Last night my wife rolled up a couple of new characters for her solo S&W Whitebox/Dordogne campaign. We used the 3d6 in order method. Both PCs' stats were average, one with a Strength of 14 and Wisdom of 5. She decided to make that one a male fighter and the other a female cleric.
She wasn’t sure how she would name them and seemed stressed about it - I told her there was no rush to name them and suggested she roll a d20 and use the number generated to determine what letter of the alphabet to use for the first letter of the name. I’ve no idea where this came from, but she liked the idea. She rolled a 5 and named her cleric “Eon.” The male she named “Mander.” When I asked where she got that from, she said that it came from the fact that the crest of Sarlat pictures a burning salamander. I think this is great - she knows nothing of the Salamander monster of D&D, nor do I suspect she knows about the symbology. Wikipedia puts it well enough - “The salamander became a symbol of enduring faith which triumphs over the fires of passion.” I found this very fitting as she chose the cleric to be the main character and her young male companion “Mander” will be her loyal servant and friend. Of course, he’ll also be ready to assume the role of lead protagonist in the event of Eon’s demise. Maybe, I thought, I’ll take his name as a cue and have him revealed as the bastard son of a local nobleman.
Then I decided to bring up the subject of alignment. I'm generally not a fan of it in the game, but I thought it might be useful as a guiding principle for a new player. To my great surprise, she made her cleric neutral and her fighter chaotic. So much for Mander being a faithful servant, I thought! Well, maybe he'll somehow redeem himself in a glorious, dying act.
The backstory for these two characters is that they lived on the outskirts of Domme as the children of farmers. Being some of the poorest farmers in the area, their lands were closest to the wild lands and forest, and “Monster-men” attacked their settlements. The parents of both PCs (who hid them during the attack) have disappeared and their homes have been ransacked and burned. A few possessions were able to be salvaged by each, as well as a few gold pieces their families had buried.
One of the cool things about the setting is that she's familiar with the place names we're using (she'd wanted to play with this setting in the first place after all). We discussed what deity she might worship as a cleric. I told her there was no need to decide quickly, and that for the moment she might consider her character a bit of a mystic in search of a god or goddess that speaks to her. I also told her that her character knows about a goddess who has a church dedicated to her in Domme, and a "Horned God" who has a temple southwest of Veyrines. At this she said "Ah! I know where that is!" Finally, I described how she had seen some priests of another faith that her family told her came from the east by the river. These priests were increasing in number and believed that any magic that didn't come from prayer was evil. "If I'm standing at the Turnpike, which way does the river flow?" she asked. This was brilliant, since the Turnpike is a small pub we enjoyed visiting in the area. I'd already planned on using it as a prominent tavern in the game.
Eon began walking to Domme. She was seen and joined by Mander, and subsequently spotted and escorted by a contingent of the local militia on patrol. The sergeant gave them each a document to take to the office of the magistrate in Domme. These are supposed to guarantee them each a few silver coins and temporary shelter without charge as consolation for their predicament, and to help them travel further to join family elsewhere or survive until they find some form of gainful employment. The truth of the matter is that Domme’s leaders have been unable to protect the outlying settlements and hope to silence the growing murmurs of discontent with these token gestures.
What To Do
1 hour ago