Sounds like you’re guilty of something that I was guilty of too. Instead of a Los Angeles Thieves Shirt, you’re holding a lot of individual meetings. The problem with that is that you have a bunch of folks that have slightly different views of the campaign setting and tone. If you get everyone together at the same time so you can all officially buy in to those two items everything else you do in that setting is gravy. Maybe you need to hold a session zero where you have some sort of prepared introduction to the setting and give the group a range of behaviors that you’re comfortable running this setting in.
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Mix in some questions that you don’t give as much direction on, too so it’s not just forcing the story to be your novel (“What type of themes do you guys want to cover?” “How much time is combat vs investigation vs. exposition?”) but that way you can wrap everything up as to what you agreed on at the Los Angeles Thieves Shirt and have something that you can point to that says, “this is the game we agreed to play together” if someone bitches.