The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed - Coming in December and available for pre-order now
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 47
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    Hi Everyone, I was just thinking about some of the best ways to start a campaign. One of my favorites was when I had all the players wake up in a random room in a dungeon without their memories. I had a secret society in the game that knew what was going on and members of that society gave them back their feats and skills in the first hour of the game...but getting their personal memories worked pretty well as a side goal of all the party members. Not to mention how interested everyone got when they went somewhere where someone recognized a party member.


    But thats just my story, I'd be really interested to hear some of everyone elses campaign starts.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lord Tataraus's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Easton, PA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    Names changed cuase I can't remember them, but this is roughly what happened...

    DM: Okay, we're going to start now... "Regdar, you just got punched in the face by the large Bythan*. Meanwhile the rest of you struggle not to get too involved in the bar fight, but Haldred gets thrown onto a table."

    The group: !!!

    *a homebrew race that was a powerful build tiger with grey-blue fur pushing 8 feet tall. (Regdar was also one).

    That has to be the best opening I've ever done. Right in the middle of a bar fight. The fought until they got knocked out and Redgar lasted until the guards came.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Extradimensional pocket...with the lint.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    You are walking home late at night down a semi-crowded street. The Watch stops you and asks "Is this your dagger?" You notice your sheath empty, and reconize it as your own.
    PC: "No."
    Guard: "Funny, it fits in your scabbard perfectly...and bears the marks of the same craftsman. Come with me."
    PC: Why?
    Guard: This was found inside the mayor's daughter. She was killed three hours ago. Where were you?
    PC: I don't remember (I asked where he was coming home from, he said he was drunk).

    Everyone else's character witnessed the murder and went to him at the jail. They sprung him free (paladin of freedom helped motivate the group).
    Johannes factotum of the Bard Defense League

    "A witty saying proves nothing." -Voltaire

    "Jack of all trades, master of none, though ofttimes better than master of one."

    The main question that any DM should ask before making a house-rule or exception is, "Is it balanced?"

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Wraithy's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    under your floorboards
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    you could start with a TPK, then make the party work together to prevent their deaths in the future (a bit like final destination, but not really).
    basically you describe the party's death at the hands of the BBEG, then make it a premonition given to the whole party.
    I'm back... possibly... any minute now... brb.

    Horny Halfing Avatar by Anna Molly

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PlatinumJester's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    London...In America
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    A pie stealing T Rex.
    Own it, pwn it, nuke it, sheep it, eat it, quick re -right it, Joe it, turn it, turnip, pimp it, gimp it, dot it, rock it, spec re - spec it...

    I'm bringing smexy back

    As a Warblade, I'm pimp as hell.

    Big up kpenguin for the chronic Avatar.

    Powergaming - because you can't roleplay when your dead.
    (\__/)
    (O.o )
    (> < ) This is Bunny. Copy Bunny into your signature to help him dominate the World

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    TheLogman's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    Each are in their own area/town where they stated the lived. Then, a shadowmancer and 2 hobbies defeat them, they go unconscious, and all wake in a strange testing facility, with the darkest of shadow coursing through their blood. The Pally detects evil and sees that the blobs of shadow are gradually growing large, and are definitely evil. They gotta get that stuff out, and the best way is to fight though the lab and find some answers.
    Thanks a TON to Almighty Salmon for the Amazing Log Man!

    The Legend of TheLogMan

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Fuum Bango's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    The party are in a tavern, the bartender is an ex-adventurer famous for killing a evil necromancer.
    That wizard walks into the tavern.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Manticorkscrew's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    My latest idea for a campaign beginning involves the PCs waking up in hospital after recovering from plague.

    I'm not sure whether or not it's a good beginning, though. I suppose it introduces them to one of the key themes of the campaign right away. And gives them a handy immunity to that particular disease.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Thanks to Kalirush for the most excellent Avatar.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    One I know of (didn't play, only heard about it) was the GM running a hopeless fight against ogres, and killing all the PCs in the first session. That was just the opener. Then, they played their ghosts as they sought to upset the ogre invasion.

    That may have been the same DM who didn't let players select their characters' race and gender. "You don't get to pick that in real life, why should you do it in game?'
    Any fool can be a father. It takes a real man to be a Dad.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Prophaniti's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Happy Valley
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    DM: It's a dark and stormy night. You're in a Tavern.

