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View Full Version : Gamer Tales The best ways you've seen a game started



TheTeaMustFlow
2015-11-09, 12:49 AM
I was just thinking about how I and a few other DMs have started off games, and I noticed that most of the Gamer Tales type threads were a little negative - your worst dm/player/whatever (not that there's anything wrong with those), so I'd thought I'd try and start my own with blackjack and hookers.

What the title says - the best introductions to a game that'd you've ever done, seen, or heard of.

My personal favourite was from a oneshot urban fantasy FATE game. One of the PCs gets a call from our friendly local government conspiracy, the NATO Arcane Affairs Directorate, half bribing and half blackmailing him into doing their dirty work. He then calls me, his mentor in the ways of magic, and half bribes and half blackmails me into helping him with the AAD's dirty work. I call my business partner.... And so on and so forth, until a thrill-seeker, a smuggler, a thief, and a civil servant are sitting in the smuggler's pub between worlds glaring at each other and planning a raid. It managed to really effectively introduce our characters and the world, explain why a group of people who don't much get on with each other are working together, and showcase FATE's system of aspects and compels.

Enough of my gushing, any of you got any stories to share?

Florian
2015-11-09, 03:08 AM
During one game of D&D, we rolled up characters separatelly and our gm noticed that we lack a rogue.

So, game starts and for the opening scene, we're all assembled and carry the coffin of our dead party rogue to his grave.

GM: Hassan is dead. Now describe how that went down on how you all ended up here.

Instant group backstory and a whole lot of plot hooks came out of it. Great start!

goto124
2015-11-09, 03:21 AM
And when another player joins, have the rogue come back as a zombie :smalltongue:

themaque
2015-11-09, 03:52 AM
We where playing a modern set game and everyone was going to make characters that where mostly analogs for themselves. Much arguments and in house fighting whether Dustin should have a 12 dex if he's rubbish in sports but great twitch gaming skills. anyways...

We had just finished character creation and the GM went to the bathroom. He had been in there for some time and we hear a thump. Becky goes to check on him when he opens the door saying "The game starts now, you see me laying here motionless" and the game was away.

Helped with immersion right away and the game kept up a fast paced fun atmosphere.

Fri
2015-11-09, 03:56 AM
In my opinion, the best cliche one is the "you're all in an airship, and the airship is currently under attack by sky pirates. And they intend to crash the airship down."

Bam. Instant action prologue, instant reason why a bunch of unrelated strangers have to cooperate, and there's some pressure so you can't just not do anything or not cooperate, because if left by its own, the airship will crash and you're all dead.

themaque
2015-11-09, 04:16 AM
In my opinion, the best cliche one is the "you're all in an airship, and the airship is currently under attack by sky pirates. And they intend to crash the airship down."

Bam. Instant action prologue, instant reason why a bunch of unrelated strangers have to cooperate, and there's some pressure so you can't just not do anything or not cooperate, because if left by its own, the airship will crash and you're all dead.

I've used this twice.

Once in Deadlands, everyone on the same train that's going out west.

and once... in a game that has yet to come to fruitition honestly.

"You are all on a Greyhound buss headed for Deluth at 0300 in the middle of nowhere. You tell ME why you are there"

hifidelity2
2015-11-09, 04:20 AM
In my opinion, the best cliche one is the "you're all in an airship, and the airship is currently under attack by sky pirates. And they intend to crash the airship down."

Bam. Instant action prologue, instant reason why a bunch of unrelated strangers have to cooperate, and there's some pressure so you can't just not do anything or not cooperate, because if left by its own, the airship will crash and you're all dead.

We had a very similar one for a zombie game – we were all on a cruise ship just returning to Hull (a rather depressed city in the NE of England)

It was a good reason why a totally mixed bunch of people were together (Mixed as in a Dr (who “invented the zombie plague” but is not telling anyone) , at Policewoman, a psychotic professional climber, a drug dealer and a Vet)

Started off with us seeing news reports and people becoming ill on board, then the ship was boarded by unknown forces looking for the Dr and shooting anyone who got in the way so giving us a reason to bond together and get off the ship

Madeiner
2015-11-09, 05:02 AM
We where playing a modern set game and everyone was going to make characters that where mostly analogs for themselves. Much arguments and in house fighting whether Dustin should have a 12 dex if he's rubbish in sports but great twitch gaming skills. anyways...

We had just finished character creation and the GM went to the bathroom. He had been in there for some time and we hear a thump. Becky goes to check on him when he opens the door saying "The game starts now, you see me laying here motionless" and the game was away.

