Miscellaneous Rules

Miscellaneous Rules

Posting Rules
It's play by post, and I'm sure everyone is familiar with how to play in a PBP game. However, there are a couple of things that I prefer as a GM that I find makes it easier on all involved when playing.

1. It is PBP, which means that this is a story. Please use correct sentence structure, proper grammar and punctuation, etc. in your posts. Anybody should be able to start reading anywhere and get an idea for what is going on.
2. There will be several game threads and an OOC thread. Please try to keep OOC comments in the OOC thread.
3. As this is a story, please try to write in the 3rd person. I hate having to remind people of that, but if I don't there will invariably be one person that doesn't, and I'm just trying to cover all the bases.
4. All normal, non-thought/non-speech text should be in black un-bolded and non-italicized. An example is what you are reading right now.
5. All speech should be enclosed in quotation marks and be in black and bolded (but not italicized). An example would be "Holy cow, man - did you see how far he flew?"
6. All thoughts should be black and be italicized (but not bolded). An example would be I hope this game gets off the ground and goes somewhere!
7. I am hoping everyone can post no less than 1 time per week. As the GM, I will post as often as necessary to keep the game moving along, but I will never go more than 7 days between GM posts. If you are unlucky enough to not post within 7 days of my last GM post, I'm going to ask why. If you go 14 days without posting...well, your spot will get filled by someone else.
8. All dice rolls should be at the bottom of your post in spoiler tags. Like so:

I would also ask that if you have bonuses to please spell them out explicitly as there may be times that you have a bonus that will not apply, and it makes it easier on me to subtract that when looking at your dice roll. And finally...
9. We are using the critical hit and fumble tables from the skills and powers books UNLESS THE MAJORITY SAYS OTHERWISE. This means that if you roll a natural 20 or a natural 1, please include the dice rolls for the critical hit or fumble. If you are unsure what dice you need to roll, please let me know and we'll look it up and figure it out together.

Death's Door
There are rules in the books regarding what happens when someone reaches 0 hit points. Some people play by the rule that if you hit 0 hit points you are dead. But I like what the book does (partially), and we're using that (with a slight modification).

When you hit 0 hit points, you are unconscious. End of story, you are out cold. If you are 0 hit points, you stay at 0 hit points, but are unconscious.

If you take damage that drops you below 0 hit points, you are unconscious and bleeding. You will continue to bleed at the rate of 1 hit point per round until someone bandages you up and uses first aid or holistic healing or something along those lines. At this point (the point of being bandaged up) the bleeding has stopped but you are still at -whatever you bled to for hit points. You will therefore remain unconscious until you rest naturally to get above 0 hit points (at the rate of 2 hit points per 8 hours), or you are magically healed to get above 0 hit points (such as through Cure Light Wounds).

So, how long can you bleed for? You will drop, as stated, at the rate of -1 hit point per round due to bleeding. When you hit your CON score in negative hit points you are deceased. No roll, no system shock - you are dead.

If you are at 0 hit points, you remain unconscious until you either get 8 hours of rest (which naturally heals 2 hit points) OR you receive magical healing.


Corey the Brave is in combat and takes a crushing blow from his enemy, putting him at 0 hit points. He is knocked out but is not bleeding. He will either wake up naturally in 8 hours, or when the priest in his party uses magical healing on him.

Corey the Brave is in combat and takes a crushing blow from his enemy, dropping him to -1 hit points. He has a CON score of 17, and will continue to bleed out for the next 16 rounds, taking 1 point of damage each round. Say, for this example, he bleeds until he hits -5 hit points. At this point someone bandages him up, so the bleeding stops. But he is still at -5 hit points. He will either remain unconscious for the next 24 hours (healing at a rate of 2 hit points per 8 hours, bringing him up to 1 hit point naturally), or until someone uses magic on him to bring him up above 0 hit points. If he is not bandaged and hits -17 through bleeding, he dies.

A couple of other things on death's door:

1. If you take a shot that does more than 50% of your total, full hit points, you must roll for system shock or be knocked unconscious for a period of 1d6 rounds. I don't start using this until characters hit 3rd level.
2. If you take a shot that drops you to negative CON score for hit points (as in the example above, Corey takes a shot that immediately drops him to -17), you must roll for system shock or be killed instantly. If you succeed, you are reduced to 1/2 your CON score below 0 AND you permanently lose 1 point of CON. Again, I don't start using this until 3rd level.

