New Characters

Torchbearer – Cursed Lands
Year Two – Session 0

August 25, 2019

I went over expectations, I followed my check-in list. I like to do this following a TPK. The party thought the current state of difficulty is right.  They want fewer conflicts and smaller persuader and manipulator rolls, saving the conflicts for only for narratively crucial moments. I will take this into consideration. Additionally, I promised to have more foreshadowing moments as twists, lessening the difficulty and providing clues to challenges ahead. There wasn’t really a need for safety mechanisms as the level of trust in our group is one where we each know each other’s limits. That being said, I laid the groundwork for potential safety mechanisms if we as a group ever step over that line.

The party is made up of a Human Thief, a Human Magician and an Elf Ranger. I plan to spotlight each player’s abilities in the upcoming adventure. Places to sneak into, sentries to avoid, traps and hidden treasure for my thief to deal with. The wizard will fit in a little differently. He will likely share the spotlight with the elf, but hopefully, they figure out that wizards can make firework bombs and poisons in the Camp Phase since the Elf will likely have a wilderness bent to him. Dealing with weather, setting up camp, pathfinding and the like. Lastly I met with my friend who missed session 0. He made a Human cleric who grew up in the dwarven hall of Darkholme.

Backstories

Human thief’s backstory is slums boy raised by a struggling single mother grew up into a thief, who views money as the means to escape poverty and start a better life.

Human Mage’s backstory is he was once a boastful whaling wizard but was caught in a lie. So to prove himself to his friends, he seeks adventure and glory.

Elf Ranger’s backstory is that he went out ranging and the citadel of Alfheim sealed their gates to the woes of man and the spread of corruption. The Rangers of the Silver seal vowed to stop the spread of corruption, and its leader went to the First Tree and met his end. Locking themselves behind the silver gate of midst. The key to which is the First Ranger’s bow, the Bow of the Silver Seal.

I know very little of the backstory of the cleric.


The Characters


Roman

Stock: Human
Class: Thief
Age: 15
Home: Busy Metropolis (Alderport)
Raiment: An orange sash tied to your waist
Parents:  Rene (mother)
Mentor: Rene the Thief
Friend: Bicrid the [occupation]
Enemy: None
Level: 1
Alignment: Chaos
Belief: The function of the people is to rise against suffering
Goal: To make it to Crowthron.
Instinct: Always retreat to camp when in danger.
Raw Abilities: Will 4, Health 3, Nature 4, Circles 4, Resources 0
Nature Descriptors: Boasting, Demanding, Running
Skills: Criminal 4, Manipulator 4, Dungeoneer 3, Fighter 2, Haggler 3,  Scout 3
Wise: Heist-wise
Traits: Devil May Care 1, Jaded 1
Inventory
Head:
Neck: garlic wreath
Hands Carried: Large sack
Torso Worn: cloak
            Worn: backpack
            Worn: (backpack)
Belt Pouch: tinderbox
Weapon: Dagger
Skin: wine (full)
Feet: shoes
Backpack: hammer, thieves tools, Jug, (Jug), (Jug)
Nature
Answers Quietly prepare, listen to the wisdom of the elder ones, do not fear those who prey on civilization
Circles
Answers Has friends (Njall the Weaver), has parent (Rene, mother), has mentor (his mother is his mentor)


Korbuzier

Stock: Human
Class: Magician
Age: 35
Home: Busy Metropolis (Alderport)
Raiment: Sailor Hat
Parents:  N/A (orphaned)
Mentor: Heames the Whaling Wizard
Friend: Whriite the Sailor
Enemy: Ghriri the Hunter and former lover
Level: 1
Alignment: Chaos
Belief: Glory above Honour
Goal: Find my crew!
Instinct: Always assess the danger when presented with a  threat.
Raw Abilities: Will 5, Health 3, Nature 5, Circles 4, Resources 0
Nature Descriptors: Boasting, Demanding, Running
Skills: Arcanist 4, Criminal 3, Lore Master 3, Alchemist 2, Cartographer 2, Hunter 2, Persuader 2, Scholar 1, Sailor
Wise: Strange Happenings-wise
Traits: Wizard’s Sight 1, Extravagant 1
Inventory
Head: Standard Sailor Hat
Neck: garlic wreath
Hands Carried: Lantern
             Carried: Cloak
             Worn: Family Crest Ring (1D)
             Worn: Spell materials (Ring, Ageis)
Torso Worn: cloak
            Worn: backpack
            Worn: (backpack)
Belt Pouch: tinderbox
Weapon: Dagger
Skin: wine (full)
Feet: shoes
Backpack: Rations (Preserved), Rations (Preserved), Flask of Oil (2/2), Iron Spikes (6), Spellbook, (Spellbook)
Nature
Answers Boast of deeds, demand to be heard as an equal, do not fear those who prey on civilization
Circles
Answers Has friends (Njall the Weaver, orphaned (1D Family Ring), has mentor (Heames the Whaling Wizard), has enemy (Gheiri the Hunter and Scorned Lover)


