Well last night on the bus from Guadalajara back to Mexico City a quick game started on Facebook. Yea Facebook. A small thread started in the local role play group inquiring about what RPGs are transformed into a game when asked "so what else do we need to start playing", I said "well you're role playing now as we speak". No dice had been rolled, no characters created, just ideas of what the player wanted to be. Two more players quickly joined the thread which became a chat and then another one joined the group and the chat.
Half an hour later one player was a monk traveling north and finding himself stranded in a walled city after the caravan he was traveling with turned west and up river. Needing to find a new party he became acquainted with someone who recommended a local guide (the second player). Who is a rogue like character with "special" skills. While waiting for the guide to arrive the monk meets the third player a gypsy bard who sings some tunes to his name. A small brawl between the "guide" and the gypsy over the gypsy being a treacherous one. Strangely a stampeding city guard forces the gypsy to decide between getting the coins hes earned singing or jumping to save these folks he just met. He saves them and loses his gold. At that point we stopped. The last character a female elven ranger druid will have to join the group a while later.
I'm really interested in this game as it's the first time I use the rules with an inexperienced group of players. The possibilities seem endless and they're not skewed by preconceptions of what RPG, of what can and can't be allowed by the rules. I looking forward to keeping it like that. The characters make the rules around simple mechanics. The monk is a brewer who borders on alchemist as he's so good. Some secret power will come from that. Maybe beer potion making? The gypsy bard sounds like a very interesting character. Music and rogue put together. A musical street wise character? The rogue is the least polished one as the player joined in late. Finally the elf will be the last to join the group. We'll see how she turns out.
So far I'm thrilled at been saying "yes", "yes" and "yes" to things. Nothing seems to prone to breaking the rules. We are building characters based on pseudoclasses called templates and fine tuning them not based on skills, but rather roles. Actually they don't know this, it's all going on in my head. But the game's roles packed in collegia can then be built into game settings. As a game master I'll later flesh out the gypsy collegia based on player interestes and my own ideas. Which is what I'm looking for. Going from player ideas/interests to roles to character creation. Instead of proposing a character class to which the player must mold himself to.
The magic system seem to be able to supply all that is coming, alchemy? sure, druid spells ? yes. Ranger and druid multiclassing, sure thing. Just put the two collegia into the character and let her play it out. She and the monk will be superbly strong characters. Yet I'm not worried as the XP tax system will benefit the others. The monk and the druid will rise slower now. Letting the others level out. Added to that the characters are playing what they want. I think this is key in preventing max-min issues as they'll maximise their character no the character stats. That means fleshing out to maximize character feel rather than character combat capacity. I mean what better than being an alchemist-brewer. That idea has me enthralled in the options for great role play. Good starting point for so many things and quite a strong power if used wisely.
Well enough for now. I'm just getting home. Off to a shower and some rest.