One Big Party

From Create Your Own Story

Kent's two game groups had often heard of each other's campaigns, though they had only met a few times in person and until recently hadn't spoken much with each other online.

Kent had wanted to bring the two groups together for a game for a while, though at first they didn't think it would be a good idea to have so many people in a single game, 9 players is a lot to keep track of and what are the odds they'd be able to carry out a full campaign?

"Don't worry about that," Kent told them when they asked, "I'll worry about the size of the party, all I'm asking is for a quick one-shot game."

With enough poking and prodding he managed to convince each of them to go along with it, but actually getting them all together was another matter. It was difficult enough to schedule for 4 or 5 plus himself, the number for each of their groups, but for all 9 it was nearly impossible. And he insisted that everything be perfect before they even began. He planned every detail of their game and he hounded them to create new characters, and take them seriously. Characters that they could really get into. This despite the fact that it was supposed to be only one game.

Kent had talked with them all and went over their characters, and their characters' backstories. Ariana and Michael- the artists of the group -came up with illustrations for the characters as well, when they had time. Michael was to play A'lial Sunrunner, a Desert Ljosalfar Hunter, Diane was to play Agnora the Firebrand, a Human Barbarian, Isaac would play Mata del Toro- which Kent considered a ridiculous name, but Isaac insisted he was taking it seriously so he let it slide -an Oxman Warrior. Alec settled on playing Sheska Snowtail, a Bonnifar assassin and, more concerning to Kent, a woman. Alec questioned why Kent was so concerned over this detail, but Kent would reveal nothing, saying only that he wanted Alec to be sure he was comfortable embodying the character.

That left 5 more players. Joanne chose to play as Marsha Gilwen, a Freshwater Amphios Thief, William had trouble deciding on a name but eventually landed at Erosin- a little on the nose -the Lilin Summoner, John came up with Brenn the Alchemist, a Gremlin Alchemist, Ariana would play Gabriella, the Angel Archer, and finally Daniel- opened up to the idea of playing a woman by Alec, much to Kent's dismay -came up with Eriala Nightfall, a Forest Dokkalfar Witch.

Once he was satisfied that they had a firm enough grasp of their characters, were up to portraying them, and weren't just coming up with nonsense to get the game going, they all spoke over the internet to try and decide on a day to meet up. Dates were proposed, then denied, then more dates proposed, then more denied.

"Why don't we play over chat or something?" John, who lived furthest from the rest and had a hard enough time getting to all of his own group's games, asked in the group chat.

"We'll consider it in the future, should you all decide to continue this after our first meeting," Kent responded, "but for the start of our adventure we need to meet in person. I have a surprise for you all."

Finally they agreed on a date and time that worked for everyone, set over a month later.

As the day approached, Joanne said she would have to miss it because her shift at FlorMart was changed at the last minute, and Kent refused to play without everyone being present. They debated it more and settled on another date, which again needed to be postponed because the garage Michael worked at picked up a contract to work on a fleet of taxis and that meant all hands on deck for a while. So on and so forth, Ariana's van broke down, a website Alec worked for was hacked and needed put back in order, Daniel got food poisoning at a family gathering, etc.

Eventually, finally, nearly half a year after they started planning this game, the day arrived and the game did not need to be called off by anyone.

Campaign: One Shot

Kent had a heavy wooden table he used for these games. Sturdy, with a low top but with plenty of clearance underneath, octagonal, and with a raised circular portion in the center of the top. Wide, plenty of space for notepads, devices, character sheets, dice, anything the players might put on the table, but from any point most people could reach their hand to the center of the table, most importantly all of his players could.

He tried to provide a good atmosphere for these games, but most of the time the dining room was good enough with a change in decoration and some clever lighting. For this game he didn't think that would be good enough, he needed more space for people and he wanted more control over the atmosphere.

He had moved everything out of the garage and into either another room in his house or to his shed. He dragged this great heavy wooden table to the center of it with the help of a dolly. He set out iron candleholders and draped the walls, hung decorative weapons and shields, and most importantly hung a curtain over the inside of the garage door and its workings that wouldn't interfere with its movement. He set out 9 chairs, 1 for himself and 8 for his players save a space wide enough for Ariana's wheelchair. He set out his own necessary things, and placed a leather binder full of loose paper he had written on in the center of the table, on the rotating portion, with a strange crystal sphere on a pyramid base sitting square on the cover.

This arrangement he set out days before the original date, and later that day came the first postponement. The garage sat like this the whole time since, a full five months and change before finally the time came. The day of, he vacuumed and dusted- though not thoroughly, a little dust he felt was good for atmosphere -and set out appropriate bowls of snacks, prepared for every snack and drink to blend perfectly with the theme. He knew the snacks and drinks shouldn't be necessary if all was right, or that they might not be in the mood for them when they get to them, but just in case he thought. And besides, they're expecting to be here for pretty much the rest of the day, forgetting snacks is just being a bad host.

One by one the players arrived and after the last player showed they all piled into the garage, Kent lit the candles, shut the door, closed the garage door, and turned out the light above.

"Okay, I know we've been over this, but even the logistics of getting us all together aside- and the fact that this took half a year shows us that it really needs to be considered -I still think 9 is too big of a party," Ariana said, "I mean the smallest effective party is usually 3 players, this isn't meant to be a single player game by any means, but I feel like we push it even at 5 players sometimes."

"I don't think this game was made for 9 people to play it at once either, to be honest, but we're all here and we've done all this planning so let's let our GM worry about managing the party size," Daniel said, "Besides, from a story standpoint a party of 9 isn't a great leap, I mean one of the stories responsible for this kind of game even existing featured a party of 13 dwarves and a hobbit, which I admit would be frankly ridiculous from a gaming standpoint, but it worked for the story."

"True," Ariana again, "and anyway if this turns out not to be as fun as we hope, we don't have to keep doing it. I'm glad just to be out of the house."

The conversation turned to the two groups introducing themselves to each other formally, then Kent caught their attention before things got too far off track.

"All right. Everyone is here and acquainted, so we should go ahead and get started. Everyone, put a hand on the pyramid there in the center," Kent said, indicating the pyramid and crystal sphere sitting on the leather binder. The party touched their fingertips to the pyramid, and with each touch a soft blue light appeared in the crystal sphere, one for every member of the party. The spectacle drew gasps and 'ooh's from the players.

Kent cleared his throat before continuing, "from here on the next few hours will feel like months or years, but take only minutes. Your journey will be long and perilous, and it starts in Redfall," he reached out, a slight hesitation before touching his own hand to the top of the crystal sphere.

The sphere filled with a green light, which consumed the small blue ones, and then a blinding flash!

Player Character Race Class Start
Michael Smith A'lial Sunrunner Desert Ljosalfar Hunter Start
Diane Warren Agnora the Firebrand Human Barbarian Start
Isaac Delgado Mata del Toro Oxman Warrior Start
Alec Davis Sheska Snowtail Bonnifar Assassin then Prostitute Start
Joanne Exton Marsha Gilwen Freshwater Amphios Thief Start
Daniel Eslick Eriala Nightfall Forest Dokkalfar Witch Start
William Flake Erosin Lilin Druid Start
John Wills Brenn the Alchemist Gremlin Alchemist Start
Ariana Perez Gabriella Malakhim Archer Start
Kent Barrow Mor Tan the Vile Plains Ljosalfar Warlock Start
Personal tools