Aelfwynn Altheas

Stock: Elf
Class: Ranger
Age: 144
Home: Elf Home (Aelfheim)
Raiment: Silver seal belt buckle
Parents:  Pel and Aelston Altheas
Mentor: Aedred Kenmund the Ranger (Healer)
Friend: Torsden Kenmund the Ranger
Enemy: None
Level: 1
Alignment: Choas
Belief:  The forest is in ruin and it’s everyone’s responsibility.
Goal: Find the bow in the ruins of Crowthorn.
Instinct: Always blaze a new trail.
Raw Abilities: Will 4, Health 4, Nature 4, Circles 4, Resources 0
Nature Descriptors: singing, hiding, remembering
Skills: Arcanist 3, Fighter 3, Loremaster 3, Healer 2, Loremaster 3, Manipulator 2, Pathfinder 2, Scholar 2, Scout 2, Survivalist 2
Wise: Silver Seal-wise
Traits: Fist Born, Calm
Inventory
Head:
Neck: garlic wreath
Hands Carried:
Torso Worn: cloak
            Worn: backpack
            Worn: (backpack)
Belt Pouch: tinderbox
Weapon: Dagger
Skin: wine (full)
Feet: shoes
Backpack: Spellbook, (Spellbook), Rope, (Rope), Rations (Preserved), Rations (Preserved)
Nature
Answers Listen to the ancient trees’ songs, Confront evil, Prepared to live a life of struggle and grief
Circles
Answers Has friends (Torsden Kenmund), has parents (Pel and Aelston Altheas), has mentor (Aedred Kenmund the Healer)


Lector

Stock: Human
Class: Cleric
Age: 14
Home: Dwarven Halls (Darkholme)
Raiment: A purple headband
Parents:  Jamie (Religious Bastion)
Mentor: Godfrey the Missionary of Darkholme
Friend: Barattheon a Labourer of Crossroads Keep
Enemy: None
Level: 1
Alignment:
Belief:
Goal:
Instinct:
Raw Abilities: Will 5, Health 3, Nature 4, Circles 4, Resources 0
Nature Descriptors: Boasting, Demanding, Running
Skills:  Ritualist 4, Survivalist 4, Thologian 3, Manipulator 2, Fighter 2, Healer 2, Scholar 2, Laborer 2
Wise: Trail-wise
Traits: Touched by the Gods 1, Foolhardy 1
Inventory
Head: Helmet
Neck: Holy symbol
Hands Carried: Cloak
Carried: Sling
Torso Worn: Leather
            Worn: backpack
            Worn: (backpack)
Belt Pouch: tinderbox
Weapon: Quiver [stones]
Skin: wine (full)
Feet: shoes
Backpack: Jug, (Jug), (Jug), Rations (Preserved), Rations (Preserved) Torches x4
Nature
Answers
Circles
Answers Has friends (Barattheon the Laborer), has parent (Jamie), has mentor (Godfrey)


 

Starting fresh (Safety and Expectations)

I will be starting a new chapter in the Cursed Lands campaign. This is a result of a tragic TPK. This was a result of a Twist that the players wanted to be more severe.

This is the perfect time to remind me of safety tools and introduce some safety tools for my game.

Some essential reading on safety tools and their uses is the prescribed start of this post. I recommend Leaving Mundania’s A Primer on Safety in Roleplaying Games and Big Bad Con’s Safety and Calibration tools.

Safety tools are here to make you feel safe, comfortable and enjoy the game. They are not an attempt to make the game one where everyone wins, and the heroes are not challenged and where challenging issues are never addressed. Just the opposite. They provide a safety mechanism to establish what is and isn’t included in the game.

Safety Tools

The primary default safety tool is Consent and Trust. For Consent and Trust to work, you have to have communication. There can’t be consent if there is no communication, constant check-ins have to occur. Trust is the feeling you have towards the other players to not do anything uncomfortable or harmful. If you haven’t yet established what behaviours you consider harmful or uncomfortable, then Trust should be there to make yourself feel safe when you voice your concerns. You have to trust that the other players enough to back-off, stop being a jerk on purpose, change their behaviour, etc., whatever the problem is and not challenge you for it. You don’t get awarded trust, it is earned through continual safe play. Don’t forget to apologize when you check-in with them afterwards.

The X-Card is a card laid on the table that when someone touches it, we as a group immediately rewind and back off, and try to continue to navigate or even skip entirely and issue that prompted the X-Card. It allows everyone to be an editor of the story.

Lines/Veils is perhaps my favourite safety tool. It establishes lines that you should cross and allows for things that might make use uncomfortable to RP to be still in the game by drawing a veil on it.

Cut/Brake is a variation on Lines and Veils. This allows you to stop action much like the X-Card and also lets you change course.

The Door is Open lets you take a break at any point for any reason. Once after your break, you will join in the game and resume play. This is a no judgement policy. If you are skipping the rest of the session, please let the facilitator know, GM, DM, MC, ref, etc…

Script Change functions like a combination. Letting you ‘rewind’ a scene to revise the action or content, ‘fast forward’ through parts, and ‘pausing’ lets you cool down before continuing.

I will be going over Lines/Veils, Script change, and what Consent and Trust look like. While informing them of the Open Door Policy.

My Check-in list.

Checking in with the expectations:

  • About the difficulty: Negotiating tougher challenges, what challenges they want out of the game, what I think the game provides and wants you to do, whether meta-gaming is encouraged etc…
  • Expectations I have for the Adventure and if they match what the players have: themed dungeons, environs, living world, challenges that can outright kill you if approached wrong, some problems are not supposed to be approached at all, classic troupes but with darker twists thrown in.
  • Expectations of Themes: society’s ruin, seemingly impossible odds, strange curses
    Leading into possible Lines/Veils talk and Safety Talk.
  • Safety and whose responsible for your emotional security.