We recently had our first session in our adaptation of Descent into Avernus and wanted to share that opening with you! There was an unfortunate error with the sound, and we only got one side of our duet, but we do have some pieces to share with you still!
In what follows, you’ll find a brief overview of what transpired during our first session. Then, we have two videos, the first on DM prep before the session began, including setup and planning, and the second a DM Diary on how the session went and some thing to keep in mind while running session zeros in one-on-one campaigns.
The primary goal of a session zero is to help the player get to know their character, and we’ll look at how Garreth, our PC, did just that in our first Tales of Eldura session.
Our amazing PC, Garreth, was somewhat resistant to the call of adventure in our first session, though he was quick to stand up to injustice. During our session zero, Garreth learned that a tragedy had befallen the city of Beacon, where his son has been for the past year training in the military, though he is not yet sure of the nature of the trouble.
Early on in the session, Garreth met a young revolutionary named Maverick who wanted to get the blacksmith’s help creating magical weapons for a mysterious organization named the Brigade. The half-orc dismissed Maverick, thinking the conversation would end there.
However, the emergency measure by the City Watch to pay a reduced rate for craftspersons’ services did not go down well with Garreth, and he was escorted out of his forge after failing to accept the Watch’s offer.
The Brigade intervened.
Maverick and a few associates “rescued” Garreth from the Watch escort and attempted to hide in the Faery Door Inn, but they were discovered and attacked by more elite Watch members.
Garreth escaped and was chased down by Nightwatch Captain Millicent Legree and given an offer in exchange for dropped charges—he needed to proceed to the Elfsong Tavern and find someone named Ryder who has important information about events transpiring in the city…
Unfortunately, we had some recording trouble with our session zero, so we don’t have a replay to share with you. However, we do have two videos for you that correspond to the session!
DM Session Prep
In the first video, I share how I set up for the session, including going over aspects of the Roll20 setup and the notes I prepped in advance to work from.
If you’d like a copy of the notes to look over, you can find them below.
Remember that there’s no one right way to compile DM notes. For me, it’s easiest to organize by location and the NPCs who will be at that location so I can easily move things around if the session follows a different trajectory than I anticipated.
As DMs, we want to be as open as possible for the direction the player wants to go in, and this setup helps me maintain flexibility and organization.
DM Diary, Session Zero
In the second video, I discuss how the session went and what my primary aims were as well as the things that surprised me along the way.
Session Zero Goals
In a session zero, our main goal as a DM is to give the player a chance to get to know their character. We want to put several different types of choices in front of them so they can find what feels right and, whenever possible, we want to give them plenty of space and time to sign on to the adventure instead of pushing them into it.
That being said, their character will likely be swept up into events that are beyond their control—that’s often the nature of adventure— but ideally, they’ll find ways to reclaim their agency and begin shaping the events around themselves instead of being shaped by them.
I hope you enjoy these first pieces of our campaign! We’ll have the recording of session one up soon!
Please leave any comments or questions you have for us below!
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