Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Meet the Players

Spucky Conkerbucket - Art by Steph Cherrywell
My online campaign has now progressed across four sessions, two of them one-on-ones with the individual players. So who are these illustrious players that have felled giant trapdoor spiders, hit little girls with rocks, and dodged mad cows?
On her laptop a few feet away, trying not to peek at my giant monitor(s), there's Kitty Lowrance. One trick to playing online, when two of you are actually in the same room, is being careful to type anything game-related in chat so as not to exclude the other player. Thus we have two conversations going at once - Kitty, your turn. "You hungry?" I'm go to swing my greataxe at the dark-haired guy. Um, what do I add to that roll? "Yeah... let's make popcorn!" Since you're raging? I think it's + 6. "Okay. After my turn I'll go start it."

Kitty plays Agartha Daggath the "barbarian." Her background and motivation remains a cipher, but her personality had quickly developed - hot-tempered but nobody's fool, mildly self-interested, argumentative. Without realizing it my wife is role-playing the same archetype as Han Solo.

At 5' 10" and 270lb, Agartha swings a greataxe the size of a halfling with murderous strength, and when she goes into a rage, she's already shown the ability to drop typical level 1 opponents from full life to -10 HP in a single blow. The Barbarian is not just a weaker version of the Fighter.

Steph Sakurai, who readers may recall as the artist behind the awesome Intragalactic and other comics, kicked all this off by asking me if I could introduce her to D&D after I wrote this post. Besides being a great cartoonist Steph's also a great person to play with - she puts a lot of thought into her characters, filling them with personality through in-game interactions. A wonderful dynamic already arose over the last two sessions between Kitty and Steph's characters.

In contrast to Agartha, Steph's character is Spucky Conkerbucket. From Steph:
Spucky is a wandering druid whose goal is to see the entire world.  She's especially interested in visiting the most extreme points in the natural world (the highest mountain, the deepest trench, the largest tree, any really unusual environment, etc.) and her long-term goal is to visit as many of these as she can, regardless of danger. Sometimes she just goes wherever her legs feel like taking her, but she also spends a lot of time in libraries looking through histories and atlases in order to get ideas.   She's more comfortable than most druids with big cities, viewing humanoid constructs as being as much a part of the natural world as a beehive or beaver dam - as long as they don't sprawl too much or despoil the area around them.

Her favorite food is fruit, and she likes baking it into pies and tarts.  Distinguishing characteristics include large amounts of freckles and rather crooked teeth, and heavy scars on her left forearm, the result of being attacked by a badger in childhood.
Spucky's a gnome, so she's about 40lb or so to Agartha's 270. Regardless, she's got a good string of ability scores and is clever as hell with her spell usage, so anyone thinking she's the weaker of the pair won't last long. She also has her animal companion, Chops the riding dog, who tore the throat out of a guy last session so... yeah. Druid isn't a bad choice of class, either.

I'll talk a bit about the sessions themselves in future posts, as well as my experience using Maptools thus far. For now I just thought I'd introduce the crew.

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