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Old May 18th, 2019, 05:15 PM
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Session Zero

Welcome players!

Let's first talk about how your hero fits into the setting and maybe more importantly how it is that they have come to know the other heroes. What bonds them together? Why would they adventure or tackle an issue together?
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Old May 19th, 2019, 02:37 PM
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Hey all, I'm excited for all of your characters to meet Orilo, and vice versa!

They may have heard of this smooth-talking Goliath if they have spent much time at the king's court at Argillon Falls, though the novelty of a genteel Goliath has spread more than one tittering rumor through the grapevine. Orilo moves almost exclusively in the upper circles, rubbing elbows with merchants, heiresses, and princes.

If Orilo was any other race he may have never moved beyond his political ambitions and answered the call to action; however, despite his well-mannered airs, this Bard still has hot, Goliath blood coursing through his veins. Orilo wants to compose ballads of heroes, especially those featuring himself prominently! This is the most likely reason he has come to adventure with this group of fine heroes; a chance to right wrongs, slay evil, and show the world that Goliath-kind have evolved into more than simple, barbaric wanderers.

EDIT 1: Orilo has known Thom by reputation for a long time, and respects him for his morality and public presence. More recently, Orilo has grown to admire Thom on a more personal level; they share a vision for the future of all Goliaths. Perhaps Orilo made the introductions between Thom and Vauthag, and has on occasion sought out the company of the sorcerer.
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Last edited by Mythrandil; May 19th, 2019 at 02:43 PM.
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Old May 19th, 2019, 03:31 PM
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Thanks for having us here, girlplay!

I'm excited to be playing with you all, especially in such an interesting setting.

Thom isn't particularly well known, but there are a fair number of opportunities for people to have met him and know who he is.

Mythrandil, I think that makes a lot of sense for Orilo. Thom may have been trying to get him to come to services, given Orilo's other connections.
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Old May 19th, 2019, 04:34 PM
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Very excited to get this started -- thanks Girlplay, and looking forward to meeting all the other characters properly.

How we all know each other: feel like a lot of the characters have/could have connections to the down and out / South Reaches side -- Sam, Tom's on the edge, Shadow's out of town a bit, maybe, but not well off, and Dolan sounds like he just got back to town, but probably didn't come with a lot? Don't know if he was well off or not while he was there. Feel like all of these would have at least heard of each other doing some good around the South Reaches / slum district...

Orilo is a bit off, here, but Thom and also Sam (her mentor/boss Paavu is a Goliath), have ties to the Goliath population, so he could be referred roped in. Are we looking to already have done something together, or just making it plausible that we should form a posse?

For how they fit in in the world -- on the Western influence side of things, Sam's been mixed up with a rough crowd -- like Shadow and Dolan -- but mostly it was "rough" -- just rowdy, fun-loving, freedom loving side of the Western, of being not fully civilized (Argillon Falls is pretty civilized, but a ranch a ways out of town...). I'm interested in the class dynamics -- I think that to proper, well-off townspeople, even her association with the gang so far is enough to tar her pretty badly (small town, people talk), but in the Reaches people aren't as bugged by the rowdiness and freedom? Morally at the biggest picture she's completely sound, but she sees a lot of the smaller stakes stuff -- minor theft, in particular -- as like the niceties of the rich, things used to put them above the poor.

I think she may be fascinated by Shadow and Dolan as potential father figures, but also as potential helpers in talking her brother straight and out of the gang -- I think it might be neat for Sam (and or some of the others) to have heard (possibly garbled and exaggerated) versions of what happened with them long ago; maybe not even knowing/realizing it was them? The tall-tale aspect of the Western. Just throwing that out there -- it's not my backstory.

Thom -- she'll definitely respect what he's doing for the community, but she's fascinated by some of the fallen civilizations, and for some reason in my mind that goes hand-in-hand with being skeptical of "the gods" currently worshipped; I think there could be some clashing over minor crimes, and she might be religion as a way of "putting yourself above others"?

Late here, and I'm just babbling now, so I'll wrap it up, but one more thing: I can gather some from the applications, but I would be very interested to get an explicit idea of an arc or two people had in mind for their characters -- to keep an eye out for places to give them something to build on.

Again -- excited!
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Old May 19th, 2019, 05:57 PM
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Thrilled to get to know you all and your characters! I'll pitch some concepts and work with what you all come up with. Feel free to correct me if I get anything about your people wrong. I'm not sensitive about it. I think at the beginning, Shadow would definitely need some convincing to leave the farm for long enough to go on an adventure. He has a daughter to think about, and he doesn't exactly enjoy the prospect of her growing up without a father. But if there's anything that would even slightly threaten his friends, family, or home, he'd be the among first to try and put it right.

