This was our first and second session of the new characters. Also we picked up a new player (Randy) giving us 5 players in the group. With an announcement that another one would be taking over one of the NPCs for a total of 6 players.
This new group is a bunch of youngsters 8 to 12 living in a monastery kind of thing called the Order. There are twelve kids per creche, each creche has a "minder"or chaperone till they are old and fit enough to begin formal training. Some of us have been here several years, brought in as orphans or sold to the Order.
The Order is a powerful training and quasi military organization run by the Empire that patrols the land and its borders looking for monsters, rebels, and unrest. Pretty much anything that can pose a threat to the empire. The outlined plan is to have several sessions then a break of a year or two game time, then repeat the cycle a few times till were all adults. GURPS Social Engineering: Back to School will be used to help with training, and of course as its a Wuxia/Xianxia setting GURPS Martial Arts will be essential for its additional rules and listed martial styles.
This format has an advantage over the "You all meet at an Inn" in that our characters grow up knowing each other. Also the training sequence lets us figure out our characters as we slowly build them (25 point templates plus bonus to start, and most of us reserved much of the bonus points). So we can interact with the other players and the environment so we grow organically and hopefully cohesively. This will be my first time but two of the players already did this in the GMs prior campaign (Ceteri).
So with the intro out of the way....
- Jian Wu (Two) (Christian) 8M, strong guy
- Jiao Ting (Eight) (Chris D) 8M
- Liang Jing Min (Five) (Randy) 8M, sorcerer
- Nongmin Chushi (Seven) (Rory) 8M, says he talks to spirits, inquisitive and charming more than creepy despite possibly being insane.
- Shang Yi (One) (Calvin) 8M, natural leader and archer.
- Zhiyu Zhige (Nine) (Laurie) 8F, sorcerer specializing in healing.
- He Bohi (Eleven) 8M, Twin, grew up near the docks.
- He Donghai (Twelve) 8M, grew up near the docks.
- He Qing (Four) 9M, bully of the group.
- Laoshu (Three aka Mouse) 9F, quiet and good with a knife.
- Meiyou Ren (Six) M Also good with a knife
- Rang Baozhai (Ten) 11F, our bookworm and nerd.
The creche is out working the farm when were all called in early through the ringing of the bells. Were led to an auditorium and told to take a seat. Each seat has a backpack next to it, most refrain from examining it though the curious Chushi does. It has some clothing, money, a knife, and some basics.
The grandmaster of the Order walks in and tells us it is our time of choosing. We must decide to leave the Order or stay. If we stay we will not be later permitted to leave until we graduate as we will learn some of the Orders secrets. Those who stay are tasked with going up a nearby mountain and retrieving a Jade Heart flower. Were then dismissed!
Most of the crowd chooses to stay, one of our creche departs, the rest head up the mountain after determining that Chushi at least knows what the flower looks like. Many of the other creches have obviously not hiked before and run, we pass them exhausted along the way as we slowly but steadily pace ourselves. The one who left (Rang Baozhai) also catches up with us after changing her mind on leaving.
The first real obstacle is a short cliff face they have to climb up. Taking our time, using the provided equipment, and helping each other gives us a+5 Task Modifier; trouble is some have to resort to default Climbing skill, which is DX-5! Chushi fails and falls for 1 HP damage, another falls for 6 and has to be healed by Zhige.
Session is then called due to real life drama.
Look! Man Eating Plants!
- Zhige yanked out the thorn from Chushi's chest (causing more damage and evoking a scream, but a semi manly one at least -just ask him!) but she heals his damage and he charges one of the plants.
- Ting does an impressive belly flop on a plant, trying either a flying tackle or pretending to jump into bed, we cant tell.
- Mouse really impresses anyone watching with her combat skill, didnt miss or fail to dodge once!
- The plants are tough to cut with our knives but really flammable as Wu guesses. Confirmed by Jing Min walking into a spore could and one plant exploding on those fighting it. No one really objects though, the knives weren't doing much after all. Speaking of which, Baozhai helpfully remembers they are highly flammable about the time Jing Min walks up to one with a lit torch.
- Zhige is not to be trifled with or annoyed. She kicked Qing in the groin for 6 HP! after he got down from the rock with his flower and laughed about the rest of us (who were still fighting).
- It pays to listen to Yi as his directions helped us in the fight.
Its not a deep cave and no bears, but inside is a hole in the ceiling providing plenty of light and some white jade heart flowers! Chushi asks the spirits if its ok to pick them and after a few minutes with no obvious objection he carefully does so. He gets 11 flowers (the most he safely can) and carefully puts them in his pouch. The group ties some ropes together to make it easier getting back down that cliff, though sadly the last length unravels and Qing falls down, hurting himself a bit. Hey, he insisted on going first!
The group makes its way back in plenty of time, not the first to rive but not the last either. They made sure to stick together, Wu even carrying Ting part of the way as he was still hurt. Chushi distributed the white Jade Flowers to everyone but Qing whom he determined the spirit of the cave did not want to get one for his behavior. No one seem to comment on the matter either way.
When we arrived the teachers took stock, made sure we passed the test and complimented us on killing two Dark Flowers. Apparently they lose several children a year to them on these quests. Chushi thanked them for letting us know ahead of time. The Alchemist made a tincture of all the flowers with each student getting one, he said we could drink it for its healing and health benefits or sell, as we choose. He was surprised at the white flowers and asked Chushi f he knew what they were and how rare? Chushi only knew it was a mythical plant and when queried said he found it in a cave. Oddly enough neither he nor Jin Min could exactly recall quite how to find it again.