    I pick this one because we've never actually used it... I did have one party I DM'd get there first job in a seedy tavern, because that's a good place to meet unscrupulous contacts, but I've never had them meet or be approached by someone in a tavern as the intro.
    Spending most of my time on another forum.
    Awesome Daemonhost avatar by Fin.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    Many of our adventures begin in a tavern. Although a stock way of dealing with the problem of plot hooks, I actually enjoy it as it has a fairly iconic sense of adventure behind it. That being said after playing in some 12 campaigns over the past year, with various DMs, an inn has managed to get burnt to the ground in every single campaign, some times through no fault of our own too. Every one. Now, were still not sure of how this happens, but to prevent this problem from becomming an issue in the future (Such as burning down a plot integral Bar) I figured that measures had to be take immediately.

    Me: "You all find yourselves in a tavern"

    Them: "What a surprise"

    Me: "The Inn is also on fire"

    I just figured I'd get it out of the way quick, like pulling off a bandaid.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    GreataxeFighterGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Kingston, Ontario
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    (New poster here - hello all!)

    I'm right now working on a campaign with some friends that I'm hoping to sell to Mongoose based in their Conan RPG. After a brief monologue out of the Phoenix in the Sword establishing the Hyborian Age, the characters got to start off on this foot:

    “You are at a tavern in Tarantia, capitol of Aquilonia, lamenting the death of King Conan. Well, that’s not entirely true. Right now, you’re in JAIL. The last thing you remember is that you were in a tavern, lamenting the death of the king.”

    Best to all,

    Robert "Garwulf" Marks

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    Most of these are really bad ways to start a campaign. Never make a character generate a character sheet and then deny him that work.

    So all this you wake up without your memories, fight to get the back stuff, yea, lame. Not only that but now you have a bunch of other stuff to justify. Like why the villian or entity that removed memories did it. Among other things.

    Establish setting, then introduce plot hook, then beat them over the head with it. But always establish the setting first, and then introduce the plot hook.

    The setting for the adventure sets the pace, dark and stromy night in a bar is fine and good so long as the players know the bar and the town. Introduce them to the town, your version of the town.

    For instance, here is how i started a campaign set in Sharn

    Spoiler
    Show
    Act 1: Mary Jane's Last Dance

    Sharn, an ancient city located on the southern tip of the Dagger River. Gateway to Xendrik. Build on the ruins of the Jewel the Dhakaani empire and a nexus point with the plane of air, the city has been built and destroyed many times over. Today, the city is a diverse combination of races and nationalities that come to eat, drink, adventure, parlay, and play. To the unitiated it is a maze of epic proportions, four plateaus filled with towers suspended over a lake of fire housing the elite of the twelve marks, the theives of the thirteenth house, the Governor and his Council, the Things that go bump in the night, and Adventurers. To the initiated, it is a place to live and work, a resource to exploit, a stepping stone to the wild, and a wealth of helpfull contacts.



    Today, is like any other in the late summer in Sharn, hot, humid, with no breeze flowing through the lower wards, which you happen to find yourself with three others. You were supposed to be meeting a friend here, a Sivis messanger had given you the time, date, location and reason for meeting, but he has not shown. Though a few of you found it odd to be meeting a friend in a place so close to the cogs, you came anyway, the cogs are always an adventure.

    The square you are in is perched on the south-east edge of Downstairs, a tavern district. The South and East are opened up to the chasm, with a few gates for sky cabs, and a stairway that heads down into Ashbkac. And while it is only a short drop to the cogs below, it would still certianly end your life were you to fall off. Fortunatly the feather fall reward is still high and the Black Book are quite diligent in enforcing it, even in the lower wards. To the north is a tavern with its doors shuttered as if a storm was coming, but its sign still hangs outside. "The Rustmonster" it reads, sitting limp in the heat. To the northeast is a passage that leads up and into Downstairs proper, and to the west a residental building which is unlikly to house anyone of well repute. The area gets little direct sunlight except in the late mid moring when there is enough angle for the light to pass over Clifftop, but not so much that it is shaded by the towers and walkways above. The sun sets here at 2 PM, even in the summer, and it stays dark until the mid morning. Unfortunatly, it does not stay cool.

