For my own reference as well as that of the players, here's a thumbnail sketch of how and where we'll begin:
I'll be using BECMI D&D (the Red Box), but (the free) Labyrinth Lord clone and/or B/X are also fair game.
Characters will be assumed to be novice-but-not-totally-green adventurers.
- Classes: Any basic class or Ursari
- Level: 3rd to start
- Hit Points: Maximum for 1st; rolled + CON adjustment for 2nd and 3rd
- Money: The characters have had some success so far but are hardly wealthy. Begin with 2d10 x 100 gp.
- Magic Items: Each character begins with 1 randomly-rolled (by the DM) magic item found in a previous adventure. He/she may not know what it does yet. Items unusable by the character's class will be rerolled.
- Spells: The DM will assign spells to elf and magic-user characters.
- Each player should roll on the 100 Reasons Characters Are Together table (link halfway through post) to see how their character relates to the person on his/her right's character.
- The party will begin its career at the Wilderland Inn.
- This is a "sandbox" game, which means that characters are under no obligation to pick up and follow pre-set adventure "hooks". The DM has a full population of NPCs and plots already on hand and is ready to ride off the rails at a moment's notice.