Heavy Roleplay Static Group; Argonnessen; 10PM-1AM PST, every Monday night; tentative start date of July 1st, 2013
We have 2 spots open and will probably start short if we need to (but we'd love to have those spots filled). This is going to be a lot of fun; if you're interested in joining us, please let me know ASAP!
Group Concept: An action-packed, static group--led by an extremely creative and capable DM--that effortlessly slips in and out of heavy roleplaying where appropriate.
Overview of Rules and Expectations
DM/Leader: Faeylin will lead the group (choosing quests and settling any OOC disputes); she will also function as the group's DM (more on this below).
Flavor Builds & No Twinking: Flavor builds are very much encouraged! As long as you have fun (and it fits in an RP setting), you can play anything you want. Crossbow/bow archers, illusionists, summoners, dagger rogues, ranger scouts...as long as it has a story, it's probably welcome. Please see our character creation rules below!
No Power Gaming: Rule system (see below) in place to prevent too much power creep.
No Spoilers/Zerging/Breakables: There will be a really neat system in place (see below) that does allow limited spoilers; we will move very slowly through quests (default speed of Sneak for all characters outside of combat) and take breaks between pulls; we will not clear breakables (for loot and xp) unless it's a side effect of roleplay or it's important to the quest line.
Adjustable Difficulty: We want to target Hard as our ideal quest setting; We can utilize the Elite setting as well for those epic, meta adventures, but we don't want to run on Elite baseline (problems with trap DCs and insta-death spells). We will probably Hard-streak from 1-20.
Heavy Roleplaying and Immersion: Assume that each 3 hour meeting will roughly involve 30 minutes of dedicated roleplay and 2.5 hours of action. You don't have to be in character all the time, but you will be presented with roleplaying situations where you character will have a chance to make a choice or express themselves in some way; try to be active and contribute to the atmosphere as best as you can!
No OOC Drama: Be easy-going and have fun; don't argue; don't demand anything from the other players. Faeylin is ultimately the leader of the gathering, and if anyone is too disruptive, they'll be politely and lovingly removed from the group.
Be Reliable and Mature: We will never, ever miss or be late for a gathering (barring an ISP or Turbine issue); we expect slightly less of you, but our standards are still high; think ~90% Attendance; if things change, and you can't continue to be reliable, let us know and gracefully leave the group to make room for someone else. There will never be any hard feelings
Be Organized: Take care of all your character maintenance (leveling up, shopping, clearing bags, etc.) outside of our game time. Check the checklist (found below)!
Have Fun: Last, but most importantly, our number one goal is going to be the pursuit of fun; any rule or situation or person that ends up getting in the way will be adjusted to make things fun again!
Before each new game night, please make sure to do the following, in order:
1. Clean Your Bags Out: Empty your bags of all collectibles, unused consumables (random or purchased pots, scrolls, wands), unworn gear, essences, etc. You may vendor items, desconstruct items, inscribe found scrolls to your spellbook, or mail items off to an alt (at which point no one cares what you do with them); additionally, you may bank extra magical gear you might like to use in the future (up to what your bank storage allows). You may keep ammunition, basic spell components (level x materials, but not special reagents for spells like stoneskin), healers kits, and thieve's tools in your bags.
2. Reset To Your Allowed PP: Repair your gear. Then send everything in excess of your Allowed PP Total (500pp x level) to an alt. Congratulations, you've essentially reset your character's wealth!
3. One Set of Gear: Make sure you do not have any extra gear in your bags. Remember, you are only allowed to bring what you're wearing with you, plus two additional weapon slot items (ranged or melee, returning weapons are okay, something medium-sized or smaller, no extra shields or runearms). You are allowed to wear as many items as you'd like that have a +1 or less enchantment (the plus number in the upper right hand corner of the item description). Korthos set items count as +1 gear. You may freely trade items in and out of your bank storage between game nights.
4. One Heirloom Item: One of your equipped items may be an heirloom item. These powerful items are usually blue, but they do not have a plus number in the upper right corner. One item per character, but you can freely trade these in and out of your bank between game nights.
5. Total Magic Level (TML): Every piece of gear that is not a +1 item or an heirloom item counts against your TML. Your TML is equal to your character level (TML2/10/15/20 at level 2/10/15/20). Count up all your +2 or greater magical items (including your two extra weapon slot items) and make sure they are equal or less than your TML.
6. Buy Consumables: You may purchase ammunition, healer's kits, spell components, thieve's tools etc. from any normal or favor vendor you have access to. You may purchase vendor wands if you can use them (via UMD or granted by class levels). Each and every wand you bring with you (regardless of price or power) counts as +1 of your TML.
7. Collect Quests: Check the Prequel Post for any quests you need to pick up for that game session.
8. Be at the Meeting Spot: Be waiting at our meeting spot, on time and ready to play!
Loot Rules: Money, Magical Items, and Loot
1. Money: You have a budget of (500pp x character level) per game night; this covers the purchase of consumables and your repairs. You must start with this amount (or less) each night that we run.
