Saturday Night was the first meeting of the group in 2023 but also the reboot of our gaming after a short hiatus. As the GM, I had invited those players available to gather for a so-called “Session Zero” with the aim of kicking off a new game.
Aside from the fact that I don’t really like the term, “Session Zero” (because I am pedantic), the challenge I always face is that I am never sure quite what to cover. I decided to out this insecurity on the night and ask the assembled players to help me build an agenda. Given that all of them are also GMs, it seemed sensible.
Here’s the Session Zero Agenda list we came up with:
- Goals for Players
- Goals Group
- Bi-weekly – agreed
- Open or Closed Table
- Absent Players
- Play Style
- Safety Tools
- Character Creation
- OOC Discussion
- Character Sheet Update timing
The longest part of the discussion was focused on the first two items but this was also the richest part of the process. Discussing our goals as gamers, individually and then as a group, touched on most of the other agenda items but also helped me grasp several key themes that the group wanted to focus on. For example, the fact that this was as much a social event as it was about roleplaying games came through strongly.
I was pleasantly surprised at how easily we managed to gravitate towards the game I’ve agreed to set up and run. The truth is that we would not have been able to see the common threads between players had we not taken the time to listen to each other’s preferences and goals. It was also positive to discover that the players are all keen to experiment with the methodology of play too, and the best suggestions came from players who haven’t had the chance to join the group before.
All in all, it was a truly positive and enjoyable evening online with gaming friends. It was also a productive session in which we got to lay the groundwork for a new game. Most of all, however, I wanted to save that Session Zero Agenda so that I can use it again and add to it as new items occur to me. Perhaps someone reading this will find it useful too.
Don’t worry about calling it session zero. Computer code starts counting from 0. Good enough for properly formatted computer code, good enough for me.
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