Mechanics General Rules for Golarion Games (updated Nov '21) - RPG Crossing
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Old Nov 9th, 2021, 11:19 PM
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General Rules for Golarion Games (updated Nov '21)

PurposeThis is a list of my tried and true rules for Golarion-based Pathfinder games, tailored for PbP. Check for periodic updates, though I'll try to keep this as playtested as possible. As is the case with all Pathfinder, specific beats general - some games have specific rules that overrule these general rules.


Sources and RestrictionsI recognize Archives of Nethys as a legitimate source for all Paizo content. I do not accept third-party content or modifications outside of anything specified below, as a hard rule.

Races: Core, Featured, Uncommon (up to 15RP)
Restrictions: Drow (Commoner) Bannned: Drow (Noble)

Classes: All Paizo first party content approved
Unchained Classes: Approved as alternatives, excepting Summoner which is mandatory
Unchained Skill Unlocks: With the appropriate class feature or feat
Banned Character Options: Synthesist Summoner
Classes with Multiple Printings: Will require discussion if features differ

Traits: Two (often 1 campaign trait and 1 free trait)
Traits from Other Campaigns: No, with the exception of the Trap Finder trait
Drawbacks: Always optional but confer no benefits


RulesBackground Skills Optional Rule

The Elephant in the Room: Feat Taxes in Pathfinder

[Passive] Perception:
I strive to keep a balance between mystery, utility, and practicality when it comes to several skills, most especially [Perception]. I also encourage my players to both explore and make wise use of their mechanics. Instead of forcing them to make [Perception] rolls every few feet, I will roll a [Passive] Perception check with a base -5 modifier any time a player encounters something worth perceiving. This can be hidden enemies when entering a room, the killer escaping out of a window, a couple of rings when looting a corpse, traps, and similar situations. I'll apply situational modifiers to reduce the penalty up to 0. Should your character (or in some cases, enough of the party) succeed on a [Passive] check, I'll include the tagged information with the post. If the [Passive] check fails, I will flag it in the post, signaling you to make your own [Perception] roll.

This is not meant to discourage players making their own desired [Perception] checks. It's meant only to cut down on the sometimes onerous burden of doing so frequently.

Friendly Knowledge:
One of the greatest advantages play-by-post has that it shares with tabletop is the ability to inspire others with great roleplay, and I greatly encourage immersion in your characters. However, sometimes conveying large amounts of information in a back and forth dialogue between characters can be tedious. Unless otherwise noted specifically in the game (usually due to game type), I will always assume players sensibly share all pertinent information any time they have a quite moment to converse among themselves (before entering the throne room, making camp, taking a moment to answer a sphinx's riddle, etc.) This extends as a courtesy to identifying monsters in combat with the appropriate Knowledge skill. If one allied player or NPC makes a successful [Identify], I'll assume they manage to share the information without it necessarily being spelled out. Still, feel free to roleplay any information sharing. I enjoy well-written dialogue.

Note that this does not extend to information specifically withheld by the PCs, like backstory information or the actions of a turn-cloak. It also does not apply any time the party is specifically prevented from sharing information, such as a language barrier (including deafness and/or the inability to communicate) or by being separated.

Party Initiative
Most of my games will use party or group initiative. I'll roll one d20 for each group involved in combat, averaging their total initiative modifiers. The entire party or group will then act as one. This can occasionally create situations where one player has to set something up for the next to be effective. Be sure to communicate with your other players and I will attempt to always resolve the situation in favor of the PCs.

Example: The fighter wants to whack the goblin while the witch wants to lower its AC. The fighter posts first. If we know the witch is setting up an Evil Eye on their turn, the fighter should consider the goblin's AC two points lower when determining a hit.

Identifying Monsters and the Stat Block
Opponents will usually begin combat with their stats unknown, indicated by "?" in the requisite fields. A successful [Knowledge] check of the appropriate type well reveal AC, HP, any ongoing effects, and any special weaknesses. Please be especially careful to refrain from meta knowledge.

Rules Modifications
I'm always open to ideas that make gameplay smoother when presented correctly, even if I don't always incorporate those ideas. I will not modify existing rules for conceptual reasons related to characters.

Table Etiquette and Player Expectations
Read the posts. One of the greatest demotivators for me as a GM are players that obviously don't read the posts or any of the source material. If you're not enjoying the game, please let me know so we can make arrangements that work for everyone.

Don't intentionally harm the party. The vast majority of the games I run are cooperative in nature. Making decisions that further your creative goals to the detriment of the party is heavily frowned on. I want you to play your characters to the hilt, but I expect you to find creative ways for your LE wizard to be a "bad guy" without derailing the adventure. This goes for character creation, as well.

Roleplay and Mechanics are not mutually exclusive. If your character is never mechanically relevant to the adventure because you've decided to go high concept instead of effective, you will eventually lose interest in playing them. Similarly, no one wants to be the no personality band-aid.

Be respectful of the other players and myself. To have perfect clarity on the issue, getting an attitude, being snappy, or publicly arguing with myself or any other players is rude. If you wouldn't talk to someone you respect in that manner, don't do so in my games.

I cannot be bribed, cajoled, cornered, or black mailed. I will not keep a disruptive player around just to keep the story running. If you disagree with a ruling and think that threatening to leave will make me reconsider, you are mistaken. Any and all disputes, most especially those related to rulings, should be done in private and with a cool head.

Roll all dice in the dice thread, unless instructed otherwise. When linking related rolls in a game thread, feel free to either link or use subtext. Just make the roll itself in the appropriate [Mechanics] thread.
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Last edited by Icereach; Nov 13th, 2021 at 06:32 PM.
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