Freeport: Winds of Change – Session 1

First things first, here’s a link to the audio.

As I mentioned in my Prelude post, that we had our first session of Winds of Change recently and I think it went pretty well. When I start a new campaign, I like to take things slowly. My group is made up of folks whose first priority in life is not gaming (shocking, I know) and I don’t expect them to want to jump directly into a new session or set of characters are easily as more gaming-centric folks.

And so it begins

We began with an overview of what we were looking for from the game and I asked them a series of questions to get a feel for the kind of game they were looking for. This is information that I pretty much know about them and their tastes but I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t going to miss anything. I used a questionnaire that I found online a couple of years ago and, for the life of me, I cannot remember where I found it. if any readers are interested in that questionnaire, just reply in a comment here and I’ll post it.

Following that, I gave them as quick of a rundown of the City of Adventure as I could manage. I wanted to give them a good idea of what their choices for characters might mean for the game. Freeport is home to a wide, wide variety of races, including goblins, hobgoblins, kobolds and orcs. The issue with these races is that they are, with a few exceptions, second- or even third-class citizens in the City. In fact, they got kicked out of the slums. The people living in the slums felt that the goblinoids were lower than them. That should give you some idea of the place the savage races hold in Freeport. if the players had chosen to play characters of those races, it would have been a very different kind of game.

A Dreadful time

After I set up the setting for them, I wanted to give them a chance to develop the person of their characters before they rolled even a single stat. As I said in my Prelude post, I want this game to be very character-driven, so establishing their characters are people, rather than a set of stats and abilities, was important to me.

I gave them two options. If the wanted their character to have been adventuring together at the start of this game, then we were going to use Spirit of the Century-style character generation. Much like you might find in any Fate-system game, they would create aspects and motivations during this process. The second option was to play Dread and use the questionnaire to give them an idea of who their characters were.

They chose the Dread option, I passed out the sheets and we began. Overall, the process was very successful, with one caveat. One of my players is very set on the idea of “owning” her character. She wants to build her character from the ground up, stats first. As she chooses feats, skills and spells, she gets a good idea of who her character is. Both of the character-creation processes that I offered are very collaborative and Dread especially sees the things that are defined about a character twisted to be used against that character. At the end of the process, she ended up with a character she liked, but she felt more than a little helpless at times as the process of playing Dread had me defining aspects of her character for her.

The word to the wise is this: if you have a player or players who like to have control over their characters, be very careful about how you approach their characters with your almighty GM Stick of Alteration. It’s something that I’m going to have to be very aware of as we proceed, because I really like to mess with the characters as the game proceeds. If I mess with hers too much, I run the risk of losing her as a player. I can hear people saying that she should suck it up and that I should grow a pair. To them I say: it’s my game. So there.

Going forward

I’ll let you listen to the session audio to hear what happened during the Dread session, but the long and sort of it is that the group ended up reaching Freeport. Each of them, as they exited the visions that made up the Dread game, found a letter on their person. They’ve not read the letters yet, but they will find that each of them is expected in town and further, I hope to establish a base of operations for them at the hands of a mysterious, unknown benefactor.

As far as the characters go, even though they did not know each other prior to boarding the boat they were on, they managed to make a group that will have a very interesting common thread: that of storms and wind. We have an Oracle with the Mystery of Wind, a Sorcerer with the Stormborn Bloodline, a Monk of the Four Winds, and an Alchemist. The Alchemist doesn’t fit into that theme, necessarily, but he is being played by someone who excels at working with the agendas of the group, so I’ll be able to work him in.

I’m excited about the next session which, as of the writing of this, takes place tomorrow. If you have specific questions about the session or the choices I made in running it, please feel free to leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter.

[tags]rpg, rpgs, Freeport, Pathfinder, campaigns, Winds of Change, role playing games, Actual Play[/tags]

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