PDA

View Full Version : Question for 22% of DMs



yilduz
2009-06-01, 10:07 AM
I've noticed a few signatures around here that say "78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature."

So... the question for you 22% is: How did you start your campaigns?

The Gilded Duke
2009-06-01, 10:12 AM
I usually have the party start out the game knowing each other already, perhaps being friends from childhood or being extended family. It allows for a wider range of character concepts while still giving them a reason to work together.

My most recent game started in office of their detective agency.

TheCountAlucard
2009-06-01, 10:18 AM
My preference is a mix between "in media res" and "you all meet each other." A few of the PCs will start out knowing each other, and as the game progresses, others are introduced.

Also, you might note that the number in sigs varies wildly.

Nero24200
2009-06-01, 10:18 AM
It was a very small party (2 players) and a first time for all involved.

So, we thought of character ideas and motivations, and by the end it seemed both characters intended to find a specfic artefact, even though they didn't know of each other.

So I let them both stumble into the dungeon (which is were the game started). When they bumped into each other, giant spiders and zombies quickly surrounded them, forcing them both to work together in order to get out alive.

xPANCAKEx
2009-06-01, 10:22 AM
Well i've never actually DMed a campaign... but i know when i finally get around to it, its going to start out in a jail cell of a minor cave/dungeon controlled by a sect of fallen paladins, accused (rightly or wrongly - let the PC decide in their backstory) of a crime, and needing to break out

Jerthanis
2009-06-01, 10:25 AM
They started it in a bar instead...

...or an Inn's common room.

(don't mind me, I'm one of the philistine 78% who is honest about where their first campaign started.)

Miraqariftsky
2009-06-01, 10:37 AM
I usually have the party start out the game knowing each other already, perhaps being friends from childhood or being extended family. It allows for a wider range of character concepts while still giving them a reason to work together.

My most recent game started in office of their detective agency.

Oho, you're playing CoC, aren't ye?

The first scenes of campaigns I've run that weren't taverns...
...marketplaces
...forests
...outside the gates of a fortified town
...in universities/the office of the PCs' employer
...in an air/ship
...on a broken hillside staring at the sunset
...in a jungle
...in a forgotten temple
...in the middle of the desert
...a split party, one member waking up in a tribal hut whilst the other two awaken in the middle of a pool of boiling soul-staining slime that they had to swim out of only to spend several hours with their bodies burning away in the desert heat and their souls burning away in the clutches of daemonic seeds...
...et cetera

Saph
2009-06-01, 10:43 AM
City street, outside the Mercenary Guild of Darromar. Moved into the lounge and had an interview with the receptionist.

The sig kind of annoys me to be honest, mostly by the implication that starting your campaign in a not-tavern is something to be proud of.

Deme
2009-06-01, 10:44 AM
My first campaign started in a throne room. There was, before that, a prologue that started in a tavern, but I don't really count that. The prologue happened because only 2 people showed up the first session and I had to improv something. I'm still not 100% certain how that counts, but I don't really view it as part of the campaign proper.

Shinizak
2009-06-01, 10:44 AM
the mayor called them.

valadil
2009-06-01, 10:45 AM
I try to come up with something different each time. Preferably with a unique intro for each player.

CheshireCatAW
2009-06-01, 10:49 AM
Places where my PC's have started:

Graveyard (Funeral)
Graveyard (Coffins)
Lakeside (Kings private beach for briefing)
A Closet
Crossroads
Falling to Earth from about 5000 feet
High Class Orcish Restaurant (Noht Tah Tu'Vern)
Precariously Positioned Bakery
Tournament
Mon Calamari Lifeboat
Imperial Detention Block
Hanging from the ceiling
In the Conservatory
In a mansion's hidden room standing before a book bound in human flesh
Waking up in Atlantis

Tafkan
2009-06-01, 11:04 AM
My campaign started in a prison, in some small town not far from the capital. The place just so happened to be attacked by evil reptilean creatures, giving them an opportunity to escape. (hey, it was my first time - I thought it was new and orginal) So, trying to escape the place, they somehow managed to end up in the city hall, accidentally saving the mayor. After a long improvised NPC speech, I used the very convenient chance to have the mayor give them a full pardon if they get his fat butt out of the town. Was probably not throwing enough enemies at them, as they made it out with almost no serious trouble. So, yeah, that's the only place they've started in so far, because we're still playing this campaign, my first attempt at DMing. :smallbiggrin:

Goatman_Ted
2009-06-01, 11:06 AM
I don't get the beef with opening in a tavern, but I've only seen one campaign started that way.

