Adventures for a new player

Hi there,

My girlfriend just cornered me with this: she has heard me ranting about RPGs for so long that she wants to test it. However, despite my encouragement in other directions (group play) she wants to play it solo. OK, more challenging but nothing overboard.

SETTING: obviously we are going for Mythic Europe here. She is not much into Tolkien and for the love of me I cannot come up with a good detective story (the 20's being her other preference), so the setting must be Mythic Europe. She has a degree in Art History, so is quite knowledgeable about the period and legends as well.

CHARACTER. She wants to play a chevaleresse. THey do exist, I checked. Female chevalier. You learn something every day. THe character will be pretty much the classical concept of the knight errant. I would like help fleshing it up. I have decided to give her some kind of talking animal companion to act as "the voice of the SG" in case she wants to do something too mad or wants in game information. A horse? A hawk?

BASIC DESIGN: Ok, I will set her around Normady, so we have a nice mix of cultures around. I would like your help in deciding her basic background. If someone has some nice idea for a kickstart adventure where she gets her chevalier rank and goes to the road it would be nice. Expelled from famioly because she is too independent and does not want to marry the chosen groom?

I have thought about this as a series of one session adventures. 3 or 4 of them to form a mini story arc. This is what I have thought so far, but suggestions are more than welcome. IN general I have gone for rules light adventures as you can see. I am less sure about the first and the last adventure.

1- Maybe a kickstart adventure. Suggestions would be welcome. It would be her initiation into knighthood and basically define WHY she is a chevaleresse. Save the duke and get kicked from home since she is now a chevaleresse and uses this as an excuse not to marry as her father wants?
2- He's got a big heart (free online adventure) works well with solo knightly characters. Will get a ring as payment in the village. Should work quite easily since the knight helping the peasants in distress is popular. ... heart.html
3- Going home (online free adventure) is my fav adventure of all time, so goes here. Should get her a locale to call hers, if she can get the resources to rebuild the place and fight back the forest. ... _Home.html
4- A bad knight's work (Ordo Nobilis) as the final adventure that gets her resources if she does well.

What do you think? Suggestions for a totally green player? Been quite a while since I took a "totally virgin" player into RPGs.


Sounds good - though I'd probably have picked Provence and a few decades before Standard Time (1220), in order to get that whole fine amour/troubadour thing.

That locale is an option as well. I picked provence because I have been doing my research there for a Triamore saga, but can be changed quite readily

Are you planning on her having any magic of any sort?

I would suggest perhaps giving her limited access to start, such as a non-hermetic supernatural virtue, or a mythic kind of attribute or the like. Something that lets her access some coolness and evoke the setting and concept without over-complicating her life with the hermetic magic stuff right away.

You could also run as part of the introductory adventure the acquisition of the mystic animal companion, just to give some bones to their relationship or the like. A bird is more accessible to more situation, if you want it around to give her advice in any given situation, compared to a horse. Then, so is a hound of some variety. I'd ask her what she identifies with more. What she finds more fantastically interesting as a magical animal.

I would also pick a given aspect of the game to attempt to highlight in the adventure. Maybe a supernatural realm, maybe a hermetic house... or whatever. And then showcase something interesting in it to start with. A goblin market, or an infernalist dark knight, or ... whatever.

The 20s are about more than just detective stories; there is lots of fun pulp fiction stuffs to have fun with. Prohibition era jazz into New York City one day, King Kong jungle adventures the next. Who needs a detective story? The giant monkey did it…

You may want to find a way to expose her to the Order of Hermes, if this is to be an intro into Ars Magica. Perhaps let her purchase Virtues and Flaws as normal, encouring her to take a Major virtue such as Landed Noble. At the end of the adventures, structure the climax so that she's entirely stripped of her title. She loses the virtue. However, the strange people that gave her a weird vibe take her in. They shock her by telling her that she's actually Gifted, like them. They offer to take her in and train her. The reason she was never approached earlier is that she has the Gentle Gift; she never pinged on their radar.

Order of hermes comes later. Right now I want ust to show the cool factor of the history and supernatural aspects mixed up in places she knows. It is a Pendragon/Ars Magica crossover if you want :slight_smile:

I said detective stories for the 1920s because that is what she said. I suck at running Boggart detective stories, though, so I am out of my depth here. If someone has a case I can use, I would appreciate it.

