Okay, this was it. Valentine really hoped she lived up to Ness' expectations. It was Friday night and time for the first Gaming club meeting of the year. She had thought long and hard about this. The room she had somehow conjured in the MARS music room last year for their send off event would make a spectacular gaming room. She had seriously considered moving the club over there, but in the end had decided to stick with tradition. This is where it had started, and for now, this is where it would stay. She liked Mr. Fox-Reynolds and would do her very best to stick by the list of rules that had come down from him. Plus she hadn't been sure about reserving the MARS room all the time on Friday nights, other people might want to use is then for other things. So she was at the library extra-early to make sure everything was as perfect as she could make it. Her folders were organized and the snacks were in place, and Mr. Fox-Reynolds had gotten his cut of them.
As people began to arrive, they would find Valentine at the traditional table of the gaming club. She smiled and greeted them warmly with a touch of nervousness as they arrived. Posters about the club had gone out to the normal club announcement areas, so Val was hopeful that there might be some new people joining in tonight. It was going to be really weird without Ness and Evelyn.
Once it seemed like everyone had arrived. She took a deep breath, smiled and began. "Hi everyone and welcome to Sonora's Gaming Club. I hope you're all ready for a fun year of excitement and adventure! I'm Valentine Duell the club president and main GM or game master. However," she swept her gaze around the table, "If anyone else wants to run games, let me know and we will figure out how to make that happen. Also, if you have any other ideas about how you might help out around the club in other ways, let me know as well!" Ness had made it plain enough that things ran easier if more people helped out, and Val knew better than to argue with Ness. "One other thing to know before we get down to business," she pulled a few sheets of paper from one of her folders and passed them around, "These are the rules that Mr. Fox-Reynolds has set down for us to use the library. They are far from unreasonable, so please try to keep them so that we don't get kicked out."
"Okay, now that that is out of the way," she continued after giving everyone a few moments to look over the sheets. "Now we can get down to club business. I am planning on running an 'adventure of the week' type of main game. You'll have your characters who will have various different missions or adventures to accomplish, but each one shouldn't take more than one or two sessions. There won't really be a big overarching plot, other than what you all make of it with your characters and how they handle things. That way it will be easier if people miss a session here and there, or if someone wants to run something in between." She eyed up a few of the 'veteran' players. "I've caught up with some of you that played last year and we've worked out some of your characters already." From the same folder, she pulled out a few more sheets and passed them out intentionally to certain players. "For everyone else, I have some pre-made characters for tonight." She spread some more character sheets out on the table for perusal. "If you like you can stick with what you pick tonight, or we can make up a custom character for you later." Once more she looked around the table as a whole, "Any questions so far?"
As any questions on that front got settled, Valentine moved on to her next topic. "The adventure for tonight I hope won't cause any problems, however if at any point anything comes up during the course of playing that makes you uncomfortable, please let me know. I can drop it out and work around it, this is supposed to be fun. Also, you don't need to explain why. To anybody." She handed out yet another sheet from her folder, "This is sheet that you can fill out, that will let me know what sorts of things you want to see in games and what you don't want to see in games. Again you don't need to explain your reasons for anything that you put here, and you don't have to show it to anyone else other than me. I'll compile all the sheets together to make a master sheet that everyone can see and reference so we are all on the same page." She cast her smile about the table again. "Okay, are we ready?"
Once everyone was ready, Val began the adventure. "Our story begins in the coastal city of Totra, in the desert of Osirion. For one reason or another, you've each been looking for work and have found Marcus a human caravan owner who'd been looking for a few more guards to round out his crew for his trek inland to the city of Eto. It's a journey of a little over one hundred miles through a bleak landscape that has seen it's fair share of wild animals, bandits and other unknown dangers. What you each think of such a trek is up to you, but unfortunately it seems to be the only work available at the moment. If all goes well, the journey out should only take about a week, and Marcus seems optimistic about it. He's a rather jovial fellow." Val looked at her players and gave them an innocent smile, "If you've done any asking around about him before taking the job, you've found out that he's an old hand at the Totra-Eto run and has done it many times. He treats his people well, and gets on the front lines between the dangers of the desert and his caravan right along with the protectors he hires."
"You are all preparing to set out, so feel free to introduce yourself, player and character, as you get ready for the journey and interact with the others who are doing the same. Along with the introduction, give us some sort of rumor that we may have heard about your character," Val's eyes gleamed with that delightful twinkle of mischief, "The rumors can be either true or false, but you don't have to tell us that part."
