PDA

View Full Version : How do you begin your campaigns?



Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
07-29-2009, 09:03 PM
How do you begin your campaigns?

Most of us love to start of campaigns by a meet at the local tavern, myself included. So, with this in mind, share some other ways you as a DM/GM brought characters together to start off a campaign.

Me: Taverns will always be my favorite, and usually my primary choice.

What share the rest of you?

All rpg genre's welcome to participate, as always. :biggrin:

Sascha
07-29-2009, 09:28 PM
Like my favorite films and television, in media res. Preferably with something zinging past a character's head. Good call to action, that~ ;)

I'm very tempted to start one with the PCs already in custody, being questioned on the ginormous brawl in the tavern/bar/club. Cue the flashback, and determine initiative!

outrider
07-29-2009, 11:24 PM
Yep taverns are a favorite also. I have had a campaign start with the characters fleeing from a chain gang, being signed on a ship, in a merchant caravan being guards and others.

Jymy
07-29-2009, 11:42 PM
My favorite one was having all the PCs wake up one by one in prison cell. They looked about, had some gear, nothing too dangerous, and they could recall all their class abilities and skills and such, but not "who" they were or anyone else in the room with them.
Over the course of the first 2 nights of the game I would give them flash backs and memories slowly piecing together why they were there, who the are, and what is really going on.
They were all on the edge of their seats for a while, and hated having to do it over two nights instead of one, but we gamed for almost 9 hours the first night alone. (laughs)

drewshi
07-30-2009, 06:26 AM
I start my campaigns like a lot of television series, I give the characters a chance to get to know each other by adventuring in something simple be it a dungeon, abandoned castle, etc. But I throw something in at the end that sets off the whole mythology of the campaign.

For example, in my current campaign, I put the party at odds with a wizard who had not warned them about the powerful artifact he had asked them to collect from the ruins of a village. When they found out what they were dealing with and the lengths the wizard was willing to go to to get the artifact, they knew they were dealing with someone who was going to be trouble.

In fact, it's about time he reared his ugly head again. :loco:

Q-man
07-30-2009, 06:45 AM
I tend to fall back to the tavern as well. Its just the easiest way to get things started. Lately I've been trying some of what Sascha said. I'll give a loose reason for why the PC's are in a particular area (say a plaza in town or on a caravan) and have some attack start. Presumably the heroes would step forward to deal with the threat, so the awkward introductions are dealt with quickly since they immediately have a common goal.

I try to push the idea of making the players write some bits into their back story where they've met some of the other members. But they don't always cooperate so I end up falling back to the standard tavern meetup.

Skunkape
07-30-2009, 09:34 AM
I used to begin my campaigns by planning out solo adventures for each character; that would direct them to a central location where they would all meet and be motivated to form an adventuring group. This was the way that I preferred because each player got a chance to develop their characterís personality without any influence from other players/characters.

Course, now that Iím married and own a house, my time is more limited so I just bring everyone together at the first game. At the very start of a game, I still try and find a way to link all of the characters together, but everyone starts off in the same general area.

Most of the time these days, the characters are sent on a mission of some sort by an NPC, whether that be a parent/teacher or an organization, that all depends on where Iím interested in taking the campaign.

templeorder
07-30-2009, 09:35 AM
I prefer to have them connected through community and shared experience. There's a lot to do - be it just growing up together, family or friends, a traumatic experience that turns them down the road as adventurers, some principle or ideal of the community they believe in... and a mix of all that an more.

I hate contriving, so i give them all a reason to trust each other. Once trust is established, it easier for the player not to feel like they are forcing it, and for them to role play better instead of just pretending like they have the trust and character knowledge needed to go into combat against a foe and trust the others with their life.

Valdar
07-30-2009, 10:40 AM
Taverns are a fine place to start, but it's a little contrived to just assume that people are going to bond into an adventuring group just because they all went drinking on the same night, so it's better to have some sort of backstory that they can play on.

In my current game, the local prince was impressed by a non-Noble competitor in a recent Olympics-type event, and decided to create a commoner order of adventurers to do the things that the army was too busy or not adaptable enough to do- the game started in a roadside inn one day's ride from the capital- everyone there was obviously on their way to the palace to try out for the order. So, they all already had some common ground before the Kobolds showed up and started killing people...

Arkhemedes
07-30-2009, 11:32 AM
Taverns are used here quite often but I always give them a motivating factor other than, "Hey, you look like swell guys. Let's go adventuring." Usually one of them has been hired by an NPC to round up some men to do a job, or they have been instructed by a higher power to meet and do something, or an event occurs that bonds the group together.

One thing I prefer to do also, though it isn't always workable, is to make sure the players know next to nothing about the other player's characters. That way when they first meet, they behave more like the strangers that their PCs are and everything has to come out as the result of role playing.

One of my favorite beginnings for a campaign was done by another DM. We all started out as the slaves of a Red Wizard, and with practically no skills, had to figure out a way to escape.

WhiteTiger
07-30-2009, 12:25 PM
Unfortunately, I'll be using the Pathfinder lodge / Venture-Captain setups in the world of golarion since the campaign I'm going to be starting up in the next month or 2 is a modified version of the Legacy of Fire campaign.

I do however, give out a lot of narrative in advance and the party member's don't have a lot of money so I'm sure that is where they'll be going anyway.

Oldgamer
07-30-2009, 02:13 PM
I've used Ye Ole Tavern many times, but I now do it like drewshi. I start them off getting to know one another, or just meeting each other in town, usually surrounding some event (giant battle, explosion, earthquake, etc) and clues lead them into the beginning and then into the the world.

Unless it's a published module, and then of course I just start at page 1 :) My most recent game is beginning with a mod, Forge of Fury, and I started them off already familiar with one another and the wizard (soon to be Runesmith) of the group had tracked down an old map to Stone Tooth ... and that got the ball rolling. This mod will lead into my homebrew campaign I'm building.

Baldwin Stonewood
07-30-2009, 07:52 PM
My last campaign began with the pcs entering a cartography shop.

I separated the pcs in my current game. Two pcs were the remaining survivors when the caravan they were guarding/guiding was ambushed. They had to make their way to the city where they were held for questioning. Two other pcs were dockworker thugs and they were in need of muscle to complete a thuggery job. The last pc, a drow, was being held for questioning in a jail.

wbrandel
07-31-2009, 11:13 AM
The last campaign I ran I had them all summoned before the baroness and giving a task to accomplish together, and naturally the campaign built from there. Unfortunately we were unable to finish it due to my work schedule at the time.

MortonStromgal
07-31-2009, 12:05 PM
Roll initiative!

Clerical_Errer
07-31-2009, 02:41 PM
The Tavern approach is good, I can't tell yea how many times I'd get sloshed in a bar buddy up with a few rough neck strangers, and go out and explore old people's houses looking for phat flat screen TV loot. That being said, I like having interesting ways to get the PCs together, like a horde of monsters busts into town and starts punch random NPCs in the face. A stranger vendor comes to town selling baubles and nick-nacks each PC either buys, steals or some how comes across one of said baubles they each light up that night sprouting legs and stealing something valuble from each of the PCs and taking it back to that vendor's hide out, just so happens that vendor was also part of some "Insert scary sect, cult, rogues guild, elemental chaos orginazation here" and he has been stealing things from ppl in town to create a portal from here to some "mountain range full of bad guys, marsh with a retarded scary castle keep or elemental plane." God I'm good~

korhal23
07-31-2009, 05:22 PM
Sometimes I go with "You already knew each other, you're an established guild" especially in Forgotten Realms where you need writs from the governments to be armed or use magic.

Spycraft is easy though, because the players are all working for the same agency... it really is their job to go out and do what you tell them to lol

Bob the Dalek
08-01-2009, 01:08 AM
In the old days of Ghostbusters I started campaigns with having the new recruits meeting at the station for the first time to be lied to ...uh...no... encouraged by the senior partners and having a stock letter sent to them from the guys in New York saying to be careful because the franchise is expensive and they better do good or we own them.

