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  1. #1
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    Party introductions have always been awkward for me -- be I the player or the DM. I'm just curious what tactics other DM's use to form new parties or introduce new players/characters to existing parties without using "Let's just assume we all know each other, okay?"

    For some reason, I recall a game from many years ago, where the party was assembled by means of a botched Monster Summoning. We looked over our not disappearing after the spell's duration had elapsed.
    <span style='color:gray'><span style='font-size:10pt;line-height:100%'><span style='font-family:Times'>Like everyone else, I hate generalizations.</span></span></span>

  2. #2
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Muiredach@Aug 10 2003, 03:27 AM
    Party introductions have always been awkward for me -- be I the player or the DM. I&#39;m just curious what tactics other DM&#39;s use to form new parties or introduce new players/characters to existing parties without using "Let&#39;s just assume we all know each other, okay?"

    For some reason, I recall a game from many years ago, where the party was assembled by means of a botched Monster Summoning. We looked over our not disappearing after the spell&#39;s duration had elapsed.
    In Birthright I usually used the Diplomacy action. Assuming that the PCs were regents, they had just been invested and one of them had a grand party that invited diplomats from other realms/holdings to attend. This could even be the Investiture ceremony of on of the PCs. This also allowed them to "create" new diplomatic agreements as well as "meet" each other. If the party has some non-regents they could be aligned with one or more of the other regents in attendence - it becomes much more difficult though and even more so if the party is entirely non-regents.
    Duane Eggert

  3. #3
    Site Moderator Ariadne's Avatar
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    We creat our parties either as Irdeggman does (with a diplomatic meeting of different regents) or that one PC is the "king" (ruler of the Land) and the rest his underlings (well mostly fellow regents under the rule of the king/ queen)...
    May Khirdai always bless your sword and his lightning struck your enemies!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Doyle's Avatar
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    ed that seems to work ok is run a session for each

    of the players one-on-one. If the player has not written a character

    history, it`s even easier. Each of the sessions gives obvious clues to

    a main plot and the characters meet wherever the plot would best

    suggest.

    When the first group game is played, the players have a little

    experience with their characters, are at the same (or nearby) location

    to the other players, and have basically the same plot direction in

    mind. Of course this works best if you give each of them different

    clues, so they actually require each other. After solving the first

    plot, the second leads on from it. At the end of the second, both

    players and characters are comfortable enough with each other that they

    continue adventuring in the same direction.



    I usually run adventure only campaigns to start with.



    Regards,

    Doyle



    -----Original Message-----

    From: Muiredach



    Muiredach wrote:

    Party introductions have always been awkward for me -- be I the player

    or the DM. I&#39;m just curious what tactics other DM&#39;s use to form

    new parties or introduce new players/characters to existing parties

    without using "Let&#39;s just assume we all know each other,

    okay?"For some reason, I recall a game from many years ago, where

    the party was assembled by means of a botched Monster Summoning. We

    looked over our not disappearing after the spell&#39;s duration had

    elapsed.

  5. #5
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Asumming that everyone knows of each other doesn&#39;t have to imply that you are all childhood friends, or whatnot. For example, the founders of the American republic assumed that anyone who might run for office would be well known to the small group of potential voters. If the characters are all nobles (or members of noble courts) they will know or know of other nobles in the realm. They might also know of nobles from nearby realms.

    Diplomatic actions are only example of the fairly structured and busy social life of nobles. You might have any of a dozen reasons to get together at some mutual friend/relations where the group meets for the first time. For example. Richard, Lord Milford is hosting a few friends and relations all the time on a more or less rotating basis, because he has a pleasant home and grounds. It just so happens that among his guests at this time are the prospective party who all have a relationship with Milford. A is his nephew. B is the son of his liege. C is the son of Milford&#39;s old comrade. D is a recently ordained priest who was sent to Milford by his abbot in hopes that Milford might be able to connect D up with a possition. E is friends with Milford&#39;s son. F is currently apprenticed to his aunt, who is an old friend of Milford and is bringing F along. G doesn&#39;t know Milford but was forced to break his travels here because of bad weather, an ill mount, or some other inconvenience. H is a representative of some other entity (the church, the state, a guild) who has business with Milford.

