For those of you who like to run a session zero to start a campaign, please use this thread as a chest to store your good ideas to get the most out of one.
For those of you who need tips on running or expanding a campaign primer, loot these tips freely.
To kick it off, I give my players a sliding scale of how much of what they want in the game. 1-5, fill in the dot. Most players want a mix (middle), but I did once have a table of 7 all vote for more combat.
More Combat < (O-O-O-O-O) > Role Play
Gritty Realism < (O-O-O-O-O) > Beer & Pretzels
Rules as Written < (O-O-O-O-O) > Freeform Play
Grim Dark Horror < (O-O-O-O-O) > Comic Book Pulp
And the first player who wants a ladder after the entire party squeezed and crawled through twisty tuning tunnels? Lol
I sometimes do the surprise inheritance/ backstory roll: one free roll on the random treasure tables (I actually use the 2e tables for this roll despite playing 3.x, but slightly adjust certain percentages).
They get what they get be it minor, medium, or major (most of my players got maps this time around, and the rest had normal or minor items). They’ve already found the location of one of their maps, and are still trying to figure out the riddles on the other two.
Habit of long training and experience in finding and dealing with potential exploits and the players who would give it a try for laughs.
I was once guilty of that very thing accidentally… I had a hobbit character who wound up carrying the entire party’s collection of 10’ poles before I belatedly realized that simply would not physically work in combat.