Page 1245 - Timing is Anything

11th Jul 2019, 6:00 AM in School Raze
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Timing is Anything
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 11th Jul 2019, 6:00 AM edit delete
It's interesting to consider that, by the time your players have sat down at the table, they've already answered the Call to Adventure. Calling them to Adventure a second time when they're right in front of you is about as weird and rote as it sounds.

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Achtungnight 11th Jul 2019, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
Batman always has a bonus to those checks. Because he’s Batman.
Digo 11th Jul 2019, 8:55 AM edit delete reply
I loved the scene in one of the animated shows where Batman and Superman are having a discussion. Batman turns away as he explains something, but when he turns back, Superman is long gone.

"Huh. So that's what it feels like."
Rastaba 11th Jul 2019, 6:17 PM edit delete reply
Loved that bit. A taste of his own medicine. Though to his credit Superman was probably still listening even as he flew off. Super hearing and all that.
Albert 11th Jul 2019, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
When Gygax wrote an example of play in the 1e DMG, his example DM had the party already together and agreed to murder-hobo for fun and profit. There are many who could benefit from his wisdom.
Guest 11th Jul 2019, 7:37 AM edit delete reply
It's always fun to say "you guys already know each other," and let them make up how they know each other while playing. Lots of opportunity for improvised RP, and a clever GM can use background information their players make up to fill in any blanks in worldbuilding or just turn offhand comments into plot hooks for sidequests.
Greenhornet 11th Jul 2019, 8:39 AM edit delete reply
PLAYER 1: One-time president of a small railroad that flopped after the market crashed in '29.
PLAYER 2: "Hey, I know you, I was a gandy dancer on your railroad! You stiffed me on my final pay!"
PLAYER 1: "That wasn't my fault! The paymaster made off with half the payroll!"
PLAYER 3: (Detective/trouble-shooter) "That's right, he hired me to catch the rat."
Anvildude 11th Jul 2019, 10:22 AM edit delete reply
That's what I did with my group. "You're a group of adventurers. Why are you hanging out and fighting monsters together?"
Borg 11th Jul 2019, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
They haven't necessarily, though. The players have agreed to an adventure, but the characters need not have answered the Call to Adventure when you start.

Of course, if the characters haven't pre-answered the Call then it should come early in the session and it shouldn't be refused when it comes. But there can still be room for some negotiating.
Crisis 11th Jul 2019, 8:46 AM edit delete reply
Oh boy. This reminds me of when I ran my Jumanji campaign. It took four sessions for my group to actually make their way to the plot hook.

More than half of that was me desperately trying to arrange them to *become* a group despite what I can only conclude was active sabotage of that goal on their parts.
Digo 11th Jul 2019, 8:58 AM edit delete reply
The one time I tried out Pathfinder 2e, we went something like two sessions where my character never met up with the rest of the party. And was going to go off on his own to the dungeon ahead of the others. The GM tried to get us together, but the way the dice and the narrative from the other PCs flowed, it just wasn't happening. XD
Anvildude 11th Jul 2019, 10:23 AM edit delete reply
A fantastic example of why the "Dark, mysterious loner who doesn't care about anyone or anything" is a terrible character for an RPG.
Winged Cat 11th Jul 2019, 10:39 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
I've been fortunate to only actually see that once.

One player tried making that as a PC. Character refused to go with the rest of the group when we went beyond the entrance of a dungeon. Player was utterly surprised when the DM gave him no screen time - nothing happened to him, and he was unable to do anything of note - unless and until he returned to the group. I suspect that player did not make that mistake again.
Digo Dragon 12th Jul 2019, 4:27 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
It really is. I tried to move in a direction to join up with the rest of the group, but things just weren't working out that way. Still, we would have all gotten together probably in session 3 once we all made it to the dungeon, and it would have been an interesting meet up.
Winged Cat 11th Jul 2019, 10:44 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
I am seeing more effort toward party, not just character, generation in modern RPGs. The level varies...
* Sometimes it's just a bit of flavor text that nonetheless is part of character generation so you can't officially complete it until you have links to the party.
* Sometimes there's a mechanical bribe - such as an extra skill level or two - for linking to fellow PCs.
* And sometimes, the players are actively involved in setting creation, officially/by the book not allowed to make their characters until the environment and party context is established (whether or not the players are thinking ahead to the characters they want to play).
TheStratovarian 11th Jul 2019, 12:52 PM edit delete reply
And the biggest effort to place and to get players together, Session 0. Something that every bit should be aimed for no matter the when or where.
Solitary Performance 12th Jul 2019, 7:16 PM edit delete reply
In my case, I try to actively see what character I have, or have to make, to fit with the party's existing composition... be it a group that just did session 0 and had someone drop, the general back and forth of people coming up with ideas the days leading into the first session (because of no formal session 0), or a few sessions in and filling a slot for whatever reason.

At this point, I've got just about everything in some flavor... cleric, bard, rogue, sorcerer, and even a under-HP bardbarian one-hippogryph wall (ok, he's a Skald... basically a barbarian with bard HP, and a mix of both's skills)
Winged Cat 11th Jul 2019, 10:47 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
And if you Call to Adventure a third time, you can establish that, just like the rest of the world's adventurers, the PCs are busy, and that'd why there are all these adventures around begging for someone to do them. It can also show that the world is just plain falling apart, needing someone to sort through the details of the small pains to find the larger pattern and root cause.
werefrog 12th Jul 2019, 4:34 AM edit delete reply
These comments remind The Werefrog of something repeatedly said at Fear the Boot: the best games are those with a party template. All players agree how their character fits in the party and they all came together before the adventure.

Of course, they also had times in which only GM knew the truth about a character for some final twist that the player would reveal.
Khyrin 12th Jul 2019, 4:51 AM edit delete reply
"Calling them to Adventure a second time when they're right in front of you is about as weird and rote as it sounds."

I prefer to think of it as a Fae Contract. Thrice Called. Thrice Answered.
Guest 12th Jul 2019, 11:27 PM edit delete reply
Dunno, asking adventurers if they want to do that specific thing is definitively the right call (word play intended).

Given often do they decide that they should do another whacky plan or just to plainly try to become the bad guys.