    "I didnt think you were going to all make it" a voice from a shaded window from the apartments says, "easiest 1,200 coin i ever made" and drops into the square. He has a deep scar over his right eye, but that does little to mask the fact that he is most definitly a werewolf.


    First the setting is established, feelings about the cities and how the players can act and are expected to act are conveyed, they are adventurers, the cogs are an adventure. The city itself is uncomfortable and restless, we have forboding with the closed restaraunt.

    Then the plot hook starts. And after they defeat the werewolf, it will start in earnest as more characters are introduced and purpose is given

    "You get knocked out and wake up captured" is a good middle story hook, an interlude to the characters beating up on the main villians mooks.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Prometheus's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    You are all prisoners and you escape/are rescued together. Interesting possibilities. Dark Sun is the best example I think.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SilverClawShift's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    My group does what we've taken to calling "Dynamic Entry".

    The DM tells us about the world we'll be playing in, the area the game starts in, and all that jazz prior to character creation, so we at least have the world in mind when we create or modify our character concepts.
    Then, before we actually start the game, we go around the table (with the DM as the 'guide') and give a brief character summary, what we are, what we're like.
    Then we start in with wether we know each other, and HOW we know each other. Sometimes we don't actually know each other yet, usually we come up with a little history. Don't get me wrong, it's not a novel or anything, it just helps to have actually established why you've known someone, how long you've known them for, why you stay in contact with them, ect. Even just a light dusting of cliches is better than nothing (in my opinion at least). Childhood friends, helped in a fight, went to the same adventurers college, whatever. If we're not friends, we're at least physically near each other (usually) and have some reason to be in contact.

    Then we'll actually start the campaign. Depending on the setting and tone, we might start with one or two characters alone, or a larger group, or everyone allready together. As an example, our last campaign (the horror one for halloween) started at an archaeological dig site with three of our group who were members of the same church. The archivist and cleric were on information gathering detail. Asked the third guy why they sent a holy warrior to a historical dig.
    "You know how often these digs turn up some kind of cursed monster?"
    "How often?"
    "Often enough that the church decided to send a paladin with you."

    Then back 'home', the rest of us were busy with other stuff, knowing we'd synch up when they got back. It takes a little patience, each group has to wait their turn and all, but still, it can work.
    So if we have a reason to all be together, we'll start there. otherwise, we'll synch up as the game progresses, going around until we meet up (which doesn't usually take all that long, depending.)
    Personally I think it works very well. It gives the session a rolling natural feel to start things off, almost cinematic.

    If we're doing something a little plainer, or more light hearted, it'll actually be completely up to the DM why we're all in a small area working together. He's started us as passengers on a boat, or in a collapsed mine, or serving together in a militia, or.... you get the idea. Smaller scale campaigns start off with "You're here together, roll with it".

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Titan in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    On Paper
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    As the campaign starts you give the players identical character sheets of low-level soliders fighting a losing battle, every time one of them dies they just take over another solider, up to 20 soliders after a few rounds they all get captured. THEN you hand them the sheets for the characters they actually made and say
    "You show up at the battlefield and head for the command post to report for orders, but as you reach the command post you look out over the battlefield and see you are too late, there is only one group of soliders left, and as you watch they get captured...
    Alternitavly, rather than them starting as low-level soliders, have them starting as High-level elites brimming with magic weapons and armor, but they still get captured. This sends a message to your players, namely "Those KickassmcAwsome characters you played at the very beggining, they lost. Now do what they tried to do using your mundane geared lowbies.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dsurion View Post
    I don't know if you've noticed, but pretty much everything BRC posts is full of awesome.
    Quote Originally Posted by chiasaur11 View Post
    So, Astronaut, War Hero, or hideous Mantis Man, hop to it! The future of humanity is in your capable hands and or terrifying organic scythes.
    My Homebrew:Synchronized Swordsmen,Dual Daggers,The Doctor,The Preacher,The Brawler
    [/Center]

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Gralamin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Goumindong View Post
    First the setting is established, feelings about the cities and how the players can act and are expected to act are conveyed, they are adventurers, the cogs are an adventure. The city itself is uncomfortable and restless, we have forboding with the closed restaraunt.
    Are you suggesting that players shouldn't be able to choose to act in any way they want?
    Join the IRC
    Current: AlfredAmeoba-atar
    Second: Simiusatar
    First: Ceikatar
    Spoiler
    Show


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    "We always run the games we want to play in."