    You could start with this pretext to get everyone in once place, then place all the players in different locations around the gaming location (most easily done at a house) and as you bring them together, introduce them formally. Having pre-printed reputations to hand out helps here as well.

    I don&#39;t make a place like Milford House the immediate start of events. Someone isn&#39;t murdered at Milford House, for example. I don&#39;t want players to associate every location with an adventure. But they might hear told of rumors and story hooks while they hunt boar, dine by candle light, or after Milford&#39;s musician plays the harp.

  6. #6
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    Depends on the level of play too. Are the characters all regents? Perhaps several went, during different years, to school together. A common ground could have been had there... In Anuire, they all attended classes in the Imperial City, perhaps even meeting old Dosiere once or twice. And the non-landed regents could have been there too. Works in Khinasi and Brechtur lands too.

    Or, if you are just running an adventuring level game, with no regents in the party, or a very minor regent (about 8 levels of holdings), try this out for size:

    IMC, the one PC, a slightly wealthy noble, with a few holdings, along with some other PCs: he collects things. Especially items of old. His tag line, along with his trademark whip and light crossbow, was: "It belongs in a museum." Well... his castle anyways. It could be gold coins from the Pre-Empire period, jewelry from pre-Basarji migration, old elven works, and even old magic items, some of them dangerous. He would gather up his trusty colleagues, who he would pay well, after researching up his latest find in libraries, and off they would go. The character was a bard, and it was definitely one of the more unique ways to do it. Politics would enter into it... especially when they had to go to a land that he, as a noble of one nation, was not particularly welcome in.

  7. #7
    You know, we named the dog Indiana, heheh.

    Well, from a players perspective, I&#39;ve seen it done through pretty much every way mentioned here: a diplomatic ball, a personalized sub plot leading to a joining p with my guildmaster after his sub plot, he came to Mieres to hunt goblins and gnolls for cash as my father the Duke of Mieres offered a bounty on them so we can create a new province just south of Dhalier, along the coast. (My subplot is posted as Chapter 1 on my webpage here: Mieres Empire), I&#39;ve been to "Milford&#39;s" house before, one time he was a handler, ie he got groups of skilled individuals together (for me it was a job to steal from several noble houses), and the noble who is always looking for something whether it&#39;s to collect, protect, hunt down an enemy/rival, ect. They have all been good means of meeting, or runnign into PC.

    One other way to look at it is that the PCs don&#39;t all start on the same team, and this is a variant on the sub plots theme really. They are recruited by rival lords/guilders and are sent to spy/infiltrate/sabotage/ect on the other lord/guilder. The idea here really is that the two groups slowly get to know each other as the people in the field while their employers sit back far away and give the orders. After a while and several encounters they just start going to the same bar and talking, cause their bosses dont really spy on them nor do they seem to care so much what they do in their free time, they are just supposed to be against each other. However, this would probably take a long time to pull off, and it would make the action a little more interesting, as 1 group sets up the traps, and plays defensive while the other group is under orders to attack, they would switch off as their lords command. Heheh, it can be fun either way and it takes off some of the workload onthe DM as he no longer has to figure everything out to set it against the PCs he gets the other PCs to do it for him&#33;

    This can be expanded from the turff war idea to rival collectors looking for the same types of objects, sorta like the Nazis and Indiana then, to one lord being a pirate who loves to prey upon this one wealthy guilder out of contempt or maybe he just used to work for him and will never forgive him when the Lord took his wife as a slave when the pirate lord couldn&#39;t pay his debt in time...


    Ok, it also really depends on how evil your PCs generally like to be, if they&#39;re a bunch of nieve goody goodies then these are prob not the best ideas for them, and going with Diplomacy, Milford&#39;s or having them run into each other as they are ending up searching for some evil that has be plaguing the area.


    If they are neutral, then just about any would apply, naturally, and it really offers the most freedom.


