RPGA® CHARACTER CREATION GUIDE
Version 1.9, June 18, 2009 Next Update: December, 2009
What is the RPGA?
The RPGA is an official network that promotes play of Wizards of the Coast roleplaying games, heavily focused on D&D®. With the RPGA, thousands of gamers participate in massive shared-world campaigns in their homes, at conventions around the world, and online. You can often take your character from one play group to a completely different group, and with this guide you’ll know that your character is official. DMs also earn DM Rewards, exclusive D&D game materials and aids only available through the RPGA. Your home game can also be scheduled through the RPGA, earning you rewards for your local play.
In order to become a RPGA member and participate, you need a membership number, which can be obtained at a public event (such as a convention or local game day) or online. Go to www.wizards.com/rpga for more information on how you can sign up to join the biggest D&D organization in the world.
If you’re a Dungeon Master (DM) and you want to schedule a public game for play, you’ll need to become an organizer through the Wizards Play Network (WPN). This process is simple, straightforward, and only takes a few minutes. Go to www.wizards.com/wpn for more information.
How to Use This Guide
This Character Creation Guide is used for all official RPGA programs in which you have to bring your own character. In addition to the general rules in this guide, each program has its own appendix with additional information specific to the program.
You can also use the rules in this guide for your own home game. Doing so allows your players to take advantage of using their RPGA Rewards cards for your home game.
What You’ll Need
In order to create a character for a RPGA game session, you’ll need the following:
- A Player’s Handbook
- A character record sheet
- Your RPGA number
- Any other player resources you want (see below)
- This guide
Creating a New Character
Creating a character for a RPGA game is very similar to creating a character for any other D&D game. In fact, if you follow the character creation rules in the Player’s Handbook, you’ll be pretty much set. However, there are some decisions that normally a DM would make about character creation, and this guide tells you what is official for RPGA play in these circumstances. If a specific situation is not covered by this guide, use the Player’s Handbook as the default reference.
- All characters start at 1st level unless otherwise specified. Some RPGA programs might have characters starting at a higher level, in which case see "Creating a Higher-Level Character" below.
- Ability scores are never rolled. Use Method 1 or 2 (Player’s Handbook, pages 17-18) to generate ability scores for your character.
- Starting characters must purchase equipment that is from a player resource. Each 1st-level RPGA character starts out with 100 gp, just like any other D&D character. They can purchase equipment that is from a player resource (see below). Once you start adventuring, you may gain access to or find other magic items that you normally could not purchase.
- Character alignments must be unaligned, good, or lawful good. In addition, characters may not worship a deity with an alignment of evil or chaotic evil.
- Player resources are legal for character options. Each month, Wizards of the Coast releases more D&D game material through print products on sale at your local store or on our website through Dragon and Dungeon magazines. Some of this material is a player resource, and some of it is for DMs. See the chart to identify what products are player resources.
The following list as of this publication date contains the names of the products that have player resources through December 2009. This list will continue to be updated in this document semi-annually, and on the RPGA website when appropriate.
|Publication||Content Allowed||Date Legal|
|Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide||All except spellscarred rules and backgrounds||9/16/2008|
|Manual of the Planes||Paragon paths||12/16/2008|
|Player’s Handbook 2||All||3/17/2009|
|Player’s Handbook Heroes Miniatures||All||On release date of each new set|
|Eberron Player’s Guide||All except dragonmarked rules and backgrounds||6/16/2009|
|Adventurer’s Vault 2||All||8/2009|
|Dragon Magazine Annual 2009||All||9/2009|
|Dragon Magazine||All||Upon release of compiled issue|
|D&D Insider Character Builder exclusive content||All||When available|
Content Never Accessible: There are a few bits of D&D game material that are never considered accessible to players (even if content from the resource is allowed), as it is too difficult to evaluate the content’s use in RPGA campaigns.
This includes the following game content:
- Content that specifies DM adjudication in order to be used by a character
Access Information: Content from publications not listed above requires you to obtain access. For magic items, rituals, and formulas, you’ll want to check the appendix for the program you’re participating in, if any. For new races, feats, powers, and other options, you need to have a RPGA Rewards card that grants you access and have it in your card stack (see below) or the option needs to be specifically mentioned in the appropriate appendix for the program.
