This past Tuesday, Jan 15, we officially started the Witch Hunter play-by-email game I’ll be running. My players are Mick Bradley (of The House of the Harping Monkey fame), Chris Engler (once of Carpe GM Podcast, now just another bald Canadian), Mark Gedak (another Canadian [not bald], my DM in the D&D PBeM, and co-host on The Digital Front Podcast), and Josh Hoade (my best friend whom, though we both live in Miami, I rarely get to play with). I was originally going to have only three players (Mark, Josh and Mick), but Chris saw a post I made about Witch Hunter (click on the Witch Hunter tag on this post and you’ll find it) and asked if he could play; he had the book already, had read it and was psyched, so I said sure.
Right now we’re starting character generation. All but Mick have sent in to the group their character’s stats (Mick has sent them in partially, he’ll redo this weekend) and in some cases the background information. Even before everyone had sent in their history, we already were faced with our first mini speed bump, as Chris’s character (the way he had envisioned playing him) would clash severely with at least two of the other characters. Chris offered to roll up a new character, but we exchanged a few emails on the subject, and agreed that the conflict inherent in the characters’ backstory was one we wanted to explore in-game. I personally asked Chris to be mindful that his character was supposed to be part of a team, but I was clear that I did not want him pulling blows. If the character(s) need to be retired later on for story reasons, rock on.
So hopefully by this weekend everyone will send in their stats and background, and then I’m going to take a page out of Spirit of the Century, and have them do a “shared novel” phase of character creation, the idea being that they are not being drawn together by chance and that a couple of them will have met, perhaps even gone on a mission against an agent of the Adversary together, before the start of the campaign. Once this is done, I’ll have them all choose Convictions, a new rule I am adding based on Burning Wheel’s Beliefs & Instincts (which I’ll flesh out and post to the Unofficial Witch Hunter Wiki).
Witch Hunter has me excited in a way I have not been since D&D 3rd edition came out, where I find myself jotting notes down for new rules bits (some of which I will be fleshing out this weekend for something I cannot yet talk about). We’re just doing character creation, and I’m already excited; can’t wait till we get into the meat of things.