kollar
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Posts: 2
Joined: Fri 06 Nov 2020, 12:23

Starting up roleplaying again, 15 years later, inexperienced players

Fri 06 Nov 2020, 12:46

Hey! So, I'm starting up roleplaying again, having played and GM'd the last time probably around 15 years ago. Me (the GM) and my playgroup is swedish, and we fell in love with Johan Egerkrans illustrations and the setting. Now, my players are new, but I believe they will be very good at getting into the world and in character. Now, I need some help with how to introduce them to the specifics of the setting.

How much of "The Society and the Headquarters" do you feel should be revealed beforehand? Should I print part of it and hand it out for them to read? Should I try and playthrough a few scenes introducing both the society, Castle Gyllencreutz and Linnea? I want to "capture" the players straight away, so I don't want to bog them down with too many things as we start. My first thought was to have most of the PC's be young and inexperienced with Vaesen, they had minor encounters and are idealistic and naive. This would mirror how the players are, as they have only a rudimentary idea about the world.

From that, I would do a very short introduction about how these few people suddenly were the owners of a castle and formed a society where they will look into mythological creatures and supernatural events showing up. My idea is that in their minds, they can't foresee anything bad happening to them, young and naive as they are. Then throw them pretty much straight into the adventure from the rulebook, which has some very nice horror moments. I'm looking for a way to get them hooked before I start introducing the meta mechanics surrounding the castle and the Society. At the same time, I want the way mysteries are played to be introduced as early as possible, I'm just not sure if the preparation in Upsala is somethin to introduce on the first session. Maybe I just make sure they have some things prepared and narrate what they do, so they can use that as inspiration for future sessions? I should note that I have no qualms about characters dying, just not all of them, and not in the first adventure. I want the players to feel like things wont always go their way, and it opens up ways for them to come back as more experienced PC's if their first one should die. I'm hoping the first session should be;

1) Create the RP's, have their stories be connected and have them talk through their trauma and dark secrets with me in private
2) Very short introduction about how they came to posses the Castle, a scene with Linnea, then a scene where they get the letter from the introductory adventure
3) I narrate their preparations
4) Travel scene
5) Adventure
6) Aftermath, if we have time introduce how the Society and Castle Gyllencreutz works on a mechanic level and have them make improvements or discover more parts of it

I can then take all of the information gained and the changes done to the castle to prepare the next mystery. I guess I'm mostly looking for feedback and if anyone has done something similiar?
 
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srdaine
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Re: Starting up roleplaying again, 15 years later, inexperienced players

Sat 07 Nov 2020, 00:19

Don't know if my insight will be useful, but here's what I did: i decided that my campaign would start with the PCs not having the Sight, and therefore not knowing about the Society and having to gain the Sight in game. The first mystery was about getting them to know each other, and with any luck making some of them to gain the Sight (I made some sloppy rules about how to achieve his, but since all of them passed all of their Fear checks through the mystery I haven't tested if they are as sloppy as they look). The second mystery will be in Upsala and the plan is to get them to meet Linnea, probably get them to acquire some info about the Society and maybe have them be interested in it. If they don't go that way at least they will know about a really good source of vaesen information, and in further mysteries I can drop some stories about the Society while they investigate vaesen stuff (i.e: hand them the info about how to defeat a vaesen in the form of a tale about how a former member -maybe Linnea herself- got to banish a vaesen for good). At some point I figure that they'll be so interested in being part of the Society that Linnea will give them the keys to the Castle like she knew from the beginning that this was going to happen (I might throw some foreboding from her just to get them spooked about the deal they just made). This will take maybe more sessions than what I have intended (my players have this unnatural power to make as many roundabouts as they can before they get to the place or situation I want to take them to) but I feel is a more dynamic way to get them into the mood of the game, rather than giving them a lot of info in the first session.
 
Byrax
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Joined: Fri 08 Jan 2016, 10:42
Location: Mythic North

Re: Starting up roleplaying again, 15 years later, inexperienced players

Sun 08 Nov 2020, 12:39

I started the game with the players not knowing about the Society or the castle at all. Downplayed the Sight, and didnt let players have access to much info, just char gen. Used a tweak of The Condemned from Arkham Unveiled, with a mare instead of the revengeful witch. First victim was an ancestor to an old member of the Soc. The players found old journals/notes when they searched his house about the Soc and what they were up to around 1600-1700. Basically the backstory of the Soc. and the existance of vaesen,etc. Linnea was also on the revenge list of the seven descendants, so when they tried to warn her (and asked about the Soc, castle, vaesen etc) she asked them if they wanted to rekindle the Soc, as they seemed involved already . They accepted and got further information tidbits about the Soc. and the keys to the castle, middle into the investigation of the revengeful vaesen they are hunting.
This setup has worked out pretty well, and feels more involving than just doing an infodump when starting. Let the players discover the background when playing instead.
Last edited by Byrax on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 17:12, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Daïna
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Location: France

