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Tanuki Tales
2019-05-27, 04:17 PM
So, hopefully everyone is more than aware of the cliche "you all enter a tavern" way of starting a game...this thread is not about stories like that. This thread is about sharing the most...out of the ordinary ways you've witnessed a game begin (be it because it was creepy, weird, awesome, whatever adjective strikes your fancy).

My own personal contribution has to be a game where the group all fell prey to a parasitic, sentient dungeon that could move as it wished and could attached its initial antechamber to doors in the world outside. So one minute my guy was opening the door to go to bed for the night, the next he found himself in the metaphorical mouth of a chamber of horrors with three other poor saps.

Tvtyrant
2019-05-27, 04:19 PM
In one of my early campaigns the party started in a tavern as strangers, an earthquake then dumped the tavern into the cities anachronistic giant sewer full of monsters and they were the only survivors. The campaign basically started as "find your way out of the sewers" and ran from there.

Choo-choo people, these are your rails.

Faily
2019-05-27, 04:56 PM
D&D 3.5, everyone's 1st level.

We were all prisoners of the Bad Guys, in a prison-camp. All the PCs knew eachother and slept in rooms together. PCs were worked to near-exhaustion every day, were barely fed, and had only rags on... except for the Cleric who was allowed to hide his holy symbol somewhere on his person (don't ask), and the Wizard who was also allowed to have like a mini-spellbook hidden on his person (really, don't ask).

One day, we discover a hidden door in our room that leads to an underground complex that connected between some of the places in the prison-camp.

Now what did take this starting point off into the pits of "wtf" was that the GM's plan was that by using stealth (which only I was capable of as the party's Rogue in a group of a Wizard, Warmage, Cleric, Druid, and Crusader) and skulduggery (again, only me) we'd steal some papers for a prison-transport, add our names to it, and then in a completely different part of the camp find the seal of the warden to give the documents the stamp of approval and authenticity, and then steal some uniforms so that some of us (me) could masquerade as a prison guard escorting the prisoners and bluff my way through not one, not two, but three different checkpoints (my Charisma was 10, I had maybe 1 rank in Bluff).

The GM was then upset when we decided to use Summon Monster and Summon Nature's Ally to dig our way out instead... >_>

The Glyphstone
2019-05-27, 05:03 PM
The prison didn't have mile-deep adamantine walls below its foundation that were totally always there from the start of the campaign and not retroactively made to justify forcing you onto the plot?

Faily
2019-05-27, 06:46 PM
The prison didn't have mile-deep adamantine walls below its foundation that were totally always there from the start of the campaign and not retroactively made to justify forcing you onto the plot?

No, but it did lead us right into a giant ant-colony that nearly killed us. xD I think the GM suspected that we would've found a way to loot the adamantine if he had included that.

Mongobear
2019-05-27, 11:33 PM
Everyone wakes up in an underground Tomb, sealed inside of stone sarcophagi and a bad case of amnesia, feeling hungover. As panic sets in over air, the lids slowly grind open, releasing the 5 PCs.

They're all pale, malnourished, and it just enough rags to hide the jiggly bits. Suddenly, sickeningly pale green torches light along the walls, leading them to the surface.

All around them, are old tapestries and paintings of heros, who they all oddly resemble, fighting off demons, wrestling dragons, other amazing things.

Outside, they're in a literal wasteland, devoid of almost all life, and only Foetid pools of water and barely enough food to keep them alive. They scavenge some old rusted weapons, and a staff for the Mage, and fashion makeshift cloth armor out of some tapestries that werent completely disintegrated.

They make it to civilization eventually, and the actual campaign begins with Bandits abducting travellers for ransom.

Eventually, they find out (via a 20 minute monologue by the bbeg) that they are all ancient heros who formed the kingdom, after saving it from an alliance of Demons and evil Dragons.
The bbeg was the intended target of the ressurection effect, but the Goddess of Fate, sacrificed herself to intertwine their souls into the ritual.

It was actually pretty cool, tbh. And I'm sure I missed a few important bits of the intro, this happened back when 3.5e just came out.

the_david
2019-05-28, 03:39 AM
Everyone wakes up in an underground Tomb, sealed inside of stone sarcophagi and a bad case of amnesia, feeling hungover. As panic sets in over air, the lids slowly grind open, releasing the 5 PCs.

Somewhat like this, except we were lying on top of the sarcophagi, naked with a sheet draped over us. Our gear was inside the sarcophagi. Oh, and we were the bad guys. The amnesia was part of our "second chance".

