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Sturn

NOOB CAMPAIGN BEGINS! Noob GM and Noob Players Give 3e a Try

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First post after finally starting a campaign with lots of preparation and questions answered by the folks here. This first post describes the campaign. My next post will describe the first session and so on.

GROUP OVERVIEW

GM: Veteran GM, but complete noob to Warhammer and 3e.
Players: Only 2 family members, nephew and wife. Both have dabbled in RPGs, but are not veterans at all.
Campaign Style: Want to include the grim aspects of Warhammer leaving out the sometimes comical influences. Realistic, grim, fantasy. I've always run very pre-planned but very sandbox campaign. As in I do lots of planning before an adventure, but have fun watching as it derails and tells its own story.

CAMPAIGN

The campaign will evolve around two characters unraveling the plans of a secretive Cult of Nurgle while avenging their lost loved ones and revealing secrets of their own past. This will occur primarily between the urban setting of Altdorf and a very rural setting of the nearby Hagercrybs hills.
The players each created excellent backgrounds using the step-by-step process in 3e character creation. I was able to meld what they came up with into a reason for them meeting. Eventually they will discover they have a common, sinister enemy which directly caused the dark events described in their backgrounds.

..........

My next post will include an introduction to one of the player characters and description of a first, solo introductory session.

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Sounds great, I admire "loving attention to detail" which it sounds like this is getting.  I first feared that a no-resurrection game would mean no longer term character story but the "cripple and torment more than kill" effects of rules has dispelled that - and a family based game means you don't have to worry about losing a player who gets a job in a different city!

Please keep posting.

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Our first session was an introductory one between only me, the GM, and one player. It was meant to teach both of us how to play and get Raimund, one of two PC’s, to a location where he will meet the other player character.

INTRO TO RAIMUND, Apprentice of the Jade Order

This background was mostly created by Raimund’s player using the 10-step process in 3e character creation. 

Raimund only has fragmentary memories of his youth that come back to him in nightmares and dreams – a night of flames, a man screaming, and a kindly talking wolf. Raimund grew up in an orphanage of Altdorf until he was discovered by Master Wizard Wido of the Jade Order. Raimund left to join the Jade College with Wido as his mentor. Remnants of his past included a “sister”, and “brother”, from the orphanage and a strange coin that he somehow knew was his father’s.

At the college, Raimund’s un-disciplined orphan life earned him the animosity of Wizard Lord Otto and another student of noble birth. Even so, Raimund was recently able to obtain the rank of Apprentice.

Master Wizard Wido recently sent Raimund on his, “Walk”, a task as part of completion of rising to his Apprenticeship. Wido told Raimund to seek a possible source of Ghyran near a confluence of three small rivers near the west side of the Hagercrybs. A very rural and unpopulated region known for ancient crypts and bandits, it was still surprising that if such a source existed it would have not been discovered so close to Altdorf. Even more mysteriously, Wido told Raimund to return with his findings and report to him while keeping the matter secret, “Especially from Wizard Lord Otto”……

RAIMUND’S WALK (first introductory session)

The first play session included only Raimund’s player and myself the GM. It was a teaching session and a means to get Raimund to the location where he would meet the other player character, Jana. My notes are in italics.

The session began with Raimund arriving by coach from Altdorf to the Phoenix Inn. The Phoenix Inn is along the road from Altdorf to Bogenhafen along the Blut River. Nearby are the ruins of the town of Blutroch that succumbed to the Red Pox and was subsequently burnt to the ground over a decade before.

Raimund did not speak much with the occupants of the Phoenix Inn, but did stay the night. A curious, “hook-nosed” man at the inn asked Raimund where he was headed. Raimund wisely reported he was headed south. The next morning, Raimund did in fact head south checking to see if he was being followed. He then turned into the woodland on his way down the Blut River. The hook-nosed man is a spy for a future antagonist.

During his second day of walking upon the river trail, Raimund came upon a woman screaming over an injured man as a very large wolf fled them with a bundle hanging from its mouth. Raimund immediately gave chase. This allowed me to experiment with a tracker. I actually didn't like the results, but found a better method of chase tracking proposed recently on this forum and used it in our second session. Raimund caught up to the wolf just as it stopped to begin gobbling on the bundle it stole. Raimund made excellent use of various spells – Magic Darts, thorns, and roots. Raimund was able to defeat the wolf and discover the bundle was the infant of the couple he encountered along the trail. This was a Giant Wolf and I figured it would be way too tough for a single, new character. I purposely didn't use ACE for the wolf which made me think that ACE (use or disuse of) could be a nice GM tool for adjusting the strength of an encounter on the fly.

