Thursday, March 09, 2006

Original Cast and Scope

Player-characters (PCs) were created using Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed (AU) and the Bard of The Complete Book of Eldritch Might. At the time, I wanted the players to feel they had a wide range of options but not overwhelm them with choices.

All the players but one were complete newbies to role-playing games. As a result, I didn't want their characters to be too weak to face what I thought of as "cool threats" at the time. So I decided they were going to create 3rd level characters with a bit of backstory behind them.

I started by distributing a few handouts to the potential players.
First, the handouts explaining what a role-playing game is:
What is a role-playing game? PDF - part 1
What is a role-playing game? PDF - part 2

Then, the handouts concerning the Seven Spires and the aims of the campaign at the time:
Players' Guidelines PDF
One page history of the Seven Spires PDF

Reading through the Players' Guidelines, particularly, shows me how much the setting and campaign evolved over the last two years.

For instance, I state my intention to use Harry Potter as a source of inspiration for the campaign. In practice, this never went further than the backdrop of Spellhold, school of magic. Originally, Spellhold was to have a much more important role in the events that would unfold during the course of the Emerald Death. This never truly happened, since the game focussed instead on the trip to the school until the very end of Season 1.

It also transpired from the same PDF that I wanted the setting to be much closer in themes and scope to AU and its Diamond Throne setting. A bit like Greg Stafford's Glorantha setting. This dimension of the game hasn't been really explored during the last two years. It remained in the background the whole time.

For their first characters, all the players used the "short way" described in the Players' Guidelines. Step by step, this means they:
1- chose a character concept
2- chose a character race
3- chose a character class
4- rolled 4d6-drop-lowest six times and assigned the results to relevant ability scores

All the other parameters (skill ranks, equipment etc) were managed by me, according to the AU rules and DMG guidelines (character wealth, for instance).

Here is the original cast of the Seven Spires campaign, with the first name of the player included.
Bischen (Spryte Mage Blade 3) - John
Blu (Sibbecai Greenbond 3) - Lisa
Jezabell (Quickling Faen Winter Witch 3) - Tiana
Mandingo (Male Elf Hummingbird Totem Warrior 3) - Domingo
Nuwah Kawah (Female Uladhrim Bard 3) - Nerissa
William (Female Giant Akashic 3) - Caroline

The Spellwardens, from left to right: Jezabell, Nuwah Kawah, William (in the background), Bischen, Blue (in the background) and Mandingo.


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