DeTess
2019-05-28, 07:05 AM
Everyone wakes up in an underground Tomb, sealed inside of stone sarcophagi and a bad case of amnesia, feeling hungover. As panic sets in over air, the lids slowly grind open, releasing the 5 PCs.


I've had something like this as well, but the campaign actually started a bit before us waking up, in that settings version of 'the place where people go after they're dead', with a being offering to get us resurrected, provided we'd be willing to help it out a bit. The campaign more or less started with the DM asking us how we'd died in the first place, and how long ago that was.

Particle_Man
2019-05-28, 10:23 AM
We were servants of the Queen and going on heroic missions and each of us had a cool main item . . . That turned out to be a symbiotic creature that affected our perceptions so that we didnít realize we were killing innocents and serving a bbeg. Now we are free and plotting redemption and revenge. Mostly revenge.

SimonMoon6
2019-05-28, 01:22 PM
Here are some memorable ones:

(1) I had a campaign that was a spinoff of another campaign.

The first campaign was using TSR's Marvel Superheroes RPG (the FASERIP game). However, it was not set in the Marvel Universe. Instead, inspired by the (then current) New Universe comics published by Marvel, the game began as follows: Each player designed a modern day character (using words not the game system) who was a normal human being. Then, the "Black Event" happened (I wanted it to be slightly different from the New Universe's "White Event"), after which random people randomly got random powers. The catch was that the PCs wouldn't know what powers they were going to get, but the more useful the non-powered character was, the less useful their powers would be. And even after they got their powers, they wouldn't know what their powers were... they'd discover them by accident and have to experiment to see what all their powers actually entailed.

One PC was a opera singer with no practical skills; he gained telekinesis that could be extrapolated into transmutation powers. Another PC was a highly skilled military guy; his powers seemed to involve him disappearing when he was in danger (though he was actually traveling through time along his family's timeline, so he would appear in ancient times with one of his ancestors). I've forgotten where I was going with that power, but it would be eventually be more interesting.

But that was just the beginning...

Eventually, these PCs were rounded up and forced to work for the government and they were eventually sent them to discover what had caused the Black Event. The PCs found out that it was due to a bunch of gamers (the players of this game), one of who had somehow summoned beings from another world who had caused this Black Event to happen. These beings were the gods of Chaos from Moorcock's novels, and the Lords of Order were appearing as well, sending giant flying swords to kill the chaotic beings (anyone with powers).

The gamers were currently controlled by the cosmic beings but the PCs saved the day and got them free. However, they wanted to eliminate the beings of Chaos and Order since they were causing trouble. So, this led to the next campaign...

(2) Those gamers (the players) were now charged with a task of going through the multiverse through five universes. Performing certain tasks would apparently cause the beings of Chaos and Order to be eliminated from the world. This game was now using the Chaosium game system from Elric, Runequest, Call of Cthulhu, Superworld, etc.

However, the Call of Cthulhu universe they adventured in (and the Lovecraftian artifacts they had gathered) caused their trip to not have the desired effect. While the beings of Chaos and Order were sent packing, they were replaced by the Cthulhu Mythos. So, now they were living in a modern day world inhabited by the Cthulhu Mythos.

Fortunately, the PCs (who were the players) had gained powers and stuff from their multiversal travel, so they were able to deal with various threats. And now that they knew there was a multiverse, they could go exploring through what was believed to be The Twenty-Three universes, each a setting from some fiction (Star Trek, DC, Doctor Who, Elric, etc).

I think that was pretty unusual.

SimonMoon6
2019-05-28, 01:38 PM
Another fairly atypical campaign beginning was this one:

The players were going to be playing themselves. The (fictional) players had gathered to play a new RPG. The GM had found some new shiny object. Upon showing it to the other players, bright light burst forth from it and suddenly each of the players found themselves with all of the powers, equipment, skills, etc of their top five favorite characters from each of three genres (so, fifteen characters total). However, they were also instilled with an evil version of their normal personality.

Then, a portal opened up. Out stepped a mortally injured wizard who stopped time and then somehow pulled out the non-evil essence from each of the PCs. So, now there were two of each PC: a good version and an evil version. The good versions didn't have any of the powers, equipment, skills, etc of their favorite characters, but they also weren't affected by the time stop, so the wizard could explain stuff before dying.