My player used lots of Quick Casting. He had an expertise die and fortune die in Jade casting. He was able to use a free maneuver to back off from the wolf then quick cast in the same around. Should this be allowed? Raimund didn’t need to use another Maneuver to keep power up because he kept using it.

Returning with the infant to its mother and wounded father, Raimund used his healing arts. The simple folk helped Raimund and guided him back to their village where recently a travesty had occurred.

I ran into an issue that others have had of my player repeatedly casting healing spells since time was not an issue. On the fly I came up with adding a misfortune die after each repeated failure. I later thought another idea might be to add Fatigue or Stress (depending on ability used) after each repeated failure of some actions?

Raimund came upon the so-called village which was at the confluence of three small rivers that Raimund was seeking. Magical sight revealed the area to be very strong in Ghyran, so Master Wizard Wido’s deductions were correct. The village was a collection of house boats resting upon the river. Smoke was still in the air and the surviving riverfolk were burying their dead and making repairs after an unprovoked attack of bandits from the nearby Hagercrybs. Being recognized as a Jade Apprentice, Raimund was accepted and helped the riverfolk. Raimund used a magical cantrip to cause an apple tree sapling to sprout from the earth nearby the fresh graves of the riverfolk. A nice RP moment thought up by the young player to my surprise and enjoyment.

Soon afterwards, Raimund noticed a person searching amongst one of the damaged houseboats that didn’t seem to fit in with the others. A woman dressed in the uniform of an Imperial soldier. Raimund approached and asked the young woman, “What is an Imperial soldier doing in this place?”

The session ended as complete since Raimund had just met the other player character.

………………

My next posts will include an introduction to the other player character and her first introductory session. Also, I will be adding a post of the various play-aids I used (with pictures!) and how well they worked or didn't work.

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Sturn said:

 

(1) My player used lots of Quick Casting. He had an expertise die and fortune die in Jade casting. He was able to use a free maneuver to back off from the wolf then quick cast in the same around. Should this be allowed? Raimund didn’t need to use another Maneuver to keep power up because he kept using it.

(2) I ran into an issue that others have had of my player repeatedly casting healing spells since time was not an issue. On the fly I came up with adding a misfortune die after each repeated failure. I later thought another idea might be to add Fatigue or Stress (depending on ability used) after each repeated failure of some actions?

 

 

Great stuff.

(1) Re "free maneuver disengage and then case without engagement penalty", yup that leaves one at Close range and is valid.  A common archer and mage trick. 

Now to limit abuse of that - narratively if you lose initiative, the attacker may well get your back against a wall or otherwise in corner and a GM can rule that extricating self requires a successful action like one of the actual actions that pushes back a foe or a Stunt; and of course narratively having a bunch of attackers can also make that difficult.  I would have no difficulty saying "you are attacked by 3 henchmen, we're using one figure for the group of them but they surround you", for example.

The classic scene is you have to keep backing up close and closer to ledge, burning building, whirling blades to do this.

Quickcasting adds a Challenge die and routintely adding Challenge die will come out in Miscasts and other fun stuff.  My 50 sessions wizard avoids Quickcasting as much as he can having seen the fun it can cause....

(2)  Ah the Spam Heal issue.  Using the rule books (player hardback page 89, I think FAQ's too) clarification:  you can't spam heal at all.  A single category of aid (a given spell, healing draughts, First Aid, Splints and Bandages) can only give assistance ONCE per day.  As GM, you can rule it can be used again if there is another Act and new damage incurred (page 88 "rule of thumb" suggestion).  The actual text of rule is "in your game, players should be mindful of the following general guideline for healing: each character may benefit from each specific source of healing once per day. Healing has its limits."  This also rewards/gives reason for having multiple skills and talents, items etc.

