I'm not going to go through the entire previous session of character creation (you can check that out in this blog entry), but as noted in the previous game session</a> entry, the Friday night gamers started in on the Sorcerers of Ur-Turuk RPG character generation process and created 3 Minor characters and one Major character for each player. The players still had to create their Sorcerer characters and also design their Vahnam.
Once the gamers showed up at my place for the evening, around 7:10 pm or so, I started off the session by going over with them what they had created the session before, covered the basics of the mechanics once more and the character creation specifics they asked me about, and gave them a 20-minute "Everything you need to know about creating a Sorcerer in the game" discussion. That went pretty well, the players having a few questions but nothing that I didn't expect. From that starting point, we moved on to Sorcerer character generation.
The Sorcerer character in the Sorcerers of Ur-Turuk RPG is the dominant character that each player will take on, though they won't be playing their Sorcerers necesarily at the same time in the troupe play model. The Sorcerer character that each player creates in more complex than the four other characters, though it doesn't really take more than 1/2 an hour to create (depending on the choices the player makes, or lack of choices the player makes). (You can get an idea of how Sorceer character generation works with the detailed example that I've written up for the game, Sharif Maregari, Citrine Sorcerer.) That said, half the fun of the character generation system for Sorcerers of Ur-Turuk is just rolling with the punches.
When all is said and done, the players created five (5) Sorcerers for the game that promise to be interesting in their own pursuits, but that may cause a few personal and professional problems down the line. Here's what the Friday night players created.
KathyB - Kathy thought about the character she wanted to play very much, and decided that her Sorcerer, Eresa of the Flesh (also known publicly as Eresa the Healer), was born in one of the cities to the north of Ur-Turuk and was found to have healing abilities from an early age. She later learned this was part of her magical facility. She has two terrible burn marks on her face, both above and below her right eye, a result of a magical fire spell gone wrong.
Angela - Angela had a good idea of what she wanted for the Sorcerer, and created Anaris of Shaltu. She grew up in a small village, one that had to protect itself from the dangers of the desert. She learned some combat skills during her childhood. Anaris developed an interest in earth magics and defensive magics, and has come to excel in this. She is actually 24 years old, but appears to be 55 years of age due to a spell duel that went very strange, aging the character physically. She's intolerant of the Temple of the Red God, and will do what she can to stop any of their plans for power when she learns of them.
Ellie - She created Perala the Dark-Fingered. Born in the city of Ur-Turuk, her parents often took her out of the city so she could learn about the world and "real" nature. She has an affinity for the elements, mostly earth, but is rather limited by darkness. She developed a love for nature, and has no wish to control it, but will not let it encroach on what she holds dear. She's knowledgable about the use of weapons, and is a good survivalist and able to make her way though the wilderness. Because of her time spent working with the earth, she has very stained hands and fingers. After an encounter in the desert that left her terrified and almost unable to function for almost a month after, she has a terrible fear of scorpions.
Mark - Mark talked with a couple of the other players about their various Minor and Major characters, and then came up with his character. Farahaz the Swift was born in the city of Ur-Turuk. His family was dirt poor. His real name is Arfez Hartun, but he adopted the name of Farahaz the Swift. He spent a large part of his childhood on the streets. He became something of a thief but while he was good at it, he aspired to more. He realized he was a sorcerer when he discovered he was able to alter people’s minds about events they had and had not witnessed. He was taken in by a sorcerer, Harfaz the Humble, and paid a stipend (which he sent to his family). He first experienced life in a vahnam when he was 10 years old. Farahaz is relatively smart and with a good, sometimes twisted, sense of humour.
Peter - Peter hemmed and hawed a bit and had a chat with Kathy and Ellie about stuff, and then... Jamil the Flirtatious (also called the Arrogant) was born into a middle-class family. Born Jamil Mamroukh, his parents had too many mouths to feed, and sold him to a brothel. He became a courtesan, but was also a powerful sorcerer from an early age. He learned that sex gave him additional sorcerous power for a period after he engaged in the act, and became somewhat arrogant in his ways and demeanour. This led to the brothel tossing him on the street. He was found by a sorceress who understood what he could do, and she trained and taught him but also used him for her pleasure. He enjoyed his life for the time that he had with her, and learned much from her about magic, but drew the line when she wanted him to have sex with a 10-year-old girl. He left Harissa’s vahnam and has now struck out on his own with a friend of his.
Overall, this was an interesting session of character creation, and a really unique group of Sorcerers with a lot of potential were created. Peter's Sorcerer is definitely a controversial one, and I later learned about the deal he reached with Kathy about playing such a *bleep! bleep!* character with Ellie in the group as a player, but we'll have to wait and see how that shakes out. The players did a good job of bouncing ideas off each other (and me, of course!) when creating the characters, but they also tied some of them to the Minor and Major characters that the other players had created two weeks ago. The players didn't struggle with character creation at all, though they were a bit baffled early on with the spell system. After a few examples of spells and how spellcasting works in the game, that sorted itself out relatively easily. From start to finish, Sorcerer character generation went from 7:15 pm or so until about 9:00 pm - and that was with all the explanations of stuff, a quick break half way through and talks between the players and doing the actual numbers. Not bad for a first time, to be honest.
After taking a 15-minute break for tea and to change the players mindset a little bit, we got back to the process and the players created their Vahnam. Family is the most important aspect of the Sorcerer of Ur-Turuk RPG game world. Your family is your support network and who you can rely on when things get tough. Almost everyone, from the lowliest beggar to the King himself, live as part of a family. However, Sorcerers are a special case as their long training means that they effectively separate themselves from any living family. However, what they do is form an association with other Sorcerers and then surround themselves with friends and servants; these then become the family of the Sorcerer. This group has become known as a Vahnam, from a very old word meaning "blood household". There is a lot more to the Vahnam, of course, but that's all I need to cover here.
The creation system for the GM and the players to create the Vahnam for the characters is very nicely detailed, but simple in its execution, with merely decisions to be made to complete the process and pay the final cost of the Vahnam.
I was going to post the details of the player characters' Vahnam here in this blog entry, but the players have requested that I not do so at this time. They informed me that they want a bit of privacy with parts of their game at this point, that folks reading the blog entries can learn during the course of play. I'm hoping that they'll be convinced to allow me to do so at some point in the future, so if and when that happens, I'll be amending this blog entry to reflect that or perhaps I'll just post it as a separate blog entry of its own. We'll see when it happens.
When we were finished, the players told me they quite like the simplicity of the Sorcerer of Ur-Turuk game system, and really enjoyed character creation. They very much enjoyed the Vahnam creation and told that was one of the most interesting character creation processes they've ever gone through. Kthy said to me jokingly that at least they didn't have to do any "tag team character generation" for the game. The others all agreed that creating the Sorcerers and the Vahnam was easy peasy compared to the session of doing up 20 characters in total.
And now, the players are quite looking forward to getting going and starting the actual play of the Sorcerer of Ur-Turuk campaign. And so am I! :)