Now that we’ve finished our first starter campaign with our writer’s group, we’ve moved onto the next. Last month, we did an “episode zero.” We have a different DM who, ironically enough, also hosts our writer’s group. We spent a couple of hours creating our characters together before moving onto an introductory session. This time around, I’m a halfling cleric who goes by the name Reese Riverspoon. The first name came to me the moment I created the character while the surname took me a bit. She resides in the wetlands, her city floating on a river. She’s a carpenter who builds boats, so… I felt the pun was appropriate.
This current campaign is a homebrew world courtesy of our DM, so we spent some time hearing bits and pieces of the world’s lore as well as how the races would react to one another. I decided to make a tiefling druid. I really enjoyed the ranger class and the connection it had with nature and animals, so I figured a druid would be different enough while also keeping some of those connections. My character is simply named Faith to go with the virtue names that the player’s handbook suggested for the race as well as the fact that she was found and raised by a gnome monk in one of the world’s temples. She’s on a journey to learn and understand more of the history of her temple when she gets caught up with the rest of the group.
Yes, my character, Reese, worships the God of Nature and Great River. She was asked by the goddess herself to watch over the waters, keep them clean, safe, and the like. I’m eager for this story because with the starter campaign we were learning the ropes of DnD and didn’t have much of a character-plot connection. This time around, each character has a purpose and background that will affect where we go, who we talk to, all the whole moving along our individual subplots and the major plot.
When we were finished creating our characters, our DM gave us a sort of pop quiz regarding any bonds our characters had with each other and our reason for being on a quest. He gave us each a question about our character’s pasts, asking what our purposes were for heading to the first city. Aside from that, we were also asked specific questions where we were to choose one of the other characters as the answer in order for us to already know one or two others in the group as opposed to all of us being strangers thrown together. Our answers ended up creating a chain of everyone knowing someone and we all ended up on Reese’s boat while heading toward the first city. It gave us some early role-playing ideas and purposes for our characters.
I found that to be quite enlightening. Especially since I don’t typically come up with backstories right away because I’d like to get a feel for my character. However, being asked specific questions allowed me base my character on some things that are already known. Thus, we began with our motley crew arriving at the first city and already running into some mystery and trouble.
It was great to already have a bit of a backstory drawn up for our characters to give them purposes and budding relationships. In this world, our characters arrived with some purposes like my Faith heading to the simposium to learn more about her temple’s history and Rachel’s Reese wishing to know more about the waterways and boats around the port city. Our characters wandered towards the theater district, got contracted to help clean out some vermin from an old theater so it can be renovated, then promptly got word that the person who contracted us to do so was planning on performing something dedicated to the dark god, who is basically called He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named like Voldemort.
Being a halfling, Reese was able to sneak into the library after it closed while the guards spoke to the rest of the party about not being allowed in. She got some more information on the man who hired them through a chatty and gossip-loving librarian. When she left the library, they all went back to the shady Inn they’re staying at. Except they were met with a surprise instead.
The inn itself wasn’t as shady as it was cheap. Like, we surprised the NPC that we chose to stay at that particular inn and he was so excited to have guests. It was a little strange, but we figured it wasn’t the strangest thing we’d see all day. On our way back to that inn after visiting the library, we were surprised with a mob rushing at us and… we left the session at that. Come next month, we’ll probably be rolling right into initiative! We’re definitely looking forward to seeing what comes next!