Friday, January 29, 2021

Character Generation


Everway's Silver Anniversary Edition offers two ways to access the images that drive the game: there will be actual cards for the Vision Deck, Season Deck (a new feature), and Fortune Deck, and a huge chunk of Book 1 - Player's Book also reproduces the Fortune Deck and the Vision Deck (which includes more images than found in the original Everway boxed set). 

Since I am running my new campaign using the Silver Anniversary Edition, and we are playing online, I was pretty worried about how character generation was going to go. We play online in two hour sessions, weekly. Would that be enough time to generate characters? Would the players be able to understand the basics of setting and mood for such a visually oriented and reflective game in the virtual environment?

I decided to run in Zoom, rather than our usual home on Discord, because video quality is better. (Or at least I have more confidence in that platform with respect to screensharing and video interaction.)

One of my four players DOES have the original edition of the game (which he purchased online recently), so not surprisingly he got the furthest with character generation last night. For the Vision stage of character creation he was able to use his own set of Vision cards to select five that resonated with him for creating a character. He did the same with selecting his Virtue, Fault, and Fate using the Fortune Deck.

For the other players, I did a screenshare of the Vision Card chapter of the new Player's Book, so that they could see all the cards - and the questions associated with each Vision card. I also walked players through  the setting chapters of the Player's Book to give them a sense of the game environment: the much expanded map of Roundwander, the City of Everway, and various images in the book. This helped the players to "get" the mood of the game: mythic fantasy. I also showed players the cards in the Fortune Deck, and the various images of deities that are included in the deck. This was a useful anchor as well. 

As we began character generation we also explored a Premise for the campaign, which the new edition brings into stronger focus. What brings the characters together? What kind of group are they?

The players decided that their Spherewalkers have come to Everway after learning that they have a shared ancestor - some relation has invited them to visit the City of Everway. I thought this was a great idea. We agreed that this might be come kind of crazy uncle. When I explained the matriarchal-matrilineal family structure of Everway, they speculated that their relative might be a "crazy aunt" instead!

The visually rich review copy to which I have access gives me confidence that GMs will be able to create an authentic Everway experience online. The range of Vision card images did what they always do: they gave the players some ideas about other cherished card collections that they might raid for the Vision stage of character development! That was another "win" for the session, and very consistent with my experience running the RPG face-to-face and play-by-post in the past.

We did about two hours of discussion and exploration, the players will do a bit of image selection sessions, and will finish characters and begin the campaign in the next session.

While Everway doesn't have character classes or levels (the original of course came in a white box, so comparisons to D&D are both inevitable and illuminating), but the characters emerging seem to fall into the following categories:

  • A wizard who is a spirit medium/channeler
  • A bard
  • A fighter
  • A cleric (pretty sure)
So this promises to be a well-rounded party. I am looking forward to their adventures together!


  1. I have been playing RPGs since 1974, but missed Everway on its first outing in 1990 (I had drifted away from RPGs with no local group, and working/commuting 60+ hours a week). Everway has the most enjoyable character generation I have yet encountered, as you're telling a story as you create the character, but the system aids that narration without imposing it (Traveller) or forcing/imposing a class (too many to name) or creating narrow niche specialities (5e, PF, etc).

    -- wizard who is a spirit medium/channeler

  2. Sounds awesome! It makes me so happy to see people playing Everway and I can't wait until you all hold Silver Anniversary Edition in your hands. :)


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