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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    Pressganged. Solves everything.

    They are high enough they could have gotten a mild reputation and the cpt heard of them and hired them.

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    My method? Just tell them in advance what the first plot hook is. Then tell them to figure out a reason why their character was in town and is interested in the hook. I find the players usually come up with more interesting stuff than I would, and it saves complaints of "my character wouldn't be interested in that."
    Also never underestimate this. It can lead to excellent things.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alabenson
    Evil Intelligence is knowing the precise ritual that will allow you to destroy the peaceful kingdom that banished you.

    Evil Wisdom is understanding that you probably shouldn’t perform said ritual while you’re standing in the estimated blast radius.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    halfdragon62's Avatar

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    Here are some I plan to make use of in the future:
    1. The Pcs all know each other from their youth, (they were street kids, all survived the sacking of their village, all had the same mentor) and they have survived thus far by relying on each other beforehand
    2. The Pcs are drawn together by a common threat, organisation, or enemy eg. They happen to cross paths while simultaneously hunting down the same blackgaurd that slaughtered their loved ones, and form an alliance. The same principal can be applied to a fabled artefact or location - Each pc seeks "The hall of secrets" for their individual purposes.
    3. The pcs are each part of an ambassador's retinue during a diplomatic treatise. But the meeting is interrupted, the ambassadors killed, and the pcs (who are of course the only survivors) are framed for the massacre!
    4. The pcs have been captured or enslaved. But when the oppurtunity arises, they are able to make a break for it with their equipment. The party needs to work together to flee the country's authorities.
    Lawful Good does not equal Lawful Nice

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    DoughGuy's Avatar

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    You wake up in jail . . .and offered the choice between a hanging or privateering in the name of </insert nation here>. Yarr.
    Good idea but you're forgetting they are PCs. Unless you want them to all voluntarily die or just stage a mass mutiny it is not the path to go down.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Story Time's Avatar

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    "A small group of adventurers stumbled upon a non-human town and somehow broke their tribal law. As punishment the adventurers' are stuffed into a canon and shot out of it over a lake."

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Orc in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    "You're in the plane of fire. Roll climb checks to get out."

    Good way to weed out the weaklings...and the spellcasters

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    Sounds interesting to me, though it doesn't have to be the plane of fire. Read the 9 hells stuff and choose accordingly.

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    TheCountAlucard's Avatar

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    Quote Originally Posted by NOhara24 View Post
    "You're in the plane of fire."
    Eh, a low-level energy-resistance spell takes care of that. Nah, the plane of fire isn't going to get rid of a spellcaster - for that, you want either Double Hell, Shadow-Shadow-Bo-Badow, or Scarytown.

  8. - Top - End - #38
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Don't Read If You're In My Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdynick View Post
    I'm still not used to how fast this forums answers questions....

    Anyway, campaign is 5th level. Characters are as follows: Human Rogue 3/Urban Ranger 2 archer, Darfellan Barbarian 5, Dwarf Fighter 1/Wizard 4 (going for Runesmith), Human Cleric of Pelor 3/Church Inquisitor 2 (going for Warpriest and Shadowbane Inquisitor), Human Duskblade 5, Half-Aquatic Elf Bard 5 (I bumped the half elf a little by giving all the bonuses of the Water Adaptation feat and superior low-light vision as racial traits), and Wild Elf Druid 5

    Setting is a custom one. The Rogue and Darfellan are on a ship together, the wizard, cleric, and duskblade are together on foot, the druid is on foot on her own, and the half-elf has yet to describe her backstory to me, but will probably be arriving on foot or live in the city they're starting in.

    They're starting in a port city and the first mission will be them being hired (as a group) to put an end to the pirate attacks on the nation's trade lanes (which are unusually frequent and organized). They don't have access to a ship themselves, so they'll have to charter one, commandeer one, Diplomacy a naive captain, or stowaway on one (possibly a pirate ship). They'll soon discover that the pirates are being hired by an opposing nation as deniable assets, leading them into plots between nations.
    Seems fairly straightforward;

    Sea battles viewed from afar: (Visable from several miles away)

    The skies darken as a storm gathers from nowhere, all eyes are drawn to the distant sight of a merchant ship being repeatedly hit by lightning. Another ship nearby strangely seems to be completely ignored by the storms fury. As the 2nd ship pulls alongside the first the storm seems to abate. after some time of rendering assistance the ships seperate and the damaged ship limps toward a small port town nearby.

    The ship that is carrying the Rogue and Darfellan decides to put into the port to check on the afflicted vessel.

