Two weeks ago I wrote about GMs and session zero… Then I got pretty sick and missed a week, but now I am back and ready to talk about session zero for players! First let’s do a little recap though. Session zero is where a party gets together and starts off their adventure. It usually has player introductions, character creation, character introduction, and then usually a little play session. For players there is a few things you can do to prepare for session zero just to help things get along.
The most important thing as a player for session zero is to be relaxed. Everyone is there to have fun and even if you’re in a group of strangers it will be better for them to experience you having fun, because that should be your natural state. Sometimes groups do not get along super well and they can break up pretty quick, but things like resentment and anger do not have to be involved. That is just addressing my worst fears when playing with people. Having fun and being relaxed makes the game more fun, and ups your creative flow. It will improve the narrative and most importantly you will have fun!
Secondly players should not try to compare their PC to others. We all bring stuff to the table so do not try to compare your awesome spell list to the fighter in your party. Everyone has a role in the game so embrace yours and celebrate others!
Be sure to learn your table etiquette! Some tables do not like players looking at each others character sheets, or touching each others dice. You’ll learn the ways that rolling dice will not count (if it’s off of the table it may not be a valid roll). You will also learn things about your dice too. Players and GMs alike can be very superstitious about their dice and the rolls so be sure to pick up the rules on the table so that you do not step on any toes.
Consider your environment before hand. There’s a lot going on the table top and that’s a good thing. Do not make up your GMs world before you get a chance to experience it because you will most likely be disappointed. That being said you should know what general setting you will be going into. Is it giant fighting robots? Or maybe its classic DnD? Just consider what is going on for the next step in preparing for session zero.
Have a basic idea for a character. There’s a million ways to make a character and I could write articles on all those different types for all sorts of different games. Since I do not want to do that right now I would rather leave players with this. Think about what you want your character to be good at, bad at, and how do they handle social situations. Are they very friendly, or do they hate authority? These details are really easy to nail down when playing pretty much any game and it will most importantly give you a direction for your character creation. If you can’t think of anything to play then go for your favorite character in a movie, book, or otherwise. There’s nothing wrong with basing a character off of something else. No one will judge you and honestly if you don’t mention it there’s a good chance your fellow players will not even realize it.
Never forget your hygiene. This should go without saying but I will say it anyways. Whenever you are in a room with five to seven other people then you need to be clean and smell good. Odds are whatever room you are in will get a little more warm than normal and it can get sweaty or just stuffy. Introducing musk or sweat can really make things annoying and gross. It’s just as much your responsibility to keep things clean as it is the GM’s. Ensuring a clean table makes the hobby more accessible to others and will make the play experience more enjoyable for anyone else.
There are other things that players can do but unless a GM specifically asks, then don’t feel required to do these things.
Look up some rules before playing. Having a basic understanding of the rules will move session zero gameplay, help you make a efficient character and makes you less of a commitment to a GM. Basically if you don’t have to be babysat as much as the other players then the GM can focus where they need to. Try not to brag about it though, because nobody wants to be that guy.
Engage your GM on the world they created. A lot of settings you play in are homebrewed or have some sort of alternative events to change the game up. Talking to your GM about the world will help you interact with your surroundings and honestly it’s really fun for the GM to talk about what they love.
I hope you enjoyed my article on session zero for players. You can check out our first article about session zero for GMs here. Also be sure to follow us on Patreon, Facebook and Twitter @nblogcollective. Thanks for checking us out and as always,