Session 0 in action!

This post could also be called “How we got to Session 0!”

I probably should have started with this but – oh well. I was not sure if people would want the story behind the stories at first. Thanks to some feedback, I am adding this part in. I essentially ran Session 0’s as we went along because we added people as we went.

Group – Company of the Diamond Circle – Weekend Classic D&D

The weekend group got started when I mentioned that I wanted to get a new group going to a couple of friends after they said something that made me think they played D&D. Dominic, Glenn and Jon were among those. We had known each other for years and they were feeling some nostalgia for D&D. I brought up how I still have all the books for Classic D&D (Basic, Expert, Companion, Master, and Immortal Sets) without the boxes and the Rules Cyclopedia. In addition, I had all the things I had written over the years with my own world and classes that people have used. They wanted to get a group going with a few more people if we could. I have had groups with as few as two people, the GM and player, where we had an amazing amount of fun. But from initial discussions, they wanted a bigger group.

roleplaying-cyclopediaWe decided that we would use Classic D&D as the rules, since we all knew them. Once that was established I printed off copies of the Rules Cyclopedia as well as copies of the additional classes my players have been using for years. We all discussed what we liked for roleplaying style and everyone agreed that it had to be character driven. Lots of roleplaying with all kinds of adventures, combat, puzzles, different story styles, while still being challenging – but still staying fun and just hanging out with friends. Also, we wanted characters with interesting concepts and a world that goes on both with and without them. They should be able to influence it but things still happen around them. Their story is their focus – but the world still happens and things will go on without them knowing about it.

Perfect! They made some interesting characters and we were well on our way.

After that we went out to find more players to join in the fun and build that bigger group. At the time, I did not know where to go though to get more people.

Thankfully a new store called Game On! just opened up in Moose Jaw (it is a city in Saskatchewan) and I thought I should give it a visit. I ran into one fellow who had a couple of other friends who wanted to get into a game but the only catch was that they did not want to learn any new rules systems. That was easy as we had already decided with the initial players that we would use the Classic D&D rules system. We all met at a donut shop when it was a convenient time for everyone and there would be some people around. The following week I started playing in a 5E game and one of the players in that game joined the Classic D&D group once we got going. Unfortunately, they ended up having to quit eventually due to work commitments.

We had another fellow join in briefly, which prompted us to look at the Campaign Charter again… We added in the bit about the no drinking rule, or at the very least – limited drinking, as it had not been an issue ever beforehand. No one ever drank enough ever that we had to think about it. But times change and we need to roll with them.

Talon joined in as he went to the store and called me right before he came over to my house. I told the store owner of Game On! that if anyone was interested in playing to let me know. I did not expect this, but I figured I would roll with it. He had never played beforehand but he is a great addition to the group and has really caught on with role-playing. Talon is an interesting case as he had never played a roleplaying game beforehand and just wanted to know how to even play. He caught on quickly though and I am surprised that he had never played before. He caught on so quickly and any questions he had we quickly resolved in his character’s session 0 for this group.

Brayden and Robert (II) came over to play in the Classic game, while continuing to play in the 5E game, and they have brought some good characters to the group. I discuss them more in the Company of the Oncoming Storm though as that is where they started.

logo-trans-fan-expo-reginaI ran an “Intro to 5E” game at the Regina Fan Expo this year and had a great turnout. In the process, I made a session 0 that should be fun for anyone that tied into what was going to happen that night with the weekend group. Due to the (audible) volume at the event we were only able to get 8 players at the table. Thank goodness that a 7 person sign up was the restriction because adding a more people and another table would have made it harder to hear more people!

That said, we did squeeze in an 8th person as I could not resist, nor did I want to turn anyone away. We made characters as quickly as possible and I was impressed that everyone made actual personalities as well as setting up the characters in 45 minutes. Everybody had a lot of fun and I wish I could have made a group out of all those people.

Cassie and Dennin expressed that they wanted to join one of my game groups. I let them know it was in Moose Jaw and we were playing that night. I had to let them know that it was an hour drive in case they were not up for the drive. They have been a great addition as well and with them this group is solid!

Final thoughts

Like I said, we literally ran a bunch of Session 0’s as we went along for each person as they joined in the group. The initial one though was the start of it all and made it easier to add everyone in with the group direction.

Clear skies fellow GM’s and players – until next time!

Keith R. Byers, A.Sc.T., Esq.

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