It’s my first ever recap for our new Tomb of Annihilation campaign! But what is a Session 0 and how do I recap it?
A Session 0 serves two purposes. First it allows me, the DM, to introduce the campaign outside of the story. In other words, talk about new house rules, themes and setting, and what my players want out of it.
We’ve been playing together for enough years that I don’t really need to ask my players what they want from the campaign. I have a pretty good handle on the ratio of role-playing to combat to puzzles that each player is looking for.
The other purpose is it allows us to create our characters together. This is obviously a huge step in any adventure and it helps promote synergy between player characters, both mechanically and story-wise.
For Roll20, it also helps to get familiar with the new character sheets we’re using and how they work, making sure we don’t run into any technical difficulties when we kick off the campaign proper next week (which will also include character backstories and prologues).
It was a much shorter session, and thus will be a shorter recap! I will introduce our new player characters below, and we’ll see everyone next week when we officially start the campaign with session 1!
Note: For character creation I required everyone come up with Five Personality Traits to summarize their character, as well a single Quirk from a d100 list of Quirks I wrote. For stats we used the Roll Method, with the option to take the Standard Array if you were dissatisfied with the results.
Mannix (played by Chris)
Private Investigator (Urban Bounty Hunter)
Traits: Disillusioned, Curious, Confident, Judgmental, Suspicious
Quirk: Trust issues; suspicious of everyone.
Concept: A noir detective who uses his wits and investigative skills to track people and solve problems.
DM Notes: I was impressed that Chris stuck to his guns with creating a character who was pretty bad at combat but really good at lots of skills, creating a more cerebral rogue with the highest INT score of the group. Have a feeling he’ll be getting a lot of use out the rogue Cunning Action to disengage from fights!
Khaless (played by Heather)
Criminal (Hired Killer)
Traits: Invisible, Proud, Predatory, Obedient, Discrete
Quirk: Mispronounces words in trying to seem smart.
Concept: Enslaved by Red Wizards as a killer-on-a-leash, she escaped bondage and now swears vengeance on her handlers.
DM Notes: We’ve never had such a crazy roll on ability stats: as high as an 18 and as low as a 5! Heather rolled with it, creating a glaring dump stat (though INT is kinda crap in D&D 5E, but still, a -3!) but creating a rogue with a damn 19 in DEX at level 1. Despite both being rogues at level 1, Khaless and Mannix couldn’t be more different.
Gillian Flounderson (played by Rachelle)
Spells: Friends, Light, Thunderwave, Healing Word, Fog Cloud
Traits: Pompous, Kind-hearted, Philosophical, Tenacious, Socialite
Quirk: Dramatically swears vengeance on every foe.
Concept: A pampered debutante from a noble house expects everyone to treat her like a queen, and with her social skills and grace, most do.
DM Notes: A socialite triton in Chult will be a real fish out of water! With no Sorcerers or Warlocks in this party, Gillian is the only PC with a focus on CHA. I can see her doing much of the talking in the party, and given her personality and background should make for some interesting results.
Giorgiano “George” (played by Raymond)
Outlander (Bounty Hunter)
Traits: Clumsy, C0nfident, Naive, Kind-hearted, Loyal
Quirk: Clean freak, hates being dirty or gross.
Concept: A warrior in training who was sent from his homeland to expand his worldview (and find monsters to slay).
DM Notes: Raymond tends to play jokey characters, so it should come as no surprise that we have a ninja tortle in the party! He’s the only STR-focused PC of the whole bunch, and his natural tortle AC will helps make him the tank. While he didn’t roll more than 14 on any stat, he still rolled really well with above average stats in almost everything, making one of of the more well-rounded PCs.
Therin Bristlebeard (played by Reese)
Hill Dwarf Druid
Spells: Druidcraft, Poison Spray, Animal Friendship, Cure Wounds, Detect Magic, Entangle, Speak with Animals
Traits: Diligent, Even-tempered, Gruff, Stubborn, Miserly
Quirk: Obsessed with destroying the undead.
Concept: A grumpy but kind druid who helps those who are lost, but harbors a blood-thirsty side (hello wildshape!).
DM Notes: Reese won the stat lottery! Raymond did it in our previous campaign, but this time Reese rolled an incredible array of stats that added up to 80 total points! With the Hill Dwarf bonuses he was able to get two 18’s at level 1, which is nuts. With that CON bonus, Hill Dwarf HP bonus, and a shield Therin can easily be an off-tank, even before he gets wildshape at level 2.