Phil had seen the sign on the common room's bulletin board. Sonora had a gaming club that did Role-Playing Games. He liked games in general, but honestly his closest personal experience with role-playing ones specifically were some internet memes that skirted close enough to his own interests in comic books to make it into his stream. Those were intriguing enough to get him to the library at the given date and time to see what they were like. Stereotypically, D&Ders were nerds, and he knew he was a nerd, so he was hoping for the best here.
"Gaming club?" he asked the girl who was sitting at a table in roughly the area the announcements had said to go, and when she confirmed he was in the right spot, he took a seat. "I'm Phil," he introduced himself to her, as that seemed polite and something she might want to know if they were going to be saving the universe together or whatever it was that happened in these games.
He made this introduction a few more times as more people arrived, the older ones of which seemed to already know each other, and Phil could be projecting but he was reading inquisitive looks that read something along the lines of 'who's this?' when they looked at him. Certainly, 'who are you?' were the words he was thinking when he looked curiously back at them. The quicker he learned names the better he associated them with faces.
There was also a Philippe, he learned, which was probably going to cause confusion at some point, more for others than for him. Phil barely answered to Phillip; he was sure he wouldn't answer to the French variety of his name. If Phillippe only answered to his full name and not a shortened form, they should be okay. He still kinda expected to get called Phillippe at least once though, by somebody whose tongue wasn't used to stopping after one syllable.
The first girl, Val, started the meeting properly with a handout of rules to follow in the library. Phil glanced over the sheet and wasn't surprised by anything on it; they all seemed like pretty common sense library rules to him. Val then explained the club format and the lack of overarching plot. Same characters, new baddies every time. Episodic rather than epic. Seemed pretty straightforward. He shook his head to show he did not have questions, but knelt up on his chair for a better vantage to look over the papers that had a 'pre-made character' on them.
He was mildly disappointed none of them read 'hero' or 'agent' or 'vigilante'. There were a few that were related synonyms though. He contemplated 'champion' and 'fighter' and 'swashbuckler' but decided to grab 'investigator' because it hit up several several characters in Batman. Batman himself could be considered an investigator, and Commissioner Gordon certainly was, and the character was named Quinn (even if the picture depicted a bald guy who looked nothing like Harley Quinn), so really there wasn't much reason for a comic book nerd not to take that one. "Mine," he announced, swiping it out of the middle of the table and into a spot right in front of himself.
He looked over the page. Most of it was largely incomprehensible without a better understanding of both the game mechanics and the setting, but there were enough normal words in the character description that Phil felt he could get a basic hold on who he had chosen to play.
Phil looked over the next paper she handed out, which seemed to be a survey about things he was and wasn't okay with covering in a game setting. He didn't anticipate any real problems on that front. He supposed he probably wouldn't want a major plot line to focus around a married couple getting divorced, especially if they had kids, but (a) he'd had two homes plenty long enough that just saying the word in passing wasn't going to upset him, and (b) that hardly seemed likely in a game about delving into dungeons, fighting dragons, and finding paths. He otherwise wasn't really squeamish about anything. Except forest fires. He wrote forest fires on his paper. Those were scary and devastating. Didn't want to deal with those in his fun.
Then the game began properly. Phil made a mental note to ask to see a map at some point, but he figured it wasn't important at this stage or Val would have given them another handout.
When she asked them to introduce themselves, as players and characters, Phil decided he could go first. He was probably the player none of them knew already. "Player wise, I'm Phil. Phil Carson," he added, in case surnames were something that needed to be tracked for some reason. "I'm a first year, in Aladren," he continued, because these were things Sonora people would probably care about. "I haven't played these sorts of game before, but I'm big into comic books, so I get adventure plots and saving the world. As for my character, I'm Quinn." He glanced over his sheet again, not sure what they all might know about him. Quinn was a former legal clerk who got really mad at the injustices taking place where he lived, rescued an innocent man from a corrupt government trying to execute him, and ended up on the run with a bounty on his head. None of that was really struck Phil as something Quinn would willingly share with people he barely knew. "You all might have heard I'm a legal clerk," he told them, as that seemed safe enough, and marked him as a fairly educated man who ought to be able to get decent work, "but you have probably also seen me looking over my shoulder, and getting nervous when new people come into town, a lot more than a legal clerk should. There's also been rumors from not too far away that some guy escaped prison and they think he had inside help. I seem pretty eager for this job that will take us a hundred miles away despite it not really being a clerk's sort of work, you know?"
