Party Bonds: Bringing PCs Together

It’s the first session of a new campaign, and you and your table mates are excited to share the details of your new characters. Place of birth, eye colour, favourite drink – you each know exactly what makes your characters who they are. 

But as you start your game, you realize you forgot to consider something big: how are your characters going to relate to each other in a meaningful  way that justifies forming a party? This is a team game, and your characters are going to have to work together, but where to start? Of course, relationships will often naturally form as you play, in the same way your character will naturally evolve, but just as you write out your character’s bonds and flaws before session one, it’s nice to have some idea of what your relationships with your fellow PCs will be.

Not sure where to start? Do not fear! We have created some tables with some options. They are divided by class, but don’t let the designations limit your creativity – a paladin may write secret poetry and could use the bard table, and a druid may relate more to a tribal barbarian than their granola colleagues.

Since this is about working together, make sure both you and your fellow players agree on the relationship. (Unless it makes sense not to. Everyone loves a secret!)

Bard

1D6 Bond
1 I met my rival  [CHARACTER] at a Tavern where we were both performing. Since then we always try to out-do each other.
2 [CHARACTER] and I attended College together and know each other’s secrets. 
3 [CHARACTER] has a famous song written about them. I can’t wait to meet them and see if the tales are true.
4 [CHARACTER] could be famous one day, and I have to be the one to write their epic tale.
5 [CHARACTER] has not heard the wide tales of the world. Lucky for them I am here to educate them.
6 [CHARACTER] is my biggest fan. They follow me from tavern to tavern, never missing a performance.

Barbarian

1D6 Bond
1 [CHARACTER] keeps questioning my use of force to solve problems. They overthink everything. I need to show them how to just dive in and smash.
2 [CHARACTER] is puny and weak. I must keep them safe.
3 [CHARACTER] handles problems with peaceful solutions. I could learn from them. 
4 [CHARACTER] likes animals and nature, but I’m not sure why. Aren’t animals just for eating?
5 [CHARACTER] has a noble ancestry like me, and knows the pressure of expectations.
6 [CHARACTER] is the only family I have after I left my tribe.

Cleric

1d6 Bond
1 [CHARACTER] constantly belittles my strong faith. I belittle their heresy. The banter works for us.
2 My deity has given me a vision of [CHARACTER]. I know I must be at their side during their journey.
3 [CHARACTER] wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for me. I shouldn’t let them out of my sight. They will need my healing again. 
4 [CHARACTER] is part of a different faith than me, and I find it intriguing.
5 [CHARACTER] is always taking care of the group. But who is taking care of them?
6 [CHARACTER] assumes I will resurrect them if they die, and is reckless in battle. They do not understand how death affects a person who is reborn. 

Druid

1d6 Bond
1 [CHARACTER] grew up in the city and has never set foot in any kind of wilderness. I don’t feel comfortable in crowded cities. We clash as much as we help one another.
2 [CHARACTER] treats nature with deep respect, and I in turn do the same to them.
3 [CHARACTER] has not seen the beauty of nature like I have, and I can show them what they have been missing. 
4 [CHARACTER] sees animals only as food. They need to see how animals are sacred and deserve our respect as equals. 
5 [CHARACTER] has trouble coping with the cycle of life, but I can help show them how to accept how death has a place in life.
6 [CHARACTER] has anxiety. I turn into fluffy animals to help them stay calm.

Fighter

1d6 Bond
1 [CHARACTER] saved me in a fight once, and I owe them my protection in return.
2 [CHARACTER] and I are sparring partners.
3 [CHARACTER] and I are bonded by a shared battle.
4 [CHARACTER] uses magic. I don’t trust it.
5 [CHARACTER] is useless in a fight. I need to keep an eye on them so they don’t get themselves killed.  
6 [CHARACTER] and I clean and repair our weapons and armour together after a battle as a way to relax at the end of  a day.

