About a month ago I presented the setup for a session 0, and this week I ran a session 0 for the 3.5 game we're starting up at the end of the month. Let me quickly go through it as I did in my last post.
Expectations - The expectation for the game was that combat would be optional and more focused on story. Random encounters wouldn't be appreciated, unless there was a point to them. It's also important that the players have the opportunity to explore and choose their own path through the campaign.
Location - We've decided to play over Roll20 and host live games at one of the players' place. We'll eat lunch before meeting up, everyone will bring snacks and drinks, and we'll go buy or order dinner at each live session.
Time - We have committed to playing live sessions on saturdays once per month. We haven't decided on a specific start time as we'll try 14:00 and 15:00 and possible other times to see what suits best. We'll aim at stopping around 2 AM. Our dropbox will include a calendar with the specific dates, which will also include our Roll20 sessions, which we'll start running on every second thursday from 20:00 - 23:00 up until mid autumn, where two of us will start having plans on thursdays.
System - We'll be playing D&D 3.5.
Theme - We'll be playing an elemental war, but the tone of the game will be open to random jokes and fun, even though we'll try to take the game seriously.
Setting - The game will take place at the end of the 3rd Age in the world of Aspenta, my homebrew setting.
Dying - Two characters now have the ability to reincarnate. This means that the chances the party is killed off is minimal. There is a price to dying though, in the form of loss of level and a new race.
Levelling - We will continue levelling at approximately the same pace as we've done before, which is neither slow noro fast. To control this, the DM will ensure that encounters aren't too long or too short, unless there is a balanced mix of both.
Books - We'll be using all available and official 3.5 rules. We may also use houserules. In both cases it's the DM's responsibility to control this.
Grid - We'll run with a large mix. The theater of mind will be used for roleplaying combat encoutners. Wargames will be run warhammer style, while normal combats will be run with square grids.
Length - The campaign ends when the party defeats one of the four Elemental Lords. This should take 67 - 100 hours and we expect that to take ½ - 1 year. This campaign is a step towards the Temporal Campaign, which will mark the end of the 3rd Age.
Starting level - We'll be playing with characters that were created beforehand, and thus their levels will remain the same.
Alignment - We've decided to play without alignments, and it'll be up to the DM to control alignment based rules.
Attributes - We'll be playing with characters that were created beforehand, and thus their attributes will remain the same.
Starting gear - We'll be playing with characters that were created beforehand, and thus their gear will remain the same.
Party creation - The party will consist of 3 PCs and an NPC. The NPC is a DMs tool, a chronomancer that can explain and control all the temporal aspects of the game, which introduces the party to the final temporal campaign. The half-dragon Rawech is the aggressive character. He is not a leader, but he isn't silent either. He's mostly combat oriented. The half-elf Stag is the reincarnated arcane hierophant who wants to protect nature and the world as a whole. He dislikes civilization but has a chaotic nature, changing his mind quite often. He has a highly intelligent wolf which anchors Stag to the world. Vendar is the old arrogant human healer. Though he takes care of everyone with his cooking and healing, it seems that everyone around him dies or abandons him. He is the character with most charisma, although the entire party has a generallly high charisma. The party is together because they just spent years apart only to discover that they work best together.
Create Connections - Everything we've played before creates the connection between the players.
Background - The only common background the party has is everything we've played before.
Integration - We stopped playing after the players fought a black dragon where two characters died. In the past they had gotten a reward from a demi-god called the Phoenix in the form of extra life. After the battle, the Phoenix resurrected everyone, including the dragon. The party then split up. Rawech went to Sigil to study elementals and magic. Stag got lost in Sigil and ended up in a random forest. Vendar and Presmer travelled to the continent of Sillia to fight the elementals.
Transciption - The DM will go through the characters before the next live sessions as there are some rule and XP discrepancies.
Party Roles - Rawech is the smith and the first one in combat. Vendar is the healer and cook. He is the one that gathers food and water. Presmer is the DMs tool to give the players any missing information about the setting. Stag is the scout and the guard. He is a protector, but not the tank. The party doesn't contain any rogue type characters and everyone will do some talking throughout the campaign.
Player Roles - One of the players will take care of group inventory. The DM will handle maps and stats. Another player will take care of important information such as names.
Confirm Game Time - Our next live session will be on June 25th at 14:00
Gaming - I then showed the players the map of the campaign and asked them to choose 3 quests. They chose 4.
I look forward to seeing if they stick to the plan and how the campaign will evolve.