He nodded to show he was done with his introduction.
Philippe arrived at the gaming club, grinning with anticipation for a good year of adventures. He'd already worked out his character with Val. He was going to be a terrifying orc lady who looked all dangerous and stuff, but when push came to shove, everyone was going to find out she was actually the party's healer. He wasn't quite sure why he'd decided to be a girl again. He'd only ever played girls. The first time had been chance, of course; Lini had been a pregen character that he picked based off of class description, but since then he'd been making his own characters and they all tended to be girls. As he made them, they just all felt like girls to him, and it tended to balance the party's gender distribution, so he never really thought too hard about it.
If pressed, he'd probably have to say it was probably somehow Anya's fault. Most things in his life were, after all.
He was excited to play Durra, to introduce her to the rest of the group, see how many of them he could surprise by being the cleric when he looked like he was starting his third year running of playing the fighter. (When they started making Durra, he had told Val he liked fighters, and more importantly his dice liked fighters, but it was starting to get repetitive and he wanted to branch out and maybe try something with some spells this time? And so she'd recommended a warpriest build of a cleric and he was now quite eager to give it a go and see how it played out.)
He was even more excited because he had convinced Freddie to join the club and it was going to be kind of awesome playing with his boyfriend. They weren't going to be dating IC though. The size difference was just to great for it to be feasible. He was pretty sure Freddie's tiny little pixie was going to spend most of the adventure riding around on his large orc shoulder. Best buds, for sure. Durra was totally protective of her little pixie friend.
He arrived at the gaming table, discovered one of the new players had a name disturbingly similar to his own, and said hello to everyone. The good news was that nobody ever called him Phil, and he probably wouldn't answer to it if anyone ever did, so with luck there shouldn't be too much confusion with having them both in the same club. And Phil was as much younger than him as Felipe was older than him, and that hadn't ever caused too much of an inconvenience. Of course, Philippe and Felipe had never been in the same club together either, so he guessed they'd see how this goes.
Val went through the usual start of term stuff, and did a fine job in her first year as club president presenting everything. He occasionally gave her grins and thumbs up to show she was doing a great job.
Then the meat of the day's session began, and Philippe sat up straighter in his chair. He slowly (and therefore quietly, so nobody would complain about not being able to hear Val's introduction over the sound of dice hitting the table) spilled his dice out of the awesome bag Freddie had given him a couple Christmases ago onto the space in front of him beside Durra's character sheet.
Phil spoke up first, and he did a surprisingly good job for a beginner role player, and Philippe gave him a grin and a thumbs up too. When he seemed to be done, Philippe figured he may as well go next. Get all the Phils done first. "Hi, I'm Philippe Delachene. I don't answer to Phil, so if you use that name, I'm gonna assume you're talking to him." He tilted his head and a thumb in the first year's direction. "I joined the club in second year, I think?" he looked at Val to confirm. It might have been in first, but he was pretty sure it had been second before Val insisted he should do it. "I'm a fourth year now," he added to anyone who didn't know that already. "My dice favor fighters, so except my introductory run as a druid who couldn't navigate a forest to save her life, that's what I've usually played. Which brings me to Durra. Among the newly hired guards for our caravan, you all will see a very large orc woman with a very large sword and a great many tattoos. She definitely looks like she knows how to use the sword. She also looks like she might be a full blooded orc, too. You may have heard competing rumors that she's either the sole survivor of another caravan that got attacked recently, or maybe she was part of the attacking force that took it out. What she knows is that she's the one that found it and buried all the dead, and she'll tell that to anyone who asks her directly. Most people don't though. She looks pretty unapproachable. Other than, you know, the pixie she seems perfectly happy to let sit on her shoulder."
OOC: Val's author let me blame her for Philippe knowing what class of character he wanted to play.
Discussion of Freddie's Pixie carried out over chatzy and was presumably done before this meeting. I'm kind of assuming Philippe was making Durra with Val when he saw Freddie, waved him over, invited him to join the club, and then they made their characters together. Said assumption approved by both authors.
1Philippe DelacheneHi, I've been around a little while now148905