Any questions, just ask.

Not necessarily rules per se, but these need to be mentioned.

The game starts in Waterdeep, so your character background should at least mention how you got there and why you are there. It doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things, but it's just so everyone knows why you are there (and also gets my evil little GM mind thinking about ways to bring your past back to haunt you).

Furthermore, it doesn't matter to me whether or not you all know each other at the start of the game. If you do, just include how you know which other characters in your background. If you don't know each other, that's cool too cuz you're going to get to know each other really quick.

I also don't care what dice roller you use - physical dice, iPhone/Android app,, the site dice roller, or some other way to roll dice. All I ask is that no matter what method you use, please be honest. If you do use an online or site dice roller, just link the results in your post. We're all adults here, and being honest makes the game more enjoyable. I would hate to have to accuse and prove that someone is cheating on their dice rolls because that leaves a bad taste in everybody's mouth, and games suffer for it. So just be honest, ok?

Finally, I am not about trying to kill the PCs off. I am going to be up front in that until you reach 3rd or 4th level, I will fudge die rolls so you won't die. If I roll a natural 20 to attack you, it's going to hurt and you will be bleeding and limping around. But you won't die because I am not in the habit of needlessly killing low-level PCs. Now, I should state that if you are being stupid with your actions and not thinking about what you are doing - even if I question your actions and you say you still want to do something, like try to fill the dwarf's helmet with lava so you can pour it over a metal lock...well, then, you're going to die. I don't kill players - players kill players.

Leveling Up
For starters, I am going to recommend you re-read the House Rules document regarding experience points. There are several ways to earn experience points in campaigns that I run, and 2 distinct things you will never receive experience points for. So before continuing here, please re-read the House Rules.

Done? Ok.

Some GMs like to hold all XP until a specific point in their campaigns that, in their minds, is perfect for the characters to have "down-time" to process what they've done and learned. I believe that people learn on the fly, and that experience should not be handed out all at once but in the increments that it is earned, when it is earned. Therefore, XP will be doled out upon earning it. So if you are in combat and kill 3 orcs (1 HD each, 25 XP each), you would receive a share of the 75 XP for killing them, and fighters would earn an additional 30 XP for defeating the orcs. If spells were cast, mages/priests would earn XP for that, and thieves for backstabbing and/or whatever other things they do in combat that are thiefly in nature.

Because XP is handed out as it is earned, this leads to characters leveling up while they are still underground or on a quest. This is completely normal in my campaigns. But this also leads to a few questions about what happens when you level up in the middle of an adventure. And I've got the answers.

For starters, characters immediately roll for hit points. You gain these hit points right away, whether or not you are at full hit points or not. This means that the amount you have AND your maximum amount both go up.

Secondly, any class abilities you may receive - extra attacks, access to new spells, a new school spell of your choice (mages), thief abilities - immediately are gained.

Finally, non-weapon proficiencies are immediately gained provided you have made an effort towards that proficiency during your previous level. If, for example, you gain a new NWP and want to take Animal Handling, you must have been practicing Animal Handling during your previous level. Or at least making an attempt to handle animals up to this point. If you don't, you can't take that particular NWP until you find someone to teach you the skills of that NWP. So while you currently may not have a specific NWP, please remember that you can still work on some of the fundamentals to set yourself up to get it right away when you receive a new NWP slot.

Please keep in mind that this does not mean you can say "I'm going to try writing my name" one time early on and then never come back to it and then when you get a new NWP slot you can just say "I am picking up Reading/Writing because I worked on it once". That's not how this works. You don't try something once a long time ago and then just immediately pick it up at some point. You must work on it. Not constantly, but at least make the effort to throw out a post with something about what you are aiming for every once in a while.

You'll notice in the above that training is only needed when you want a new NWP but have not made any effort at an NWP that you want. I hate the training rules, and I am trying to alleviate having to formally train when necessary. People can learn on their own with minimal instruction/supervision, so long as they have the proper motivation. And do you really want to have to say "Well, we're on dungeon level 12, and it will take us at least a week to make it back to the surface, but I have this new NWP slot that I'm dying to fill with Appraising, but I have to train for it so we need to go back to town right now"?

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