A while ago, my Friday evenings were filled with the sounds of clattering dice and friendly conversation and gaming. However, a need to focus on my return to school forced me to put gaming on hiatus which meant my Friday gaming nights, a tradition for me for 10+ years, came to an unfortunate end. However, after school ended for the semester, I found myself wanting for gaming once more.
After several weeks, a discussion came up with some friends regarding the newest Battlelords book. This led to several of those same folks stating they’d love to try an RPG, having never really gamed before. The initial plan was to try one shot adventures with several different games and see what appeals to them. We started out on Battlelords (A poor choice IMO for newbies, but I was eager to try and run it again) which has worked alright so far. But this past week, several players were at different conventions, so the remainder of us, along with another newcomer, pulled out 4e to introduce those new folks to the world of Dungeons and Dragons (sans the magical roller coaster ride).
This session that night was mostly character generation while helping out the new folks to understand their character and rules. Currently, the group consists of:
Lyle Morick: A human wizard and apprentice to Nimzaran the Green, High Septarch of Fallcrest
Edrick Goldhammer: Dwarven Cleric of Pelor currently working at the House of the sun along with Grundelmar
Dorrin Berdal: Halfling Rogue currently working with the group as a means to pay back his debt to the village for a few “minor acts” of thievery.
To avoid the “You all meet in a tavern” cliche, I chose to focus on each of the characters in turn, playing out the scene that gets them involved in the adventure. Lyle’s player took one of the arcane backgrounds (Arcane Secret I beleive) stating he was taken from his home by a stranger who would only tell him it was for his own safety. To better incorporate him into the story, we agreed on the fact that he would have been left with Nimozaran the Green, High Septarch of Fallcrest. There he would be educated and trained in the mystical arts. The secret he supposedly knows though was left open, unknown to Lyle, but it must be important as Lyle was only allowed to leave the tower when accompanied by Nimozaran.
Desiring to see more of the world on his own, that night Lyle decided to try and sneak out, as he’s done time and time again. However, when he went to confirm where Nimozaran was (To avoid being caught), he discovered him in council with a mysterious hooded stranger. Moments upon his discovery of this, the stranger left and nimozaran called Lyle into his office, a look of grave concern on his face. He informed Lyle that they would be meeting with The Lord Warden of Fallcrest the next morning to discuss an important matter, after receiving a visit from a mysterious stranger, Lyle was both anxious and worried. He’s never seen his master so concerned. But at the same time, he would be leaving the tower once more; a thought that pleased him to no end. He retired to his room while Nimozaran took his leave to attend to other matters in town.
Edrick’s player was a relatively new one so we don’t really have much of a background to introduce him with. A devout follower of Pelor, Edrick has been assigned to The House of the Sun to work under the watchful eye of Grundelmar, head of the temple. That night, the temple had a mysterious visitor who met with Grundelmar. Curiosity getting the better of him, Edrick snuck to Grundelmar’s room where he overheard a portion of the conversation. Apparently the stranger was looking for someone and Grundelmar knew exactly who he wanted. Edrick quickly scurried back to his room in time for Grundlemar to burst in and inform him he was going to see the Lord Warden in the morning for a matter of great urgency. Not wanting to argue with the stubborn priest, Edrick agreed and spent the night pondering the reason behind this strange request.
Dorrin’s life was not always a fair one, though usually because of his own doing. Having fled from his home in the Southern Heartlands due to a misunderstanding surrounding an object of some worth to his village, Dorrin had wandered north, eventually finding himself in the town of Fallcrest. Realizing he was short of coin to survive, Dorrin did was he does best and attempted to appropriate a few things no one would miss. Unfortunately for him, his bad luck was not left behind and he eventually found himself enjoying all the luxuries Fallcrest’s jail had to offer.
Later that night however, as Dorrin pondered a means of escape, the guard along with a mysterious hooded stranger came to his cell. The stanger, introducing himself as Nimozaran the Green, wished to speak to the halfling with an offer. He wished to his the halfling for his skills and, in return, would make certain his jail time would be considered served in full. Always one to play thing cautiously, Dorrin asked to sleep on the offer. Not pushing the matter, Nimozaran only stated that someone would be by in the morning to escort the halfling to Moonstone Keep should he accept the offer. Though it didn’t take long for him to decide to accept the old man’s offer, finding it the best way to get out of the cell without having to flee from this town as well.
The next morning, the three of them made their way to Moonstone Keep, along with Nimozaran, whee they met with the Lord Warden Faren Markelhay. He explained that about a month ago, a group of adventurers aided Fallcrest in ridding them of a small tribe of kobolds plaguing the King’s Road heading to Winterhaven. They had supposedly wiped out the tribe as well as their master, a small white dragon. And, for a time, the road to Winterhaven was safe to travel. Recently, however, merchants have been having problems once more with bandits; kobolds again by the rumors. But what really has Lord Markelhay and Nimozaran concerned was a scrap of cloth found at the site of one of the attacks. It bore the symbol of the Bloodspear Tribe, a horde of orcs and other humanoids that swept the vale decades ago leaving death and destruction in their wake.
Lord Markelhay asks the three of them to investigate the Cloakwood and bring back proof showing if the Bloodspears have actually returned. He’s asking these three, picked by Nimozaran, as he feels this mission is too important to leave in the hands of unknown adventurers who may spread word of this through town. Something Lord Markelhay does not want to happen as he does not want to cause unnecessary panic.
The trio agreed, with Lyle seeming the most eager, and, after a short prep time, set off to The Cloakwood and the ruins known to many as Kobold Manor. The three of them arrived a short while later and after a bit of scouting around, found the immediate area to be safe. They found the doors leading underground and made their way in as quietly as possible. Unfortunately, their presence did not go undetected as the kobolds on watch in the first area spotted them and made their way over to dispatch the intruders.
Summary: Unfortunately, due to the majority of the store’s patrons being at GenCon, our typical place to play closed down @ 11 rather than stay open later for late night Magic Drafts so we only got a couple of rounds into the combat. however, the new players seemed to pick up on the rules fairly quickly and, when we esume in a week or two, things should be running a bit more smoothly.
Also, I commend Durrin’s player (One of the newbies) on her impromptu skills at RPing. She’s played very little in terms of RPGs and seemed to enjoy playing the greedy little rogue to the point of wondering what it would take to get the Lord Warden to sell Moonstone Keep. All in all, for the little time we had to actually play, things went relatively well with some good RP moments between players. Now I think some of them might want to convince the missing players to switch to D&D instead of continuing with Battlelords.