It took a while, but I finally started what I hope will be a healthy monthly campaign in Gods of the Fall last night. With four players at the moment (including +Andrew Cady +Dave Hanlon +andrew lyon and +Jim Baltzell-Gauthier ) I had a "session zero" a month before to discuss characters and get some ideas from the players with last night's session being our first play session.
During our discussions I asked if they wanted to start off knowing about their divinity or not. They decided to start entirely mortal which I thought would be fun to see how they learned of their divine potential. Of course then I realized I needed to not only plan a puny mortal adventure, but also seed in the opportunity to discover their divine potential during play in the first couple of sessions of the campaign.
Not yet sure if the group would start aligned or not I decided that a good way to kick things off would be a big public event where the PCs could bump into each other as need be and where I could allow a goodly amount of open roleplay before tossing out a major plot point as early, or late, as needed.
Since my game is going to start in Somorrah, and since Somorrah has a large number of Adherents, I decided that a festival on the anniversary of the Fall would make a great event to kick off the game and the campaign! Enter "The Festival of Fallen Gods," a nighttime celebration throughout the city where people celebrate the old Gods in a way similar to the way the Day of the Dead is celebrated in our world.
In addition, the festival falls onto an annual celestial event in the form of a meteor shower. Most people assume the event started only after the Fall, but the shower is just a periodic event and has been going on since before history. Still the blazing meteors make for a wonderful special effect for the Adherent's proselytizing.
Of course the Order of Reconciliation doesn't take too kindly to this ...
Once I had my initial setup I needed a few drop-in events I could use to keep things going and give the PCs some chance to forge relationships in an organic way. Using a random city-event list I grabbed a pair that I thought would work well:
- An Adherent, preaching that the Gods will return in time and reward the faithful, becomes embroiled in an argument with a Reconciliator that soon escalates to violence.
- Since a level 7 Knight of Reconciliation would mop the floor with fresh Tier 1 PCs I'm going to treat this guy and his buddies as Slavers for the purposes of the session.
- The Adherent will be a simple level 2 NPC but will be backed up by one or more of the Queen's guard if need be (pg 46)
- I figure that the PCs will probably side with the Adherent, but if not, or if they don't take part at all, it will tell me a little about them that I can use later.
- On a less busy side street or alley a young woman is on hands and knees frantically searching the ground for something. One of the PCs spies a piece of jewelry nearby under some refuse.
- The kicker here is that the stone set into the jewelry is a Cypher, and a powerful one at that. I'll give the PC who finds it an inkling of it's worth and then see if they return it or keep it.
- As before regardless of the outcome this will tell me something about one or more of the PCs.
- The Cypher is a Divine Elevation, and can grant 2 power shifts to a target for 1 minute. A powerful piece of fallen Elanehtar!
- The PCs see a sleen reveler carrying a puppet effigy of a fallen god that looks extremely similar to one of the PCs! The sleen is staring at the PC in apparent surprise/shock. If the PC the effigy matches approaches the person they drop the doll in surprise and the PC feels the impact.
- This one is straight up foreshadowing, and a one-time thing, they can do anything they want to that doll thereafter and they won't feel it, but it should be a scene that really freaks out at least the one PC if played right.
The last thing I have planned is intended to be the end of the session and set up the second: a meteor, far brighter and closer roars overhead during the festival and crashes into the wilderness beyond the city in the direction of the Verge. Depending on the timing for my session the PCs may be able to travel out to the site in the first session or that may be the cliffhanger ending of the session. With ~4 hours and brand new characters (and a new player) I'm not sure how long the festival scenes will take.
If the meteor fall happens early I'll probably inject an encounter or two on the road and plan to end when they arrive at the impact site. Regardless exploring the crater and its contents will be the primary thrust of our second session. I'll post about that in a month or so after, that session has been run!