Due to the nature of tabletop RPGs, a campaign will often start with a random group of strangers. Here are some ways to get them adventuring together, without resorting to the old Tavern trope.
The PCs find a strange helmet, when donned it will take control of that PC and speak and act trough him/her. It explains that it is benevolent and needs their help in a quest and that it will stop possessing the PC when the task is done. Great if a player is gone for a number of sessions.