A player and DM for the actual play show Dimension 20 and game designer for Roll 20 – the online platform supporting tabletop roleplaying games – Gabe Hicks, has launched their first tabletop RPG.
Designed to provide game masters and players with a title that will ease them into playing a new TRPG or campaign, The Session Zero System enables the creation of backstories for characters in any setting of the group’s choosing.
A session zero is typically when an RPG group gets together to play as their characters for the first time - establishing their personalities, their personal stories, how they meet and how they interact with one another. Running and playing a session zero can be intimidating, especially for people who don‘t have a lot of experience with tabletop RPGs, with The Session Zero System intending to provide them with a toolset to help them along.
Featured in the upcoming roleplaying game will be a story path guide containing various prompts and rules to navigate players and GMs through the process of creating backstories. Having backstories for their characters gives players a stronger sense of who their characters are, what their motivations are and why they behave in a certain way. As well as guide players and GMs through individual backstories, The Session Zero System also aids in tying backstories together, setting the party up for the incoming campaign.
On top of all this, the TRPG includes a collection of possible house rules – or rules that aren’t found in an RPG rulebook itself – guidelines for outlining tone, mood and themes and tables designed to provide quick options for story creation. The Session Zero System contains an overview of safety rules for playing roleplaying games, so that all players can feel comfortable with the experience and the content covered in the campaign.
Update: This article previously stated that Gabe Hicks appeared on an episode of Critical Role. This is inaccurate and has since been corrected to include their work with the Critical Role studio, Darrington Press.
Apart from creating The Session Zero System, being a game designer for Roll 20 – and appearing on actual play series like Dimension 20 – Hicks has also worked with companies such as Darrington Press, Paizo, the studio behind fantasy RPG Pathfinder 2E, and MageHandPress. Mythic Grove, which Hicks runs alongside business partner Elise Rezendes, the company responsible for releasing The Session Zero System.
The Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for The Session Zero System is set to be launched soon, with pledge amounts and estimated delivery dates yet to be confirmed.
Update: Mythic Grove has said The Session Zero System's planned Kickstarter launch on September 27th may be pushed back due to distributor delays, saying that it now hopes to have the crowdfunding campaign live "soon".