By far the most common campaign entrance I've seen is strangers on a ship.
The only thing I've seen even close to that often is an introduction in prison.

My campaigns tend to start in police stations, at funerals or in passenger ships*.

(*I understand why I see it used so often -- it works well)

Edit:
Oh, my first one? Characters called to a rural townhouse by an eccentric aristocrat.
I was going for something like a cross between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and an Agatha Christie novel.
The campaign started with tea on the lawn on a bright summer morning and ended with tea in a basement during a zombie apocalypse.

Signmaker
2009-06-01, 11:07 AM
Waiting in line for a job interview. No kidding.

Zaq
2009-06-01, 11:19 AM
I started my most recent campaign in the briefing room of the precinct, where the PCs (a group of special-forces police) were getting their assignments for the day. (Yes, this was D&D.)

The best campaign start I was ever in had the PCs all together at a concert, specifically, the last concert on the tour of this group of epic bards. The GM introduced all of the band members in this great, really excited way, as though he were emceeing the concert itself, and then he hit a button on his laptop as they launched into their first song.

Naturally, it was a rickroll.

Kris Strife
2009-06-01, 11:22 AM
Washed up on a desert beach after their ship was sunk by a zombified whale.

Swooper
2009-06-01, 11:26 AM
I don't think any of few the games I've run have started in a tavern. Most of them started in or near a village, town or city, and the players went to the nearest tavern all by themselves :smallconfused: I'll do my next one a bit differently, I think.

Blackjackg
2009-06-01, 11:42 AM
I honestly can't remember where I started my first campaign. If it wasn't in a tavern, it probably might as well have been. A town square or somesuch.

Simons Mith
2009-06-01, 11:48 AM
One of my parties lives in a tavern. And one PC retired in order to run a tavern. Well, you always get retired adventurers running taverns - where do people think they come from?

V'icternus
2009-06-01, 11:51 AM
I've got a campaign planned, and have told my players that "(they) are in *city name here*. You get to pick where you are, how you got there, and why. Just tell me before the session starts."

So far, I've only gotten one reply, and it looks like one of my characters is starting in a prison.

Kosjsjach
2009-06-01, 11:54 AM
Washed up on a desert beach after their ship was sunk by a zombified whale.

My campaign (which lasted all of 3 sessions) began similarly, though I neglected the undead whale. I think I said something to the effect of "the ship you were traveling on encountered an enormous storm and capsized. Thank your deities you're one of the few survivors who made it to shore. Roll initiative." Then I threw a bunch of kobolds at 'em.

What do you want from me? I didn't know what I was doing! :smallredface:

Zeta Kai
2009-06-01, 12:22 PM
I like to start in media res. About half my campaigns have started with "roll initiative!", those that don't usually start with the party spit up among several groups/individuals who converge on a single location due to circumstances**. My last campaign started on a ship pulling into port, while the rest of the party was part of a caravan approaching the same city.

**- Before anyone accuses me of railroading, I never force anyone to join up. In fact, in another campaign, I had a player that refused to converge with the others, always going off on his own to someother place. I indulged him, because he was entertaining the rest of the party & he didn't need much from me to have a good time. So he spent most of the campaign having his own minor adventures & basically being a party of one. He even acted as an NPC of sorts for the rest of the group when they needed information once or twice. My only stipulation was that he didn't wreck the fun for the others & that he didn't use information that he shouldn't have. As long as we stuck to frequent Knowledge checks & strict spotlight-sharing, everything worked out okay.

Prock
2009-06-01, 12:22 PM
I started mine in the middle of a road, with my aventurers being ambushed.
Not that original, but not a tavern.

Saint Nil
2009-06-01, 12:24 PM
Once we were going to start on top of a tavern.:smallbiggrin:

TSED
2009-06-01, 12:28 PM
Actually DMing my first ever (real life) game in about 6 hours, and they're going to start off in a market. [A market square that gets attacked.]


