fireplace crackled and spat with good cheer, warming the cozy Inn that
first evening as the young adventurers took their seats around a sturdy
table in the corner. A buxom wench served hearty dwarven ale and
seasoned meat as the adventurers spoke in hushed tones, discussing the
great adventures before them. Back then the Inn was a marvelous
place where anyone could meet everyone and a hundred tales unfolded into
passes and another group of adventurers take worn seats around that same
fire, now long burnt out and not much more than coals, as an ugly half-orc
sells watered down wine and meat that tastes like burnt cockatrice. They
too are just meeting each other and hope to embark on a grand adventure.
were many great campaigns that began in the Inn -- the local meeting place
for all freshly created characters. Unfortunately, each time that
the Inn was used, it slowly wore out its own welcome and finally, the last
time that you began a campaign you realized how over-used the Inn had
The characters would meet, greet each other, and promptly head off in
search of adventure. They forgot the Inn and they most certainly
never visited it again.
should you. Imagine that the Inn has burned to the ground and now
you need somewhere else for your players to meet. Somewhere
exciting...and not only that, you want this place to be important, this
gathering to mean something to your players through the thick and thin of
the adventurer’s road that their characters will travel.
article will present suggestions on how to make certain that your players
create characters they will enjoy playing. It then goes on to
discuss various methods of getting characters together as well as keeping
them together. It ends with some further suggestions for interesting
Creating the Party
composition of the party is one of the most important factors in whether a
given campaign will be fun, challenging and rewarding. First and
foremost, most players prefer playing a specific kind of character; maybe
they like the rough and tough dwarf, the gentle cleric, or the reclusive
wizard. Their preferred character is most often closely associated
with the role they like to play in the party.
Always encourage players to play the types of characters you know they
enjoy playing. A player who always wants to rush into combat should
be discouraged from playing a traditional wizard. A take-charge
player may often play a battle sergeant, a fighter who takes the other
characters under his wing and leads them through all their
adventurers. Another player may enjoy the role of healer, keeping
his character in the background and
assisting the rest of the party.
players can only play (and enjoy playing) a few types of characters. The
more experienced players are, the more proficient they will be at playing
a wide number of characters, but beginning players cant be expected to do
this. When beginning a new campaign it is important for the DM to
let any new players choose their character classes first. The other,
more experienced players can adapt their playing styles to any holes that
might appear in the party composition. If all the newcomers have
chosen fighters, then an experienced player can try his or her hand at
role-playing a wizard.
What follows is a discussion on the standard roles that players tend to
play, and how best to fit these roles into your campaign. Whereas
class can define a character type, roles are indications of the way in
which the player plays. Remember, too much of one thing is never
good, while balanced differences make campaigns exciting.
These are the guys who want to play the game to see how high their
character can advance and how many cool items they can get. This is
one of the easier groups of players to keep happy, because no matter how
the story is advancing, their happiness in the game is wrapped up in the
advancement of their character.
for the DM, they may not care as much about the cool plot as they do about
the fact they found the +3 Long-Sword on the body of their nemesis.
Actors develop from another role, like a Gamer. After a certain
amount of time playing, they become bored with simply getting items and
they want instead to begin developing the personalities of their
characters. For them, personal involvement in the story becomes more
important than anything else. As long as there is a good story,
Actors are normally kept happy.
players need a personal plot to keep them motivated; this may be the main
plot but it could also be a subplot as long as it is touched upon
occasionally in the campaign. Heroes may either be item/advancement
oriented, like Gamers, or like Actors, the story may be enough to keep
you have a player in your group who likes to take the initiative and seems
willing to coordinate the group, encourage the player’s character to
become the party leader. The DM has enough work to do without having
to deal with every squabble that comes along. If a player can take
the role of a Leader and a mediator it will free the DM up to concentrate
on the big things.
sacrifices need to be made, the Leader should be the one to make them.
This encourages the other characters to respect the Leader, and if they
respect their Leader, they are more likely to listen to what she or he has
to say. Not all groups are lucky enough to have a skilled player who
can be their Leader, but for those that do, it makes the game more
enjoyable for everyone.
Storyteller can be seen as a rival DM. This is normally a player who
has done a lot of dungeon mastering in the past and is now playing a
character. Every time the DM makes a mistake the Storyteller jumps on it
and tries to exploit it. Eventually a Storyteller can usurp control
of the DM's campaign.
deal with a storyteller you need to speak with them one-on-one on ways to
make the campaign more exciting for them. You may also want to
involve them in a secretive way in the plot; perhaps they become the
betrayer of the party or act in some other sneaky manner.
none of these solutions satisfy the storyteller, perhaps invite them to
co-DM with you. Instead of playing a character, they could play
several NPCs or help you with building the story for your campaign.
