Ok, quick description:
This is the English "Freshman" campaign for the Fall 2011. The setting is low-medium fantasy; there's magic and it's actually somewhat common, but only a very few very experienced wizards or very pious priests can create large and long-lasting effects. The tone for the campaign is rather gritty; it's not as lethal as The Dirty Dozen but most likely some characters, possibly player characters, will die along the way. If this happens, you can continue by playing another character from the squad (or quit the campaign). The other major source for inspiration is The French Foreign Legion.
The situation for the campaign is as follows: You've all gathered to join the Kuiko (local kingdom) Royal Ranger Corps as novices. The reason for doing so is up to the player to decide; the most common ones are avoiding a minor or moderate sentence like forced labor or physical punishment, poor prospects in the world, or desire for glory. Surviving the novice period in the Corps is generally seen to mean that you have proven to be useful member of or even a valuable asset to society.
Being a novice in the Ranger Corps basically means that you get put into a squad of 8-12 people and sent off with a sergeant for dangerous missions for 2-6 months. Everyone that survives gets to join the Ranger Corps as a private, the regular army as a corporal, or just continue their life as they wish. The general rates are that 5-10% get killed, 10-40% get wounded in some permanent way and the rest survive at least physically pretty much the same.
I haven't yet mapped out nearly all the stuff; I'll be doing this after I've talked to the players. The actual campaign will begin in early October, with one evening used for character creation and a quick system introduction before that, and with probably 3-6 sessions should end before December. The system will probably be Fate, either 2nd or 3rd edition, possibly simplified so that everybody's comfortable with it.
You can add your idea for a character below, as follows: Character's name, a few short words of description (Player's name)
Brian Q, Handsome Guy running away from arranged marriage (LingJia)
Short description: 23 years old, has long blonde hair with green eyes, 187cm tall with a perfect body shape, also has a golden voice.
Background: Brian was born in a big city, his father is a merchant, and his mother is a teacher. He had a quite happy childhood (almost got everything he needs), and a happy adulthood till he reaches his 23 when his parents introduce his fiancee Tara, a NOT very pretty girl, but in Brian's eyes, she is unbelievable ugly.. So in order to get rid of her, Brian decides to run away and join the army..
Alf, military history enthusiast and horrible cook (Laura)
Alf, born to a ordinary farmer family was quite ordirary boy but his grandfather was something else. He was Neil, a man of the stories and military experience. He has been working as a guard in Western neighbour country of Kuiko. There he had fight agaist scary rebels and attackers. Alf loved his stories more than anything. Well, there wasn't much other things at his parents' farm that would have been interesting for a growing young boy. There were sheep, goats a couple of cows and one horse – and Alf's big brother Rolf.
Alf's parents were working hard to get enough products for market sales that came in every season with different demands. Their stories were connected to growing crops and taking care of animals and later slaughtering them, spin wool and other that kind of boring daily stuff that are not good for young growing boy like Alf. Rolf, well he was quite stupid. Too interested of earning a lot of money and finding a good wife with whom he could share the farm works after their parents were retired. How boring and stupid was that?
But grandfather Neil was something else. Tall, strong and had shiny blue eyes and bone white hair with some blackish stripes. Alf had just ordinary brown eyes and saddle brown hair as had his brother and father. His mother was a bit more like grandfather but didn't look as sharp and her eyes weren't as pierching and fascinating. Basically there was no one else who could have been so magnificent and special as grandfather Neil.
When grandfather wasn't at home Alf's live was quite boring. Hiding from his parents and his stupid big brother who slapped Alf's ears everytime when he found Alf idling as he said but actually dreaming about all kind of adventures he could have with grandfather when he became adult. Rolf and Alf hated each other. Rolf had tried to make his little brother useful in farm works but all his time and teaching has been waste of time. Alf had also tried to explain to Rolf how interesting their life would be if they became like grandfather in his youth. But that also has been waste of time. But some use Alf found from his big brother: he was ideal opponent for practising his growing fighting skills.
