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Panda72

Need some advice on starting adventure

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I'm a very new GM, and am starting a campaign with 2 PCs.  They just threw me a curve ball last night and I'm not sure what to do.  They created characters, gave them good backstories, personalities, etc.  However, when we came to the point of "How do you know each other?", we couldn't figure it out.  I basically got told "That's for you as the GM to figure out".  No hostility, they are just leaving it up to me.  The first character is a monk like human living out his life on a standard civilized world.  The other is a Zabrak that has been exiled from his community and ends up on the same world.  I was planning to start "Lessons from the past" from the core rulebook, but it doesn't make sense in the existing context.  Do I,

1. Create a simple couple of paragraphs explaining that "You meet and become friends and several months later..." and then start the adventure I had all prepared?  Obviously I would add some backstory detail, but it all happens offstage.

2. Create a simple adventure where they meet?  Perhaps the Zabrak stole a ship or is on the run and meets up with the human who helps him?  Other ideas?  If I do this, how far do I go?  At some point I feel like I need to go "And several months later...", but I'd love some advice.  This sounds like the "cooler" idea, but I'm not sure how to do it well and I'm afraid it would bog down quickly.

Thoughts?

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That's a good one 2P51 on of my fav's, also take an idea right out of Episode 7.

Finn and Ray meet because of a misunderstanding and ended up working together because of extenuating circumstances.

Sometimes the story itself is a good way for players to meet and realize each others worth.

It's why a lot of old Dungeon and Dragon campaigns begin with the characters meeting in a bar (honestly wonder were that trope started).

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If you're a new GM and aren't offended by bad words and an aggressive schtick, get to know this guy, and specific to your question:

http://theangrygm.com/ask-angry-starting-a-campaign/

For my own campaign, it was understood before the game began that the PCs were owners of an import/export company.  They had their own ship and a house with some acreage (enough to land on).  Most of their business "just happened" off camera, but the more "interesting" jobs would be the starting point.  It still didn't matter what their PC type was, I promised I would find a way to fit it in.

Of course, you can always just throw the characters together in media res, but it helps if they have a common goal.  The EotE beginner game does this by making each PC a character trying to escape Teemo the Hutt.  Or they could meet in a bar, and the locals don't like "fur'ners" and try to give them a beating, forcing them to work together.  Or absolutely throw them in jail...maybe the locals tell the officers "they started it!" :)

I'd go for your second option, create a small tale to establish they are working together.  Maybe they flee the beating and/or jail to steal a ship to escape.  I don't recall "Lessons from the Past", but perhaps there is something in the ship to guide them in that direction.

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I just started up a new campaign with some friends and hit the same situations. One is a Bounty Hunter assassin, a Droid trader, a teacher and an alien doctor. I went the route that made them trust each other. 

The game started on a space station stopover, everyone from different ships arriving there. As I expected, the players roleplayed that they would have no interest in each other.

While they were exploring the station for their own ends, a terrorist attack with several large explosions rocked the station, separating the entire hanger parts from the rest of the station. The bounty hunter, who moments before, ignored the doctor was now helpless as explosions shrapnel peppered his body, and he needed a doctor, his co pilot was killed in the same event, and our Droid knows how to fly. The teacher was there investigating a biological virus that broke out on a nearby planet, which is now circulating throughout the station, so they grabbed him along to the bounty hunters ship. 

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Several stories of collected bands start with old friends reuniting at cantinas or taverns or what not. This allows characters to already have bonds between them, but not know recent histories or current troubles.

Both of your scenarios seem to want the 2 PCs to have worked together for quite a while before embarking on your story. I am not familiar with your chosen adventure, but I take it that it's written for characters with a solid friendship. 

If you're unwilling to run the "meet", then a few lines to get to your adventure are all that's necessary really. It all depends on what you feel is best. Maybe the monk helped the exile out when the exile showed up with little to go on. But if you've got a good adventure, it's probably easier for all involved to say something like, "Well, one of you was an Imperial Officer in the making, but abandoned that career to help the other escape from cruel slavery, and now you travel the galaxy together." 

 

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Thanks everyone.  I think i'm going to run with a variation of what Hurske said above.  I tried to run the session with the 2 characters meeting and within 15 minutes the group "blew up".  They decided to create 2 loner characters who have no interest in each other really.  The one is a human trader and the other is a zabrak exile.  The human trader saw the zabrak in trouble and offered him some help and a job on his ship.  The zabrak went "no thanks" and walked away.  

We then went OOC and tried to ask the zabrak player how he intended to be part of the group then and the problem was that he already had a whole story worked through in his head and the last thing his character would do would be a trader.  Sadly, I didn't understand from his back story where he was going and misinterpreted part of it and he got upset that I was changing his character even though it was completely unintentional.  

I talked to them, and since they both have reasons to hate the empire, bonding over running from the empire should work.

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7 hours ago, Panda72 said:

The human trader saw the zabrak in trouble and offered him some help and a job on his ship.  The zabrak went "no thanks" and walked away.  

That's pretty ridiculous.  Sounds like a **** move on the player's part.  They have just as much of a responsibility as the GM to create a cohesive story and find a reason to be together.  It's not your job to spoon feed them and cater to their every whim.  Sure, it helps if you have a reason and can accommodate their ideas, but if you set up an encounter that brings them together they should do their part.

