Yesterday in Game Club we played Dungeons and Dragons!
I have a great group, mostly girls, who have never done tabletop role-playing before. They were timid and unsure at the start.
We started out with the lay of the land. I described my campaign setting and showed them several maps. One was of the continent as a whole and the second was “zoomed in” on the region that will be the focus of the campaign. I told them the main reason as to why they had travelled there and invited them to contribute character back stories in emails.
After describing the setting and the purpose, I asked them if they had any questions or if they would like to go to any particular place at Clan Bear Outpost before they met with the Pack Alpha Guild Leader. Crickets. It was pretty clear at this stage that they needed a lot of help in knowing what “role-playing” options there were. So, I moved right along to Captain Toothborn describing some possible missions and then gave them three concrete options:
1) Decide on what to buy to prepare for their trip.
2) Talk to townspeople to gather more information.
3) Ask any questions they might have about how the game works.
This helped considerably and they got to work as I spoke to an experienced role-player (who is playing a Manticore!) about how he was getting to the town. During this time they also met their major ally NPC: Spinitt, a female Gnome Fighter who looks small but fights hard! Most of the party is sorcerors and rogues, so they need some martial prowess.
When I returned they had some fun plans. Some of them made purchases, some chose to talk to townspeople for info and Dominique had the great idea of using her “Speak With Animals” bard spell to get the low-down from one of the many Crows in town. They were all very impressed with my talking Crow impression (CAAAAWWWWWW!). Ana stole a silvered shortsword from the Warriors Guild. Mary helped Dominique talk to the High Priestess of Sylvanus about the doings-a-transpiring in the area. Ethan attempted to climb the crag by the rookery and fell, but managed to talk his way out of a consequence from a guard.
The PCs learned about the Orcs and Giants as major threats pushing other beasts down into Clan Bear territory. The garrison is severely overtaxed and the PCs are needed to investigate “The Gap” between the Orc and Giant territory that neither rival group would touch. The rumor is that there is a giant castle there that could be the key to access to the Unknown Regions in the Northeast. Clan Bear has long been established as an exploration group.
Tyler was was patient this whole time because I can’t have a Manticore in a town. So, I threw him a bone by having a guard report seeing a Manticore attacking wolves nearby. The PCs are in an interesting situation in that they don’t know it’s Tyler, and have received permission to get Manticore tail spikes as evidence they killed it. This is important because they’ll be able to get the spikes while still accepting Tyler as a character.
So, I set a new game early (in two weeks) because they clearly enjoyed themselves and I want to keep the momentum going. This was the most enjoyable time I’ve had role-playing with a group of students. The MVP goes to Emma, one of my Directors of Role-playing, who really helped to get the group going with creative tasks!