In response to a little promise I am now blogging the results of the Lords of Gossamer and Shadow game from Sunday. I have been missing this game a lot and the tragic loss of Steve Russell compounded that for me so I decided to run it in store. I have copies of the game and some of the expansions on my RPG shelves so it was also good from a promotional stand point.
I started by advertising the event on the stores facebook page (unfortunately it has proven to be the best way to advertise – I despise facebook) and watched as the expressions of interest rose to around six or seven. That would run as a very big group but I was not overly worried as very rarely do the same number that express interest actually show up. In fact I was certain of it as I was making this a pay by seat arrangement. I did have some players come in and ask about it over the counter too and I was happy to think that we would get a solid four or five players. The only thing that really concerned me was that some of those that were expressing interest were of the “roll” player ilk and although it was clearly stated as dice-less this did not seem to deter them.
Preparation for the game was an odd thing. There was no real time to allow the players to create their own characters so I looked at the extended material for characters that would be handed out to the group. I could use the Lords of Gossamer and Shadow Heroes or Gossamer Options Characters as a source. As I was the author of the Gossamer Options and was intimately familiar with the “backstory” or unpublished information I decided to put together a group that would gel but have differences that may cause conflict too! After all, that is such a part of this system that I had to do it. The characters I chose were (for those that have the book) AG-4629, Emerald Flint, Peta Sorell, Star Leach and Xender Voil. Included in the intended tale I also expanded out and was going to use Fambol the Kind and Trey Delaforte as the antagonists.
Developing a plot for the one shot was also an interesting challenge. Not knowing if all of the above characters would become involved I decided to draw a broad outline of a situation and then, from that situation, build on what the players decided to do. I started off with a title of the Curious Incident of Veldon 632 and the following notes were made under that heading;
- PiCTYN (Polyfibre in Carbonite Trellised Yeridian Nanites)
- Door materializes on stair (high tech, very small)
- Investigation reveals that a similar door was found by Lady Vala’s vessel and Trey Delaforte has been sent to investigate it
- Delaforte has found a mechanically run world with robots the same design as AG-4629 and beyond
- PiCTYN has ability to create doors spontaneously – it is high in power of Umbra in a world overrun with Eidolon
- Factory world, perhaps a trap for AG-4629?
- Delaforte is seeking to take over this domain as proof of his devotion to Vala
- Fambol wants this world annexed and destroyed
On the day I set up my ranked lists in each of the stats, created character sheets and printed out cheat sheets for the players from the main book in regards to the powers that they could use. I was prepped, ready and completely unaware on the day of where the adventure will end up. But 12 PM came and no-one was in store. I thought that of all the interest that nothing was going to come of it, until one of the people arrived at 12:30 and told me that it did not start until 1. I had written on my events board 12 PM but on facebook it was one. The game was still a go!
In the end 4 people arrived and they chose all of the characters bar Star for the party (I was kind of disappointed – Star is one of my favorite creations). The game started and I was very nervous as these players were very die roll based in my experience. It was not the selection of players I had expected but I ran it for a couple of hours regardless. One of the players in fact is a big imposing guy who had once turned his ire on me when I asked him if he had heard of Pathfinder. I now know that he is actually a great guy but I did wonder how he would respond to the game.
In short the game twisted to become the trap against AG-4629 and the world was in fact a space created by the creatures of Shadow to try and destroy the robot. There was some great stuff in the game (a large computer that was in fact a tree to which gardener bots worked on to ensure it was 100% efficient) and some great adaptation of the characters to the setting. In the end the space was destroyed and the trap sprung in a memorable climax of one of the players draining the root (the tree) of its Eidolon and causing the pocket of Gossamer to collapse in on itself.
Was the game a success? Heck yes. All of them loved the game and did not feel out of place without dice. The one guy I was most worried about admitted to me that he thought he was going to hate it but in fact it had the opposite reaction on him. I sold two of the rule books and got asked to run more. I promised I would but also decided that they would get to design their own characters and have the bidding experience as well. All in all I was extremely happy with the game and won some people over to the cause.