Friday, January 30, 2015

Discussion - Your Strongest Beginning

To end our little series on starting a new game, I figured it could be a good idea to share some of our strongest beginnings that we've managed to enjoy.

For me, I think the strongest opening I ran was for a game my group did a few years back. We decided to try for something experimental and ran a game where the structure was based around creating a High Fantasy novel. One player, chosen by the group, played the main character - the child of destiny. The other players made the supporting cast. They were given the freedom to make their characters at the XP level of their choice, but the higher they started the less XP they'd get as the game went along and the Main Character was going to get special perks - including a lot of bonus XP.

The game was a tremendous success, but it didn't end anywhere near like any of us expected. It did however begin rather well. Perhaps my best beginning I've ever done.

I started with the group apart, but coming together because all of the PCs save for one had inkling of big things stirring. Somehow, unlike with other games, my usual hangups didn't kick in. I had a mentor for one PC who was bringing him down from a city in the sky on a quest. I had two other PCs - a mother/son pair where the son didn't know he was the other PCs child. To round things out I had a PC playing a caravan guard. Then the main character, a farm boy with dreams of adventure.

Through the session they all ended up together through a series of cascading unfortunate events until at long last the main char's village was in flames and they were on a quest to save the world.

How about you?


  1. I once ran a game of Endland (a German post-apocalyptic RPG) and I put all three PC in a scene of their own, right in the middle of some action, and then asked the players how they got there. My favourite of the three was the Ikarim (a winged human) who, I told the player, stood in the middle of the market place with a screaming kid under his arm. When I asked why, the player said that the kid had been pestering him to be taken for a flight. From that, we came up with several NPCs and relationships between them that would drive a story later on I had not planned for. That was pretty cool.
    Also, the looks on the players faces when I described the situation and then simply asked: Why? was priceless.

  2. That's actually a cool technique. Some of the players in my group aren't super fond of it as it puts them on the spot, but done right it can be great. I may need to try it in my Star Wars game soon.

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