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Old Mar 4th, 2017, 07:44 PM
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MontageManiac MontageManiac is offline
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Game Rules, Posting Rules, and Player Conduct

Hey everyone, so I wanted to get some ground-rules out of the way just so we can be on the same page and enjoy the game together while knowing what the boundaries and ground-rules are.

I'm interested in running a more grounded campaign, meaning flights of fancy are interesting, but not norm in this world (think a little less harry potter a little more game of thrones).

That being said, there's always need for some levity, so don't think we're going to have a "Red Wedding" happening all the time.

Game Rules

We'll be playing with 5e rules. I'm learning them, as are many others. I may not know everything, I may be asking people for their input, but otherwise I try to rule fairly, and I'm most interested in maintaining an interesting and challenging story for you guys so you'll feel like your time with this adventure is worth your valuable time (which we all struggle to acquire as best we can).

Posting Rules

I'd LIKE to have a post everyday. I know that's not possible, and I don't expect that. That's just ideal. However, I'd like for people to post within 3 days of their last post, or new information being brought up. Being able to check the game-thread every day is a good thing as well. I am totally open for people notifying me that they might have to take a leave of absence due to vacations, exams, family emergencies, etc.

With prior notice, I can discuss how to handle your characters (run them on auto-pilot, have another player take them over while you're gone, etc), and if I don't get prior notice, and you haven't posted in 3 days, I may auto-run your character in the interest of keeping the game moving.

Should I have an absence, I will try to notify you (the players) as soon as I know.

Player Conduct

I rarely see anything like this, but I always feel like its helpful and appreciated so players know where I'm coming from, and what my expectations are from the get-go, so if there's ever a discussion about this stuff in the future, it doesn't come out of the blue.

So, we play in a separate world when we're in the game thread. There's what we as people would do or react, and then what we perceive our characters acting or reacting. And there are people in the world who act in a way we do not agree with. This creates drama, challenges, and obstacles to overcome, and an interesting game-space for you to explore themes and questions about our world/society/lives that can be difficult to achieve outside of this game-space.

Having said that some grounds rules:

- IC threads may have subject matter which is difficult or challenging for some. If you have an issue please bring it up with me ASAP. I don't want to run a game where I'm making players uncomfortable past their limits.

- OOC threads have a 0-tolerance policy when it comes to language or attitudes that can be described as racist/sexist/misogynistic/degrading/offensive/harassment

- If you have any issues with another player, or issues with me even, please contact me directly first, and let's see if we can reach an understanding of some kind. I want people to feel safe, have fun, and enjoy themselves, but I do not find it appropriate for someone's fun or safety to infringed upon anothers.

Optional Rules Added

FlankingIf you are directly across from a party member and an enemy is between you two, then you gain advantage on your attack rolls.

Ranged Attacks and CoverIf you are attacking a creature with intervening creatures in the way, they gain quarter cover (+2 AC) if there are 2 models in the way, or half cover (+5 AC) if there are 3 or more models in the way. If you miss you do not need to roll an attack on the intervening models.

Social Encounters Custom RulesNow... if it's something easy you can all achieve, there's no skill encounter, it's just part of the story (but if I do that all the time, how will you get to use those wonderful social skills you sunk your skill points into!). In essence, if someone has ANY sort of objection to you getting what you want, it's going to involve a skill challenge.

Now, skill challenges as I'm going to try them, exist of 1 main factor, "objections". A person you're in a social encounter with will have some objections which have a rating of between 1-5. They may have 1 objection, or a few. They have a cumulative "objection rating". Your goal in the encounter, is to lower that objection rating to 0. You can do this by using your social skills to beat a DC (which for the most part will not be stated so that the flow can continue, this may change if I deem it necessary, but ultimately let me make the NPCs react, rather than you try to roleplay a bad roll or something). If you beat the DC, you lower the objection by 1, if you role-play it really well, or you get a crit, it'll be lowered by 2 or more upon my discretion. Now, how do you fail this encounter? If you end up raising the objection level to 5 points above what it originally started at, you've failed the encounter. This means that the NPC is shut off from you, and you've gotten what you could from them, or you have to find an alternate way of getting what you want. Not even an intimidate check will help you out.

Now, to pair objections, there is something called "incentives". These are offered by the PCs to the NPC to try and sweeten the deal. These don't necessarily affect the objection rating, but what they do is add a positive element to the encounter, which can serve to lower the cumulative objection rating. So this would be things like... a bribe. Or offering to take care of a task first, or fixing their daughter up with someone (not Belkas).

Alright, so objections and incentives. Got it? Good. There's more.

During the course of the conversation, what happens if you say something offensive, or you have information which can give you a leg up in the discussion? Well that my friends is what I'm calling faux-pas and leverage. If you happen to strike on one of these, you then gain advantage or disadvantage on your rolls until something is done to adequately address that situation (perhaps your leverage isn't as threatening anymore at one point, or perhaps you successfully recover from a faux-pas you committed). Sound cool?

Great. Wait. There's more.

Final thing: Offense and Reception.

These are 2 states you may find yourself in when arriving in a social encounter. Is an arch-villain going to speak with you with the same consideration that the mayor of a town you saved is? HELL NO! That villain is pissed off at you, and that mayor is indebted to you. It's possible that encounters already start off in a state of Advantage and Disadvantage. For the most part, these are affected by in game actions. Did you save the town? The mayor is likely going to be very Receptive towards you. Did you kill the King's son during heated combat and you've come to beg his forgiveness? You've probably got 1 shot at not offending him before you're thrown in the dungeon or zapped into dust on the spot.

