So tomorrow is our first session of Red Box Niagara.
I'm looking at 5-7 players roughly 19-24 years of age. A couple have 4E experience and a couple have never played before. I'm really looking forward to it.
I'm going to start by handing out some introductory sheets on style of play and role-playing, then character generation, and finally on to the Keep on the Borderlands.
I've created point-form sheets for the classes (nobody will have the ruleset in front of them). For those who want to get their own copy I will be directing people to the Labyrinth Lord core rules.
I have to tell you, I'm fighting serious urges to begin this group with the Advanced Edition Companion as gospel. I'm back and forth on the issue. The only thing keeping me back is that several people haven't played before. I should keep it simple, right? Or am I just totally overthinking this?
I've made several additions and house rules. I've created Latin corruptions as spell invocations. Spell-casters must use these when casting spells. When turning undead clerics must exclaim, "In the name of [Deity’s Name in Ancient Common], I banish you unholy abominations!” Sweet eh? I always liked that from the second D&D movie. I've added a couple weapons and one suit of armor. Magic-users can use the longsword (Gandalf-like). Don't give me any of that stealing the fighter's thunder stuff. I have no problem with this because if they need to use their longswords they are likely dead anyway. Also, excluding ranged weapons, the halberd, and the two-handed sword, fighters can use any weapon two-handed and increase the damage die of that weapon by 1. Dwarves can do the same thing but only with hammers and axes. Elves need magic armor to cast spells. I've created another category for ranged attacks called "Point Blank Range." We will be using minis as well. I've added two deities for each of Law, Neutrality, and Chaos. Hopefully the players over time can develop these areas further. I am setting things up to use the AEC even if I don't use it right away.
I realize that it's common to do zero character background but I'm having each player answer the following two questions to stimulate thought about their characters and role-playing: Write a short, creative background for your character. Answer two questions: 1) Who are you? 2) How did you end up at a remote, god-forsaken, borderland keep inhabited by criminals, barbarians, and cut-throats at the ass-end of the civilized realm?
So, that's the quick and dirty version. I can't wait to get them hyped about playing.