Campaign Chronicle

The Campaign Chronicle: Savage WARS - Session 0

The Campaign Chronicle is a regular blog series in which I publish my notes, thoughts, and plans for my tabletop role-playing games for which I am game mastering. These feature world-building notes, recaps of game sessions, and notes to keep in mind for future sessions. Enjoy!

This post will outline our character-creation session. Posted below will be the statistics and choices my players made about their characters at the start of the campaign, and some of my notes regarding those choices.

The Mumon Rift WARS

Session 0 - 12.06.2016

Players: Brandon, Justin, Kip, Luke, Sean

Having given the group well over a month to prepare, with access to the Savage WARS mod document (which you can view HERE), we finally sat down to do our Session 0 on the evening of Tuesday, December 6th. We were connected via voice chat on Discord while using the Roll20 platform to take the place of the tabletop, and my players had full view of a star field with various character images arranged on it, all images taken directly from the WARS illustrations of the TCG and RPG.

The process of actually creating the characters took roughly three hours, though I didn't hold the group to any strict timeline since this was meant for us to meet each other, get used to our personalities and voices, and set up our characters. While I had many different game ideas floating around in my head, I hadn't settled on any of them, deciding instead to wait until I had the characters in front of me. I was hoping I could find a through-line between all PCs that would help direct at least the starting point for the campaign.

We determined during the course of this session that the PCs will be members that the Gambler has collected, one by one, to be outside informants and problem-solvers for the Cartel. They aren't known Cartel operatives, and they're a bit of a motley crew (two Earthers, two Mavericks and a Gongen), and this works to the Gambler's advantage. They all owe the Gambler a great deal, and so they are basically running jobs for him to pay him back for whatever mess he pulled them out of in the first place.

Listed below you will find the PCs for each of the players, as well as their basic information, Savage Worlds statistics, and other relevant info we determined when creating the characters.

Suematsu Haru

Played By: Sean

Archetype: Gongen, Kizen, Noble, Fighter

ATTRIBUTES: Agility - d6 / Smarts - d6 / Spirit - d6 / Strength - d6 / Vigor - d6

Hindrances: Loyal (Minor), Code of Honor (Major), Vow (Minor), Racial Enemy - Earther (Racial Hindrance)

Edges: Kizen Powers, Noble, Community (Racial Edge)

SkillsFighting - d10 / Intimidation - d10 / Notice - d8 / Persuasion - d8 / Shooting - d6 / Knowledge: Gongen - d6

Equipment: Gongen Infantry Armor, Gongen Katana, Gongen Plasma Bolter

Kizen Powers: Flash of Insight, Surrounding Vision

Initial GM Thoughts: Shit, I'll have to remember Flash of Insight. Having a Gongen on the team will open up some interesting, morally gray areas when dealing with other Gongen/nobles/Tenryu Party. Gives me an excuse to bring in Shocho, Phobos, and other big names in the WARS universe. Lot of potential.

Bio: In the battlefield and at the bargaining table, Haru Suematsu never failed to show his promise and bring his kokata, and his family, honor. An up and coming Commander in the Gongen army, Suematsu was betrayed by Nobuo Ieyatsu, his long time friend and ally, for the sake of that basest of desires, personal glory. Ieyatsu had grown tired of living in the shadow of his friend and mentor, and found his opportunity when an Earther operative contacted him, promising power and glory unimaginable. The price: to act as a spy, providing key intel and planting false information within the Gongen army. 

When Haru discovered his friend's betrayal, he did the honorable thing and offered his friend an opportunity to come clean and keep what little honor he had left. This advance warning was all Ieyatsu needed to get rid of his biggest obstacle; Suematsu. Using the powers of subterfuge now offered him by his dishonorable dealings, Nobuo managed to twist truth so that his misdeeds could be pinned on Haru. Blindsided by the level of betrayal to which Nobuo had sunk, Haru had no choice but to accept a punishment he did not earn. Suematsu was stripped of his title, his lands, and was exiled from Gongen. Managing only to smuggle out his battle armor and his family's heirloom blade, Haru started his new life as a disgraced exile.

Shattered, beaten, and dishonored, Haru drifted aimlessly along the outer fringes, booking passage on whatever maverick ship would trade in the only currency he had: the business end of a blade. After the Rift opened, Haru found himself in possession of what informed people were calling "kizen" powers. His new sight beyond sight offered him abilities he'd never before been capable of on the job. Over time, the Gongen exile built a name for himself as an efficient sword in a world of guns, even earning himself a title, "The Shogun." His Gongen armor painted in Maverick choas, The Shogun cut a striking presence along the fringes. These ripples caught the eye of none other than The Gambler, who saw another tool to add to the box. The Gambler promised Suematsu what he wanted most, the opportunity for revenge on Ieyatsu and a rightful return to his former life. How he would do this, Suematsu did not know, but he knew enough of the Gambler's reputation to know that it wasn't out of the question. Now just a matter of taking care of these "odds and ends" the Crime Lord has asked Haru to see to...

