On Saturday night, we met up at Josh's house and rolled up characters and fitted out ships for the Maritime Campaign.
Lucy came, which was a surprise to me. Dave couldn't come. We've still got a bit of work to do on Lucy's characters. She has one complete and ready to go, but still needs to decide on equipment (I'll likely work on that for her) and her specials. I'll also try to get Dave to roll up his guys before the next game as well (we've got two weeks).
Alex was pretty unhappy at first because he started gaming in the late 2E era, and mainly played Palladium games where there's more selection and min-maxing. He wasn't happy with rolling down the line 3d6 for stats, but I relented on the by the book 'only change your highest roll into your PR' stance I had hoped for and let him make one switch of rolled numbers. That way, he was able to have a Half-Orc captain, something he had wanted to do. It wasn't that big a deal for me, and it was better than a full on 'place your numbers where they'll do you the most good' option that Alex wanted.
Anyway, by the time he got to the 'select a special' and select some potions and scrolls section, he was happier. He did complain that his Fighter's magic weapon was only a +2 bastard sword (they're starting at 10,000 xp, so that's a 4th level Fighter). But when I allowed him to upgrade the party's small sailing ship to a small war ship instead of taking another boat for his captain option, he was happy. Another character took a special mount, and he spent most of the rest of the evening doing comparison shopping on the best monster to take (ended up with a hippogriff). He was min-maxing, but he was doing it with an eye toward strategies that would keep them safe in combat or allow them overwhelming odds, which I applaud.
Alex sometimes has trouble thinking outside the mechanics of the game, but at least he does well using the mechanics in creative ways.
Josh, on the other hand, was done relatively quickly with his characters. He also chose one captain, with a longship, and spent all of his characters' gold on kitting it out. Another took a special mount as well, and decided on a giant squid. Alex had taken 'aristocrat' as his final special, so he had extra gold to spend, and still has some, but his ship is full of reserve provisions and water, and a small complement of marines.
Lucy's Elf is the only one so far with a special decided, and she took a Wand of Petrification.
So far, Alex has a Fighter, Half-Orc, Illusionist and Cavalier. Josh has a Thief, Illusionist, Barbarian and Bard. Lucy has an Elf, Thief, and two Fighters. No idea what Dave will come up with.
The highlight of the evening for me was probably Alex considering taking a Living Rock Statue as his Cavalier's mount, but instead of riding it afixing it as the figurehead of the ship, so it could attack other ships with liquid hot magma.
I can see this turning into a really fun campaign. Everyone's pumped for it, and it will take minimal prep from me from the sounds of what they want to do--mostly freebooting and some trading, with only the occasional quest or search for fabulous treasure.