Re: Starting up roleplaying again, 15 years later, inexperienced players

Mon 09 Nov 2020, 16:16

Same here: I started without the players knowing at all about the Society or Gyllencreutz. Mine already had the Sight, but it was a recent “acquisition”, and they had not encountered more than one Vaesen each. They got to know each other during the first scenario, because they were the only ones seeing the strange things that others didn’t seem to notice. Only afterwards did they meet Linnea and acquire Gyllencreutz.
 
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aramis
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Re: Starting up roleplaying again, 15 years later, inexperienced players

Tue 10 Nov 2020, 11:53

I started my players off with knowledge that they had the sight, and that they were born on a thursday... and reading the poem about the children...

Then, invited to Tea at the assylum, where they meet Linnea. Linnea signs them into the Society, signs the title deed to the castle to them as a corporate body, and authorizes them to relaunch the society... Thus allowing them to both ask her for her intentions for them, and to be able to get them going.

Then, as soon as they get to the castle... there's that note from Samisdottir via the PI...

Note also: I've put my party in at 1825 AD rather than the apparently more mid-century that seems intended on further consideration. But I've also decided 1 mystery per season is the rate of timeline. And they are still lugging their daguerrotype camera kit with them...
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Byrax
Posts: 718
Joined: Fri 08 Jan 2016, 10:42
Location: Mythic North

Re: Starting up roleplaying again, 15 years later, inexperienced players

Tue 10 Nov 2020, 15:21

When my players arrived at night time to Gyllencreutz the first time and started scouting out the old building, I let them hear footsteps and see a strange light.. Albin Frisk showing up, ready for service.
I played up the mystical aspects somewhat, telling the players that they could't recollect seeing the castle before, despite being in the city for a long time.

Also, I decided to have the first threat in place directly. A group of anonymous concerned citizens (writing in the newspapers) that want to tear down the "old ugly desolate building", that misfigures the Upsala townscape...

PS, Kollar, you have chosen a very good and intuitive system to run. My players picked it up within minutes. Read up extra on how resources work, they can be tricky as written (or downplay the importance the first scenario).
 
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aramis
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Re: Starting up roleplaying again, 15 years later, inexperienced players

Fri 13 Nov 2020, 05:44

When my players arrived at night time to Gyllencreutz the first time and started scouting out the old building, I let them hear footsteps and see a strange light.. Albin Frisk showing up, ready for service.
I had him waiting when they got home from mission 1... And, at the end of mission 2, he mentions the child hiding in the house. (She's undead. And doesn't quite understand that. They've adopted her since they freed her from her protecteur.)
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Daïna
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Location: France

Re: Starting up roleplaying again, 15 years later, inexperienced players

Mon 16 Nov 2020, 17:04

I have a house-ghost too. He plays violin at night and is the keeper of Gyllencreutz library.
 
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aramis
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Re: Starting up roleplaying again, 15 years later, inexperienced players

Thu 19 Nov 2020, 12:33

My players got hit with a house vaesen after adventure #1 - the corebook one. I didn't have it show immediately.

The girl in mine is not a ghost, per se. She's a faerie construct to hold her soul and function as a body. So, as a matter of course, she's functionally real... and getting more so as actual cells grow.
The players know where her body lies... and the horror heaped upon it.
SHe's a side effect of the guardian fairy realizing the mad boy in the castle was going to murder her. (and other unspeakable acts prior.)
She doesn't remember the event...
The real evil is gone... the young man who grew jealous when the girl and her brother stole his thunder as the baby in the Castle. He's dead. He's very safely dead, and enjoying whatever afterlife he has.
The girl is guarded by a faerie, bound by rituals and solemn promises tp guard her from harm... hence the new glamour body with smears of her blood, and preventing her from growing up until the blood and a few bits of tissue can slowly replace the glamour.

Was a great session. She's a use, too... spending time playing with her is good for a mental health level. (They paid DP for that!)
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kollar
Topic Author
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Joined: Fri 06 Nov 2020, 12:23

Re: Starting up roleplaying again, 15 years later, inexperienced players

Thu 03 Dec 2020, 15:32

Thank you everyone for the great replies! I will update with how I did.

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