 

 

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valvorik said:

(2)  Ah the Spam Heal issue.  Using the rule books (player hardback page 89, I think FAQ's too) clarification:  you can't spam heal at all.  A single category of aid (a given spell, healing draughts, First Aid, Splints and Bandages) can only give assistance ONCE per day.   <my snip> 

 

Thanks for the clarification and I will try to remember this next time. My specific issue was with the spell-caster repeatedly rolling failures until a single heal was cast. This wouldn't contradict the limit above. With ample time, the spell would eventually be cast. D&D used "Take 20" for this. I think I like my second idea of the repeated failed attempts giving either Fatigue or Stress to the roller depending on the action. A thief repeatedly picking a lock would thus give up eventually as the GM starts handing him Fatigue or Stress tokens. Or would this be covered by the possible Banes and Chaos Stars being rolled on each failed attempt?

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As a noob GM (to 3e) I gathered a large amount of playaids before starting my first session. I also made a few creations of my own. I used playaids designed by others, my own creations, and the purchased GM screen in my first session. My thoughts and pictures/links to my stuff below:

 


Others' Playaids: I primarily used that handout that is not to be spoken of. Next to it were my GM and Player guides. I rarely had to open the books so play was kept speedy.

Purchased GM Screen: Only used it once in the first session. It is nice however as a large, sturdy, mood-setting screen for my stuff.

My Encounter Sheet: Self-made to organize my creature cards and take notes during a combat encounter. Worked nicely, but may need some adjustments. Link here.

My Player "Mat": Since we were all new, I designed an 8x10 single sheet that I printed on card stock. A second sheet printed on paper was placed underneath and had the information that would not be needed during actual play (advances, etc). The top sheet included the information from the canon character sheets (not used) that was needed during play, some tables for use duing play (such as a list of Maneuvers), and titles along the edges stating where to place action cards, fortune tokens, fatigue/stress tokens, effects cards, career cards, and equipment cards (see below). Link to the PDF's here: front and back. Picture of it being used below:

play_sheet.jpg
 

I used varying colors of glass beads for tracking of fortune, fatigue/stress, action delays, and even power.

I made over-sized Location cards using Strange Eons. Poor quailty picture below:

play_loc.jpg
 

Finally, I made equipment cards using Strange Eons. These were double-sided and covered arms, armor, and anything that was expendable and needed tracked (torches, food, arrows, potions, etc). These are my favorite creation and it allowed me to add weapons more specialized without adding to rule clutter - Warhammer, Hunting Bow, Long Bow, Elven Arrows, Small Sword, Long Sword, Poor-Quality Long Sword, Flintlock Pistol, Matchlock Pistol, and so on. Each has a picture on the front and stats on the back for gameplay. I often used double-successes to give the weapons differentiation (ex: Club has -1 damage compared to the basic Hand Weapon, but double-success option of making the target Staggered). You can see a stack of them in the player mat picture above towards the bottom right.

 

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INTRO TO JANA LEIPRECHT, Soldier of the Empire

Jana was born in the small town of Blutroch. When Jana was only a child, the town was swept with the Red Pox. Imperial soldiers from Altdorf came to quarantine the town and eventually they were forced to burn it to the ground. Jana’s parents fell to the Pox. Jana fled the town with her grandfather and a small flotilla of other fishermen, down the Blut River to the edge of the Hagercrybs.

At a confluence of three small rivers, the refugees lashed their fishing boats together and united to survive in what was thought to be a temporary measure. However, as life settled in, additions were made and the boats turned into a floating village.

Jana’s best memories were growing up in the floating village with her grandfather and an older sister. However, hunting and fishing for the village was not enough for her adventurous spirit. From time to time she visited Phoenix Inn which was built nearby the ruins of Blutroch, two days walk up the Blut River. Meeting passing Imperial soldiers, Jana ran off as a new recruit to the Helmgart fortress.

Years passed and Jana became fond of her captain at Helmgart as she was turned into an accomplished soldier. From time to time she would get leave to return to her grandfather and sister.

Recently, Jana received message delivered by coach that her grandfather had been killed and her sister missing after an unprovoked attack upon her floating village. Captain Hans Correlus gave her leave and she set off by coach to Phoenix Inn….

 

JANA’S HOME-COMING (Second Introductory Session)

The second play session also was an introductory one for my second player. It involved a short adventure getting her to the starting location where she would meet the first player character Raimund.

Jana arrived at the Phoenix Inn and thought about setting off for home even as the sun set. Second guessing herself, she chose to stay a night at the inn before setting off early in the morning. The innkeeper recognized her features of a child from Blutroch. The innkeeper spoke of knowing Jana’s father before the Red Pox claimed him with most of the others of Blutroch.

