Have you ever been at one of those tables where not everyone is playing the same game? I mean, you all think you are playing the same RPG together but something feels off. One player wants to rescue people, and another player keeps stealing from fellow PCs. Some players want to kill bad things to level up, and other players want to be clever and talk their way out of harsh situations.
Today we are going over some of the basics of communication with your group: how to figure out the tone of your game, how to get the sort of adventures you want to play, and how to work effectively with your fellow PCs. These may all seem like obvious suggestions to a seasoned gamer, but that is also what tends to make them easily overlooked when we are all at the table.
I Like Your Tone
I love this picture:
Games can quickly devolve from serious questing to hilarious RP moments. And there is nothing wrong with that, so long as everyone wants to play a lighthearted pun-filled game. Some people are coming to your game as a break from real world drama and just want to have fun.
Different people often like a game or genre for different reasons. Some people read Dresden Files because it reminds them of Harry Potter, and some read it because it reminds them of Dick Tracy. Session 0 is a great place to talk out what sort of game you are expecting to play, especially if you are a GM. Do you want light fantasy or dark and gritty? Is good and evil black and white, or are you wanting complex characters?
When a group agrees on a tone for a game, take it very seriously. Do not stray from that tone too much without getting a group consensus. If a group cannot stick with the preset tone despite genuine efforts, talk with everyone about why. It might be a problem that you can fix, or it might not be a problem at all if everyone is happy with the way things are.