Jan 302012
 

“You all meet in a tavern…” Ugh! Chances are that you’re probably already groaning. Getting started with an RPG campaign can be fun, but this old trope needs to be retired. Here are 5 alternate ways to start your campaign!

 

Transcript is in the  YouTube Description.

Hi I’m Graham for Troll in the Corner. Welcome back to Troll Tips. This week we’re talking about starting a new campaign.

Getting started with an RPG is an amazing time; the story is unwritten and full of potential. You’re a group of characters, possibly already heroes, ready to take on the challenges of countless campaigns ahead. The only problem? How do you realistically bring everyone together? There are the standard go-to’s and cliches you can use, like meeting in a tavern or waking up in a prison cell together, but when they start feeling stale you’ll want to consider other options.

So here are five ways that you can use to start your next campaign with a little more flair.

Number 5 Disaster strikes! Your heroes are brought together by a calamity, like a fire or a storm. Maybe the tavern they were to meet in is burning down! This is a great way to drop them right into the story as each person reacts to the event. It gives group members a chance to demonstrate who their characters are through action rather than spoken exposition.

Number 4 You’re hired! This is great for groups with mercenary tendencies – they’ve each received instructions and payment to show up and do a job. The first time they meet is moments before their contract begins.

Number 3 You’re under attack! Evil has come to town with the intent of killing everyone there. You’re the only dudes bad enough to save the town… but only if you work together! Think The Magnificent Seven, without the build-up.

Number 2 Answer the call! When a great evil threatens the land, the leader of a land offers up honours, accolades, and an impressive reward for a little vanquishing. Each character can come up with why this offer appeals to them. The first time they meet is responding to the leader’s summons.

Number 1 A serving of revenge! A nefarious cad has double-crossed, threatened, blackmailed, or injured each member of the part in a unique way. They each infiltrate his hide-out to find him gone. Revenge is a dish best served cold, but they’re going to have to work together while the trail is hot!

So there are five ways that you can use to start your next campaign. Do you have a story about a unique campaign start? Leave a message in the comments on this blog post on trollitc.com; I’ll send an inflatable Dragon Age II sword to one commenter from the list!

Thanks for watching, I’m Graham for Troll in the Corner. We’ll see you next week!

About Graham Williams

As a DM I run a table bi-weekly for The Møtlëy Créw, the baddest bunch of heroes to ever toss dice in the Nentir Vale. I’m a platform-agnostic kinda guy, so I’m just as happy to throw down with 4e, Pathfinder, and any other system wherein you’d care to roll the bones. Combat is important, but RP is rewarded at my table.

  2 Responses to “TrollTips #4: 5 ways to get started that aren’t in a tavern.”

  1. I started my shadowrun game with the PCs getting paid off for the last run they did, thus setting the scene as their characters having worked together already at least this once.

  2. What I found most fascinating about this post was that all of your suggestions were built around the idea that the PCs were meeting at the moment game play starts. I mulled over why this could be.

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