The player characters wake up in a squalid little apartment. The wallpapers are torn, there are stains on the floor, and the windows are nearly opaque with grime. But what really catches their attention is a large, strange-looking device in one corner of the room, sporting tangled wiring, weirdly-shaped crystal matrices and several electrodes. And a dead guy, wearing a lab coat and lying in a pool of blood in front of the contraption. Next thing the player characters notice is that they are not wearing their own clothes. Or their own bodies. The face looking back from the mirror is that of a total stranger.
And when the characters have taken in all this, they notice the wanted poster with their new faces.
This was how the Over the Edge campaign I’m currently running got started. As none of my players were familiar with the game or the setting beforehand, I gave them a choice of what the first session would be like. They could have a slow start with simple problems to solve and some in-character sight-seeing of the setting before moving on to the main challenge of the session. Or they could start knee-deep in trouble, with a situation demanding immediate action, having to become familiar with the setting on their feet. Of course, they opted for the latter alternative.
From that start the session proceeded to a double-fold game of cat and mouse on the streets of Al Amarja with the player characters both as the pursuers and the pursued, leading them to such places as D’Aubainne University, the posh Sequin’s restaurant and, of course, the ever-popular Sad Mary’s Bar & Girl. The session culminated in an ambush and a hail of taser fire that the characters set up for the culprits to their condition and with the help of the dead scientist’s daughter our protagonists got their bodies back – save for an one-legged ex-military guy, who was actually quite happy with the way things turned out in the end…