CEBedford
08-01-2009, 02:14 PM
Roll Initiative is a great way to start a game. I have also used the tavern cliche before because it's a good one. Sometimes I like to ask every player individually what they're currently up to and then see what pops into my head.

However, for my next campaign I'll start with something like:

You are standing outside your favorite tavern as flames roar, you hear a loud pop as part of the roof caves in. A cloud of black smoke pours from the building, fleeing from the falling debris.

From out of the smoke scurry small creatures with greenish skin, sharp teeth, and red eyes. They laugh maniacally as one of their number trails behind, flames dancing down his back. As the burning goblin flees down a narrow alley, his companions throw down their smoldering brands and draw crude, blood caked blades.

Roll initiative!

Oldgamer
08-01-2009, 04:48 PM
Burn the tavern down!!!!!

CEBedford
08-01-2009, 06:17 PM
Burn the tavern down!!!!!

Indeed!

tesral
08-02-2009, 11:07 AM
I've used the tavern, I think everyone has. However I usually add the twist of the party leader signing on the other PCs. It gives a more solid hook as to why they are working together.

Fellow villagers defending their homes. This was used very successfully . The young people of a village on the backside of everything become the defenders and protectors.

Gang members in a city. The current game. It's the second time I have used the urban gang.

Kassious
08-02-2009, 12:38 PM
(D&D 4e) For my newest campaign I had the Marquis send out a call for willing hands to assault a pirate fleet's island base. There will be a few ships full of NPC's that kick in the front door while the PC's ship sneaks up to the back of the island. Since I'm letting them go somewhat steampunk with the game I'm letting the engineer-types use explosives to breech the back wall.

Azar
08-02-2009, 04:22 PM
I also use taverns,it's always fun but I have also used a road where they get jumped that one is always cool.

CEBedford
08-02-2009, 04:56 PM
Having them all meet after being tossed in a jail cell for various reasons is always a fun one too. It's particularly good for WFRP where the characters always seem to be less than pure.

Oldgamer
08-03-2009, 10:18 AM
I've used the tavern, I think everyone has. However I usually add the twist of the party leader signing on the other PCs. It gives a more solid hook as to why they are working together.

Fellow villagers defending their homes. This was used very successfully . The young people of a village on the backside of everything become the defenders and protectors.

Gang members in a city. The current game. It's the second time I have used the urban gang.


I like having a party leader that is established as such. Right now, I began a PbP that no one is a clear leader and everything is a democracy ... some of the group wants to camp at mid day and head out in the morning since the caverns are a half day ride and they don't want to get there at night and camp in front ... some want to sneak up the side of the mountain (namely the halfling rogue) and some want to just trudge heroically up to the front door and knock it down at dusk ... so the neutral guy draws a line in the road and says "All who want to continue ... step across the line, those who want to wait, stay where you are" ... as he stands on the line and going on neither side. The group needs a leader.:rolleyes:

gajenx
08-04-2009, 10:11 AM
I rarely use the tavern idea. I think I often force characters to have backgrounds and have them start based on the backstories. Then I link the back stories together to have the group come together. Though it does take a while longer to have a complete group that works together compared to normal means.

Ishcumbeebeeda
08-04-2009, 11:47 PM
I've only DMed once or twice (HORRIBLE DISASTER!!!) but when I'm gaming most of my DMs have started with the tried and true tavern setting. There was one time when we began with a tavern setting that I role played the other party members into hiring me on, so I wound up with a weekly salary from them and medical benefits (in that they paid for all of my healing) on top of whatever treasure/magic items I managed to grab. (Yay CN. I wound up with a lot of magic items and little treasure, mostly because I managed to pocket them all before the rest of the PCs got there. :lol: Fortunately we were a group of pretty good friends and the other players thought this was as hilarious as I did!)

Skunkape
08-05-2009, 07:40 AM
I'm starting a weird west campaign sometime in the not too distant future and really don't want to start the game off with the players in the saloon, but am going to wait till I have all of their characters before I even begin to plan on where they start.

emblasochist
08-05-2009, 10:51 AM
My campaign started when I thrust my players from Sigil where they had at least one, albiet somewhat shaky connection to the other players, to a world where they would spend the entirety of the game, unless they found some way to open a portal to elsewhere. After falling atop one another, they were faced with some antagonistic types.

I might try something like "you find yourselves shackled to steel posts driven into the earth with fires wicking away your skin."

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
08-05-2009, 10:57 AM
Here's an all-time classic: Your characters wake up with no memory of how they got where they are or what they are doing there.

If you want to advance it even more, add in that they don't even remember who they are, complete amnesia (DM deciding how far back the amnesia goes), if you will.

emblasochist
08-05-2009, 11:13 AM
Here's an all-time classic: Your characters wake up with no memory of how they got where they are or what they are doing there.

If you want to advance it even more, add in that they don't even remember who they are, complete amnesia (DM deciding how far back the amnesia goes), if you will.


Seems like a good way to start a campaign at level 0. They have to come into training in the class they want, and have to seek out another of their race to learn of their innate skills, features etc.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
08-05-2009, 11:18 AM
It works great for all levels, trust me.

Oldgamer
08-05-2009, 02:27 PM
Here's an all-time classic: Your characters wake up with no memory of how they got where they are or what they are doing there.

If you want to advance it even more, add in that they don't even remember who they are, complete amnesia (DM deciding how far back the amnesia goes), if you will.


The last time we took a stab at the World's Largest Dungeon, the DM started it out that way ... we were already in area 1 and we had fallen down there somehow and couldn't climb back out. We knew that we had known each other before ... but didn't know how.

tesral
08-05-2009, 02:53 PM
One I've been wanting to try is to make the character totally separate from each other, and cross genre as well. A wizard, a hard boiled detective, a knight of the round table and so forth.

All of them remember who they are, and remember they were seconds from certain death. They wake up in a mad science lab, evidence of their mortal wounds healed. The lab outside the room looks like it had a tornado go through. The only being that might have told them why they are here impaled and quite dead on some wrecked equipment.

Their gear is in the room they woke up in. It was protected from the general mayhem. From the bits they can piece together they are intended to save something from someone, but what and who are not clear.

The rest has yet to be written.

Descronan
08-05-2009, 03:16 PM
My most recent game started with the PCs playing as youths and witnessing a horrific murder. We played out the scene and the kids went to the authorities who did nothing. This played out into the premise that if you need something done, do it yourself!

Then we fast forwarded ten years with the PCs as adults and they chose their occupations/background basics. I littered in some rumors and saw if anyone took any of the bait - they didn't, so then I sent an invite to the nobleman in the party to attend a court with a nobleman - the king-maker. He played out his character to the satisfaction of the NPC and he was asked to deliver a package to the noble's misstress. There was a warning that others had not arrived so the PC should recruit those he trusted - enter the other PCs.

Before that was a PbP where the characters were looking for jobs and the best paying gig was from the chief inspector. One of the PCs was an assassin and the inspector knew it. Made for a great story/intro having that held over the PC's head. It was kind of railroaded, but worked out great.

