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Old 05-03-2019, 11:18 PM
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Wave Echo Cave (and Beyond?)

Deadline: Extended until 5/30 for a second group.

NOTE: Second group will change settings to Gloamhold, but will still make considerable use of the quick combat mechanics. I will need to rewrite the ad at some point to reflect this, but for now check out info on the setting here.

Game NameWave Echo Cave (and Beyond?)GLOAMHOLD: West Marches Style
Game SystemDnD 5e
ThemeDungeon Crawl, Combat heavy, sandbox
FlavourDungeon Crawl crunchy with new mechanics, Lovecraftian Horror aspects.
Plot SummaryDuke Armas Neonen looked down from his tower at the sprawling city of Languard below. The sound of the ocean breaking against the rocky shores provided the backdrop for his meditations. To the south there were rumors that a Civil War was imminent between nobles beholden to him. To the West there were rumors of the plague. Throughout the duchy there were always rumors of bandits and smugglers who would try to bypass the rules of his realm. But it was none of these on which the noble brooded as he stood on his balcony looking across the bay. It was a burden, five centuries old, which had been both a boon and a curse to the Neonens. When he was younger he thought maybe he would be the one to conquer this curse, but now he was much wiser. His rule and his efforts seemed as inexorable as the tides crashing on the shores outside. But like those tides, his efforts had proven futile in ridding the world of that place which racked his nightmares. He wished somehow he could be rid of it, he’d spent countless years and gold already to no avail. Still, there was plenty of gold left to the Neonen name. And there were always those foolish enough to take it. Will you be next? Dare you face the dangers of…
GLOAMHOLD.

Glowering amid dark rumours and terrible stories of desperate adventure, death, betrayal and glimmering treasures squat the unutterably ancient halls of Gloamhold. This crumbling, benighted, haunted dungeon complex of unknown, but undeniably vast, extent is buried deep within the grim and brooding spray-drenched headland of the Mottled Spire. It is a place of legends, madness and death. Within this towering, wave-lashed shard of limestone lies the labyrinthine passageways and chambers of Gloamhold’s outer reaches and, beyond them, the benighted precincts and canals of the legend-shrouded Twilight City.
-(from Creighton Broadhurst's description on the website.)


Game DetailsThis will be a Depending on how you define "West Marches." It isn't really about colonization, unless you count colonizing a haunted underground dungeon. If you have other questions about what this style of game means, please ask but generally the idea is it is more sandboxy, it's somewhat easier to come and go from the game and the focus is on exploration as opposed to socialization. Any trips back to civilization will be handwaved with downtime, etc.West Marches style campaign set in and around the Mega-Dungeon Gloamhold. The Lovecraftian horror aspect will be a way to mitigate player attrition. If you stop posting, the madness of Gloamhold has overtaken you and your character acts unpredictably.

In media res: We will jump immediately into the action. When I say immediately, I mean the first post could contain some combat. There will be a simultaneous RP thread for any who would like to dig into that side of things a bit more.

Quick Combat: This game will be an opportunity to playtest a quick combat method that I’ve developed. This method allows us to resolve Easy encounters with a single die roll each, followed by a shared narration of the ensuing battle. Depending on the choices you make, we will probably only use this method around ~50% of encounters. So you will still be using traditional combat methods for the encounters that could be more dangerous. In fact, I'm hoping that using this method will help to highlight the more dangerous combats. But if this is not something of interest to you, then this is probably not your game.

Character CreationIn general:
PHB plus one other source is fine (indicate this source when you know which one you are selecting).
Feats and Variant Human are fine.
No multiclass initially (though if I ever change this I will allow retrofitting).
Please ask if you have other questions.

Include the following in your application:
Use standard array to generate your ability scores.
Determine the hit points your character would have at third level.

After selection to the game:
Level your character to fourth level, remember to add ASI or feats.
Make all other decisions such as background, spells, subclass, etc.

Character Wealth: Use the starting equipment as listed for your class and background. You have also gained a net 250 gold in your adventures so far. You may use this wealth to buy anything listed in PHB, chapter 5, or accumulate it for later use. If you want to sell off anything from your starting equipment, you may do so at half price (but you might want to hold onto things unless you really need upgraded armor or something).

