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 Post subject: Session 0
Unread postPosted: Mon May 30, 2022 7:04 pm

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I'm not even sure if I am allowed to place this here, but here goes.

Okay, this is going to sound odd, but in 32 years of gaming, I have never been in a Session 0. I have one coming up and I really have no idea what to expect. I know I'm not supposed to have a character ready but it seems I'm not even supposed to have a character concept either. I'm open to playing just about anything but I've never gone into a game with most, if not all, of my character, built.
So, can anyone who's been in one tell me what they consist of?

There are two kinds of people in this world... 1: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data

 Post subject: Re: Session 0
Unread postPosted: Mon May 30, 2022 7:48 pm

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What's a "Session 0"...?

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 Post subject: Re: Session 0
Unread postPosted: Mon May 30, 2022 7:53 pm


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Comment: They/Them
Ideally a couple of elements of a session 0 are discussed beforehand, such as a brief description of setting, expectations of character relative power levels (if interparty balance is at all prioritized), general schedule, tone, etc. In this case it sounds like characters will be put together during the session, likely with an eye towards coming up with reasons for party cohesion.

Other than that I'd expect any house rules to be brought up in a S0. As part of detailing what narrative controls players should expect to use there might be discussion of safety tools like X-card or Lines and Veils. Consider beforehand if, for instance, you don't want in-game lurid depictions of violence against children, or prefer sex to be a "fade to black" situation.

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 Post subject: Re: Session 0
Unread postPosted: Mon May 30, 2022 11:53 pm


Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:21 am
Posts: 1368
my understanding is session 0 is the before the game really starts stuff, creating the campaign expectations, creating the characters etc.

for instance rolling in with a godling in a coalition campaign wouldn't work well
or a hard core coalition fanatic char in an anti coalition campaign also won't work so well.

 Post subject: Re: Session 0
Unread postPosted: Tue May 31, 2022 4:00 am

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Rifter® Contributer

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Comment: "So gentlemen, are you prepared to open your minds and travel to worlds hitherto undreamed of?"
Tashas Cauldron of Everything has a little bit on Session Zero (D&D).

Otherwise try Sly Flourish

Rifter 52 Cannibal Magic
Rifter 55 The Ancestral Mystic P.C.C.
Rifter 59 The Lopanic Games adventure "The Lion, the Ditch & the Warlock". Illustrations to this adventure can be found here.
Rifter 71 & 72 Double Issue Ninjas & Superspies adventure "On a Wing & a Prayer"
Rifter 80 Masters Unlimited

 Post subject: Re: Session 0
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2022 4:25 am


Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2021 10:06 am
Posts: 37
I too have played DnD (since 1981) and Palladium (TMNT, Robotech and Rifts) (since 1987) and I have never had an official session 0.

However we have usually had discussions in the weeks prior starting a campaign, to discuss house rules and group expectations. Never anything as formal as session 0. Honestly I wouldn't suggest a session 0 for Rifts - there often needs to be quite a bit of discussion about characters. I would suggest a series of one-on-one with GM and each player, rather than a group session 0. Just my opinion. :)

 Post subject: Re: Session 0
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2022 5:37 pm

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The primary goal of Session 0 is (or should be) setting expectations.

What kind of game is it? What is the tone? do people want serious and dramatic or lighthearted, silly, something else? What's the idea or focus of the game?

How difficult is it? What are expectations regarding character death? Are there any topics or things people want to actively NOT come up during game?

The specifics vary with the group, but the goal is simply to ensure everyone's on the same page before character generation starts in earnest. It avoids issues like the one guy showing up with a comedy character in a serious game, or making a very lighthearted, roleplay heavy character in a game that turns out to be entirely about combat, or vice versa, ect.

By making sure everyone is on the same page of what kind of game it's going to be, before people make characters, they can make them to fit in, and avoid problems of mismatch that frankly has been a background issue for ages. All the old timers who don't know what a session 0 is probablly remember the time Someone showed up with a character that was clearly made for a different kind of game, and Session 0 seeks to fix the problem.

It also provides an opportunity for players to back out if it's clear the game isn't what they wanted to sign up for or they don't mesh with the group.

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 Post subject: Re: Session 0
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2022 6:23 pm

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session zero is a thing that has come up more and more, mostly due to the difficulties in organizing games prior to the start. if your GM and group are good at communicating, most of the stuff done in session zero (planning ,character creation, etc) can be done on a one on one basis before the game. but since a lot of gamers aren't good at communicating with their group (especially now with the increase in online textchat and/or videochat games between people living in widely seperated places), session zero just bundles them together into a group session where it can all be ironed out in one go and you don;t have to do as much phone tag and multi-email conversations.
both methods are viable, though i like the session zero idea even if the group is good at communicating. it gives everyone a chance to share their characters before the game officially starts and see how the group dynamic will work at a time when there is still a chance to do tweaks.

it is also really handy for when you have new players or players who haven't played in a while and are still working on getting up to date. since it means that you have multiple viewpoints able to provide info and aid, instead of lumping the whole thing onto one person.

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 Post subject: Re: Session 0
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2022 6:34 pm

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Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2000 1:01 am
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People have largely covered it, but 'Session 0' is just a formal name for establishing expectations of play prior to the game actually commencing, often(though not always) mixed with elements of character creation.

It's where things like 'this is what the game is about', 'tone', 'house rules' and so forth are brought up and hashed out so you don't end up with the GM's pitch of a group of wanderers in the wilderness of the the North-East ending up being populated by a City-Rat, a Zambrak and a Wolfen Demigod Glitterboy pilot.

Besides Tone and the particulars of game expectations(in Rifts examples might include things like 'how hard will getting resources be' and 'how hard is it to replace equipment') the other important element is establishing players rules and game expectations of the social variety.

Things like 'What subjects are not cool to just casually bring up in a game'. How does that intersect with tone. What things are not cool to bring up. People have various red lines. A common one for example is that many parents are not cool with on-stage portrayals of violence directed at children. Some not even with off-hand mention of it. Common other things include sexual violence, particular phobia's(I played with a genuine Arachnophobe for a time and so for those games we just didn't have anything related to spiders.), elements like sexism or racism.

One big purpose with session 0 is to have a place to get these out in the open early, so they don't pointlessly derail a game later. These sorts of simple social fixes early on make things smoother later on.

Other parts of the gaming 'social contract' as well. Like whats the rules governing snacks? Where are we playing? What's the time expecation. How are cancellations suppose to be handled? If somebody can't make it, what do we do?

Or to put it in the simplest terms possible; it's about making all that unspoken stuff spoken so nobody is confused or clueless.

The Way that can be told,
is not the true unchanging way

The way that can be named,
is not the true unnamable way

 Post subject: Re: Session 0
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2022 7:15 pm

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Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:00 pm
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Location: a west coast
session 0 is just a first session where you don't likely have time to get into a serious session of roleplaying because you're making characters and figuring out the setting. i've always considered them a failure to organize, personally.

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 Post subject: Re: Session 0
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2022 6:55 pm

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Comment: You probably think this comment is about you, don't you?
Killer Cyborg wrote:
What's a "Session 0"...?

Figuring out what kind of campaign is going to be run, what the house rules are, what classes each player would like to be, what books they can get gear from, and so forth.

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