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7 hours ago, Panda72 said:

Thanks everyone.  I think i'm going to run with a variation of what Hurske said above.  I tried to run the session with the 2 characters meeting and within 15 minutes the group "blew up".  They decided to create 2 loner characters who have no interest in each other really.  The one is a human trader and the other is a zabrak exile.  The human trader saw the zabrak in trouble and offered him some help and a job on his ship.  The zabrak went "no thanks" and walked away.  

We then went OOC and tried to ask the zabrak player how he intended to be part of the group then and the problem was that he already had a whole story worked through in his head and the last thing his character would do would be a trader.  Sadly, I didn't understand from his back story where he was going and misinterpreted part of it and he got upset that I was changing his character even though it was completely unintentional.  

I talked to them, and since they both have reasons to hate the empire, bonding over running from the empire should work.

Sounds like a new DM nightmare! If the zabrak player doesn't shape up soon, get out of there!

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How does the Zabrak make a living?  Go hungry?  Live in an alley? 

Hate for the Empire?  Maybe the Empire start rounding up everyone in town (for an unknown reason).  They keep asking people about "Hendrick", and then throw people in jail (after stunning them down) when they don't know him.  Run two separate 4-on-1 battles with Troopers.....see how it goes.  Troopers using Stun.  It lets the PC's feel out their battle-readiness but then let's then both be thrown in the same prison cell.   

The Hurske route sounds good, too.  It is similar.   An explosion could free them (and "Hendrick"...who was there under an alias) from prison.  Hendrick tells his anti-Imperial story and they help him.

Secondly, have character creation parameters.  No anti-social loners!  UNLESS, they have a few things in their background they really care for (a lost child, a sibling, greed, hatred for Empire, etc...).  We have a guy who has (half-way through a campaign) had his loner character say, "Screw this!" and hop a freighter to the other side of the galaxy.  "My character has no reason to stay here.  I hate this planet."  Nothing in the background to tie them down to.   So, if they are a loner, presently, then they need to have background tie-ins or it's not an acceptable character to play.  

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On 3/1/2017 at 10:00 AM, Panda72 said:

the problem was that he already had a whole story worked through in his head and the last thing his character would do would be a trader.  Sadly, I didn't understand from his back story where he was going and misinterpreted part of it and he got upset that I was changing his character even though it was completely unintentional.  

Then why the hell did they say "That's for you as the GM to figure out". Either give the GM control so he can shape the narrative - and suck it up when you don't get what you want - or f'ing work with them to shape what you want to see. F that guy. If his character had walked away from the Character Buy In point of the whole goddamned game, I would have packed up my dice and said "Well, the game is over. Everyone gets two experience points. I'll see you next week." and walked the F out. Sorry, that kind of bullshittery would not fly in my table.

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Yeah, I know you get to be the character you want and all, but the player has a responsibility to work with the group. Too many players want to be the dark loner, who plays by his own rules, and doesn't play well with others. Well, guess what. That character sucks.  Make something else.

   If you wanna play a loner, then you get one "I work alone," before the Chief says, "Dammit, McBain! I already got the commissioner breathing down my neck about your loose cannon antics! This wisecracking Twi'lek and this by-the-book Cerean are your new partners! I you don't like it, hand in your badge and lightsaber! Also your character sheet. Because this is a cooperative game and you're being a schmuck."

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+1 for "It's Everyone's responsibility to bring the party together."

The Good Suggestion:  Just explain to that player that it's everyone's responsibility to bring the party together. Every story they've ever seen about the Lone Wolf of the party involves that Lone Wolf getting along with the party, especially when they really don't have a reason to do so. Take your pick. Han Solo doesn't have to come back and shoot Darth Vader's wingman. Wolverine doesn't have to sign up with the X-Men. Deadpool doesn't have to go fetch help from the X-Mansion. Gimli and Legolas don't have to put aside their dislike for each other and go with Aragorn. And very few players during a meet session would really trust their lives and secrets to complete strangers. Yet we all do it for the sake of the story. So tell him to involve himself or....

The Bad Suggestion:  ... his character can certainly go on his own. "Okay Monk. The Zabrak just turned down your offer of friendship. You escape out the back of the cantina and find several other people fleeing whatever danger it is that you're fleeing as well. The Imperials are close behind, for reasons. Let's run a fun chase as you see several people jump onto a speeder that has Just Barely enough room for you." Turn to other player. "I guess you get away if you want." Turn back to monk. "The speeder takes off abruptly, roll Athletics to hold on as an Imperial speeder rolls into position behind you." Several minutes of fun and exciting game play that results in the Monk safely rolling to the ground amidst the wreckage of both speeders with a new McGuffin to look at. Turn to Zabrak. "I guess you find another cantina or something. You get a drink. Nobody bothers you because you're such a loner."

The Ugly Suggestion:  I really don't have a suggestion that's uglier than the above, because that's kind of not the example you want to set. Instead, you really do want to simply set down your pencils and dice and talk about what a roleplaying game is, and what you are all there to do. Have Fun Together. Tell him that you've got an adventure planned, and that the three of you can have fun telling this story, but only if he works with you and accepts that, through thick or thin, the two characters need to be together. 

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What a mess! Serious question: are these adults or kids? The latter, it makes more sense.

My preference is to get the band together first. EotE is especially simple to stay true to spirit: they're riding the line, one bad job away from going hungry. Friends come easy. One guy talks, one guy shoots, one guy drives and patches up. 

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GM: "And then the zabrak walked away, carrying on with his personal business, which is of absolutely no interest for this story"

And then guess how long the zabrak player will need to realise, that the game will go on without him. If he does, offer him a chance to bring the zabrak back into the story (he hasn't earned any xp until then of course), create a new character or leave the group.

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