View Full Version : DM in need of party dynamics help

2007-12-09, 02:49 AM
I have a great game planned for my party during the Christmas break. I am only having a single problem ... how do I set a realistic goal for keeping all these characters together, as they come from different walks of life.

To give a simple idea, it is a d20 Urban Arcana game, with a very Heroes and Angel feeling to it. I have the "Pilot" session pretty much planned, but I need a realistic way to keep these characters together. I'll give you the "teaser" opener for the game, then the characters, and any ideas you Playgrounders might have are better than the none I am coming up with.

SCENE: NYC. You watch as a tall man clocks out of his third shift @ a gas station in Manhattan. He moves through the city, catching the glimpse of a crazy homeless man hiding in his box, a beautiful woman going off with a rich man in a car, and lastly a preacher declaring to all that the Lord is coming and "the end is near." He walks up to a newstand and drops down a few bucks to get a pack of cigarettes and a newspaper. He puts a cigarette in his mouth as he walks away, scanning the paper. As he gets to page G13, all the words sizzle and turn to smoke, shifting magically into a new paper, the Gazeteer. The headline says "Joe McCoil, it is your time." Dumbfounded, Joe - the man reading the paper - puts his hands up to his cigarette and lights his thumb on fire, like a lighter, and lights his cigarette. He puts out his thumb to no damage to himself and merely utters, "Well ... damn." CUE INTRO.

- Joe McCoil, snake-blooded human psion
- Solomon MacIntire, a gnoll punk rocker
- Daina Blacktalon, a Drow police officer
- [insert name here], a normal human yakuza member
- [insert name here], a Tiefling talent scout
- John McCarthy, a Half-Dragon soccer holligan - but he appears later

- [insert name here], a human trucker
- [insert name here], an inept Bugbear P.I.

The only guaranteed characters in the "Pilot" are the first five regulars, with the gnoll being my DMPC.


2007-12-09, 03:13 AM
My best suggestion is to do the 'six degrees of separation' bit. Each character connects with another character is some fundamental way that makes it less likely that they will just abandon each other right away. Close friends, relatives, social or financial debts, etc. While not everyone knows each other to start off, each knows at least one, and hopefully two other characters. The first adventure is basically just a long set-up to join them all up together into a group, prove that they need each other, and away you go.

2007-12-09, 04:44 AM
Let me rephrase ...

There will be a rotating DM of sorts, with everyone taking turns "writing" and "directing" as they come up with ideas. I have taken the hard task of doing the first. And something I need to do - specifically because a player asked for it - was to give a reason for these people, who might have 6 degrees of separation between them, sure, but they need a reason to STAY together after the first session. I mean, WHY does the cop, who obviously has a good job and has a lot of people to help her, need to be with and help this group of people?

The problem herein lies with the genre itself. Either, the character becomes recurring to non-recurring to non-existant, a la Angel; or the character is stripped of their occupation, a la Heroes. I am looking for alternatives that still work.

Also, as a secondary, all good shows like this have a Prime Set. Buffy had for a long time the library. Angel had the hotel, and after that the Law Firm. What kind of Prime Set can I make for these guys?