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Peroxis

starting a party

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Hey just curious how other people have justified their characters knowing each other at the games beginning.

I need to make a small adventure (kind of like a rpg training adventure) to make the characters famous/infamous as a group instead of them being characters that juet happen to travel together.

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Was sort of thinking that if I started a game from scratch I'd use something like a "6-degrees of separation" kind of deal, worked out pre-game between characters either knowing the player next to them and get them to make up a background before we begin.

 

Then just dump them somewhere horrible with nothing but their underpants and a headache ;)

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I started mine out in prison together.

This was exactly I how I started out my last big game. Everyone were prisoners on Kessel and had to rely on each other to escape.

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We did a "session 0" where the players built their characters together. They came up with some shared backgrounds.

 

(this explains them in more detail: https://explorers-on-the-edge.obsidianportal.com/ )

 

Two of the characters were explorers looking for an artifact. One was a pilot they teamed up with as he was on the run. Another snuck on board the ship to escape from bounty hunters. One they rescued from being held captive on a remote planet.

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Obligation/Duty can be used as a deus ex machina to force them to work towards a common goal and then hopefully they can RP themselves into allies

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I started mine out in prison together.

 

Yeah, the group I play with started out as strangers in a Star Destroyer's brig. Things went downhill from there.

 

As for games I run, I try to have at least a few characters meet for the first time in-game, but I generally leave it up to the players. If they'd rather all start out having worked together in the past or something, I'm fine with that.

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Yeah I want to make most of the history up to the characters but want a way to quickly establish for them to need each other.

Guess I could have it so they start out on a large ship to travel somewhere (potential hook).

But then a bunch of mercs/ bounty hunters start trying to look for someone and start causing a lot of trouble (either my character stole something from them, someone owns something the hutts are determined to have, or someone owes alot of money).

If my character stole something will prob plant it on a PC to try get away with it as he is an aspiring bounty hunter albeit a very bad one.

Then the PCs are definitely going to be outmatched against the bounty hunters and must flee and "borrow" a ship on this capital ship in order to escape (giving them even more obligation)

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I do like the prison idea. That's actually perfect for a setting like EotE.

Typically I start my campaigns with everyone already knowing each other. I could probably come up with ways for them to start out not knowing each other but forces beyond their control draw them together and they eventually decide to continue working as a team. I can easily do that. My major problem lies with my typical group of players. Unfortunately they are not very good at helping the story along. If the end goal is to get them to become a group, I sort of need their assistance to get them there.

 

Take for example a recent game. I was running the players through the adventure in the core book. I had two players the previous game who started together. That game ended on a cliffhanger of Daro Blunt setting up a street ambush for the players in Formos. The next game we brought on a new player who wanted to play a bounty hunter. As the main goal of the adventure was to track down Bandin Dobah I felt it was clear that the bounty Hunter is already looking for information as to his wherabouts. So I give him the lead that through his own investigation he knows that Daro Blunt is a known associate of Dobah and might have some information. I informed him that he's been keeping an eye on Daro waiting to make his move when he notices Daro set up a fight for a pair of strangers. I set up the fight, even giving the Bounty Hunter the advantage by having him behind the ambushers. He does nothing. I remind him that his only lead is about to be shot dead. He finally got involved and help seal the victory, but even the end conversation between everyone and how the reward should be split, etc seemed very "is it actually possible you guys won't come to an agreement?"

Sigh.

Its a bit frustrating. But I manage.

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I try to have the players figure out a group concept (shipjackers, honest traders, bounty hunters, space salvage/tow ship operators, explorers, etc.) before they start selecting individual character concepts. If everybody is playing hardcore criminals and one player wants to play a crusading do-gooder, it's best to get that addressed right away.

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I usually ask three questions to my players when we're creating characters in whatever system we're playing :

1) Who are you?

2) One detail of your past, personally or story behind some physical trait (scar, tattoo, etc)?

3) You already meet at least one PC, who and how?

They must give short answers (one or two brief sentences) and the other players can't decline what's been told, just expand upon that.

With this they usually have some background (without the need of a full biography that can be daunting sometimes), a connection with the character and the party and some laughs.

