Shadows of the Big Easy: Session One

In a bit of a surprise move the group decided to move onto the next game ahead of schedule. I’d planned to finish out our demo game with one of our players before they were removed from the game but since that players didn’t make the game the rest of the group decided to just go ahead and move onto the real first chronicle. While I’m happy with that because it means I can work on the more detailed story and slightly tighter group it does mean totally restarting the game world.

Luckily it didn’t take too long to narrow down the player’s desires to a suitable location. We ended up settling on player in the area around New Orleans in the year following Hurricane Katrina. All of the players have experience their first change, that is actually becoming a werewolf, within the same lunar month of one another. Each was also visited by a Lune, a spirit of one of the moon’s phases, which was not the same one they changed under, told that they were choosen for higher purpose, and then had an eldrich symbol carved into their essence and flesh. The area has been without werewolves for a long time, letting the local spirits go wild. The players will have to earn the respect of the local spirits and struggle against the dark threats of the Shadow in the wake of the hurricane. With all sorts of parasites are crawling into the wounds left by the disaster it’s a dangerous job even for werewolves.

Many of the players want to include other supernatural creatures in the game, specifically ones that they can confront and thwart. To that end I’ll be filling the city with mystics, vampires, and faerie creatures to resist the players and to create a complex system of allies, enemies, and inbetweens. For example, the city has a well established society of vampires who have a vested interest in seeing the city continue to prosper and to recover from the disaster. However, many of those lower in this structure are taking advantage of the chaos to try and get a claw into the cracks and overthrow the existing order. Or to just indulge in their own base desires. So even without the player’s being involved the city is currently home to a vampiric revolution. Add to that creepy spirits sneaking around starting cults or possessing people being assisted by mages or other workers of magic who may or may not know the harm that their doing.

The entire situation is designed to be a moral quagmire. Like a proper World of Darkness it is our own world reflected darkly with many of the same problems tuned towards the tragic. I have alot of hope for this game; it’s a chance to explore alot of horrible real life events through a different lens.

Werewolf the Forsaken 2nd Edition- Session One: Character Creation

Mass character creation can be a bit of a mess and it’s still the only way that I like to do character creation these days. It typically means burning an entire session to get the job done and if done properly results in a group of characters that actually know each other’s capabilities and have some interconnecting elements.

I recently got started on a new game: Werewolf the Forsaken 2nd Edition from The Onyx Path, successor to old White Wolf publishing. This one is designed to be a short campaign from the start since I’m going to having some players leaving the group before too long but I really wanted to try the system out right now.

We ended up with a larger than normal group. Two spirit tracking hunters, two assassins, an all business negotiator, and a spirit shaman. Their pack is set up in northern California so they’ve decided to use a redwood tree for their secret hideout and their pack is organized around a small travel adventure company.

Werewolf is all about group creation and the second edition has added to the existing mechanics of creating a pack of werewolves. In the previous edition the characters formed a pack and created a totem spirit who worked with them. Now they’ve added two layers of sub-characters to the game beyond the werewolves themselves: wolf-blooded and humans. Each layer down has increasingly simplified stats so it isn’t like having to make four full characters were player and the whole excersie creates a network of named individuals whom the pack interacts with through the campaign. The only especially difficult part can come when players start to get overwhelmed with just how many things they need to create or they start to run a little dry on original ideas and interactions. Creating an organic network of relationships is difficult withouth the inclusion of supernatural shapeshifting or magical powers so Werewolf demands alot of it’s players.

Whenever you plan to do a session of group character creation it’s polite to let the players know ahead of time so they can spent some time thinking about what they want to do with their character and how they might be able to relate to others. Farther, be willing to take some time after characters have been created because people will nearly always come up with more stuff after they’ve had some time to sit and think on their concepts.