Thom: Shadow would likely view Thom as a man doing what he thought was right, but he's understandably wary of dogma given his history with religion. I think that the clearest route for them to have some kind of a relationship might be that Treasure likes to attend service regularly since she doesn't get to be regularly social elsewhere. Therefore, Shadow might have sat down with the younger man and really probed his convictions at some point before he felt comfortable with his daughter learning from him. But once he got to know him, he'd likely be impressed with Thom's sincerity and wisdom, and felt comfortable with his daughter going to church ever since.

Also Quick Ben...is your name a Malazan reference? Because if so, we're friends.

Orilo: If Orilo has pull in the court, perhaps a good encounter with a well-mannered authority figure like him would settle Shadow's natural prickliness around law and government types. Perhaps Orilo helped him resolve a stick issue over the lines of his pasture and a neighbor's to the satisfaction of both? Shadow would still be worried someone with access to public records might learn more about his past some day, so I don't know if he'd invite Orilo over for tea just yet, but he would likely respect him as someone smart who does well by his own.

Dolan: I think Dolan and Shadow would likely get along very well, even if Paladins and their religious convictions can often rub him the wrong way. I think that would be overridden by his respect for a fellow veteran who seemed like he was mature, and understood better than most how harsh life could get. It's likely difficult for Shadow to always be around people who are good-natured, but don't really understand what it was like for people like them. Shadow wouldn't talk much about his own experiences in battle, but if Dolan could accept that, he'd be happy to have him over any time. Maybe he's even woven Dolan a good thick wool shirt or blanket for the cold months.

Sam: I get the sense that Shadow would have a really big heart for someone like Sam. Someone a decade and a half younger than him who's fallen on hard times and doing their best to do right be others when it isn't easy. And who took a stand when it would have been easier and more profitable to do nothing. He's in the ranch lands south of town, so it's possible he's heard whispers about what the Dry Creek Gang did without knowing all the details. But if they bumped into each other, he'd likely want to help her out having sort of been in her shoes once upon a time, and be brought near to tears watching someone who doesn't have much giving away coin. But her drinking and such would frustrate him to death.

Oztk, any opinions on where and when they might have met each other?
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Old May 19th, 2019, 08:54 PM
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@Quick Ben, I like that refinement. Orilo probably hasn't come to more than 1-2 services, and mainly for political reasons at that.

@oztk, I think that Sam and Orilo's backgrounds are different enough that this could be the first time they meet. Thoughts?

@Sinister, I think that sounds like a good background tie-in - maybe it was a few years ago, back when Shadow was first settling in? Orilo definitely sympathizes with being a new (and unusual!) face in town.

@DonaldJWafer, What do you think of this being the first time Orilo and Dolan meet?
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Old May 19th, 2019, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Sinister View Post
Also Quick Ben...is your name a Malazan reference? Because if so, we're friends.
It is! They are super weird books but such great characters.

@Oztk - I think Thom would probably be familiar with an outsider's view of what happened with the Dry Creek gang. He may not know Sam personally yet, but he may have heard her name as one of those who got out before it took a turn for the criminal. Prior to that, he probably approved of their somewhat rowdy humanitarianism, potentially even explicitly, if they ever game to the western part of South Reach. Or, maybe she also knows the bartender Matthew Brewer and they've had a drink (one for Thom, 3 for Sam) at his bar?

@Sinister - I like all of that. That sort of cross cultural outreach is something Thom would have jumped at, and the unique circumstance of a Tabaxi raising a human child would certainly make them stand out. He may have even gone out of his way to buy wool goods from him when the church raised those kinds of funds. However, he is distinctly uncomfortable with Shadow on a personal level if he's aware of the Tabaxi's magical talents and anything about their nature. Is that something Shadow would be open about?

@DonalJWafer - Is Dolan a paladin of any specific one of the gods? I think Thom and Dolan probably have a fair amount of common ground. Maybe Dolan visited Thom's church on some sort of religious business?
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Old May 20th, 2019, 02:07 AM
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Hey all,

I'm thrilled to see that we have such an active group and I feel bad for being the last one to the party. It's late here so I'm just trying to rattle something off before heading to bed, but I will have some time tomorrow during the day to thoroughly read through all of your character info/backstories and suggest my thoughts. So with that disclaimer, at the moment I'm only going to be able to offer up some info on Dolan.

