Mist Hunters: Session Zero

Grab your fog machine, grab your Victorian candles, and find that creepy horror background music! It’s time for session zero to get started for your Ravenloft Mist Hunters Session. During this session, your players are going to build their character together and get to know each other in a calm setting.

DM Note

When making characters together, I found that the group is more tightly knit because it’s a shared experience in the party. The party’s first impression aren’t from a backstory given by the player. This is something that, as a DM, I’m going to be implementing for all of my future games.

The session zero guided narrative is titled, The Long, Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. Before heading into this narrative, your players will really only need a name and a race/lineage.


I did make some changes to this character creation. The Long, Dark Tea-Time of the Soul was written by Wizards of the Coast for Adventure League Play. I tweaked the following things:

  • The Tarroka Deck. I changed it to be the same set up that you would find in Curse of Strahd to be able to have more access to resources to be able to do this reading.
  • The Order. I changed the order in which that the character is created. This is because the last order was a bit jumbled from how someone would typically make a character.
  • Ability Scores. The different arrays can be found in the original document, but this is set up for a group that is not playing through Adventure League. This is up to the DM’s discretion

Doing the Reading

I’m going to describe how to do this is two different ways, both in person and virtually. It’s important that there’s options for both nowadays. I’ve been loving running sessions virtually, but I’m going to be heading back into in person sessions over the next couple of months for some of my games.

So lets start with virtually, I’m going to be using discord as a main way of doing this. There is a couple different ways that we can go. So that you don’t have players sitting around for their turn for a reading, have each player open up the tarroka online deck (found at https://tarokka.com). This allows for each player to have their cards ready for you to be able to do the reading in steps. You can also just do one character at a time and screen share the tarroka deck to everyone. This will take significantly more time, but if time is not an issue, go ahead!

When it comes to in person, you may still use the digital Tarroka deck or purchase one for the reading. The physical cards really do bring the immersion effect to the players. Have everyone sit around the table and go through the reading together. You have a couple options for this. First, everyone builds characters from the same reading or you draw a card for each player. There’s enough the deck to do many readings, this also means that your players will have some different things come from the reading.

As The DM

Since this is a session zero, as a DM it’s great to start building connections between the characters. The PCs may have some connections between them, especially if they come from the same domain. Though, these connections are not necessary. They could all just meet in the teahouse and be assigned to the task through the Order of the Guardians.

As a DM, if you find that your player is having a hard time with saying the story, Don’t be afraid of asking some more questions that might help develop the character even more. It’s important to make sure that the player has full authority over what their character is to start. If they need some time to think, give them the space that they may need.

Setting the environment is going to be very important for the characters. If you’re in person, have some tea set up for them with some little snacks in the middle of the table. Dim the lights and create that mood. Draw your players in on every sense that you can.

Music & Resources


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