1. Fantasy world with contemporary elements. Eberron is an example, but I will not be relying on D&D settings. But neither will I built heavy fluff for homebrew. I work with core elements and expand on them as the players progress.
2. Will not delve much into most planes and deities.
3. Will include noncombat tension eg. espionage, court, criminal dealings.
4. Players chart out character design for me to weave their development into narrative.
5. Players are rewarded also for other means to fulfil goals other than death of enemy (retreat/ capture/ be captured).
6. Most things players will involve in have a bigger picture actively progressing, with certain outcomes, if not addressed, lead to player deaths.
Example: player may survive combat while on a castle battlement, but if he neglected to protect the wall from a demolition team, a DM post will say invaders plow through and several people were swarmed over.
7. The Campaign is accessed by players through sets of Thematic Arcs, with themes informing the players on what to look for to complete the Arcs.
Example: A Political Arc will have all engagements, meetings, dealings and so on be related to a layer of political maneuvering behind the scenes, of which the players must be cautious of when they make their decisions, and of which will come to the fore at key moments during play. A Criminal Arc will instead have a focus towards interaction with the seedier sides of society, etc.
8. Each Arc has 4 to 6 Beats. Completion of a Beat will award 1 block to the XP bar. There is more than 4 Beats, because there will be times when players will actually FAIL their objectives, but, so long as they survive their encounter, they are to forge on with new data, and continue playing. But no XP block may be awarded upon closing the previous Beat.
9. Each Beat has a series of Encounters, be it a battle of words (role play), wits (travelling/adventuring), or weapons (combat). Each Encounter can shift seamlessly from any of the types of battle, regardless of how the premise had started. The shift is usually determined by player choices during an encounter that triggers responses from the world.
Example: During a Political Arc, in a tense moment of role play between players making a deal with a powerful political mover, a player may have his character draw his weapon, and the guards respond. The battle of words shift into weapons. But, if another player reveals information to blackmail the political mover and demand a stand down, and the man orders his guards to sheath their weapons, the Encounter will shift accordingly.
1. Use what is enough for advancement, and not more - core elements and just enough details for spice but not meat; I leave creative space for players to expand the world.
2. Google Draw - for quick battle movements, players will access the document for their own mapping.
3. Players are a team set out to fulfil tasks together, but may need to split at important times.
4. Players chart out character design for me to weave their progression through gameplay challenges.
5. Most challenges will be packaged into discrete encounters for my ease of shifting components around.
6. Players will have 'moments' during encounters, which are bonus opportunities to seize and being great results, or mess ups.
7. There will be times when a character death is imminent, but chances may be offered in 'moments' to intervene, whether by the player of said character, or an action by a fellow character.
8. Not all combative engagements will result in character death should a character be defeated, but said character will be out of action during current combat, unless a 'moment' is offered for fellow characters to attempt and revive downed character.
9. Should a character remain defeated until combat is over, an XP block will be removed from the character's progress, but the character is free to continue playing through the rest of a Beat, unless such reason of being defeated has a lingering debilitating effect, such as made to Sleep by a spell.
