So, I texted cookiemonger before I left work yesterday, to see if there was anything she wanted to do for the evening. She passed it back to me, and I thought about it. I remembered that I’ve been wanting to try starting up a roleplaying game, it’s just that we didn’t really have a system in common, and I didn’t want to involve a lot of books. We still haven’t gotten to know the Airship Pirates system.

CM said she wanted to do something steampunk, and I figured I know the d20 System well enough (you have to figure about ten years should be good practice) that I could improvise something along those lines. We both have a couple Fallout games under our respective belts. I also played Arcanum and I keep up with Girl Genius, I figured I could come up with something. I started us with a bit of improv via text.

[paraphrased]
Me: “Person, Place, or Thing.”
CM: “Place.”
Me: “Clockyard. Yes or no? If you say no, suggest something else.”
CM: “I like.”
Me: “Okay, now you suggest a place. I’ll either say yes, or say no and make a counter-suggestion.”
CM: “Pub that’s a front for bandits.”
Me: “Oh, I like. Now, what if that bandits want to protect the clockyard because their families work there? Yes or no?”
CM: “What if some threat to their families comes from there?”
Me: “We can use both. I like the idea of a violent ‘union uprising’ or something.”
CM: “Unsafe working conditions?”
Me: “We can use that too. Because a scientist has been creating mutants to replace the workers and he’s lost control. Anything else? Explosions? Robots? Romance?”
CM: “Romance is funny. Robots too.”

…And thus, a roleplaying game was born. We spent a little while, probably no more than fifteen or twenty minutes rolling some dice and talking about her character. Before we started, I had her come up with a list of a bunch of names for men and women, so I wouldn’t need to make them up on the fly. We came up with a couple other background characters, like her character’s badass bandit mother.

There’s also the “sexy jerk” Lief, who’s the son of the factory boss. There’s her childhood friend, Stig, who has a valve sticking out of the back of his head. He’s also the source of her character’s apparent fixation with the back of people’s heads. Through the course of play we also came up with Olaf, a short, sweaty factory worker that dropped her stuff. CM decided Olaf is her character’s nemesis.

There’s also Yegor, a man with a built-in iron lung (it makes him a hunchback) and a reconstructed arm she caught trying to steal from the factory shop she works in. He gave her pretty shiny things and she let him go. When she followed him into the scrapyard, he was able to shake her off his trail and disappeared.