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    there
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    "Roll a reflex save."
    Seven out of ten people are in this statistic.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Manticorkscrew's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Goumindong View Post
    Most of these are really bad ways to start a campaign. Never make a character generate a character sheet and then deny him that work.

    So all this you wake up without your memories, fight to get the back stuff, yea, lame. Not only that but now you have a bunch of other stuff to justify. Like why the villian or entity that removed memories did it. Among other things.
    If we're going to have criticism in this thread, can we please have constructive criticism rather than insults? Calling other peoples' ideas "lame" is not a good way to endear you to them. You can make your suggestions without bashing other peoples'.

    Personally I think that the 'you wake up and you're not sure how you got there' idea is a valid plot hook because it immediately gives the players a goal beyond fighting the first monster that comes into view. Of course, if it gets used too often it can be as hackneyed as the 'it was a dark and stormy night' opening. But the same applies to every possible story beginning.

    And I would be wary of starting off with a lengthy description of setting, because the players will immediately forget most of it. But they do need to know where they are and what they're doing, and you should always try to set the mood of the session right away. Therefore, the first few lines of a campaign should be informative, but short, snappy and attention-grabbing.
    Last edited by Manticorkscrew; 2007-11-04 at 08:45 PM.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Thanks to Kalirush for the most excellent Avatar.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Goff's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Looting!
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Goumindong View Post
    Most of these are really bad ways to start a campaign.
    Incorrect. Most of these are very good ways to start a campaign. The DM's job is to entertain the players by providing a fun and challenging game, at no point do they have to be particularly original if their players are having fun with the old clichés. While many may cringe at the idea of using them, clichés only become clichés because so many people thought they were fun enough to use. Sure the dark and stormy night in a tavern or waking up without memory could use some jazzing up, but they are still solid interesting ways to start a campaign.

    And please, as Manticorkscrew said make it constructive criticism or none.
    Nuturion skillfully crafted by The Stoney One
    Spoiler
    Show
    Brew, brew, brew, brew the tasty house rules.
    Dextrous Parry and Insightful Parry (for those who like fighting off the back foot)
    Gufi the Dreadful and Crew (from the Pirate Competition)
    Deathwalkers, Triffids, and Bile-eaters, oh my!

    "You know, these clothes do not flatter you at all. It should be a dress or nothing. I happen to have no dress in my cabin." ~Jack Sparrow

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Brasilia, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    I Like the "Roll Initiative" begin to a campaign.

    But I used this last time:

    Me: *to the ranger* You are walking around, looking for your dinner in the forest when you hear teh sound of a running horse and various barks.

    Ranger: I go and take a look

    Me: What you see is a young women riding a white horse wielding a sabre turning to face a pack of wolfs. *to the rogue* You were running from someone you just stole the pocket, and entered teh forest, you are now facing the Young Lady and a few Wolfs.

    ...

    Later this Woman would reveal to be the Princess to nearby city. She would be killed a few days later when a Black Knight and his army took over teh city.

    She was quite nice to the PJs so they got pretty motivated to kick his ass. Also he had made them slaves and beated them till they got half-dead. This helped, since there where no goodies in the party...
    Paladin Review - A Class Balance by me
    Link

    Originally Posted by Dyllan

    Fawsto is definitely a lawyer. Nothing against what you said, Fawsto - but I've never read anything that sounded more like it came from a lawyer. :-)
    "Justice and liberty/You can't buy/But you don't get it free"
    - Bruce Dickinson, Born in 58

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Deepblue706's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    New York, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    Some ideas I've messed around with:

    PCs are people are some renown, each is contacted by a nobleman/king who desires their services in exchange for land/wealth/whatever.

    An annoying little halfling steals from the party, and delivers plenty of absurd one-liners that make them want to kill him dead.

    PCs are invited to or otherwise notice the beginning of a new tournament.

    Erratic weather changes cause problems for a town, people beg for help.

    Kingsmen storm an inn that houses criminals, that the PCs stayed at unwittingly.

