O.K. so here is the deal.
After I finish my one off adventure I am currently running I will be starting a 4e game that i hope to run from 1 to 30 using Wizards Published Adventures in Dragon, Dungeon and commercial. This game will run Saturday Morning at 8 AM Est, end before 1 PM EST, and begin in 2 to 3 Saturdays from now using maptools. They will be published adventures because this severely reduces my prep-time which means i can spend less time worrying about whether or not the dragon at the end of the adventure will kill you and more time worrying about stuff that is important, like whether or not my socks match.
I have given the players of that first game a chance to pick slots first and two have done so. So i will ask anyone else interested in playing to fill out a short survey so i can better pick adventures that suit you and tailor the world and adventures for the group. I would also ask that you do not read any of the adventures yourself, though skimming them for magic items and such is perfectly fine.
1. What type of game do you like to play: Horror? Survival? Action? Pulp? Noir? Ultra-Violence? Monty Hall? Monty Haul? Monty Python? Political(rather than clear evil)?
2. How "fantastical" do you like your play: Lots of Fantastic Shit? Lots of Mundane Shit? Civilization being mundane with lots of fantastic shit going on everywhere else?
3. Are there any specific themes you like in your play: I.E. do you want to play an "Arabian Nights" campaign? A Medieval Europe campaign? A Medieval Europe during the Black Plague campaign? An Asian Campaign? A Sea Campaign? A colonial type campaign? A Sci-Fi campaign(I.E. like the Wizardry series[DMs Note: If you have not played Wizardry 8, go find a way to get a copy and play it])? Airships?
4. What types of monsters do you want to see? Do you like orcs? Aberrations? Demons? Elves? Men? Racially Stereotyped nations from the South. Undead? Angels?
5. What types of monsters do you not want to see? Do you hate drow and the underdark? Do Dragons make you cringe that special cliche cringe? Do you hate Evil Wizards or Kolbolds? Are aberrations too much for your puny mind to handle?
6. Do you like artifacts playing an important role in the game? And/or how flavorful do you want magic items to be?
7. How dense do you like civilization to be? Dispersed? Small and crowded in by the darkness? Large and crowded in by the darkness? Are monsters everywhere, liable to ambush you if you wander off the beaten path? Are there beaten paths?
8. What relation do you wish to see between you and the other players? I.E. how do you know each other? Is this an ideological gathering? A monetary gathering? A grouping of necessity?
9. Do you want player background and motivation to be in the open or do you want it to be a secret that the player themselves chooses to reveal?
Once this is done(and only when its done). I will ask everyone to create a short background for their character according to the guidelines in the PHB. Pending question 9 being "secret" you may post whatever info of your character that you want so long as that info is truthful(I.E. i won't let you lie about how your character acts and what motivates them here, only in game where everyone has a chance to guess whether or not its true)
1. Choose an alignment. Good, Lawful Good, or Unaligned.
2. Choose a deity(or deities) that as closely resembles your characters core beliefs and/or wishes as possible. Pick one or both. Feel free to pick evil deities if you feel your character would agree with some of their core beliefs and or wishes. You probably won't be able to worship those deities, but it will give me and yourself a better idea about your character.
3. Answer the Social, Decision Points, and Dire Straits questions for your character(pg 23,24). This will be public no matter what question 9 says or what you want. This helps other players get a feel for how your character will act without getting cues during the game which may be few and far between.
4. Choose some mannerisms for your character. Worry less about specifics. I.E. you don't need to know what your exact battlecry is, so long as you decide whether or not you have one and/or are the kind of guy who announces when he uses his powers like an DBZ character.
5. Answer the background questions on page 24. Feel free to be class ambiguous.
Once that is done everyone will choose their classes and make their character sheets. I wish to be finishing the survey and receiving character backgrounds by this Saturday. I wish to be making character sheets by next Wednesday.
For the sake of completeness. I have responded to the survey so that you know where I lie.
Since I am going to be the DM. I will start out and answer relevant questions. I do not want this coloring your answers.
1. Horror, Political, Noir, Pulp.
2. Mundane and dark. Magic is few and far between and magic items are more a property of who wields them, and has wielded them rather than what they are. Magic is inexplicable and mysterious and only those removed from society know much about it. As in Planescape. Belief is paramount(but just how, i am not sure)
3. Night time is the right time... to be the DM or a monster. Dark Ages feel, Lade Medieval Europe scope.
4. Orcs, Goblins, Kolbolds, Aberrations, Intelligent Undead, Dragons, Aberrations, Ogres(but not most other giants), Oni, Golems, Medusa, Basilisks, Beholders, Magical Beasts of many sorts, Slaad, Gargoyles, Hags, Rakshasa, Hydra, Lizardmen, Werebeasts, classical mythological beasts.