Two fellows at a table included the, “hook-nosed”, man who inquired what an Imperial soldier was doing stopping at the inn. Jana said she was visiting her home village. When asked where that might be, Jana was cold to the fellow and told him no more.

Jana set off down a river trail towards her old fisherfolk floating village with memories of her youth guiding her way. She failed to notice she was being trailed. Failed Observation roll with myself rolling the challenge dice and telling her nothing. This of course got the player wondering, I probably should have rolled the entire roll myself? Half-way to her old village, it grew dark and Jana decided to camp for the night. With a strange premonition, Jana looked for a large tree and climbed it. She didn’t start a fire and spent a restless night upon a large limb. I made her roll to climb the tree (simple), then I rolled a single misfortune die myself to see if she would fall from the tree when nodding off over night. She didn’t. I then gave her 2 Fatigue and 1 Stress for the poor night’s sleep. I might have overdone it?

Setting off in the morning with aches and pains, Jana had no idea that someone had passed by her by on the trail overnight. Coming around a bend in the trail, she stumbled upon the Hook-Nosed Man and his wood-axe wielding friend. Failed Observation roll to notice them ahead, I put them at Close Range on my home-made Strange Eons over-sized location cards. Jana recovered and acted quickly. Highest initiative roll. Pulling a small hunting bow from her shoulder, she quickly loosed an arrow catching the Hook-Nosed Man in the gut. The Wood-Axe Fellow caught Jana with a scrape. Jana then chose to flee instead of fighting the too. I was caught by surprise and started to ask her to reconsider then shut my mouth. She fled using the tracking rules recently posted by Jericho. This introduced the tracker to Jana and gave me some more practice. Fleeing down the trail, Jana rounded a bend and saw a large bush off the trail. Jana dove into the bush jamming the fingers of her left-hand into the ground in the process. Stifling a cry of pain, she watched her two pursuers run by her. I’m getting better at die interpretations in my second session I think. Jana rolled a Boon on our Athletics roll during the chase. I chose to say the trail turned and a large bush was nearby. Jana took the bait and dove into the bush. I made her roll a Stealth check to keep from being seen by the passing foes. She succeeded, but rolled a Chaos Star. The foes passed her by, but I chose to have her flip over one of her Wound cards into a Critical Wound (too much?). I actually looked three her 3 Wound cards and chose the one that said, “Smashed Fingers”, and explained she had jammed the fingers on her left hand while diving to the ground behind the bush.

After waiting for a bit, Jana snuck off away from the trail into the woods. She then turned back towards her old village. Having grown up in the area, Jana made her way to her old home after almost losing her way. I had her roll Nature Lore to keep from getting lost. Perhaps Observation would have been appropriate. I gave her 3 Fortune dice due to her growing up in the area. All of her successes came up on the Fortune dice. I explained she almost lost her way, then began recognizing some terrain features from her youth.

Jana arrived at her old home with heartache. Her old floating village was partially burnt. Survivors were scavenging and rebuilding. Several slain during the bandit attack were buried on the banks including her grandfather. No one could tell her the fate of her sister. Either she had run off, been carried away, or perhaps been swept away down the river? Staying the night then rummaging through her partially burnt old house-boat, she discovered a family heirloom – a painting of her family back before the Red Pox struck Blutroch. A prized possession requested during character creation.

Later in the day, Jana noticed the arrival of what she recognized to be a young wizard of the Jade Order. Described him then had her roll a simple Intelligence test. She noticed from afar as he helped her old village and even caused a small apple tree sapling to sprout from the ground nearby the makeshift graveyard where her grandfather was buried. The elementalist noticed her and approached, asking, “What is an Imperial soldier doing in this place?”

The session ended as complete since this was Raimund, the other player character.

…………….

The next adventure will center upon Raimund helping Jana look for her lost sister – in all probability a venture further up-river into bandit territory. I’m going to purposely only have an outline of the adventure and some creature cards nearby when I do this session to see how easy it is to play 3e without large amounts of adventure prep.
 

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 I am loving this Sturn.  

Nice backgrounds to the two characters and it's rally useful to a fellow newbie like me to see the 'out of character' narratives alongside key dice rolls, etc. Like you I'm starting to get used to interpreting the outcomes of rolls, what I'm less good at is thinking 'outside the box' when it comes to creating opportunities for my characters to make them.

