Getting the Party Together (DnD Other)

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Getting the Party Together[edit]

Sometimes it's a challenge to figure out how to get all the party members together and start an adventure. Here are 64 fun ways to bring a party together. Not all will work in all situations or for every group of adventurers, but in every situation at least a few should work. These are not mutually exclusive. Some of these ideas can even rise to the level of being a campaign seed. Also, you might combine a couple of them.

Table - Getting the Party Together
d20 Ld22 Label Tag Line d3 Option 1 d3 Option 2 d3 Option 3
1 A. Awakening Strange Group Awakening with amnesia recover from death petrification curse ends
2 B. Broadboard Advertising for Heroes! message board personal referrals newspaper ads
3 C. Captured Mutually Abducted as slaves as food press ganged
4 D. Disaster Thrown Together by Disaster shipwrecked caravan wrecked fleeing invasion
5 E. Evil Curse Mutual Curse, Mutual Cure grotesque features as animals/monsters lost levels/powers
6 F. Famous Goal Same Goal, Different Agendas rescue VIP/princess destroy big villain recover great artifact
7 G. Gate Portal of Exploration party survives it party discovers it party comes from it
8 H. Hired Constructed Team fetch/rescue quest exploration/spying take down big villain
9 I. Isolated Outpost At the Edge of Civilization military garrison religious mission research outpost
10 J. Journey Good Journey ship journey caravan journey air journey
11 K. Know Each Other Already a Group childhood friends previous adventures same family
12 L. Last Rites Funeral, Reading of Will funeral shenanigans reading of will dead had great treasure
13 M. Members Of a Group or Society temple, religion secret society sage society
14 N. Nemesis Band Together or Die accidental witnesses party are blamed mutual previous enemy
15 O. Only Survivors Empty World or So it Seems survive plague survive curse survive volcano
P. Players Choose Player Responsibility It's up to the players to determine how they united as a party.
16 Q. Quest for Pardon Legal Pardon If... to kill big villain to rescue VIP/item discover cause of curse
17 R. Reward Celebration Awards! Rewards! Danger. recognized heroes awarded benefactors renowned champions
18 S. Summoned Summoned Together wizard died during wizard has request summoning accident
T. Tavern, Inn You Meet in a Tavern... staff knows quest rumors know quest a temple, not a tavern
19 U. Underhanded Mutual Criminal Past members blackmailed victims revenge detective closing in
20 V. Village Curse The Curse May Reach You undead plague plague plague death one by one

Details: Getting the Party Together[edit]

Each of the items in the table is detailed here.

Awakening[edit]

Strange group awakening. You wake up together.

  1. with amnesia - You all wake up somewhere and don't know who you are or how you got there.
  2. recover from death - You were all killed by something (a plague perhaps) but for some reason, you all came back to life together and other people didn't.
  3. petrification curse ends - You were all petrified at various times and suddenly the petrification ends for you all at the same time in the same place.

Broadboard[edit]

Advertise for heroes. You are all looking for adventuring work.

  1. message board - You all respond to advertisements on a message board in some town by someone looking for adventurers.
  2. personal referrals - You have all received info from various acquaintances about someone looking for adventurers.
  3. newspaper ads - A town or region has some sort of broadsheet, and you have all responded to an advertisement for adventurers. If the tech level is not high enough for newspapers or broadsheets, perhaps a town crier fulfills this function.

Captured[edit]

Mutually Abducted. You are all forced into the same imprisonment.

  1. as slaves - You meet because you have all been captured as slaves.
  2. as food - You meet because you have all been captured as food for some monster or undead.
  3. press ganged - You meet because you have all been forceably recruited into a military organization.

Disaster[edit]

Thrown together by disaster. You are the survivors.

  1. shipwrecked - You were all traveling by sea (or air) on a great ship and you have all been shipwrecked together.
  2. caravan wrecked - You were all traveling by land in a great company and some sort of enemy has attacked and destroyed the great company and now you are alone together in hostile territory far from civilization.
  3. fleeing invasion - The town, village or region you were all in was invaded, and you all escaped, finding yourselves in the same place running for your lives.

Evil Curse[edit]

Mutual Curse, Mutual Cure. Something or some one chooses the members of the party to inflict with a group curse. Of course group curses need group cures. So you must work together to find a cure.

  1. grotesque features - The party members all gain monstrous or animal features.
  2. as animals/monsters - The party members all become monsters, lycanthropes, animals, or semi-undead.
  3. lost levels/powers - The party members each lose levels and/or features and may not advance in levels until the curse is lifted.