House Rules 1st Pass
For posting format:
- talking styles of any kind and timeline is encouraged, so long as players can easily understand each other
- post in top left heading the most important stat changes for every post, when available
- clean strong narrative entries during combat, no simple 'I swing my sword' posts
- speech to be in bold, and of different colors from other players
- NO INTERNAL THOUGHT PROSE (if you want to convey something, either show through action, inaction, hidden meaning in dialogue, layered dialogue, subtext; this is where players must actively pay attention to other characters than your own, and take initiative to investigate deeper into each other's intent)
For character creation: [teamplay is core]
- you are level 6, with Roles of Leader, Veteran, and Rookie to form the team
- Str and Con for Fortitude, Int and Dex for Reflex, Wis and Cha for Will
- HP value is equal to the level value eg. level 1 characters are only 1 HP, level 20 characters are only 20 HP
- no XP penalties for multiclassing; you may have up to 3 base classes maximum
- the team will have only one leader or older person, and at least one younger rookie; leaders are expected to keep the team alive, and rookies are expected to be respectful and to learn from the older ones
For starting gear: [adventuring is core]
- you are allowed to have 3 magic items of your chosen level, and 3 magic items of up to 3 levels higher
- only up to 3 magic items are combat items; you may have less than 3
- at least 3 magic items are utility items; you can have more than 3
- casting reagents are free; there is no need for bookkeeping
- missiles are not expendable; you don't have to keep buying to replenish them
- system is based off 3.5 edition; 4th edition variant is used instead if players prefer that
- earn 5 XP bars to gain 1 character level, this applies across the entire character progression
- level adjustment characters start out with negative character levels to pay off as debt before continuing
- at level 11, a player may opt to start with a new class as a level 1 character, AND carry forward up to 5 reasonable class features from his previous; if a player had multiclassed before level 10, he is free to select class features from among the mix
- arcana clouds exist for information and remote device control
- various type of transport are available within reach where reasonable
- environments may have hazards, weather and terrain effects can benefit player options
- HIGHLY encourage players to attempt using their combat abilities for creative utility effects
- DM rewards S.P.E.C.I.A.L adventuring (scouting, planning, experimenting, caution, intelligent guesses, ambient attention, long-term thinking)
- coins are available for day to day low spending as normal; larger transactions above 100 gold may not be done with coinage
- larger cash amounts, or larger transactions, use cash crystals; they are read by standard issued arcane magnifying glasses
- banks and their services exist; most have paperwork that can be traced
- passive income portfolios exist; most transactions can be traced
- cash crystals have no identifying markers; cannot be traced
For dice rolls:
- dice can be rolled beforehand to know if your action is bad or good, before typing your post
- new dice roll standard; d6 for everything
- rolled perfect 6s will unlock 'moments' for special actions the players can request for
- in the event rolled values match exactly as enemy rolls, player rolls win
- skill modifiers may instead denote extra number of dice rolls you can request, rather than adding more number to final value; each successive dice roll replaces the previous roll value, and it is only beneficial if player wishes to roll perfect for a 'moment'
- concentration rolls will revive downed players to max HP; rolls can be done by downed player or standing players
- Knowledge (arcana/religion/nature/planes) can be used to generate certain effects eg. jamming, pulse scan, etc etc
- all skill rolls can be done during combat, to enhance a move action or a standard action at no added action cost
- skill rolls can be matched by enemy skill rolls when available to neutralize player action, and vise versa
- there are no social related rolls; all social actions are succeeded by the prose skills of the player
- no initiative rolls; character rolls attack to beat enemy attacks to strike first against enemy armor class
- when a player rolls a value that matches enemy or higher, he can opt to allow simultaneous attacks with enemy
- when simultaneous attack is chosen, player can
counter attack (beat enemy reflex save to attack with no need to beat enemy armor class)
weapon clash and move enemy to change enemy position (beat enemy fortitude save and enemy cannot attack other players)
verbal attacks (beat enemy will save to have dialogue of any kind to affect enemy, DM will determine outcome)
- special attacks can be substituted for normal attacks with no feat requirements
- when HP is 0, character is down, but not always killed; he may be revived by other players (see below)
- spells can be jammed
- spells can be traced
- spells can be merged with each other for new effects
- spells can be empowered by Knowledge (arcana/religion/nature/planes/psionics)
- spells can be recharged with a cost
- all weapons are d6 damage
- all weapons have special properties for qualitative effect
- there is no need for piercing, blunt or slashing category, unless mentioned in special properties or used during 'moments'
House Rule Feedback & Clarification:
Any and all posters are free to list their personal top two (and only two) concerns/ grouses regarding play experience, so that I may try to understand, avoid, or address them in this game.
These pointers may be fundamental (I don't like 4th ed), systemic (the problem with initiatives), creative (boring encounters), communal (players who grief or dominate encounters), or social (the DM was too harsh on rulings).