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Game Session Zero

by Hawke Robinson published Jun 20, 2015 05:05 PM, last modified Feb 05, 2023 12:22 PM





I also typically have "session zero", some times T-minus, since some systems take 2-3 sessions for creating characters for scratch (especially if the players are new to the system or new to RPG in general), such as Rolemaster 2nd Ed. (The players unanimously agree the work has been worth it though.... unless they die in the first gaming session :-) ). The Game of Thrones Song of Ice & Fire really set up a nice process for this with the whole process of creating a House before even creating their characters. I have never seen so much bonding and buy-in for group cohesion before even playing that game, so strongly as I have with that system. And since my GM style has some distinct quirks, I've refined the whole process into a series of handouts for all players to read, discuss, understand, and agree to before the rest. I was nervous about all the added paperwork (especially the Leisure Interests and other research-related assessments), but I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the tabletop RPG population is generally not as afraid of paperwork as other populations, considering the format of the game. :-) Here are some example documents I have used that have been VERY helpful: Having these all up front helps clearly define to the players what kind of experience to expect, for example the article's differentiation between ROLE-playing game versus ROLL-playing game (which I differentiate in the handouts). Hope others find helpful as well. -Happy Gaming!