Monday, April 20, 2009

Small Talk

As a DM how do you handle the first session of a new campaign? Do you assume all PC's know each other and just jump right into the adventure, or, do you develop elaborate hooks that somehow conveniently tie each of the PC's into the first adventure?

For the longest time I have been doing the latter, trying to bend over backwards to construct well-defined hooks that motivate the PC's into the adventure, but over time I found it becomes a large chore trying to maintain the hook. Some PC's accomplish their goal and then the player becomes distracted and disinterested, lacking direction and I have to jump in and try to hook the PC again somehow.

I've decided that in my next campaign I am going to try something new. I am going to use the first session of the next campaign as a time for all of the player's to get together and construct their PC's together. Previously each player created their PC in a vacuum, on their own before the first session. They would carefully craft their PC and then I (and they) would hope that they didn't step on any other player's toes (or had theirs stepped on). Occasionally there would be some cross-over, but usually the players did at least make sure not to play the exact same classes. In my next campaign I want the player's to work together for the entire first session on building their PC's together, discussing the roles each PC will try to play, as well as working out a shared background amongst themselves. I will provide setting details and then let them work out the background specifics. Hopefully that will let me focus more on building a more classic "sandbox" style campaign that they can explore. Oh yeah, and I am planning to ask that all players make sure that their PC's are at least partially motivated by a pure love of adventure, as I don't need any of those "reluctant" hero sorts that I have to constantly be babying back into the adventure. Only pain in the butt players make those sorts of PC's! ;)

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