The last game I played in the GM didn't know how to get us together so we took our character concepts and combined their purposes into a plausable back story. My character was a collector of folk tales searching for new stories to tell. Our swordsman was my bodyguard and the treasure hunter was our guide. And of course we needed a doctor!

jade von delioch
08-05-2009, 11:16 PM
I have been reading a lot fo game theory articles lately and feel that the best way to start a campaign is before the game starts, during character creation. I think the players should collaborate when making their character, but also make per-established relationships with the player characters. One of the main problems i have seen with campaigns are caused by the characters not knowing each other before the first game. Theres no histroy beyond what they each experienced that got them started down the path thats the campaing cosists of.
one of the themes i wanted to try and do at some point is set up the player history where all the character came from the same small village that was attacked when they were not around and that caused them to journey together beyond childhood. basicely, the character would find their village burned down and there friends and family dead. From here they would seek revenge for their homes and set out in search of those who did it and end up doing much more than that. they would become heroes.

nijineko
08-05-2009, 11:34 PM
i have two game running right now. both of which are linked in my sig, please check them out. =D

the first is called anything goes 16; which is actually a double entendre, as it references two separate in-jokes. it starts off with the tavern scene because it amuses me to do something so cliche. and then the local bard's friend promptly has something like an epileptic seizure in the middle of the tavern. the various characters jump into action (or not) as per their inclination. the ensuing aftermath was great fun.

for the second, carnival of souls, i did something totally different. there is a locked thread which contains the prelude story line explaining the beginning. then it goes off with a bang, and each character winds up in the middle of somewhere, or nowhere, they are wandering around the world, with no clue where they are, running into cultures they've never seen before, with only the equipment they happened to be wearing on a typical day off... and they still have yet to meet.

Oldgamer
08-06-2009, 10:18 AM
I have been reading a lot fo game theory articles lately and feel that the best way to start a campaign is before the game starts, during character creation. I think the players should collaborate when making their character, but also make per-established relationships with the player characters. One of the main problems i have seen with campaigns are caused by the characters not knowing each other before the first game. Theres no histroy beyond what they each experienced that got them started down the path thats the campaing cosists of.
one of the themes i wanted to try and do at some point is set up the player history where all the character came from the same small village that was attacked when they were not around and that caused them to journey together beyond childhood. basicely, the character would find their village burned down and there friends and family dead. From here they would seek revenge for their homes and set out in search of those who did it and end up doing much more than that. they would become heroes.


I've done this several times on PbP's ... we all make up the general stuff like stats, hp's, etc ... then collaborate on back stories that brings us all to the point where the adventure begins. It works out quite well.

Moritz
08-07-2009, 05:26 PM
I often begin them the way I end them; By saying, "And then you wake up."

DMMike
08-08-2009, 12:46 PM
Since I'm flexible on classes, races, and alignments, I try to plant something in character background or goals that compels the characters to work together. Otherwise, they'd be at each other's throats, or going in opposite directions (not good).

My last campaign featured a mysterious patron that requested audience with each PC by letter. When the PCs arrived at the designated town, they met at the inn, which featured a tavern/common room, at their own behest. So despite my half-hearted efforts, the game began at a tavern anyway.

Grimwell
08-08-2009, 11:03 PM
With my upcoming game, the players will all know that they are starting in a particular city. What they don't know












...is that the game will kick off with the city under major attack and I intend to use it to draw them together in a natural flow. I expect each of them to justify why they are in this city and I will use the attack to justify how I bring them together to survive the assault. It's not going to be a good day for the Dragonborn, but it will be a very important day for these heroes.

It's also a means of landing the core story for Chapter 1 with them. :D

russdm
08-08-2009, 11:23 PM
I am planning to start my new campaign with the players being in a fight for 4th edition. It will be a great way to get them ready to roll. For the other campaign of 4th edition, i am planning, the party will be start out in the Lord Soth bed and breakfast owned by Lord Soth, the death knight.

For one of my planned star wars campaigns, players will start out in the office of a member of new republic intelligence. For the other, the players will start either in a cantina in mos eisly or on the battlefield at Geonisis as they fight alongside the clone troopers. I have not planned out that campaign yet. I need to.

I have not planned out my second 4th edition campaign and i have only been planning the first adventure for my first, (the lord soth one).

cigamnogard
08-10-2009, 04:26 PM
I do each adventure introduction based on where I as the DM want the adveture to go.

tesral
08-10-2009, 10:03 PM
I do each adventure introduction based on where I as the DM want the adventure to go.

Before you is a great gate of iron. Symbols of death cover its surface. Engraved above the leaves are the words "Abandon all hope ye who enter here."

Purgatory
08-10-2009, 10:18 PM
Before you is a great gate of iron. Symbols of death cover its surface. Engraved above the leaves are the words "Abandon all hope ye who enter here."

Where I work we actually have that sign with a gargoyle on top right above the Owners office.
Back to topic.

I have had players sailing to another part of the world. Having to get to know each other on the ship. Then they wake up amoung the wreckage of the ship with very little supplies and maybe a dagger if they are lucky. They made it to the other land but no shelter unless they work together and fight off the beasts that in the area. Having to make crude weapons and tools to survive. One time the players actually found large turtles and made turtle armor. IT was so funny just like TMNT!!

CEBedford
08-11-2009, 01:18 PM
The shipwreck idea is a good one. I'll keep it in my back pocket.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

I do each adventure introduction based on where I as the DM want the adveture to go.

Share some examples. What kind of intros have you done that inspire the players to go with your flow?

cigamnogard
08-11-2009, 02:13 PM
Before you is a great gate of iron. Symbols of death cover its surface. Engraved above the leaves are the words "Abandon all hope ye who enter here."
I have actually used that one - but it was written massively on the wall so that the characters could not read it unless the stepped back.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

The shipwreck idea is a good one. I'll keep it in my back pocket.
--- Merged from Double Post ---


Share some examples. What kind of intros have you done that inspire the players to go with your flow?

The shipwreck is a tried and true Conan introduction!
As for others of mine here is one or two I have used:


The war is over just as your training has ended at the barracks. All the soldiers are returning home and there will be little use for your new unit and you have been disbanded before firing your first shot or charging your first enemy. What do you do now?
The rain pours outside and the door/gate guard answers a knock at the gate. The knock is from a catapult and it smashes him flat as the orc and goblin horde try to batter down the gate. What do you as the new guardsmen do?

cplmac
08-12-2009, 07:12 PM
Actually, I started our Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth game with the PCs all being brought together at a camp along the road that leads to Bissel. They were however, nowhere near Bissel when they started and had no idea if they were even near anytype of a town. All they knew was that they had been selected to go on some quest.

cigamnogard
08-12-2009, 07:50 PM
Actually, I started our Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth game with the PCs all being brought together at a camp along the road that leads to Bissel. They were however, nowhere near Bissel when they started and had no idea if they were even near anytype of a town.

Either they were or they were not...
confused

cplmac
08-13-2009, 09:27 AM
Confusion got a better hold on them when at the begining of the second game session, they realized that not one of the 9 players turned the map over. There was a message that was a clue to help them inside the caverns. Now they weren't sure if they should go all the way back to Bissel to ask about the writing or just continue on.

MarshamSane
08-13-2009, 10:52 AM
In true X-com inspired style I had the group in a hover transport about to pile out as their sgt starts giving instructions, steps out the hatch, and is promptly shot through the head, the group's medic getting brain matter into his open mouth.

Combat proceeded from there, thr group eventualy rendevousing with a second element and getting new objectives, becomming the infil team, now that they were the sgt, and a few redshirt npcs down.

cigamnogard
08-13-2009, 12:54 PM
Confusion got a better hold on them when at the begining of the second game session, they realized that not one of the 9 players turned the map over. There was a message that was a clue to help them inside the caverns. Now they weren't sure if they should go all the way back to Bissel to ask about the writing or just continue on.
Ah ha!

Lucifer_Draconus
08-19-2009, 11:02 PM
I have been reading a lot fo game theory articles lately and feel that the best way to start a campaign is before the game starts, during character creation. I think the players should collaborate when making their character, but also make per-established relationships with the player characters. One of the main problems i have seen with campaigns are caused by the characters not knowing each other before the first game. Theres no histroy beyond what they each experienced that got them started down the path thats the campaing cosists of.
one of the themes i wanted to try and do at some point is set up the player history where all the character came from the same small village that was attacked when they were not around and that caused them to journey together beyond childhood. basicely, the character would find their village burned down and there friends and family dead. From here they would seek revenge for their homes and set out in search of those who did it and end up doing much more than that. they would become heroes.