(Because Saph's RHoD campaign journal was so excellent, I'm going to keep one too and post it here. Good times. Thanks for inspiration, etc. Can't say if Adv1-1 it'll be up tonight or tomorrow morning though.)

golentan
2009-06-01, 12:42 PM
I generally put them in an organization where they have superiors who can basically say "And now you work together."

Drider
2009-06-01, 12:43 PM
In an underground fighting arena...


...under the tavern(but they're were'nt getting drunk, doing nothing, waiting for an adventure/fight/something, they were proactive) :p

throtecutter
2009-06-01, 12:56 PM
The first time I DMed.

Across the world you have traveled, finally reaching the your targeted location. It's filled with rumors, as no one has ever come out of it, alive at least. All you know is the name, the Tomb of Horrors.

Best first campaing ever... well for me.
In my defense, it was less deadly than my normal nethack game.

shadzar
2009-06-01, 01:06 PM
You have travelled for many days, leaving the Realm and entering into the wilder area of the Borderlands. Farms and towns have become less frequent and travellers few. The road has climbed higher as you enter the forested and mountainous country.

That Is how I started a few games...straight out of Keep on the Borderlands.

Just plopping characters into the story and let them work their way to fit into it is good for some.

Eldan
2009-06-01, 01:29 PM
In a casino run by the gnomish mafia.

Long story.

Grey Watcher
2009-06-01, 01:32 PM
They were on a boat, but it was PbP, so they never actually got past the docks.

Fhaolan
2009-06-01, 01:41 PM
My absolute *first* campaign started as a criminal trial. The party was in a village being tried by the equivalent of a circuit-court judge. It was for some kind of capital crime, but I can't remember now what it was, as this was... thirty years ago or so?

The fun thing was, this was really supposed to be the beginning of the campaign, but the players did something weird which set the mood. They started their defense by saying 'Well, it all started when we were...'. Then they described the scene, and started to play *in the flashback*, with me as DM blinking confusedly and rejiggering my pre-written plans to fit this new concept.

We never did get to the point in the game when they caught up with themselves at the trial.

Animefunkmaster
2009-06-01, 01:48 PM
=======Campaign 1, players wanted an epic theme=========

The party was just kicked out of a Citymech (homebrew Dragon Mech +Eberron world) and left for dead (some perpetrated crimes against the city, others didn't prove themselves useful enough to be kept aboard). Every night fragments of Eberron's 12 (of the 13) moons come crashing to the planet below. The party must quickly figure out how they are going to survive or surely die by the end of the night.

(Couple intro adventures guided primarily by PC involvement and what they know of the world. Once they all start working together/talking to each other more indepth the real game starts.)

Motivated by the will to live the party attempts various ways to find a permanent shelter, when they come across:
-an artifact shrouded in mystery
-a roaming gang (Mech/Irontooth for those familiar with Dragonmech) that believes the party is the key to ending the nightly rains
-a prophet (whisper rocks for those familiar with eberron), leading the gang, that appears to have it's own agenda.

All that mixed in with the Lord of Blades + The Legion (human supremacists) initiating a war, while lunar creatures drop by night and slowly conquer the world.

==========Campaign 2==============

The party is made up of various (ugly) tribal races. Including Goliath/Taurren/Orc. Some party members are "diplomats" representing the tribe, who for the most part is unaware for the outside world. The others are upstanding members of there tribe. Difficulties arise and the Nation outside requests more "diplomats" from the tribe to assist there warmongering. The chief, who has always seems to know what is going on, has developed an elaborate ruse to have certain members of the tribe (read as the rest of the party) appear to die nobly (high honor in the tribe) in order to leave with the current "diplomats". But things don't go as planned.

Much less high adventure and more diplomacy.

============My Friends Campaign===========

We are all apart of the Breland Militia and are on a mission, things go terrible (not sure if it was planned, or we just blew it big time). We end up being apart of some daelkyr experiment and are implanted with a symbiont. We escape. Now we are hunted down by the daelkyr, trying to rid ourselves of the symbiot before it kills us or takes over our body (which happens to some), and running from those who want to take the symbiot for themselves.

Maltore
2009-06-01, 02:12 PM
I had three players, one of which (rogue) couldn't make it to the session, and another (wizard) still needed time to pick spells.

