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Referee's Lounge Discussion of how to (and not to) Referee Traveller and Cepheus Engine games. No edition warring allowed.

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Old November 28th, 2018, 02:58 AM
Fovean Fovean is offline
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Been using Mongoose since it came out, Session 0 being char gen for everyone at the same time. This was generally preceded by some loose conversations about the type of game the players were interested in and some rough guidelines and intro to my campaign area. After char gen we’d spend a little time working out the connections and back stories and if we had time we’d do a short opening scene to set the stage.

My current campaign started differently however. I had some vague background notes, NPCs and organizations/cartels for the bones and a completely blank quadrant map.

Session 0 was char gen with the whole group as usual but every career chosen, event, connection, etc warranted a place on the map. A Scout base for the Scout, a Merchant academy for the Free Trader, an asteroid belt for the belter. We started out with random placement but by the end of their second terms an organic logic was guiding placement of locales, NPCs and events. No navy PCs so naval bases were off the map, “over there.”

Players had ideas about homeworlds, they were placed, and so forth and so on. We ended up with a campaign map that the PCs - and the players - were intimately tied to, as if they really grew up and served there. In the time leading up to Session 1 I filled in some gaps and fleshed out my initial background material and presented it to the players so they could peruse it.

Pretty much full improv and absolutely the best start to any campaign I’ve ever run.
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  #12  
Old November 29th, 2018, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khadaji2002 View Post
Hope this helps.
Definitely. And I agree a solid session 0 boosts the chance of a campaign getting off the ground and lasting longer. Level setting, exposing people to your style and ideas, and to some extent creating the world together all help quite a bit.


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Originally Posted by ShawnDriscoll View Post
I posted a video on my YouTube about session 0 for my players.
I’ve seen a few of your YouTube vids, but just recently found your blog. I need to add it to my blog roll and spend and afternoon diving in. You have an amazing amount of material up.

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Originally Posted by sabredog View Post
I try to get "Session 0" done in one. Roll up characters while explaining the basic rules of the game, including any house rules that go with them. I use CT so there are not a lot of complicated rules.

Mainly, because we are all busy grown ups these days instead of kids with no lives I try to get this part out of the way as soon as reasonably possible and introduce the nuances of the rule system as we go. I do this by phasing chunks of rules (ship ops, combat, merchant stuff, etc...) into the first few sessions as a sort of interactive tutorial. I've always found that this was faster and more engaging for the players than sitting around for a couple of sessions reading rules and talking about playing when everyone is ready to play and have fun.
I know I’m lucky to have a solid gaming group of mature players who look at our weekly time together as a kind of “poker night,” some needed time to socialize with friends, let off steam, and even game a little. This is definitely by design, so I don’t have the kind of time pressure you’re describing but I know that’s a factor for lots of grown-up groups.

I could probably do less teaching on the front end because I wind up doing at we go anyway.

As an aside apart from Session 0, for reference materials and notes I put everything up in a simple wiki. It’s a bit of a pain when I need to spin people up on it but in the end is easier for all of us and is updated as we go.


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Originally Posted by Fovean View Post

Session 0 was char gen with the whole group as usual but every career chosen, event, connection, etc warranted a place on the map. A Scout base for the Scout, a Merchant academy for the Free Trader, an asteroid belt for the belter. We started out with random placement but by the end of their second terms an organic logic was guiding placement of locales, NPCs and events. No navy PCs so naval bases were off the map, “over there.”

Players had ideas about homeworlds, they were placed, and so forth and so on. We ended up with a campaign map that the PCs - and the players - were intimately tied to, as if they really grew up and served there. In the time leading up to Session 1 I filled in some gaps and fleshed out my initial background material and presented it to the players so they could peruse it.

Pretty much full improv and absolutely the best start to any campaign I’ve ever run.
Aaaaaaaaand now next time I’m going to use a map this way. Thanks for the great idea.
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Old November 29th, 2018, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Spenser TR View Post
I need to add it to my blog roll and spend and afternoon diving in.
I'll add your blog to mine. My blog was chopped down in size because unsafe for work viewing. But I am growing it with new stuff being added to it.
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