December 29, 2019

The Characters’ First Meeting

Today’s #GMAdvice centers around how to structure your characters’ first meeting.

When yourself and the players sit down for their first session, there’s a buzz about things. Everyone is excited and ready to get into the action. You need to harness that energy and design an appropriate forum for your players’ characters to meet and begin to develop some rapport.

Capturing that inertia can be difficult. So for great results, our recommendation is to follow these high level rules for this meeting:

  1. Give everyone a chance to shine. Or, more simply, just be themselves.
  2. Not at first, but eventually in that first scene, give them a problem to solve. Or perhaps a mystery. This type of “conflict” brings characters together without railroading their actions.
  3. Humor! Injecting, but not forcing, humorous elements into this meeting scene always seem to have a way of brightening the mood, bringing characters together, and establishing a direction.

Of course, there’s no one right “perfect” way to structure an opening scene. But the three steps above are, at least, going to get you and your players a great time!