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D&D : How to get PC's together for the first time.

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D&D : How to get PC's together for the first time.

Postby Qray » Sat Sep 24, 2005 3:19 pm

D&D : How to get PC's together for the first time.

What are some of the ways you've seen or used to draw player characters together for the first time?
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Postby Dr_Love » Sat Sep 24, 2005 3:38 pm

Lets see...a fight with a common enemy, someone attempting to steal something, the same cause, same goals... TAVERNS BARS AND FORESTS are very common places to start. 'Random' encounters work good too....or having each character needing something in the same city.., but giving them the choice in the end.
"They are a curious thing, these emotions. How they fly in the face of logic, how they overrule the most basic instincts. Because, in the measure of time, in the measure of humanity, we sense those self-indulgent instincts to be a weakness, we sense that the needs of the community must outweight the desires of the one. Only when we admit to our failures and recognize our weaknesses can we rise above them. Together." -Drizzt Do'Urden
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Postby aldan » Sat Sep 24, 2005 3:48 pm

Then there's having a 'sorcerer of light' cast magic missile at the darkness, and then an elf walks up in front of him... while another is in a bar getting drunk and asking if there are girls there so he can 'do them!'
*rolls eyes*
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Postby Qray » Sat Sep 24, 2005 4:04 pm

I was perusing WOTC’s Web Site and came across an adventure entitled A Dark and Stormy Knight. One of the elements of the module is that it has the ability to draw together a group of PC’s that don’t know each other (and normally may not trust each other) that aren’t traveling together, and sets them on their first adventure together...

“Long ago, a small but mighty humanoid kingdom existed in what is now the local wilderness. Bugbear and ogre warriors fought brutal wars of expansion, earning great fame and amassing considerable fortunes from their predations. Those who died in battle were buried in large tomb complexes dug into hillsides and honored as patrons of the living. Among these tombs was the large tor (Tor : a prominent rock outcropping or hill...Q) known as Hightower. Though it was neither the largest nor the most famous of the kingdom's tombs, Hightower did represent a typical example of this kind of structure.

As happens to all such nations, the cruel humanoid kingdom eventually fell to a more powerful foe that razed all its cities and outlying fortifications. Of the tombs, only Hightower escaped destruction -- largely because it was an unimportant monument in a remote location. A few tribes of humanoids that survived the devastation tried to use it as a fortress, but the humans with whom they clashed defeated them soundly and sealed the entrance with a huge, round stone to ensure that the tor could no longer be used as a base. Since then, Hightower has served as a landmark for travelers in the know, but it has otherwise been largely forgotten.

But the electrical storms that have plagued the area in recent days have been quite severe, and a few weeks ago, a stray lightning bolt broke open the stone seal. Tonight, yet another terrible storm is sweeping through the wilderness, driving all creatures to take shelter where they can find it. Hightower looms on the horizon, and its door is no longer blocked.”

The hook of the story that brings everyone together into the shelter of the Tor is the concept of Storm Peace. The background of the adventure explains that “the custom of storm-peace evolved long ago in response to the sudden and severe storms that plague the area. The basic concept is that an automatic truce exists between all individuals and groups who seek shelter in neutral territory during a lightning storm. Such weather is simply too dangerous for fighting, regardless of people’s feelings toward one other. Storm-peace is assumed to be in effect unless someone specifically rejects it. Even so, whenever two strangers meet during a lightning storm, they often greet one another by asking “Storm-peace?” simply to ensure that the other knows and respects the tradition. Storm-peace applies to any thinking humanoid, though not necessarily to other creatures. Many people assume, however, that it applies to any creature able to ask for it, and many legends tell of bards singing songs to dragons or other dangerous monsters during a storm-peace. Any character who makes a successful DC 15 Knowledge (arcana) check knows and can repeat at least one or two such legends. Storm-peace is a convenient tool for bringing together PCs who may not initially trust each other. An elf, a half-orc, and a dwarf might normally balk at spending the night in the same building, but this ancient truce should produce enough trust to enable such characters to bond.”

The idea intrigued me and got me to thinking of the different ways to bring PC’s together for the first time...
Last edited by Qray on Sat Sep 24, 2005 4:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Mr_D » Sat Sep 24, 2005 4:05 pm

Hey, don't knock the classics. :P

EDIT: I was addressing Aldan btw
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Postby aldan » Sat Sep 24, 2005 4:14 pm

"Hey, where's the Cheetos?!?"