Hermit The Hermit wants to play but also wants to stay
as uninvolved in everything as possible. They don’t make good
Leaders or Heroes but it is good to encourage them to be involved in the
adventure as much as possible – as long as they are comfortable.
You may want to give them tasks like moving miniatures or making the maps
for the party. These tasks could serve to heighten their enjoyment
of game and perhaps make them open up a little further so that they start
being a little less quiet, moving from a Hermit to another role.
you’ve obtained an idea of what type of player, each player is, then you
can start the task of making certain that the players will work well
together and also that each player will be playing a character that they
can enjoy playing.
this point, there are a couple of obvious warning signs to look for. Two
Leaders simply won’t work, unless they get along very well with each
other. Likewise, too many Storytellers or Hermits will also disrupt
the game, the former because they’ll talk too much and the latter
because you’ll be the only one speaking -- ever. Gamers, Actors,
and Heroes should make up the bulk of your party.
the player roles do not clash, the DM should still be aware that
individual personality differences between the players might arise and
cause unwanted conflict in the campaign. In the Keeping the Party
Together section of this article some potential problems are discussed
along with possible solutions.
Even if all the players get along fine the DM is still responsible for
ensuring that each player has a character that they like to play.
Again, the player’s role is going to have a lot of influence here -- the
Leader should not play the quiet, newcomer monk, and the Hermit should not
play Sir Edward, the boisterous champion fighter. Examine the
character’s past, present and possible future and see if the player will
be able to handle the demands of playing that character. If the
character is essential to your plot, a responsible player who is at least
going to be vaguely interested and motivated by the story line should play
it. Actors, Storytellers, Heroes, and Leaders make good choices for
plot critical characters.
that the players have created their characters it is time to gather them
and send them into a world of adventure.
Gathering the Party
party requires a reason to adventure together and quite often the
gathering, the event that brings the party together, will be what keeps
them together throughout the campaign. If they share a common
purpose, a goal that all of them cherish, they are likely to put up with
each other’s eccentricities in order to accomplish the goal. What
follows is a suggested scenario for bringing a righteous paladin into the
company of thieves and rebels:
They are but women and children!
serve his lordship and through him, our god grants us what powers he may,”
Commander Balin barks. “You are the right-hand of our lordship. Obey his
orders and flourish. Fail me here and return at the peril of your
clenches his gloved fist tightly as his stomach churns with the demands of
his commanding officer. With a smart salute he turns and marches
from the command tent, making his way to his troops.
march,” he says. The men cheer, eager to leap upon the rebels
within the camp. Morgan begins his march to the base of the hill,
upon which sits the wooden fortifications of the rebels encampment.
He notices when the Friar N'ashtar joins the march, moving into line
beside him. The two, friends since this campaign began, give each
other a knowing glance.
the frenzy of a rebellion those loyal to a corrupt governing body may have
to question their own values and beliefs. A paladin who is ordered
to inflict suffering upon innocents may well step down from his order,
taking up company with the very rebels he was ordered to kill. Once
he becomes a rebel he may stray from his alignment and become stripped of
his paladin abilities, or he may stay true to his calling. He could
become the voice of moderation and honor within the organization, helping
forward in their agenda but minimizing the conflict and chaos around him.
a voice of law to a party of chaotic heroes appears to be recipe for
disaster, but in fact this little spice more often than not adds
excitement to the campaign. The key to remember is to make certain
that all party members have a logical reason for working together.
It would make little sense for Morgan to join the rebellion, if in fact
the government he serves is just and righteous. All characters,
regardless of class or race,
need a reason to adventure other than the DM simply telling them this is
the way it is.
other words: encourage the players to play characters that they will enjoy
playing; encourage characters that can be fun to play in the context of
the campaign. Playing a house burglar that only wants to commit
break and enters, may not be much fun in a heroic campaign where the party
is traveling across the kingdom slaying dragons. The following
presents some ideas on how to create adventures, within the context of the
rebellion presented above.
