Session one: Prologue
The first session of the campaign would be the usual introduction of player characters followed by a description of the setting. Nothing new here but I do like to take my time at this stage to ensure everyone is comfortable before moving on. In my experience the general feel of the first session can prove to be a crucial factor in whether or not there will be a second session at all.
At the start of the session, each member of the party is given a personal reason to make an appearance at a town/village gathering where they will see each other for the first time across the huddled masses and eventually meet to form their adventuring band. In this case, the voice of the town elders proclaims that stocks are low due to a merchant caravans late arrival. (roleplaying the lack of supplies before hand during introductions could help set the mood)
With the lack of supplies comes the possibility that the merchant caravan itself could be at risk if not already fallen. The call for aid is simply to locate the missing caravan and escort the merchants directly back to the town. Apart from the individual player morals or personal reasons for getting involved, the elders also offer a generous reward to entice an adventuring party to step forward.
Session one: In Search of Trade (Main Quest)
The Party gear up and move out. Moving north through a heavy wood until nightfall, the party eventually see a small campfire lit in the distance. A successful perception check would reveal a small campfire set in the middle of a caravan camp with a single guard on watch…