Dragon Magazine:Content appearing in Dragon Magazine that is player resource-friendly (full racial write-ups, classes, paragon paths, epic destinies, powers, feats, magic items, rituals/formulas, and backgrounds) is available for access if present in the compiled issue and when the compiled issue is available for download (typically at the end of the current month). Content from individual articles is not available for access upon the date of the article’s publication, as the compiled issue may make final modifications to the rules in the article. Exceptions to access will be noted in the rules content’s article.
Playtest Classes:Occasionally, D&D Insider subscribers to Dragon Magazine may have playable "playtest" classes available to them months before they actually see print. These classes are usable when the compiled monthly issue is available, but keep in mind that some features and powers of the class may change when the final version of the class is published. If the class isn’t presented in a playable state when the compiled monthly issue is released, it is not legal for RPGA play.
Rules Updates and FAQs
Periodically, Wizards of the Coast will release rules updates with corrections to existing rules, or a player/DM will inquire through a specific official channel to get a clarification on an existing rule. When there is contradiction or confusion on a ruling at a table, the DM is the final arbiter, although the most recent rules should be used when possible. The following are considered official rules sources for RPGA play:
- Printed rulebooks
- Official D&D rules updates (available at www.wizards.com/dnd; click on "Products," then "Updates")
- D&D Rules Compendium (available through D&D Insider at www.wizards.com/insider)
- D&D Character Builder (available through D&D Insider at www.wizards.com/insider)
- Clarifications issued through the official Game Support team at Wizards of the Coast
- RPGA Character Creation Guide (this document)
- Updates posted on the official Wizards website (through D&D Insider or as news items)
Important Play Information
While each program has its own set of rules, there are three bits of information you’ll want to keep in mind when playing your character.
- It’s a team game. While creating a brooding loner character can be interesting, the character should still be able to function well in a team environment. 4th Edition D&D is all about working together to overcome challenges, and the mechanics of the game reinforce that aspect. Roleplay your character however you like, so long as you remember the importance of assisting your fellow adventurers. If you are in control of your character and have an attack that includes PCs in its effect, always ask the players controlling the affected characters if it’s OK to damage or otherwise hinder their character before you make the attack.
- When a rule is updated, use the newest version. Keep an eye out for rules updates, particularly Dragon Magazine options that later appear in a rulebook. Make sure that you’re using the most current version of the rule. This is especially important if you use a playtest class from Dragon Magazine.
- Play of an adventure is restricted to once per character, not once per player. Unless otherwise specified, all RPGA adventures that allow you to create your own character can be played multiple times, so long as you use a different character each time you play. You can even DM a game and then play it at a later date. If you play an adventure again, you are required to let the DM know at the beginning of the game that you’ve already played it, and don’t ruin the surprises for anyone else that might be experiencing the adventure for the first time.
Creating a Higher-Level Character
If you’re creating a character higher than 1st level for a specific campaign (either a RPGA program or a home game), simply follow the rules in the Dungeon Master’s Guide page 143, in addition to those in this guide. Remember to adjust the number of RPGA Rewards cards in your stack appropriately.
Pay particular attention to Step 7 of the process in the Dungeon Master’s Guide. You get one magic item of your level + 1, one of your level, and one of your level - 1. You also get gold equal to a magic item of your level - 1. Keep in mind that you still must adhere to the access rules for the campaign.
RPGA Rewards Cards
Periodically (see www.wizards.com/rpga) the RPGA issues special cards that can be used in official RPGA games. These cards allow you to get an adventuring edge from time to time, help promote teamwork, and provide you with new character options. You should show your DM what cards you have in your stack prior to beginning a play session.
There are four types of Rewards cards:
- General cards are the most common and the ones likely to be used in a game session. Each general card has a benefit listed on the card. Once the benefit is triggered, the card is turned sideways to indicate it is used, and the bonus indicated on the card (usually +1 or +2) becomes active for the rest of the session. You can give any one ally (a character other than your own) the bonus at any time after a d20 roll has been made. Only one card bonus may be given to a d20 roll. Once the bonus has been spent, remove the general card from the play area or flip it face down. You can have as many general cards as you like in your stack (up to your limit), and may have multiple copies of the same general card in your stack.
- Creation cards allow you to create a character of a new race or with an option unavailable to most characters. You can only have one creation card in your card stack, it must be assigned when the character is created, and it cannot be changed once chosen.
