Characters are created using 4D6 drop lowest (reroll Ones) method, with scores arranged to taste. Newly created characters start at the truncated average party level, minus one.
Initial “bonus” experience is awareded for well-detailed characters. This bonus will be up to 99% of what you need to advance to your next level (relative to a single class). These bonuses stack with each other:
|Having a sketch, picture, or detailed written description||10%|
|Filling in the background information section||Up to 25%|
|Creating a fully-fleshed out background||Up to 40%|
|Unique character bonus||Up to 24%|
Here are some things to take into consideration when creating characters and their backgrounds:
- More detail is generally good. Backgrounds will be used for the duration of your characters' life, so it will be the foundation for some of the characters' plotlines. Filling out the short background page is a good starting point.
- Make sure your background matches your character concept. Average ability scores are 9-12, so anything higher is “above average.” A character who is shy won't necessarily have a background that includes being in the spotlight, for example.
- Avoid pulling characters and backgrounds from books, movies, etc. If the DM is familiar with an obvious reference, the character will lose some of the “Unique Character Bonus.”
- Only the races listed in the Player's Handbook are considered common; everything else will be considered rare. No drow or psionics without explicit DM permission.
- Keep your background interesting. Focus on what your character would know, but include notes on things the character would not.
- NPCs with names are good. It gives the DM more to work with, and can help bring more immersive content into the game. If the character is connected to notable individuals in the community (royalty, organized crime, guilds, etc) please try to flesh these details out.
- If possible, put in plot hooks, not full plots. This allows the DM to expand and provide content for adventures to come.
- ONCE A BACKGROUND IS WRITTEN AND APPROVED, IT IS TO BE CONSIDERED SET IN STONE. No changes or additions should be made without consulting the DM.
Characters should tend toward good alignments (LG, NG, or CG) or neutral alignments (LN, TN, CN). Evil characters are allowed, but their concept should be given consideration by the DM. This may require more detail in background and character goals / motivations, especially if there are diametrically opposed alignments in the party.
General Gaming NotesEdit
- Players are not permitted to bring the game to a halt while they consult reference books to argue the DM's ruling. If a player has a disagreement, (s)he has one minute to locate the relevant reference and challenge the discrepancy. In any case, the DM's ruling is final.
- Phone calls are discouraged, unless in case of an emergency. Barring an emergency, game play will resume within one minute, with or without the player on the phone.
- No politics or religion. Respect other players' beliefs by not sharing, please.
- “Before the game” refers to at least 12 hours before the game session is scheduled to begin. This allows the DM time to read and print out everything necessary for the session.
- Players may use only one character per session, except in extreme circumstances. If a character is being voluntarily retired, (s)he immediately becomes a permanent NPC.
- Encumbrance is not used, but do not go to absurd extremes.
- Common consumables (rations, bolts/arrows/stones) are not tracked, except in unusual cases (all equipment is stolen, etc). Specialty / magic consumables (alchemy included) are tracked.
Player Attendance and Character DevelopmentEdit
Whenever a player is absent, the character accompanies the group silently (or sits out quietly) but takes no useful actions. The exception is when the player declares the character's actions before the end of the previous session (research, copying spellbooks, manufacturing items, etc). All of the background work for the character's work must be completed before the end of the game.
In situations where the game would be ruined because a vital character is not present, the DM will take over the character for the session. For example, the only priest is not present and the party requires immediate healing.
Players are required to submit character sheets whenever they level along with current spell lists.
If a player is unable to attend a game, there is one alternate option:
- The character may be run by another player, subject to GM approval. The character sheet must be presented to the other player prior to the start of the game session. If the character sheet is not presented, the other player will receive the last copy provided to the GM.
Downtime actions are those actions that are taken between adventures or between sessions. Downtime actions range from the minute (sharpening weapons, preparing magical item charges, etc) to the complex (spell research, information gathering, etc). Downtime action should be announced at the end of the previous session or communicated to the DM before the game.
The DM has final ruling on specific downtime actions. Success (or availability) is dependent on location, resources, and desired outcome. For example, a cleric will not be able to preach to a village in the middle of a dungeon.
Players are encouraged to keep in-character journals. Keeping journals benefits everyone: players have notes to refer back to and the DM gains insight into what the characters are thinking.
Journal entries are worth a base 3% of the XP needed to rise to the next level. The character's level at the start of the session is used to determine journal XP bonuses.
Players who write journal entries consistently will receive an additional bonus. Writing an entry for every gaming session will earn a cumulative .5% bonus to the XP given, to a maximum of +5%.
If a character is being retired, half of their final journal XP bonus can be applied to the new character. The new character can never receive more than the normal journal XP bonus for their level.
Journal entries are due 24 hours prior to the game.
- ↑ I reserve the right to lower the starting level if a new character would have significantly more experience than existing characters.
- ↑ At least two typed pages, single-spaced 11-point Times New Roman.
- ↑ Does not borrow from other works of fiction or non-fiction.
- ↑ Excepting “retired” adventures, in which characters are brought out of retirement to complete the mission. The other exception is playing the character of an absent player, with GM approval.
- ↑ Calculated (character level * 30)