Running my first session of FotF next week, for 3 people, two of whom are new roleplayers.

Running my first session of FotF next week, for 3 people, two of whom are new roleplayers.

Running my first session of FotF next week, for 3 people, two of whom are new roleplayers.

What do most people do in terms of Prep for it? Clearly a lot of the game is based around player input combined with random table results, but I’d also like to come in with a solid direction to point them in, especially because they are new. I’m also worried about rolling on a ton of tables mid-game grinding things to a halt.

Would love to hear some folks’ first-session prep strategies to keep things moving.

15 thoughts on “Running my first session of FotF next week, for 3 people, two of whom are new roleplayers.”

  1. There are a few online resources for helping the tables. Here are three I happened to stumble across:

    Here’s a few generators for Perilous Wilds:

    Here’s a generator for FotF spell names:

    Here’s another generator that includes FotF spell names (along with some other things the creator found useful):

  2. Hi Chris Wolf! Welcome to the community.

    The guidelines in the “See the Frontier” section of Freebooters are intended to set the stage, and by the end of that process you should have some pretty attractive options for the characters to pursue. Since the game is about seeking loot in the wilderness, they should have a discussion about where they might find treasure; they might even ask around town (using the Acquire move to look for info).

    I would also ask each of the PCs, “Why do you seek great fortune?” in order to help them get a handle on their motivation. Class, virtues, and vices can offer help in that regard. Good old greed or a desire for a cozy retirement are fine motivators, but the Cleric might be saving up to make a significant contribution to her faith, the Thief might be saving up to finally be free of a bad debt, the Fighter might be saving up to free his sister from prison, etc.

    It’s wise to be wary of rolling on tables in the midst of play if you aren’t familiar with the process yet. To ease things in that area, you can pre-generate Discoveries and Dangers, at least in their barebones form, and riff off your pre-generated list as the need arises. In between sessions you can prep by fleshing those things to suit the regions you’ve created, but a set of prompts is all you need to go in the first session. The important thing is to adapt them to the world that your players are helping to create.

    When generating stuff during play, I never roll dice myself. I ask each player to roll 1d12 and read off the results to me one at a time around the table, going around a second time if necessary. It’s fatser than rolling myself, but there is always a pause while I look through the tables and formulate an idea.

    Alexander Gräfe made a nifty generator a while back that you might find useful: – The Perilous Wilds

  3. Awesome, thanks!

    Honestly I think the main thing that makes me a little nervous is describing an interesting dungeon on the fly, once the players get there.

    Although I do well enough in other PbtA games, I think it’s stuff like cool dungeon traps and puzzles and the like that are harder to come up on the fly.

  4. PW has great dungeon generation tables for creating them on the fly and mapping as needed, but I find it easier to use a pre-done map as a basis for my dungeons. I just print out a bunch of my favorite ones by Dyson Logos to have on hand and pick an appropriate looking one when the need arises. I don’t assign types to all rooms (“Leave Blanks” and all that), but jot down ideas of the likely function of a few main rooms.

    I also make use of a few other books of random tables that I find handy, the Dungeon Alphabet, Fourthcore Alphabet, and Wilderness Alphabet (for discoveries and dangers while traveling).

    For the first session of my new campaign last week, we did setting generation as described in the Freebooters book, and, as Jason Lutes says, by the end of that process I had a pretty good handle on the background and setting to add color to the random table results. The players chose the first dungeon they wanted to tackle, and I just had the them make a pile of rolls that I used on the PW dungeon tables, wrote down some notes on the map I chose, came up with a couple of random elements from the Dungeon Alphabet to inject if I needed them, and picked a few thematic monsters and wrote down their stats, all while the players completed their characters/shopping. The whole process took about 20 minutes after character and setting generation, and we jumped right into playing after that.

  5. One more thing! Does anyone go with max HP at level 1 (ie an automatic 4 on the wizards d4)?

    Mostly because of the newbies I am wary of slaughtering them too easily right away with the dangerous beasts I rolled up earlier 🙂

  6. I make them go with what they roll for HP (Plus the 1 point from burning Luck if they opt to), but my players are experienced. I might go with max HP for new folks.

  7. I would also emphasize the deadliness of the game, and make it clear to everyone that it’s about survival and collecting loot, not killing monsters. Straight-up monster-murder will only get you 1 XP per session (2 XP if you’re a Fighter) no matter how many monsters you kill .

    Also, 1 HP characters have a much higher rate of survival than in D&D thanks to the 10+/7-9/6- model.

  8. Thanks for the continued awesome! One last thing, until the next thing: In the Equipment section, adventuring gear is listed, with 5 uses, just like vanilla DW, but also listed are a whole lot of specific items that I might otherwise consider fair game as a use of adventuring gear, like torches, rope, etc.

    Is the idea that adventuring gear is a catch-all, but specific items can also be bought individually, or would you restrict adventuring gear to more specific items?

  9. I just treat the generic, DW style Adventuring Gear as a pool of 5 uses of “we need this specific thing at this moment, is it reasonable that it would be in a pack of adventuring supplies?” stuff. I don’t let it duplicate the specific gear on the list, but if they need, say, a piece of chalk (assuming chalk doesn’t appear on the price list), and have Adventuring Gear, I let them pull out a piece of chalk.

  10. I do let people pull stuff from the list out of a bag of Adventuring Gear, as long as it’s relatively mundane. I tried to price the Adventuring Gear with that in mind — more likely than not your 5 uses won’t add up to the 20sp cost of the AG.

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