- Expansion cards give your character new options. You can have as many different expansion cards as you like in your stack (up to your limit), they can be assigned at any time, and if they are removed at a later time, you lose access to the options on the card (which might mean you have to retrain or restrict future item access).
- Quest cards are a special type of card linked to a specific program (usually a long-term official RPGA campaign). On each quest card, there are tasks listed that you have to perform in adventures. Your DM will inform you if you’ve completed the task and can gain credit from doing so. Once you’ve completed all the tasks, you unlock a special adventure playable only by those with the quest card in their stack and all tasks completed. Your character can possess as many quest cards as you’d like in your stack; these cards do not count against your total cards in your stack.
|Character Level||Cards Gained||Total Cards in Stack (Only 1 Creation)|
Documenting Your Play
Each campaign may have different ways that you document your play - for many of them it’s as simple as writing down your XP and treasure gained on your character sheet, just like any other D&D game. For others, it may involve you keeping an adventure log either on paper or online. See the appendix for the specific program you’re participating in.
Dungeons & Dragons
Living Forgotten Realms
Ongoing Shared-World Campaign
Year 1 (Heroic Tier Play Emphasis): August 2008 - December 2009
What is Living Forgotten Realms?
Living Forgotten Realms (or LFR for short) is a new regionalized RPGA Living campaign, and the first to utilize the new 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules. Players create characters and assign them to a specific region set in the FORGOTTEN REALMS®. Characters can be played in any LFR adventure that supports their levels of play, anywhere.
All LFR adventures will be available for play no matter where you live in the world. As your character plays adventures, it earns experience points, gold, and magic items which stay with you from game to game. There are dozens of unique adventures each year!
A Regional Campaign
The Living Forgotten Realms campaign is a regional campaign, meaning that your character hails from a specific region in the FORGOTTEN REALMS. Adventures that you play will span the vastness of the Realms, and you may find opportunities in your home region’s adventures that would be denied to a traveler from afar!
Each region is administered by a group of three campaign volunteers, called regional administrators. These hard-working people ensure that the campaign runs smoothly in your area. Overseeing these individuals are the global administrators, a team of three people contracted by Wizards of the Coast to manage their regional teams and coordinate with Wizards directly. They report to the D&D Organized Play Content Developer, the full-time Wizards employee that is responsible for the campaign’s architecture and its development.
Being a part of a massive shared-world campaign means that there’s many opportunities to interact with the community of gamers involved in the campaign. For more information on the Living Forgotten Realms campaign structure and how you can get further involved, visit www.wizards.com/rpga. Click on the "Living Forgotten Realms" or "Living Realms" links.
What You’ll Need
In addition to the materials listed on the first page of the RPGA Character Creation Guide, you’ll need the following to play in Living Forgotten Realms:
- A copy of the adventure log and advancement tracker. Both of these items can be found at the end of this document. Print them out and fill out the information (see below for instructions). You’ll probably only need one advancement tracker for each character you create, but you’ll need a new adventure log after you’ve played 3 adventures.
- The Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide. While this isn’t a necessity to play Living Forgotten Realms, it’s full of great new rules for Realms characters and contains write-ups of the character backgrounds. The only material in the book not allowed for the campaign is the spellscarred rules (which require a special exception, such as a Rewards card).
Special Character Creation Rules
Living Forgotten Realms characters are created using all the rules presented in the RPGA Character Creation Guide (and start at 1st level just like many characters), but have some additional options and considerations due to the nature of the campaign.
In Living Forgotten Realms, all of the races in the Player’s Handbook (and other books as they become available) are represented, as well as new races (drow and genasi) that can be found in the Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide (and the preview document, available at www.wizards.com/rpga).
Certain races in the Realms have expanded racial origins. Specific information can be found in the Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide. Choosing a cultural distinction for your character’s race does not provide a different game mechanical benefit.
- Select a character background. You must choose a region within the FORGOTTEN REALMS for your character.