Magic Items: You have accumulated some amount of magic items in your previous quests and will roll to determine the details. (Don’t roll until selected for the game.)
Roll twice on Magic Item Tables A and B: You may select any one of the four results from these rolls.
Roll twice on Magic Item Table C and once on F: You may select any one of the three results from these rolls.
If your roll results in a spell scroll, you may select any spell for the given level.
You may trade items with each other if you like.
If you don’t have the DMG, I can look them up for you once you make the rolls (make d100 rolls indicating which table the roll is for with each roll).

ApplicationI am most interested in how potential players interact with each other. I am also interested in players who are interested in the game mechanic I am introducing. Player selection will be largely based around these ideas. When you are ready to apply, post your character idea in this thread.

Player Background, Description, etc: Write something here in whatever format you prefer. Brevity is nice, but so is clarity. To me this is the ideal. We are creating a story together and should be open to how we can shape it together. Unfortunately, there isn't an easy way to determine ahead of time whether this is something each applicant is willing to do. I think the best evidence I will have with this is the combat simulations detailed below.Being open to having your character concept change a bit based on the other characters in the game would be golden. Historically, I haven’t found a clear trend between how well backgrounds are written and how good of a fit a player is for a particular game. So there will be some amount of this that matters, but don’t feel like you have to overdo it here.

Mechanics: Indicate race and class. In addition, there are a few stats I would like you to calculate, as detailed in the character creation: abilities, and hp at 3rd level. Include these here. As long as you are able to do this correctly, there is no penalty or bonus to your consideration for this part. However, I might need to select somewhat based off of party balance: I’m not going to select 4 sorcerors, but I might select maybe 2 fighters depending on the applicant pool. If you really want to get into the game and are concerned about this, feel free to apply with two different characters.

X-Card(Optional): If there are things that you would be uncomfortable showing up in the setting of the game, please feel free to include those in your application. I would rather sort that out before the game than have someone drop because of an issue later that was never addressed ahead of time. Feel free to use secret text or PM if you are more comfortable with that, especially if you see something in another application that might cross a line for you. If you can't think of anything, don't feel like you have to add anything here. I don't expect anything mentioned here will adversely affect the selection process for the game, and if I think it would I will let you know. I mean if you don't like to pretend that you are killing monsters, maybe don't play DnD? Other than that I can't think of anything that I couldn't be flexible about during game selection.

Player Interaction: Once you have completed the previous requirements, I would like you to interact with some of the other applicants by simulating a battle together using the new quick combat mechanics. Details of the quick combat mechanics can be found here. There is an OOC thread in the simulation folder for the game. Use it to decide on groups of 4 to 5 players to complete a combat with together, then select The combat encounters are the titles of the other threads in this folder.one of the combat encounters you would like to engage with as a group. Once you have made your group, roll in the dice thread for your class and use the table to determine the cost of the combat for your character. Then describe what this looked like for your character in a post. Feel free to discuss anything related to the combat in the OOC thread before you post. For example, good rolls often allow you to give benefits to other characters. If you have this kind of roll, make sure you clearly indicate which player you are giving the benefit to. You may take part in these combats as many times as you like, but please defer to applicants who have not had a chance to do so yet if you have already participated a few times. If you are selecting the same combat encounter that someone else has already participated in, the first post should have a title of “NEW COMBAT” to indicate as such. If there is a particular combat encounter you would like to see that isn’t listed, let me know and I will make a new thread for it. Remember these should all be Easy Encounters for a group of 4 to 5 third level characters.
Also, please ask if anything about these mechanics seems unclear to you. It would be presumptuous of me to think I can create something like this and state it so clearly that everyone would understand it. You won't be penalized if it's not obvious how it works at first and need some clarification.


Ettiquette, etc.Posting Rates: I expect this will vary based on the situation at hand. For situations which require only a short response (traditional combat settings, or deciding whether to go left or right when the tunnel forks, etc) this could be in the one post a day range. For situations which require longer posts (social interactions, narrative posts using the new combat method, etc) the posting rate might slow to around twice a week. I will check in with people if it seems they are slowing things down and try to find a solution. The best thing is to let everyone know if you don't think you will be able to post during a given period of time.

Maps and Exploration: Exploration is a big part of what will happen, but the game will be a bit light on maps. Combats might be more theatre of the mind-style.

Safety Tools: I believe safety tools are very helpful in roleplaying games, so I want to leave an opening for anyone to bring up any issues that are a concern. Personally, I have found that the anonymity and distance provided via PbP is a sort of safety tool in itself. But if anyone has anything they would like to X-card for this game, please feel free to let me know either in the comments or via PM. For myself, I would like to avoid any violence to children.