So there you have it. This is my method of instilling some interesting rewards/risks into conversations. I think it'll feel very similar to what you guys do already, except now you have better reason, and an actual framework and system to play this "mini" game of sorts.

The FrameThis was done in @Hillsy's game, and I loved the idea and think it'll help with immersion. So I'm stealing it!

Using a thumbnail of your character image, imbed it into a frame that contains your post. This will make it easy for me to follow which character is speaking, and allow other players to have a visual of what your PC looks like right away, immediately setting the scene of sorts. Specifically, it should look like this:

Osear "Oz" Diux - Mythicborn (Dragonborn) Etherealist

Oz hates it when he's used as an example for Montage's game in another setting and world... plonker...

So here's the specific formatting I'd like for the frame for posting.
1) Modifiers: On this post, either cut and paste, or type out, the final skill block with all your modifiers, then imbed the link to that post in the title block of each post. This is meant to speed things up, so either YOU don't have to look at your sheet somewhere else, or I don't have to rely on my database all the time if I don't have to. I'd prefer you to use the modifiers in your rolls if at all possible, but this also gives us the chance to change the Stat being used for the skill on the fly if it's appropriate without doing some awkward "where did I put my sheet for this unprecedented ask from the GM!" situation.

I'm a big fan of TT tags being used to encapsulate your dice rolls, to keep the narrative moving rather than abruptly throwing dice in, or at the end, or referencing to another page.

FURTHER, please put all of your Skill modifiers AFTER your Stat mods, AND BOLD the Skills you have proficiency in. That way we can tell at a glance what works for you and what doesn't. If you have a class ability or feat that gives you double proficiency, just put a * by that Skill so it doesn't seem surprising you somehow have a 9 in a skill or something.

2) Active Abilities: During the course of the game, from potions/spells/rituals and so on, you might pick up some static passive bonuses. If so, Note them under your name as you go along (e.g pass without a trace: +10 to stealth or Protection - Allies within 5' make attacks vs them have disadvantage, etc). This will help me keep track of who has what going on, and a historical record of which ROUND of combat it started in so we can go through and make sure it doesn't end early or late.

*) As a general note, you should be aware that I'm not a dice-rolling crazy GM. For me, dice should be rolled if there's a chance of failure. I'm not going to have you roll dice to pick a lock if you can eventually pick that lock. I may have you roll the dice if you can damage the lock, or if picking that lock makes a ton of noise and alerts an enemy close by. That's my reasoning. So you'll likely be asked by me to roll dice ahead of time, or if you want to do something, ask me about it and I'll let you know what you need to roll and the DC so you can determine for yourself in the post whether it's successful or not. That's what the OOC threads are for after all.

And so your frame should look something like this:
Osear "Oz" Diux - Mythicborn (Dragonborn) Etherealist
(Channel Ether 0/3: OFF: 10/10 Rounds -- When on: +1 AC, Spell Dmg Resistance, 1st AoO vs. Oz during movement has disadvantage) (Damage resistance: Cold) (Etheric Awareness: You can locate the source of any spell cast within 30 of you, and gain Advantage to any Dexterity saving throws against traps that have a magical component.)

Oz hates it even more that he's used as an example for Montage's game.... because NOW the SoB is being picky.... double plonker....

if you want the template code for this, here it is....(just replace all the curly braces for square ones):
{FIELDSET="{img}{/img}"}{B}{U}{COLOR="Indigo"}Osear "Oz" Diux{/COLOR}{/U}{/B} - {I}Mythicborn (Dragonborn) Etherealist{/I}
{I}{COLOR="Navy"}(Channel Ether 0/3: OFF: 10/10 Rounds -- When on: +1 AC, Spell Dmg Resistance, 1st AoO vs. Oz during movement has disadvantage) (Damage resistance: Cold) (Etheric Awareness: You can locate the source of any spell cast within 30 of you, and gain Advantage to any Dexterity saving throws against traps that have a magical component.)
DEX 15 (+2)
CON 12 (+1)
INT 16 (+3)
WIS 10 (0)
CHA 14 (+2){SPOILERBUTTON="Skills"}{B}Acrobatics - +4{/B}
Animal Handling - (0)
{B}Arcana - +5{/B}
{B}Athletics - +3{/B}
Deception - +2
{B}History - +5{/B}
Insight - (0)
Intimidation - +2
{B}Investigation - +5{/B}
Medicine - (0)
Nature - +3
Perception - (0)
Performance - +2
{B}Persuasion - +4{/B}
Religion - +3
Sleight of Hand - +2
Stealth - +2


All Dice Rolls
I don't mind if you put them in tool tips in the thread around the action, in this thread with a link back, or in an action block at the bottom, but I'll need the outcome in your posts. This will really speed up combat as I can keep your posts as live as possible.

Please feel free to ask me any questions you have. Thanks for your patience!

I may add more to this post as it becomes apparent to me, but otherwise, let's all just try to have an awesome game and a lot of fun!
PCs: Dramoth "Nova" / Rhokax Soulreader / Kayne Cyire / Torm / Donovan Whistler
GM: Scales of War 5e & Yeohven: Fall from Grace
Real Life hitting harder and harder. Working on updates as soon as I can, please have pity (patience) on me!

Last edited by MontageManiac; Apr 23rd, 2017 at 07:29 PM.
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