The Friday night gamers arrived around 7:00 pm or so. We spent about 10 minutes or so catching up on the week that's been (quite eventful for a couple of the players, but not adding anything to that here), and then got back down to character creation business. As already mentioned in the previous entry, the players had gotten to the point of doing their Gear and other funds, before getting around to finalising the Skills and a couple of other elements of their characters.
As I think I've mentioned in a blog entry (or elsewhere) this past week, I've had a revelation about character creation for the Polaris RPG, courtesy of one of the game's designers, Philippe Tessier, and so I asked the players to go back to the assignment of Skill Mastery Levels, starting with the Prior Experience, and re-do some of that as best they can. They didn't object, but did ask me why and I explained it to them, so they were fine with doing so (though Ellie grumbled a bit about the math of it all!).
Suffice it to say, the process of doing the Skills and assigning points to them for the Prior Experience section of character creation was much easier for the players to grasp, and they were quite happy with that. Several of the players were disappointed at some of the slightly reduced numbers for their Mastery Levels, but were gratified that the Global Levels were raised sufficiently by the Natural Ability modifiers to make the changes in how they'd assigned their points worthwhile. Even Ellie got a better handle on the matter, and she was done before the others, so that was good, even with having to deal with the material for the Polaris Effect stuff.
Once the players had taken care of the Gear for the characters (which took a bit longer than I expected, as they wanted to also develop some of their Contacts, Allies, and Suppliers a bit), I took them through the final touches for the character, and then it was time to do a bit of gaming.
I took the characters through the basics of the game mechanics, and then we did some samples of play using their most common Global Skill Levels and a few interesting game situations. I answered some more questions about the game world that arose from everything that we'd done this evening, and then took the players through a sample of combat after explaining the Combat mechanics. They really liked the Initiative mechanics, and had a good time with the basics, though they were a bit out of their depth with the Wound rules and a couple of other aspects of that. This will just take them a bit of time to get used to, I believe, but we ended the session after the first combat sequence (that Mark volunteered for) was complete.
Overall, the character generation mechanics for the Polaris RPG was one that I really enjoyed (though it took me a bit of time to grok a couple of elements of it), and that the players rather liked as well, with a couple of exceptions. Kathy commented that a couple of elements of it were much better than those found in Atlantis: The Second Age (the only other game system with Life Paths that she could equate it to), and that she felt that she had more choice overall. The others commented that they enjoyed themselves as well, but Ellie said she didn't like the math involved, but was glad that it's over.
The Friday group may not be gaming next week due to potential family obligations on the part of two of my players, but I'll wait and see how this shakes out during the week. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to running the Polaris RPG.
If anyone has any questions about the character creation process for the Polaris RPG, please don't hesitate to ask. :)