5. Mundane Animals, Drow, titans, giants, colossus, Elemental based enemies, Formians.
6. I like magic items to be dependent on the player more than the item. They have history from who they were used by and what they were used for. Items become magical based on their close relation to a hero or a villain. Items become artifacts based on the strength of the wielders deeds. Some weapons are powerful based on the quality of their creation. All of them have been given their power by some persons strength, determination, and hard work, whether he slaved over it, folding and hammering it for months, whether it was willed to be as sharp as the wit of its owner, or whether a piece of the owner was imbued within it.
I.E. Magic item rewards will come in standard drops and may come via good roleplaying by the item(magical or otherwise) gaining properties and bonuses in accordance with the personality and play style of the character who posses it.
7. Dense with little living on the edges. Farming is localized and most people retreat to the safety of the city walls by night. Inns can operate on roads and in the wilderness, but only supported by local hamlets which are miniature versions of the larger walled cities.
As has Lardalish, the first player
Well, in my D&D "career" I have had the worst luck with games. Something approaching 90% of the ones I join die off due to DM laziness or dick players before much past 2 or 3 sessions. So I haven't really been able to see what I do or don't like. I will try to answer these to the best of my ability though.
1) Well, I enjoy RP but I also love combat so as long as the rp and fights are balanced Im good for whatever. For instance, what you have planned for this game we're playing now seems to be right up my alley, 1/2 rp chances 1/2 combat.
2) Well, I like magic items but I think thats mostly a vestigial feeling from 3.5, Ive been playing a little bit in a level 1 campaign and even in our last session, I didn't really care about the items. So as long as we don't get gimped from lack of bonuses Im cool with low magic.
3) I don't really have any preferences here.
4) No real preferences here, I don't really have a problem with the fluff of any creatures.
5) As long as its not ALL ______, ALL THE TIME then Im fine with anything. Ooh, rust monsters, I dunno if they made it to 4e but no rust monsters.
6) Ive always wanted magic items to be special, have some sort of history behind them, but when you just sell em off once you get something better its kind of a wasted effort. So with the low magic campaign I think it would work well.
7) I dunno about this one, I don't exactly want a post apocalyptic world where the largest town is a group of huts with 15 people, But I also don't want to take a walk and stumble over 18 massive ancient empires.
8) Im good with almost anything. Each one has its pros and cons really.
9) This one kinda depends on the character and the way they were brought together. I don't know if I would want it to be a campaign specific rule. More like if one of the people was my best friend then they know all about me, but Joe Schmoe mercenary that we hired this morning doesn't know anything.
As has YesNoMu, the third player
1. Ambiguous political scheming and intrigue are fun! Fighting is fun and all, but I like the idea of being mostly an investigative group, who only gets out the swords when necessary.
2. I like the high-magic, or at least highly magically-influenced, like Eberron. A setting that looks (semi-)realistically at what it means when magic exists and can be harnessed.
3. Whatever sounds fun to you, although plane-hopping is appealing to me.
4. Intelligent stuff with motivations make nice opponents, the kind that we can reason with, or ally with after beating the stuffing out of. Alternatively, the really vile, nasty kind, who we can feel awesome about beating up. Gnolls are especially badass and vicious, and aberrations are spooky and nasty.
5. I think any monster can be used well. That said, the drow (and Underdark nasties in general) have never really resonated with me. Maybe I just need a good DM to pull it off, though.
What I don't like are intelligent things that fight to the death without saying a word, and don't seem to have a reason for it. It's like some of the FFTA2 fights based on misunderstandings: they're funny, but I'd get pissed if that actually happened to us in a game.
6. Artifacts are awesome. I don't mind other magic items being utilitarian and fairly common.
7. I like urban adventures, so at least a few decent-sized cities.
8. I like the idea of a detective agency party, maybe a semi-secret police group. Hush-hush type.
9. Eh, I don't like secrets from the party. In our last 3.5 campaign, one of the players was the advance scout for a doppleganger rebellion to take over the world. We never heard a word about this until the end of the game, when we all died and she ruled the earth. Dumb.
Anyway, looking forward to the game! See you guys Saturday.
Game: 4e Long term
Time: Saturday Morning EST
Start Date: 2-3 Weeks from now
Required System Knowledge: Little to None, if you have a PHB you can play
Players: 3 more, 5 total.
Setting/Feel: You decide.
Creation: Standard level 1