The Threvartanarium

Let's Play!
The game is afoot!

Once your character is created, I'll run a game for you and (probably) one other player. This will help both of you get used to the game, and situated in the world. We'll have time to explore basic concepts, and try out the various phases of the game.

Most tabletop RPG's are meant to simulate an 'action-adventure' genre, and this campaign is no exception. Nearly every game session will involve aspects of mystery and danger; because of this, a session will generally cycle through three types of activity: Role-Playing, Exploration, and Combat. These are simplifications, and you'll encounter many types of situations, but generally, you can think of these three as the main ways you will be presented with challenges to overcome.

Furthermore, the game will usually follow a certain form or flow of interaction between the GM and the PC's, which I'll term 'phases'. It's helpful to think of these as parts of scenes in a play, or parts of chapters in a book, as they often follow many of the same conventions.

In the first phase, the GM will describe the situation. I'll give sensory details, and try to convey the mood of what's happening. (It's Exposition, basically).

After this, the PC's can ask questions, to further try to imagine what's happening.

Finally, the PC's act upon the situation.

  • In a Role-Playing situation, there may simply be dialog, and the situation is resolved by the interaction between the PC's and whoever they meet.
  • In an Exploration phase, PC's may use Skills or their own curiosity or cleverness to gather information or overcome obstacles and challenges.
  • Finally, in a Combat phase, the dice come out, and things will often (though not always) be trying to defeat you (if not outright kill you). Swing hard and swing often!

For your first game (and pretty much every game thereafter), you'll need:

  1.  Your imagination
  2. Your Character Sheet (which I'll help you get sorted)
  3.  A set of polyhedral, i.e. RPG dice (actually we've got tons of them but you'll officially be a nerd once you've gotten your own).
If you've read the first post, here's what to do next.

Here are some basic things I need from each Player (in no particular order).

  1. Register for a Gmail account if you don't have one already. You can have multiple Gmail accounts, and they're helpful for using various Google features like calendars and whatnot. You can sign up HERE. Send me your Gmail account somehow – FB message, email, etc.
  2. Create a backstory. There are two ways you can go about this; either by completing the Life Path Questionnaire, or not. If you have an idea for a backstory, that trumps the questionnaire every time; your creativity is always better than a menu item. If you use the questionnaire, I'll receive the answers. If you choose to write your own backstory, just send me the text of it and I'll review it (and probably want to work with you to tighten things up so they fit the setting of the campaign). Let me know when you've completed this, and…
  3. I'll add your Character to the Characters page! If you're writing your own backstory, I'll need:

    • Your Character's Name
    • A Quick Description – please add the [adjective][noun] who [verbs] description
    • Any details of the backstory you'd like included.
  4. From there on, it's creating a character using the rules (including the House Rules, which you can find here), or working with me to define your concept, and I'll handle the numbers. Pathfinder is (admittedly) an extremely complex system , especially for newcomers, but the rules should be secondary to the imaginative experience for everyone.
  5.  Draw your character, or something that they value or represents them. I know this sounds weird, especially for folks who are self-conscious about their art skills, but it's incredibly useful. You'll probably discover things about your character that you never knew, because you're using a visual language to describe them.

Welcome to our new Campaign! This first post will include a number of links and materials designed to get you ready to play. If you've never played a tabletop RPG before, there are any number of introductions, but here is a  short description, courtesy of Wikipedia:

"A tabletop role-playing game (or pen-and-paper role-playing game) is a form of role-playing game (RPG) in which the participants describe their characters' actions through speech. Participants determine the actions of their characters based on their characterization, and the actions succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines. Within the rules, players have the freedom to improvise; their choices shape the direction and outcome of the game."

Basically, I (the Game Master, or GM) present you with situations, and you (the Player Characters, or PC's) respond to them in a manner resembling improvisational theater, or cooperative story-telling. And yes, occasionally nasty things jump out and try to kill all of you.

If that still sounds like Greek to you, rest assured that it'll be like riding a bike, once you're used to it.
The central concept for YOU, as a player to decide is (naturally), "what role will I play in this game?"

Personally, I like to divide roles into two categories:

  1. what you DO (i.e. how you approach and solve problems you are confronted with) and
  2. who you ARE (where you came from, what your motivations are, etc.) Some, if not most players favor one way or the other as a way of approaching their characters, but I encourage you to think about both. Here are some quick ways of thinking about each:

1) "I'm an [adjective] [noun] who [verbs]": This is an excellent, quick way to think about capabilities and problem-solving. Are you a charming rogue who convinces, or a shy orphan who pickpockets? Each of these could be a 'thief', in terms of the game's mechanics, but they can be played extremely differently. At some point I'll ask each of you to define this aspect of your character and add it to your character profile.

2) "I'm a member of X culture, raised by Y elders, who has taken the path of Z". This 'life-path' approach can inform your values and attitudes, whether you conform to your society's standards, or reject them. At some point, I'll ask each of you to step through the Life Path quiz to determine some of your starting features, including the languages you speak, the Gods you might worship, or the customs and values you were raised with. You can choose from options available to you based on your race, or let the dice roll and allow that to inform the circumstances of your birth and upbringing.


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