As for the "same race" issue - if the GM and players make characters together, then often, they will be more compatible than the 'every man for himself' approach, where every player makes a PC and then try to fit them together. Likewise, then the approach 'you are all dwarves from the hold of Kazak Pwn' is viable.
Also, why would the PCs in #5 have to be of the same race? They could be from a town with a 50/50 human/gnome ratio, an elven enclave and a dwarven craftsman. Solved.
#10, nobility? An empire the size of Rome will have scores of races within its borders, and the nobility will represent it if it is egalitarian. Humans and elves already have no trouble marrying anyway, and with the wonders of magic, many weird unions become possible.
Along the same lines, #18 can see an extended family with a tiefling, half-elf, aasimar and half-dragon... and Harmandur the dwarf is adopted.
My usual trio of PCs and I often get together without a specific game or campaign (much less a kick-start to a campaign) in mind. We do this on purpose, so we can all be "surprised" by what game/campaign/plot idea we come up with for the evening's festivities.
This is a GREAT resource for those instances. Some are familiar, some are new (to me), but overall, great job! Go to Comment
I have tried 1-11, 21, 22 and 28. But some version of 18 is generally my standard opening.
This a well put together list and I surprised somebody hasn't done this before. Many of them are in themselves plot or story lines which require that he GM directs the players background a little. You could make a game out of your problem, take a list of character concepts PCs might come up with
Violent, anal retentive and introverted Orcish Swordsman
The Aging Dwarven King looking to find forgiveness or redemption for all the wicked ambition of his youth.
A gnomish wizard who wants to gain a specific prestige class that requires a lot of money.
A brash and talkative young human cleric looking to spread his truth around
A smartass human thief who wants to develop combat her skills and is always looking for a fight
So the players pull these out of hat, now make them a party.....13, 21 and 24 would work, but how do you keep em together? Go to Comment
"Most of these use the "adventure finds you" premise, and are intended as a quick way to group the players together. The DM should use these intros to introduce a common objective or common enemy to the players that ties in with the rest of the campaign."
I think most groups that have been playing together for a while will make characters as group. But I am sure we have played a night or a couple of campaigns with "random" groups. And with random groups you often have people joining who to play a specific character or may have different vision of game play than the other people at the table. Some people would shy away from this or dismiss the unruly gamers as power gamers or failed actors, but what when I saw this post I saw it as a call to arms. Perhaps even the beginning of a manifesto, DOSSTA HAS SAID TO US THAT WE AS GMs NEED NOT TURN A PLAYER AWAY. WE SHOULD REJECT NO CHARACTER CONCEPT *that fits reasonably well into the mechanics and genre our specific game*
I don't see any trouble with these starts other than they may not be the right start for your campaign. But these are just starts, without the characters it may be hard to flesh out. Thus I again offer a challenge, a game if you will, we fill a hat with 60 character concepts and then we pick 5 and pick a "start" then we write an exposition that reasonably connects all the characters without significantly altering their backstory. Go to Comment
I agree with pretty much everything that's been said. I like your post and I guess I have been waiting for someone to take the initiative on this. I would like to see it expanded upon, but like Echo, I don't have that inspiration at my finger tips. The trouble I see with some of your 'starts' is the need for the PCs to be similar in many respects. To give a few examples: with #5, #10, & #18 the PCs should be of the same race. For #12, #15, #16, & #20 the PCs should be the same (or very similar) classes/occupations, and lastly surviving a plague or hiding from the same guards doesn't always unite PCs... perhaps that can't be fleshed out at this point, but it would be cool if we could. Nice resource. You've definitely given me something I can use. Go to Comment
Echo & axelrowes, I agree with what you're saying. I think you have misunderstood my comment. First, this is fantasy. There is always stretch room. Yes, a lesser diety, a demon spawned cockroach, and a dolphin can all be members of the same family, quest, and so on. I'm not arguing that. I was only making a point that to keep continuity with story lines same race in those mentioned instances makes the most sense and likewise with the classes. Birds of a feather flock together. I used the word 'should' not 'must'. For example: Does it make sense to you with #20 that all the apprentices of a thieves guild must pass an initiation test that will kill all but the best of them and some how in their midst needing the same stealth and skills you find a gnome wizard, a elven druid, and a human paladin of Ra? Along the same vein is the wizard supposed to enter a joust (like in #12)? All I'm saying is that character diversity makes some of the starts harder to pull off. That's it. If you missed it, I too like this submission. Thanks for your feedback on my feedback. Go to Comment
Most of these use the "adventure finds you" premise, and are intended as a quick way to group the players together. The DM should use these intros to introduce a common objective or common enemy to the players that ties in with the rest of the campaign.
With 21, for example, the MacGuffin could be stolen out from under the PCs noses by a villain from the main campaign. Or they deliver the MacGuffin, only to have the credit for the recovery stolen by a corrupt official who figures prominently in the main storyline. In both cases the GM has given the players a common enemy that unites them.
With 13, the tie-in could be that the PCs have all suffered terrible loss during the plague (travelling companions if they were visiting, friends/relatives if they lived there) and are drawn together for moral support. Perhaps the plague was magical in origin, released by the denizens of the campaign's antagonists, and the PCs want to prevent other towns from being devastated.
The point is, use these to forge a group, but find some way to introduce a goal or enemy during that first adventure that is compelling enough to keep the party together when its over. Go to Comment
I've really enjoyed the feedback that I've received on this submission. It's given me a lot to think about, and I will use it as a guideline when trying to improve the post.
AG and Redgre have both pointed out the two really weak spots with these starts -- that several share a common theme (how many ways can you really spin the prison/slave start? Let's find out!), or require at least some GM meddling with a character's backstory (you are all nobles, you all went to university, etc). While I did try to address the first problem by putting a different spin on the common ones (prison escape, prison parole, exile, slaving, etc, etc), I realise that I may have relied on the trope too much when creating these.
As to the second point, the game that axlerowes suggested is a good exercise, and believe that we should try it, though I'm unsure of the proper venue for it (forum, comments?). Ideally, I would like as many hooks as possible to get these unrelated character concepts on the same path, without requiring backstory tinkering.
Overall, though, I am pleased. I found the Citadel by following a link to a 30's list from some other site, and have been wanting to do one ever since. Knowing that someone finds this list helpful and may even use one of these to start their campaign is the best complement that could ever be paid to my work. The only thing that could be better would be to have it expanded by others as well. Go to Comment