    The Other Pc's will hopefully sense a plot hook and close in on the town where the damaged ship put in to investigate (if they don't then you may have problems getting them to engage with your game).

    The captain of the ship already carrying some PCs may decide to hire additional protection (eg the entire party) and refuse to leave port until sufficient protection is found ("go find some more help!") leaving the existing PCs to recruit the other PCs.
    The PCs ship can be attacked by pirates on its way to the capital, earning the PCs the attention of the merchants guild for successfully foiling one attack.


    Sounds fun, go for it.

    Edit: Some of your other PC's could already be at the small port town, or they might be near enough to see the sea battle and hopefully intrigued enough to investigate. Should the PC's not already at the port town decide to go the opposite direction some further subtle hints (every NPC they meet talking about it) might convince them to investigate.

    Should they ignore the subtle hints then let them sit and watch while the rest of the party gets to fight off pirates.

    Then subtly suggest to them that they find a reason to join the game. Perhaps a secret note to the player saying "think of a in character reason to join the party or you will have to continue to sit and watch everyone else play."
    Last edited by only1doug; 2011-07-27 at 10:17 AM.
    Doug

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  9. - Top - End - #39
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    You wake up at 5 AM in the middle of the street. All of your possessions are gone. Yes, even your clothing. Go.


    You'll get some creative solutions.
    If something doesn't work, hit it.
    If it still doesn't work, hit it harder.

  10. - Top - End - #40
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Nerdynick's Avatar

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    Problem with that is that a few people are fairly new to D&D or brand new to Roleplaying in general.

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Amnestic's Avatar

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doughnut Master View Post
    You wake up at 5 AM in the middle of the street. All of your possessions are gone. Yes, even your clothing. Go.


    You'll get some creative solutions.
    A fiver says that at least two people resort to larceny almost immediately.

  12. - Top - End - #42
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amnestic View Post
    A fiver says that at least two people resort to larceny almost immediately.
    What is more Violent than a Violent Hobo?

    A Naked Violent Hobo!
    Doug

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    Moonshae Mysteries IC / OOC / Central Map / west rooms map / east rooms map
    Moonshae Tales IC / OOC / Map
    Map of Area

  13. - Top - End - #43
    Orc in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    Eh, a low-level energy-resistance spell takes care of that. Nah, the plane of fire isn't going to get rid of a spellcaster - for that, you want either Double Hell, Shadow-Shadow-Bo-Badow, or Scarytown.
    I've only seen one Wizard in a low level campaign (Those that I play with now are a Druid, Cleric, Rogue, Monk and a Fighter. The wizard left after the first campaign when his Color Spray missed the Harpoon Spider we were fighting as the first boss. The spider turned around and one-shotted him.) , he had 5 HP at level 1. I believe fire damage is 1d6. Does the fire have to roll initiative? Or would the campaign just start with everyone being burned?

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Diarmuid's Avatar

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    Default Re: Don't Read If You're In My Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdynick View Post
    I'm still not used to how fast this forums answers questions....

    Anyway, campaign is 5th level. Characters are as follows: Human Rogue 3/Urban Ranger 2 archer, Darfellan Barbarian 5, Dwarf Fighter 1/Wizard 4 (going for Runesmith), Human Cleric of Pelor 3/Church Inquisitor 2 (going for Warpriest and Shadowbane Inquisitor), Human Duskblade 5, Half-Aquatic Elf Bard 5 (I bumped the half elf a little by giving all the bonuses of the Water Adaptation feat and superior low-light vision as racial traits), and Wild Elf Druid 5

    Setting is a custom one. The Rogue and Darfellan are on a ship together, the wizard, cleric, and duskblade are together on foot, the druid is on foot on her own, and the half-elf has yet to describe her backstory to me, but will probably be arriving on foot or live in the city they're starting in.

    They're starting in a port city and the first mission will be them being hired (as a group) to put an end to the pirate attacks on the nation's trade lanes (which are unusually frequent and organized). They don't have access to a ship themselves, so they'll have to charter one, commandeer one, Diplomacy a naive captain, or stowaway on one (possibly a pirate ship). They'll soon discover that the pirates are being hired by an opposing nation as deniable assets, leading them into plots between nations.
    So...color me a bit confused. It seems like you have a pretty good handle on how you're going to start your campaign already. Were you just trying to spark discussion?

