Below are the questions that I ask all my players in the form of a survey before we sit down for our session zero. I use these questions to help me answer the most important question you can ask your players. ‘What do you want?’
All these questions are on a sliding scale from 1-10, 1 being wanting the option on the left the most and 10 being wanting the option on the right the most.
1. Do you prefer tactical grid combat or theatre of mind combat?
(Tactical grid combat makes use of the grid map and miniatures/tokens to play out combats, theatre of the mind doesn’t use the grid or miniatures at all and instead we just imagine what is happening. A mix would involve some of both. )
2. Do you prefer a game with low lethality or high lethality?
(High lethality means a high chance of character death, losing limbs, tough fights, and situations. Low means little chance of character death, fights that you can generally always overcome and no long-term negative effects on your character)
3. Do you prefer a game with a dark tone or a light tone?
(A dark tone can involve torture, slavery and in general, nobody gets a happy ending, a light tone is talking animals, comic relief characters, and a happy ending)
4. Do you prefer an open world sandbox game or a linear narrative game?
(A pure sandbox is one where there’s no ‘plot’ and you simply explore an active world and do what you want within it, a purely linear game is one entirely focussed on one main plot line.)
5. Do you prefer a low power level or a high power level?
(In a high power level game your character will have high stats and lots of magic items, in a low power level game they will have weak stats and even common weapons and items will be rare)
6. Do you prefer hack and slash combat heavy games or roleplay heavy games?
7. Do you prefer low or high fantasy?
(Low fantasy is Game of Thrones, Conan or Dark Sun. High Fantasy is Forgotten Realms, Narnia and Lord of the Rings. )
8. Do you prefer low magic or high magic?
(Low magic is a world where magic is scary, incredibly rare, sometimes even illegal, high magic is a world where magic is common, used in everyday chores and viewed as just part of life for people.)
9. Please choose what ‘rating’ you’d prefer game descriptions and content to be
10. Is there anything else you’d like to add?