A Rebellion Continues...
new recruits would need to prove themselves. The leaders of the
rebellion would assign the characters to work together, thus creating the
party. Missions would come down from the rebels governing body,
directing the party where they should go. They might seldom actually
see the rebel army as a whole, only meeting with key representatives at
the rebellion would end. It may happen relatively early in the
players’ career with them having little to do with it other than some
small adventures. When this happens, the party could decide to stick
together and seek some common adventuring goals. Perhaps the paladin
wants to complete a quest for his god to fully redeem himself or some of
the other characters need to journey to their homes and see what has
befallen their families during the war.
the rebellion could become the entire campaign. The players would advance
through levels and ranks in the rebellion army, until they assume the
roles of leaders within it. The success or failure of the rebellion
would then be in the players’ hands.
party is assigned the task of escorting a captured leader of the enemy
from one camp to another. He may be a paladin questioning the
integrity of any lawful character that might travel with the party or he
could simply add a sympathetic face to the enemy.
the party gains fame for their actions they become noticed by the founding
fathers of the rebellion. Perhaps there is a little jealousy; the
original members of the rebellion start to worry that the party may take
the limelight from them. Maybe they take actions to make certain
that the party won't return from a particular mission.
rebellion is doing well during small skirmishes but they are not able to
field a large army because they do not have a capable commander. The
party is sent to find an old war veteran who may be sympathetic to the
cause and convince him to join the rebellion.
Keeping the Party Together
with a well-planned gathering, the DM will run into problems. Like
any team leader, the DM needs to analyze the players and learn what they
are capable of doing and what bores them. The key is to make each
player feel like they are participating while at the same time making
certain that no one is bored. Bored players tend to cause
disruptions for other players.
two of the more common problem situations are discussed: characters
irritating other characters, and players irritating other players.
Character vs. Character
talk, paladin,” Shirk hisses. With one savage swing of her axe she
ends the captive's life.
face turns as crimson as the blood spilling from the dead guard. “You
fool! The man was our prisoner.”
half-orc smiles, saying, “Are you clear as to which side you are on?
There is them and there is us. You can’t have both.”
anger flares further. “Murder is murder. That man did not
have a chance, he was tied to a chair!” Ignoring the protests from the
others, he unsheathes his sword and points it threateningly at Shirk.
Situations like these, when rare and meaningful, add to the emotional
level of the adventure. However, if the same situation happens after
every encounter...the game risks being ruined. First and foremost
you should not resort to out of character manipulation when the problem is
one between characters. Don’t tell the players to stop it.
You need to look for solutions within the context of your game-world to
either interrupt the
awkward situation, or to finish it.
it is sometimes okay. Let the two characters fight, even to the
death if necessary. But only let it happen once and try and keep
everyone else out of it. In this case, its a battle between Shirk
and Morgan, and it can greatly increase the thrill of the adventure.
Ideally you should let the two characters fight until one of them is
heavily wounded and at that point have an NPC (or encourage one of the
other players) to interrupt the battle.
Morgan defeats Shirk, sending the half-orc to her knees. The half-orc
is neutral evil and realizes that she has lost: she respects Morgan’s
strength now, although she will harbor a hatred of him forever. A
power structure has now been created in the party, and if Shirk is
properly role-played she will become mindful of Morgan’s abilities as a
warrior. In battle they may find themselves side to side against
their enemies, although
one day Shirk may take her revenge. But she knows not to push her
luck on a day to day basis.
is key. Battles between characters cant happen over and over. Every
time the party is splitting up treasure there shouldn’t be a squabble.
Encourage the dynamic of the group to emerge early on, let everyone beat
up on each other, establishing dominance over each other. Reward
good role-playing and discourage bad role-playing.
Shirk’s player continues to attack Morgan, or to steal from him, or to
cause disruptions in the party, you may have to punish her; lessening the
XP reward is the simplest way to do this. Introducing plot
complications is a better way.
a player makes their character act annoying out of boredom with the
game. Maybe Morgan is the main character and most of the plot
revolves around him. The rest of the players, with the exception of
Shirk’s player, are happy with this and enjoy themselves. Shirk’s
player likes to be the center of attention and becomes disruptive when she
her a subplot. Imagine another rebel revealing to her that he is a
spy for the Kingdom and he asks her to help him. He needs her to dig
up as much dirt on the Rebellion as possible, especially about its leaders
and its heroes (like Morgan). As a DM you can encourage Shirk to
take a softer approach when dealing with Morgan. Fighting with him
constantly would only reveal that she is a spy, and when that is known the
entire party would have to kill her.