There was another adventure similar to that one, but instead it was 1st Edition AD&D, called Treasure Hunt. In it you are on a ship with a bunch of other people and the weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed, if not for the courage of the fearless crew, etc. Anyway, it runs aground on an island and most of the passengers died. The PCs and one or two other people survived and they have to figure out a way to get off the island, since it's inhabited by some monsters (goblins and such) and also is not very covered with trees to try to patch up the huge rent in the ship's hull....
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Postby aldan » Sat Sep 24, 2005 4:19 pm

Oh, in addition, the module is one where the PCs start out with NO professions. None are warriors, priests, rogues or mages. Instead they go through a period in which they choose professions and from then on they become those, and they improve at their professions to the point where they are basically 1st level, with the appropriate hit points, etc. The players start out with (I think) d6 hit points, so if you want to be a mage, it would help. However, the mages have their own problems, like starting out without any spell books or spells or anything... pretty interesting overall IMO.
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Postby Qray » Sat Sep 24, 2005 4:32 pm

Speaking of the classics, as DL mentioned, there’s the Tavern. A time honored method of drawing together PC’s that’s a good one. I believe that a Tavern will be the method of drawing together the PC’s in The D&D Game here at SV.

The one thing about the Tavern scenerio is that with the recent advent of more "exotic" PC's it becomes increasingly unrealistic that some of these characters will be found together at a Tavern.

Slavery/Imprisonment is another that comes to mind. The PC’s are all slaves or prisoners and suddenly gain their freedom. This forces the PC’s to initially work together and I’ve found it interesting as they usually have nothing to begin with other than the clothes on their backs and what they can scrounge from their immediate surroundings. If memory serves, this is the default method of beginning that comes with the Dark Suns boxed set.

The one thing that I don’t like about this start method is that it limits the actions of the PC’s and puts them in a situation that their characters might not allow themselves to be in. For example, there are many PC’s that would die before being allowed to be captured or imprisoned.

The Summons is another method, and one I’ve liked to use myself in the past. An important/powerful ruler/merchant has a problem in lands under their supervision. Rampaging this or that. Missing trade caravans. Suspicious goings on near a remote area that their own people can’t resolve so they send out notice that they're hiring. This can bring a very different group together from very different origins. Another reason I like it is that if done correctly, it can set up the party with quite a few things upon completion of the campaign. Coin, for successfully completing the mission, good will and a good reputation among the locals “Hey, there goes so and so! They rid us of the so and so! Hey! Let me buy you an ale!” and it can also grant the group a base of operations. Not necessarily a Keep or anything that grand, but a few rooms in an Inn, a house paid for by the potentate or even a few rooms in the ruler’s own Keep.
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Postby Qray » Sat Sep 24, 2005 4:43 pm

aldan wrote:...In it you are on a ship with a bunch of other people and the weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed, if not for the courage of the fearless crew, etc. Anyway, it runs aground on an island and most of the passengers died. The PCs and one or two other people survived...


I've heard about starts like this that involve a ship wreck, though have never gamed one. It seems interesting in that it also has the ability to draw together seemingly unlike minded people into a group.

aldan wrote:Oh, in addition, the module is one where the PCs start out with NO professions. None are warriors, priests, rogues or mages. Instead they go through a period in which they choose professions and from then on they become those, and they improve at their professions to the point where they are basically 1st level, with the appropriate hit points, etc...


The Dark Suns slavery beginning was like that. I found it quite interesting to play.
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Postby Dr_Love » Sat Sep 24, 2005 5:04 pm

I like the idea of starting off with no class, or job. And gaining one after the game starts...seems more realistic. A little more challenging.
"They are a curious thing, these emotions. How they fly in the face of logic, how they overrule the most basic instincts. Because, in the measure of time, in the measure of humanity, we sense those self-indulgent instincts to be a weakness, we sense that the needs of the community must outweight the desires of the one. Only when we admit to our failures and recognize our weaknesses can we rise above them. Together." -Drizzt Do'Urden
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Postby Talon Sinnah » Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:51 am

Thanks for the ideas I hope we can start before long. It will most likely be a shipwreck or slave caravan. I was already thinking on the slavery thing.
I am the poet of the body and I am the poet of the Soul. The pleasures of heaven are with me and the pains of hell are with me. The first I graft and increase upon myself, the latter I translate into a new tongue.

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Postby Qray » Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:48 pm

Talon Sinnah wrote:Thanks for the ideas I hope we can start before long. It will most likely be a shipwreck or slave caravan. I was already thinking on the slavery thing.


???

I thought you were doing the Tavern idea for the start.
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