A Dragon Storm Demo Sample, for GM's and Players alike.
When a GM sets down at a table to teach new players Dragon Storm each new player should get similar information on how the game plays and what the objectives are. This sample is meant to be a guide for GM's. We realize that each GM is going to vary from the "script" based on their style and their own ideas, and that is fine with us. DS is meant to be manipulated by the GM. All we want is for the games to be similar.
1. These are your starting items (handing each player a set 404). Each of you start with the same items, you will be buying new items as soon as your character gets out adventuring in the world and getting treasure.
2. Now, each of you tell me if you want to be a Werewolf or a Dragon. (Handing each a form as they choose a race.) Set your new form to the side. You will be adding that form to the character the first time your character shape shifts.
3. Now, what race would you like to try? Humans are the most common race, but we also have Tigrean (cat people), Canid (dog people), Vermites (rat people), Das Karr (fox people), Foxwings (flying fox people), Vorn (Deer people), Farilan Elves (light skinned elves), Ebony Elves (dark skinned elves), and Dwarves.
If you are not sure which you want, I will just hand you a human to start with. Since they all have the same Card Point Value, you can exchange them later.
4. Now we will add your starting abilities (handing each player a set 100). Each of your characters start with a similar background (farmer) so you start with similar abilities. As you play and gain experience to use to add abilities you will start to diverge.
5. The only other equipment you will need is a character sheet (handing them around), two six sided dice, and a pencil. Don't worry about filling out the sheet now, you will do that at the end of the demo, if you want to go on.
6. For the moment let me give you a little background about your new character, while you stare at the cards.
Your characters have grown up in a remote hamlet. Your district has about 500 residents spread over a wide area. The area is served by a small Elethay temple at the hamlet. Traveling merchants come through with manufactured goods to sell and they buy foods, furs and other products made here in the hamlet.
Your hamlet faces three primary problems. First are the wandering dead, skeletons and zombies that just want to kill and infect living sentients. The second are the Necromancers, and their hirelings, who come through hunting shape shifters. And the third are the Dragon Storms, which are dangerous polluted magic storms, that occasionally travel through the area.
Each of your starting characters are members of a small farming family. Making a decent living and getting by. You know each other by sight, but you are not close.
7. Now, lets get the game started.
On this particular Wednesday, an alarm is sent out, a Dragon Storm has been spotted coming this way! You begin gathering the animals together and herding them towards the Hamlet center and the Elethay temple. Ahead you can see that the Priestess is leading several faithful Elethay worshippers in a ceremony and a protective shield is forming around the hamlet and slowly expanding as more worshippers join the ceremony.
Unfortunately, before you can get to the shield a surge of warped magic passes through you catapulting you to the ground. At the instant you hit the ground a strange surge of power comes from within you and two things happen. First, your body transforms into that of either a Dragon or Werewolf, depending on your characters race. Secondly a series of genetic memories flood into your mind from within your brain. You realize that your transformation has triggered the knowledge that you are a shape shifter, that one of your ancestors was a dragon, and you know how to activate your Shifter abilities.
8. Each of you just earned 20 role-playing points from this experience. That is enough to add a one point card to your character. Take the form you set aside and place it on top of your character card. Notice that the stats line up so you can add them across. Take a moment to put your Farmer background under the character card. Now all of your permanent stats are together and easy to read. The characters are now 14 card point characters.
9. As the storm subsides you realize that everyone is staring at you with new respect. Some are afraid, some are jealous and some proud, but they all realize you are special. You are approached by the Hamlet Elethay Priestess, who blesses you, and talks to you.
"This is a wondrous day, you have become shifters. But there is a problem. Word of this will leak out, everyone will be talking about this. Within a few days the necromancers and their minions will hear of it. When they do, they will come here. If they heard you have left, they will leave too. If you stay they will begin searching for you. They will destroy crops, farms and kill people hunting for you. Therefore, after a feast tonight, you must leave. I know where you must search for the Valarian Champions. Find them, learn from them, and use your new powers to overcome the Necromancers, their Jikadell allies, and destroy as many Madspawn and warpspawn as you can. Oh, and while you are at it, use the treasure you find to do good things."
10. The next morning, after the biggest feast you can recall, you set out to find the Valarians that are two days away.
Here you have a chance to ask for Trail Blazing rolls. You can cover the 2d6 system we use, and how the IUK system works to keep Trail Blazing as a focus.
11. During the first days travel the new party encounters a small pack of Wakana, Wakana are Warpspawn. They eat travelers they meet for food, so they are not friendly. The Wakana target selection would be Werewolves, Dragons, Canids and Tigreans first.
There should be about as many card points of Wakana as there are players total card points. So if you have four 14 card point characters you should have about 56 card points of Wakana. Give at least one of the Wakana a Feature to let the characters know that chaos exists. The wakana have about 2d6*10 Gold Pieces on them, and no equipment worth reselling.
Things to explain here: Characters with Trail Blazing going need to decide if they want to keep spending the IUK during combat, or if they want to drain it, to open up one more "thing". At this level they may as well keep it running.
You have an opportunity to go over the Beginners Combat Guide here. Initiative, taking turns, interrupts, doing damage and taking damage.
This is a good time to cover the differences between Actions, Movements and Independent Interrupts.
12. During the night the characters camp should be invaded by a wild animal, such as a Savage Raptor. While not enough alone to kill the characters, it will be a hassle. It also gives you a good excuse to let the characters each get one card back from rest before being awoken by the Savage Raptor. They should be able to get one more card after dealing with the savage Raptor.
13. The next day the characters continue on the trek. They should encounter skeletons. Use the Necro summoned Skeleton for stats and card points. Use about half as many card points as the characters possess. Have the characters make a Sight based contest roll. The skeletons appear from the ground at the highest character Sight roll times 10 feet. If the highest roll were "9", then the skeletons erupt from the ground ready to fight 90 feet away from the party.
Have fun describing the skeletons. Maybe they were bandits, maybe a family. You know, mother, father, uncle, teenager, child and a dog. All the stats are the same, but have some fun with the descriptions.
14. In the early evening of that second day the characters meet the Valarian patrol. They are welcomed. Give a general description of what the Valarians are about and let the characters choose if they want to join and get the cool Valarian Champion Boon.
15. Now is the time for the sales pitch!
You can point out that if they want to learn more about the Valarians they can get and read the Valarian Champions Book.
If they want a better understanding of the rules they should get the rulesbook.
If they want to learn more about there enemies, they should read the Necromancers Guide.
If they are at a Con where we are selling, they can buy the character they just played for $5.00 and then check out the card sets they can buy to expand their new character.