One shots: Introducing a new player & refreshing old ones.

First go read “Burning down the tavern” over on @rjschwalb’s blog to understand where I’m stealing this concept from. Go on….go. Okay now that we’re on the same page allow me to introduce the cast of my Monday night one shot coming up next week. I had originally planned to have a good friend of mine (@danjbailey) who’s never played D&D come over for a night of beers and some role playing boot camp but after realizing I’d only have  two players I put some calls out.

I only expected maybe 3 of the 6 people i contacted to respond with a possible yes but instead I got all of them. Turns out when people don’t get their D&D fix they pull out all the stops to get together for a game – either that or my exquisite DM’ing skills are just that alluring (just kidding, I’m terrible).

Anyway, I decided to ditch the tavern for the first time in a while and opt for something more predetermined on my behalf and chosen to go for the ‘band of traveling entertainers’ option. Hey, anything beats that awkward “uh yeah so we’re all in a tavern, we have drinks and become friends – can we kill stuff now?” I’m pretty excited about running this one shot because it’s going to be the first one shot I’ve done in a long while and because of the following:

  • Group dynamic should be much better than those starting arbitrarily in a tavern.
  • I made all the characters myself so class synergies are already built in and optimized.
  • Players don’t have to bring anything but dice and their imaginations.
  • This will be a great first time experience for some and really encourage role play.
  • I can’t wait to get @danjbailey playing D&D!

I’ve come up with a light background and personality trait or two for each character to help in adding flavor and since the players will all have the option to pick whichever character they want I think they are unique enough everyone should feel they have a specific role and there won’t be any squabbling over who get’s to play who. Since this is a first time for at least one of the players
I opted to stray from Dark Sun (although tempting) and I’m sticking to basic tropes, as cliche as some of these characters and situations are they are tried and true and I’m one of those suckers who never gets sick of high fantasy.

The personality traits will serve as a RP-inducing mechanic as I will instruct my players that whichever character they pick, they must attempt to roleplay them at least a little and that they can add whatever persona to the character they feel necessary. The starting traits are just a stepping stone to see what kind of crazy stuff I can get them to come up with. RP’ing will be rewarded via +1 & +2 tokens and maybe even a Plot Twist Card! The characters are taken from misc sources of inspiration I will note along with their description. So without further adieu I give you my 7 pregens for Monday night’s game, please tell me what you think.

  • Fharia, female human Bard. Face and organizer of the group, belly dancer and fortune teller. Silver tongued, secretive, and quiet. Key Skills – Diplomacy, Streetwise, Bluff. [Inspiration: Zoe Jakes]
  • Fizzik ‘Five Fingers’, male goblin Rogue. Tight rope walker, knife thrower, juggler, cheap tricks. Mischevious, smoking and/or drinking habit, likes shiny things. Key Skills – Acrobatics, Stealth, Thievery. [Inspiration: Splug + Stereotype]
  • Malleus, male dwarven Barbarian. Craftsman of stages, props, weapons. Serves as the group’s ‘bouncer’. Tinge o’ crazy and quick to judge, best friend is a robot. Key Skills – Intimidate, Athletics, Crafting. [Inspiration: Han Solo + Dwarven Slayer]
  • 138, “male” warforged Fighter. Strongman, does Malleus’s busywork carrying loads & building, performs feats of strength on stage. Serves as sidekick & best friend to Malleus. Key Skills – Athletics, Endurance. [Inspiration: A Misfits Song + 148 from pursuit of destiny]
  • Tellora, female elven Druid. Animal handler, stupid pet tricks, shapeshifter. Serves as the groups guide and voice of reason. Peacekeeper, dislikes big cities, Diva. Key Skills – Nature, Dungeoneering. [Inspiration: Jahiera]
  • Libby, female gnomish Wizard. Magic tricks & cantrips, illusions and card tricks. Serves as the brains & logistics of the group. Playful and childish, curious and prone to hanging around Fizik. Key Skills – Arcana, History. [Inspiration: Stereotype + Imoen]
  • Oswalt, male human Cleric. Soothsayer and performer of small miracles, terrible poet. Serves as the groups moral guide and secondary face. Looks dastardly yet extremely pious, cynical and witty for a holy man. Key Skills – Heal, Religion. [Inspiration: Patton Oswalt + George Carlin as Cardinal Glick. Also Father Gilbert]

Enough to provide diversity and fun for a big group like this? Any other suggestions? Let me know!

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