The Sunday afternoon gamers have started to play the Zorro: The Roleplaying Game RPG, based on the seminal work created by Johnston McCulley of a dashing and heroic figure fighting Spanish oppression of the Native Indians and for justice in old California of the early 1800s.
Both SteveR and Tammy came out to play the game, and given the coronavirus pandemic still going on, we took the precautions of sitting apart and wearing masks. In the case of the masks, you try wearing a mask and talking for almost 4 hours non-stop; after about an hour of that, the masks came off literally, though we still social distanced.
Once the Sunday gamers showed up at my place around 12:45pm or so, we talked for a bit and just relaxed and caught up on stuff, and then got down to it. I started off by talking to the players about Zorro and *who* and *what* the character is and what he represents. They both found this interesting, and it gave them a good idea of what the game's themes and focus are. Next up, I showed them the maps of Alta California, the El Camino Real, and a couple o others (there are no maps in the Zorro: The Roleplaying Game RPG, but some fan maps sufficed, though they aren't very clear, either), and talked with the players about the game world of Alta California, and answered their questions to the best of my ability for about 40 minutes or so. This covered everything from basic game mechanics, the use of the D6 dice, Hero Points, the Suspicion mechanics, and a few other things that they asked about. From that starting point, we moved on to character generation. I managed to create the player characters with SteveR and Tammy relatively quickly after that, over the course of maybe 20 minutes.
Character generation in the Zorro: The Roleplaying Game RPG is a relatively straightforward process. You basically create a character by picking a Template and adding 7D worth of Skills, or Customize the character from scratch with 12D in Attributes, 7D in Skills, and a few other things that complete the character. The process is certainly made easier if you have an idea of what you want to play, but does require some thought when it comes to the questions about how one feels about the Spanish oppression, what one is doing about it, and so forth. (You can get an idea of how character generation for the game system works with the detailed example, Lorena Batanero, that I posted up to the blog a couple of days ago.) The Templates for the game offer a good variety of character types that seem typical of the Zorro books and the feel the game is trying to create, so that helps a lot as well.
The characters that the Sunday afternoon players created for the Zorro: The Roleplaying Game RPG turned out quite interesting and had some interesting basics to their backgrounds. Here's what the Sunday afternoon players created.
SteveR - He really didn't seem to have an idea of what he wanted to play, so started based on one of the Templates, using the Clever Horse Trainer as his base. He created Miguel Lopez Hernández, a horse trainer who is out to seek justice for the Native Indians (he's a half-breed himself) but works within his means to do so.
Tammy - Tammy went over the Templates, but didn't find one that she liked. She eventually created Catilina Rosa Torres, the daughter of a vintner who died under mysterious/accidental circumstances, her brother now running the business. She fights the Spanish injustice by helping smuggle the oppressed out of bad situations, and crafts wines as a side venture for the de la Vegas.
GM NPC-PC - Since neither SteveR nor Tammy's characters are combat oriented, I've created Pablo Esteban for them. He's a former bandit whose heart of gold led him to be thrown out of the bandit group, and he now acts as a mercenary fighting on the side of the oppressed peoples of Alta California.
All in all, an interesting group of characters with a lot of potential, I think, and the players not only had a good deal of fun with the process and really did a good job of coming up with ideas on how their characters would interact, but they were pretty content with their choices.
After we finished character creation, I managed to go through the game mechanics with the players, and had them do some sample rolls to illustrate the basic Attribute + Skill versus Difficulty Number mechanic, and then ran a few quick one-on-one combats. Overall, the players told me they quite like the Zorro: The Roleplaying Game system and rather enjoyed character generation, and are now looking forward to starting their game this coming Sunday afternoon (all factors of life, willing).
Note: This post was edited on September 3rd to add in the name of SteveR's character for the game.