An Odd Bunch

Hi there,
we played our first session tonight and had quite a lot of fun! Together we were 4 people but we’re planning to play as a group of 5 in the future.

A lot of time went into chargen, what was okay, since it’s an entertaining minigame in itself and helped me introducing the rules. It took us about 4 1/2 hours to create characters and backstory.

My players came up with a super interesting Motif: They are the bastard children of a rather lusty parisian bishop, who died under suspicious circumstances shortly after he told them that he was their father. The players think that he was the victim of a conspiracy against him and want to investigate his death now, partly out of fear, they could be the next victims.

My players rolled quite different characters:

Bonifaz de la Meuse, a noble affiliated Jesuit with outstandingly high stats, who lives with his cousin, niece and spouse (his housekeeper) in a rented apartment.

Babette, a strong and solid female Factotum, affiliated with the nobility, works for a grand dame at the Cour der Miracles, who runs several shady businesses in the court, and only “employs” women (Oliver Twist was the biggest inspiration Here). She lives with her brother, cousin, and infirm grandmother in a rented apartment.

Mademoiselle Herman, a Harpsburg affiliated female clerk with super low stats. She is the most ordinary character of the bunch, but is troubled by many problems: high debt, low stats, weak body and mind. She is more like a dependent herself. But she set her mind to escape her dire straits. She lives with her infirm aunt and cousin in a rented apartment.

Originally, I planned to just create characters and start playing in the next session, but we had one hour left, and so I improvised a few scenes, so that we can hopefully rescue Monsieur Faucher in the next session.

After chargen I noticed a few oddities and questions that I couldn’t answer. I will conclude this post with these questions and hope that you can help me here.

  1. Our clerk rolled really low stats and couldn’t really shift much points around. That left her with a Constitution of 4. She then rolled really low on her Lifepath HP and would have started the game with 0 HP. Maybe we made a mistake or this is just a rare oddity. We are supposed to subtract the Constitution Modifier from the HP when we roll for 2nd, and 3rd level HP advancement, right? She began her Lifepath with 2HP, rolled then a 1 and another 1. From this we subtracted her Modifier (-2), what left us with 0HP. I simply granted her 1HP, but it seems weird nonetheless.

  2. My characters immediately began describing their everyday routine: waking up, going to work, dinner, going to bed. Right now the only situations in which the characters can come together are the evening or nighttime, because they are busy nonstop. How do you keep the game flowing and the group together in your games?

Hope, my insights are of help to you and that you can answer my questions. I will add reports of the upcomming sessions to this thread.

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Mme Herman is my favorite. You did the right thing with her HP. Minimum 1 always.

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General roleplaying suggestion rather than BW specific: give each of the characters an existing link to at least one other character.

For example, the L5R game which I’m in, the GM used “Fiasco” tables to create a link between characters (for example, “mutual friend murdered” which we then fluffed out into something that fitted fantasy Feudal Japan. Thus, at the start of the action, we already had some “this character recognises that one and knows a little bit about their personality/abilities” and some other looser connections such as “we’ve never met, but your aunt married my uncle”.

Having these ties give you options for getting people together “at work”: for example, someone is moving between two locations and sees someone in an argument, they might intervene; if they see the person who gave a moving elegy at their friend’s funeral, they will almost certainly intervene and be more inclined to put themselves to effort rather than break up a fight and move on.

They also allow you to draw characters into sub-plots: you need another swordsman to back you up? Another of the character’s trained with your instructor at the same time you did and was always up for making a night of it.