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Old Jan 13th, 2012, 04:18 PM
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Laying down the Law

Behavior/Content Rules (Player Expectations)
All right, no-one go running scared from the long list of small points here. This list is based loosely on my rules from prior campaigns, but it is different in several places. None of it is wildly different from the expectations that other DMs place on their players, but most of them don't bother writing the whole list out. That way, the expectations I place on my players are known beforehand and there's less chance of mutual disappointment. It is expected that you are aware of what's expected of you by the time the game starts.

Behavior/Content Rules
The rules
  1. Common Sense: Common sense should be applied at all times. The character's actions may be foolish if it's in character, but common-sense repercussions should be expected. Just because you're acting in character doesn't make actions free of consequences, and don't be argumentative when you didn't see a consequence coming.
  2. Role-Playing: Role-play. Act as your character will as best you are able. Even if that gets you killed - I would rate a good death preferable to bad role-playing. I don’t think this one will give anyone problems.
  3. No Exceptions: The DM has the final word on game rule interpretation, be they ones written for this game or ones written by the game publisher. Lobby all you like, but when a decision’s made it’s made.
  4. Technicalities: If you have dug up some arcane rules technicality in a book somewhere, before you go trumpeting it and asking for retcon, see “No Exceptions” above.
  5. Ask Before: If you’re going to try something that’s rules-iffy or you’re not sure will work, get the DM’s permission BEFORE you try it. In this case it’s better to seek permission than forgiveness (Also see “No Exceptions” above). Your DM should be easy to contact via instant message or PM.
  6. Metagaming: Avoid meta-gaming as much as possible. You’re here because I trust you’re able to do this, so the usual tactics that I use to avoid metagaming have been relaxed for this game.
  7. DM decisions: What the DM giveth, the DM taketh away. Don’t complain too much about setbacks (see “No Exceptions” above).
  8. Tense: Unless stated otherwise, post in third person, present tense when discussing the actions currently happening IC.
  9. Effort: Take time posting what you’re going to post. Proofread. Include thoughts, recollections, rationalizations, processes, in-character soliloquies, whatever – provided it’s in-character. Speed isn’t as important as quality. I don’t expect every post to be huge, but you should post regular large posts so everyone can get to know your character. Even if your character isn't very fond of conversation, I expect that any well-thought-out character will have enough substance to lend himself or herself to the occasional long post.
  10. Post-Rate: Don’t slow the game down if you can avoid it, extenuating circumstances excepted. If asked to I can NPC characters temporarily, putting them in screensaver mode (Though I try to keep their actions IC reasonably consistent to how they’re played).
  11. You're On your Own: Don’t expect your DM to pull you out of a situation just because you got yourself into it. There are more people in the world than you and your current party. If you get yourself into a situation, the DM is not your character’s guardian angel. You’re supposed to be doing that job.
  12. Unwinnable Fights: Not all fights are supposed to be won. If you think you can beat ‘em, go for it. Otherwise, you always have two other options (excluding death, which is always an option): the “brave, brave Sir Robin” option (run away) and the “French battle plan” (surrender early and often). Don’t expect wild animals to accept your surrender, though, and there may be situations where running away might not be the best idea. Just pointing out that often these options are available.
  13. Constructive Criticism: Accept constructive criticism. If someone points out a point of improvement to you (DM or otherwise), don’t look at it as an insult, as it usually isn’t. Breaking this rule will probably be the most serious infraction on the list. On the other hand, excessive (out-of-character) flaming posts will be removed. (Your character is allowed to rant or trade insults with other characters, provided it fits their character).
  14. Speak up: If you see a flaw in my style, post quality, or post content that is affecting your game-play, speak up. I won’t bite your head off, especially if you point out something I would have missed. In fact, I’ll usually be rather grateful.
  15. Stay On-Topic: A little OOC section at the end your post is OK, but keep it related to the rest of your post. OOC topics belong in an OOC thread. Also, keep game-play posts in the proper game-play thread. I will not regulate the topics in OOC threads too much, by extension.
  16. Disappearing Acts: Don’t just vanish. If you’re going to, say, go on vacation, we can work something out, but if your DM is waiting for you to post and you don’t intend to, there is a serious problem. If you feel like you want to leave the campaign, talk to your DM first, so you can talk about it, and a replacement can be found.
  17. Cleanness/Content: Other than the site’s own rules and guidelines, I will not restrict the interactions between players, and to some extent between players and NPCs, to cleanliness guidelines. The site does have standards, though, so read them if you think you’re on the edge, or feel free to ask the Reds.
  18. Formatting: Speech should be quoted and bold, and if applicable in the appropriate color. If not everyone knows what you’re saying, use reasonable-sounding nonsense and put a translation in a spoilerbutton or the like. Thoughts should be non-quoted and italicized, and telepathy should be bold and italicized, but not quoted. OOC should be kept out of the game thread where possible, but if you wish to discuss mechanics, please put that in a fieldset box marked "Mechanics" or something along those lines.
  19. Secrets: This is important. Do not use secret tags in this game, and if I ever do yell at me with as much vitriol as you can muster. This game is going to run solely on the honor system in terms of meta-gaming and character knowledge. If you’re here, I trust that you’ll have no problem with that, if I didn’t you wouldn’t be here. There will be no private threads for players. The purpose of this is that it lets you see a more complete picture of what’s going on, and that it makes the game thread more readable. The only caveat to this is going to be DM rolls for things going on off-panel, which I will determine how to handle later. I might just roll them as physical d20s on my desk.
  20. Taking offense: Don’t. Be it a gentle OOC ribbing or your character earning enemies in game, it’s all in good fun and should not be taken overly seriously. If you think something is going too far, handle it by communicating privately with DM or the offender. I trust that everyone here is mature enough to be reasonable about this.
  21. Realism: It is the DM’s responsibility to maintain realism of results, but realism is at the mercy of the dice, especially nat-20s (see houserules). That being said, if you can’t describe something without resorting to ridiculous wire fu, let your DM know and you shall receive aid in this regard.
  22. Incomplete Information: Be prepared to roll with things you don’t expect, and to work with incomplete information. You are not expected to know everything, and you are not expected to have memorized all the setting documentation before the game starts - the "Tourists' Guide" is a reference document more than anything else so you can learn about topics as they come up. Not everything that will be going on is covered there, of course, only things not subject to Knowledge rolls.
  23. Communication: I am available on AIM regularly and by PM in case you want something game-related to be discussed off-channel. Some of you may already know this, but if you have clarification questions about specific things that pertain to your actions this might be the best way (and it’s definitely the fastest way) to have them cleared up.

