Well, I believe I gave more than adequate time for anyone else interested to post their character ideas up, it seems we have 4-5 people here who have submitted their ideas in public (I don't really like the idea of dealing with private-messaged, 'secret character' types for this game) so we'll go from there.
I'm willing to expand from 4 to 5, I'd ideally like the size of 4 group members best but the game can stretch to fit a 5th with some additions, and while I can give my full attention comfortably to 4 players these days, I have seen enough 'slowness' recently that 5th character is acceptable at the time.
So, given how it looks, if there's no objections I'll start this game as the -Broken Crown- option, with 5th level start up. So, 5th level characters, with maxed hit points, ability points with the method already outlined before, and 10,500 gold pieces in gear. I'd request that nobody gets an item priced over 8,000 gold pieces to begin with, unless they want to give me a real good explanation how all their earnings so far have gone into securing that one magical item. Reason for this? See below, please.
Its a setting where magical items are found, marvelled, and cherished for most part. Potions and scrolls may be available at times, as can masterwork swords and armor, but actually creating magical items is a rare talent that very few people possess. Same is true for psionic items. There's not going to be a large market for magical items out there, selling one may yield higher-than-average price, and that's higher than the -buying- prices in the books. However, there's no such thing as going to a local mages guild and requesting this and that and then this and this and that too.
While magic is present in the setting, its not so ambivalent that it can be acquired with that ease. In the start, the characters possessions are likely from their past deeds, either trophies of great value or rewards from truly grateful patrons. (Saving someone's life might be worth them giving out a family heirlom or an 'artefact of their own adventuring days'.
The kingdom the characters begin the tale in is of mixed type, with humans representing roughly two-thirds of its populace, but the demi-human races have a fair representation in the lands too. The kingdom the characters start in is a frontier kingdom, far from the heart of the old 'empire' that the Tyrant forged in the distant past. The characters begin in a sizeable merchant town of Saroth, its baron a fairly wealthy man from the trade passing through the area, allowing the town to maintain sturdy walls and a small number of guards to protect it.
The small kingdom of Syran is now without a heir, and some whisper if the prince was attacked, it might be also without a king. The baron is seeking to maintain the peace until more news arrive. In the meanwhile, heavy duties are expected to fall upon the shoulders of the ones the town can count on, but the rewards to come are whispered to be worth it.
With the prince dead and the summons from the Baron, its left for the heroes to see what paths remain towards the future, and which of them they are willing to take, or if they will seek to forge a new path of their own.
In matters of education, there are scholars who provide teaching for most children and adults who are able to pay a small sum, in the Baron's town of Saroth this basic education is actually free, but optioanl, as it takes time away from chores that some farmers would rather have their children commit to. Apprenticeship is also common, with people spending years in training.
As far as religion goes, there is a temple in the town that takes care of many old scrolls and documents, as well as tending to the cemetery located outside the actual town walls, but faith does not have a strong hold in the community. Deities are spoken of to those interested in religion, but unlike some of the older cathedrals, the town's temple does not have scrolls old enough to contain much about the legends of the divine.
Feel free to ask on anything you wish to know about the setting in general or about character creation. I'll aim to get the game going during this week, depending on when the people are finished with their characters then.
Also, if the players would prefer to take up the Crossworlds instead, I'll post information on that next then, and it'll begin as a 1st level game. I got the impression the 1st option was getting interest given its higher starting level too, but if people prefer the other option there's time to change.
It was asked who I meant to include, I have been shown a few ideas already and think people have had some good ideas already, I'm still waiting to see the 5th character, but in general...
Elven Sex Goddess, Muse, Callie Del Noire, and NinjaWeasel have shown what they have in mind. I'd have 4 players there already. I had other people speak up too but little word after that, schnookums in turn has been following and though I have not seen a character scetch, I am willing to take up the 5th character concept.
I got asked about this game by a friend in real life, but when told the game was already full they bowed out gracefully. I got the 4 I wanted, but since Schnookums seems still interested, and I have been seeing some games going to rest (people announcing taking a pause from the forums and so) I'm willing to entertain the idea of a 5th member of the team. That's a hard limit though, normally the 4 would have been but given a few now -retired- games i have enough time to focus for a 5-characters team.