Darius "Slipheed" Haze

Played By: Justin

Archetype: Maverick, 

ATTRIBUTES: Agility - d8 / Smarts - d6 / Spirit - d6 / Strength - d4 / Vigor - d6

Hindrances: Greedy (Major - Racial), Heroic (Major), Enemy (Minor), Loyal (Minor)

Edges: Bodyhacking (Microcomputer - Racial Edge), Command, Ace

Skills: Fighting - d4 / Driving - d4 / Gambling - d6 / Investigation - d4 / Notice - d8 / Persuasion - d4 / Piloting - d8 / Shooting - d8 / Stealth - d4 / AI Programming - d4 / Codebreaking - d8 / Security Systems - d6 / Knowledge: Knaves - d6 / Knowledge: Titan - d6

Equipment: Flexiplas Vest, Combat Knife, FedGrav Infantry Laser, other mundane gear

Initial GM Thoughts: Hard to pin down because his basic build changed so much between Session 0 and Session 1. Lots of history to pull from, great for threads throughout the Outer Rim. Tie-in with Regulators is deliciously appropriate, as I was already planning to have the Regulators show up in Session 1 & 2 as small-time antagonists.

Bio: Darius' parents were refugees from Earth. His parents were FedGrav employees, when his mother noticed some significant ecological issues with some of the experimental technology she was working on at the time. She made a stand against her supervisor which did not go well. They fled to the Outer Rim to avoid potential insubordination charges. She was pregnant at the time, and gave birth to Darius on the way to Titan. While there, his family was put into hard times. They were robbed, beaten, and generally forced into backbreaking hard labor. As a youth, he didn't have the ability to help his family psychically, but he was exceptionally smart when it came to devices. At an early age he was already cracking into data-stores and obtaining credits through various electronic means. While his parents didn't approve, it did offer an opportunity for them. He was recruited into the Knaves, which he accepted under the auspice of also providing protection to his family. Within a few years he quickly found a new joy in flight. Perhaps it was his father's genes. In fact, it was how he earned his name with the Knaves. In a particularly unnerving raid on a cargo ship ("The Aldonis") which apparently was also infiltrated by the Accord at the time, Darius and the members of his raiding party found themselves cut off from their escape route. He managed to rally the team and hack his way into the hanger bay and extract the team in a prototype scouting ship. Apparently they thought it was funny to give him the name 'Slipheed' for this feat (the name of a crappy series of bullet hell games that continues to try to resurrect itself every twenty years or so). In any case, he embraced the name and wears it proudly. 

Recently, his mother manifested kizen powers. The Knaves, (eager to explore limits of the kizen), gave Darius a few options. 1) Have her go through some experiments, which probably weren't exactly safe. 2) Require her to serve on a kizen team (full of risks on its own), 3) Have Darius work with the Cartel for some unknown reason. (Likely the Knaves - or at least Darius' direct overseer - fucked up somewhere, and crossed the Gambler in some shape/form. This could be their way of mending the fences.), or 4) His family had to leave the protection of the Knaves. He opted for working with the Cartel.

Samson M'gombe

Played By: Brandon

Archetype: Earther, Rogue, Telepath, Face

ATTRIBUTES: Agility - d6 / Smarts - d8 / Spirit - d4 / Strength - d6 / Vigor - d6

Hindrances: Arrogant (Major), Big Mouth (Minor), Cautious (Minor)

Edges: Kizen Powers, Additional Power

Skills: Fighting - d6 / Lockpicking - d6 / Persuasion - d4 / Repair - d8 / Shooting - d8 / Stealth - d6 / Streetwise - d6 / Knowledge: Earth - d6 / Knowledge: General Robotics - d6

Equipment: CGC Scout Armor, FedGrav Officer's Pistol

Kizen Powers: Armor, Sense Thoughts, Telepathy

Initial GM Thoughts: Oh great, a mind-reader. Looks to be one to avoid combat where possible. Will provide some interesting angles for the party when it comes to resolving conflict.

Bio: Incomplete.

Holden Riggs

Played By: Kip

Archetype: Earther, Fighter, Kizen

ATTRIBUTES: Agility - d8 / Smarts - d4 / Spirit - d4 / Strength - d8 / Vigor - d6

Hindrances: Bloodthirsty (Major), Stubborn (Minor), Mean (Minor)

Edges: Kizen Powers, Sweep

Skills: Fighting - d8 / Piloting - d4 / Shooting - d10 / Stealth - d6 / Throwing - d6 / Knowledge: Earth - d6 / Knowledge: CISyn - d6

Equipment: CGC Scout Armor, Boarding Axe, Colt-Burton Mk 412

Kizen Powers: Awaken Blade, Kizen Might

Initial GM Thoughts: Exact opposite of Samson. Physical powerhouse and general angry dude. Looking forward to fleshing out his character in later sessions.

Bio: Incomplete.

Herbert West

Played By: Luke

Archetype: Maverick, Doctor, 'Mad' Scientist

ATTRIBUTES: Agility - d4 / Smarts - d10 / Spirit - d8 / Strength - d4 / Vigor - d4

Hindrances: Clueless (Major), Wanted (Minor - Racial Edge)

Edges: Healer, Luck, Bodyhacking (Prosthetic Legs - Racial Edge)

Skills: Fighting - d4 / Healing - d10 / Notice - d10 / Shooting - d6 / Medicine - d10 / Knowledge: The Nest - d6 / Knowledge: Titan - d6

Equipment: Leather and Metal Jacket, Alden Arms Hold-Out Pistol

Initial GM Thoughts: Token medical guy. Healer. Will need to keep him active outside of combat situations. Maybe push drugs and symbiotes in some cases to engage West. History with Knaves could spark some inter-PC conflict.

Bio: Incomplete.