Other things: if there are questions about anything else, please leave them in the comments and I will address them in an FAQ (probably in a post to directly follow this one.) If you are more comfortable with PMs, that is fine too, though I prefer to keep my inbox from getting too full.

 

About MeI've been a casual off and on player of various roleplaying games since about 1984. I've been on RPGXing since about 2012, and have been more "serious" about roleplaying since then. I've seen what kinds of things can lead to games failing, particularly in the PbP format, and I have some ideas of how to avoid that in this game.
I started out here with 3.5/Pathfinder but am now a huge fan of 5e (though I am still in one PF game because the quality of play is more important than the mechanics, and it has some of the best PbP players I've ever been in a game with). Recently I've also been writing some gaming supplements. Some of those details are linked in my signature. I also have a few projects for ENWorld that are coming out later this year.
When I'm not gaming, I'm a STEM professor, husband, and father of two young sons.
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Last edited by goatmeal; Yesterday at 12:36 PM.
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:20 PM
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Faq

Ask any questions here....

Q: Would you like us to use average HP when supplying that information in our application?

A: No rolling for hp, use the PHB recommended max at level 1 and then a little above average for each level after that. If you gain a level once we have started the game and would prefer to roll that's fine (though I'm not sure why anyone would ever roll when you get a bit above an average roll as the default).

Q: Is bold text for character dialogue mandatory for game posts / backstory?

A: Use the standard for the site, which is bold text for speech, italics for thoughts. If you don't like doing this, you are always welcome to write a post where your character doesn't say anything or you don't write what they say as a quote, but as a summary of what they've said. I understand not wanting to have to format like this, and that's why I often write posts for my characters in which I don't have them speak directly.

Q: How would subclasses that add spellcasting abilities, such as Eldritch Knight and Arcane Trickster, affect the tables? Would they get the option to replace costs with spell slots like a caster, or would spells only factor into traditional combat?

A:This is a great question. The classes are relatively balanced against each other based on the features of the class. I haven’t added subclasses for two reasons: (1) it’s a lot more work than I really want to do, (2) I would be limited to DMsGuild for anything I did with this if I included all the subclasses. (This also doesn’t include things like battle mastery, domain abilities, or wizard schools.) So in terms of the classes being balanced, they actually make the encounters a bit easier than they would be otherwise, because those added features aren’t included in the balance and would be “left over” for other encounters. I could say more about this if you like. I put a lot of work into balancing the classes vs. each other and vs. the adventuring day.

Q:. Could I design alt characters using different +1 books, such as one uses SCAG and one uses XGTE?

A: If you are applying with two different characters, one of them could use SCAG and the other could use XGTE. But you can’t use SCAG and XGTE on the same character.

Q: Could I use the system for my own games if it is successful?

A:Absolutely. I even talk about some options for using it somewhere in the ad. Is this an onsite game? If so, let me know when you use it as I’d like to see how it works in someone else’s game.




Nobody:

Me: Most of the weird folder names are because sometimes I wonder if the only reason I play RPGs is to make obscure references to 80s music.
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Last edited by goatmeal; 05-05-2019 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:26 AM
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This sounds very interesting and fun.

Last edited by Valornor; 05-04-2019 at 02:27 AM.
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Old 05-04-2019, 12:06 PM
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Interest Placeholder Please...

Don't you want me baby? With or without you, Girls just wanna have fun.
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:44 PM
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Thanks for the interest, folks.

I guess I should concede if we're having an 80s music contest, Dig. Pretty sure you'll have me beat there.
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Old 05-04-2019, 03:14 PM
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Goodness gracious, this sounds like my dream campaign. Incredibly excited about what you've presented overall, but particularly keen to try your quick combat mechanics (which I've just taken a peek at), and will be submitting at least one application.

I believe I've read and understood everything in your post, but since you've offered to answer some questions here are a couple that have popped into my head:

1) Would you like us to use average HP when supplying that information in our application? If not, is this game's dice-rolling thread an appropriate place to roll for hit points or are we doing the honor system? (This might fall under etiquette; I've been away from RPGCrossing for a number of years, and there are some things I need to re-learn.)

2) Is bold text for character dialogue mandatory for game posts / backstory? (My desire is not to format speech like that, but understand that many people do and would rather adhere to your preferences on this.)

That's it for now, thanks very much. So very happy to have found this advertisement. Now to decide on some character concepts!
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Old 05-04-2019, 03:58 PM
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This looks super rad! I’ll try to get a character together that suits your ideas as soon as I can.
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:27 PM
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Welcome folks, glad to hear there is so much interest in this right off the bat. On to the questions.

