Friday, February 13, 2015

Prepping Time!

We spent our Wednesday Night IRC session finishing up our group prep for the "Vanilla" fantasy game using Volant rules. one player was unable to come, so we worked on the regions each of the players there had created - the missing player emailed his in later. The Cultural Oddities table really helped to make the regions distinct and non-bland. Then we turned to creating the characters' Association for the rest of the night. It turned out the players wanted to create a Condotierri Company, a high class mercenary outfit.

What eventually resulted was four companies of infantry, and four platoons of crossbowmen as the fighting forces, with each company having an Alchemist and a Herbalist, with a Master Alchemist and Master Herbalist at the battalion level. Now that is well over 500 soldiers, so it's a significant force. The Company has a castle, village, and farmlands, with an Armory and Master Armorer, and a library with loads of maps and a few alchemical-related books. Among the other sundries were 6 trainee warrior Squires, and lots of espionage assets like spy rings and double agents in far away lands in which we might be campaigning.

We also made some decisions on Elves and Dwarves - and I made some decisions on Orcs. Volant uses an age-based advancement mechanic based on a human model - after all, only humans have civilizations in Volant. But as we are going after a Tolkien-ish feel, we have immortal Elves and Dwarves that can get really old. We decided to model Elves like OHMAS models Immortals. In OHMAS, an Immortal progresses normally until they die. Then they come back, after which they can no longer gain new skill ranks, and do not age, though they can swap ranks in one skill already known to another - say they have Skill A at +2, and Skill B at +3. Over time, they can move those ranks around to be Skill A at +5, Skill B at +0 if they want. So, in this game, Elves and Dwarves stop learning new skills at age 34, never losing attribute points to age, but only able to swap skill ranks around among already known skills. This gives a *very* Tolkien-ish feel to Elves, where they get narrower over time. Elves, of course, do not die of old age, while Dwarves suddenly fall apart after 350-400 years, though both can die of injury.

Orcs are another matter entirely. In this game, Orcs are human religious fanatics who deliberately scar and uglify themselves up with cutting and abnormal healing. They have religious rites where they consume alchemical potions and mind-altering drugs. They are considered elite warriors in battle.

After the session, Klax and I created five new religions for the area - two major and three minor ones. That was a lot of fun - as Volant covers religion extensively. The two main religions are an 'invisible' religion, where religious rituals are actually cultural customs, and there is no religious infrastucture or hierarchy at all, and the orcs' religion, a fiery, demonic, passionate faith, with all power given to the embodiment of the god on earth, their supreme priest.

At this point, the payers are making their characters and we'll be ready to play when we all come together next week. :D

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