The cleric starts off walking through a forest and he notices a column of smoke in the distance. He decides to investigate, and it is the still-burning ruin of some sort of tower. Good-aligned as he is, he rushes in to look for survivors. Beneath the rubble, he finds one elderly man, who appears unconscious. One very lousy heal check later, the cleric comes to the conclusion that the guy must be dead, so he drags him unceremoniously outside by one foot, letting his head hit the steps outside. At which point the wizard starts rolling to stabilise.

The next session, they fought a drunk and abusive animal driver who was beating on one of his animals. Cue the halfling rogue, partially polymorphed into a mule. First quest: find the transmuter who did it and get him to change his mind.

Egiam
2009-06-01, 02:13 PM
I started mine in a monastery. The monks required combatants, and pleaded with the duke to send them knights. He sent adventurers instead.

Sinfire Titan
2009-06-01, 02:19 PM
I've started them off in a chapel, a graveyard, mid-dungeon, and even in the crater of a volcano.

Oh, and the gates of Avernus. That was a fun campaign.

Deepblue706
2009-06-01, 02:21 PM
My first campaign began with a private session (the rest joined-in over the next day or two), where I told the one PC he was hired as a bodyguard for a King who planned to travel through dangerous territory. Before I got to explain what he might be fighting, the player said "That sounds lame! I wanna kill the king!"

So, we immediately changed it to him being hired by a mysterious figure who wanted the king assassinated; the lone PC's mission was then basically like Metal Gear Solid; except the infiltrator was pure evil incarnate.

The Gilded Duke
2009-06-01, 03:13 PM
Oho, you're playing CoC, aren't ye?


Actually an Eberron 3.5 Gestalt game where the party is a company of bounty hunters and detectives working out of Stormreach. So far they have tracked down missing kittens, assisted in the extradition of war criminals, and investigated corruption in competitive blood sport.

I still need to have a halfling in a red dress who spells trouble walk into their office.

Waspinator
2009-06-01, 04:12 PM
Animefunkmaster, I've actually thought of doing something similar. Eberron and Dragonmech sounds like a fun mix. Warforged Steamborgs? Lightning Rail trains with mounted steam cannons? Awesome. And Eberron even already has some weird stuff going on with its moons that would be easy to develop into a Dragonmech-style fall.

Getting back more on subject, taverns are frequently used because in medieval settings, they are a realistic and probable gathering place for strangers to meet each other. Other good ideas include marketplaces, public forums, caravans, trains (if your setting has them), and other places where many people gather. Some enemy attacking while all of the characters happen to be in the same public area may be all that is needed for them to start fighting on the same side and allow that relationship to evolve into a more formal group. For example, the Rise of the Runelords adventure path from Paizo starts with the heroes attending the opening of a church in the town that they are assumed to have come from. Goblins attack and they're basically forced to defend the town if they don't want to die. They get proclaimed the town's heroes and its easy to see how you can go from there to an adventuring party.

Siosilvar
2009-06-01, 04:47 PM
I've noticed a few signatures around here that say "78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature."

So... the question for you 22% is: How did you start your campaigns?

Outside of the tavern.

Glyde
2009-06-01, 04:48 PM
I said this before, but I'll say again. Two words:

Airship crash

TheThan
2009-06-01, 04:58 PM
Someone mentioned hanging them upside down over a pit of worgs, in an orc encampment. Really liked that idea.

Lets see I started a the party off in a helicopter headed towards a secret base.
I also started a game at the Dmís dnd table (seriously it was D20 modern).
I started a game off in the in the entrance of a cave during a bad storm.
I also started one in the throne room of a great king.
On a pirate ship after marooning the former captain.

Trodon
2009-06-01, 05:10 PM
first one i ran stated something along the lines of (oh btw there was only 1 person in the game so far) "You wake up in a forest, and you don't know where you are" (this was 8 years ago i was 8 i couldn't think of good wording)"then suddenly 5 elves drop out of the trees around you"

and yeah it was an ok game

herrhauptmann
2009-06-01, 05:19 PM
I believe my sig says it all...

Heliomance
2009-06-01, 05:20 PM
I've noticed a few signatures around here that say "78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature."


I prefer my version. <arbitrary percentage> of <arbitrary demographic> did <arbitrary activity>. If you're one of the <arbitrary percentage> that didn't, copy and paste this into your signiture.

yilduz
2009-06-01, 06:31 PM
I believe my sig says it all...

lol that's awesome.


