “Poncho.”
- Raven – Good at: “Spell casting.” Description: “Pointy hat.”
- Spike – Good at: “Hiding in trees.” Description: “Wee man” and “sometimes wears a ski mask.”
- Xima Bloodfist (I immediately shortened to “X”.) – Good at: “Bows and blades.” Description: “Not good with people” and “Dances around the bodies of his dead enemies.”
- Ash – Good at: “Picking fights.” Description: “Wee man” and “has a nose ring.”
- Arian – Good at: “Finding shelter.” Description: “Pure white hair.”
- Egan – Good at: “Cooking” and “Finding herbs.”
You’ll notice I didn’t ask for class or race. Everybody is human, though I allowed for very tall or very short humans (with a penalty for Speed I think). We have:
- A Fighter
- A Ranger
- Two Druids
- Two Rogues/Assassins (sisters funny enough)
- A Sorcerer
- A Warlock
- A Wizard
With nine characters, I have my hands full. But you’ll notice there’s no priest in the group… That will make things interesting!
And once we got through the roll call, I took each player aside and asked them to give me a secret about one of the other characters. They could give secrets for one to three other characters at the table, and it could be something the other player didn’t know about their character.
I stole this idea from Wil Wheaton and his first Titansgrave video (here). Of course, I warped it slightly. The players were put on the spot to come up with something immediately after hearing about the other characters. And it was immediately apparent that many of them really weren’t listening. 🙂
- One character dyes their hair.
- Someone failed a class in their studies.
- One character “samples her product” from their herb pouch once in a while.
- One character’s hat is cursed and another item is magical.
- One character is afraid of the dark.
- One character has a teddy bear in their backpack.
- One character did animal experiments.
- One character dreams of performing on Broadway.
- And one character is in love with green beans.
Told you it was entertaining. 🙂
I will have to ponder some of the things I learned and use them to ramp up the storytelling a bit as we move forward.
The First Adventure
After that, I got everybody to the little fishing village of Nifton’s Inlet. They arrived, never having met, with strange knowledge about these other people who also showed up at the Inn. And they immediately headed to the tavern, because nothing was going on!
When they arrived at the Two Cuppa, the proprietor – an old gentleman named Osold who was stirring the pot of fish chowder – greeted them and had them pull together a couple of tables to sit. For a mere 4 coppers each they could have some ale and a bowl of chowder. And X, coin purse in hand, paid for everybody’s meal – which was very decent of him.
Aevan learned from Osold that though nothing exciting was really going on and things were generally good in Nifton, the Great Swell (think very high tide) started tonight and folks were prepping for it. Once a year, the lake “swelled” up its banks and grew slightly. Boats were tied up and people mostly remained off the water for a bit.
And after they finished their ale and chowder, they left Two Cuppa to head back to the Inn – but were stopped short when they heard a scream coming from somewhere near the boat docks.
None of the other villagers heard it when they were asked, which was strange. But some of the PCs heard it again and headed that direction. They found a group of hooded, robed figures standing outside a small building. The screams were coming from inside.
Honestly I think we did great. Everyone was engaged and stuck with it to the end of the first encounter. I had to scale the encounter a bit – it was originally going to be three fish men and a fishy priestess, but I adjusted it to six fish men and left the priestess for another encounter. And the poor girl’s parents got into the act. The father stabbed one of their attackers with a knife and tackled another right before they almost had his daughter in the water.
It took a bit to convince the players that the daughter getting into the water seemed to be a priority for the robed figures, but eventually they got the hint.
And the next encounter may be a bit tougher (more combatants), but I had fun and hopefully everybody else did too.
Things to incorporate for next time…
- The “Calling” from the tribes should be a bit more defined the next time. For example, the big introduction may actually occur on each character’s first night on the road as a dream.
- The Calling should also do a bit more to ensure that the group should be together when they find each other. I had a few who wanted to wander off. 🙂
- I need more NPCs for Nifton’s Inlet who the PCs can interact with. They were very lost when I dropped them in the deep end without any idea of where to go next. I mentioned that it was a good day at the fish market and there were many folks milling about – it would have been good for one of the sellers to get their attention.
I’m a bit rusty in my GM skills obviously. This is the first time in a long time I haven’t run something just from a module. So as I get back into my element, I think we’ll be ok. But it’s good to note these little course corrections as we go along.
We’ll keep you posted!!