April 12, 2017

6 Cliched Ways to Start a Campaign

In this episode of Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies, we discuss campaign openers.


  1. Rate my campaign start? The setting is a low magic area, and all mages are imprisoned when found. Different people have hired each party member, and they first meet in the middle of the mission. I actually started the campaign in the middle of the job when they look across the room and see 3 other people trying to break into the same place as them. I will admit it helped to have 2 rogues on the team, but in general, it created both a in party rivalry, and the issue of: "who's boss do we give the target to?" Most of the bosses would act in similar ways, so I could plan out what happened afterwords, just with different details, and the characters felt like they had a lot of choice. How did I do as far as staying away from tropes?

    1. That's an amazing opening. This is a rare case where in-party fighting would actually advance the story rather than just passing everyone off. If I was in this party, I'd be the one pretending to be trustworthy and then sneaking the macguffin away at the first opportunity.

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  3. The campaign I’m currently running is set in the Forgotten Realms. I told my players their characters could be from anywhere in the world as long as they passed through a large town or city at the start of the adventure. I did a one on one session for each of them before the game started.

    Their characters are walking through their respective starting areas & see “Help Wanted” posters all over the place. The posters are for Aurora’s Emporium. They inquire about the job at the local outlet store. The Emporium is expanding, opening new stores all over, & is in need of good employees.

    Duties include delivering orders to more remote areas & keeping the area free from hazards that would interfere with the Emporium’s business. Each player is offered the same starting rate, a couple haggle for better pay, but they all accept the job & are teleported to the same outlet. They don’t have to like each other, but they have to at least get along enough to do their jobs.