As I mentioned last week, this past Sunday we had our character creation session for our RuneQuest 6 Middle Isles game. Here a few takeaways from that experience:
-I've always been fascinated by character creation that takes place in “phases”, mapping out different phases of a character’s life. Traveller does this, splitting up chargen into terms of service, and Rolemaster does this, albeit by the different route of adolescence and profession. RuneQuest 6 does this, too, breaking up character creation into several parts, starting with a character’s basic identity, following through culture, and finally profession to build what that character can do and where their passions and interests lie. I really enjoyed watching the characters my players were making gain definition through the process.
-The character creation process didn’t really run into any big issues. The only issue I can think of is several players trying to “save” points between phases of character creation (they wanted to make sure they had enough points when they got to Folk Magic), and that was quickly set right. We took our time with chargen, with plenty of breaks to get more beverages and visit the food table, but I think we could have done it much quicker, if we’d had the need to do so. There really aren’t any confusing steps.
-It is an interesting group of characters that will be serving King Rorem the Deliberate of the tiny isle of Aquona. We have two brothers who may or may not be descended from some divine personage back somewhere in their lineage, a sort of herbalist type with a sea nymph for a mother, a quirky, aged village hedge wizard, a teenage runaway descended from the Heroes of Aquona looking to earn his inheritance, the younger son of a merchant family with an eye towards ruining those who have wronged him, and a bar-brawling pugilist with a knowledge of human physiology.
-It is really, REALLY easy to make characters in RuneQuest 6 that feel different. That’s something I often hear about games without character classes, but the way RQ6 combines backgrounds and professions, characters seem like they are naturally going to diverge.
-We only have two characters with Folk Magic knowledge currently, which works because that sort of thing is a bit more rare in the Middle Isles. One of the characters is chasing after elusive, legendary Sorcery powers, so that’s a nice plothook for the Game Master (me).
-A Note on Combat Styles: I was curious how RuneQuest 6’s Combat Styles (essentially skills lumping together a common array of weapons the character knows based on training/profession) would go over with the group, and I think they liked it. It’s nice to write down “Island Conscript” (Axe, Shield, Spear, Dart) and know you’re covered without having to worry about taking an entire array of combat skills.
-I believe we had 3 electronic copies and 2 print copies of RuneQuest for reference at the table, plus a couple of printouts. That may have been overkill, but we didn’t have to do too much waiting for everyone to pass a book around. Several of us are waiting (in sheer agony) for our RuneQuest 6 Deluxe copies.
-Our first in-game session is Sunday, and I think we’re fairly ready. I had some concerns about how well combat would go, since we didn’t get to do a sample combat as I had hoped, but armed with a nice 1-page combat guide (thanks to the fine folks at the Design Mechanism forums), I think everyone will have the flow down pretty quickly. We'll see what Sunday holds for our party.