Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Character Profile: Kai Etchdar

So I encourage player engagement in a campaign outside of the sessions themselves. Way back in the day, I tried to get the players to write journal entries of their adventures. As you might suspect, this met with horrible failure. After all, as soon as you have to do something, or even if you are just asked to do it - it feels like an assignment. I've even offer XP as a reward for character journals, and it gets a little more response, but not that much more.

I've noticed, however, from the past three campaigns that I've run that many times the players will want to get involved in the campaign...just not in the form of journal entries. I have one player who is an expert on Excel Sheets and so has built a ship-building Excel Sheet for our campaign. I have another player who loves putting together minis, so he's bought a number of ship minis for the campaign. And then there's the Rogue Trader PC who has already written two journal entries for the campaign.

I think this kind of thing is great. It reminds me of my time back in Minion Town, when a friend of mine would draw maps or do concept art based on what we were playing at the time. Or build lego models that reflected the characters or equipment in the game.

To try to foster this a bit more, I'm handing out in-game rewards for out-of-game work. If someone does work on the campaign outside of the game session, I might award bonus XP, an extra Fate Point, etc. This is more of a pat on the back than anything else. I want to acknowledge what the player is doing.

And that's where this blog comes in. As another way to celebrate players participating in the campaign outside of the game sessions, I can post their journal entries, thoughts, artwork, or minis right here as an acknowledgement of their hard work and effort.

That Brings Us to Kai Etchar

Kai is the Explorers' Explorator, played by Jared.

Jared stepped up to the plate and jumped into the campaign knowing nothing about the Warhammer 40k universe. And a big universe it is. As a character who associates with tech priests there was a lot of discussion about how 40k technology works. There was talk about machine spirits, machine rituals, and the like .

My take on Kai (I'll let Jared correct me if he wants to) is a young, brash, and eager explorator who has seen much of the universe in a very short period of time, much more than most anyone in the 40k setting does. Especially at the rate in which he has seen it.

Here's Jared's sketch of the character.

Here's a design for a device he's working in on the campaign. A device for reading the aura and demeanor of tech spirits.

This is the mini I finished up for the Explorator. Not bad for one of my first ever converted models.

View from the back.

All for now.


  1. Excel sheets for shipbuilding? We wouldn't mind a copy of that down south. Nice figure by the way, both the paint and the conversion. Try hitting the cloth with a wash of Devlan Mud to really make it 'pop'.

    Out of game work for in-game rewards is always a 'love it' or 'hate it' proposal. Sometimes you just get a player who's into it, rewards be damned!

  2. It's amazing how well it works to take fantasy minis, put a bolt gun or power fist or something on them and use them for Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader. I guess it's the gothic flavor of the 40K universe that makes it fit so well.

  3. I've never used Delvan Mud before, but it's certainly worth a shot. I just looked up some images of minis with Delvan Mud wash. I like them, so I'll give it a shot.