My steampunk Savage Worlds game didn't run last night due to various things. I did end up running an off-the-cuff session of Beyond the Wall with three players, one of whom was gaming for the first time. We created characters using the playbooks, and the ladies picked the Untested Thief, Would-Be Knight and Witch's Prentice. We created the village and added places and people, with one player delightedly adding illustrated buildings and places to the map as we went.
I used The Angered Fae scenario pack, but I deviated heavily from what I rolled up. One of the elements from the Witch's Prentice's backstory fit really well with the idea of some angered fae, so I ran with that instead, noted a couple of choices/paths in my head, and off we went.
Our three PCs were Bellona (Would-Be Knight), Matilda (Witch's Prentice), and Chad (Untested Thief) The village was plagued for weeks with terrible portents, and finally attacked by the Wild Hunt. The PCs set about investigating, finally figuring out that one of the villagers, Amelia, was pregnant with the child of the local fae lord. While they all personally had grudges against her, Matilda's master (the town's witch) had sworn to protect the woman and her unborn child and wouldn't back down. Rather than cross the old woman, the PCs did some digging, made an uncomfortable deal with the Pukka, killed a Redcap, and managed to work out a Persephone-esque custody deal between the fae lord and the child's mother. The PCs didn't go the easiest route, but they went a pretty solid one. They saved the village. Chad managed to get his hands on an antlered helmet from the fae knights of the Wild Hunt. A good time was had by all.
I thought the pacing and tone of the game were uneven, but the players deflected my self-criticism. I do think that overall the game was good. I'd play this village and this PC set again, or happily roll up a new village.
One thing we all agreed on is that character creation/village creation in Beyond the Wall is fun. I like games where character creation is fun in and of itself. I'd add BtW to the list that includes Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (1st and 2nd editons) and Traveller. (Although that's funny, because usually I hate the way Traveller actually plays out as a game.)
I'm glad I bought a print copy of Beyond the Wall and that I've already had a chance to kick the tires on it. I almost want to run it on Sunday at KantCon, but I'm already running two fantasy games based on D&D mechanics.
7/7 would recommend.