I have been thinking about how to best handle pre-gen characters and my conclusion is that there are two ways of making this work.
You either create maybe 30 characters, several of every profession (if you are a full blown RM2 GM then several of every kind semi’s, pures, arms users etc) and then give every player a choice from the full spectrum of characters or you hold a Q&A with each player in advance and then develop the character they described to you for them.
This is the first of two posts about pre generated characters or pre-gens. I have been thinking about them a lot recently and thought I would get some ideas down.
In a recent game it started out as being intended at a one off session and set at about 10th level. The GM then took four characters from Heroes and Rogues and modified them slightly to fit his idea for the party. He stripped out skills, changed weapons and armour skills and other modifications. He like me feels there are too many skills in RM2 but that is a different can of worms.
Every GM must have a favourite monster. I have played under GMs that loved Orcs and another that loved dragons. In the later’s case in any ‘benefit of the doubt’ call chances are the GM would side with the dragon. With dragons I think that is fine, they are meant to be the top of every food chain and you should take fighting one very seriously and relying on Luck is not a good plan.
There is a massive canon of work to support a GM using the Forgotten Realms setting. The minute play starts (even before the players enter the game) it becomes my world and what I say goes. I am god(s) and I have the ultimate authority.
What brought this thought to mind is that I finally started play in my PBP game last night and created about 150 civilians, several named individuals and several locations within ‘my Waterdeep’ that exist in no other.
One of the things I like about the Forgotten Realms setting is that unlike so many other settings the non-human races are not ghettoised.
Take middle earth for example, if you are looking for a dwarf then they are pretty much allowed to live in Erebor or the Iron hills. Need and elf? That will be Lorien or Rivendell. If Hobbits are your problem then head to the shire.
Pretty much the entire planet is human with just these little nature reserves or enclosures for the non humans. Greyhawk was not much better with elves being found in Celene, Highvale, the Lendore Isles, Sunndi, the Duchy of Ulek, the Valley of the Mage, the Vesve Forest.
Broadcryers are part of the fabric of life in Waterdeep. These are the newspaper hawkers that we know selling the single page ‘broadsheet’ short scrolls that are popular in Waterdeep.
Short scrolls are a single sided scroll maybe 20cm by 30cm (8″ by 12″) that pass for a newspaper. There are several available and each is printed within the city. The most popular are ‘The Vigilant Citizen’, ‘The Blue Unicorn’, ‘Daily Luck’ and ‘Northwind’.
I was thinking about your typical party campsite the other day. We assume both as players and as GMs that a lot is happening during those hours camping that we do not normally play through. The fighters are practicing, repairing bits of armour, food is prepared and pots washed and so on.
It is easy for a typical PC to be ‘learning’ 15 to 20 skills each level and all of these will require a certain amount of practice time. I used to work in adult education and we would allocate about 20hrs for a student to grasp a basic skill. It is also generally bandied about that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill.
The new public playtest editions of RMU are monsters. Creature Law weighs in at 898 pages (Spell Law is now 475 pages) and to do them any justice is going to require time to really read them. That said I thought I would share some first impressions and first up is Creature Law.
There are often discussions on which is the best or most powerful profession, bsst or most powerful spell or spell list and so on. I am going to share my thoughts on Spears.
A great many professions can only realistically expected to develop one weapon skill. This is especially true of the pure and hybrid spell casters whose points cost are normally along the lines of 9, 20, 20 , 20 and so on. If your concept of the spell caster was layed down in your formative years playing D&D then it is almost instictive to think dagger or staff for your weapon. The lord of the rings movies atleast give Gandalf a sword. I think spears should be the ‘go to’ weapon of choice.
Need I say more?
Spell Law is here, We also get our first look at Creature Law. Arms and Character Law are to follow.
Obviously I will be reading and digesting as fast as my eyes can scan the pages and I will feed back to you what I think!
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