The first session of our Iron Gods game consisted of five hours of character creation, after which everyone hung out for another five hours (!) talking about characters, while we had dinner and put the kids to bed.
Only one person rolled her character completely randomly, but everyone got use out of the easy-to-follow lists with links. The only problems we had were introduced by the “Singular Curiosity” list. One player rolled “you are a changeling,” and couldn’t figure out how to make that work with her back-story.
We started out talking about the group template, which I’m a big fan of. The group didn’t end up with a firm template (like a military unit or extended family), but starting the conversation with the template (before looking at any other aspect of character creation) encouraged people to think about how their characters are connected. There’s a web of connections between the characters, and it looks like they’ll have real reasons to stay together when the chips are down. Most importantly, everyone has a connection to Khonnir Baine, in some way, whatever background they rolled or chose.
Four characters, and using the character sheet as a teaching tool
Last time, I wrote about the options for randomly rolling characters, and the motivation for it. The last two “random rolling” options for character creation were classes and “singular curiosities.” I put some strict limits on the classes, for both power reasons and flavor reasons. I don’t want to have badly-written Moon Circle Druids making the rest of the party feel useless, and I also don’t think that Warlocks or Monks fit the setting (for the most part). I added a few classes: the Mesmerist, the Kineticist, the Shaman Warlock pact, the Gunslinger, the Swashbuckler Monk, and the Artificer Cleric. I’ll talk about some of those, later. Any links that go to classes that I’m working on (Mesmerist, Kineticist, some of the archetypes), will be their own posts, at some point.
The classes all linked to on-line resources, either a blog that proposed them (if they were a new class), or an Obsidian Portal site that detailed their features (for the PHB classes). All of my players have a PHB, but I figured that it would make life easier to have links to the information, as well.
Next time: how the “random rolling” worked out during the first session, and what we decided on.
My group is entirely new to 5th Edition, and some of them are new to the world we will be playing in. For some, analysis paralysis is a real problem: they hate buying equipment or choosing feats because it’s overwhelming and feels like homework. That’s one of the selling points of 5th Edition: the choices are fewer and they all feel significant. To help reduce the overwhelm, I’ve given the group the option of creating their character entirely randomly (in fact, I’m encouraging it, though I’m stopping just short of requiring it). On one hand, using the charts will make their lives much easier. On the other hand, it means that I had to create 5th Edition versions of every race and class that I wanted to have available, before the game started. I’ll be posting those here, but the random tables seemed like a great place to start.
Some of the names of the races were changed from their Pathfinder versions, because I wanted to make some other changes to them (and for other reasons that I may write about later involving Paizo, Wizards, and wanting to respect intellectual property). In the actual document, I provided links to descriptions of all of the races and classes, from sites around the internet and from my own write-ups (posted privately on Obsidian Portal).
AnyDice was an invaluable tool for creating exactly the right distribution of the dice so that my players would be more likely to roll up the most common races and classes, but would also have a chance of winding up with something weird and interesting.
Today, I’ll write up the lists for race, background and campaign bond, leaving class and singular curiosity for next week.