1) No rolling for hp, use the PHB recommended max at level 1 and then a little above average for each level after that. If you gain a level once we have started the game and would prefer to roll that's fine (though I'm not sure why anyone would ever roll when you get a bit above an average roll as the default).

2) Use the standard for the site, which is bold text for speech, italics for thoughts. If you don't like doing this, you are always welcome to write a post where your character doesn't say anything or you don't write what they say as a quote, but as a summary of what they've said. I understand not wanting to have to format like this, and that's why I often write posts for my characters in which I don't have them speak directly.

Great questions, btw. These were things that were not addressed in the ad itself but are probably common questions a lot of people would have. I will add them to the FAQ momentarily.
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Old 05-04-2019, 11:29 PM
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After a chance to actually READ most of this, I am going to step out. I like the concept, but my time needs something...simpler...right now.

Best of luck!!
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:00 AM
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Thanks for the heads up, Dig.

I’ll be in the mountains today. I’ll try to catch up with any questions when I get back.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:58 PM
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Posting interest. The quick combat mechanics sound great, and I would love to test them out. Just a few questions.

1. How would subclasses that add spellcasting abilities, such as Eldritch Knight and Arcane Trickster, affect the tables? Would they get the option to replace costs with spell slots like a caster, or would spells only factor into traditional combat?

2. Could I design alt characters using different +1 books, such as one uses SCAG and one uses XGTE?

3. Could I use the system for my own games if it is successful?
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Last edited by AlphaP; 05-05-2019 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:08 PM
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Thanks for the interest, AlphaP.
1. How would subclasses that add spellcasting abilities, such as Eldritch Knight and Arcane Trickster, affect the tables? Would they get the option to replace costs with spell slots like a caster, or would spells only factor into traditional combat?

This is a great question. The classes are relatively balanced against each other based on the features of the class. I havenít added subclasses for two reasons: (1) itís a lot more work than I really want to do, (2) I would be limited to DMsGuild for anything I did with this if I included all the subclasses. (This also doesnít include things like battle mastery, domain abilities, or wizard schools.) So in terms of the classes being balanced, they actually make the encounters a bit easier than they would be otherwise, because those added features arenít included in the balance and would be ďleft overĒ for other encounters. I could say more about this if you like. I put a lot of work into balancing the classes vs. each other and vs. the adventuring day.

2. Could I design alt characters using different +1 books, such as one uses SCAG and one uses XGTE?

Iím not entirely sure I understand the question. If you are applying with two different characters, one of them could use SCAG and the other could use XGTE. But you canít use SCAG and XGTE on the same character.

3. Could I use the system for my own games if it is successful?

Absolutely. I even talk about some options for using it somewhere in the ad. Is this an onsite game? If so, let me know when you use it as Iíd like to see how it works in someone elseís game.


One other thing I wanted to mention unrelated to any of your questions. I want my game to be accessible to anyone and I know there is a lot of information here. Iím going to relook at the ad and see if I can reorganize it to be a bit more user friendly. It might be a few days before I am able to make any changes, but it is something Iíve been thinking about. If anyone has any feedback on this, please let me know.
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Old 05-06-2019, 12:41 AM
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I've been looking for a more efficient method for combats in PBP, and playtesting seems way more fun than just digging into ancient forum threads looking for homebrew settings.
So yeah, I'll be making an application most likely by tomorrow.
As for suggestions with the ad, I'd recommend to put the different sections of the post into spoiler tags, that way new and curious players may discover a new facet of the game with each click instead of being immediately confronted with a somewhat intimidating wall of text.
Mind you, I love me some huge walls of text with obtuse and complex DM lingo as much as anyone reasonably could, but toning that down a bit would likely help the game look more begginer-friendly.
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:31 AM
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@goatmeal Thanks for the response.

1. As a continuation, would you be opposed to me making an eldritch knight or a blade-song wizard?

2. Yeah, I was debating between the two books. I love the added spells in XGTE, but a subclass I wished to try is in SCAG. With the option to make two characters, I thought I might submit one for each.

3. I don't know yet. I'm considering trying out DMing eventually, and having a few more tools to help things go smoothly would help. I've noticed that combat can be somewhat of a drag in PbP, so an option to handle less challenging encounters quickly would keep a game here running smoother.
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Old 05-06-2019, 02:45 AM
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Hm this looks really interesting.

How do you feel about the Artificer?
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