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[ERROR] No.33953352 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

What's a good way to open a campaign?

The most common one is to all start in a tavern but as we all know that's really dull and not exciting in the least.

I"m soon starting a very high fantasy over the top heroics campaign and really want that to come across in the opening scene.

Any tips or stories of how the first couple of minutes can grab players by the balls? Any game, doesnt have to be fantasy.

Pic unrelated but nice.

>> No.33953406

Rolled 4

I like people do their own thing before everyone meets up, it makes for a good intro, Another thing I do is just throw them into the main problem, what I like to do is wander around town and let them do their own thing. They tend to do some entertaining with their character, and they tend to find themselves in the end.

>> No.33953450

The PC's are half way through the first job when something goes wrong. I make the PC's tell me what complication has made the shit hit the fan, since I'll be damned if I'm going to bother with inane details like that. We start from there.

>> No.33953514

Prison breaks are cliche, but they get the job done. They can work in case you're planning on showing how the guys in charge are evil, or that the PCs themselves are evil since they're locked up in there.

Instead of having them meet in the inn, they meet in some barracks after the locals hire some mercenaries to act as their guard. Same shit, only this one helps you establish that there's a threat nearby.

Another one is to have them be hired as guards for a traveling merchant. They have to work together if they want to get paid, and protect his ass from the threats on the road.

>> No.33953525

>>33953352
You all wake up, chained to the wall in a dungeon, and all of you are incredibly aroused.

>> No.33953642

In media res is the best way to start, since you just cut out the bullshit and jump right into the game. Like >>33953450, for example.

>> No.33953678

Take a hint from fantasy novels: the best campaigns are started when people with different goals meet each other in pursuit it a larger one. Additionally two or more of the characters should already know each other through their backstory/background. I actually like the way Rogue Trader does it with the origin system: if your paths cross during chargen your characters know eachother.

>> No.33953742

>>33953352
In my current campaign, all the PCs are at this one town for a big festival, and are sent by the sheriff to investigate a disturbance, which ends up being the adventure.

>> No.33953752

>>33953352
My players have gotten pissed at me, but I've started them chained up with all their shit missing. It's typically very easy DC stuff that they just have to think and work together to get out of, nothing really dangerous.

Players generally don't like to be stripped of all their stuff they just spent time equipping themselves with, but starting the party out and making it use its skills and its group cooperation first has proven to start off campaigns in a much more tense and focused mood.


Also, Tavern beginnings are always good. Trying to start a first session off too insane isn't always good.

>> No.33953909

Pathfinder:
Usually they're drafted into a kingdom's army by choice or force. Then they get chosen as someone's personal hitmen/adventurers.

Star Wars:
Depending on the era and what they want. During the Clone Wars they were mercs or jedis. During the Empire era they become rebels/terrorists.

Shadowrun:
Mercs sent to Renraku to find stuff.

Spelljammer:
Sent by a king to stop an evil Egyptian muscle wizard who was basically a Lord Geonome expy.

>> No.33954176

>>33953352
a common foe they've all been separately convinced to get at

>> No.33954318

>>33953352
in media res

A brief explanation of a situation they are all currently in. Maybe they're in a caravan of settlers heading out to the fringes of civilization (or wherever the campaign is meant to take place) and the wagon train's guide just took an arrow to the head. HOLY FUCK, GOBLINS EVERYWHERE!

The players have an opportunity to size each other's characters up during an initial combat/chase/escape/frantic situation, during which I encourage them to establish how they know each other, whether they were passengers or guards or businessmen or whatever, and generally let them come together organically under pressure. Like petroleum.

>> No.33954699

>>33953352
>"It's over! You've lost, completely and utterly! As my final mercy, gaze, dying, into the infinite myriad of possibilities and see what could have been." It's, of course, a dimension-hopping campaign.

>You stayed up late into the night celebrating your ultimate triumph. So by the time you woke up, everything was burning.

>Long ago in a distant land, I, Aku, the shape-shifting master of darkness, unleashed an unspeakable evil. But a foolish band of heroes stepped forth to oppose me. Before the final blow was struck, I tore open a portal in time, and flung them into the future where my evil is law. Now the fools seek to return to the past and undo the future that is Aku!

>> No.33954829

All good beginning start with action.

>> No.33956495

>>33953352
Ask them for their IC plans or aspirations or something.
Then start the game in the middle of action scene undertaken to achieve some kind of a first step to their goals.
Actively participate in the chargen to make sure they all have goals and you (all together) figure out the overlap.

>action grabs them instantly
>they are already a party united to do this thing
>the further plot is easily directed. They're on an invisible railroad and the train has already left the station.

>> No.33956511

>>33953352
En media res.
Tell them to roll for initiative.