Most of the regions for your character are found in the Backgrounds chapter of the Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide; it’s the place where they hail from, might define their personality or looks, and gives them a small game benefit. You may choose additional backgrounds from other legal sources (such as race, occupation, etc. from Player’s Handbook 2), but you only gain a game benefit from one background of your choice. Choosing a region that offers regional adventures may provide you with additional benefits as you play those adventures, or may qualify you for additional game benefits (like regional feats or paragon paths). The regions that have adventures in Living Forgotten Realms are: Aglarond, Akanūl, Baldur’s Gate, Cormyr, Dalelands, Dragon Coast, East Rift, Impiltur, Luruar, Moonshae Isles, Tymanther, and Waterdeep. For information on these regions, visit www.wizards.com/rpga and click on the "Living Forgotten Realms" or "Living Realms" links, download the Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide Preview (available in the same place as above), or pick up a copy of the Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide at your local store. Once you’ve chosen a region for your character, that choice remains for the rest of your character’s life. It’s as much a part of your character as its race.
- Select a deity for your character, if applicable. Characters that have a divine class or multiclass option must choose one (and only one) living deity for their character. See the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide ("Pantheons of the World") or Player’s Guide (Deities of the World chapter) for a list of deities available in the Realms. If you’ve chosen a deity from the Player’s Handbook, listed below is an equivalency chart so that you can convert your character’s choice to the appropriate campaign-specific deity. You may need to alter your character’s alignment slightly to align more properly with the Realms deity. If you have a Channel Divinity feat from the Player’s Handbook, it is a valid character option for the Realms-equivalent deity. The Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide will have Channel Divinity feats for all the Realms deities listed on the chart. In addition, the Realms equivalent deity serves as a proxy for any other rules prerequisite that specifies the Player’s Handbook deity.
Special Access Rules
Follow the rules in the RPGA Character Creation Guide to determine what is allowed as a player resource. Remember, RPGA Rewards cards can give you access to options normally not allowed in Living Forgotten Realms. In addition to the content listed in the main document, the following rules are also considered allowed for Living Forgotten Realms:
- The character backgrounds from the Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide are allowed. To check to see if other backgrounds are allowed, see the Player Resources table on page 2 of this document.
- Check the Player Resources section on page 2 for access information. In addition, the section titled "Treasure and Rewards" for more information.
- You can only create items that you could purchase. Enchant Magic Item and Brew Potion are rituals that allow you to create items. If your character could normally purchase an item (see "Treasure and Rewards"), you can create it with these rituals. You can always create items at the end of the adventure, and depending on what the DM allows, you might be able to create items at the beginning or during the adventure as well.
The Adventure Log
Before you play your first Living Forgotten Realms adventure, you should print out a copy of the adventure log (or a few copies, if you plan to play lots of games in a short time). Just fill out the top part of the sheet and keep your log with your character. When you play the adventure, use the log to write notes like what you did or who you played with. Make sure you write your starting XP total and starting gold total on the log as well. When you complete your adventure, the DM will give you the XP you earned, the gold you gained (or lost, if you spent more than you gained during the adventure), and a pick of a magic item or other treasure. After you’ve received your rewards and finished the game, simply total up your XP and gold to record your new information, and note if you leveled in the appropriate space.
The adventure log is also available through the "Journal" in the D&D Character Builder, making it easy to track all your character’s adventuring history. You can also create your own advancement log with more spaces if you don’t want to use the one we’ve provided; just make sure that it has all the information in an easy-to-read format.
The Advancement Tracker
You don’t have to fill this sheet out before your first adventure, but you’ll probably want to soon after you start playing. It has a workspace for your retraining notes, so you can write down what one option (if any) you retrained when you gained a level. Also it contains a place for you to record your found magic items. Lastly, it has a space at the bottom for you to list your paragon path and epic destiny, when you get to those loftier levels.
You can create your own advancement tracker if you don’t want to use the one we’ve provided; just make sure that it has all the information in an easy-to-read format.
You’ve got your character all ready to go, and are eager to jump into your first game. Here’s what you need to know about playing Living Forgotten Realms adventures:
- Play how you want to play. You can play Living Forgotten Realms adventures at home, at conventions, online, or any other way that you like to play D&D. The only restriction is that if you’re playing via a message board or online play-by-post, the game needs to be only accessible by those involved in the session.
- Adventures typically take about 4 hours to play. Most Living Forgotten Realms adventures are designed to be played in the space of one solid evening of play or to fit a few in a full day. A four-hour game is called one "round" of play. If an adventure is longer or shorter than that, it will be called out in the adventure description.