I prefer that the characters know each other & have a shared background. If I ever run games again this'll be how I start games. As an example , the few times I ran a game back in the day, all the characters new each other & started out at the flat of the character. Usually in the aftermath of a drug induced party with the characters sprawled through the apt in various stages of undress. Then the call comes , one PC ansers the phone & agrees to a meet since everyone is running low on cash...oh do I miss the ol' Cyberspace games.

cigamnogard
08-20-2009, 02:57 PM
How about:

It was a dark and stormy night....

cplmac
08-20-2009, 07:08 PM
Actually, I generally prefer to start my campaigns at the begining.


:biggrin::laugh::biggrin:


Sorry folks, I couldn't resist. It was just begging to be said.

MarshamSane
08-21-2009, 12:03 PM
its ok, I loled a bit.

As to fantasy, I usually have something suitable mood setting, I like the they're all members of a refugee caravan fleeing a wartorn city.

russdm
08-21-2009, 03:07 PM
Actually, I generally prefer to start my campaigns at the begining.


:biggrin::laugh::biggrin:


Sorry folks, I couldn't resist. It was just begging to be said.

What about having it start at the end and they have work back to the begining or they have to go back to the begining to fix something that went wrong? How would that work? Its actually a curious idea for a campaign now that i think about it.

I like to assume the characters already know each other, and if not they meet up pretty quick. I don't prefer running any roleplaying for characters meeting. After their first mission, heck during it, they should get to know each other. After all, you don't know someone till you have fought with them...

Oldgamer
08-21-2009, 04:05 PM
What about having it start at the end and they have work back to the begining or they have to go back to the begining to fix something that went wrong? How would that work? Its actually a curious idea for a campaign now that i think about it.

I like to assume the characters already know each other, and if not they meet up pretty quick. I don't prefer running any roleplaying for characters meeting. After their first mission, heck during it, they should get to know each other. After all, you don't know someone till you have fought with them...

Why not? Star Wars movies began in the middle, moved forward, then jumped to the beginning.

CEBedford
08-21-2009, 04:30 PM
Why not? Star Wars movies began in the middle, moved forward, then jumped to the beginning.

Yeah, we all know how well that turned out. :laugh: *hides*

In all seriousness though, it's not a bad idea. I'd be more interested in using Pulp Fiction as an inspiration. Start at somewhere interesting, and then spin the story out from there explaining things in depth as you go if the subject deserves more attention.

russdm
08-21-2009, 10:19 PM
Yeah, we all know how well that turned out. :laugh: *hides*



Hey! I liked the prequels, would have been worth a grammy if Lucas had included Jar Jar in Order 66. Showed him getting shot by clone troopers.

The prequels weren't the best of quality but still better when you have to consider that they could have been alot worse. I always think that with most movies i have seen.

Its a fun idea and one that looks interesting for me to try.

Oldgamer
08-23-2009, 10:47 AM
They were incredibly awesome for 1977, no movie of the times came close to the special effects. Poor Mark Hamil never went anywhere after playing Luke, he was typecast forever.

CEBedford
08-23-2009, 10:50 AM
They were incredibly awesome for 1977, no movie of the times came close to the special effects. Poor Mark Hamil never went anywhere after playing Luke, he was typecast forever.

I respect the originals. Oh and if you get a chance play Batman: Arkham Asylum. Mark Hamil reprises his role as The Joker (from the cartoon series) and it's his best work ever IMO. I hope he gets an award, he narrates much of the game and it's really good!

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
08-23-2009, 12:19 PM
They were incredibly awesome for 1977, no movie of the times came close to the special effects. Poor Mark Hamil never went anywhere after playing Luke, he was typecast forever.
Actually, he did quite a few movies after the Star Wars franchise. I would argue that he wasn't typecast, but rather, just plain sucked at acting.

CEBedford
08-23-2009, 01:26 PM
Actually, he did quite a few movies after the Star Wars franchise. I would argue that he wasn't typecast, but rather, just plain sucked at acting.
There's a reason Harrison Ford did blockbusters and Mark Hamil did The Guyver. :biggrin:

Oldgamer
08-23-2009, 05:08 PM
Are you kidding me? Harrison Ford plays the same guy over and over, himself. Mark Hamil, though his acting does suck, did make other movies but they all tanked. I don't know why HF made it either, I tend to like his movies, but they're all the same.

CEBedford
08-23-2009, 10:09 PM
Are you kidding me? Harrison Ford plays the same guy over and over, himself. Mark Hamil, though his acting does suck, did make other movies but they all tanked. I don't know why HF made it either, I tend to like his movies, but they're all the same.

I didn't exactly say HF was the be all end all of actors but he's clearly better than Hamil.

Oldgamer
08-24-2009, 01:15 PM
Aint that the truth :D

Lucian-Sunaka
08-25-2009, 01:04 AM
Aint that the truth :D

From a certain point of view.

russdm
08-25-2009, 05:57 PM
Harrison Ford just did movies that made big bucks. Thats why we know him better than Mark Hamil. Mark didn't go into a large body of work either like Harrison did. Because of that, we don't know as many things with him. I remember that Mark was in some movie based on a stephan king or some other horror writer's book, Children of the corn, i think it was.

I have seen him i think in other movies. You can always look up Mark on the internet movie database or imdb.com. It will list everything he has been in, includes voice work and television work besides movie work.