>> No.33956537

>>33953352

In media res is the way to go.

>> No.33957045

You all come from different walks of life, but scattered as you were across the world, you now all have one thing in common: you are slaves, bound together in chains. Chains that right now are being slipped around the throats of your taskmasters, as you succeed in your week-long scheme of freedom and escape. As soon as the struggle stops, you will be free - but for how long? You've gotten this far working together...

>> No.33957651

>>33953352
>>33953352
>I"m soon starting a very high fantasy over the top heroics campaign
1)Start at higher level (if DND)
2)Demand backstories.
3)Open with action right in front of them.

For instance if you have a BBEG planned, then you ask for backstories including their character having an adventure that is somehow linked to that guy. Maybe they did it with somebody from this party, maybe with other groups (NPC to appear later)
But they all have links.
The links lead to THIS dungeon.
The dungeon has a macguffin that the villain wants (one of them. do not hinge the whole plot on it).
The game starts when they enter it. Or a couple rooms in.

So they get through the dungeon, either recover the macguffin and beat a BBEG's lieutenant or fail to capture it (give them fair chances) and the guy escapes.

Anyway, the plot is on the road.

>> No.33957951

>>33956537
>>33956511
>>33954318
>>33953642

These niggas get it.

My current game literally started with one of the players pulling his sword off a corpse after an (apparently) fierce battle by the side of an old trade route, all of them at half their HP.

I started from there, what happened immediatly before that was left for the players to decide.

>> No.33958906

>>33953352
In medias res. Always.

>> No.33958934

>>33953352

Ravenloft is always good for having them wander through deep fog without really being sure what they were doing, or if what they remember is real or consistent.

>> No.33959047

>>33953352
One way I've done a campaign start is to have the players all be siblings or half-siblings, invited back to the estate of their estranged father for a task before he finally croaks.

It required restricting starting races and character backgrounds a tad, but it got results immediately.

>> No.33959106

>>33959047

Holy shit this. I always ask my players to make up some preexisting connection between their character and at least one other character in the party, and this shit works wonders for improving the general level of the game.

>> No.33959193

>>33953352

One good way to start a campaign is to first run a prequel of sorts exploring the connections between the characters.

In previous games i've had real problems with party infighting and players complaining that their character would not get along with another player's character and so on, so in my current campaign I started the first session by skipping back ten years to the initiation ceremonies of the tribe that the PC:s all were a part of, and essentially had them go through a bonding experience by way of shared acid trip. Now the party is so goddamn tight that it's unbelievable. Even the two players who always come to blows otherwise are working together like clockwork.

>> No.33959228

"It's a bright, cheery summer day. The breeze is blowing just right, the air is full of birdsong and you are all... falling to almost certain death."

Two airships/passenger dragons/whatever that the players were riding in collided in midair, and now the players have to try to work to gether to find out a way to avoid becoming a splatter on the uncharted country below. To make it easier on the players have them be falling near lots of items they could use.

>> No.33959275

>mfw I start my campaign in a tavern called Media Res

>> No.33959286

Just recently we had a
>"You all meet in an exploding building."
with my group.

>> No.33959358

I was actually thinking of doing a twist on the "you all meet in a tavern" by having the players meet in an orc tavern where they're forced to work after being taken prisoner when their village was raided.

>> No.33959416

>>33953352

"You have accompanied your Emperor, whose life you are sworn to protect, to oversee the siege of Shum-Haddara, to where the peasant rabble has retreated. You can see them cowering on the battlements, looking on in abject and paralysing fear as your Emperor prepares to unleash the full might of a Sorcerer-King of Rimec-Suur upon the misbegotten rebels. The thought of seeing the city slagged to glass pleases you, as does the prospect of being back in the coolness of the palace by nightfall, where the flower maidens and petal boys eagerly await your return...

As your Emperor prepares to dismount from his gargantuan oliphant, his robes of scarlet and black catch on the edge of the howdah. He slips-- he tumbles-- he falls! A sickening crack resounds as he hits the floor, his neck twisted in a sickening angle.

What do you do?"

Thus began the best Swords & Sorcery campaign I have ever played.

>> No.33959418

It's better to establish a sense of normalcy before "grabbing a player by the balls." You can't fly off the rails if you never have them laid down in the first place.

Set up the scene like you would for any stereotypical game of Dungeons and Dragons. Run through a single Save The Princess bit to see how your players actually play, and THEN throw them through an intro where SHIT'S GOING DOWN, THERE"S A ZOMBIE IN THE ROOM, HIS ASS IS ON FIRE, GO GO GO GO GO RUUUUN

It sounds boring as all fuck in the beginning, but it always works.

>> No.33959440

They're caught in the middle of an attack, a fire, a flood, or other emergency.

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