So Dolan isn't a traditional Paladin in the religious sense. His faith and "cause for righteousness" is not rooted in devotion to one particular god, but rather devotion to the world, to the good of humanity, doing good for the sake of doing good. He has chosen this path in hopes to redeem himself and restore his inner light (as a fallen Aasimar). He certainly doesn't have anything against religion, he respects what it offers for those who follow, but is in search of a more universal good than any one religion or god can offer.

Based on the wards of Argillon Falls, I think Dolan would have grown up in the Northern Fields. But his family left nothing to him and so he has nothing to return to there. He has a little saved away from his time at war, but after his return he probably would have ended up in South Reach. South Reach would be problematic for Dolan, because it's where he ran with gangs as a teen and with seedy characters and bars he's tempted to return to his old ways. But there also seems to be the opportunity to be a force for good in this lawless district. Dolan would certainly have tried to surround himself with others that have noble or good intentions. However after making contact or even friendships with some of the others, they would notice a mysterious air about him and that at times he suddenly disappears for several days.

@oztk I like the angle you suggested of Dolan being some kind of mentor or paternal figure for Sam. He definitely would empathize with going down the wrong path in youth and want to try to help someone (Sam, her brother, or both) find their way onto a better path.

I'll do some more reading and thinking tomorrow, goodnight!
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Old May 20th, 2019, 03:35 PM
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@Mythrandil - I don't know if Dolan would have had reason to meet Orilo prior to our adventure beginning. Dolan has little interest in the courts of the city, and although he came from a somewhat wealthy family, his family had few political connections. From a philosophical point of view Dolan doesn't see the point to art/music, he feels that time spent in creative endeavors could be better spent in more practical ways. So hopefully we can have some fun tension there moving forward.

Also, is Orilo pronounced O-rye-lo or O-rill-o?

@Quick Ben - Now that I've had a chance to read your character description and backstory I definitely agree our characters would have a connection. Even though Thom is younger than Dolan, I could see Dolan looking up to him, and respecting the good he does in the community. Maybe Dolan attends his church at times and sits quietly in the back just to see Thom speak, even though he doesn't necessarily follow the beliefs, traditions of the local church. Thom's sermons could help him keep his moral compass pointed in the right direction.

@oztk - After having a chance to read about Sam I'll double down on your idea of Dolan potentially being a mentoring figure for Sam. I think Dolan would also be inspired by Sam's heart. Even though she does steal from time to time, he sees her giving spare change to the beggar children and truly senses that she does it out of genuine kindness, not our of some contrived self-driven altruism as similar gestures feel when Dolan does them.

@Sinister - I definitely agree that Dolan and Shadow would see eye to eye. Dolan would also have great respect for what Shadow has done for Treasure. He'd also be fine with keeping the past in the past, although if Shadow were to bring up his experiences with the cult of Sota, he wouldn't push back against Shadow's scepticisms of religion. Dolan believes that some religious orders do great things for people and their communities, but others can be cruel and tyrannical. With most things Dolan thinks it comes down to whether or not those in leadership roles have good hearts. He might say something like, "Everything on this earth, from the greatest acts of love and kindness to the cruelest abuse and violence is carried out by men, not the gods. And it's up to us to choose which path we want to follow isn't it?"
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Old May 20th, 2019, 03:52 PM
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Good question Donald, it is pronounced O-rill-o! Though in this neck of the woods, he is used to folks calling him O-rye-lo or O-rah-lo, depending on how much time they've spent on the bleeding edge of the frontier. He is quick to correct

Looking forward to all the interpersonal, character-developing goodness!
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Old May 20th, 2019, 04:13 PM
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Sam: I get the sense that Shadow would have a really big heart for someone like Sam. Someone a decade and a half younger than him who's fallen on hard times and doing their best to do right be others when it isn't easy. And who took a stand when it would have been easier and more profitable to do nothing. He's in the ranch lands south of town, so it's possible he's heard whispers about what the Dry Creek Gang did without knowing all the details. But if they bumped into each other, he'd likely want to help her out having sort of been in her shoes once upon a time, and be brought near to tears watching someone who doesn't have much giving away coin. But her drinking and such would frustrate him to death.

Oztk, any opinions on where and when they might have met each other?
I have images of them nodding at each other as Sam passes through by where Shadow is on her way to the ranch (would it make sense for the ranch to be far south of the city?) Sometimes a bit of a knowing look, other times maybe Sam's with a bunch of drunk louts or rowdy herself and feels a bit ashamed? Not knowing each other just from stories -- am I right in thinking that Shadow's dark history is not public knowledge -- he's just the Tabaxi that lives out of town with a human girl?

