Since one of my Friday players, David, decided that he didn't want to play the Lostfinder as Tom is playing the Antiquities Hunter character, he was going to create a new character, and that's exactly what he did. The Friday night group arrived at my place around 7:15 pm, and once we settled in and all, character generation, part deux, began in earnest. While David created his character from scratch, the other players went over the process again, made a couple of minor tweaks, and with David moving the process speedily along, we were finished character creation, including starting wealth and equipment, within two and a half hours. An enjoyable process, I have to say.
Thus, the characters the Friday night players have got are an interesting mix. As noted in a couple of earlier posts, Kathy is playing Cyndra Jesspian, a former house servant of one of the Macrocorporates who may or may not know something she shouldn't, and fled/was booted into The City's more rough and tumble life. Nick is playing Edward Fleckright, a Ghostfighter of some repute who may have been the inspiration for one of Sideband Media's tv shows (or vice versa). Tom has taken on the role of Jason Demonoris, an antiquities hunter (who had worked with SteveB's Tommy Thackery before; there's going to be a connection to that character, even though SteveB's death means he won't be playing the character, if I can swing it), but is something of a sly devil as well. Joanne is playing Hedriana Locke, a Runner, a message carrier in The City who has finally made a name for herself - and some enemies. Angela is playing Edricka Hatchett, a middle class stringer who has a bit of a cutthroat nature at times. David created Marcus Hangworth, a former ekranoplan racer now with a small "sports" shoppe from a drudge family in Folly Hills with a strong sense of right and wrong. And finally, Ellie (SteveB and Kathy's daughter) is playing a precocious street urchin called Genny, who has been taken in by Cyndra for reasons that have yet to be dealt with. Little Genny causes more problems than she's worth at times, but she's...feisty.
Once character generation was complete, I went through the basic game mechanics for the a|state RPG (these are actually quite simple), and then we got down to the combat system. The players ran through a variety of samples of combat, pitting their own characters against each other (Little Genny is quite deadly with a knife for someone of such tender years!), and then with the group going up against some street thugs, followed by some Hohler Gang members, and finally a small group of Hirplakker's Grauschjager. The combat system is very complicated at first glance, but in actual fact it runs very fast, is quite brutal, and most definitely deadly. Characters in the a|state RPG learn to pick their fights wisely, as the players discovered in these sample combats. When the session was over for the night, the players expressed mixed emotions about the combat sequences they had played through, with both Angela and David (who are new to a|state) stating they were both thrilled and fearful with the deadliness of the combat system - and wanting to move a few game numbers around in their stats and attributes to make the characters a bit more combat worthy. I told them we'll take care of that at the beginning of the next game session. Kathy and Nick said that the a|state RPG combat system was just as deadly as they remembered it, but that it's a fast system, and that's something they liked.
The game session of a|state went as well as I thought it would, and was better in fact, as I had feared that the character generation process would take the entire evening, which it didn't due to David's quick decision making and implementation of said decisions. In any event, the Friday night gamers had a good time, and are looking forward to the next session of a|state.