I had a Session Zero™ today with two people who are very new to the world of pen & paper roleplaying. I don’t think they’re even aware of what kind of tools exist for TTRPGs, be it online or offline.
Before character creation, I wanted to give them a general idea of my campaign’s world map, so I shared my screen with them (didn’t want to have them sign up before we actually played) and quickly drew my world map in Shmeppy. They immediately commented on how cool the tool is. A couple of seconds later, they realized what it’s called, and decided that Shmeppy is an awsome name (I could only agree). At that point, I started marking some cities with tokens and naming them, which caused another wave of approving remarks. This was repeated when I used the laser pointer while explaining the map. The big finale of oohs and ahs came when I explained that in future sessions they would be joining my maps via the URL, which would allow me to hide parts of the map from them. It was amazing to witness their joy and awe as they discovered each new feature.
What seems most important to me is how quickly they understood it all. It took mere seconds of seeing a feature in action for them to grasp how it worked and how it could be used, which shows that the mantra of simplicity and authenticity behind Shmeppy works, and works well.