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MoonHunter's comment on 2006-02-20 02:36 PM
Soccer Riot: (Tourney Riot.. insert appropriate game). It is like a natural disaster, just more fun.

Everyone lives in the same building/ tenement.
If the people involved are secretive, had the "wrong message" or "mcguffin of choice" dropped off to the wrong room, with another person's address. As they are untangling their things, they realize somehow they have been sucked into some kind of plot... all because of a wrong address... now people are after them

A variation on the above is: Everyone eats/ drinks at the same pub/ cafe/ starbucks. (Yes my world has a starbucks or three... temporally/ dimensionally displaced people are common there).
Some of these places have mail slots that they hold things for people. Misplaced messages.
An event occurs there... and they are there.
Tables are busy, and they end up drinking/ eating together. The first time is contrived. The second or third time... they are friends and do it on purpose.

Can you say Laundry Service? Most civilized types will give a few copper for the locals to wash their stuff. Characters can meet at the "shop front" or can try to return items that are not theirs.

All PCs have the same mutual frield. They will meet each other through this non adventuring friend. They go to parties, or drink together. PCs will then find out they actually have much in common with the other PCs. This mutual friend might be a supplier of adventuring good or maps....

Everyone is on the same coach/ stagecoach. After three days with each other, even the most secretive will say something.
(Handy things stagecoaches, they are trains for the fantasy set. ) Go to Comment
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MoonHunter's comment on 2006-02-20 02:38 PM
Or the Mythic Blue Fog that engulfs people and deposits them some where and some times when else.

Heavy handed, but sometimes effective. Go to Comment
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MoonHunter's comment on 2006-02-20 02:42 PM
They all need a favor from The Wizard (note capitals). They may or may not have known each other before hand (traveling on the same boat, staying in the same inn, what ever). The Wizard is willing to take his services out in trade.

2) Insert Prince, where you see Wizard. In this option, one of the players could be in the employ of the Prince, as a spy upon the group. This could evolve into employment.

3) If the quest of the game is religious, you could have visions and dreams drive the characters in the same general direction. They will meet up together eventually and work towards the common good (or evil or chaos, or law... depending on the diety). The advantage of this is the group will be compatable allignment/ moral positions.

(of course the evil church could send in a ringer) Go to Comment
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Pacificat's comment on 2006-02-20 02:36 PM
I like some of those ideas, it will definately change the start up of most games that I have played in this setting. Other settings don't tend to have such a hard time starting, but I think these are some real good ideas. Go to Comment
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Ylorea's comment on 2006-02-20 02:45 PM
The fist group of adventurers I brought together, where not as lucky that they could choose their friends or their employment.

They all where kidnapped by a group of pirates who where going to sell them on the nearest slave market.

Theirs was the choice, try to break free.... but..... There are too many pirates still aboard to just "leave" by yourself.
So the only real option they had was to break out, free the rest of the adventurers and then try to get of the ship.

Of course getting of a ship is not as easy as all that, as the cells are located on the lowest level.. Go to Comment
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Cheka Man's comment on 2006-02-20 03:04 PM
Thank you Manfred, I enjoyed that article. Go to Comment
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Cheka Man's comment on 2006-02-20 04:27 PM
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Kinslayer's comment on 2006-02-20 02:57 PM
One of the most effective methods I have personally employed was taken from the "I Kill Puppies for Satan" rpg. The first session starts with one player describing his or her character. The second then describes his or hers, and how he or she knows the first. Then, it follows with each character, each describing themselves & how they know the previous pc's.

Another method I have employed with some success, is to have all of the pc's in the same mercenary company. I know from my own experience that you meet many different types of people in the military, ones far removed from your own normal spheres. Mercenaries in most rpg's allow the pc's greater freedom of action, and will more readily have diverse skillsets in a small group--plus you usually don't have to all wear the same outfit. As the historic mercenary was responsible for his own equipment & training, this fits most pc-types better. Variations on this can be for the pc's to control the company, or as low-ranking troops assigned various missions. It certainly helps if the players know that this will be a mercenary campaign in advance, or there is a risk that one or more will create characters that absolutely do not belong in a mercenary group, due to skills, equipment (or lack thereof), or have prepared backgrounds that are very much opposed to joining a free company.