tesral
08-25-2009, 10:31 PM
Mark Hamil

Filmography

Features


Night Gallery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Gallery) Episode: There Aren't Any More McBanes (1972) (messenger boy)
Wizards (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wizards_%28film%29) (1977) (voice) Sean
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_Episode_IV:_A_New_Hope) (1977) as Luke Skywalker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_Skywalker)
Corvette Summer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corvette_Summer) (1978)
Star Wars Holiday Special (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_Holiday_Special) (1978)
Sam Fuller and the Big Red One (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sam_Fuller_and_the_Big_Red_One&action=edit&redlink=1) (1979) (documentary)
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_Episode_V:_The_Empire_Strikes_Back) (1980) as Luke Skywalker
The Big Red One (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Red_One) (1980)
The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Night_the_Lights_Went_Out_in_Georgia_%28film%2 9) (1981)
Britannia Hospital (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britannia_Hospital) (1982)
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_Episode_VI:_Return_of_the_Jedi) (1983) as Luke Skywalker
Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nausica%C3%A4_of_the_Valley_of_the_Wind_%28film%29 ) (1984) (voice in 2005 English dub) Mayor of Pejite
Castle in the Sky (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_in_the_Sky) (1986) (voice in 1998 English dub) Muska
Slipstream (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slipstream_%281989_film%29) (1989)
Fall of the Eagles (1989)
Midnight Ride (1990)
The Guyver (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Guyver) (1991)
Black Magic Woman (1991)
Sleepwalkers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleepwalkers_%28film%29) (1992)
Time Runner (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Time_Runner&action=edit&redlink=1) (1993)
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman:_Mask_of_the_Phantasm) (1993) (voice) as The Joker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Joker)
Silk Degrees (1994)
The Raffle (1994)
Earth Angel (1991)
Village of the Damned (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Village_of_the_Damned_%281995_film%29) (1995)
Space Ghost Coast to Coast (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Ghost_Coast_to_Coast) (1997) (himself)
Laserhawk (1997)
Hamilton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamilton_%28film%29) (1998)
Watchers Reborn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchers_Reborn) (1998)
Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scooby-Doo_on_Zombie_Island) (1998) (voice) (direct-to-video) Snakebite Skrubbs
Just Shoot Me (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_Shoot_Me) Episode: "The List" (1998) (Himself)
GenĻ≥ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gen%C2%B9%C2%B3) (1999) (voice) (direct-to-video) Matthew "Threshold" Callahan
Wing Commander (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wing_Commander_%28film%29) (1999) (voice)
Walking Across Egypt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walking_Across_Egypt_%28film%29) (1999)
Sinbad: Beyond the Veil of Mists (2000) (voice)
Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scooby-Doo_and_the_Alien_Invaders) (2000) (voice) (direct-to-video)
Joseph: King of Dreams (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph:_King_of_Dreams) (2000) (voice) (direct-to-video)
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman_Beyond:_Return_of_the_Joker) (voice) (direct-to-video) as The Joker
Thank You, Good Night (2001)
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_and_Silent_Bob_Strike_Back) (2001)
Time Squad (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Squad) (2001) (voice)
Earth Day (2001) (short subject) (voice)
Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soldier_of_Fortune_II:_Double_Helix) (voice)
Balto II: Wolf Quest (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balto_II:_Wolf_Quest) (2002) (voice) (direct-to-video)
Grandia Xtreme (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandia_Xtreme) (2002) voice: Colonel Kroitz (English VA)
Aero-Troopers: The Nemeclous Crusade (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Aero-Troopers:_The_Nemeclous_Crusade&action=edit&redlink=1) (2003) (voice of Older Joshua) (direct-to-DVD)
Danger Rangers (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Danger_Rangers&action=edit&redlink=1) (2005) voice: Burt
Dark Chronicle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Chronicle) (2003) voice: Griffon
X2: Wolverine's Revenge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X2:_Wolverine%27s_Revenge) (2003) (voice) Wolverine
Reeseville (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reeseville) (2003)
Stripperella (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stripperella) (2003) (voice) Dr. Caesarian
Comic Book: The Movie (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comic_Book:_The_Movie) (2004) (also director)
Repetition (2005)
Avatar: The Last Airbender (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avatar:_The_Last_Airbender) (2005) voice of Fire Lord Ozai
Robot Chicken (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robot_Chicken) (2005-present)(voice) as Luke Skywalker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_Skywalker), The Joker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joker_%28comics%29), other voices
Thru the Moebius Strip (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thru_the_Moebius_Strip) (2005) (voice)
Ultimate Avengers 2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_Avengers_2) (2006) (voice)
Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_and_Jerry:_Shiver_Me_Whiskers) (2006) (voice) (direct-to-DVD)
Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robotech:_The_Shadow_Chronicles) (2006) (voice)
Metalocalypse (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metalocalypse) (2006) (voice) Senator Stampingston, Mr. Selatcia, Jean-Pierre, additional voices
Battle for Terra (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_for_Terra) (2007) (voice)
Danny Phantom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Phantom) (2007) voice of Undergrowth
My Friends Tigger and Pooh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Friends_Tigger_and_Pooh) (2007) (voice)
Robot Chicken: Star Wars (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robot_Chicken:_Star_Wars) (2007) (voice) (TV special) as Luke Skywalker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_Skywalker)
Futurama: Bender's Big Score (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futurama:_Bender%27s_Big_Score) (2007) (voice) (direct-to-DVD)
Tasty Time With ZeFronk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasty_Time_With_ZeFronk) (2008) (voice)
The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Legend_of_Spyro:_Dawn_of_the_Dragon) (2008) (voice) as Malefor
Afro Samurai: Resurrection (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afro_Samurai:_Resurrection) (2009) (voice)
Batman: Arkham Asylum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman:_Arkham_Asylum) (2009) (voice) as The Joker
Robotech (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robotech#Live-action_film_.28proposed.29) (2012)


Short subjects



Earth Day (2001) (voice)
Baxter and Bananas (2002) (voice)
Burl's (2003) (narrator)
Wolf Tracer's Dinosaur Island (2004) (voice)
Batman: New Times (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman:_New_Times) (2005) (voice)
Todd Wainio in World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_Z:_An_Oral_History_of_the_Zombie_War) (2006)

Arkhemedes
08-25-2009, 10:49 PM
Obviously Tesral is trying to make a point here. But let me just point out two things:

1) Clearly Tesral has way too much time on his hands.

2) Wow, has this thread gone way off topic. :eek:

Oldgamer
08-26-2009, 02:13 PM
Obviously Tesral is trying to make a point here. But let me just point out two things:

1) Clearly Tesral has way too much time on his hands.

2) Wow, has this thread gone way off topic. :eek:


He just copied the IMDB page ... I did not know they were making Robotek into a movie, hmmmm.

Arkhemedes
08-26-2009, 02:34 PM
He just copied the IMDB page ... I did not know they were making Robotek into a movie, hmmmm.
Oh, I see. One of those computer tricks of which I know so very little about.

In that case (as Rosanna Rossannadanna [sp] would say) -never mind. :o

tesral
08-26-2009, 02:51 PM
1) Clearly Tesral has way too much time on his hands.

As has been demonstrated.



He just copied the IMDB page

That right. I might be crazy, but I'm not stupid.

Topic, we have one of those.

Staring your games.... Could it be said that perhaps we have said all that needs to be said?

Sascha
08-26-2009, 10:39 PM
In that case (as Rosanna Rossannadanna [sp] would say) -never mind. :o
Emily Litella. Roseanne Roseannadanna was the obnoxious one :P (Gilda was funnyfunny, though, regardless ^_^)

kirksmithicus
09-03-2009, 01:37 AM
Wizards (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wizards_%28film%29) was a cool enough movie, I haven't seen or thought of it in forever though, the ending was funny.

Didn't he get an award, or at least nominated for some award for his role in The Big Red One?

Moritz
09-09-2009, 09:18 AM
I'm a PC.
You're a PC.
Let's run down this hall together!

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-09-2009, 11:23 AM
Wizards (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wizards_%28film%29) was a cool enough movie, I haven't seen or thought of it in forever though, the ending was funny.

Didn't he get an award, or at least nominated for some award for his role in The Big Red One?
I enjoyed the animated movie, Wizards. About to age myself here: I saw it in theaters.

Here another great animated film: Fire and Ice. Of course, so it The Last Unicorn.

Yes; i own them all on DVD. Commence with your envy, everyone.

Okay, now... :focus:

When running a WLD (Worlds Largest Dungeon) campaign a few years back, i made the players all from a small village in the mountains. Sure, life sucked big time, which BTW was their motivation to do--anything--rather than live short and unhappy lives. From there, it got interesting: Travelling through unknown snowy mountains (kinda like LotR) towards a location that would forever change their lives. Great stuff.

DMMike
09-11-2009, 06:48 PM
My PCs, relatives or business associates of an antique/oddities dealer, arrived in town to find him missing. So backstory was helpful in weaving them together. They still have to learn to like each other though. So...

Various clues point in the direction of an abductor, but since PCs will be PCs, they're getting into some trouble for which they'll have to atone...

Baldwin Stonewood
09-12-2009, 06:34 AM
We just started a new campaign that I'm running in the Moonsea region of the realms. The pcs were out on a late summer hunt when their village was raided for slaves. Several villagers were killed including, the ranking elder and ranking wizard, several pcs had a close connection to those deceased and the slaves taken. The pcs are seeking the return of the villagers and some justice, along the way. As the pcs journey they have begun to see tracks spreading in multiple directions as the slaves are separated. Basically, let the pcs pick the tracks and direction they want to follow and the story will continue from there.

templeorder
09-12-2009, 08:35 AM
In a couple months i will wind down our current camapign. I' going to begin the new one with the children and friends children of the characters from the current campaign. The current one had characters that were 'straight' - educated, vanilla (when they started), sense of duty to their lord and service of many years. The next set of characters are going to be outsiders and come from a culture of entitlement. "Adventuring life" is going to be a rude awakening, and one thrust upon them at a dire moment where they must literally live or die to prove their worth.

kirksmithicus
09-16-2009, 01:47 AM
You are all sitting in a tavern, but not together, you don't know each other yet. Tell me who you are setting with and why (and no you are not alone). When that is finished, start the campaign with; "Suddenly an Orc burst through the door and throws a torch at the far wall of the tavern, bottles shatter and the wall is consumed in flames. A dozen more Orcs rush into the room pushing over tables and attacking patrons as they attempt to flee the flames. The Orc commander grabs the busty serving wench and throws her over his shoulder, then barks orders to his troops to "kill them all" as he turns to leave. Smoke fills your lungs as you...."

tesral
09-16-2009, 04:55 PM
The Orc commander grabs the busty serving wench and throws her over his shoulder, then barks orders to his troops to "kill them all" as he turns to leave. Smoke fills your lungs as you...."

