While I had thought that we might not game last night, the other three players - Kathy, Ellie, and David - decided they wanted to game on Friday night, but rather than actually play a game, were intrigued about the new/forthcoming River of Heaven science fiction rpg. Since I have the PDF of the game (that will hopefully have some of the errata and typos cleaned up in the print version), they decided they wanted to take the character generation system for a test drive. David is a big fan of science fiction, and was looking forward to playing an sf rpg, and Kathy and Ellie wanted to see what River of Heaven offers in the way of player character types and whether it's as complicated as the old Ringworld sf game (which Kathy has no affection for, other than the original concept and source material).
It was an interesting, not to mention fun, game session of character generation, and I was pretty happy with the results at the end of the night. While I've created a couple of characters to test the character generation system, it's not the same as having players actually create characters to see what they can do with the game system and to see whether it can be broken in the early stages! I'm not going to go into details on the game universe and the mechanics here, but suffice it to say that the players had a good time with the River of Heaven game system last night, and there were some interesting characters created for it.
Kathy started off with the idea that she wanted to create a pilot character, though she wasn't sure at first whether she wanted an in-system or interstellar one. As we talked about the game universe and character concepts more, she decided to create a neat character Waljaia Carpentar, a bright, dedicated woman from one of the Houses from the Kentauran Hegemony, who became a Stepdaughter, one of the specialised pilots that fly Stepships on interstellar voyages. She really loved the choices she got to make skill-wise, as well as some of the Augmentations that she took for the character.
Ellie decided that she wanted to play someone technological, but still young, and opted for Haruna Ng-Thomas, a gifted and talented Datahawk, the 28th Century equivalent of a hacker, but wanted to make the character more interesting. She's actually a spy for the Machine Civilisation, and as such has a few nanotech "enhancements" (some would call them booby traps). I don't know whether the character would make for a viable player character, given the dark aspects of the character, but it's definitely an interesting character.
Finally, David had a bit more difficult time trying to figure out what to play as there were so many different concepts for characters that he really liked (this is what he told me). In the end, he created Haruld Morgant, a scientist (archaeologist) from the Cardinal Worlds interested in studying the Azrael ruins in various systems, who also has Reclaimer (a religious group that believe it is their sacred duty to convert even the most marginal worlds into habitats fit for humanity) leanings. He's also got a bit of "shady" in the background, and added a couple of interesting Augmentations to Haruld that made the character more than just your typical archaeologist. I could definitely see the character fitting into a game campaign rather easily.
Overall, the players had a good time creating the characters for River of Heaven. All three players commented that the character creation process wasn't as difficult as some of the other science fiction system ones that they'd experienced in the past, though they did have a couple of problems at times with some of the science (and fictional) concepts that the game used. Even Ellie was able at her 12 years of age to handle the maths in character creation, something that she'd been concerned about, though when it was all said and done, Kathy felt that she didn't have enough points to go around for the character! All three players said that they're looking forward to playing this game, and I even let Kathy borrow my copy of Alastair Reynolds's Revelation Space, the primary inspiration for the game (according to the Reference section in the rulebook).
I was pretty jazzed with this session, though I wasn't pleased having to access a PDF of the game rather than a physical copy of the River of Heaven rulebook (which will hopefully arrive in my snail mailbox before the end of the month, although most likely not before mid-November). Things went pretty smoothly, however, and I'm looking forward to running the game now more than ever.