I prefer my version. <arbitrary percentage> of <arbitrary demographic> did <arbitrary activity>. If you're one of the <arbitrary percentage> that didn't, copy and paste this into your signiture.

Haha, I wonder how many people end up doing that.

Some awesome answers, by the way. ;)

I never actually ran my campaign yet, but when I do, it starts at the beginning of battle. The PCs will be level 1, completely new to battle. They've been drafted into the King's army and are currently on a battlefield, watching as a legion of enemies are marching toward them. A wizard from the other side will blast some of the NPCs standing next to the PCs with a fireball or something, then the fight begins. I intend to put them in a situation that will allow them to do something great so they can be commended for their actions on the battlefield and they'll be made into a special team for different missions.

Sallera
2009-06-01, 08:00 PM
My party started out in an arena, fighting each other. They were all new, so we were running a couple matches to get used to the combat system, and I just had one of the city's nobles take note of their match and hire them to retrieve some ceremonial junk.

Xallace
2009-06-01, 08:12 PM
I told them all that a famous nobleman was having a grand unveiling of an invention that would "change the world forever." I told them all they needed a reason to be there. First scene was in one of the PCs' carriage on the way there.

Fiendish_Dire_Moose
2009-06-01, 08:28 PM
If the characters have little history together, as was present in my first game, I made them all coming in on a boat answering a summon for assistance by the king.
My latest game however was started off the bat by me throwing them in a line to get into a city, and asking them, "Why are you here?"

TheEmerged
2009-06-01, 08:49 PM
I've done the "you wake up shipwrecked on a beach, with the following equipment lying around" schtick a few times, and long before Lost.

My favorite campaign beginning was in GURPS. I told the players to write up a slightly-idealized version of themselves with 150 base points in a "real, modern world", and to create an explanation for why they were camping out near Arcanum Ohio on the morning of September 20, (insert whatever the year was here).

Instead of rolling for initiative, they woke up with superpowers I'd added. Those first couple of sessions with them trying to figure out their powers were a blast (including the immortal line, "Excuse me if I'm not going to test being bulletproof with actual bullets just yet.")

mistformsquirrl
2009-06-02, 03:32 AM
My first campaign *thinking back (wow that was awhile ago)* began in the middle of a fight as I recall.

The characters were in the center of town; each there for a very different reason, when a ruckus started across the way. They investigated and found it was a group of thugs pushing around some farmer who hadn't payed his protection money.

Needless to say the thugs got a horrible beating; and the adventure began due to a necklace one of them was wearing that seemed awfully bizarre to be 'just a bandit trinket'.

And in a long story short they wound up saving the world from The Warlock Lord (Yes, I stole the BBEG - and most of the world - from the Sword of Shannara series of novels <'x'> though the actual campaign was only loosely associated with the main plot other than that. .... I was 15 what do you want? <,<)

Oh and after they killed said BBEG, they got sucked to the other side of the world which contained a sprawling viking empire. (Shh... it made sense at the time) - Sadly that campaign didn't last <;_;> as people had 'things' to do other than play D&D. Namely Shadowrun.

Ganurath
2009-06-02, 03:34 AM
Chained to the prison wall, because if they don't start off in restraints they'll be using Create Water to do sexual things to the bartender while burning his stock within the first five minutes.

mistformsquirrl
2009-06-02, 03:37 AM
@Ganurath - I so should have done that in my second campaign <;_;> (not the abortive viking one - this one was set on my own world)

*sigh* Party sorcerer decided that in order to be "wacky" he'd take a crap on the podium a speaker was at. ... and he was upset when I had him arrested. (You don't generally interrupt wealthy merchants; that's just bad form, doing it like that? Jail for you!)

Tyrmatt
2009-06-02, 04:28 AM
Recently, one group started walking along the road, already being established as a small group of mercs, on their way to investigate reports of disappearances.
The others stepped disorientated and naked out of a cloning pod before having a small wrist mounted computer fused to their skin. Painfully. :D

Alavar
2009-06-02, 06:20 AM
I've always liked the way I started my first campaign, simply because it was one of the best "make 'em squirm" moments I've ever done.

