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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What is Your Default "Adventure Kick Off Location"?



We all know the scene:
You're all in a tavern, eating and drinking, when a mysterious stranger approaches you with a "situation" that could use the assistance of experienced adventurers such as yourselves. He leans in and tells you a story of betrayal and death...
We also all know the above is well overplayed to the point it's a joke. Doesn't stop us from using it tho' ;)

So, how and where do you like to kick off your adventures?

23 comments:

  1. Last time i used a tavern kick-off it was a tavern in along a moderately important road and every Pc had a reason to be traveling on the road or in the area, the tavern itself came under attack with the rest of the village when it was attacked by a mob of zombies. So every got a plausible introduction to a number of other brave souls in the same area each with a set of goals they were pursuing.

    Other places to kick off adventure have been on the docks, got to get into town somehow.
    At the annual horesmarket where all sorts of folk come from far and wide to buy and sell horses, a great place to meet wandering bravos and picaros looking for coin. The hall of a very minor lord is a great place to get the adventure kicked off also: "You are all here because I need some orcs killed". Even something as simple as a public bounty on wolves can serve to get young adventurers together and out in the field to discover more in the big wide world.

    Those are all really campaign starters really, once the campaign get rolling every day is an adventure. Successful adventurers will be sought out by potential employers and if your party spends a lot of time hanging out in the pub that's where they are meeting patrons and their agents.

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  2. I think I will kick off my next adventure in Elf mages....pants?

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  3. I think the last three were started...
    1. A thieves guild
    2. In the middle of a battle, inside a fort that recently was cut off from the rest of the world
    3. A tournament

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  4. I usually start en media res. No dickering about in town!

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    Replies
    1. Me too. Usually my campaigns start with the players lost, trapped, or on the run. Once they get out of the initial situation, then they have the luxury of sitting around taverns and choosing their jobs. Maybe.

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  5. The next one starts in a monastery. Several previous ones on the road towards an area with a known problem. Depends a little on whether they have to meet as strangers or if the campaign can start with folks knowing each other a bit. If the latter, it can start anywhere a PC might be, and they can pick each other up after one (or more) learn of a possible adventure.

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  6. I'll often use some version of my supernatural tavern "Halfway".

    Works well and I can stick it where ever I need it.

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    Replies
    1. Awesome. Like the World's End Tavern from the Sandman comics.

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  7. I like to kick off my adventures with some action. Instead of meeting the "mysterious" stranger at the bar, my players would come across him being attacked, attacking someone, in a loud argument, left for dead in the street, etc. Something to jump start the players into the excitement of the adventure.

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  8. My adventures tend to start out en media res or at taverns. The simple reason is that in my games players typically stick to a particular city while not adventuring and they always have a favorite watering hole.

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  9. I don't know that I have a default starting spot, but the one I like for use in the future is arriving in a town or city as it's being destroyed by natural disaster, unstoppable monsters, or other force of nature.

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  10. I didn't really DM back when I played regularly. When I do, I was thinking of just asking what the players want to do. Just tell 'em they're together in the town of X and all know each other. They can decide why that is and where they want to go. I'll plant a few seeds here and there, so they have an environment to explore, but I don't think they really need an adventure planned out for 'em. Most likely they'll want to explore a dungeon, considering that's the name of the game and a great source of treasure, and they'll want to make a stop at the Green Dragon Inn to hire a few meat shie- er, henchmen :D

    Everything else can develop organically from there

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  11. I remember as a young gamer playing in D&D games that started with the "mysterious stranger" in a tavern. This was in the early/mid 80s and was not only pre-internet, but was also in the rural South, so was without too much outside influence. It makes me wonder what the ur-tavern scene was how it became so widespread.

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    1. I think it's because it happens a lot in the source literature - for example, in the Conan story "The Tower of the Elephant", or Frodo and company meeting Aragorn in a tavern in LOTR.

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    2. Perhaps, though in my case, I would have been more influenced by the cantina scene in Star Wars than Conan (which I hadn't read), or Tolkien (who I find extremely tedious).

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  12. Nowadays I just narrate them to the dungeon entrance (or to whatever location). Back in high school we did the stranger in a tavern thing a lot, but then I had to convince them in character to choose to do the adventure right off the bat every time and my friends were not that helpful... I decided it's not the most efficient method. :)

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  13. The Tavern is always a good place to start. They are after all adventurers and are like flies to the fire drawn to the comfort of the tavern. Just as we are drawn to Tenkars Tavern ;)

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  14. Since I'm prominently playing DCC RPG, and it defaults with a funnel, it's usually:

    You're all poor villagers, struggling and hungry, when a mysterious stranger approaches your village with a "situation" that could use the assistance of anyone willing. He leans in and tells you a story of gold and glory...

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  15. If I want to run a particular scenario I have planned, I'll usually start with the PC's traveling towards their destination. They all meet on the road and discover they're going to the same place, they all meet in the train's dining car, they already met and are now on their way to the lair, etc.

    When I want to run a pure go-anywhere sandbox/playground, I've started with this one more than once: "You all wake up in the same jail cell after a night of heavy drinking at the tavern."

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  16. On the way to the dungeon outside of Threshold. Again, keep the action moving, characterization aids action rather than standing on its own. Table time is valuable.

    This time I'm starting in Stallanford for B11 & 12.

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  17. I'm rather fond of the not-quite-so-overly-used but equally cheesy "so you're all shackled in a prison cell" kick-off to a campaign. Players revile it, but it puts hair on their chest, the bloody crybabies...

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  18. A sinking ship.

    Now, I'm not that boring. Sometimes the ship is burning, others is being overrun by pygmy pirates, others its just due to incredible ineptitude, either the sailors' or the party's. Once it was all of the above.

    I come from a proud GM lineage of ship sinkers for first session. That's the way the GM that taught me how to roleplay did it, and how the one that taught her did it too.

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