Ok, my third question – how shall I best run the first session for this follow-on arc?
The previous arc was ~six sessions run from the Blackmoore dungeon starter. The PC save the city from the necromancer, and deposed the (human purity fascist) head of the Paladin’s order. In the process, however, the Paladin fell out with the goddess (who turned out to be a bit of an Old-Testament dick). Near the end, the Paladin agreed to reform the church (a bargain with death from a 7-9 Last Breath). This arc starts with the Paladin wandering into the desert, harassed by the goddess and in search of something. It doesn’t necessarily follow that it’s about the Paladin wandering – it could go many ways (and the Paladin might die).
This arc, we’ll have two of the original players, plus one or two more. Probably the second old player will have a new character. I’ve joined games in progress before, and sometimes felt quite disengaged from the game because the history means nothing to me.
So, I’m looking for ways to tailor my first-session questions and materials to best support the new players while giving the existing players some new chances to contribute (i.e. to set the tone and goals for the arc).
Ideas (in order):
1) Make a dungeon starter ahead of time for the desert environment (building in some player ideas from discussions we’ve already had)
2) Give everybody a 300-400 word precis of what happened in the last arc and where that leaves the Paladin now. Distribute in advance, but read out at the start of the first session too.
3) Start the questions with “Luchia [the Paladin], what are you looking for in the desert”? (i.e. lead her towards a search, but leave the object of the search open)
4) Create new characters, and ask each character why they’ve fallen in with Luchia, and what they hope to get out of it. If a player doesn’t come in with something that connects Luchia’s quest, I’ll ask them directly to come up with something that does. Similarly, if a PC has no apparent motivations beyond the quest, I’ll ask for what those might be.
5) I’ll ask each PC what they think about the events from the previous arc (bearing in mind that the new PCs will only know of them second hand).
Any thoughts? Any more ideas?