- Adventures have different designations so you easily understand what content is in them. Regional adventures (designated with a 4-letter regional abbreviation, such as CORM or AGLA) are adventures that take place in and around one of the 12 common character regions in the campaign. Core adventures (CORE) involve travel to dangerous areas outside of the 12 character regions. Special adventures (SPEC) are like core adventures, but they are more risky, and premiere at big conventions (like D&D Experience and Gen Con Indy) but are available later for everyone to enjoy. Quest adventures (QUES) are like core adventures, but they are only playable by those who complete a series of tasks on a special quest RPGA Rewards card (see the information in the main document under "RPGA Rewards Cards"). Adapted adventures (ADAP) are adventures published by Wizards of the Coast that have been adapted for play for Living Forgotten Realms, such as FR1 Scepter Tower of Spellgard. Your DM will need to obtain a copy of the adventure and the adaptation document before running an adapted adventure. Mini-campaign adventures (MINI) are a series of tightly-woven adventures designed to highlight a specific area of the Realms, and assume that the characters will continue play from one adventure to another until conclusion. They are usually targeted at entry-level play. My Realms adventures (MYRE) are create-your-own adventures wherein the DM creates a custom adventure that only can be run by the DM-creator. And finally, Weekend in the Realms adventures (WEEK) are special adventures only available for play on the Weekend in the Realms annual global event.
- Each adventure has a level range. In order to participate in an adventure, your character has to be in the level range listed for the adventure. All of the adventures arriving in August and September 2008 are for characters levels 1-4. Once you level above the range, that character is no longer eligible to play the lower-level adventures. Each quarter, the RPGA will put out a large number of adventures for increasingly higher level ranges, so if you do manage to "level out" your character, you won’t have to wait too long for more heroic-tier adventures. Paragon-tier play will begin in the 3rd quarter of 2009.
- Most adventures have a low-level and a high-level version. When you sit down to play the adventure, you’ll decide as a group whether you want to play the high-level version or the low-level version of the adventure. Look at the average level of the group (and possibly the experience of the players, if known) to give you a good guide on what version your group should select. For example, if you have a group playing a levels 1-4 adventure and all of the characters are 1st or 2nd level, you should probably play the low-level version.
- Adventures are playable by the RPGA standard table size. Four to six players make for the best game of D&D, and Living Forgotten Realms play supports that model.
- You should expect to level about every 3 adventures or so. This means that you’ll probably have more than one character if you want to experience most of the adventures for Living Forgotten Realms.
- There is no upkeep cost to be paid between adventures. It is assumed that your character finds a way to make a living outside of adventuring.
- Remember, where you live isn’t a restriction on what you can play! Play whatever you’d like to experience all the Realms has to offer!
Treasure and Rewards
After you finish an adventure, your DM will award you with XP, gold, and a pick of another treasure. You can also buy magic items or rituals at the beginning and end of your adventure (and during, if your DM allows it). Note that any reference to character level below assumes your character’s level after receiving XP from the current adventure.
- At the end of the adventure, you can select one (1) magic item or ritual bundle from a list the DM gives you of things you found during play. It’s OK if you and another player select the same item for your character. If you select a weapon or suit of armor, you might have to choose what type it is when you make your selection. Simply write down your choice of item on your adventure log, and you’re all set. However, there’s one very important rule you must observe when selecting a magic item (see below).
- You can only possess a number of found magic items equal to your character level. In 4th Edition D&D, your character finds about one item every level or so. Therefore, in Living Forgotten Realms, characters cannot possess more found magic items (that is, items acquired at the end of an adventure) than their level. If you sell or discard a magic item you’ve found, it still counts against your total number of found magic items. Make wise choices about what magic items you select, and remember if you can’t or don’t want a magic item you can always select another option. Every adventure contains an option to select more gold, and many contain options to select consumables (such as potions) plus gold or rituals. Rituals, formulas, and consumables do not count against the found magic item limitation.
- You cannot use or sell a magic item more than 4 levels above your character’s current level. If you choose a magic item more than 4 levels above your character’s level at the end of the adventure, you can only use it or sell it when your character is at the item’s level - 4. You can however use consumables (such as potions) that are more than 4 levels above your character’s level if you find them in the adventure.
