What are your best crazy adventure starts?

Let’s have some fun:

What is your favourite crazy start for an adventure?

That is to say, what is the oddest/most interesting opening situation you’ve ever used for the start of an adventure?

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Let me see. Start out enslaved then liberated by elven raiders during an attack on a slaver’s caravan. Sound about right?

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Cheesy, but you started it :wink:

I always start them with, of course, no equipment (as usual).

1- They were slave lumberjacks in the Crescent Forest for a Nibenese noble/company. They had to escape. The environment was unsettling, except for the gulgan halfling. Too much moisture and too many mosquitoes!

2- They were sold to a merchant house in bidding that took place in a Fort. They had to escape.

3- They started as freelance (so they choose their equipment). They didn’t know each other and gathered in one of the major cities, in a marketplace to meet their next employer. Unfortunately, it was a trap and they were accused of a crime against a noble. They were imprisoned and sent to a slave mine. They had to escape before getting there. (no more equipment… I’m evil).

4- I did the usual you are caged by a merchant house or by an elven tribe or by a noble house. I did this at least 2 or 3 times.

5- Something I never did, but I just had the idea:
They are all working in a noble estate as farmers of any type of work that could happen there. They are well treated, but the estate is attacked by (raiders/elves/slaves tribe/another noble) or visited by templars for unpaid taxes.

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Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever started a Dark Sun campaign without railroading their low level players into slavery?

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Not for DS, but started the game off with the PCs waking up in a cell with no idea of how they got there or who they were. The basis for the campaign was for the PCs to unravel who they were and how they lost their memories (psionic mind wipe).

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I’ve always started the PCs in my game as slaves. It’s tradition.

Edit: It’s also untrue. I did start a game, with the PCs being raised by a psionic master, who was also a hermit. They started with very basic equipment.

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Start solo. Female human is a cade, a person raised by people of another culture: a villichi convent.
Add more solos.

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Yup. Started them off solo, bimbled about a bit from 1st level. I didn’t railroad them until they hit 4th level and came together as a party. :wink:

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Just for kicks, I’ll throw out a few of my favourite starts for campaign (Dark Sun or otherwise):

1.) I had a group form because they were all starting out looking to steal a particularly valuable treasure. Each PC was a separate independent operator, and they met into each other en route. It was hard core PvP to start with, but then they realised they couldn’t fight off their enemies alone, and proved to be even more dangerous working together. (It was an evil party in case you didn’t guess…)

2.) I ran a “picking people up along the way” style of adventure which I rather liked. Started with one player, and we added people as it went on as he met them, and it became a rolling narrative. Also made for some interesting dynamics as two of the players were mutually hostile races and incompatible alignments!

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If you really wanna be cruel to your players, have them drugged by a bard and wake at the entrance of a dungeon (sealed behind them of course) said to contain the “legendary boneflute of guffin mcguffin”. The bard wants them to retrieve it under threat that one of them is tainted by pakubrazi blood, so aside dealing with the regular challenges of dungeoneering, they now have manage their stress levels or maybe risk transforming into ‘the fly’ (spoiler alert: they were all tainted with Jeff Goldblum’s blood😈).

Now if you wanna be really really cruel, have them discover that it’s all part of some twisted game for the entertainment of the rich and powerful (a dark substitute for the abolished gladiatorial games), and have them compete against other groups of tainted adventurers for the slim chance of getting healed by the flute’s power (it has only a limited number of charges per week).

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Out of curiosity, how often do you have players just lose the will to live? :wink:

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Not nearly enough I’m afraid :sweat_smile:

I’ve never run this, but you asked for crazy ideas and that’s what brain came up with

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I haven’t used this, but this could be a good starting point. The PCs are part of a caravan attacked by desert creatures (possibly semi intelligent animals). The attack is easily repelled, but the water and food stores have been destroyed. Now the PCs and NPCs have no food and water, and sources of these are far, far away. Its a good opportunity to make PCs and NPCs make insanity checks. Perhaps some NPCs go berserk, trying to drink the blood of PCs or cannibalize them. At the end, only the PCs survive, probably having cannibalized and drank the blood of the NPCs.

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Well, if we’re throwing into the pot mad hypotheticals, here are a couple:

1.) The characters were made in the Green Age (possibly made as “normal” PCs in another setting), and by some crazy fluke of psionics or magic, they’ve been thrown 10,000 years into the future, and are now standing in the middle of ruins somewhere in Athas.

2.) The small party of characters are adoptive children of a sorcerer king named Kalak of Tyr, kept living inside a sheltered bubble where everything is plentiful for most of their lives, until their father is killed. Now they’re out for revenge against that bastard Agis and his awful “liberators”…

3.) A couple of crazy Planescape kids REALLY pissed off the Lady of Pain, who dumped them here without any equipment other than the contents of her rubbish bin…

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Ever heard of “They Were 11”?

Just modify it for the party size, one of the players is the ‘extra’.

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That’s a pretty good one, actually. These kids may have only known Kalak as a kindly old man that treated them well, loved animals, and was a vegetarian (because why not?). Now the orphans are thrown out onto the streets. Penniless, they struggle to adjust. Luckily, they were taught psionics by father himself.

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plot twist, they were his magical experiments or clones

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I’ve run the reserve of this. PC’s from Athas’ present were blown back in time shortly before the start of the Cleansing Wars. Their forms were changed to the races that existed during the Green Age. The mul was turned human, dwarf and elf were changed to their standard fantasy varieties. They were chasing a dray wizard who was changed to human.

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Yeah. Could be cool. 4 or 5 people, but only psion and of different science.

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Mix in the trope of Character Has Amnesia, and Gaining Levels Is Remembering with a Green Age obsidian sphere fragmenting, revealing a core in the shape of a person. Character is a construct, no need of food or water or sleep. The twist is that criminals were put in those spheres during the Green Age. Player gets to play someone who committed a shameful crime, or [insert what you want here], and gets to slowly remember its powers and its life, and the crime(s).

Think Erik in the amnesia arc of True Blood.

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