Famous Goal[edit]

Same goal, different agendas. A major event has disrupted regional power balance. Each of you is sent by a different power to deal with it. You all arrive about the same time with the same objective but each power you represent has a different agenda. If done cleverly, the dungeon master can use this opening to seriously mess with the players by giving them subtly conflicting goals. This option might even be a campaign seed.

  1. rescue VIP/princess - A very important princess or person has been captured. Each power in the area has sent someone to rescue them.
  2. destroy big villain - A deadly villain has appeared. Each power in the area has sent someone to deal with them.
  3. recover great artifact - A great and dangerous artifact has become active or become known. Each power in the area has sent someone to deal with it.

Gate[edit]

Portal of Exploration. A portal makes the individual members of the party each special for some reason. This option might even be a campaign seed.

  1. party survives it - A portal opens up to a new land, world, area, or plane, and the party members are the ones able to traverse the portal to explore it.
  2. party discovers it - A portal opens up to a new land, world, area, or plane, and the party members are the ones who know about it. Will they make it public, keep it private, or exploit it for their own ends?
  3. party comes from it - A portal opens up to a new land, world, area, or plane, and the party members one by one are the ones who step through it from there.

Hired[edit]

Constructed Team. You are selected by a patron to work together on some important task.

  1. fetch/rescue quest - A government, religion, or private person has gathered a team of experts to retrieve an important person or item held in/by a foreign land or powerful entity.
  2. exploration/spying - A government, religion, or private person has gathered a team of experts to spy out or report on an important foreign land or powerful entity.
  3. take down big villain - A government, religion, or private person has gathered a team of experts to infiltrate the organization of and/or directly attack a major threat.

Isolated Outpost[edit]

At the Edge of Civilization, you all find yourselves assigned to a remote location together. Then something interesting happens there.

  1. military garrison - You are all military people with ruined reputations who have been assigned to a distant military outpost as punishment. As this is a military organization, the dungeon master might give all characters the ability to use a shield, bow, or short sword.
  2. religious mission - You are all religious folk with missionary zeal who have been sent to a distant religious outpost as an opportunity. Then something interesting happens there.
  3. research outpost - You are all researchers with the courage to investigate something far from home who have gathered at a distant and important research outpost. Then something interesting happens there.

Journey[edit]

Good Journey. You are all on a journey together that does not end in disaster and you click as a party.

  1. ship journey - The party members all meet on a cruise that does not result in ship wreck and that does reach its destination. Many adventures occur along the way.
  2. caravan journey - The party members all meet as part of a caravan that does reach its destination. Many adventures occur while traveling.
  3. air journey - The party members all meet on an airship that does not crash and that does reach its destination. Many adventures occur while traveling.

Know Each Other[edit]

Already a Group. You all already know each other for various other reasons, before the party ever even comes together.

  1. childhood friends - The party is made up of childhood friends (especially good for low level parties).
  2. previous adventures - The party members have been on previous adventures together, but not yet as part of the full party (especially good for mid level parties). Maybe you are all part of the same adventuring guild. Maybe you have actually been a party before as backstory and the campaign begins with your party.
  3. same family - The party members are all related by blood and some threat, situation, or opportunity affects the family (especially good for parties where characters start at varying levels). This option may require that the players and dungeon master coordinate backgrounds.

Last Rites[edit]

Funeral, Reading of Will. You each knew the deceased. What mysteries await those who dig into the deceased's past? This could lead to a murder mystery if the person was murdered.

  1. funeral shenanigans - You each had some involvement with someone who has just died. You are all at the funeral when something extraordinary happens. Adventure ensues.
  2. reading of will - You each had some involvement with someone who has just died. They left each of you something in the will that draws you together. Adventure ensues.
  3. deceased had a great treasure - You each had some involvement with someone who has just died. You each know something about that person's great hidden or lost treasure.

Members[edit]

Of a Group or Society. You volunteer to further the interests of a society or group you all belong to.

  1. temple, religion - The temple or religion you are all part of has an interest in the adventure the dungeon master has planned.
  2. secret society - The secret society you are all part of has an interest in the adventure the dungeon master has planned.
  3. sage society - The academic society that you are all part of has an interest in the adventure the dungeon master has planned.

Nemesis[edit]

Band together or die. You all have the same enemy.

  1. accidental witnesses - You all happened to be in the same place at the same time and witnessed a great crime. The perpetrator is actively seeking to kill all witnesses.
  2. party are blamed - You have all become suspects in, arrested for or blamed for the same crime. This could lead to a murder mystery if someone was murdered.
  3. mutual previous enemy - each of you had an individual run in with an important villain in the past and the villain now seeks revenge on each of you.

