|"Garden of Rest" by Em Niwa|
I had a great time running Everway-Silver Anniversary Edition as part of the virtual game track at Gamehole Con 2021 last night. It was a great experience. The PCs had an adventure in the Realm of Fire's Wall, one that I explored for the first time earlier in the year with my home game group. While in my earlier campaign, the Realm of Fire's Wall was mainly a starting point to bring a new group of adventurers together, last night the PCs solved a fundamental mystery/problem in that realm.
They did great with the adventure, and found that a bit of violence actually helped move things toward a solution. This felt like a bit of a surprise for the players, but each of them chose Spherewalkers who had histories of violence, so it kind of made sense.
That being said, the violence was of the "last resort" type, in the face of an inflexible adversary who was doing real damage to the realm.
To prepare for the game, I created form-fillable versions of the sample characters from the Player's Book. Careful readers of the book will note that these are the signature characters and mostly complete sheets, except that the third image tied to the character's story is blank, as is the space under the image for players to create a brief narrative interpreting the image's relevance for the character's story.
It's great that the third picture and narrative detail are blank, as that creates a great way to pull the players into co-creation of their stories. So I made the third picture and narrative block form-fillable to support that ideation.
I provided about 20 PDF/PNG images in a Vision Card folder (including the one up above) for players to select an image that called to them. I collected these from various online art sources. Once everyone had an image, I had players introduce their characters and say something about why they selected that image, and how it related to the PC's story. Then we entered a Questions phase, in which players asked each other questions about the images and their significance for the characters, digging deeper.
This worked really well, the players were clearly engaged with the process and their characters, which set the stage for a great, character-driven game. This activity took about 45 minutes, but it was time well invested and enjoyable for everyone.
I'll be using this technique again for convention scenarios.