Monk

1d6 Bond
1 [CHARACTER] is loud and obnoxious. I find it difficult to access my inner peace when they are around.
2 [CHARACTER]’s soul is restless. I must help them find inner peace.
3 [CHARACTER] has always challenged me with honesty and respect. 
4 [CHARACTER] and I have become close, but is it wise to become too attached?
5 [CHARACTER] values material goods more than anything, which is difficult for me to understand.
6 [CHARACTER] joins me for morning meditation. We focus on different things, but it is all the same in the way of the universe.

Paladin

1d6 Bond
1 [CHARACTER] and I can never come to an agreement when decisions must be made. I do not understand why they cannot see that my way is the correct path.
2 I have sworn to protect [CHARACTER]. I will sacrifice myself before seeing them fall to harm. 
3 [CHARACTER] acts without thought to the well being of the people of the lands. How can they be so selfish?
4 [CHARACTER] doesn’t agree with my views on law and order. Do they have a point?
5 [CHARACTER] worships the same deity as I do. We perform our rituals together.
6 [CHARACTER] seeks redemption after a life of doing wrong. Do they deserve punishment or a second chance?

Ranger

1d6 Bond
1 [CHARACTER] gets on my nerves. If they aren’t careful, one day they might find an arrow narrowly missing their head.
2 [CHARACTER] always has my back, and I have theirs.
3 [CHARACTER] has no sense of direction. They would definitely be lost without me.
4 [CHARACTER] always forgets to feed themselves, so I have to be sure they are taken care of. 
5 [CHARACTER] Grew up in a terrain different from mine. I will have to rely on them if we travel there, and that makes me uncomfortable.
6 [CHARACTER] despises a specific creature. Lucky for them it’s my favourite creature to hunt. 

Rogue

1d6 Bond
1 [CHARACTER] and I are planning a con together.
2 [CHARACTER] has evidence of one of my crimes, and could use it as blackmail if I’m not careful. 
3 [CHARACTER] could help me if I shared my secrets with them, but how much do I trust them?
4 [CHARACTER] thinks that the authorities in power are for the good of the people. Is there any truth to that?
5 [CHARACTER] doesn’t appreciate my rakish lifestyle. They are missing out.
6 [CHARACTER] and I grew up in the same city, but on opposite sides of the track.

Sorcerer

1d6 Bond
1 [CHARACTER] does not trust my inherent powers. I will prove to them my worth.
2 [CHARACTER] is helping me understand my innate powers.
3 [CHARACTER] always looks out for me. It’s nice to have someone who cares.
4 [CHARACTER] uses weapons instead of magic, which are inferior… aren’t they?
5 [CHARACTER] is burdened with the expectations of their family, and I can show them how to be a free individual.
6 [CHARACTER] just needs to let loose every once and while. I think I can show them how much fun it is to be spontaneous. 

Wizard

1d6 Bond
1 [CHARACTER] comes to me for help with identifying magical items. All the time. I have better things to do.
2 [CHARACTER] has never read a book. Can they even read? I will make sure that they receive a proper education from me.
3 [CHARACTER] has traveled and seen the world, while I’ve always been inside studying. Is it better to experience things instead of just reading about it?
4 [CHARACTER] is able to sit and relax doing nothing sometimes. How can they do that when there isn’t enough time in the day to learn everything worth learning?
5 [CHARACTER] calls me a weakling for reading all the time. I call them a brainless hunk of meat. They respond that lacking a brain protects them against illithid. We enjoy each other’s company through our differences. 
6 [CHARACTER] helps me find components in cities or in nature. I enjoy their help and company.

Warlock

1d6 Bond
1 [CHARACTER] distrusts me because of my patron. My patron doesn’t care for them either.
2 [CHARACTER] knows more about my patron than I do. Will they share their knowledge with me?
3 [CHARACTER] wants to help me learn my new powers, but I am hesitant to get close to them. 
4 [CHARACTER] seems like such a cool person. I will do anything to impress them and make sure they like me back.
5 [CHARACTER] assumes that I’m in league with dark forces and wants me to help them with nefarious deeds. My patron, however, is not the evil entity they think.
6 My patron is ancient. [CHARACTER] is from an ancient society. We can share things that other people don’t understand.

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