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The Odd Company

by tjedge1

So far my group of players are still trying to figure out their characters. Since this campaign will be completely open to what the players will like to do, I am going to run the Wrath of the Immortals and the Hule related adventures. I'll start them around 990 so they can gain some levels and get the hang of my custom rules system before I throw the kitchen sink at them.

I'll be starting out the first quest as the Eye of Traldar. Partly because it's semi-easy for 1st level characters and partly because a powerful artifact to find early on will allow me to build on a continuos story while they decide to return it or keep it, while the Baron hunts them down, as he becomes their arch-enemy. I also like to start campaigns in Karameikos. It's like the centre of the Known World and still wild enough to adventure in. The characters will be travelling together in a caravan on their way to Luln when some bandits attack. I'll make sure the caravan is destroyed and the bandits escape after killing everyone but the characters and then they must travel together without really knowing anything about each other. The bandits also will escape with all the gold which they used to pay for the journey without having to work as caravan guards. All the players are making their characters separately so they don't know anything about each other. I told them to treat the others like they would complete strangers. So far they like the idea. If one of them decides to be a thief there could be a problem. I also told them not to discuss the character classes. Let the others guess form appearance and actions in the game, unless they hit it off and then spill the beans. Anyway, when they camp for the night before they continue on, the game will begin there. The slavers will attack them as they are mistaken as allies to the guy they're really chasing and he convinces them to help him. Either with money or whatever, I'll get them to play along.

I'm going to run the first part of the WotI as soon after the Eye adventure is done. Then I want to figure out how to incorporate the Dragon Mountain boxed set as a filler before continuing with WotI.

At the moment only 3 have decided what types of characters they want. I'm not big on multi-classes so what I do is combine the classes a player wants to use into a new character class. As an example:

My first player has picked to be an Avariel.

She had to talk me into it and after reading up on them, I decided the wings can be as much a hindrance as a help. So I finally said ok. Then she wanted a magician and warrior (specialising in archery). I warned her Avariel don't get a bonus with bows like other elves because their wings interfere. She was fine with it. So I stole the name from Sacred and called her new class the Battle Mage. It will specialise in healing and elemental magic while allowing the skills of weapons to be easily learned. Of course to balance things, her hit points will be somewhere between a warriors and a mages. Since I'm using Rolemaster rules, it uses a level bonus system for everything, so I can average all the stats and skills for the 2 classes to create a new one without it taking forever to gain levels or be overpowerful. So her unnamed character is an Avariel Battlemage. That has got to be the strangest character I have allowed since the Half-Gnoll/Elf Forester.

The 2nd is not so odd.

He has decided to make a cleric which will also use healing and curse magic. It is a True Neutral cleric and it will specialise in Necromancy. So he is renaming it a Necromancer. Also because he doesn't want the character to belong to a clerical order so his divine magics will have to come from the magic users source. This also means no metal armour, but he wants to wear bone armour and paint it to appear metallic so nobody realises it's really bone. He also wants assassin skills so he can kill someone then raise them as undead to use them later on. So in a way I have to design another class. The Necromancer. This player has said he wishes to hide his necromancy and pose as a cleric. So somehow he'll have to learn to control the undead and make it appear as if he turns them. He'll have to hide when he "meditates" also since his magic is not coming form an Immortal and rather he has to study like a magic-user.

The 3rd is so far the most "common"

He wants a Norseman Barbarian. Big, hairy, mean, strong and tough. We are discussing whether or not to make him a berserker as well. Would be a good addition to the group as I think he might be the only real muscle. A typical barbaric Viking type from Soderfjord.

The 4th is another odd one. A Shiye Elf Ranger that shapeshifts at will without being a lycanthrope. I'm going to add some skills for this one that will help with self control when in animal form. Will be difficult to do this character, but I am trying to stay open minded. In elven form she will be a ranger, but will focus her combat skills in the animal form. She may have the ability to shapeshift into several different animal types. This may be a trait picked up by the Shiye elves living in Alphatia. Maybe as a way to hide themselves from intruders and then scaring them away.

The 5th and last for now has decided to be a Graak Gnoll. He'll be a ranger type with a little more focus on weapons skills to lend muscle to the game. He also will be wary of the 4th character since he will be able to smell the cat presence. He just doesn't know it yet.

I think this diverse group will spend as much time trying to get used to each other as they adventure.

I don't mind doing this for my players because the system I use is so flexible. Last year I started a campaign and no characters had a class. They could improve whatever area they wanted. I realised though, that they all still developed their characters into certain areas that could be classified as a class, so this time they will just have to go by classes. Or professions in Rolemaster. It's just easier for me.