James C. mentioned Tuckman's stages of group development. So, how might I help these players that don't know each other turn from rabble into an adventuring party. Don't worry, I'm not going to turn this into a team building exercise or take them on a ropes course. I think I'll just give them some questions that they should probably be thinking about even if they don't ever arrive at explicit answers. Here are a five:
- What are we trying to achieve?
- What are we trying to find?
- What will we do if we encounter a door?
- What will we do if we encounter something strange and dangerous?
- When should turn around and head back to town?
Are there other questions you would consider important for an adventuring party? I'm guessing that experienced players probably decide on these things without even thinking about them.