    A royal family (possibly related to, or known by the PCs) is held ransom, help is desperately needed.

    Strange occurences follow a strange traveller who crosses paths with the PCs.

    A city where the PCs are resting is beset with the plague.

    A rival nation invades the land where the PCs are currently resting.

    PCs wake up to find themselves in a bizarre, alternate universe.

    A man about to be hanged claims he is wrongfully accused.

    Religious orders begin to act strangely.

    A Paladin who seeks to rid a den of evil requests help from the PCs.

    A king dies, and his heirs enlist men to fight each other for the throne.

    A place of myth is discovered, bringing religious contraversy.

    Harsh new laws put in place by a secluded and mysterious lord directly hinder the PCs.

    Commonfolk rebel against their monarch.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Australia, mate :P

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    ive started a campaign with the PCs running from a small army worth of city guard.

    they were evil and i wanted to establish them as pirates but since they were 8th level it was hard to write it in. so i made them a gang of highwaymen who fled a city sting operation by escaping to the sea. they started the campaign with them narrowly escaping the sting and stealing a boat. the one non-evil PC began play as the owner of said ship. he spent the first few encounters apologizing to innocents with "sorry, im not with them"

    another involved them waking up in prison after a bar brawl. strong lock, antimagic field, the works. they tried (and failed) to get out so the old drunk who also go thrown in there showed them the trick to escaping in return for getting him out of there too. no problem, except the old drunk had been thrown in there about 30 years back, not last night. and was not just another victim of the city watch's imprison first, ask questions later approach to bar fights. he was rightly convicted of necromancy, murder and grave robbing and imprisoned for no less than his lifetime.

    the PCs didn't know had been thrown into a High security Cell due to overcrowding. the guards didn't think a wizard in a Antimagic cell could be dangerous so they put the PCs in with him. of course the PCs didn't exactly treat an NPC drunk very well, so immediately after escaping he promised a lot of suffering for the PCs for the way he was treated. the PCs had just let loose their own campaign BBEG on the first night in.
    Last edited by Jarlax; 2007-11-04 at 08:57 PM.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Krimm_Blackleaf's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    This is how I started my first campaign.

    "You've been wandering the land for weeks now. You've run out of food, water and havn't seen a friendly face in even longer than you've been wandering. A forest fire last night destroyed your bedrolls and if you plan on sleeping tonight, it'll be on rocks."
    My Deviantart, Please enjoy it.
    Invincible Maiden Avatar by GryffonDurime.

    Spoiler
    Show



    Homebrew by Krimm Blackleaf


  25. - Top - End - #25
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Manticorkscrew's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Krimm_Blackleaf View Post
    This is how I started my first campaign.

    "You've been wandering the land for weeks now. You've run out of food, water and havn't seen a friendly face in even longer than you've been wandering. A forest fire last night destroyed your bedrolls and if you plan on sleeping tonight, it'll be on rocks."
    Ouch. I am so tempted to steal that one. I hope things got better for your players soon after that.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Thanks to Kalirush for the most excellent Avatar.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Goblin

    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    I'm a strong believer in immediate dynamic campaign actions, so I typically like to start off my campaigns with a bang. Preferably, one that contains all the PCs within its area of effect .

    Some of my more memorable include:

    -The PCs are drinking in a bar and having a good time. 5 Assassin droids suddenly shoot down a wall and firing on random people. Fierce battle ensues. As the only survivors, the PCs all get brought to the station...
    -The PCs are walking through their rural farming village, chatting with the local populace, when 200 Goblins charge over the nearby hill, mounted on Worgs, and begin firing arrows randomly into the villagers. Fierce battle ensues. As the strongest survivors, the PCs are responsible for leading the rest of the wounded to the nearest castle keep...
    -The PCs are in a tavern, enjoying a quiet night, when the whole building suddenly gets blown the f*** up. Regaining consciousness in adjoining hospital beds, the PCs (the only survivors, of course) slowly recover and talk amongst themselves about who could be responsible...

    I'm not a nice person to NPCs. Or PCs, for that matter .

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Gralamin View Post
    Are you suggesting that players shouldn't be able to choose to act in any way they want?
    Yes and no, I am suggesting that the DM set the tone and expectations for the adventure. There are some things that are unacceptable and its the DM's job to let the players know what is an isnt acceptable as he sets the tone.

