[RPG] Is the same page tool overkill for brand new players


I'm about to run the D&D 5e starter set for a group, most of which are entirely new to RPGs. The Same Page Tool looks like a great resource for a new group playing together, but not necessarily for brand new players getting familiar with the game, the setting, their character, the rules all for the first time.

Is it better to skip the same page tool for the first few sessions to allow people to get used to the game rather than overload them with information?

Best Answer


It's not overkill, it's awesome.

I just used the SPT to kick off a new group. Most (4 of 7) had never played before, and one thought that D&D was some sort of board game.

We had a get-together before the first session where we just hung out and talked about media - what games, tv shows, books, etc., we liked and what kind of stuff we would want to see in a game. At that session, I floated a number of games and we ended up choosing Apocalypse World.

So I went home and printed out the SPT and filled it out. At the next session we went over the answers I had chosen and I explained what I meant and why I had chosen those answers.

Then we started the 1st session. In AW, that means making characters, and they knew it was more important to make interesting choices than optimal ones. It didn't take long and it was very valuable. The game is going strong so far and I think everyone benefitted from a solid foundation of shared expectations.

Next time, I would bring unfilled copies of the form for everyone just to avoid reading all the un-chosen answers out loud again.

I didn't ask what they thought, I didn't poll and choose the top answer. The SPT is not a survey. It's a way to clearly state what a game is going to be like, what it is going to be about. If there had been significant objections to an answer, we could have talked about it and possibly adjusted it.

But they're brand new players, that's the heart of the question. How can they have such strong opinions about playstyle when they've never played?