28 October, 2011

You Meet in an Inn

Lame.
Even so, you've used it. You didn't want to, but everybody had their characters rolled up, and you had to do something. Next time you're starting a campaign from scratch, and you're at a loss for how the characters meet, try one of these.

Can you think of another one? I'm sure you can, you're smart. Type it in the comments, and I'll add it to the list. I may tweak it a little, but what the hell.




  • You are all in jail together.
  • You all heard rumors of treasure, and you meet at the dungeon entrance. There is a man camping there who hires out as a lantern-bearer.
  • You are all captives of kobolds, goblins, bandits, etc. inside the dungeon. You were waylaid and brought here while unconscious, and your things are in a room nearby.
  • You all have copies of the same wanted poster.
  • You are all related, or grew up together.
  • You all served in the military or town guard together.
  • A local ruler, merchant or official has put out a call for mercenaries, and you are the ones who have answered.
  • Townsfolk inundate the inn, seeking help from all the guests. Insert 7 Samurai.
  • You all wake up together, lying on individual altar stones in a darkened room. A faint smell of ozone hangs in the air. In the floor of the room wisps of smoke rise from a charred corpse partially melted into the stone. A corpse with what appears to have been a sacrificial dagger clenched tightly in one hand.
  • You are all summoned to the reading of a recently departed friend/relative/colleague's will.
  • You are all traveling with the same merchant caravan when... 
  • You are shopping in the local market when a giant ship's anchor drops from the sky, smashing a nearby market stall.
  • You are survivors of a ship wreck. 
  • You wake up naked, buried in a pile of naked corpses. (stolen from Zak S.) 
  • You are brought together by a major event (refugees from a flood, plague, earthquake, zombie apocalypse, pirate attack, etc.) 
  • You are all outlaws, and are members of a bandit group. 
  • Goblins attack your hamlet. Your parents' old weapons are in your houses. Defend the town! 
  • You are all cursed, and have come together at a wizard's tower to perform a quest so that he will remove the curse. 
  • You are all members of the caravan guard on a trek across the desert to an exotic city of traders. 
  • You meet at a party. 
  • You are all students of the local adventurer's guild. This is your final test before you're thrown out in the world on your own resources. 
  • You all get strange (different) notes inviting you to the same place. The notes make some kind of sense when put together. 
  • You're all dead, and will adventure in hell or the outer planes.

7 comments:

Dangerous Brian said...

You all wake up together, lying on individual alter stones in a darkened room. A faint smell of ozone hangs in the air. In the floor of the room wisps of smoke rise from a charred corpse partially melted into the stone. A corpse with what appears to have been a sacrificial dagger clenched tightly in one hand.

You are all summoned to the reading of a recently departed friend/relative/colleague's will.

You are all traveling with the same merchant caravan when.....

You are shopping in the local market when a giant, ships anchor drops from the sky, smashing a nearby market stall (no prizes for guessing where that one comes from)

You are survivors of a ship wreck.

Matthew Miller said...

You wake up naked, buried in a pile of naked corpses. (stolen from Zak S.)

Matthew Miller said...

The player characters have no connection with each other, but are brought together by some major event
at the start of the game (refugees from a flood, plague, earthquake, zombie apocalypse, etc; attacked by pirates while crossing a river)

The player characters are all outlaws. They all have backstories (brief or lengthy) describing how they became outlaws (usually involving run-ins with corrupt officials). They start as members of a bandit group. (This how new characters start in my game)

Anonymous said...

You were all childhood friends growing up in the same village, dreaming of the day you would seek your fortune. Goblins attack your hamlet. Your parents old weapons are in your houses. Defend the town!

Simon Forster said...

These are ones I've used in campaigns:

You are all cursed and have come together at a wizard's tower to do a quest so that he can remove the curse.

You are all members of the caravan guard on a trek across the desert, to an exotic city of traders.

You are all mercenaries hired to deal with bandits.

Rev Rosey said...

You meet at a party.

You are all students of the local adventurer's guild. This is your final test before you're thrown out in the world on your own resources.

You are all members of the same family. This one needs to be decided in advance.

You all get strange (different) notes inviting you to the same place. The notes make some kind of sense when put together.

Eric Nilsson said...

Lol, I once started out a short campaign by saying 'You're all dead.'. The funny thing is, it was all true and they we're all meeting in this flashback/dream-world.

Probably not good enough for your list, but I tell you - they didn't expect it!