Getting the party together is one of the first hurdles a lot of games face. It's such a common hurdle that some games build in devices to avoid it entirely. When the system doesn't, some GMs will have PCs start already having formed a group. It's just a way to get everyone together and prevent someone's lone wolf refusing to play ball and splitting the game in the first session.
Still, there are GMs and players who dislike this because the forced starting relation can feel constraining and non-genuine with two characters working together because they're both PCs and that's about it.
My question today is which do you prefer?
I have found I like something closer to in the middle, and partially stolen from the Dresden Files RPG. I have PCs in my games start with one connection to another PC, and that connection has to be unique. For example, if Jimmy is connected to Sarah, Sarah's connection can't be back to Jimmy but has to be someone else. However, all but one character could have their connection be Sarah, and then Sarah would have to be connected to someone who wasn't connected to her.
This lets people choose a player with a character that works for their character and have some social connection. It helps the party come together, without actually forcing it. Even better, if Sarah and Mark don't like each other IC, their characters have a social chain to help resolve the IC conflict IC which makes for good RP.
What about you? Which do you prefer? Which do you use?