The intro ideas are good :slight_smile: Get the bird, face a bad guy...

I am not sure abou magic. She could for sure. I had not planned to have it right away, but any ideas are welcome. Second sight should be quite easy to get here, but I guess you were thinking something bigger?

What gets highlighted in the 3 planned adventures is the magic realm (giants and ghosts) and mundane (noble) society. I do not want to overwhelm her, so the approach is to introduce one thing at a time and show depth in the game world without throwing her in the Marianas rift right away. Too much info can be scary in my experience. I guess I could use some stuff more (soecially in the intro adventure) but do not want to itroduce too much of it yet.

Ideas on the first adventure?

  • Get the bird
  • Face an opponent (bad knight? Faeries? ...)
  • Get knighted and be expelled from the familiar nucleous as a consequence for acting weird?

What about kickstarting a Norman French 'chevaleresse' from the battle of Bouvines? If she got her knighthood on the holy battlefield of France, people will think twice before questioning it. Contacts, enmities and adventure hooks from there are easy to develop, too. First contact with the OoH could be afterwards via some Knights of the Green Stone.


That's a really awesome idea!

Snows of an Early Winter, by Louis Agresta? It's Call of Cthulhu, but CoC has a lot of that Roaring 20's material. If I remember right, Snows has details on how to run it in the modern day and in the 1920s.


You remember right. 119 pages sounds like too much work to do for me right now, though.

Battle of bouvines as origin of her rank sounds cool. Will look into it, even if I tend to prefer familiar soap operas.


This is the most touching and charming thread I have read in a long while.
Hopefully she'll come around and want to play with other people in time, but I think you'll have a good time soloing what you have prepared.
Sorry I don't have anything directly related to contribute with at the moment.

Good luck with the campaign!

Upon reflection I think I would make a point of giving her a rival, or perhaps even outright enemy, that is a more 'conventional' woman that moves mostly in social circles. It is always amusing to have an enemy that is obviously there yet can not simply be beat upon with sharp pointy things. It may also serve to highlight that though she has the freedom to go her own way and play a woman knight that such is not conventional for the setting/time, even if possible, and that she loses some social acceptance thereby.

Another idea to bring the Mythic nature of the setting to the fore with her would be to highlight the Divine and how knights interacted with it etc. You could consider giving her true faith and/or a relic. Especially if you didn't want to give her magic stuff to start with, this would give her some protection and the like in a relatively simple way and reinforce that roleplaying angle with the Divine.

People she dislikes. That should work. Either a sister (or the wife of a relative) or a brother?
Maybe a princess or a duke's daughter that ALSO wants to be a knight but that her father smacks down instead (be quiet, girl!) while giving the chevaleresse rank to this lowly banneret's daughter? Spite and envy: I like it. :slight_smile:


I just saw Brave, the last Pixar/Disney movie. I have to dsay that I got some ideas there, as usual.

So, basically I need to define a first introductory adventure. I would like it to be an introduction to the game world (nobility) and a rite of passage where she gets her knighthood, since then it looks much more valuable what she is.

So here we go with an idea. Suggestions welcome.

Jara de Conflent is the daughter of the local baron. She is 14, and the third of the sons of the count. She has an older brother (19) a sister (16) and a younger brother (8). She is in a marriageable age, and her father is looking for a suitable husband. However, she is not too much into it herself. Having been groomed listening to the chansons de geste and the legends that the minstrels and storytellers bring to the castle she is more keen to go for the role of saviour knight than the rescued princess. IN fact she thinks the princesses and beloved noblewomen as depicted are a bunch of sissies.

She has always been an active girl, and since her mother died in childbirth and her father refused to remarry she has not been risen in a really strict environment. As such she is somewhat wild compared to other noblegirls er age. She loves the hunt, and rides with her gfather and brother and their retainers as much as she can. SHe has to behave herself in general when there are guests, but when the family goes hunting without guests he goes with the boys with glee. As such she is more skilled in boar hunting and combat manoeuvres than quite a few pages her age. She has bnever used a sword, but the spear, bow and crossbow are far from strangers to her.

Now the adventure. A hunt. One to get a bunch of suitable suitors at her parent's doorstep, and with the visit of the Count of Toulouse (and his 10 year old son). It is a major social event for the year.