general, problem characters are easier to deal with than problem players
are. In both cases try and create an in-game solution to the
problem. This may involve you playing a couple of one-on-one
situations with a player, developing their character to the point that
they can be excited about playing it in the context of your
campaign. Look at fiction books for how authors have handled complex
character relationships. How does your
favorite fantasy writer deal with the thief in the group who only wants to
steal from the common folk?
heroes have good intentions and at the very least they are interested in
the common good. Build on this. Maybe Morgan’s character
needs to be reminded as to Shirk’s usefulness in the party.
players enjoy playing truly evil. This is fine, as long as they are
role-playing correctly. Beginning players often think that evil
equals homicidal. This is not true. It is easier to integrate
an evil character into the party than a mass murderer. Players who
want to play truly evil characters should be allowed to do so.
character that is truly evil would in most cases hide his evil nature from
the party. Remember; evil is not a side. It is a motivation,
normally a selfish one. The evil mage in the party would not
suddenly turn on the party during the final battle, simply because they
are fighting the bad guys. Instead he would serve his own
interests. If he believed that the party could help him with his
goals, he would do so, even performing good deeds when necessary.
example, imagine the evil wizard Relonar. He plans to gain power and
return home to usurp the head of the wizards’ council, making himself
ruler of his home duchy. For the time being he has aligned himself
with a party of do-gooders who are traveling the countryside, righting
is not a contradiction for Relonar. Because he needs to amass both
gold and experience to complete his goals, he must perform adventures and
to be rewarded for them. That doesn’t mean he has to go around
murdering people, simply because he is evil. Since his motivation is
selfishness, a deed such as rescuing children is an evil deed, as long as
he is paid for it, and as long as this gold goes towards his taking
control of his duchy.
an evil character when played properly fits into any party. There
will be a time when they have to separate and go their own ways, and that
is fine. That time may be a long way down the road. Now,
Relonar would never endanger his life without the possibility of
reward. If he starts doing this, then he risks becoming a good
person, and this is fine as well, for it is all part of character
Keeping the Party Together...by Splitting it Up
role-playing is normally a group activity sometimes DMs need to take the
time to help players develop their characters without the interruptions
provided by the entire group.
do this, set aside a night to have a short session with a custom adventure
just for that character. During the session you may emphasize
aspects of the characters past and how she fits into the larger campaign
as a whole and why she needs the help of the other party members. By
doing this, you increase the players desire to play the standard campaign.
example, say the player playing Damien OneKnife, a notorious evil thief,
is having trouble fitting into a mostly good party. While they are
busy rescuing maidens, he would rather assassinate the people who’ve
betrayed him. By having a solo session with Damien’s player, the
DM can intervene.
using people from Damien’s life, he can drop hints that the party is in
fact searching for the same person that Damien is -- the man that Damien
has a score to settle with, is the same one that the party seeks to
doing this you may escalate role-playing conflict in the group (what
happens when they find the man, does Damien kill him, or does the party
rescue him?), however you will also be drawing everyone further into the
plot, making it stronger and hopefully making everyone have a little more
fun with it.
matters most is that every player and every character has some reason to
be in the party, and that they are having fun.
follows is a quick summary of several party gathering scenarios.
Each scenario is introduced, discussed, and then some points are made on
how this scenario could be continued into a long running campaign.
the exile shook his head as he watched the Sorrowful Sea rise up, its
waters churning, as if to the frenzied beating of the tribal drums that
sounded off in the distance. Drums that once belonged to Dar, taken
from him the day his own people had turned on him.
that shameful memory Dar stares out with concern at the large many-sailed
ship that is being tossed about as if it were nothing more then a child’s
toy. Before his eyes
the ship begins to break apart, the solid hull crying out like a wounded
animal as masts fall and decks are torn apart. Tiny forms leap from
the ship into the sea.
The shipwreck is a useful tool for beginning a campaign. The ship
that is destroyed could contain any mix of characters and classes (perhaps
the ship is an orphan ship, meant to transport the characters to a new
create a little conflict, the ship may have been divided into a poor class
and a rich class, with a mix of both surviving the storm (the player
characters). Once on the island they will have to depend on each
other, and the DM should force this fact upon the players quickly.
a small group of island people attacks the party immediately, fearing the
shipwreck survivors. This battle should make it clear that any one
character going off on their own will die a long and painful death, but
together they may have a chance.
a tribal exile may jump into the fray and help the party. The exile
would know local geographic knowledge of the island and could possibly
become the party leader.
the party being relatively restricted to a small geographic area, the DM
can easily control the flow of the adventure while the characters
develop. The island adventures could be used to build the party to
2nd or 3rd level, after which point the exile may tell them that he knows
how to either build or steal a boat that could take them to the
mainland. The exile wants to go with them; his life with his tribe
ended the day he was
chief of the tribe may be a tyrant whom the Exile urges the party to
destroy to free the tribe. Perhaps the Exile knows the party wont be
able to do this while on low-level, but after they return to the mainland
and gain more experience it might be an adventure that they can come back
to (creating a goal for the player playing the Exiles).
seeking a hiding place in the hills of the island the party could be
attacked by any number of normal animals (tigers, ravenous baboons).