When Alf grew old enough his grandfather taught him to ride a horse. And after that moment the dull and boring farm horse became sharp and magnificent war horse. Alf and Bruno the horse experienced many adventures together – even if Bruno's real name was Dandelion and she wasn't really interested of the magnificent role of war horse.
Years go by and soon in the time for grandfather Neil to pass away. On the age of sixteen Alf meets the biggest tragedy of his life. His guardian, storyteller and supporter is gone and lost in the muds of the graveyard.
For two year and half Alf is gone to the valleys of depression and his brother and parents seem not to understand. Even his dear war horse is back to its dull and sad self. But then on one day, as grey as others, passes weird stranger by the farm. He meets Alf sitting there on the side of the road in his deep thoughts, missing his guide of life.
”Hey you lazy lad, good for nothing bummer, where is the closest farm where is something to fill my stomach”, says stranger with commanding voice.
Alf stares this tall and whitehaired man and for a moment he believes his grandfather's ghost is visiting him. But alas, just a stranger is standing in front of him.
”Are you mute or just dumb? ”
”No sir, I'm neither mute or dumb. But strangers who come to talk to me should show some respect to those from who they ask help”, sais Alf proydly and straightens his back and soon he lies on the ground looking to blue sky above.
”And you, good for nothing bummer, should use your eyes and brains before you talk”, says stranger and laughs with a nasty voice.
Alf gets up ready for a fight but stranger is gone.
For the whole day Alf thinks about the stranger and his words. And when his mother on the evening pours food on his plate he realises a way to find a new hero and guide to himself: everyone have to eat also the mightiest warriors of history. And where they eat? At tavern of course.
On that night when everyone else is gone to the dreamlands Alf stays up and packs up his bag. He leaves a short note on his bed and jumps out from the window. For now on the farmer days will be gone and Alf will become a cook, the one who feeds the hungry soldiers but at the same time he'll learn from them more and more history of military. Alf runs in the night feeling the freedom and happiness he has felt never before.
Days go by and Alf gets tired for running even for walking and food is gone and water will run out soon. But on the most desperate moments when he is blaming himself and his dreamy mind, he finds a first tavern of his life. It looks exactly as in his grandfather's stories. Wooden, shady little house which best days has gone years ago. Alf knocks the door and tells he is the new cook they have waited. Maid that opens the door looks suprised but well she never knows what happens in kitchen and takes Alf to meet the head cook.
Head cook is happy to get a pupil for himself to refresh his boring days and also to get some one to whom he can yell with no excuse. Alf gots some food and then he is put to work – to wash dishes. Work is not what Alf hoped but from the next room where customers wait he hears voices of strong men and when peeking there he saws, indeed, some soldiers on their break.
Days go by and Alf makes some food that no one can eat that makes customers green and head cook red. Alf hears nothing of the lectures of the head cook but from the stories of the soldiers who he listens more often he learns a fact or two.
After a month and seeing no improvement in Alf decides head cook finally kick him out. Alf can't understand what went wrong but well its their fault if they don't see a new genius in his work. And so is Alf on the road again.
Years go by and tavers go by from all of them is Alf kicked out with curses. Head cooks just can't see Alf genuity with his cookings. But then comes the day when Alf meets his nighmare: he is working in the capital in small tavern which head cook has just ended up hiring Alf as an assistant. On that day in that small tavern there is a meeting of some noble men. What a shame no military stories for Alf. But those noble men end up to eat Alf's special dish and it makes them nearly to suffocate. Some people just are weak you know.
Those noble men, when they get themselves in better shape, curse Alf and attack on him as well as the head cook who foresees a loss of important customers coming. Alf realises that today is not the best day for him to explain his genius cooking to these men so through the window he goes. But alas, that's not the end. The noble men are revengeful and aren't ready to let Alf go. Alf knows there won't be refuge for him nor hideout in this big city where he is just a misunderstood cook's assistant. But on the most desperate moment he sees his rescue: the soldiers recruiting people for some military thing. Oh well, not the shiniest army Alf was hoping to join someday but safer place there won't be for some one as desperate as him.