Only Survivors[edit]

Empty World. Something killed or affected everyone else in the town, village, region, or world you are in. The player characters are the ones that survived. Is there something special about each of them that allowed them to survive? This option might even be a campaign seed.

  1. survive plague - A plague affects the town or village you are in and the player characters are the ones that survived.
  2. survive curse - A curse affects the town or village you are in and the player characters are the ones that survived or were unaffected.
  3. survive volcano - A volcano near the the town or village you are in explodes and the player characters are the ones that survived.

Players Choose[edit]

Player Responsibility. Leave it up to the players to determine how they united as a party. This one is not included in the d20 because in most cases, if the dungeon master is using the table, they probably prefer to control the manner of party getting together. None-the-less the benefit of this approach is strong player collaboration and buy in.

Quest for Pardon[edit]

Legal Pardon. You are all criminals. You will receive pardon for doing some great service to your country. Of course no one will miss you if you die trying.

  1. to kill big villain - You all all criminals. You will be pardoned for your crimes, if you destroy a great villain.
  2. to rescue VIP/item - You all all criminals. You will be pardoned for your crimes, if you find, rescue or retrieve an important item or person.
  3. discover cause of curse - You all all criminals. You will be pardoned for your crimes, if discover the cause and/or cure of a great curse affecting the land. Double points if you cure it yourselves and can prove this.

Reward Celebration[edit]

Awards! rewards! danger. The party comes to know each other as part of a ceremony recognizing what they have done.

  1. recognized heroes - You are all heroes recognized for helping a particular community. The community has gathered you there for a celebration to honor and reward your contributions (works well for mid level characters).
  2. awarded benefactors - You are all benefactors of a particular community. You are all gathered there for a celebration to honor and reward your contributions. (any level characters)
  3. renowned champions - You are all renowned heroes of the realm. A particular community gathers you there for a celebration to honor and reward your contributions (works well for high level characters).

Summoned[edit]

Summoned Together. A summoning brings you together. See the Call to Adventure Spell.

  1. wizard died during - A great wizard summoned the members of the party from all over the world for some purpose. Unfortunately something went seriously wrong with the summoning and the wizard died or was incapacitated. Why were you summoned? Is there any way to return to your previous lives? Were you the ones the summoning was intended for? Is the quest important enough to figure out anyway and try to accomplish without the wizard's help? Is there some way you can restore or resurrect the wizard? You are now in the castle of a great (and now dead or useless) wizard. What strangeness and mysteries await you in the wizard's castle?
  2. wizard has request - A great wizard summoned the members of the party from all over the world to do something for him or her. The wizard will pay you handsomely for completing his request.
  3. summoning accident - A great wizard summoned the members of the party from all over the world by accident intending to summon something or someone else. Maybe you all show up somewhere else than the wizard's castle. Maybe she will need a month to make preparations to be able to send you all back to your homes. Maybe the wizard will have you try to fulfill his quest anyway. And what adventures do you have while waiting or investigating?

Tavern, Inn[edit]

You meet in a tavern... The most common start for dungeons and dragons parties. Still often a very good choice. I don't include this one in the d20 because using this table means you are probably looking for something else besides meeting in a tavern.

  1. staff knows quest - You all meet in a tavern, and the bar keep or inn keeper, the bard doing the entertainment or one of the tavern wenches knows about an adventure.
  2. rumors know quest - You all meet in a tavern, and you hear rumors about an adventure.
  3. a temple, not a tavern - You all meet in a temple for healing (rather than a tavern), and the leader, one of the healers, or one of the faithful knows about an adventure.

Underhanded[edit]

Mutual Criminal Past. You are drawn together by something terrible you did together in the past.

  1. members blackmailed - You all committed some crime together in the past. Now you are each being blackmailed.
  2. victims revenge - You all committed some crime together in the past. Now one of the victims or a relative has decided to commit revenge on each of you.
  3. detective closing in - You all committed some crime together in the past. Now the forces of the law are starting to close in on all of you.

Village Curse[edit]

The curse may reach you. Something bad is happening in the village. Each of you is afraid that this will eventually affect you. Any actions by any player character to deal with this are noticed by the other player characters.

  1. undead plague - Undead plague a village, turning more and more people into undead. What do you do?
  2. plague plague - A disease or curse plagues a village, killing one person after another. What do you do?
  3. death one by one - Something is violently killing villagers one by one but no one knows what or who. What do you do?

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