Kathy and the others arrived just a little after 7:00 pm, and so we sat and chatted for about 10 minutes or so, catching up on the week and a few other things. Once we got settled in for the evening, I got down to the business of creating River of Heaven characters with the players. The players are all science fiction fans, notably David and Kathy, who are avid science fiction readers, though both have a preference for some of the authors from the mid-1990s. Nothing wrong with that. :) All five players were looking forward to creating their game campaign characters.
Character generation in the River of Heaven RPG is relatively straightforward, with not-too-complicated game mechanics, though players do have several decisions that they have to make about their characters, some of which affect other steps in the process. I actually wasn't sure how long the players would take to create their characters, but I needn't have worried on that score. (To get a good idea of how character creation works in the game, minus a few steps, take a look at my detailed example of the process, Jason Sagandar.)
The process went pretty smoothly. We started the night going into some detail about the basic River of Heaven timeline, a bit about the universe, and some of the assumptions that the game makes (such as the no FTL travel stuff, and no artificial gravity); several of the players wanted to know a few more details about stuff, and that was fine with me. I gave the players a choice of two different character sheeets for the game, and answered questions that the players had about a few topics. This ate up about 45 minutes to an hour, and I was pleased that they were so intrigued by stuff, though I worried we wouldn't be able to finish up the process. Not a problem, as it turned out. Most of the players got the mechanics pretty clearly, and had a character concept in mind within a few minutes. So we started in on the character specifics.
What follows is a listing of what the players created for their characters. An interesting and varied bunch, to say the least. :)
Kathy - Usually one with a good idea of what she wants to play, Kathy came up with an interesting concept. Hendra Carpentar is a belt miner who discovered something valuable that a lot of people wanted, and now she's somewhat on the run. Playing a pilot type, and not knowing when those after her will find her out. She took an interesting set of Augmentations.
Angela - She had a couple of concepts that she really liked, but settled on the one she thought would be the best. Malina Arkestro is a bodyguard formerly of one of the Kentauran Houses who now works for an institute of higher learning. With a bit of the soul of an explorer, she's now acting as Grigor Morgant's bodyguard during his latest "expedition".
Ellie - The goddaughter really likes this "hard" sf roleplaying game, and had several interesting concepts that she wanted to explore. She finally settled on Zera Chirinos, the spoiled daughter of one of the minor Houses of the Kentauran Hegemony whose family was exiled for "unspeakable" deeds. Rebelling against the family, she's something of a technician, knows a bit about computers, but is still pretty young.
David - David knew exactly what he wanted. Grigor Morgant, is a scientist (archaeologist) from the Cardinal Worlds from a higher institute of learning who's spent a large part of his life out in the Transitional and Outremer worlds fascinated by and studying the Azrael ruins in various systems, with some Reclaimer (a religious group that believe it is their sacred duty to convert even the most marginal worlds into habitats fit for humanity) leanings. Also has a bit of a "shady" side. Has several interesting Augmentations as well.
Mark - Finally, Mark only had one character concept in mind, and he went with that. Sandar Kelemon is an explorer from one of the Transitional worlds who has a bit of a mercenary attitude with some of the finds he makes. Somewhat good-hearted, he has a strong sense of morality when it comes to everything else. But there's more to him than meets the eye...
As I said, an interesting group of player characters. I thought it was a pretty good evening of gaming, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. River of Heaven is quite an enjoyable system for me to work with, given the simple mechanics, the fascinating game universe, and the flexibility the game setting offers. Given that River of Heaven is such a new game system (having only come out on the market last month), none of the players are familiar with the game, other than the testing of the character generation process that they had done in the past. The players seemed to enjoy the character creation process, as they were quite animated and into creating a group of characters that could work together, and were somewhat surprised at how quickly the evening had passed. When it was all over, several of the players commented the game mechanics for character creation seemed to be quite involving, and yet were relatively simple.
That said, I'm quite curious as to the backgrounds the players will come up with for their characters, and am rather looking forward to running the game next weekend, weather and health allowing.