The Mickey Spillane Entrance.

Amon Alden
09-16-2009, 07:02 PM
Our DM thankfully gives us much liberty within the world he has created and therefore pretty much left it up to us as to where and how we start. My character, Elven Ranger, has just met up with a mentoree of my fathers, Eladrin Swordmage, who is sort of a protectorant of a bastard child, Half-Elf Warlord, of crown prince who was assassinated before he took the crown (Long Story). We arrived to the town where Half-Elf Warlord's father (as far as he knows) is dying to find a Shadar Kai Invoker there to ease his passing along with a Gnome Rogue that the Shadar Kai Invoker nursed back to health. And lastly the final companion, a quite odd Eladrin Artificer, joins up with us after we save his butt from a group of zombies in which his most recent studies finds him trying to capture a live one to understand the reanimation process so that he may replace useless limbs among the living.

Spumis
09-17-2009, 09:55 AM
I've always enjoyed starting the PCs in prison or a slave pit.

I also enjoy military conscription. Generally at the beginning of the adventure the PCs are much poorer than any noble lord in the area so conscription seems like a natural way to get the poor PCs into battle. :)

lomifeh
09-24-2009, 10:40 AM
The tavern is always a favorite of mine. Nothing like getting the PCs drunk before it hits the fan ;).

My last campaign I had the PCs being sent to a town to find someone, they were all in service to the crown in some capacity. The guy was a war hero who had some information. It was supposed to be a cakewalk, head out tell the guy he needs to come back for the King and chill for a week, but you know how those things go.

This one campaign I played in one of the PCs ended up hiring the rest of us to protect him from some people who wanted to kill him. That was fun actually and made it interesting as our employer was also a player at least early on.

russdm
09-24-2009, 02:15 PM
I got a fun start for my new campaign i am running on here:

The Caves of Doom

A bright dawn wakes you from your bedroll. You have come to Fort Draco after hearing about the discovery of ruins belonging to an ancient dwarf city being discovered in a cave nearby. Legend speaks of the dwarf city as having been filled with riches before its downfall. Unsure of this legend and of rumors of adventures finding riches within the cave, You decided to head to the cave to find out.

Journeying south, you arrived at Fort Draco. There you learned that a great many groups of adventurers have entered the cave but almost none have come out. Surely the treasures within remain for the brave and foolhardy to claim.

Seeking your fortune, you have chosen to challenge the dangers lurking within the cave. You have learned the name the dwarves gave their ancient city,

The Caves of Doom!

Another begining i would pick would be this:

You all wake up in chains. Today will be your day to die. You are going to be fighting in the arena.

Another:

Roll Initiative

And this wonderful classic off Dark Sun Shattered Lands ssl Game:

Announcer: This day the mage Celgor will battle a fearsome rampager. Watch and enjoy!

Do not worry, (Party Leader). Your turn will come soon. Stand back and watch the battle.

The wizard uses a fireball, or some other spells. He usually gets killed by the rampager, sometimes manages to kill one or both sligs.

After the wizard dies, the announcer annouces that its your turn to fit.

And the nice note at the begining of the game:

(I found out what it said)

By order of the Mighty and Omnipotent king Tectuktitlay, all slaves fit to carry a sword shall fight in the arena. Death shall be the gladioter's payment for weakness.

Let the Games begin!

and the best ever one:

You are all in a tavern.

tesral
09-24-2009, 03:44 PM
Try this one.

The rain pours down in sheets as you trudge down the muddy creek that once lay claim to being a road. 8 days on this trail of misery and death, refugees steaming away from the fall of mighty cities as the unknown hoards advance. Better to risk one's life on the uncertain road that stay, and surly die. Another wagon stuck. You stop your advance long enough to lend your shoulder to the wheel, and the wagon moves on, the driver nodding a weary thanks.

You look at your companions around you, each likewise engaged in a march along this road. Unlike the refugees you are armed. Unlike the refugees, you are headed towards the trouble.

There seems to be some manner of disagreement on the road ahead.

Your actions please....

kkriegg
09-29-2009, 02:20 AM
Usually I try and establish the PC's relationships before the game even begins. This is after many years of me trying to get them together "in game" and usually forgetting some detail that would change the entire situation or otherwise ruin party cohesion.

Now I just tell each player to come up with a reason that their character knows and respects at least 2 other characters in the party. Let them do the work and the results are usually alot better than I could have made.

XeroDrift
10-08-2009, 09:38 PM
I
Here another great animated film: Fire and Ice. Of course, so it The Last Unicorn.


Two of my favorites when I was a kid, well done. My uncle showed me Fire and Ice, I wasnt "asposed" to watch it, but I did anyway... he was a cool uncle. :)

Arkhemedes
10-08-2009, 09:50 PM
Yes. Frank Frazetta and Ralph Bakshi. Two pioneering masters in fantasy illustration and animation (not to mention two of my biggest idols) combined their talents to create "Fire and Ice." Unfortunately (probably because I was such huge fans of these two and because I had such high expectations for it long before the film came out), I was actually a bit disappointed with the end result. :(

trechriron
10-14-2009, 05:22 PM
I have been reading a lot fo game theory articles lately and feel that the best way to start a campaign is before the game starts, during character creation. ...

Exactly. I agree.

How I would approach a fantasy start:

I start with my theme and the big villain. What is his/her plan?

Reverse engineer events from said shenanigans. To inject drama into the campaign, the villain HAS to do something to impact the world and especially the PCs lives. So I need to devise a way to inject the villain into the PCs lives (coming up...).

Guess what general roles that will be chosen and create 3 NPCs per role. One should be a mentor/teacher (you don't learn things in a vacuum). If useful, attach one or more roles to organizations. Often these mentor/teachers are from a larger organization.

Example: Bard - Teacher lives in The Town, best friend plays the harpsicord, older brother is a blacksmith and gives bard a hard time for career choice.

Give the mentor/teachers a known goal. Most masters are working on or towards something and the PC should know what that is.

Example: Bard teacher wants to open a conservatory in town and has been collecting funds and making friends in town to accomplish his goal.

Devise local rumors and traveler's rumors that foreshadow upcoming events. These are prime factors for setting theme/mood.

Create generic handouts for the starting town (everyone must be here in some capacity as a requirement of the character's back story) and NPCs for each role. Include rumors. Include mentor's goal.

Give the players a handout based on their desired roll. Create characters: Collaborative character creation in the style of FATE 3.0. It is frankly the perfect setup. Go in phases and they must include another character in that phase's story (and can't use the same character twice). Go for 3 phases. This is "show and tell" time where people are creating back story together. This session not only nets you fleshed out back story but gives you hints into what the players want from your game.

Each character must have at least one goal and one belief that drives them.

With characters in hand, finished back stories, and handouts create "player motivation outline". Every chosen role, ability, and flaw (if applicable) is a hint into what the players wants from the game. Put them in one document in outline form by character.