- You may need to choose a specific form for some magic items when you select a found item. Often magic weapons and suits of magic armor are found and not given a specific form (and more rarely, magic implements). For example, you might find a flaming weapon +2. Whenever you select one of these items for your character as a found item, choose the form the weapon/armor/implement takes when you select the item. Write down the exact form of the item on your adventure log. Using the example above, if you wanted the flaming weapon +2 to be a short sword, you’d write "+2 flaming short sword" on your adventure log. For magic armor, you may select a masterwork property for your armor when you select the item if one is available for that item’s enhancement bonus. You should always consult the item’s description to ensure that you are selecting a legal form for the item, as many items cannot take the form of just any armor, weapon, or implement.
- You can purchase any magic item that is equal to or less than your level with your gold, as long as you have access to it. See "Player Resources" on page 2 of the RPGA Character Creation Guide to determine what magic items and rituals/formulas are accessible by your character. Other items are restricted resources, meaning that you need to gain access to the item to purchase it, even if you are of the same level as the item. If you have a character option that allows you to create items of a higher level than your character, you may also purchase items of the higher level specified as long as you have access to the items.
- You can sell magic items for 20% of their market price. You cannot sell mundane gear. You can sell unused ritual books, ritual scrolls, and alchemical items for 50% of their market price. Consumable magic items are sold for 20% of their market price. Remember, if you sell a found magic item, it still counts against your total number of found items.
- Magic items that have an enhancement bonus can be upgraded. If you have purchased or found a magic item with an enhancement bonus (like a weapon or suit of armor), you can pay the difference in cost to upgrade your item to the next enhancement bonus. You cannot upgrade the item until you are the same level or higher as the item you want. You don’t need access to a higher-level version of the item to upgrade it. If you upgrade a suit of magic armor, you may select a new legal masterwork quality for the armor. If you want to make any other change to a magic item, you must use the Transfer Enchantment ritual found in the Adventurer’s Vault and pay the appropriate costs for use. You can transfer any magic item quality to another legal item or add a quality to a magic item that does not have one, as long as you have access to the quality (see the Transfer Enchantment ritual for more details). See "Enchanting Magic Items" in Adventurer’s Vault, page 198 for more information.
- You can’t receive treasure from another player character. You can pay for expenses as a group (like ritual costs, bribing for information, paying for passage, etc.), but you can’t receive gold, magic items, rituals, or any other treasure from another character. You can lend another character an item for use for the adventure, but it must return to the owner at the end of play. If the item is a consumable item (such as a potion), it can be consumed during the course of play and does not need to be replaced by the consuming character. In addition, you cannot permanently alter another player’s magic item (or other equipment) in any fashion. You can, however, cast rituals (including Enchant Item or Transfer Enchantment) for a another player’s character if that character can provide your character with the ritual scroll and pay for the cost of the casting.
- Mounts are recovered at the end of the adventure if killed during play. A mount that dies during the course of an adventure is unavailable to the character for the remainder of the current adventure, but is recovered at the adventure’s conclusion.
- Story awards give you interesting hooks to further play. At the end of most adventures, you’ll also receive one or more story awards - little certificates that speak of your accomplishments or contacts you made during the adventure. Hang on to these, because you never know when they’ll come into play in the future!
NPC Ritual Casting
If a non-player character (NPC) is available and has the resources (determined by the DM and/or the adventure) to cast a ritual for the group or an individual within the group, the group (or that individual character) pays the cost of the ritual casting. This cost is equal to the component cost plus 20%.
Adventuring can be dangerous business. Your character might succumb to those dangers and die. However, death for your character is usually a temporary situation. If your character dies during the course of the adventure, you and the rest of your group have two options, provided that the groups has access to the Raise Dead ritual (either a PC has it and can use it or the characters return back to civilization), they have access to the body, and it is possible to return your character to life.
- Pay the component cost for the ritual. If the group chooses this option, the cost should be divided evenly amongst the group (500 gp for heroic tier, 5,000 gp for paragon tier, and 50,000 gp for epic tier). Using a source outside the group to cast the ritual costs 20% more than the component cost. Total cost when using an outside source is 600 gp for heroic tier, 6,000 gp for paragon tier, and 60,000 gp for epic tier. A PC that dies and chooses this method of return gains full (or half, if the party was defeated) experience points from the encounter in which the character died, but no experience points for any encounters that were missed while the character was dead. If there’s still more of the adventure remaining, the PC continues to earn experience as normal, and receives a normal cut of the rewards at the end of the adventure.
