READ THIS FIRST.   Posted by The Cowled One.Group: 0
The Cowled One
 GM, 20 posts
Fri 31 May 2013
at 12:41
Hello and welcome to the Giantdowns.  I hope you have a great time hanging out here.  Before you get started there are a few things you need to know.  I'm writing them here so you aren't caught off guard thinking this game is one thing and then it turns out to be something completely different.  Sometimes that kind of surprise is cool but most of the time, not so much.

First, this game uses a modified version of Warrior, Rogue & Mage for its system.  You can find the entire game via the link I provided.  It is released under the Creative Commons licence so it's free and we can copy/paste as much stuff as we like here for ease of reference.  Think of WR&M as a lot like the Old D&D stuff.  The rules system is light and much of the game relies on the players around the table and not a large book full of systems.  I think that is a feature and not a bug in this instance.

Second, if you don't like something about the system, don't worry too much.  We'll be making changes as we go.  The system isn't insanely complex so modifying things and giving them a try won't break everything.  Also, I expect that we'll be creating magic items, equipment, spells and all sorts of other things as we play.  Part of this game is actively building the system we think works for us.  We're just starting with the one I've posted here.  It isn't what I expect we'll end up with at the end.

Third, this is a player (character) driven game.  I don't have some over-arching plot all figured out.  I expect the players to come to the table with characters that are driven to DO things not ones that I have to "hook" into something.  I'm the GM.  That doesn't mean I'm responsible for everyone's fun.  I'm responsible for being a fun person to play with and so is everyone else.  We're all the keepers of all the fun.  To that end I expect a lot of player input into the game.

Fourth, part of the game is a world building exercise and as I said, I expect a lot of player input.  That means you are free to propose and drop NPC's into the world just like me.  If you want an old beggar who is the village rumormonger, go for it.  If something hasn't been written into the fiction of the game then it is fair game for you to invent and add.  I know that is typically a GM-only thing in most games but it isn't here.  There are some small restrictions to this responsibility but they aren't very strict and I'll let you know NICELY if you bump up against them.

I think that's about all.  Below you'll find everything you need to make a RTJ.

This message had punctuation tweaked by the GM at 16:52, Fri 31 May 2013.

The Cowled One
 GM, 21 posts
Fri 31 May 2013
at 13:11
My requirements for an application might be a little different from what you are used to.  Here they are.

1.)  Give me a short (100 words) description of your character and concept.  Pretend my character and your character met at the local tavern one evening and had drinks together.  We became friends but new ones that didn't know a lot about each other yet.  What would I know about your character?  This is what I want here.

2.)  You character has had 2 adventures before this.  Pretend you are the author who wrote the novels for those adventures.  Write the title of each novel and the back cover summary of the novel.  You know, the paragraph that is one the back of paperback novels that is there to tell you what the novel is about and hook you into buying it.  Write that.  It shouldn't be more than 200 words or so.

That's all I need for a RTJ.  After I have that and have accepted your application I'll send what you need to do to stat up a character.
The Cowled One
 GM, 28 posts
Sun 2 Jun 2013
at 21:05
Sample RTJ
This is from another game I run but it is about as good an RTJ as I've received.  Model yours after this.  (This game is for higher level Pathfinder and thus there are 3 novels not 2.)

Tristan Guile, one of the Guiles and that name hangs heavy over his destiny. He has a sharp mind and able body and his thirst for knowledge leads him to many dark corners and forgotten tombs. He specialized in conjuration magics but as he has grown in power and knowledge he has learned the secrets of his prohibited schools and can now tap into all magics equally.

He makes friends slowly but will go to great pains to help them when need be. He has learned to craft items and often supplements his spell research by crafting custom items for clients. He can usually be found with his nose in a book or exploring lost caverns.

Book 1: The Temptation of Power

Just out of apprenticeship the young wizard is pitted against a dark sorceress in the city of Cassomir. He must race against the clock to stop her from fulfilling her plans and enacting an ancient ritual granting her the powers over life and death. He investigates the murders and robberies of several ancient relics eventually leading him to a dark confrontation in the catacombs beneath the port city. Through clever use of summons and spells he is able to stall the sorceress long enough to disrupt the ritual and watch as her demonic tutors drag her screaming into the darkness.