Then worked together for some quick, violent incident -- fighting off wild animal / goblin raider outside town? Stopping some drunk bully on the Southern reaches?

So a long time only knowing each other by reputation then some sort of quick, deep, bond, but still not really knowing each other yet? Just a thought

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@oztk, I think that Sam and Orilo's backgrounds are different enough that this could be the first time they meet. Thoughts?
I'm ok with that, as long as Orilo has enough bonds with the rest of the group that it makes sense that we're working together. My natural instinct is to play Sam as extremely doubtful and skeptical of Orilo, as she just sort of looks down on higher society in general, whereas Orilo seems a bit invested in it? Not hostility to violence or not working together, but not friendly at all, and to hopefully have that soften slowly as they get to know each other? But wanted to check with you and rest of group first -- some people don't enjoy much antagonism at all between characters and I'm happy to find another angle to play it, too -- Sam's boss is a Goliath blacksmith, so perhaps she's met Orilo through her, and possibly gotten a good impression of him from that.

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@Oztk - I think Thom would probably be familiar with an outsider's view of what happened with the Dry Creek gang. He may not know Sam personally yet, but he may have heard her name as one of those who got out before it took a turn for the criminal. Prior to that, he probably approved of their somewhat rowdy humanitarianism, potentially even explicitly, if they ever game to the western part of South Reach. Or, maybe she also knows the bartender Matthew Brewer and they've had a drink (one for Thom, 3 for Sam) at his bar?
Sam will definitely know the bartender -- maybe knowing Sam's humanitarian side, Matthew put them in touch, and they pool their work a bit? I'm imagining Sam showing up at some community service type event and grimacing through the actually religious aspects. I think a decent chunk of the Dry Creek gang might have even come to services -- maybe they made some decent donations to help the poor, too? Thom could be concerned for his congregation -- some could be stopping coming as much, or acting guilty/dark when they do...


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Hey all,

I'm thrilled to see that we have such an active group and I feel bad for being the last one to the party.
Pace online is plenty slow -- you weren't late at all!

Stepping back a second, Thom as a preacher maybe has the most social reach and good connections with everyone, plus might be the most likely to organize things -- possibly one way to make the group getting together feel the most organic is to go through him to some degree?
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Old May 20th, 2019, 04:36 PM
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@oztk, I think having Orilo with strong bonds to only half the group is perfect; going on adventures is out of his comfort zone! My writing style is to let my characters take on a life of their own; with that emotional distance, I am extremely happy to have antagonistic relationships, especially when two characters have similar morals but very different values and backgrounds. Based on what I've seen of Sam, though, there's plenty of common ground to build on, so I'm not worried about them being enemies, especially long term. Looking forward to see how this develops!

I second oztk's notion that Thom is a logical choice for the person who brought this group of people together. Charismatic, able to see the best qualities in people; I can definitely imagine him choosing us, though an outsider may see a random assortment of people.
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Old May 20th, 2019, 04:57 PM
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Mythrandil, I think that works well for my timeline!

Ben, Shadow wouldn't use his cantrips recreationally. He associates his magic with violence, and has only used it on the road. That said, his reputation as a "folk hero" rests upon wielding it to defend the herds of other ranchers. But I doubt they would understand the exact nature of his casting. Would Thom question him about it directly?

Donald, Shadow would basically agree. He'd essentially say that if you've found something that works for you and doesn't cause you to go pushing others around, good on you. He'd basically just be happy to have a friend who "gets it" about war, and they don't need to talk about it to understand each other.

Oztk, I think my understanding of the geography would line up with it being to the far south. It would make sense why he and his neighbors would see a few more monster raids than most. I think the idea of Shadow and Sam running off some group of livestock rustlers would be good. I like the idea of that sort of wordless respect.

And you're correct. He's gone to lengths to leave his past in the past, and hoping it won't catch up with him.
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Old May 20th, 2019, 06:07 PM
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Ben, Shadow wouldn't use his cantrips recreationally. He associates his magic with violence, and has only used it on the road. That said, his reputation as a "folk hero" rests upon wielding it to defend the herds of other ranchers. But I doubt they would understand the exact nature of his casting. Would Thom question him about it directly?
No, Thom wouldn't be comfortable prying into some one's life in that way. Especially given his uneasy relationship with his own abilities. That'll just be a fun thing that he can be uncomfortable about later!

I'm sure I can make it work with Thom as the primary contact, if that seems appropriate. Depending on the motivating factor for forming such a group, he probably wouldn't be inclined to take the lead, but being convincing about working together is in his wheelhouse.
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Old May 20th, 2019, 06:43 PM
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