  15. - Top - End - #45
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    To get over the newbie problem you could run intro sessions for each of them which lead them all to the same point of intregue/combat etc

  16. - Top - End - #46
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Nerdynick's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diarmuid View Post
    So...color me a bit confused. It seems like you have a pretty good handle on how you're going to start your campaign already. Were you just trying to spark discussion?
    I'm having problems trying to get the several groups of players in my campaign together under one banner. So, how do the group of three on foot, the pair on the ship, the druid, and the bard all get hired to go pirate hunting?

    EDIT: But by all means, do discuss. This thread doesn't have to be specific to my campaign.
    Last edited by Nerdynick; 2011-07-27 at 02:15 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #47
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    TheCountAlucard's Avatar

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    Quote Originally Posted by NOhara24 View Post
    Color Spray missed
    Err, no. That doesn't work. Now, the critter could've made its save, yeah, but that's a whole other thing.

    Also, that's first level; we were talking fifth level, by which time even the most dreadfully-built wizards should be rocking double-digit hit points, and have access to Resist Energy, which means that the 1d6 is now utterly meaningless.

    I'm tellin' ya, the whole "plane of fire" thing... it's not really all that it's cracked up to be. The answer is Scarytown... though in a pinch, the Darkbad will do.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2011-07-27 at 02:21 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #48
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Fearan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    "Ok, you're in the tavern. And crap-eating Black Pudding in the restroom goes violent"
    ***My place is at the brink of a war. Posting can be erratic, sorry***

    English isn't my native. Sorry for all misunderstandings.
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  19. - Top - End - #49
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    My method? Just tell them in advance what the first plot hook is. Then tell them to figure out a reason why their character was in town and is interested in the hook. I find the players usually come up with more interesting stuff than I would, and it saves complaints of "my character wouldn't be interested in that."
    That's what I typically do. The players feel more invested and involved this way. My players will often build their backgrounds around each other, as well. Maybe not ALL of them, but usually every character has some history with at least one other character.

  20. - Top - End - #50
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    some people have been saying to let the players decide: it really depends on the type of players they are. could work, but I know my friends like to be surprised by what i can come up with for them. Offer that to them first, in case they do want to.


    If you have to do it, make it all tie together somehow. Not to force them together, but give each of them hints to the whole pirate thing. (my idea keeps them separate for a bit)


    Rogue & Darfellan --- "You hear the sound of cannonfire, and head up to the deck to see the commotion. You see pirates looting the ship <insert specific flavor here>. The crew is being overrun and soon enough, you find yourselves surrounded by pirates. <more aggressive or stronger player> is grabbed from behind, and tied up by a half a dozen pirates. <more passive/weaker player> finds himself at the barrel of three pistols."
    "Take me ta yer captain."

    From there, if they cooperate, the pirates might drop them unharmed at town. If they don't they could escape and swim to town.

    Wizard, Cleric & Duskblade --- "As the three of you walk toward __town name___ you see 3 bodies hanging from the city walls, along with the words, "Pirates, you have been warned". As they enter town, townspeople begin muttering, and suddenly one yells and points at the Duskblade."
    "It's the Dread Pirate Roberts ______!"

    Mob ensues.

    Bard --- You enter town, and find a bar to play in for some money. While in there, a bearded man bursts through the doors, gun in one hand, sword in the other, demanding drinks for free (he is already drunk). If he is given the drinks, he could talk to the bard. If not, roll for initiative.

    Druid --- a familiar meets you in the woods, and asks for your help. His master is dying, was attacked by pirates, and has family in town.

  21. - Top - End - #51
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    Pathfinder's Carrion Crown adventure path has a unique way to start. The PCs are all attending the funeral of a mutual acquaintance, and serve as the pallbearers. Then they're part-hired-part-coerced into working together by the stipulations of the deceased, with the promise of a fortune in platinum for each in his will.

    THE TEN-MINUTE BACKGROUND
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  22. - Top - End - #52
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Nerdynick's Avatar

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    Wow, these are some really nice suggestions. I think I have enough to work with, but keep 'em coming just in case (besides, might help another DM)

    Thanks guys :)

  23. - Top - End - #53
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    In the campaign I am running right now, the PC's all woke up in a room in a dungeon. They don't know how they got there or why. And they don't remember anything from the backgrounds they provided me. This is a lot of fun since 2 of the PC's backgrounds were very intertwined and now they have to roleplay not knowing each other at all. They have to fight their way out of said dungeon and go from there.