Example: Jorush the Elven Bard:



Elf - Wisdom and Experience of the past to help the present (my interpretation of what the player wants from how he portrayed his elf in prelude).
Bard - wants a more social, non-combat skilled character. Likes to "ham it up" and probably enjoys some of the performance aspects of roleplay (likely to be "a character" besides playing a character :D).
Plays the Lute - Wants to be able to sing and play simultaneously. Gives him options regarding party support (can shout warnings or advice and still play). Demonstrated a desire to play with other famous bards in prelude.
3 magic songs versus high skill - wants to focus on the magic of bardic performance versus the skill. Likes magic!
Chose the bow - ranged combatant. Wants to support party.
Flaw of Wanderlust - outsider to elven community and desires travel. This one is not settling down for a while :D.
Belief "hope is the true source of courage" - wants to inspire people through song.
Goal "to someday free the people of Ellor from the dragons" - hopes to inspire the people to rise up and shed the bonds of occupation from within.
Background adjustment - Brother Blacksmith is a very close friend of elf's family and looked after our bard as he wandered the lands around town. Like a brother and cares for our bard even though he doesn't like his wanderlust and bardic career.


Cross villain shenanigans with PC's backstory, NPCs and NPC goals. Also should impact organizations and mentor's goal. These events/encounters need to be broad. I don't want to include "timelines" as it's more important for the action and drama to occur so the PCs can experience it versus some "realistic order of events". I want the PCs to experience each event and I need to remain flexible for when it happens to keep the PCs engaged and in the game. I start in broad strokes and then refine events as the campaign moves forward based on the PC's choices.

Create a catalyst. This event is the start of our adventure. It needs to inspire the PCs to act on their beliefs and goals. It should be the most blatent offender against NPCs, organizations, and mentor goals. It should affect NPCs in a way that tugs at the PCs heartstrings. This catalyst needs to be a HUGE BANG based on the intel you gathered from the prelude.

I start the game off with a peaceful day. I ask "what are you doing right now"? I let them explore the town and some personal goals. Maybe a festival or wedding to inject a heaping helping of normal into the picture. I usually do a couple days in a quasi-interactive summary style, focusing in on interpersonal relationships, NPC interactions, and the setting of "home".

Then comes The Catalyst! (dun dun DUN). Chaos, suffering, loss, anger, revenge, hopelessness (important so our bard friend can fix it), and adventure!

If I did my homework, this should inspire the PCs to investigate further and involve themselves in the plot. The 2 - 3 days of normal is important for contrast. It forces the players to compare the normal to the adventure. It should act as both nostalgia and imputus (I yern for the days of yore but I always knew I was meant for greater things...).

As a proponent of Player-Centric Play, I try to customize the campaign to the characters. I want the "start" of the adventure to be a big bang, but it's important that the characters KNOW what they are fighting for.

This is based on my past experience. My next campaign will include all these ideas together, as separately I have had some success in the past, so I am hoping to have even greater success using them together. (The FATE background idea is new for me, so I hope it will give it a better understanding of the prelude structure and net me even better inter-weaved backgrounds.)

In the past I have used some prep and collaborative character creation to much success. I have also experienced the pain of disparate loner character creation and watched games implode in the first few sessions to do conflict of goals and spotlight hoarding. :( I will never run a campaign using the "everyone bring a character, here's where the adventure begins" paradigm again! :D

Just my two cents (or buck fifty as it were)...

cigamnogard
10-14-2009, 06:57 PM
wow - great fifty bucks!

TheYeti1775
10-16-2009, 10:48 AM
Members of the same Military Unit, essentially an 'elite' unit that was given specific missions.
Members of Royal Court.
and of course Taverns.

trechriron
10-16-2009, 07:35 PM
wow - great fifty bucks!

Thanks! (It was a buck fifty. So you get $48.50 back...). :D

Amon Alden
10-18-2009, 04:13 AM
Our DM thankfully gives us much liberty within the world he has created and therefore pretty much left it up to us as to where and how we start. My character, Elven Ranger, has just met up with a mentoree of my fathers, Eladrin Swordmage, who is sort of a protectorant of a bastard child, Half-Elf Warlord, of crown prince who was assassinated before he took the crown (Long Story). We arrived to the town where Half-Elf Warlord's father (as far as he knows) is dying to find a Shadar Kai Invoker there to ease his passing along with a Gnome Rogue that the Shadar Kai Invoker nursed back to health. And lastly the final companion, a quite odd Eladrin Artificer, joins up with us after we save his butt from a group of zombies in which his most recent studies finds him trying to capture a live one to understand the reanimation process so that he may replace useless limbs among the living.

If you would like to follow this I have posted my journal entries to my blog. Comments and suggestions are definitely welcome.

Azar
10-26-2009, 12:14 AM
Members of the same Military Unit, essentially an 'elite' unit that was given specific missions.
Members of Royal Court.
and of course Taverns.

I like the royal court idea, though I have never done it, I would like to one day.

tesral
10-26-2009, 01:36 AM
Royal courts can be back biting snake pits. Read a little history. Who needs Orcs?

It is a different kind of game however when you are dealing with the politics of the court and can't simply stick a sword through your problem.

The GM pretty much needs a who's who of the court and a flow chart to keep track of alliances and events.

Thorn
10-26-2009, 11:08 AM
We either know one another or we meet in a tavern, it depend on who's Gm.ing in the groups I've been in.

Richard Littles
10-26-2009, 02:11 PM
With character creation...




Usually they know each other already or meet under 'interesting' circumstances as part of the overall story arc I'm going to run.

XeroDrift
10-26-2009, 11:57 PM
Lots of research, planning, and hard work.

XeroDrift
10-27-2009, 05:39 PM
I like to tailor a scenario for each character, especially when bringing together a group, no generic common background, maybe for a couple of them, but definitely not for the entire party. (i.e. none of the "you're all from the same town, military unit, etc..." especially when the characters are diverse, or a trite "invitation" style of introduction.)

cigamnogard
11-02-2009, 07:11 PM
I actually plan on expanding my current campaign even larger. Take a peek at my blogs as I will update as I go but I am planning (see the letters) on expanding the party. Each character that the players are currently controlling will be recieveing a letter for an offer of a mission. This will entail in some/most cases splitting the current party up.
The party members either have the choice of making new characters for these side quests or taking their current character along and ignoring the mission they have been offered (or if not time sensitive going back to it at a later date). Each campaign/side quest will run simultanously (unless not time sensitive). In effect each player will most have at least one or two 'alts'.

templeorder
11-03-2009, 09:05 AM
Argh! So, i've worked and worked to get plat angles right and a jump start to a very old camapign with new characters - three of them descendants of current PC's. The last 2 sessions have kind of gone awry. The players asked for backgrounds and complimentary characters (given), but have sort of gone off and done their own thing. After the first session, one of the players was told their character was a total jerk. The rest never really came together. The back story is getting ignored and people are kinda just floundering now. Dungeoneering has been the name of the game - they have not done that in years. I feel like the group is devolving into every man for himself. The past characters were tight - shared history, grew up together, a mission from the start... these characters are loners, they've sort of adopted a min/max view on their characters, And are basically moving away from the campaign. Even by their own admission they don't feel right together. I tried to give the players more autonomy in these characters, but it feels like, independent of 'adventuring' for loot, there's no reason these characters would ever be together.

I have my own ideas to stage a pretty bad fight, and have some locales basically 'save' them, accepting their rather odd characters and try and bind them to the land and people.

However, i told the players they would have a lot more autonomy in this group and i hate to force them down a path. They've gotten they're arses kicked dungeoneering, and failed to score any big loot. The last character they had were never rich, but always well rewarded - even when they failed. In this case, they've burned through weapons, armor, healing, and have little to show for it. The mage is basically useless in a protracted dungeon crawl (think first to second level DnD equiv. in skill/power). The 'rogue' is a 2 round wonder (2 braces of three throwing knives), and the best warrior and second best warrior both have no range weapons (well, the later could disarm themselves by throwing a spear). They are good role players - hence they are not doing so well. But, the group is really devolving with no stronger leader and a free-for-all sort of feel.

