Hi, please bear with me, I know this has probably been done to death for most of you.
Im gradually coming to grips with the social nature of roleplaying -- being on the same page etc... being very important to get a group all enthused together about the same thing, which is the only way to get any regular synergy at the table.
And Ive come to realise that establishing the premise of the game at the start is a main part of that.
However, most of the premises Ive seen are stated in the form of a question -- Can a man with a dark past overcome his legacy and do good deeds (dust devils) etc...
But the definition of a story premise I read which spoke to me was "The premise is, quite simply, what is at stake in your story. It is the foundation of your story, upon which your theme, characters, and plot are built. Your premise determines the primary goals of your characters and lays out the path they will take in achieving those goals. "
Which is not a question, just a statement about what the characters mainly want and what are the main methods/obstacles to achieve it. And I thought yes! once the players agree on that and are enthused by that, the initial situation and goal setting will flow. In a game I am about to run, the group decided on a mythical ancient greek setting. So I thought about the main elements of that: glory, kinship and capricious interfering gods, and came up with the following premise "The characters strive to achieve glory for themselves and their community despite adversity and the whims of the gods"
There is no moral dilemma implicit in that premise. Theres no question to answer as such. but I dont think my group is particularly interested in exploring moral dilemmas as a priority, they are more interested in exploring the setting and (I hope at least) their characters.
So I guess my question is, dose a premise have to be a question? Is it enough to inform the players of the type of thing their characters will be doing and leave it at that?