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Session Zero

5 Reviews

Session Zero

Dungeons & Dragons 5e on Fantasy Grounds

Price per player-session
You will be charged when a session starts

$5.00

Information

  • Duration: 1 to 2 hours

  • Number of players: 2 to 6 players

  • Experience required: Open to all

Price per player-session
$5.00

About the adventure

This is a free Session Zero for all players in my extended campaigns. This is also for helping players new to the game and for familiarizing players with the Fantasy Grounds: Unity platform. We will also discuss the Luxton technique and other techniques we'll employ to keep everyone on the same page and to make sure we are healing rather than hurting if we head into potentially triggering territory. Also, if you have a major "no," like adventuring underwater, let me know. I can usually accommodate, but if I can't, a free session zero is a great place to find out! (I cannot easily accommodate spider issues, I have to say upfront. They may not come up often, but they are baked into world politics in ways I couldn't avoid without completely changing the world. Maybe a scorpion replacement or something. Let me know. But that one would be tough. Anyway, that's what session zero is about, in part - making sure we're all a fit together.) Most of my current campaigns are run in the Mistlands of Enthion, a homebrew campaign world I have worked on and expanded for years. It is largely a high fantasy campaign, though it has some steampunk/aetherpunk elements in some parts of the world. Enthion is a world of magic and intrigue, a world where a whisper to the right person could topple an empire, a world of murder and mystery, a world where dark shadows take form in the city's sewers, and a world where an ancient being wakes somewhere deep in the bowels of the earth. If it's a Forgotten Realms campaign, that's a bit different, isn't it? A little more classic high fantasy with locales seen in many video games and across several editions of Dungeons & Dragons. If you're unfamiliar with TTRPGs, the Realms is a great place to begin, and if you're an old hand, it's a familiar haunt populated by some of the most recognizable names in D&D: Elminster, Vecna, Drizzt Do'Urden along with Cattie-Brie and Guenhwyvar, Szass Tam, and many others. Even Mordenkainen, when he visits from Greyhawk.

Professional Game Master

Change Arranger

he/him

5 Reviews

LGBTQ+
Neurodivergent

44 years as a TTRPG player

31 years as a Game Master

0 games hosted

Brings Fantasy Grounds: Unity/Ultimate, which means you only need the free demo and I will gladly walk new people through the platform. to the table

Change Arranger profile

Additional Details

How to prepare

I'll repeat this part from above so it's all where we need it: You need the free demo version of Fantasy Grounds: Unity, which you can download here (bottom left under Demo where it says "Free"): https://www.fantasygrounds.com/home/FantasyGroundsUnity.php You'll also need Discord, a free app/platform for voice and text: https://discord.com/download OK! In addition, you need a working microphone. We won't be doing cams, just voice. I've found it helps with immersion. Plus, if you need to text someone mid-game, no one will ever know! Rules are pretty standard 5e rules with a little wiggle room as needed. Much of it is even automated with the platform, keeping combat fair. We will focus on creating characters during Session Zero in addition to going over the Luxton technique, what to expect from the campaign, and any questions you may have! Somewhere in the North (My one shot and Session Zero server that we'll use to start): https://discord.gg/pdtKJjZa I'll help you get to the game through the demo once we're on voice, but once it's up you'll be able to find it if you search by GM name (in Fantasy Grounds: Unity) and use the name: Nine Days

What I provide

For Session Zero, there is no combat, role-play, or puzzles, but the levels listed here reflect what to expect in the campaign itself. This is meant to be a couple of hours, shorter than a regular session, set aside for Q&A, character creation, a discussion about playstyle, and a broad view of the campaign world. You need the free demo version of Fantasy Grounds: Unity, which you can download here (bottom left under Demo where it says "Free"): https://www.fantasygrounds.com/home/FantasyGroundsUnity.php You'll also need Discord, a free app/platform for voice and text: https://discord.com/download I am currently using my one-shot server for Session Zero. We will have a separate server once we're ready to start the campaign. The server associated with Session Zero and this gathering will be: https://discord.gg/pdtKJjZa I have a fairly free-flowing DM style centered on politics and characterizations, but there's a fair amount of combat, too, as there ought to be given a game system built for it. I have many maps, some from around the web and some that I've made myself, and I tend to display quite a bit of art, portraits, tokens, and more. I have a theater background and a writing background, both of which have an impact on our games as I weave tales of intrigue and voice characters to life. We will also have sounds and ambient music through Discord integration. You can control your personal volume level by just clicking the bot in the Discord chat. For Session Zero, our focus will also be on the Luxton technique and other ways players can feel comfortable (like taking a break whenever they need to. Your character will not be punished for that, nor will you, as the player. Just let me know what's going on if and as you're able so we can carry on or wait, accordingly.) The other focus is making characters! Some species will look very differently in this game, and some will play more or less as expected. (Elves have all kinds of cultural oddities, but firbolg can more or less be played exactly as expected, for instance.) We'll discuss starting stats, which will be a "Heroic Array" as follows: (8 12 12 13 15 16). Keep in mind that even with bonuses, you can't start with an ability score higher than 18. (And 20 is the in-game max without magical assistance of some kind.)

