Dungeons & Dragons Online

Session zero – a rousing success

Everyone – First, let me thank this community. Between youtube video's and posts here on Reddit I got a lot of great advice. I was nervous about our second campaign, and a session zero, but I think it was great and set us off in the right direction. I believe that by setting expectations up front you will have a more successful group and campaign.

tl;dr – Please… run a session zero. Set expectations, and prepare your party for your campaign… as well as your campaign for your party!

As background, we've just completed one pre-written campaign (LMoP), and I'm planning to run them through another pre-written campaign (DoIP). I am a first time DM, taking over for a first time DM, and just held our session zero. Some items you may choose to cover in greater depth due to your experience or party.

First, I talked about the game I plan to run. Game edition, overall game feel (easy, challenging, deadly, etc), and how the game would be represented (mini's/maps/theatre of the mind/combination etc).

Second, we built the social contract. I included items that i felt were not negotiable (respect, comfort, fun) but also built a discussion about their desires (creativity, commitment to character/class/roleplay).

Third, we talked about table rules. How do we handle player absences? Do we allow secrets or metagaming? How is player v. player handled? Does the player have complete agency, or why might a DM direct a PC?

Read more:  Flail of +1 Confidence

Fourth, we talked about player comfort. I was more circumspect with this subject. I defined the game that I intended to run as more free on violence and combat (rated R), but more restrictive on sensitive subjects (PG-13) . I also emphasized that my players should contact me if there are any specific subjects that make them uncomfortable.

Fifth, we talked about home-brew rules. I covered anything that was going to be different from the RAW, and why I wanted to change the rules.

Lastly, we created characters and backgrounds. Depending on your party, this could be more or less in-depth.

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