Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Delvers Guild – Session A – Character Creation, Part 1

This week was part one of the character creation session for our next campaign: The Delvers Guild.

This campaign takes place in the same world as the Barrowmaze game I previously ran [and will run again later this year] (see the Downloads sidebar for summations of Season 1).   The connection between the two is Vorgand, Daphne’s porter NPC.  With the start of the rainy season [and the consequent closing of the Adventuring Season], Vorgand returned south to the Aegean Military Academy she attends in the capital city, Aegea, along with all the cash she earned working for Daphne and many good drinking stories to share.

Back at the capital, Vorgand freely told her stories about dungeon delving, much to the interest of the other students.  A core group of students from the University and the Military Academy quickly formed and established a club for the purpose of delving ruins.  One of the students went so far as to take up a collection and file the paperwork with the city government, establishing the club as an actual guild [due to the abrupt transition between kings earlier in the year, a little money goes a long way in getting paperwork approved and filed without too many questions].

The Delvers Guild has identified some ruins about a day’s travel away, known as the Moon Manor Ruins.  These ruins have been abandoned for a very long time and no one is expecting to find loot or anything unusual.  The plan is to verify their camping and mapping skills are up to par and that everyone is up to the challenge before trying a real delve.  [Drama, of course, has other ideas.]

Game System
For this campaign, we are using the HERO System, specifically the Fantasy Hero rules for 5th Revised Edition (FREd).  [The current version of HERO is 6th Edition, but I’m of the opinion that the FREd version of the rules works well and 6th edition did not add anything I felt was needed.  YMMV.]  Characters are built with a Base of 50 points and can take up to 50 points in Limitations, making these 100-point characters, which count as Competent Normals in the game system.

I’m also using a highly experimental set of rules where spells are treated as skills.  The PCs have to buy the skill roll for each spell and I, the GM work out the game mechanics of the spells.  As I own the Fantasy Hero Grimoire, the two characters using magic so far went through that and selected spells, which saved me a lot of effort and them a lot of time.  This is experimental for me, so we’ll see how it plays out.  Normally Fantasy Hero spell casters sink a lot of their points into buying spells and therefore have few spells but I wanted the players to have access to magic but also be new to adventuring and therefore not have tons of points.  We’ll see if this balance works or not.

Not all the players could make it to this session, which is one of the reasons character creation is taking two sessions.  Next session we’ll finish up character creation and the session after that we’ll start actual play.  Below is what I have for PCs so far.

Player Characters:
Vargand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at the Military Academy
Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studying aspects of the Law [to avoid them]
Zarec – human male – a cerebrally-unfettered spell researcher [read: Mad Scientist], studying Natural Philosophy
Ricky – human male – has a thirst for knowledge but doesn’t know what he’s searching for, currently studying Astrology
Nick Stalwart – human male – part of the Stalwart family of merchants, studying Mathematics

Non-Player Characters:
Lester “Les” Stalwart – human male, younger brother of Nick and general tag-along [DNPC]

That’s it for now.  Next week I’ll have one last character added to the list and I’ll produce a small gazetteer for the campaign area [with official names and everything…well, maybe not EVERYTHING – my players read this too].

Delvers Guild
Session B, Character Creation Part 2 [Not Written Yet]

UPDATE: I named the capital city since posting this and corrected a couple of other minor points, like Vorgand attends the military academy, not the university, but drinks with friends from both at The Library, a tavern in an old library that attracts student drinkers.