If any of these are ambiguous or you aren’t sure which side of a line something falls on, please ask and I will clarify. Very little of this is considered negotiable - if you disagree with a lot of the above or find yourself resenting these expectations, I might not be the DM for you. Let me know if you find yourself in this category.

This post subject to revision until approx. Feb. 15, 2012.
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--[ A Guide to Applications ]--

Last edited by Aeternis; Jan 21st, 2012 at 11:46 PM.
  #2  
Old Jan 14th, 2012, 02:26 PM
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House Rules
These are markedly different from the house rules I have used in the past, and as such read them even if you’re familiar with my previous house rules. I am going to assume that everyone has familiarized themselves with this list (but not necessarily the rules mod itself or the “Tourists’ Guide”).
House Rules for the City of Eternity
  1. Level by Chapter: Characters will be granted levels at the end of each chapter (which this game will call Acts), and your DM will not give out experience.
  2. Point Buy Stats: All stats will be calculated using standard Pathfinder point-buy. See the character creation instructions for details.
  3. Human only: Though there are other sentient beings in existence, all player characters must be Mortals (humans) born in the World-City of Agartha. Technically, there are two sub-species of humans in addition to the standard breed: Darklings and Tekna. You join these groups based on your selection of traits (Darklings start with the “Darkling” trait, and Tekna select implant or prosthetic traits).
  4. Classes/Gestalt: Characters for some games in this setting may be built as gestalt. All base classes for Pathfinder and any Pazio official variants or archetypes are allowed (though see the next point for the big restriction). If you want a different variant or a prestige class, clear it with me first, I will handle these on a case-by-case basis. It is preferred that each side of your progression has the minimum number of classes possible (one per, ideally), but that’s a suggestion to keep the bookkeeping reasonable and not a rule. Keep in mind that some classes (for example, Paladin and Barbarian) are entirely incompatible.
  5. Casters: “Full caster” classes (Cleric, Druid, Wizard, Sorcerer, Summoner, Oracle, Witch, some presitge classes) are restricted. You may not take levels in them at all at any level unless one side of your progression up to and including that level is entirely composed of nonmagical classes. “Partial magic” classes (Bard, Paladin, Ranger, Magus, Monk, etc.) are unrestricted, but there are other advantages to having no magical ability on either side of your progression. A full categorization of all base Pathfinder classes and an explanation of the options available to non-casters will be available soon.
  6. Lost spell slots: Try not to lose spell slots to ability damage, ability drain, or level drain. If you do, you take damage. If this damage kills you, your soul is trapped and you become undead. More info in the “Mechanics" section.
  7. Rules Mod: The rules mod that I have created for this setting will be made publicly available on Google Docs in the "Player's Guide" section. I am not going to belabor it all here (though I do cover a few points below), but I will say that NPCs will be built using these rules so you should at least skim them. That doesn’t mean every character needs to make use of them, just keep them in mind.
  8. Nat-20 and Nat-1: If a d20 you roll ever comes up 20, treat it as if it came up 30. Taking 20 and other no-roll options that result in an effective roll of 20 are treated as 20, not 30. If a d20 you roll ever comes up 1, treat that as if the value on the die was -10 unless the roll was a save against save-or-die effects. If you were rolling a reflex save against spell damage or a fortitude save against ability damage and you fail on a nat-1, you take the maximum value of the damage or ability damage. If you were rolling an attack roll and the total (-10 plus your to-hit mod) does not hit, roll d100 to determine fumble severity. You want to roll high on the d100, as high rolls mean the fumble is recovered or not severe. If your d100 comes up 5 or less, roll two more d100s and repeat as necessary. You’ll suffer the effects of all the d100 rolls you get that come up 6 or more in this manner (hint: you don’t want this chaining to happen, but it will be hilarious if it does). When you’re firing a gun and your attack roll comes up 1 and your gun misfires, any fumble result that would damage or effect your weapon is negated.
  9. Criticals: If you confirm a critical threat with a critical threat, roll another confirmation roll, repeated as necessary. For each confirmation beyond the first, increase the crit multiplier on the attack by 1. Instead of merely multiplying the damage, multiply the number of damage dice and the modifiers (x2 crit on 2d6+6 becomes 4d6+12, for example). Ray attacks can crit, but the maximum crit modifier of a ray attack that does something besides hitpoint damage is x3.
