Last night the group of interested personages assembled at my store for the character generation session with my game. I have some hidden material coming in this game and I want them to care about the characters they play and the region they play in. It can be a hard job keeping players at bay when you want to do a group character generation. I had two players turn up around three hours early for example and hint at questions they wanted answers to. I told them they would all be answered when everyone was there.
There were eight people that showed up for the game that I said I would only take six. I decided to give it a run and so gave a short spiel about attention in the game and the etiquette at the table. After this I started in to the starting setting before we even considered their characters. I wanted them to have a feel for the area and so I described Privet.
Privet is a walled town four and a half kilometers above sea level (about 14800 ft) that sits on the border of two countries (Khet to the South and Yurl to the North). The town is independent to either country but is in a strategic location (only safe mountain pass in the range capable of taking large numbers across). It has been attacked many times by both countries but is easily defended from invading armies and remains independent. Shepherds run flocks of goat and a particular type of fungi exists in nearby caverns making food abundant and nutritious.
A hardy folk and militant. They prefer the martial skills and many folk of the region serve some time in the military. They are overly suspicious of magicians and strongly superstitious. Very insular the town has very few of the broader races of the world, finding ways to ostracize and exile those that do not meet their expectations. Overall though the people are a strong society (about 3700 pop.) and want to see those around them prosper where they can help it.
Privet has one secret that they keep from all around them. One night per year in winter a tree on the peaks above them that appears dead for the remainder of the year blooms with bone white and blood red flowers. It is a trigger for those that live their to lock their door and stay off the streets for the evening. In the morning their is always a number of bodies hung by the neck in the tree (around 10-15 usually) and any that entered the streets lay their slain by a mysterious creature. None that have seen the creature have ever lived to tell about it or had the sanity remaining in them to tell the tale. It is said that it happened only once a decade some 50 or 60 years ago until a Master of Arms survived the night – then the blooming started happening every year.
I supplied a few more details about the town (these will be available to interested parties through a Patreon soon I hope) and answered the many questions I was asked. They were questions that highlighted interest and thought which I found very encouraging. For this campaign I have decided to prune the books available and so I went through the races available to the players (all of the core books races and a handful from the Advanced Race Guide). I also detailed the classes available which are those in the Core rule book, the Advanced Player’s Guide and the Luckbringer and Taskshaper from Rite Publishing’s Secrets of Adventuring.
I limited things because Pathfinder tries to be everything to everybody. I have a very particular vision of this game and I need to control some of the areas where I feel Paizo has dropped the ball at times. Some of these restrictions will not even be in place for the entire event. There will be a point where things change dramatically and at that time some of these restrictions will lift.
To further flesh out the characters I paused the character generation pretty much where they were building their character’s equipment lists and focused on background. I want the characters to have a history and a place in Privet. I utilized a good deal of the background section in Ultimate Campaign here. Not every background was randomized – those that did got a variety of traits and feats to consider because of it. There was an awesome mixed bag of backgrounds too. From a mass murderer to a noble that lead a pretty straight forward life. Each was given an influential friend and they were all given the task of completing a fleshed out back story. The players have a good starting point and I look forward to see how they bring life to Privet.
Things are on track. There is a good feeling around this table and the setting got the players imagining. The players were treated to a lot more detail than listed here. If you are keen on getting the full picture a Patreon should be up in a week or so. I hoped to get a short scene done but the race and class selection took up more time than expected. The background stuff was probably the highlight of the night though. Seeing people take on this material and begin to flesh their characters out in their head is so cool!