Book 2: A Taste for Blood

Oppara, the Gilded City, history runs deep in the heart of the old Empire. A history that now threatens to awaken and consume the populace before spreading its darkness outwards. When the Lion Blades uncover a plot to assassinate the Grand Prince they inadvertently play into the hands of a cult of vampire worshipers. The prince and his daughter are kidnapped and the Lion Blades blamed, they turn to a an up and coming wizard to work through channels that are now cut off to them as they are being hunted down. Tristan is able to finally piece together the location of the cult and arrives just in time to save the Grand Prince from being the first meal of an ancient vampire. pitted against an ancient evil with time running out, he is only capable of using the last of his spells to teleport the Royal family to safety knowing he left an evil alive in this world. One who knew his name and would not forgive a meddlesome wizard for foiling his plans.

Book 3: The High Road

When Tristan is hired by a the church of Nethyus to recover an ancient spellbook rumored to have once belonged to an ancient Archmage he never knew he would be stepping into the midst of an inter-church war over ideologies. He must play his cards close to his vest and race to find the spellbook before the wrong faction gets their hands on the words of power contained within. He ends up finding his way to Sigil where more plots abound and he learns of an ancient Staff of the Magi. He sets aside his desire for the staff and chooses to save his world, getting is hands on the spellbook. Against his better judgement he takes the spellbook to an ancient great wyrm and tricks the dragon into destroying the spellbook with dragon fire,
The Cowled One
 GM, 40 posts
Fri 7 Jun 2013
at 11:05
Next in Character Creation
Each character has 2 "novels" in which they are the main character.  Now each of you needs to look over those novels and find 2 that you can insert your character in as a secondary character.  Take the summary and add a sentence or two to it explaining how your character fit into that story.  Make sure your part doesn't over-shadow the main character's part.
The Cowled One
 GM, 45 posts
Sat 8 Jun 2013
at 12:47
There seems to be some confusion and a little difficulty with the next part of character creation.

For those who are curious, this is very close to the character creation process in Spirit of the Century and the Dresden File RPGs.  Both use the FATE 3 system and are excellent games.

Let me help with the Novel Summary part of this exercise.  The key thing for this is that someone reading it needs to know 3 primary things.  First, who and what is the main character.  Second, who or what is the antagonist.  Third, what is the conflict about?  Let me see if I can spit out an example.

The Eye of the World

Rand was just a farmboy who wanted to take over his fathers farm and marry the innkeeper's daughter.  Then the trollocs and the fades raided his village and they were looking for him!  Will he ever get free of the Dark One's minions who are pursuing him and back to his village of Emond's Field?

Then another player reads that and says, "Hey, I can fit my Aes Sedai character right in there." and they rewrite the summary like such.

The Eye of the World

Rand was just a farmboy who wanted to take over his fathers farm and marry the innkeeper's daughter.  Then the trollocs and the fades raided his village and they were looking for him!  Will he ever get free of the Dark One's minions who are pursuing him and back to his village of Emond's Field?  And if he does win free can he escape the plans of the mysterious Aes Sedai, Moiraine, who is helping him for purposes of her own?

*I added the color so you can see clearly what was added.

The first summary was specific enough that the reader knows what the book is specifically about and how their character might fit in.  The second player puts in their characters as a supporting role.  The Aes Sedai isn't center stage but she obviously fits in and would have a relationship with Rand, the protagonist.  If the summary isn't specific enough and doesn't spell out the conflict then there isn't anything for the next player to come along and latch onto.

Also, the player inserting their character into someone else's novel shouldn't be adding more than a line or two.  They are a supporting character.  You can make the relationship interesting with minimal information.  In the story above, Moiraine is obviously helping but she equally obviously has plans of her own that are suspect.  That's more interesting than just a character that is helping with no strings attached.  You get the idea.