The wizard explained that there was a great enemy. This enemy liked to destroy worlds. He would send a shiny object to each such world. Then, the entire world would be destroyed except for a square "patch" about 100 miles by 100 miles (or it might've been 1000 by 1000), centered at that shiny object. This patch would then be brought to a patchwork world containing these souvenir memories of the worlds he had destroyed. And of course, the evil versions of the PCs were now the servants of this great enemy.

The PCs had one hope: journey to the patchwork world (through the portal the wizard came through), gather power (from finding the shiny thing (I think it was a gemstone) located in each patch), and eventually become powerful enough to defeat the enemy, while acting secretly enough to not be found by the evil PCs. (The time stop would give the good versions of the PCs a head start, but it wouldn't last forever.)

And that was the beginning...

Man_Over_Game
2019-05-28, 02:07 PM
I like to have my players start in a tavern, to get them off guard, then interrupt whatever they're doing with some traumatic event. I've had zombies attack, a siege occur, a drow pillaging party, etc.

One of my favorites was having infernal warforged fall from the sky, blasting through the tavern roof, and mulching one of the PC's pool partners. The Warforged uncurls itself out of its ball position in his crater of blood and wood, removes its hand, and starts blowing flame out of his arm socket.

Tanuki Tales
2019-05-28, 03:26 PM
I like to have my players start in a tavern, to get them off guard, then interrupt whatever they're doing with some traumatic event. I've had zombies attack, a siege occur, a drow pillaging party, etc.

One of my favorites was having infernal warforged fall from the sky, blasting through the tavern roof, and mulching one of the PC's pool partners. The Warforged uncurls itself out of its ball position in his crater of blood and wood, removes its hand, and starts blowing flame out of his arm socket.

So, you had the Burning Legion drop some Infernals on them? :smallwink:

Man_Over_Game
2019-05-28, 04:13 PM
So, you had the Burning Legion drop some Infernals on them? :smallwink:

Kinda, yeah. They belonged to a Lawful Evil demon who gave some divine power to the city's creator, and a hidden clause in the contract stated that specific beings were allowed to barter within the limits of the city (including representatives of the demon).

Well, demons have their own methods of bartering with divine power, using sacrifices and the like.

So the demon robot "agents" fell from the sky to burn a giant sacrificial circle into the city, in order to summon the demon to control this world. The world was shut off from most forms of divine intervention, and so it was really sought after by divine powers as a sort of "cosmic fortress".

Eventually, the players found out that the bargain couldn't be rescinded, but they COULD expand the option to allow other representatives to..."barter". So a bunch of representatives from divine powers showed up to prevent the demon's forces from winning by "bartering" in their own way. Turns out, some War Gods are worshipped with, and paid in, mercenaries and warring. So a divine war was waged in a large city, because it was the only place divine power could touch.

It was a lot of fun.

Tanuki Tales
2019-05-28, 07:58 PM
Just remembered another one where we started in an Extraplanar Brothel. Kind of wake up deal, choose a room and go from there, but it was only a one shot and I think the GM was just taking out his relationship issues on the new guy. Almost skirted into "Magical Realm" territory.

BeerMug Paladin
2019-05-28, 10:26 PM
I can't think of too many of these I've seen. I don't know if that's because I just haven't seen anything odd in a beginning campaign or if I just wouldn't recognize anything as odd.

The strangest one I can think of is when the player party was hired by someone to run a con game at a carnival. The young prince came to the party's booth and discovered it was rigged. They were arrested, knocked out and woke up in an old, abandoned prison outside of town.

An adviser to the king was their mysterious hirer and had the connections to make them "disappear" after they were arrested.

Telok
2019-05-28, 11:36 PM
The PCs were a troubleshooting team on a 3.5 kilometer long luxury starliner in the Eroticon crystal sphere. The ship was dangerously low on sushi. The party was going to go fishing. They started in the pursers office with the chance to buy some odds and ends while they were issued laser pistols and red coveralls.

Planet-side they argued with a customs official that wanted to impound one PCs mecha. Picked up a baby T-Rex on a drunken spree. The orc PC cut off the head of a gangster who shot him in the face with a rocket launcher. Then they got on the boat.

A fish almost ate the mecha.

The Glyphstone
2019-05-29, 10:36 AM
The PCs were a troubleshooting team on a 3.5 kilometer long luxury starliner in the Eroticon crystal sphere. The ship was dangerously low on sushi. The party was going to go fishing. They started in the pursers office with the chance to buy some odds and ends while they were issued laser pistols and red coveralls.