  10. Ties: Just as meeting the DC of a save is just as good as exceeding it, meeting the AC or CMD of your target is sufficient to hit it.
  11. Leadership: A maximum of two PCs may have cohorts at any given time, though any number may have the Leadership feat. Cohorts will be single-progression NPCs, not gestalts.
  12. Vehicles: These will come into play, and while you can hire NPCs to drive you around, you might instead spend some skill points learning how to drive your vehicle of choice. Some vehicles have minimum skill ranks to operate, so untrained is not always enough.
  13. Insta-kills: Some things in this world can and will kill in one hit. Each chapter, the first time a character would be insta-killed directly or indirectly by an attack, trap, or spell (but not from falling damage that's self-inflicted or other general mishaps), that character is instead dealt enough damage to reduce them to -5 hitpoints. Of course, the character is not saved if they are not seen to rapidly or if they continue to be damaged (say, if the character falls into a vat of molten metal). This does not entirely supersede realism - for example, if you are on a demi-plane as it collapses, I will not invoke this to save you, even if a spell cast by an enemy caused it.
  14. Friendly Fire: Friendly fire can never do a PC enough hitpoint damage to kill them, but it can do enough damage to reduce the recipient of the friendly fire to -5. Friendly fire is defined as unintentional targeting of one PC by another.
  15. Massive Damage: If a creature takes massive damage from a single effect (50 for Medium, 75 for Large, 100 for Huge, 38 for Small, 25 for Tiny), it must make a fortitude save, DC 15 plus 1 for each 10 damage taken above threshold. Those that fail are reduced to -5 hitpoints. Ignore this if the actual damage reduces the target to -5 or below.
  16. Units of measurement: The setting has units of measurement of time and currency that vary from the ones in the world we all live in and from other d20 systems, and you should make sure you’re familiar with the new terminology (in the “Setting” section.)
  17. Summonings: When a caster summons a creature, he or she is summoning a manifestation of a lesser or greater Immortal. When a caster learns or gains access to new summoning spells, he or she at that moment chooses two outsiders (elementals, fiends, celestials, or celestial/fiendish templated creatures) of CR equal to the minimum level to cast the spell just gained minus one, minimum CR 1/2. Those creatures are what the caster may choose to summon, and nothing else. Summonings from lower-level spells may also be summoned when casting larger ones, if so the spell summons one plus 1d3 per spell level difference between the two spells instead of a single one. For example, a level 6 summon spell may summon 2d3+1 of the creatures the summoner knows how to summon in a 4th level spell slot. (If you have any questions about this rule, I will clarify as needed, but basically the purpose of this is to make summons more than speed bumps.)
  18. Resurrection: There are dozens of different resurrection rituals known on Agartha, each with its own material component requirement (all tend to be between 5,000 and 10,000 gp in value and take anywhere from an hour to a week to perform). If a character dies, though, to resurrect him or her will involve a side-quest in almost every case (to recover rare materials, for example). There are no easy, one-stop ways to get a party member brought back from the dead, though it’s still very possible to do. Characters can learn resurrection spells, but the casting time of these spells and material components are heavily altered.
  19. Starting Wealth: In addition to personal wealth there will be a party treasury. Unless otherwise specified that’s where loot goes. Any character may donate to the party treasury at any time it’s convenient, which will be most often in between chapters and any time the group is all in one place and has a few free moments. Expenses such as legal fees, parking tickets, repairs to gear, insurance deductibles, and other such group costs will be paid out of the party treasury.
  20. Class feature changes: Because of the changes to alignments and weaponry in this setting, some class features have been changed. Check with the rules section to see what this entails, but with the exception of Paladins few people should see anything in there that’s a huge diversion from the norm.
__________________
Adjusting to relocation and new job. I appreciate your patience.
--[ A Guide to Applications ]--

Last edited by Aeternis; Mar 13th, 2012 at 09:33 PM.
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