In the hunt she can save the child when they are sent astray (regio?). Suitable enemies? Bandits? Soldiers of a rival lord trying to kidnap the boy? Faeries? Saving the boy (or bringing the largest prize to table, like a magical stag) is what should get her a wish from the count (being knighted instead of being forced to marry), but any suggestions on how to build the adventure are appreciated.


The idea that there is a possible a court of women or a singularly powerful woman who opposes and dislikes the character because the character is choosing to not follow the "proper" rules of the roles of man and woman, is brilliant!!!

The player has a character that can fight and win most battles, but is completely lacking in this particular conflict. It could make for a dramatic climatic scene wherein the player is at court attempting to see her goals attained, while being opposed by a person whom she considers flightly, foolish, and silly, and yet because the other woman understands the court and it's methods, the player is completely out of her league. NICE!


Scene 1) The counts court, introduce all the major characters, including any significant suitors, other ladies of court, the Count's rival, etc. Also the introduce the basic structure of a noble court, who is who, who does what and why. Probably end with a feast, dancing, music, storytelling and the sleep.

Scene 2) In the morning, everyone rides out on the hunt, again introduce the basics... everyone rides out, the hounds, the ladies and courtiers fall behind while the hunts charge across the countryside, introduce basic die rolls, in the form of simple die rolls (Awareness to keep an eye on the hounds and hunters), stress die rolls (Ride to jump obstacles) and contested rolls (maybe another Ride for a short horse race, perhaps with the child and his groom).

Scene 3) Our heroine and the child have gotten separated from the hunt in the woods, maybe as a result of the horse race. A small group of thugs, in league with the child's treacherous groom and in the pay of one of the count's rivals, leap from cover and attempted to capture the boy... and our heroine as an added prize. Depending on her relative combat skills, they could be men-at-arms or simply grooms with a decent Brawl skill. Just make sure the odds slant in our heroine's favor so that she can win the day and doesn't end up needing rescued herself. Because of that, I favor the attackers be a few grooms with Brawl 2 or 3, enough to grab an unarmed child and a defenseless girl, but not enough to overwhelm a nascent chevaleresse with a decent Single Weapon score.

Scene 4) Return to court, the child tells the tale and the count, in gratitude offers our heroine "any one boon that is in his power to grant." Point out to your player that this is her change to be knighted, she asks for that, to the shock of the court, and the count (amused? grudgingly? happily?) must keep his word. She has gotten her wish, thwarted the count's rival (thus earning an enemy) and the adventures begin...

Just my $.02...

And that, is just great stuff for an intro adventure :slight_smile: Thanks.

I think I will introduce the supernatural in the form of the child being wounded, and the girl going to the local witch to save his life. She needs to get a supporting animal (the voice of the SG) somehwere after all. Hmm.... THinking of a hunt, a magical hawk or hound would work well here.

Will consider making her enemy be the daughter of the rival count, that tries to discredit the girl that thwarted his father's plans "by acting out of her proper role". She can believe it, but adds a second layer of rivalry in the form of a family feud. For added complexity, she might have been bethroted to our character's brother before, and the situation is messy enough to break the engagement.

As a suggestion... mention the witch at the court in Scene 1. Perhaps during court someone bring a charge against the witch, but the local peasants testify as witnesses for her because she's a healer. The count rules in the witches favor. That was she is known and our heroine knows to seek her out. And/or maybe the magical animal appears during or after the fight and leads her to the witch, who tells our heroine that the animal is her's now.

I like it.

Small update. We ran the first adventure a couple of weeks ago. At first it went more or less according to plan, including a trial against the witch in the first scene and the development of a courtly rival (she actually slapped the other girl in front of other courtesans, an important faux pas in a social setting). Then it went out of the window when she took advantage of the attack on her and the son of the count to actually slay the son of the count herself (he was already badly mauled) and blamed the rivals of her father (she had proof of it after all) since there were no witnesses left alive. The Marca Hispanica is in turmoil now. Obviously the marriage of her brother to her courtly rival has gone out of the window (gain a story flaw) and it looks like Barcelona and Tolouse can go to war against each other. She has been knighted (a peculiar request none the less) by the count of Barcelona, and his family decided that she would be better being sent on her own (with a squire) to avoid all the problems currently brewing up to boiling temperature in the courts of the Marca.

Not how I expected her to handle stuff, but cool none the less. A more brash character than I was thinking it would be.