Ps: since i never created a character in EotE i don't know how obligations will impact in this process.

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I try to have the players figure out a group concept (shipjackers, honest traders, bounty hunters, space salvage/tow ship operators, explorers, etc.) before they start selecting individual character concepts. If everybody is playing hardcore criminals and one player wants to play a crusading do-gooder, it's best to get that addressed right away.

 

I think HappyDaze has the right idea.  Coming up with an overall idea for the game helps guide where the players want the game to go and helps guide character creation as well.  For our current game I suggested that they were all in the employ of the infamous Torga the Hutt. What role they played in the Hutt's court was up to them, so we ended up with a Mandalorian mercenary, a smuggler who'd hit hard times, and an Alderaanian nobleman living in exile.

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Ps: since i never created a character in EotE i don't know how obligations will impact in this process.

 

Obligations are solitary things based on the character's background, though in the course of the creation I wouldn't have too much of a problem with people retro-actively having a quick re-do of them prior to play so that it fits in better or is possibly linked to other people's.

 

Overall I would have liked Obligation as a mechanic to form 50% of the character's total as being part of a 'Group Obligation' that everyone could work towards and give them a reason to function together. With the way it is now, it kind of just throws some strain around when it triggers and can be a bit fiddly to integrate if you're running a pre-existing adventure. 

For example, I had one character who's obligation triggered in the depths of a rainforest hell, a million light years away: but it was about some debts and underworld swoop racing. There was no real 'mechanic' that could have some gangsters turn up and break her knees.

 

The other reason I'd like a 'group obligation' is that in the in-between sections where they have time to deal with the issue and hope to reduce it, is that being a singular problem that only affects one person, it can be hard to rationalise who and how a group addresses it.

Tend to suffer some of the more "edgy me-me-me's" in gaming personalities after playing too much Black Crusade! Beating that out of some of them and getting it back to a group dynamic with some of them is hard.

N4n0 likes this

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This has got to be one of the best forums. Quality replies, no arguements and I know I don't have to worry if I write too much because of all the reading it takes to be a GM.

I expect my players to be new to roleplaying and also probably don't know much about star wars. Like they pprobably won't know what a holocron is (which I think will make it more fun for me).

But so their characters will hopefully have diverse backgrounds since Iwould wwant to introduce them to different aspects of thegame.

I'll have to create a majority of the story without knowing their characters. But I'll keep it adaptable so their backgroundscan effect it.

I'm not a confident GM so going to need like a year of planning lol

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This has got to be one of the best forums. Quality replies, no arguements and I know I don't have to worry if I write too much because of all the reading it takes to be a GM.

I expect my players to be new to roleplaying and also probably don't know much about star wars. Like they pprobably won't know what a holocron is (which I think will make it more fun for me).

But so their characters will hopefully have diverse backgrounds since Iwould wwant to introduce them to different aspects of thegame.

I'll have to create a majority of the story without knowing their characters. But I'll keep it adaptable so their backgroundscan effect it.

I'm not a confident GM so going to need like a year of planning lol

 

a few tips that helped me in a way or another:

 

  • If they are new to star wars download pictures of all the races and vehicles you think they'll encounter and show them as the game progresses.
  • Talk to them! If you want to make a game on a specific place of the galaxy or thematic let them know it before hand so they can adjust accordingly. Also, adjust the story to fit their needs. Remember, role playing games are about telling a story that belongs equally among all the involved (GM and players)
  • Don't make (large) plans and scripts! More usually then not it wont happen! I **** you not, players have a sixth sense to piss you off with that! Make just a few ideas (like a dot list) and give it body based on the players reaction.
  • Encourage the players to participate actively in the story creation. Ask them for pieces of information, for instance when they arrive in a new room, ask them what is inside or when they meet a new NPC ask for name or pieces of his story. This help them to get more involved with the game and make more easy for you to improvise and do less preparation.
  • And the final tip, and one that can be a little tricky sometimes, is the "yes, and..." rule. Unless they say something REALLY stupid like "whats inside the backroom of the cantine?" / "The Death Star plans, lol!" don't say no to their ideas, instead say "Yes, and..." or "Yes, but..." and complement what they said.

