Our session zero... overwhelming

I have played other RPG’s for over 30 years. Last night was our first ‘session zero’ and our group consisted of two people who have played a popular RPG, someone who has only played online MMO and two people whose second language is English. Needless to say, character creation was a little overwhelming for some of the players. Do you think for with so many new players that I should have made pregenerated characters and let them ‘tweek’ them? With the HUGE variety in OL (which is awesome), what could I do to decrease the information overload on new players? Our intention was that we will run “A Star Once Fallen”; we will all learn from our mistakes, create new characters if we want, change settings and then ‘really’ start.

Another thought: should I have limited how many feats they can have access to for the intro adventure just for simplicity?

Even though we have already finished this session zero, I have hoping to teach other players in the future.


Personally, I’m the kind of person who dives into the rules waaay before a session 0. This allows me to come up with a character quite quickly and then help others with theirs. Try to either have such a person, or be that person. I’d also strongly encourage everyone at the table to have at least a basic grasp of the system.

Pregenerated characters (while I’m personally not a fan of this) are a good way to familiarize people with the mechanics of the game, though due to OL’s creation/leveling system, you’ll still need to have a good grasp of the system once the first points of xp come rolling in. Unless the characters have a progression pre-planned. One thing you could do is ask everyone for a character concept or 2. And pre-generate those for them to edit during the session. That way they will at least feel more like the character is their own.

My personal opinion is that you should not limit things from the core rules for the sake of simplicity. You may risk disappointing those who did take the time to dive into the rules and learn them before session 0.


I definitely would not limit the feats at level 1. Let’s say they want to do area damage, for example, they’d be starting out at heavy disadvantage. The group you described sounds like it was in need of a stack of pregen characters to pick from. As Arisu brought up, you should point them to the rules well in advance. Then the type of players that would not be happy with a pregen character will show up knowing exactly what they want.

Like @Arisu mentioned, have the players tell you the character they want (just like chapter 1 mentions, step 1 is have a concept), then you give them the info on attributes and feats based on their concept.

If you are going through a star once fallen, well that already has a limited subset of feats, boons, and banes. It is a learn by play adventure.

If you have people that haven’t bothered to check out the rules at all (which happens, and is fine if you are familiar), pre gen characters are great. At GenCon, this was the case for most of the 16 games that were run. Have more pre gen characters than players though, so choices.

Hero muster has a few that are great under fantasy and steam punk for star once fallen, though they go beyond the limited the module suggests.


Thanks for all your help, folks! I appreciate the varying opinions!