Gameplay details

There could be more things even than I listed above. Importantly, none of them need to be things we see regularly or focus on. The world was developed with some species enslaved to others; only the evil groups in the world engage in this, but they do -- unless that is a serious problem for you. I can easily not mention it at all or only in passing, depending on where everyone is with it. Or you can decide you want to hunt down anyone involved in human trafficking and end them. Up to you. Escapism, for you, might mean not seeing any possible real-world analogs to issues in our world. For me, escapism comes from seeing these analogs and then having the ability to do something about them. That said, we can look at the breadth of what we'll allow and disallow to find a way to play that everyone is happy with; that's what a Session Zero is for. Much of this isn't exactly real world, but it could easily trigger real-world issues. We don't have racism as we see it in our world -- it's more like speciesism, where some species are treated as second-class citizens or worse. It makes for interesting stories that make us think about real-world issues without being too on the nose, as good fantasy does. But if any element of that is just a "no" from you, we'll see what we can do. Or, of course, you can find a campaign you feel is better suited to you. I only want to be your DM so long as it's fun and, maybe, even healing. We will discuss the Luxton technique and the ways that will manifest in-game. You will always be able to say something publically (or privately, if you prefer) so that we can stop the game and talk about which direction we need to go. Maybe you don't need the role-play to stop, but you need the NPC to be saved in this scene; they can't be pulled away by dark forces. No problem. And if you have no real triggers, you just need to be on the look for any signs that a fellow player is having trouble if I happen to miss it. And you need to be empathetic. That helps endlessly. I have my own issues for which I see a professional and which are fairly well-managed. I can usually avoid any major triggers as I am steering the game, but I mention that so that you know I am empathetic in this regard.

Content warnings

    (none)

Safety tools used
  • Breaks
  • Debriefing
  • Luxton Technique
  • Luxton Technique Discussion
  • Open Door
  • Session 0
How will character creation work

We will try to get characters created during Session Zero, but it's also fine if you just get the basics figured out and do the rest in between Session Zero and the first game session in earnest. That said, you will have to recreate whatever you make in-game while I am online (simply because the free version only allows you access to the server while I am on). I am open to coming online just to do that, but that will also be free, so please try to be ready with a finished character at that point so you can just recreate it through the character wizard on the platform. We are using a boosted "Heroic Array" as follows for starting stats: (8, 12, 12, 13, 15, and 16). Keep in mind that even with bonuses, you can't start with an ability score higher than 18. (And 20 is the in-game max without magical assistance of some kind.) Most standard species for 5e are available, but some have substantial cultural changes (we can get you an elf who feels like a "standard" elf, but there are many cultural backgrounds for elves) and some do not exist. (I love hobbits/halflings, but I've always felt that since they are not mythical creatures, they belong to Middle Earth. A court agreed, which is why the name change from hobbit to halfling occurred. Anyway, I love them, but they are not in this world. Others are more or less as expected (firbolg will be as expected, for instance) and some are vastly different (aasimar are valkyries, and constructs, though they otherwise stick to the template if not the culture. They have permanent wings, however, at the cost of losing a free feat to start.) We'll start at level 3, and you can expect the first few levels to go by quickly, with no more than a session or two between levels. It will slow a bit at level 7. We will use milestones, but I am very loose even with milestones. If we've been at it for a while and it seems we've done enough to warrant a level change, you'll get one. Current books on my platform: Core Rules, Eberron (used mostly for the classes, as we can have artificers and warforged (which are androids in the campaign world), Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse, Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, and Xanathar's Guide to Everything. I will have a campaign on Discord for those who have signed on. In the meantime, you are welcome can add me as ChangeArranger on Discord. Any questions? Just ask!

Players can expect

  • Combat/Tactics: Medium
  • Roleplay: High
  • Puzzles: Low
  • Experience Level: Open to all

Player reviews (5)

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