Th play aids you put together are very effective too.  I'm going to use some of them in my next (solo) session.  I wonder if you'd be willing to share some of the equipment cards you used too?

I'm intrigued to find out what happens next, and also how well that combination of a Soldier and Apprentice will fare.  Great posts happy.gif

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Vanaheim said:

The play aids you put together are very effective too.  I'm going to use some of them in my next (solo) session.  I wonder if you'd be willing to share some of the equipment cards you used too?

Here are links to my Item Cards in PDFs. Hopefully my conversion to PDF didn't distort or resize them (may want to print a test page first) and hopefully I don't get in trouble for posting here?

Armor - Includes clothing. 2mb.

Weapons - 5mb.

Consumeables - Torches, food, arrows, etc. 1.5mb.

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Very very nice indeed.

Though I'm a bit puzzled at the elven arrows, fortune die on Long/Extreme.  There's no range penalty at long range so that means they are actually "a better shot" at Long range than Medium or Short?

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I really like the Item Cards, especially the Food and Healing draught stuff. But I think you have missed a pouche for Blackpowder and Bullets for the handguns and pistols. :)

 

Im saying it because you could maybe build one and format it nicely. :) Seriously, I will print, and use them. I'm not a fan of the xtra Range Weapon rules, or extra Reload time for blackpowderweapons, but I will definately use the consumables, or build myself some in german.

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valvorik said:

 

Very very nice indeed.

Though I'm a bit puzzled at the elven arrows, fortune die on Long/Extreme.  There's no range penalty at long range so that means they are actually "a better shot" at Long range than Medium or Short?

 

 

I put my house rules on the cards for varying range difficulties, so yes this would need to be +1 Fortune for all ranges while not using my rules. Take at look at the Longbow card for an example of my house rules on range:

Longbow Ranges
Engaged: Can't
Close: Normal
Medium: +1 Misfortune
Long: +2 Misfortune
Extreme: +1 Challenge

I just really had a problem with someone shooting a bow/musket at someone at 100 yards vs. 10 yards having the same difficulty. Since I was using the cards, adding the ranges to any ranged weapon cards gave my players a simple reference so didn't add any complextiy while adding some more realism.

Sorry that some of my house rules may make it difficult for others to use these. If someone really wants to use them without my changes you may need to download Strange Eons and I can send you my files to start with as a base and adjust to your liking?

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Glorian Underhill said:

I really like the Item Cards, especially the Food and Healing draught stuff. But I think you have missed a pouche for Blackpowder and Bullets for the handguns and pistols. :)

 

I could have sworn I had such a card made, thanks for pointing this out. You have saved me some embarassment during a future play session of shuffling through my deck to realize I forgot to include it. :)

When I get one finished I will update my PDF and return here to update it.

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Aww, 

 

I was making the same sort of cards for weapons over in the House Rules board.

Now I'm torn if I shouldn't simply use these instead... your images look a lot nicer :)

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Nisses said:

 

Now I'm torn if I shouldn't simply use these instead... your images look a lot nicer :)

 

 

Not my creations. I used Google and looked for photographs and now I hope I don't upset anyone for posting my PDFs here. I made the cards for personal use and tried to stay away from "created" graphics. For example, most of the photographs for arms/armor are from medieval arms websites and such.  Most of the work on my part was placing the items upon white backgrounds for the cards. There are a few that may be considered my creations only in that I found photographs of various items and combined them to make the first aid kit, rations cards, etc.

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Sturn said:

Glorian Underhill said:

 

I really like the Item Cards, especially the Food and Healing draught stuff. But I think you have missed a pouche for Blackpowder and Bullets for the handguns and pistols. :)

 

 

I could have sworn I had such a card made.......When I get one finished I will update my PDF and return here to update it.

I added a page to the Consumeables PDF (link in previous post) with poor, average, and superior Ball & Powder. The usual misfortune and fortune die for poor/average Ball & Powder didn't make much sense to me so I did something different - Poor powder doesn't ignite on a <CS>. Superior Ball & Powder are the paper cartidges introduced the in 1500's historically. They reduce the time to reload. For now, for game purposes, I left it at -1 Maneuver, but you could easily justify something more drastic such as 1/2 maneuvers.

I seem to have derailed my own thread. I hope to have another session later this month so shouldn't be long to report back on my noob campaign.

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