    It is not only DMs that have the ability to ruin games by not playing the part. Just as you dont want a DM to say "you cant do this" a DM doesnt want a player to say "i cast magic missile at the darkness" if the game is serious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manticorkscrew View Post
    If we're going to have criticism in this thread, can we please have constructive criticism rather than insults? Calling other peoples' ideas "lame" is not a good way to endear you to them. You can make your suggestions without bashing other peoples'.

    Personally I think that the 'you wake up and you're not sure how you got there' idea is a valid plot hook because it immediately gives the players a goal beyond fighting the first monster that comes into view. Of course, if it gets used too often it can be as hackneyed as the 'it was a dark and stormy night' opening. But the same applies to every possible story beginning.

    And I would be wary of starting off with a lengthy description of setting, because the players will immediately forget most of it. But they do need to know where they are and what they're doing, and you should always try to set the mood of the session right away. Therefore, the first few lines of a campaign should be informative, but short, snappy and attention-grabbing.

    I am not insulting anyone, but yes, most of them are quite bad. They take away from the work the players have done in creating their character they take away from the work the players have done to figure out the setting.

    You make a backstroy and then the DM says "You cant remember that"? Terrible! Its o.k. if the DM says "You cant have that backstory element in your character" or says "You dont know this piece of history from the setting". But denying the players the work they have done for their characters is the number one way to make games not fun.

    Why doesnt the DM just tell me my backstory for me? Why did i even bother coming up with one?

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Manticorkscrew's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Goumindong View Post
    I am not insulting anyone, but yes, most of them are quite bad.
    Well, that wasn't at all self-contradictory.[/SARCASM]

    Simon of Gaul is the only one of us to suggest that the players wake up without their memories, and without knowing a little bit more about the context I wouldn't venture to criticize him for it. If, for example, he and some friends wanted to roll up some new characters and start a new game quickly, without a great deal of labour on the part of the players, this would be an ideal way to go about it. Especially if they were new to roleplaying.

    And I don't think any of us have suggested that the players not be allowed to remember backstories they have worked hard to write. A few lost hours are not the same as total amnesia. So please don't criticize people for things that they are not guilty of.
    Last edited by Manticorkscrew; 2007-11-04 at 09:39 PM.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Thanks to Kalirush for the most excellent Avatar.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Orc in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    Our current campaign started in Sharn, with a little RPing and combat showing the random circumstances that caused the party to meet up. Most of the players' backstories were secrets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goumindong View Post
    I am not insulting anyone, but yes, most of them are quite bad. They take away from the work the players have done in creating their character they take away from the work the players have done to figure out the setting.

    You make a backstroy and then the DM says "You cant remember that"? Terrible! Its o.k. if the DM says "You cant have that backstory element in your character" or says "You dont know this piece of history from the setting". But denying the players the work they have done for their characters is the number one way to make games not fun.

    Why doesnt the DM just tell me my backstory for me? Why did i even bother coming up with one?
    First off, I don't think so many people are advocating complete and total amnesia as a campaign starter. But for those that do, I think it's a matter of "if it's fun, it's fine". If those players and those DMs like it, and you don't........ then that's all. If anything, it's a strong argument for good communication between players and DM to prevent such problems in a group that's just met.

    I don't think I'd like it either; it's definitely a major change to the player's character concept. If the DM gets permission from his players, though, then....... there's really no way to say "that's not fun" when they're having fun.
    Elina d'Lyrandar, Bard 4/Dragonmark Heir 4/Windwright Captain 5/Storm Sentry 2

    "Arise, my children. Only the honor of a paladin is unbreakable...... even by death itself." -Soon, OOTS #449

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lord Tataraus's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Easton, PA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Good Ways To Start A Campaign

    Personally, Goumindong, I think you're opening is...excessive. You go into too much backstory of the location that would have been better explained when the player's were making their characters. The characters would (unless they are not familiar with the region) already know most of that. I like to set up all the background to help the players generate their characters so they don't make something out of place. Of course I also don't plan much outside of the opening and wing the rest of the campaign, letting the characters latch on to a specific goal and carrying them to the end.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •