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Your First Game

A Typical Event Begins. . .typical

Once you have established your character, you check in for a weekend at the Logistics Desk.

A character card which lists your current skills and other pertinent information is provided. You will get a new card for every event in order to keep this information accurate and up to date. This allows you, other characters, and the game marshals to keep track of your abilities should any disputes arise.

You should have a pen with you to keep track of what skills and spells you have used.

A marshal will evaluate the costume you are wearing and will assign Armor Points. The more armor you wear (and the better made it is) the more points of protection you will have. You will then be given a tag to represent the amount of points the armor is worth. (All of your possessions—armor, weapons, potions, scrolls—will be represented by tags you must keep.)

P1000585This is the only time you will ever be given Armor Point tags from Logistics. After that, you will have to purchase more armor tags in-game from other players or make the armor yourself using the Blacksmith skill.

You have only a basic medieval shirt and pants which are not worth any Armor Points, but you do have on a nice medieval hat and boots, so the marshal assigns you two Armor Points for being “in genre.”

You then get your weapon checked. Even players who go to every event have to get their weapons checked; weapons do break down and become unsafe.

The marshal then gives you a weapon tag for your dagger and twelve coppers, the only measly possessions your character has to start the game with. You don’t feel too bad, because every other character starting the game gets the same thing.

The game begins. You make sure you’re carrying all your tags, and then you step out into the night.

red armorIt’s Friday night and the town is buzzing. Guilds are having meetings, adventuring groups are planning strategy, the elves are having a ceremony, and the tavern is packed. Rumors of a zombie attack are floating about and the political situation doesn’t look too secure either. Life could be easier—but it could also be boring. You adjust your boots, make sure your dagger is handy, and start walking at a leisurely pace over to the tavern, but only get a few steps before something jumps out at you. It’s a goblin! You can tell by the ugly green face.

Goblins and other monsters are some of the non-player characters (NPCs) you may meet. Members who want to play monsters get special benefits for that event but must do what the “Monster Marshal” tells them to do. The makeup or masks are sometimes uncomfortable, but not having to worry about your character dying is a relief.

The goblin advances and swings his sword. You pull out your trusty dagger.

Weapons are soft “boffer” weapons. They are soft representations of weapons made from soft foam or latex. No one has ever been seriously injured using these—a game of touch football is more dangerous than our combat.

A dagger only does one point of damage while a long sword (which the goblin has) does two. The goblin knows this and smiles (or at least you think he does behind his mask). What the goblin doesn’t know is that one of the skills you bought with your Build Points is a Critical Attack which allows you to do an extra point of damage against one opponent.

dead guy in woodsThe battle begins. Each of you calls out what damage you are doing so the other player can keep track. “Two Normal!” yells the goblin. “Two Normal!” you reply, using your Critical Attack in the hopes of finishing off the goblin before he finishes you!

The goblin lunges at your chest, but you jump aside just at the last moment! As he passes by, you jab at his back with your dagger.

“Ow!” screams the goblin. “Dat hurt! Me no like you!”

You grin and swing out again, just to tease and torment the creature. He advances. “Me now teach you lesson!”

With a lightning quick thrust, he swings at your chest. You try to block with your dagger, but it’s just too short. Your now ruined shirt tells you that it might be a good idea to be a bit more careful with this foe. You make a mental note to find someone to teach you how to fight with a long sword as soon as possible.

You now have both taken two points of damage. Since you’ve never fought a goblin before, you don’t know how many total points he has. Will the next hit bring him down?

“Give up, smelly human?”

“Never!” you reply, jumping in and taking the foul creature by surprise. His yelp of pain as your dagger slices his chest is very satisfying. . .but he’s still up!

Perhaps running away might be a good option.

The goblin senses your apprehension and follows with a flurry of attacks. You are able to block most of them, but one lands its target, cutting through your torn shirt and releasing a spray of blood. The goblin laughs triumphantly.

That does it! This really sparks your anger and you lunge in like a mad man, hacking away at the green-skinned creature. This is more than he can take, and he falls to the ground.

You stand there breathing heavily for a minute, and then you lean over him and search him.

“I search you,” you say. He hands you three copper pieces and a strange locked box.

alchemy labYou then have to adjust your card. You show the NPC that you are crossing off your Critical Attack skill since you have used that skill for the day. You took four points of damage, so your armor needs to be refit. You will need to find someone with the skill Blacksmith to do that for you. You also lost two of your Body Points.

You only have four Body Points left! Better find a healer and get a Cure Light Wounds spell.

If you die either in battle or by execution, your character can then be resurrected by the Healers’ Guild, If you have died more than twice, then you will have to pick from the Bag of Chance. The more deaths you have suffered, the more likely your next one will be your last.

You walk into the tavern which is busy as usual. Some local bards are playing quietly in a corner and look over there! It’s the local Baron himself, sitting with the Magistrate and the Sheriff! They seem to be arguing over something and it must be important given how many other people are sitting nearby trying to pretend they’re not listening.

You find a spot and sit. The gypsy tavernkeeper dances over to you and brings you an ale for two coppers. (It’s actually a soft drink, of course; alcohol is not allowed.)

A woman sits nearby and pulls out a book and begins reading. By the glow of her hands, you can tell that she is a spellcaster. You walk over.

“Good evening,” you say. “Might you be a healer?”

“Yes I am,” she replies. “I am Darlissa. Are you in need of help?”

“I am Terin,” you reply. You tell her about your encounter with the goblin and ask if she can spare a Cure Light Wounds spell. She states that such a spell would cost five copper pieces.

Coins come in four denominations. A platinum piece is worth ten gold pieces; a gold piece is worth ten silver pieces; and a silver piece is worth ten copper pieces. Thus a copper piece is 1/100 of a gold piece and 1/1000 of a platinum piece. The coins are metal tokens, properly colored, and with their value embossed on one side. They jingle nicely in your pouch.

thief“I can’t afford that much,” you reply sadly.

She glances at you and sighs. “Very well,” she says. “I have to make a living, but I took an oath to help those in need. I will cure you, but you will owe me a favor in the future.”

“Agreed,” you reply. She calls up her power and touches your shoulder.

“I call upon the earth to cure light wounds,” she says. A burst of warmth fills your body and you can feel the wound healing itself.

She marks her card to show that she has used that spell for the day, and you mark yours to show that you are now back to your maximum Body Points.

A venerable mage then comes up to both of you. With him is a barbarian warrior in chain mail and a rather shifty-looking hobling.

“Pardon me,” says the mage. “My name is Belthivis, and this is Ena and Finther. We were just wondering if you’ve heard anything about a goblin treasure map. We’d be willing to—Finther! Put that back!—We’d be willing to pay for information that proves to be true.”

You try not to show any reaction as he speaks about a rumor he had heard involving a map kept in a small box. Better find out more about these people before making any commitments.

After spending some time discussing your pasts and talking about other rumors and bits of information you have heard, you finally decide that they can be trusted.

“I have some information that may be useful,” you admit. “Is there somewhere private around where no one can overhear?”

You travel to Belthivis’ cabin where you show the box to Finther, who happens to be a “locksmith.” He smiles at the challenge and pulls out his tools.

In the world of Alliance games, real locks are used. Buying the required Legerdemain skill does not guarantee success—it only allows you to make the attempt. Likewise, boxes are really trapped with electronic buzzers or other noisemakers. To “check for traps” you must actually do just that by opening it slightly, seeing where any wires or devices may be inside, and somehow “defusing” the trap before opening the box.

Finther picks the lock. He knows the box is not trapped because you told him the goblin had been carrying it, and traps cannot be moved more than five feet without being set off. Inside the box, he finds an unusual amulet, some coins, and a map written in a strange language. He looks at the amulet for a few minutes and declares that he thinks it is worth at least five silver pieces. That’s fifty coppers! Half a gold!

Later, you will go to the Mages’ Guild and have the amulet checked to see if it’s magic. However, you and your new companions decide that a current priority is to decode the map, and you begin that arduous task. While this is going on, Ena, who has Blacksmithing abilities, adjusts your armor so that it is back up to its maximum level.ash forest

Suddenly outside, the sounds of battle echo through the hills. Peeking out the window, you cower as you discover that an evil liche has called forth his undead to destroy as much of the town as possible. You consider the situation for a while and then decide that perhaps you had better help—after all, if the liche takes over town, everything else is rather meaningless.

Later, after the town is saved (thanks to your assistance), you finish decoding the map. At the bottom is a small note which says, “See a marshal when you’re ready to go on this adventure.” You decide to rest for the night to start out at morning’s light. You head to bed with visions of treasure and adventure in your dreams!

This is one way that a group may get into a weekend “module.” Some modules are repeating in that more than one group can go through it at different times, and others are one-time-only. The one-time-only events are usually major affairs, and can affect the whole story line.

So welcome to the Alliance role-playing game, where you can be all that you can’t be!