Helped with immersion right away and the game kept up a fast paced fun atmosphere.

Ahah, i did the exact same thing as DM, only i came out of the bathroom as a zombie. (And they killed me very fast and took the keys to my car)
The game rules were they their characters, "improved/fantasyzed" versions of themselves, had any item at their disposal that they had available that night at the game.
So they started scouring my friend's house for anything useful, and one of the character even went to his car to show us he had a composite longbow in his trunk, which proved really useful.

JetThomasBoat
2015-11-22, 12:12 PM
In one of my games, it was in Eberron and I don't remember why, but I decided that I would just dive right in. So the PCs were on the lightning rails heading toward the capital of Karnath when it was seemingly starting to get hy-jacked by cloaked figures and undead. So they basically had the choice of getting herded into a car at the end by the people and undead or fight their way to the engine car and find out why it was being taken over.

They took the bait, which is good, because on the first car, a warlock was using his eldritch blasts to charge a dragonshard machine that was going to lift the train from its tracks and send it careening through part of the city.

goto124
2015-11-23, 01:11 AM
So the PCs were on the lightning rails heading toward the capital of Karnath

Sorry, couldn't help myself :smallbiggrin:

braveheart
2015-11-23, 01:56 AM
"Welcome to the world of Pokemon. Are you a boy, or a girl?


Either that or when I had an NPC stop by each character's planet one by one telling them that he is going to teach them how to become skilled bounty hunters, they bond with him and get to know each other durring the flight. Then as soon as he set foot on the ground on the planet where they had their first contract he got shot in the head by another bounty hunter.

RFLS
2015-11-23, 04:03 AM
I have to go with telling the players to create a combat specialist character, and then opening with them paratrooping out of a drop-ship.

JetThomasBoat
2015-11-23, 09:14 AM
Sorry, couldn't help myself :smallbiggrin:

I actually remember I gave my roommate, who played a kalashtar psion, three days and an Eberron Campaign Setting book to do like three minutes of reading to learn the tiniest bit about Karnath so he could come up with the barest idea of why he might be going to its capital. His answer "...um...(completely forgot) my guy lives there." So I was like screw it, whatever.

Then I figured, since I'm an inexperienced and not fantastic DM but I seriously want these guys to really take a look at Eberron and with any luck, become interested in it, why not show them some neat stuff? Like magic trains?

Didn't work, really. That player still probably couldn't tell me one fact about the setting. Which is fine, I just want to get to play a freaking PC in Eberron ONE TIME ever. It's all I ask.

Kami2awa
2015-11-24, 12:24 PM
Beginning a game set in the Wild West:

You're riding along a dirt trail in the desert. The sun rises. You pass a wooden sign swinging in the wind. It reads:

"Welcome to Roswell."

Mark Hall
2015-11-24, 12:32 PM
I had a one-player PBP start as my character was being busted out of the hospital by a group of 'runners, then shot down in a Seattle park.

PrincessCupcake
2015-11-25, 01:35 PM
We had a Savage Worlds one-shot start with all our characters receiving a letter. The letter itself was cryptic but undeniably ominous (alluding to a coup or something), and had the address to a tavern as a table number. On our way, we pass by a gallows being erected. When we sit down at the table, we see other strangers (some of whom were VERY strange) sit down. Then the entire party -in unison- said "Who are you and why are you here?"

sktarq
2015-11-25, 02:40 PM
All players had been instructed to make PC's employed by a certain nation's army (contractors being okay) - we each get orders to show up and get orders from the same guy. So we wait in the inn's common room indroducing ourselves-eventually go to find this guys-only to discover he has been murdered-but our orders were in his saddlebags (and we had to hope they had not been compromised by the killer becauses we needed to act immediately.

RickAllison
2016-01-06, 06:43 AM
The best I've seen had two of my players stowing away in the cargo hold of the two others independently. Both were soon found, and the Imperial archaeologist was interrogated; as a sign of good faith, he shared that the unknown item on the deactivated droid's palm (a holo-communicator) was a weapon, so the Ewok prepared to hack off its hand...

The final player decided that was an excellent time to speak up, and managed to then convince the Ewok and lizard to take the archaeologist as their prisoner as they went to find a different ship. The party hadn't even come face-to-face with any NPCs and were already turning on one another, and it was beautiful.

Milodiah
2016-01-06, 12:41 PM
My D&D players were all started as members of the City Watch.

They started patrolling a bunch of merchant stalls during a local festival, and were immediately confronted with a crazed halfling barbarian smashing every mirror he saw with a greatclub.

And yes, it was foreshadowing.