 

Sorry for any spelling mistakes, being sick and having my brother cockatiel trying to eat my keyboard isn't helping me concentrate. 

Edited by N4n0

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I while back someone asked a vaguely similar question. This was the advice I gave them:

 

 

 

 

Here's a good tool to use for those situations where you are gathering the party but don't feel comfortable riffing on meeting them up. Ever watch those heist movie where the experienced sponsor of the group of thieves bring in the new and up-and-comer? Across every move, the introduction of the team follows the same formula.

 

1) The newbie meets up with the veteran. At this point the veteran can explain what their mission will be, or he can wait for the rest of the party. In either case, the veteran explains why he needs the newbie - usually because of a unique skill that only he possesses or the newbie has a particular contact or set of friends they need to exploit.

 

2) The veteran will go to various locations to pick up a member (think how the party is formed in "Inception") that show off the unique skill sets of the recruit.

 

--------

Ex: The veteran takes the newbie to a swoop bike chop shop where the meet a bothan (Technician, outlaw tech) who is listening to some Rodian opera while working on a bike, sparks fly everywhere as a the torch he is using cuts through a segment of durasteel.

 

Veteran: "This is Jax. Some say he was born in a speeder. He certainly would rather spend time with his custom bike than with a lady."

 

Newbie: "What's his skills"

 

Veteran: "Hey Jax! Show the kid your latest toy"

 

Jax stands up, walks over to a common air speeder. nothing special about it. He reaches over to the control console and presses a button. The headlights slide over and the barrel of blaster rifles peak out from a hidden compartment.

------------------

 

This is repeated until all of the party is formed. Usually there is an unexpected addition late in the game. Usually the Veteran knows all the people. But sometimes other party members are recruited because one of the members the veteran knows recommends him.

 

3) The veteran takes the group to a secluded location that will act as their base of operations (a ship or the basement of a cantina or something), and lay out the plan.

 

 

 

I like the idea of an NPC or even one of your PCs acting as the veteran, and another of your PCs being the newbie. You then go around the table to each of your players and ask them to describe the scene where their character is introduced.

 

 

GM: So John, what do they see when they go to find your character?

 

John: Ok, So you go to a really seedy looking cantina. This place is so filthy a thick layer of grime has covered most of the sign making the sign hard to read. When you walk in, a heavy haze fills the room. The patrons all seem to be into their own drink and no one pays you any mind. The general quiet seems to be broken by a shout of anger. You see a human looming over a sabacc table, he's pointing a blaster at a smug looking Dug. "I promise you Drade! this is the last time you'll ever cheat me again."

 

The Dug looks up at the human, his snout forming a distinct smile. "You're so bad at this game, I don't need to cheat"

 

<Cue the Veteran and the Newbie swooping in to help>

 

 

 

The above process repeats until the party is formed. Each player gets to set the tone for his character right off the bat and you didn't have to lift a finger. Just play off of whatever the players tell you.

 

I recommend a PC act as your veteran introducing all the characters if you plan on killing off the Sponsor. The players need some motivation to stay together and killing off the glue that brought them together isn't a great way to do it.

Edited by kaosoe
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I've rarely had to invent a reason for the group to stick together - my players find themselves reasons, for the most part. That said, I've had luck in the past with the 'everyone knows 1 other player in-character, who and why'.

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My first campaign was played alongside 2 of my best friends. We created our characters and started with the beginner game. They both were bounty hunters and assassins despite my advice (one of them was more skilled in piloting in space and the other was a killer) and i was a hired gun mercenary soldier.

Their background was interesting : one of them killing the other's family and trying to accept each other . They tried to kill each other many times in the campaign.In one of their disputes the killer got distracted and three bounty hunters beat him and cut his arm(we barely found a bacta tank and a cybernetic arm. We had to intimidate the local doctor.).In the next campaign they swore that only one of them will be left alive.

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I created another character that brought my players together.  A mercenary captain.

Of course, some of them have shared history.  The characters don't know that yet, but a couple of the players know that certain events in their past correspond with others.

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