The Exile may explain that a mad old hermit (a mid-level druid) has been
turning the animals against people. The party could go and destroy
the druid and perhaps along the way they encounter his apprentice (another
potential party member).
in the heart of the slumbering volcano rests an ancient weapon, a powerful
icon of the tribe of the island. The Exile may urge the party to
retrieve it with him, an adventure taking them across the old lands of the
island, where dinosaurs roam. Since the party is at such a low-level
this adventure would have to involve a lot of creative avoidance of
smirks. “You’re certain then?”
master, the wheels are in motion,” the tall, thin rogue called Whip
says. “But, are you sure that this will be worth it?”
leans back in his chair and says, “The cost of a few wagons and hired
hands is nothing compared to the boon I will be granted by the Empress
when she learns the son of her most hated enemy is dead.”
need to leave this place, soon.”
course, my old trusted friend, the King will soon be searching for our
heads to put on pikes. Do not worry my Whip, the Empress treats
those loyal to her most generously.”
The party members are hired on for a caravan heading North. The
entire caravan would likely consist of player characters, with maybe a
couple of NPCs to round out the hired goons. A cleric or wizard
might be the driver, while the more martial characters would serve as
hired hands and guards.
racing through a narrow canyon someone comes rushing down the hill,
warning the caravan that they are about to be ambushed. This could
be another player character, either a prisoner escaped from the brigands
or a brigand who decided to turn away from a life of murder. The
party has some time to prepare for the ambush, or perhaps they might be
able to sneak up the canyon and ambush the brigands.
turns out that one of the hired caravan fighters is actually a prince and
that the whole caravan was just a setup for him to be assassinated.
He wanted to adventure so his father arranged for him to join up with what
was supposed to be a trusted friend (the caravan master).
the party is far from the borders of the Kingdom and must adventure to
return there, if they even wish to. Perhaps the prince may convince
the party to enact revenge against the corrupt caravan master before
returning him to his father.
survived the caravan attack the party could bring the caravan in to its
destination and pick up more caravan contracts, sending them deeper into
the enemy kingdom.
the party catches up with the caravan master they may discover that there
is an assassination attempt planned against the king. They’ll have
to race quickly back to warn him, or by examining the caravan masters
plans they might note the route the assassins are taking and try to
a twist the party might discover that the king had setup the whole
assassination attempt against the prince, because he feared that his son
would one day betray him.
my oath as a member of the Order I cannot rest until I know what has
happened,” young Derek Daleson says.
lean and tanned from many days in the sun, replies, “My father followed
the same Path as you and look where it has gotten him. His body
probably lies in some forest clearing, back to nature but fouled by the
beasts that have slain them. I have little interest in following
another foolish knight to certain death.”
that a round of arguing begins, and the half dozen young people, barely
out of childhood and frightened by the loss of their families, voice their
anger towards each other.
silences them as she pounds her fists against the wooden table. She
says, “My master sent me to assemble you. We have no time for this
pointless bickering. He has scryed the future and although he would
not tell me what he has seen, he knows that we must do this.”
”We’re not like them,” says Tomay, a large, soft boy. “I’m
no warrior priest, I’ve hardly even handled a weapon in all my
life. We’re not adventurers, not like them.”
does not matter,” Derek says. “For now, we must be that which our
parents were. Heroes.”
dark gaze of evil has blinded a kingdom. A marauding band, dealing
death and destruction, taking slaves and murdering the innocent, has been
tearing a path of dread across the land. Several old adventurers
renew their oaths and set off again on one last final adventure. The
evil reign of terror ends but the party of old heroes never return.
their children must search for them. In this case the party starts
off knowing each other, although not well, and several of them may
actively dislike each other. They are the children of Heroes and
thus were very much like the children of celebrities, always in the
spotlight. Perhaps their parents tried forcing them to be friends,
and like all such attempts they ended up hating each other instead.