The only go-getter type player was tied on a roasting spit in the gnoll's newly acquired town. The other two, who are loafers in real life and in-game, were on their way to take back the town. Needless to say, much hilarity ensued as the time became critical..."you take X damage from the roasting fire"

daggaz
2009-06-02, 07:22 AM
As independant mercenaries etc who had already accepted a job to investigate trouble in a far outlying community, my players met earlier but first had time to introduce themselves while on the the wagon ride there...a wagon that was promptly ambushed, of course.

derfenrirwolv
2009-06-02, 07:24 AM
Hmmm My last one was a d20 modern campaign. The party was going to work for an organization. Their base was a little brick building on the waterfront near the oil storage tanks.

The computer hacker had noticed some odd activity comming from the building and was going to try to break in for some better on site access. The mercenary was hired to catch the computer hacker and bring him in alive so the company could offer him a job or a one way ticket to club fed. The charismatic hero/psycic was in the middle of an interview and the party's Olympic fencer was just driving by and got caught in the traffic jam when terrorists went after the oil refinery.

The psychic thought the whole thing was some sort of performance peice and just went along with it as if it was who line was it anyway.

Tough_Tonka
2009-06-02, 09:22 AM
I started my first campaign (and many more) with the heroes guarding a caravan. My last campaign in Eberron the PCs were in the same passenger cart of a Lightning Rail before it was hijacked by bandits.

Dancing_Zephyr
2009-06-02, 09:39 AM
On a mountain side, near the entrance to an ice cave. The campaign didn't take off, but it was my first time DMing.

wormwood
2009-06-02, 09:47 AM
I said this before, but I'll say again. Two words:

Airship crash

You wouldn't happen to be a fan of the computer game Arcanum, would you?

Kol Korran
2009-06-02, 03:28 PM
first of all, there is nothing wrong with starting a campaign in a tavern, what happens during the campaign itslef is what counts. but bac kto your question. some of the places i started my campaigns in are:

1- the nation of Cyre (Eberron, before the moruning), is in dire needs of volunteers to fill in new militery units. the characters meet outside of a town, at the recruitment grounds.

2- after a nation was attacked and ravaged by horrible monsters, a contigent of survivors ranking a few thousands is making their way across the wilderness, trying to find a new home. the characters are amongst the refugees, and are called to the leaders when a dangerous situation arises.

3- the characters each boast a strange mark. they are told to reach an island where an oracle lives that will interpert the marks meanings. the characters start on the boat just reaching the island. (current campaign, stole the idea form the 6 elements campaign)

4- meeting at the halls of the theives guild. due to criminal wars this guild suffered heavy losses, and went "recruiting". now the new "team" is set up they are given their first assignment.

5- a small settlement at the fringes of civilization. all the characters know each other fiarly well. when a goblin tribe attacks the village, it's inhabitants rise to repel the attack (my first or second campaign. damn, i miss that!)

6- near the border of Droaam and Breland, at fort OrcBone (again Eberron), the characters all seek a way to travel into the nation of monsters, but hope to gain some of the protection of a dragonmarked house, so they meet outside the Tharashk enclave, offering their services as guards. (not the most original, and surely similar to the tavern idea, but still)

hope this helped inspire. i'll be happy to expand on any of these if anyone interested., but i suggest you PM me as i don't always checkk all the threads.

DragoonWraith
2009-06-02, 06:24 PM
Not a DM, but for the first game I participated in, the others met as they were being released from prison. I joined them later, after a bit of a time warp to allow the Drow to finish brewing his potions (since in PbP it was taking way too long). Apparently the time warp caused my Sorcerer's spells to backfire horribly - he ended up in the Halfling's vat of now-rotten spaghetti, which made for a very interesting introduction.

AslanCross
2009-06-02, 06:28 PM
My first campaign had the PCs being hired by the princess's headhunters at a festival.

Later adventures typically have the PCs meeting during the actual adventure or belonging to the same adventuring-related firm/organization.

joe
2009-06-02, 11:33 PM
My longest campaign began with a one player accepting a Help Wanted message from a local lord to rescue his daughter from local bandits, and the other player being a servant of said lord.

Other characters jumped in on the way during various side quests, usually relating to their more immediate background stories.