Any suggestions with out feeling like i'm pulling the reins hard? I have my own ideas, but i would like to hear from other GM's on some approaches they would take.

XeroDrift
11-03-2009, 03:04 PM
Come up with a schismatic plot device, something that will have the characters basically choose one of two sides (with some of the players on one side of the line and the others opposed) and have them working at conflicting goals, this will gel the the disparate parts into two more coherent entities as the two groups work to gain the upper hand over the other (think of on-line video games, it is always more intense when competing with other people, rather than what the "computer" i.e. the GM, has "programmed"). The groups could be in direct conflict with one another, or have two separate agendas that contradict one another, without either ever actually coming in contact with the other. This will give everyone a sense of purpose and create a sort of Red team vs. Blue team mentality, which will amp up the excitement level and bring out the creativity in each player. After this sense of cohesion is established and role-playing and adventuring opportunities are explored, the groups could be brought back together in pursuit of a common goal, but with the added spice of this history of antagonism or opposing view points. It will make for some great role-play opportunities as the former "enemies" struggle to come together as a team. This may seem counter-intuitive as the original idea was creating cohesion, but its not, everyone will be trying harder to work together, despite (and because of) their now established differences and antagonism. Of course this all ultimately falls to the talent of the GM in creating and managing this sort of story, and the ability of the players involved. Just a thought! Good luck with your game.

Sascha
11-03-2009, 05:15 PM
Any suggestions with out feeling like i'm pulling the reins hard? I have my own ideas, but i would like to hear from other GM's on some approaches they would take.
First response is to ask if you've mentioned this to them, as in, flat-out stated just what you've said here. Talking about what's working and, more importantly what's not, with the actual folks involved is, I've found, a bajillion times more useful than those of (largely) faceless internet handles, heh.

Armchair opinion: If you've already discussed it, and there's still no good solution, put the burden of cohesion on the players themselves; if none of the characters gel with the others, might be a sign that those aren't the right folks for the job (of killing monsters and taking their stuff). They don't have to like each other (at all, even), but they *do* have to work together.

templeorder
11-04-2009, 08:39 AM
Yes, we've definitely talked about it but no one's got a great idea to solve it. The whole idea of this group was to empower the characters more because they felt a bit constrained in the last one. I definitely want to stick to letting them to make that big initial choice in direction - essentially good, bad or somewhere in between. That was the only complaint from the last 3 year run. Right now, the person that should be the leader, is actually seen as a weakness by others because they have some handicaps/liabilities (the player likes to be given the more difficult characters to challenge their roleplaying ability). I have to make sure they set the direction... but i think XeroDrift has a good idea. If i can at least distill their options down to 2 that represents expressions of direction and let them figure it out, that will be better than this free for all. Its been a long time since i have NOT 100% set group starting points that i could not see the obvious answer.

Thanks Sacsha and XeroDrift...

Eryiedes
11-16-2009, 03:19 PM
I have almost never began an adventure in any place that the previous adventures had started in.
They all begin in different locales.
All players...(and major npc's)...get their own introduction and usually in a locale that they are to designate or in the very least directly influence.
I prefer my gaming sessions to begin like the opening credits of an epic trilogy....even when the adventure is a one-shot.
But sometimes...(when I feel the need to put fear into the players)....the adventure begins IN THE MIDDLE of an epic battle or fight that they have no insight into.
For me the "location" of the opening scene is secondary to the "feel" of the opening scene as it quite frequently sets the pace of the encounters that ensue the initial interactions.
(But I'm funny like that!)

Peace & Light

cigamnogard
11-16-2009, 06:48 PM
Currently, I am using the current campaign my players are in to "leapfrog" into alternate campaigns. Almost like mulitiple 'spinoff' series! Check out my blog and read up on the Letters

Skunkape
11-17-2009, 08:14 AM
Two weekends ago I started a one-off game of my Weird West campaign so that my players could get a feel for the Savage Worlds rules and I could get some experience running the system. I've played it and read the rules, but never ran it. While this isn't a fantasy game if any of the players survive all of the one-offs I'm planning on running, and want to continue, then it'll be how I started the campaign.

Before I start, let me explain a little about the campaign. I got the idea from an episode of the Dragon's Landing podcast, where they talked about a wild west campaign that included dwarves, elves and other fantasy races. So I decided to create my campaign using the Deadlands Reloaded game as a template and add in my own twists.

The players found themselves on a stage coach headed for the town where the campaign will be based. None of them knew each other, so I'll introduce them in no particular order.

Senior Gabriel, a caucasian Mexican holy warrior.
Jim Wolffang, an American Indian bounty hunter.
Ambrose "Johnny Reb", an ex-Confederate soldier.
Grunt More, an Orcish bounty hunter.

Two more players will be joining the game, one hopefully at the next one-off and the other after the first of 2010.

I get a note from the player running Grunt that he is going to start cleaning his shotgun, load it, point it out the window, cock it then turn to point it at the Mexican and let loose. Amazingly enough, the Mexican managed to survive that first shot by burning a fate chip.

Without missing a beat the player running Jim turns and unloads his shotgun at the Mexican, which managed to kill him. While this was happening, the soldier decided that he didn't want to hang around for the slaughter and jumped out of the slowing stage.

It was right after this incident, once they had killed the Mexican that the players of the Orc and Indian let everyone know that they had planned to kill off the Mexican on their way over to the game, just to be funny. I don't think the Mexican's player appreciated it, but the other two asked me to start the game over as they were just fooling around.

Needless to say, we reset and started again. Oh and the encounter that I had planned, an attack on the stage was not run as I wanted to get into the adventure after my players actions instead of delaying it further with a random encounter.

Not sure where this campaign is going to go, but it'll sure be interesting.

cigamnogard
11-19-2009, 06:18 PM
Two weekends ago I started a one-off game of my Weird West campaign so that my players could get a feel for the Savage Worlds rules and I could get some experience running the system. I've played it and read the rules, but never ran it. While this isn't a fantasy game if any of the players survive all of the one-offs I'm planning on running, and want to continue, then it'll be how I started the campaign.

Not sure where this campaign is going to go, but it'll sure be interesting.

Wow I like the campaign but not the players.

Skunkape
11-20-2009, 09:02 AM
Wow I like the campaign but not the players.

LOL!

Believe it or not, most of the time we work well together, that is unless we're playing an evil centric campaign. The only one that was run ended up with a very fractured party quite a few times, we ended having two members of the party getting ready to kill the rest of the party and it wasn't always the same two members!:D

Cliar
11-20-2009, 09:48 AM
Well, I have a bit of an advantage in the campign that I am starting next week. It's Xcrawl. Think of D&D as a pay-per-view death sport in a semi-modern world where magic and an oppressive government have stunted technological development. I only have four characters and the games are meant for a six person team. The campaign actually will start when the team begins their first "lethal" event. Like a lot of sports Xcrawl has a minor league (Division 4). The campaign will truly kick off at their first Division 3, lethal, event. My plan is to have the first actual session start in the final room of their last Division 4 event or shortly after. Four of the team (my PC's) have decided to go full-lethal and the other two have decided not to. This method let's the PC's start knowing one another and already having a team mentality established. It also will make it easier for me to fill out the group later when I get more players since their roster is two crawlers short.

Cheers, Cliar

cigamnogard
11-26-2009, 08:41 PM
Interesting...Xcrawl eh? Hmmm...
--- Merged from Double Post ---

LOL!

Believe it or not, most of the time we work well together, that is unless we're playing an evil centric campaign. The only one that was run ended up with a very fractured party quite a few times, we ended having two members of the party getting ready to kill the rest of the party and it wasn't always the same two members!:D

Ha! Now that is interesting.