Monday, 17 February 2014

Ugly Beginnings

A few weeks ago we resumed our regular fantasy adventure gaming, starting a Magic World game set in Fighting Fantasy’s Allansia. I had recently picked up the ‘World Builder’ Bundle of Holding, which contained the fantastic Tome of Adventure Design by Matt Finch. Before our first session I spent a very happy hour or two rolling on the tables in Book1: Principles and Starting Points, generating a panoply of potential starting points for the first adventure. In the end, I settled on a mission to recover the ‘Skin Mandala’. More on that next post.

A, D and C generated their characters. Magic World is quick, but the process is still too long – with these players, anyway – for my taste. The 'with these players' is an important caveat; Magic World character generation is fast and straightforward, as rather than assigning each skill point individually it assigns them in big chunks according to ‘culture’ and ‘profession’. As far as equipment goes, I was an especially generous Chronicler (referee) when it came to equipment, especially with C, who wanted his character to have all sorts of potentially expensive bits and bobs, including an Elvish dictionary and a spyglass, on top of his metal armour!

A rolled up Nia, a thief that she imagined as an adventurous grave robber. D rolled up Cedric Tanner, an ambitious bandit. C rolled up Doncho, a dispossessed minor noble from the Vale of Yore. Unfortunately, as I let them assign their stats and allowed the limited point swapping set out in the rulebook, we ended up with some characters with some serious… problems. Doncho and Nia both had an Appearance (APP) of 4, while Nia and Cedric both have an Intelligence (INT) of 8 (which in Magic World is human minimum!). Doncho has a pigeon chest, six toes on each foot and a terrible lisp, while Nia is balding and constantly dishevelled – no matter what she wears it appears that she is dressed in someone else’s clothes. Both Nia and Cedric speak in pretty crude, broken Common.

A party of much promise…

So, there they were, drinking away their last silvers (I am generous, but in exchange for all that gear they were certainly going to be skint) in their inn, the Black Elf Moon near the New Bridge in Salamonis, when a tall, expressionless man with a brass hand approached them. He was Pak Pao, manservant of Darmand the Sage, and his master had an offer for them.

Next: The Skin Mandala.

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