[Article is from an Out-Of Universe perspective.]
Character creation happened this week and took longer than I expected. I had originally thought that we'd take about an hour to make characters and then we could get in an hour play. If we track our actual start time as when we started talking about character creation, we started at 8:30p and finished the last character around midnight (well, other than Katie's character, but since we live together, she didn't have a problem staying later). As it stands, we have an interesting party make up that has me pretty excited. Here's the roster of heroes so far:
- Nyarlathotep (Ben): A Tiefling Star Pact Warlock, Nyarlathotep is easily our darkest character. While evil and at least slightly mad (even if it's just power mad), Nyarlathotep survives on his personal magnetism and strength of will. His quest for power has led him into a partnership of sorts with Rad's as-yet-unnamed paladin of Ioun and has put him at odds with Jadzeah (see below). Arcane Striker]
- Isiri (Ashley): The party's bruiser is Isiri, a Razorclaw Shifter Barbarian. Easily the strongest of the heroes, Isiri channels the might of the primal spirits of the world to defeat her foes. Isiri is missing large chunks of her memory, and she hunts for clues as to her own past with the assistance of the spirits and Alissa's cleric. [Primal Striker]
- Jadzeah (Katie): Most Devas are dignified and proper; not so with Jadzeah, a Deva Wizard with a streak of mischief and wanderlust that guides her. Her aptitude in trouble making belies her vast stores of knowledge and sudden flashes of insight, but all of these traits have landed her a firm friend inn Alissa's cleric. Like Isiri, Jadzeah suffers from some missing memories; Jadzeah cannot recall the events of her past lives clearly and only remembers in sudden flashes. [Arcane Controller]
- Unnamed (Rad): A curious young Wilden, this character discovered the faith of Ioun as he went about learning as much as he could about the world's brewing techniques. Ultimately, his search for knowledge became more like a quest and he took up arms in the pursuit of knowledge, becoming a Paladin. When Nyarlathotep let slip details of a treasure he was seeking nearby, the Wilden was intrigued by the thought of hidden knowledge and power and joined up with the warlock. [Divine Defender]
- Unnamed (Alissa): As the god of beauty, Sehanine is of extreme importance to the textile industry of Weaver's Lodge and Alissa's unnamed Halfling Cleric of Sehanine holds a place of high esteem in the village. Orphaned in her late teens, she tried (and failed) to make a go of thievery, and ended up finding surrogate parentage in the Sehanites and in the family of a local baker. She shares Jadzeah's impish nature and has complicated friendship with Isiri. [Divine Leader]
With this party make up, there are a couple of interesting things to note:
- No humans. The heroes all come from disparate races, but there's not a single human among them, which is the most populous race among civilized people. They shouldn't have too many serious issues of blending in (most races are accepted by society, so long as they behave in a civilized manner).
- No Martial-powered heroes. All of the heroes draw their power from forces outside themselves, which places them somewhat outside the realm of experience for most normal people.
- Everyone has a reason to adventure. I took care to make sure that everyone had thought about their heroes motivations for becoming adventurers and how they would work together as a group. There may be some awkward moments where motives clash, but there should be enough "story momentum" from these motives to allow everything to work itself out.
- New players. We have two players who are entirely new to tabletop RPGs, but they seem to have a pretty solid grasp of their characters and how they'll do what they do (Ben & Ashley). Katie is the only player with previous D&D 4e experience, but she's never played a controller before, meaning that she has some learning to do. Rad & Alissa have never played 4e, but they likely won't have too steep of a learning curve. In order to allow the players an opportunity to learn how 4e works, the first few encounters will be on the easy side with lots of opportunities to "tutorial mode" many of the rules into the game (like in console RPGs where you gradually learn how the game works; FF13 what?). Things like opportunity attacks, healing surges and action points aren't the easiest concepts to explain outside of their proper context, but should make sense when explained at the tabletop.
The group's next meeting will be the first opportunity to play the game, and it looks like the heroes are ready to ease into the campaign. Next time, we'll visit some classic fantasy tropes and see how the party handles them.