- Invoke the Death Charity clause. If the group cannot afford to pay for the ritual, doesn’t desire to pay for it, or doesn’t have access to the body, the PC can choose to return back to life at the end of the adventure. Doing so forfeits all rewards (including treasure and story rewards) earned for the adventure except experience points gained prior to the character’s death (the character receives the experience point award for the encounter in which they died). The PC cannot participate in the same adventure a second time.
Organizing and DMing for Living Forgotten Realms
Organizing a game for Living Forgotten Realms is easy - simply head to www.wizards.com/wpn to learn how to set up an event and order adventures. (If you need help on organizing an event, the website has information on how to do that, too.)
All the information you’ll need to DM a game of Living Forgotten Realms is included in each adventure; simply follow the instructions and you’ll be ready to go. One important point bears noting - ensure that you report your group’s play in a timely and accurate fashion. Players rely on their character information being accurate, and the online tracking system serves as a vital component in validating play.
DM Adventure Adjustments
In each Living Forgotten Realms adventure, there’s a section entitled "Important DM Information," which gives guidelines to DMs on how they should utilize the material in the adventure and how to adjudicate their play sessions.
Especially important is that the DM is the facilitator of an enjoyable play experience, and is empowered to make adjustments to the adventure to enhance the play experience of the group. The DM’s golden rule is: Make decisions and adjudications that enhance the fun of the adventure when possible. However, in order to preserve the integrity of the Living Forgotten Realms campaign, there are certain boundaries that are present when a DM makes adjustments to an adventure.
- The DM can make slight modifications to an encounter to make it the right challenge for the group. Examples include adding another monster of the same type as one existing in an encounter (such as adding a 4th goblin sharpshooter to an encounter that normally has 3), removing a monster from an encounter, adjusting the level of a monster by +/- 1 level (and thereby adjusting hit points, defenses, and attacks), or changing the tactics present for a monster to something more/less optimal than listed.
- The DM can make story alterations, so long as the core plot elements and rewards are maintained. The DM may adjust "little things" in the adventure such as the way in which characters obtain information, minor NPCs, adding depth or campaign flavor to an encounter, etc.
However, the DM cannot change the overall plot of the adventure or its location, and cannot change the rewards earned by the characters (treasure, XP, and story awards).
The adventure should be essentially the same no matter who runs it.
- The DM should make adjudications when the rules are unclear or to keep play moving. If a rules call is necessary, it is the DM’s job to make the call and continue with the action. Players can take a brief amount of time to object to a rules interpretation, but after listening to the players’ objections, the DM should make a quick decision.
- The DM cannot add monsters or NPCs to encounters that are not present in the adventure. The DM must use the monsters present in the adventure. For example, if an encounter includes an adult green dragon, the DM cannot change the dragon to an adult white dragon or an elder green dragon.
- The DM cannot specify what rules elements are or are not allowed for characters. This Character Creation Guide determines the legality of player resources for characters, not the DM.
- The DM cannot make up new D&D rules wherein an existing rule will suffice. The DM must use the D&D rules whenever possible to resolve complications that arise during the game’s play. Players have an expectation that their character’s abilities will function in a certain manner based on the rules of the game. The DM cannot, for example, make up a new jumping rule when one already exists under the Athletics skill entry.
Living Forgotten Realms is bigger than just the adventures you play. In fact, what accomplish in an adventure has an impact on the world and shapes the future! At the end of many adventures, the DM will note answers to a few adventure questions which are reported to the RPGA. The play results are tabulated, and the majority result is considered the campaign outcome for that particular result. This reporting influences future adventures and we’ll keep you up-to-date on the RPGA website with results as necessary!
As the campaign continues, we’ll be rolling out some fun events and other programs that will further immerse your character in the campaign and get you linked to the Living Forgotten Realms community. Keep an eye out on the RPGA website for more information!
In the meantime, visit www.wizards.com/rpga to find out more about the already-growing online Living Forgotten Realms community. Go to our forums and find other players, post your thoughts, and share your stories. The adventure’s just begun, so hang on for a great time in the new world of the 4th Edition FORGOTTEN REALMS!
