101 Fun and Interesting ways for PCs to meet that don't start 'at the tavern' - Page 5 - Myth-Weavers


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101 Fun and Interesting ways for PCs to meet that don't start 'at the tavern'

   
This one time, at band camp...

Joking aside, I once ran a PTA/PTU game where all 3 of my players were in their own little pre-game private thread exploring the city when a fire broke at the City's Gym. Each of them had their own reasons to go check it out, the Nurse went to aid the injured, the detective went to start her investigation, and the martial artist wanted to help save the people trapped inside. I kept them in their own private threads, transferring words shared and actions taken between the threads when they interacted with each other. Lucky for me they were all quite active so none of them even realized they were interacting with the other players at the time. Once they made it clear they were all going to work together to put out the fire and help those inside, I moved them all into the same thread.

It was a good amount of work on my end, but it worked perfectly for letting the players feel like they chose to be a party.

I like to have the PC's meet half way through act 1 of my games. And preferably in a "get out of my way X is chasing me" sort of way. Where X is related to the plot in ways unique to each individual player.

Take a page from the greatest game of the last two decades, SKYRIM and shove them in a prison together or a boat, if you want to go back to elderscrolls 3. I started my last campaign as having them all been selected to act as essentially well armed archaeologists. The story began with them on the boat being waved at by the citizens as they made way for open waters to a newly discovered continent. I didn't force them to talk, it all happened naturally through mutual interest in the others hired for the same reasons and through tough combat on board the ship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saag Vaar View Post
As fun as it to use the old tavern trope, we all know relationships that start at the bar usually don't last very long
(Maybe that is the basis for failed games...? )

1.I've used 'riders in the night', as a means for secretive noble NPCs to gather talented individuals together for important missions.
I've used something like this before, where the quest-giver specifically sent out secret messages to the PCs to recruit them for a dangerous mission.

Another time I started a game (with a 4-person squad) with individual, solo "prologue" mini-games in which each person started out at their home, and one way or another came into possession of one of four pieces of an important broken artifact. Their finding of their piece of the artifact happened to coincide with some dire thing happening in their personal lives, and then his or her "mentor" figure helps her figure out a little about their piece of the artifact and what they should do with it. Turns out all four are guided to the same city to seek answers. When the pieces of the artifact get closer to each other, they start to buzz/vibrate--farther away, they stop. So they do a "hot, cold" thing and just happen to all run into each other, upon which the buzzing gets really loud and obvious to everyone but stops when the four pieces are reunited.

The rest of that game had to do with finding out more about this artifact, getting it repaired/reactivated and figuring out how to use it to stop the big bad. It ended up being a really fun way for the group to meet and also gave everyone a chance to flesh out their characters in-game before meeting.

One minute, the PCs are going about doing their own thing in the city.

The next minute, the city is swarmed by undead, flames made of living evil, and rats that are sapient and somehow even more evil than the living evil.

Prophecy. Prophets foretell the coming of many great evils, and envoys are sent to gather those common people with the potential to overcome the darkness.

To test their worth, all of these would-be heroes are summoned to the Temple of Trials, to test their cunning, strength, and bravery; all but a tiny handful of the would-be heroes fail to complete every last trial, but when the PCs come along, they unexpectedly clear the entire Temple, using the power of teamwork.

Recognizing the value of this teamwork, the Duke overseeing the trials bids that the group of heroes fight as one unit instead of splitting up to fight the oncoming evils. Inviting them for a celebratory feast, he arranges for them to familiarise themselves with each other, and exposit about the details of the various prophecies of darkness.


So, in a nutshell; the PCs team up with each other to complete a challenge, and a patron later does his best to convince them to work together afterwards.

I pulled the opening from the Road to El Dorado on some players once. The bard and rogue were caught cheating at dice, and forced to flee for their lives, when they encountered the party's paladin, fighter, and wizard. Shenanigans were had, everyone had a laugh. The bard got punched. Good times.

My favorite one: the GM says "You are all running. You are all chasing a suspect." huh?
Turns out we were all member of the personal retenue of some noble/courtier at some court. A noble have been assassinated in plain sight by a servant who ran away, and we were all the closer ones. And to cement the group, we stumble upon some major blasphemy/federal crime, so the main magistrate has no choice to hire all of us on this specific investigation...

Quote:
Originally Posted by thateous View Post
Take a page from the greatest game of the last two decades, SKYRIM and shove them in a prison together or a boat, if you want to go back to elderscrolls 3. I started my last campaign as having them all been selected to act as essentially well armed archaeologists. The story began with them on the boat being waved at by the citizens as they made way for open waters to a newly discovered continent. I didn't force them to talk, it all happened naturally through mutual interest in the others hired for the same reasons and through tough combat on board the ship.
Love the Skyrim opening ironically several years back we had a Twilight 2000 game that started with our charcters chained together in orange jump suits. A bomb goes off wiping out anyone not digging the ditch. The game didn't go much longer, but it was a great start.







 

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