    If they are evil, then it gets fun&#33; They can be personal assasins to a powerful lord/guilder. or an up and comming one, who wants to eliminate some of his rivals after sending them on personal missions to test them out, he may have some of them start to work together for some of the harder missions, and then in a thrid mission have them all work together for a large target, possibly another powerful lord/guilder. Heheh, however their employer pays a bonus to the 1 assassin who kills his rival, each time, so who&#39;s that gonna be? and who is going to be the number 1 assassin? heheh, infighting maybe common to prove your worth...

    They can also be picked up along the way by a famous mercenary group, whom they looked up to when they were kids. Heheh, maybe their village/town was saved by em. The old kinder merc leader, well as kind as a merc leader could get, dies in battle (heheh, tho it looks like the sword struck him in the back first...) and a new darker leader takes over, and begins selling their services to a particually evil lord who sends them on some very diffcult missions culminating in one that only the PCs and probably the new merc leader survive and probably fail the mission. The PCs take their revenge upon the old merc leader, slowly, and then go to deal with the lord. Who of course would refuse to pay if they failed the mission, so they are left with nothing... heheh, if they are strong they should just take it from the lord, and from there maybe respawn the merc group or just hire out as a merc squad to deal with any problems a regent may have.


    This idea is another variant on the sub plots theme, where several of the PCs already know each other via studying/working in the same place, however, they have yet to mix with the other groups of the PCs. This one depends on how balanced the party is, if it is not so balanced, ie more fighters, rogues or casters in the group, then it would work better. The arcane casters know each other from studying at the degrading Magic Academy in the Imperial City (they could be slight rivals as they vie for top honors, the divine casters/paladins either work at the same temple provided they all follow the same god, the fighters could be a part of a military unit for the lord, or hired to serve as bodyguards for a noble/guilder, the rogues could all be working for the same guild, as for rangers/druids they would probably know each other if they scouted/protected the same land or attended their druidic circle meetings.

    From there you could have them start to meet up, like the clerics/paladins meet with the fighters as they are called in to heal the wounded from a large battle if the fighters were in a military unit together. The fighters, as bodyguards, could also meet the rogues when the rogues are sent to steal/assasinate ect, or if you want more friendly terms then the bodyguards would meet them as they both work for the same guilder just in different functions. The arcane spell casters would likely meet up with the others when they want to go look for some rare ingreedients or a special item they researched and call upon the guilder to hire out some help, and the wizard wouldnt be foolish enough not to gon on a dangerous mission without the aid of a cleric, so he would probably hire one out. Ect, ect, if allows for various above mentioned themes to come out and leads to PCs working together from the start, generally, and maybe they will see the benefit of eliminating some of the other PC teams so they don&#39;t have to share the loot with them, heheh.

    Overall, once you get them to "spill the same blood in the same mud," they will generally stick together as a group.


    The best source I bet you can find for more of these types of ideas is to go read up on some Fantasy books, and just look over the first few chapters if you dont want to buy em as they generally have the main characters meet up around then.
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

    "Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius

    "Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer

  8. #8
    I pulled the following off of my campaign houserules/handout:


    Chapter Four of Creative Campaigning (TSR, 1993) introduces the concept of Freestyle Gaming, a concept that is ideally suited for the Birthright Campaign Setting. The basic premise of the Freestyle campaign is independent character activity. The PCs are not required to adventure together, or even know each other. This makes a certain amount of sense, given that Birthright Characters may be regents distributed over wide geographic areas. Nothing prevents the PCs from adventuring together from time to time, but this will not be the norm.

    This type of campaign brings certain advantages and challenges with it. Character development will benefit greatly, as the time dedicated to each character will be dealt out in chunks as opposed to spread out thinly. Character&#39;s will also be able to pursue plotlines dealing specifically with their interests as opposed to those that appeal to a common denominator in the party. This method also provides a certain amount of flexibility for dealing with absent players. No PC storage closet is required.

  9. #9
    Aye, that definately has PC benefits, just gotta make sure the DM has plenty of free time, heheh same with any of my sub plot ideas, to play one on one with the characters more. Of course, one on one time on a domain level and often adventure level generally allows for the game to progress much more rapidly, so there is that perk.
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

    "Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius

    "Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer

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