Midian uses a built-in mechanism for grouping the characters. The default backgrounds assume that each character is a lower-class peasant from a small town in Formour, and that they have never left the immediate area, nor been involved in any real battle. It is much easier to gather everyone together, if most of the group are old friends who grew up together.

Various players of Midian have started something of a guild culture, similar to those found in MMORPG's. This gives the pc's a common employer & home base, along with a reason to stick together--mutual support is the main reason to join an adventuring guild. This also makes it easier for later characters--or even starting an entirely new campaign--if everyone joins an established guild. It doesn't hurt matters any that the concept of a guild as a group of characters spills over into the guild as a group of players--synonymous with a gaming troupe. Go to Comment
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Kinslayer's comment on 2006-02-20 03:02 PM
I use this one. As my game lacks easy access to money (e.g. rats that drop 200 gold coins), the assumption is that the characters are all essentially bums. "Adventurers" start poor, cannot keep money long, often have twisted or circumstancial morals, have few social ties (if any), often dress oddly, and are always moving about, In other words, they're hobos. Go to Comment
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Kinslayer's comment on 2008-10-02 06:52 AM
It is foolish to let loose mercenaries or even regular soldiers into your populated areas. Even those still in the service are usually kept occupied to help keep them out of trouble. For the stragglers of a unit built just for the war, you march them out into the hinterlands for 'border patrol' before you fire them. Presto: instant player-character party without the "you meet in a bar" scenario. Go to Comment
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Ancient Gamer's comment on 2006-02-20 02:54 PM
I felt like organizing various hooks into the 6 genres that I could think of.

Old mates:
This group has already been formed. Whether they are family members, village friends or an old band that has adventured together many winters, they are probably going to work together.

A special case of the Family member character hook could be them being the children of some former PC(s). They could end up in all sorts of trouble when they are confront with their parents enemies in addition to those they make on their own. (Introduces the parents as possible saviours if they do something stupid(A twist of the "mysterious stranger" phenomenon))

The professionals:
This group belongs to the same organization. They may be followers of the same church, members of the thieves guild, guards in the same caravan or soldiers in an army. They get assignments and are supposed to work together. This group is extremely easy to work with as they'll have to do what they are told. Problem: The organization probably deals in similar activities. Armies kill people, Thieves Guilds steal from people, caravans go from A to B, etc... The adventures involved might easily grow very similar to each other.

Friends of Misfortune:
The PC's don't know each other but unfortunate circumstances demand that they cooperate. They may have been at the scene of some crime together or they may have gotten lost, shipwrecked, abducted by the mists of Ravenloft, had their souls spirited away from their bodies(trapped in "the astral plane" by some malign entity that inhabits their bodies and trouble the nation?"), etc...
Point is that they must rely on each other to get out of that mess. Problem: This group may have no incentive to stick together once they have solved the problem.

Forced cooperation:
The PC's have been geased, threatened, released from jail, chosen by a power/god, etc... to do a task. They must cooperate to reach a certain goal. Once that is done, they are freed... or so they are told. But will such useful tools get so easily of the hook? This hook is superimposed on the characters by some individual or organization(as opposed to "Friends of Misfortune which is superimposed upon them by bad luck and circumstance).

Common goal:
Some problem/mission is shared by the pc's. They'd better pool their resources and deal with it. Problem: No reason to stick together afterwards. This hook is similar to "forced cooperation" and "Friends of Misfortune" except that it is not forced in any manner.

