Session Zero


How serious of a game do we want to be playing?

  • Do we want to limit jokes so that we don’t waste time or ruin the mood?
  • Do we want to allow free jokes and play this as more of a beer and pretzels game?
  • Do we want to keep track of events and facts judiciously or treat it as more of a week-by-week adventure?

> Leaning more towards reading the room, no limits on jokes, but trying to take darker things seriously. Lean more towards less-serious.

Level of RAW

The intent of this campaign is to be very deep on the rules side of GURPS. By its nature GURPS lets you go as deep as you like, so players are free to either ‘just shoot guns’ or go as deep as ‘taking measurements and calculating angles to build range tables, using that to pre-measure shots for their rifle based on a variety of conditions, and taking all of that and performing long-ranged detailed sniping at targets.’

> Yes, but with a healthy dose of help.

Perfect Information

Many of the more realistic rules, especially in Tactical Shooting, deprive players of Perfect Information. Perfect Information is the assumption that you’ll generally not have confusion, great uncertainty, etc. when making decision, especially in combat. The best example of this is situational awareness in Tactical Shooting, which requires Perception rolls (Usually at +6/8 base) to avoid missing information in combat, such as the identities of individuals, where people are, who’s shooting and at what. While these rolls would not be called for often (Usually only EVER if they would have enough penalties to go below 17), they are a dramatic shift from our normal styles.

Do we want to include these?
To what degree?

  • RAW, which is basically judiciously
  • Only when dramatically appropriate, usually Per 16 or below
  • Only when it makes a big impact, skill 12 or below
  • Only when you’re fucked, skill 9 or below
  • Never?

> Dramatically Appropriate

Tactical Combat

How much do we want to use both Tactical Combat rules and Battlemap rules?
Prefer to keep it more abstract?
Entirely theater of the mind?

> Normal combat, less focus on any facings & movement costs, etc.

Required Personal Knowledge

How much are you required to know about the game rules?

  • Whatever you get time to read?
  • Just your specific rules?
  • That alongside combat and skills?
  • The whole core rulebook?
  • The additional rulebooks?
    As well, how much are you wanting from the DM?

> Must know your specialties: If it’s on your sheet, read the rules associated with it. If your niche involves a section, read it. To look at other books, check out the optional / house rules section.


This is largely to note that GURPS treats points as a pure measurement of how competent a character is as opposed to ‘advancement’ or ‘experience’. They are therefore treated somewhat differently, especially in terms of gaining and removing negative traits. Read the Basic Set if you care to elaborate for yourself.

How fast do we want advancement to be?

  • Entirely via training over time?
  • Some Split?
  • Fast enough to gain a new thing every arc?
  • Every session?

> Buckets for free points. Small amount. Downtime for learning over time.

Disadvantage Use

Is the DM required to keep track of your triggered disadvantages or will you be rolling for them yourselves?

> Player guided


How big of a fuck up should you expect to get in from being stupid?
How much can you get screwed over just because such an event could happen, regardless of storytelling?

> Pink Trenchcoat

Required Levels of Engagement

How much do we want to ask for both Player and DM Engagement?
Should I come to the game with many different ideas already built and a good overarching plot or is it fine to take a more sandbox approach? (I’ll probably do the former anyways, but whatever).
In the same vein, should we require a certain level of focus / engagement on the game?
Is this as simple as keep focused on the game, or is it more like don’t play games / use your phones while we’re playing, or is it even more in that try not to do anything that’s not related to the game as to not break immersion / rp?

> Yup

Banned Elements

Are there any elements that you do not want to see at all in the game?

> No ERP with PCs. More interactive for any helpless focus like torture.

Pillars of Focus

Exploration and Creativity probably.

> Yup

Hidden Rolls and Metagaming

GURPS is really good on these, so we’ll likely just follow their lead.


How much is this allowed?

  • Not at all?
  • Only when agreed by all parties?
  • Only when ‘deserved’?
  • At any time?

> Only when deserved


How competent do we want PCs to be?

  • Do we want a maximum competency, to avoid overshadowing people’s niches?
  • A minimum competence to prevent people from acting as dead weight?
  • To what degree should interesting ideas and role-play adjust these limits?

> Realistic level of competency only.


How many people minimum to play?

> Half


This campaign is by necessity designed to be far more sandboxy and player driven that many of my past campaigns. This comes with the added requirement for players to come up with interests and goals from what is provided by the setting. Please keep this in mind when designing characters, in that they should be able to interact with the environment willingly and actively.

> Yote

Character Backstory

Although to some degree a backstory is less important in an apocalypse game, if you want your character to have meaningful attachments to the surroundings, please include one. The setting will initially take place in MA.

> Wah

Keeping track of facts judiciously

> Survival Essentials

Session Zero

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