    Every so often, I have them partake in a stat challenge (not skill challenge as I couldn't think of relevent skills to do this)when something happens in-game that could/would spark a bit of memory for that char. Sometimes only one PC will get to do it, other times a few will at the same time. Should they complete the challenge, I give them a scrap of their background as they remembered that bit. I've been using INT to remember something, WIS rolls to figure out if it's really relevant to their backgrounds or made up and at the end, CON to see if they pass out from the sudden influx of memories. The best part is, I don't have to tell them if what they remembered is true or not. So far, I'm told they enjoy it because they are not sure if they are roleplaying their real PC or some made up memory/quirk that they "remembered". I LOVE when they fail the WIS part and I get to give them a fake memory.

    By doing this, they have to work together to get out of the dungeon, piece their lives back together, find out what the hell happened to them AND figure out what the Big Bad is. Plus it adds some good roleplaying opportunities and some random flavor that is not normally in our games.

    edit: Of course, this is really only viable with in depth backgrounds but I specifically asked for that.
    Last edited by Unseenmal; 2011-07-28 at 03:33 PM. Reason: adding more info

  24. - Top - End - #54
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    noparlpf's Avatar

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    "You're floating in a dark, warm space. Suddenly something starts to push and squeeze you and you see a bright light. Someone dangles you upside-down and smacks you. You start crying."

    Or do you want it to start a little bit further along? Because I doubt anybody has ever started a campaign from the birth of the characters.

  25. - Top - End - #55
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    In a campaign i am working on the PCs will all start in a gladiatorial arena trying to win a spot on the sovereign leader's artifact hunting team. Losing is not an option.
    "Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the DM amongst his books for to you your characters and their equipment are mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment to be overturned by the flicking of a finger." - Raven's Cry

    (post #71 here: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...=139886&page=3)

  26. - Top - End - #56
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    Ravens_cry's Avatar

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    Quote Originally Posted by DoughGuy View Post
    Good idea but you're forgetting they are PCs. Unless you want them to all voluntarily die or just stage a mass mutiny it is not the path to go down.
    I don't mind the latter, and I would tell the players before making characters that it is meant to be a nautical campaign. (Hopefully) they would get the hint, considering the characters get their own ship if they follow through.
    Last edited by Ravens_cry; 2011-07-28 at 04:06 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Calanon View Post
    Raven_Cry's comments often have the effects of a +5 Tome of Understanding

  27. - Top - End - #57
    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
     
    The Glyphstone's Avatar

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    Start the game in a tavern. Then have the tavern attacked by horrifically over-CRed monsters and kill them all.

    The real campaign begins when they wake up as spirits, and you pull out the Ghostwalk supplement.
    Last edited by The Glyphstone; 2011-07-28 at 04:46 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by GungHo, on Battletech
    The Atlas is also goofy but it has that whole "Stay Puft Marshmallow Man" menacing smile thing going for it. The guy who drew that one up was obviously taken to the Nutcracker when he was a child... and he was screaming in terror the entire time.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Enterti, Cogidubnus
    Glyphstone, out of all the playground I think you scare me the most...
    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode
    Glyphstone, you are an evil person :D

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    BlackDragon

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Start the game in a tavern. Then have the tavern attacked by horrifically over-CRed monsters and kill them all.

    The real campaign begins when they wake up as spirits, and you pull out the Ghostwalk supplement.
    Can I sig this?
    The Specialist PrC(WIP) An attempt to make really high skills more useful. I would love it if someone would PEACH.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Start the game in a tavern. Then have the tavern attacked by horrifically over-CRed monsters and kill them all.
    The real campaign begins when they wake up as spirits, and you pull out the Ghostwalk supplement.
    Quote Originally Posted by Drachasor View Post
    The sanity of DMs also varies wildly.

  29. - Top - End - #59
    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
     
    The Glyphstone's Avatar

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon Star View Post
    Can I sig this?
    Please do.
    Quote Originally Posted by GungHo, on Battletech
    The Atlas is also goofy but it has that whole "Stay Puft Marshmallow Man" menacing smile thing going for it. The guy who drew that one up was obviously taken to the Nutcracker when he was a child... and he was screaming in terror the entire time.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Enterti, Cogidubnus
    Glyphstone, out of all the playground I think you scare me the most...
    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode
    Glyphstone, you are an evil person :D

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Big Fau's Avatar

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    Default Re: Unique Ways to Start Campaigns?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2-HeadedGiraffe View Post
    I once had a DM start a campaign by saying "You all meet on a train." The railroading only got worse from there.
    That wasn't DnD, that was FF13!



    I have started a party off on fire. The party, not their surroundings. That campaign lasted a good five sessions, and by virtue of bad luck managed to set at least one member of the party on fire in each encounter.

    I honestly could not tell if they had planned out the friendly fire or not.

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