In the FORGOTTEN REALMS, adventurers often band together under a common cause or motivation. These groups are commonly called adventuring companies, but they really could represent any collective of adventurers organizing as a long-term group; for example, they could be part of an extended family or clan, a small religious sect, or a special team in a military organization.
In the Living Forgotten Realms campaign, you can form such a group with fellow players, declaring your affiliation with other characters that share your character’s goals and motives. Here’s how it works.
Adventuring Company Requirements
Your first step is to get together with fellow players that want to form an adventuring company. You might create a group of characters that all share a common background, or you might just decide to form an adventuring company with existing characters that have a previous connection with each other or are banding together for practical reasons.
One person or a small council should act as the scribe for the adventuring company, in charge of maintaining the company’s roll. This could be as simple as typing up a spreadsheet of all the character’s names, or a complex as maintaining a website with forums and chat functionality. It’s up to you.
- Adventuring companies must have an accessible roll sheet showing current members. The only required information on the roll sheet is player name, character name, and RPGA number.
- Each player may only have one character enrolled in a given adventuring company. If you have multiple characters and you want each of them to be a part of an adventuring company, they must belong to different companies.
- Adventuring companies must contain at least 4 characters. If an adventuring company’s roll ever drops below 4 characters, it is inactive (its characters gaining no benefits for being a part of the company) until such time as its roll rises to 4 characters or the company chooses to disband. You can have as many members in an adventuring company as you want, so long as there’s only one character to every player.
- Adventuring companies can have additional character requirements decided upon by the founders of the company. You can found an adventuring company with any sort of requirement you want, as long as it’s based on characters, not players. For example, if you wanted to form a dwarven clan, you could specify that all members must be dwarves. Or, if you wanted to have a secret sect of Sehanine, you could specify that all members must worship Sehanine. You could base membership requirements on race, class, level, region, affiliation with another organization, obtaining a particular story object, having a certain group of powers (such as spellscarred), or anything else decided upon. The requirements can be as specific or as general as you like, although the more requirements you make, the less likely your company will be appealing to a large group of characters. The most important element though, is that the requirement MUST be character-based, not player-based. You CANNOT have requirements such as player location or other selection criteria based on the player of the character (such as gender exclusion, criteria based on player ethnicity/creed, etc.).
- When your character gains a level, the character may either choose to leave an existing adventuring company or join a new one. If your character has never been a part of any adventuring company, you may join an adventuring company at any time. Once you’ve decided to leave an adventuring company, you must wait until your character has gained a level. If you’ve left an adventuring company, you must wait until you’ve gained another level to join a new one. Essentially, you’ll play one level without an adventuring company if you decide you want to switch adventuring companies with your character.
- Call it what you want, but watch your use of existing organizations. You can call your adventuring company a clan, a guild, a tribe, a family, a team, a sect, or whatever you like, but you cannot create an adventuring company that identifies itself as an existing organization in the FORGOTTEN REALMS. For example, you cannot call your adventuring company the Flaming Fists, since that organization already exists in and around Baldur’s Gate. However, you could call them Burning Justice and make their background up as a small team of righteous (lawful good requirement) adventurers that have joined the Flaming Fists (affiliation with Flaming Fists requirement) to bring order to Baldur’s Gate and the lands beyond. Consult the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide and Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide for information on current and past organizations in the Realms.
Adventuring Company Benefits
If your character joins an adventuring company, make sure to note it on your adventure log and character sheet. From that point forward, your character gains two important benefits. As the campaign progresses, more benefits may be revealed for adventuring companies.
- Gain a bonus action point for the group when playing at an adventuring company table. Whenever a group has at least 4 members of the same adventuring company playing at the same table, the group gains a bonus action point to be used during the adventure. The action point is used just like a normal action point, although it does not count against the user’s action point expenditure for the encounter. All effects that trigger off of action point use trigger off of the use of the bonus action point. The bonus action point can be spent by anyone at the table, but a majority of the group must agree on the expenditure. Once the action point is spent, it is gone for the remainder of the adventure. Your group can only have one bonus action point in this manner.
- Participate in special adventuring company challenges and events. The first such event takes place this summer at Gen Con Indy. More information on adventuring company activities will follow later this year at www.wizards.com/rpga.