Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Achaean Age Campaign - Session 0: Set Sails!

Well we managed to get the Greek mythology campaign started over the weekend and it went pretty well. Once again Apprentice Red and Apprentice Blaster stepped up to take the plunge after agreeing to scrap the Impiltur campaign to do it and after almost choosing 1st edition TOEE they decided they wanted to play 4th this weekend, specifically the mythological campaign.

I set some pretty limiting guidelines (only Humans, Minotaurs, Automatons (warforged), and Wilden for races, no Primal classes) and let them make up two characters each. Not monitoring them closely I was a little surprised when Blaster came back with two fighters, one human and one minotaur. Red came in with an artifcier (human) and a wilden avenger, which are fine, but I told Blaster that next session he's not bringing two of the same class.

This also caused me to review the rules on companion characters in the DMG 2. These are the rules for player-controlled NPC's in this edition so they're basically 1E henchmen. The rules look pretty good so this is what I'm going to do next session: allow each player only 1 character, but allow them to also bring 1 companion along as well. I may also let them have some minions too.

The reason I do this is the source material. From the original Odyssey and Iliad to the Argonauts to Clash of the Titans, the heroes of Greek myth tend to be surrounded by nameless spear-carriers who die like Star Trek redshirts to illustrate the danger to the hero. Some games like AD&D, GURPS, and Savage Worlds have mechanics for this when creating a character and even 3rd Edition D&D had the leadership feat. The new edition does not really have mechanics for acquiring sidekicks but it does have mechanics for building simplified NPC-types so I'm going to use them. I think each hero is going to have 1 "sidekick" type companion and a renewable band of expendable minions -if they want them- to accompany them on their journeys. This should add to the flavor and make it feel that little bit more distinctive from standard D&D.

But that's for next time. This session we begin with 4 characters:

Spartakos, Human Guardian Fighter who is strong, tough, and was raised by Minotaurs on the island kingdom of Minos.

Jaak, Minotaur Battlerage Fighter who is even stronger and is very nasty in battle even though he was raised as a farmer.

Jordon, Human Artificer who is very smart and was blessed by Hephaestus - clearly he is destined for great things. He also uses some outlandish weapon he calls a "hand crossbow" that may be unique amongst all Achaea*

Kettenbar, the Wilden Avenger of Pan**, who is wise and skilled in the ways of the natural world.

We decided that Jaak's family had raised Spartakos from childhood and that Kettenbar had been on the island as well, training with minotaur tutors in the ways of the greataxe. They decided to head to the mainland for adventure and to see the rest of the world and encountered Jordon when they were looking into magical weapons before heading out into the countryside, and this is where Session 1 will pick up.

*Yeah I forgot to put "No crossbows" in my instructions to them and he really wanted it so I decided the gadget-builder class  would have one if anyone would. I let him keep it.

** He started off with Ares then I asked him if he really wanted his plant-like character to be tied to the war god. We talked a bit and he decided to go for Pan. I decided that was OK as Pan strikes me as the type of god that would have a lot of descendants, especially Wilden descendants, even among the Olympians. I mean when you eventually get tired of playing your pipes, you look around and see all these wood and water nymphs hanging around, well...

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