Originally posted at Sword's Edge Publishing on November 23, 2008
Before I went forward with the game, before I put more work than a basic outline and intro scenario, I wanted to meet the crew I had assembled. There was one reason and one reason only: I didn’t want to game with someone with whom I wouldn’t be willing to sit down at a coffee shop and chat. Call it elitist, but I don’t want a walking embodiment of all the negative gamer stereotypes in my game.
There was some discussion of possible meeting places. I found further proof, if I needed any, that some groups--especially at their inception, require someone to make the decisions. There were suggestions, but no real votes or support for any of these suggestions. As such, I chose a coffee shop that worked for me and set a time that worked for me.
One player dropped out day of--but it was work related. I can dig that. It doesn’t happen a lot to me these days, but I’ve been in that position. So, a meeting with four out of five players. I had had six, but the one player that I actually knew and a schedule conflict, so he’s out until possibly next year. We shall see.
Of the four in attendance, one had played before with the missing member. That was a bonus. The experience level was incredibly varied, from a few games to a decade plus. That’s cool. I actually dig that. That kind of disparity in experience can be brutal when delivering training or teaching, but in a game I think it adds some spice, different perspectives and hopefully different styles.
We did a meet and greet, and just talked gaming for awhile. Then I got down to business. There were a few things I wanted to do.
I wanted to give everyone a good sense of the game I wanted to run. In this case, it was set in 988 AD Scandinavia but in a world not necessarily our own. This is a place of myth and legend, where magic and monsters may exist. Also, the players were going to have control of the game in that it would be a pure sandbox. I would drop hooks and quests for them, but they could ignore those with impunity. Finally, the characters were going to be the heroes. No 10th level bartenders. No 10th level city guards. They were going to start at 3rd level and that meant they were already exceptional.
I wanted to discuss house rules. I had a list of changes I wanted to make to the True20 rules. We discussed my reasoning. Some of the rules were adopted, some were shot down, and some were parked for later consideration.
Finally, I wanted to hear their character concepts and discuss them if possible. Only two people had concepts, and only one of them fleshed out to any degree. We did have a discussion on my philosophy toward building characters, that is begin with a concept, flesh out the concept, and we’ll build the mechanical part later.
In the end, I believe the meeting was successful. I believe I transmitted both my enthusiasm for the game and the concept for the campaign. The proof of this, though, will come when we next meet for a character building session and first few games.