Planet-side they argued with a customs official that wanted to impound one PCs mecha. Picked up a baby T-Rex on a drunken spree. The orc PC cut off the head of a gangster who shot him in the face with a rocket launcher. Then they got on the boat.

A fish almost ate the mecha.

Games run in Dungeons The Dragoning/Acid Trip the RPG are disqualified from this thread.:smallcool: No one else has a hope of competing.

Telok
2019-05-29, 01:27 PM
Games run in Dungeons The Dragoning/Acid Trip the RPG are disqualified from this thread.:smallcool: No one else has a hope of competing.

That reminds me, I have to see if I can change that thread title. Plus update the thread and maybe bundle the resources I've created.

Aotrs Commander
2019-05-29, 04:56 PM
Players are told nothing before hand, other than this was going to be "project Mwaa-ha-haa."

They are all handed a description and I believe, picture of each PC created via HeroMachine, in which they wake up in a crashed flying machine-thing in a desert with no memories or who they are, what happened or even what they can do.

(I don't believe I even handed them character sheets to start with, or if I did, it was very basic information. Mechanically, I was using a combeination of 3.5 and the pre-Saga D20 SW.)

Turns out they were the Intrepid Heroes in Bleakbane's Knock-Off He-Man/She-Ra and This Week's Plot had had them get captured and mindwiped, onyl the Doom Hode had bungled as usual and the flyer transporting them to their fate had got attacked by a random desert Big Thing. Out of the Left Field was the entire premise of that game...!

Only ran it the once, in the basis that to do it right, it took a LOT of hours. (Like, there were LEGO props for the vehicles and I think, even one combat location.)

Jay R
2019-05-29, 09:25 PM
The most straightforward beginning I've ever used was, "You hear a woman scream in the neighboring alley." No introduction of characters, no explanation of who they were -- just somebody in trouble nearby.

-----------------

In a modern superhero game, I introduced the players by giving them each a different introduction to the same danger:

To PC1: Listening to your car radio, you hear about a building on fire downtown.
To PC2: You see a column of smoke to your north.
To PC3: A couple of firetrucks drive by you will their sirens on.
To PC4: As you sit down to enjoy your coffee at the local Starbucks, you hear screams outside.
To PC5: Relaxing at home with a good book, you say to yourself, "It certainly is warm in here."

Pauly
2019-05-29, 11:07 PM
The PCs are all soldiers in an army. The army has just suffered a catastrophic defeat and is being pursued by a mind numbingly large numbers of orcs and goblins who are killing and eating everything and everyone in their path.

Objective: Flee then find a way to safety. Standing still and thinking is not an option.

Corsair14
2019-05-30, 07:23 AM
All PCs wake up in a tomb. After figuring our way out and salvaging old rusty weapons from the dead in hallway and the apparent massive battle that took place outside the doors to the tomb we go into the world only to find out something like 3 thousand years have passed since we were placed there. None of us have memories of the conflict or why we were there and of course the world is nothing like when we left.

jintoya
2019-05-30, 10:00 AM
Anyone ever had
"You are falling from the sky"
"You wake up in a coffin"
Or
"You find yourself naked in [environment you want clothes for]"

Grey Guard
2019-05-31, 04:08 PM
A council of wyrms game.

When we started, myself, a blue dragon, was locked in a terrible combat with one of the other players, a copper dragon. Apparently our clans were in open warfare, and the other players were picking sides between us.

After a few rounds of combat, our hatching shock wore off, and we realized we were freshly hatched wyrmlings, and we had gotten a little confused by our genetic memory, and were reliving a memory of some of our ancestors. We were rolling rolling around on the ground and wrestling and snapping at each other.

It was kind of adorable.

ko_sct
2019-06-10, 10:45 AM
The PCs died, came back to life as undead, where captured and thrown off the northern wall into the northern lands as a way of avoiding dealing with those pesky undeads.


It was a game inspired by dark souls and that was part of the set-up before the game, if I remember well their deaths and captures went as follow :

-Priest and her bodyguard were assassinated by the church for daring to help undeads. Only the priest came back and since she wasn't much of a fighter she quickly got captured.

-The knight took a terrible blow during a jousting tournament. He got back up and drew his sword ready to fight... but everyone could see he shouldn't be alive with a broken neck. Got captured right there.

-The bard was murdered in his sleep by someone he stole money from. Didn't realize it until he left his room and went to the inn's ground-floor to eat his breakfast. The slashed throat and completely blood-soaked clothes couldn't be missed.