Why don't we play together?:
The PCs are drifting around and suddenly they meet each other. "Hey lets team up and battle evil!". The fantasy standard "meet in a tavern" might be a variation of this. Problem: It's just plain dumb. Players might sabotage such introductions and find something else to do.
Exception: If the players take their time to talk to each other, develop friendships and explore common interests this hook might be reasonable. It depends on the players and the circumstances their GM creates for them. Go to Comment
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Ancient Gamer's comment on 2006-02-20 03:05 PM
Only voted Go to Comment
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Ancient Gamer's comment on 2007-09-28 01:16 PM
Scrolls such as these are great for the GM that wants something new this time around. Third level dwarven fighters meeting in the tavern and carrying longswords + 1 are only exciting for a very limited time. Go to Comment
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Mourngrymn's comment on 2006-02-20 02:58 PM
To add to an already nearly endless and wonderful thread. I came here from a link from another thread.

Students
The characters are all students in the same academy and are either close to graduation, or are beginning a new term. Their classes are designed around certain aspects to suit your individual setting. They have assignments or classes that put them in real world scenarios having them work through them as they normally would.

The adventure begins when the characters are on an assignment or a class. The academy is attacked and razed in their absence and they must find another way to return. They are also being hounded by an unknown player for reasons not clear to them, but having to do with them being associated to the academy in the first place.

Their goal is now common cause as everyone in the party has the same people after them and they must discern who it is and why.

Blackrose Acadamy

Mourngrymn - Go to Comment
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Spark's comment on 2006-02-20 09:05 PM
A lot of potential, and a lot of return. I'm really astonished at how fast the scrolls were stacked onto this thing, and they don't seem to be stopping either. Great incentive! Go to Comment
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valadaar's comment on 2009-08-09 06:32 PM
Thanks for bringing this one to light Manfred - this is an excellent resource! Go to Comment
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Manx's comment on 2009-08-10 09:50 PM
You have been summoned...

This is one of the coolest adventure intros I've ever heard of. I have not used it, nor was I so privileged to have been present when it was used.

"You are fixed firmly in the goings-on of your normal, routine life (however routine, or not-so-routine it may be), when suddenly you are unfixed. Literally! Yes, you find yourself floating, for lack of better descriptive terms, your mind a blurry mish-mash of random thoughts and memories, nauseating colors, and dizzying mists. Just as you expect to blank out you begin to recover, the blurriness fading, colors melting, your mind returning. Your surroundings, however, have changed. You look about, finding yourself in an unusually dark room seated at a table along with X other people. All of them seem as bewildered and confused as yourself. Before you can speak you are spoken to. A resonating voice rings forth:

'You have been summoned.' "

At this point the Dungeon master should describe himself - yes his/her actual self - to the party as fading into view before the table where it is revealed that the DM is summoning the party members to accomplish some task. Go to Comment
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Peppe Pepis's comment on 2009-08-10 11:01 AM
Only voted Go to Comment
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Tauric's comment on 2011-08-21 08:26 PM


The PCs are all Apprentices in their various fields. One day, it is discovered that their village/town/etc is under some form of iminent threat (advancing horde, dragon seen nearby, James gang riding in, whatever). The town leaders get together, and decide that someone needs to go get help from regional authority (the duke, the marshal, you get the picture). They don't want to send any members of the local constabulary since they will be needed to keep the peace/defend the village, so they ask the Masters to send their best Apprentices to ride for help. The logic being that the best students can be trusted with the job as well as being competent to do it.



The fun comes in when the players decide if that's true. Maybe they are the Master's best pupil. But maybe, they are the worst, and the Master wanted them far away so they didn't mess up the defense of the village. Or maybe they have a relationship with the Master beyond what simply teacher-student. It could be romantic (either condoned or illicit), or it could be familial. Whatever it is, the Master sends the PC for help to get them out of the village and out of danger.



Hopefully, the party will at least have enough top grade students to fullfil their duty (and survive), but it's the other students that will make the job interesting.


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Tauric's comment on 2011-08-21 08:27 PM


There are a few of these I would like to use. Unfortunately, if I am using more than one, then that probably means I killed the entire party.


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