Now a loyalty to their parents forces
them to search for them.
of them really knows what to expect. All they ever heard from their
parents was that adventuring was something they should never do.
Their parents wanted to protect them from the hardships that they
themselves had endured. However, some of the children grew up
listening to tavern tales where only the exciting parts of the adventures
were recounted and to them the idea of riding across the countryside,
slaying great beasts is exciting and they don’t understand why their
parents warned them against.
their worst dreams and their worst nightmares will become reality.
parents may still live, having been taken prisoner by the dark riders. The
children may rescue one at a time, slowly advancing towards the heart of
parents may have fallen in battle, but this fact is only revealed after
several months of adventuring. It may turn out that the host of evil
is something that has moved on. At this point the party may decide
to stick together, to adventure and to prepare for the next time that the
dark host returns.
of the old Heroes betrayed the old party, to save his own life. When
the party finds him and learns this it will create tension in the party:
should the child of the traitor be trusted?
shuffles uncomfortably on the ledge outside the Senator’s upper story
window with her face near the glass, peering in at the silhouette of the
target as he rests on a long bench in the corner. She doesn't even
hear her master as he moves across the ledge to the window directly behind
the Senator. She watches as he pulls a long blowpipe from his
vest. Soon it will be over.
of a sudden the door against the far wall bursts open and several figures
run into the room, sending the Senator to his feet. Joli loses her
balance and falls through the window. A powerful crash from behind
her tells her that her master has followed her in, the quick and quiet
assassination impossible now.
this?” the Senator asks, standing in the center of the room, the small
group from the doorway blocking that exit, Joli and the master blocking
the windows. The Senator’s lavender robes billow with the wind
from the open windows and smoke curls from the pipe still clenched in his
master says nothing as he moved towards the senator, a hooked blade in his
hand. One of the fools from the doorway shouts. “My revenge will
not be denied!” He draws a greatsword from a sheath on his back.
Senator says as he stretches his hand out towards the master and a fiery
spray issues forth from it, covering the master in flames and sending him
to the floor. Joli blinks and the Senator is gone.
rushes to her master’s side, but finds him dead. Looking up at the
young would-be heroes around her, she wants to scream at them for their
stupidity, but she can’t find the words.
A powerful and corrupt Senator may be the target of several assassination
attempts (some professional, others merely acts of attempted vengeance)
one evening. As the Senator, actually a powerful wizard, teleports
away, he may leave a spawn of summoned creatures to attack the
party. The thrown-together party has to help each other defeat the
creatures and afterwards they share their stories.
that strength in numbers would be the best way to track down the Senator,
they gather together. Searching the Senator’s house might reveal
some low powered magical items and a dungeon below in which the party
could cut their teeth.
group of would-be assassins may have consisted of an apprentice thief (a
player character) and a high level professional assassin (an NPC).
The Senator might kill the master as he flees, giving the apprentice a
reason for wanting to continue a vendetta against the Senator.
the Senator orchestrated the encounter, having summoned several city
guards to the place to arrest the party after they barge in. The
party might have to flee into the labyrinth beneath the Senator’s home
and find evidence of his wrongdoing.
on in the campaign the players may encounter the Senator and battle him to
the death, only to discover that what they killed was only his simulacrum.
At a Glance
are some quick ideas to help you think of other ways in which to gather
A new circus is in town. Some of the players might go there just to
watch it, others might be newer members of the troupe, and others still
might be trying to join. Just as the first show begins all the wild
animals suddenly escape, wreaking havoc and killing the circus
leaders. After stopping the animal rampage the party might decide to
go after whoever released the animals (perhaps a druid who has since fled
into a large forest).
Mystery: The players are all participants in the
events surrounding the murder of a minor duke’s son. One of the
players might be the prime suspect, another a low member of the town guard
assisting on the case. The party will be thrown together often and
they might eventually discover clues that lead them to an old mine.
To discover the evidence to clear the suspect’s name they must enter the
mine and find the true culprit.
best way to make certain you will have a strong campaign is to make sure
that the party bonds well at the beginning. Hopefully the ideas
presented here will assist you in developing your own gatherings.
The main thing to consider is that every player should have a role or a
personal attachment to some event in the campaign. The gathering
will set the mood for the entire campaign, so make it strong and very
personal to the party.
difficult times threaten to break the party apart, subtle reminders about
the time that they first met may be all that is needed to make them
remember why they choose to adventure together in the first place.