Trizap
2009-06-02, 11:49 PM
I never DM'd, but if I ever did, I was thinking that the players would all meet each other because the main villain's goons took them by surprise and knocked them out so that they could be used as sacrifices in said villains plot and they have to start off the adventure escaping from said villains ritual or whatever and getting out of their castle, the twist? the castle is the QUEEN's castle, of a big empire and now the heroes have to stop an evil Queen when tons of paladins, warriors and other good aligned people are under her command and unaware of her evilness and wanted posters are all being put up said empire who is portraying them as evil criminals.

alternatively, the heroes would be already be really experienced and famous already and the king would have invited them to a big party where all the greatest nobles and famous/talented people have been invited and SURPRISE! the king is the big bad and starts summoning demons and zombies to kill all the influential and powerful people in like the entire world and the heroes would have to escape and since they are the only powerful people left, they are the only ones that can fight the evil king and would have to work together. :smallbiggrin:

Friv
2009-06-03, 01:11 AM
Let's see. My fantasy games have started in a few ways:

* The almost-as-traditional-as-the-bar "You are all peasants in this small town, and now there is trouble brewing" approach. A bit cliche, but it works.
* The "You are agents of the Crown, and they would like you to..." approach, or variations of the governmental adventurers approach.
* The "So you heard that this mine gets full of stirges every year and the local town puts out a bounty on them, that sounds like a good way to make money" approach. I really liked that dungeon, actually. It had stirges and a few giant ants, some dangerous floors and dark areas because the mine hadn't been in operation over the winter, plus another level 1 adventuring party that were going for looting their fellow hunters over actually hunting stirges.
* The "So you're part of a mercenary army, make appropriate characters" approach.
* The "You are powerful dudes from the get-go, here's your kingdom, make it awesome" approach. Also fun.
* The "You are all students at this remote martial arts dojo. It's all fun and games until it is attacked..." approach for a short-term game.

kirbsys
2009-06-03, 01:31 AM
All signed up for the same merc job. I use this one fairly often too, though occasionally some PCs with shady pasts end up being convicts coerced into service for freedom.

Shademan
2009-06-03, 01:55 AM
i started my campaign at the late-summer tournament, which the players visited for various reasons. then some sorceror unleashed frost lizards of the tournament and went to take the king's scepter....

Cute_Riolu
2009-06-03, 01:56 AM
I started my most recent campaign in the briefing room of the precinct, where the PCs (a group of special-forces police) were getting their assignments for the day. (Yes, this was D&D.)

The best campaign start I was ever in had the PCs all together at a concert, specifically, the last concert on the tour of this group of epic bards. The GM introduced all of the band members in this great, really excited way, as though he were emceeing the concert itself, and then he hit a button on his laptop as they launched into their first song.

Naturally, it was a rickroll.

Can I have that DM's autograph?

m4x0r
2009-06-03, 02:23 AM
Airships/Balls/Prison seems to be what I do.

Calmar
2009-06-03, 05:09 AM
Well i've never actually DMed a campaign... but i know when i finally get around to it, its going to start out in a jail cell of a minor cave/dungeon controlled by a sect of fallen paladins, accused (rightly or wrongly - let the PC decide in their backstory) of a crime, and needing to break out

That's a cool idea. :)

My first campaign started on a message pole. My second one on a ship (using the background of the characters to get them there). And my third one in... a tavern. :D

HansSprungfeld
2009-06-03, 06:32 AM
My first campaign started with one player and added the others later, so he started out being sent by his mentor to track down a spellbook (in a world where wizards were very rare, other spellcasters were common).

My second campaign started with the players being on the same street by coincidence when the road caved in and something beneath was shredding the poor fellows that fell down.

My third, they started as prisoners of the Red Wizards of Thay.

<Latin gripe> Also, it's in medias res, not in media res. <Latin gripe>

Gerrtt
2009-06-03, 08:29 AM
In the crowded lobby of a major land-shipping company that was seeking hired help for an upcoming shipment.

archmage45
2009-06-03, 08:34 AM
The first game I ever ran in started in jail. The first game I ever played in also started in jail.

It definitely gives everyone a common goal!

Talya
2009-06-03, 08:44 AM
So... the question for you 22% is: How did you start your campaigns?



In media res, on a battlefield, as a single unit in a large mercenary force about to get routed.

Stormthorn
2009-06-03, 11:18 AM
Im setting up a game that starts off in the bottom of a dungeon that is also an asylum.

Im going to require their backstories to end with what they where doing when men in white coats burst in and beat them unconscous and have them wake up weeks later in a pit of dead bodies with no memory of the horrors that where visited on them in the asylum which is on the other side of a sea of acid from where they started.