1a. Consumables: No purchased scrolls or potions (at all, ever, even for spellbooks) unless they are spell components (for Artificer infusions, for example); purchased wands are okay, but each wand counts as +1 of your total TML (invented term; Total Magical Level) and the cost of purchased wands must come out of your starting money each night; found potions, scrolls, and wands may be freely used on the night they are found.
1b. Repairs: Gear breaks! The main penalty for dying during quests is going to be repair costs; you are limited in starting platinum each night, so it's very likely that if you die repeatedly, you won't be able to cover your repairs and you'll have to continue on with broken gear.
2. Equipment, Magical Items, Total Magical Level, and Heirloom Items: At the start of each night, a character may only have one piece of gear available for each gear slot (not including weapons). They should start out wearing that gear. Gear-swaps during an adventure are heavily discouraged unless it's an upgrade into found gear.
2a. Weapons: A character may have one weapon set, and two additional weapon slot items on them at the start of any adventure. These include: one main, signature weapon set (a fighter's great sword, a paladin's holy sword and tower shield, a ranger's long and shortswords, a mage's dagger and off-hand or staff, an artificer's repeating crossbow and runearm, a halfling's returning throwing dagger, etc.), and two off-weapons (ranged or melee, returning weapons are okay, something medium-sized or smaller)
2b. Ammunition: You can carry as much ammunition as you'd like.
2c. Magical Items (+1): The Eberron setting has loads of magic, but it's all relatively weak and common magic. To honor the seting, your character may wear as much +1 magical gear as they'd like (remember, you're still limited to one item per slot). Korthos starting sets count as +1 magical gear.
2d. Magical Items (+2 and above) and TML: A character may also have more powerful magical items equipped at the start of each night, up to a limit. This limit is called Total Magical Level, and it equals your character level. At level 2, you may have a single +2 item equipped. At level 5, you may have any combination of magical items equipped that adds up to +5 or lower; at level 20, this limit would be increased to +20. Remember, each and every vendor-purchased wand eats up +1 of your TML.
2e. Heirloom Items: Each character may have a single Heirloom item equipped at the start of each night. This item is defined as a named drop or quest reward, usually blue, without an ML number in the upper right hand corner. Heirloom items with filled augment slots are allowed as long as you don't change the augment; heirloom items with empty slots can be used as long as you don't fill the augment.
2f. Augment Items: Are not allowed unless they are pre-slotted heirlooms (see above)
2g. Crafted Items: Are not allowed.
3. Legal Loot and Collectibles: You may only use found items. You may not send your character items from an alt. You may not use loot found in a prior life. All drops from breakables should be ignored. Any loot found or earned during a given night can be used freely for the remainder of that night. Found Tomes can be used by the character that finds them, but only if they're found by that character during one of our group quests.
3a. Collectibles: May be gathered, but not turned in.
4. Sharing, Storing, Buying and Disposing of Loot
4a. Sharing Loot: Any item found in a chest may be shared within the party for the remainder of the night. Quest rewards may not be shared. Equipped or purchased gear you have from the beginning of the night may not be shared.
4b. Storing Loot: You may store found loot in your bank at any time; consider this tucking things away at your home or base of operations; before each night we gather, you can trade gear in and out of this bank, as long as you respect all the rules presented above (such as TML)
4c. The Auction House and Brokers: Don't use these; we only use found loot as gear.
4d. Disposing of Loot: Vendor or deconstruct; mail off plat, items, and collectibles to an alt; you can get rid of loot however you'd like, as long as you bring your PP and TML totals back down to your limit before each new game night.
RP Rules: Voice Chat, Roleplay, IC & OOC, The Dungeon Master, Immersion, The Tavern, Spoilers, and Romance and Sex
1. Voice Chat: Is required, and you need a mic! We use our own, private Mumble server. The program is easy to download and install, and can be found here: http://www.mumble.com/mumble-download.php
1a. Voice Chat Restrictions: We're not too cranky about always being in character on voice chat; if you want to make a joke, or point something out OOC (ie "I need a sec to use the bathroom," or "Grabbing a drink," or "Baby just woke up, will be a few."), then just do it. Ultimately, we're a group of friends hanging out together. The only time we'll ask to keep the OOC to a minimum is if it's disrupting legitimate RP. In other words, please don't cut someone off who's reading quest text or acting out their character's speech.
2. Roleplay: There will be a lot of it, but we still want to keep the group moving. We have an RP system in place to make sure we can stop when it makes sense, or when it's important to someone to have a moment to express themselves.
2a. RP Tokens: Players begin each night with one RP Token; these can be redeemed for a 5m break in the action to focus on RP. As soon as a player uses their token, all action stops; characters stop moving, and we just give the involved parties a chance to play out their story/character. Six players, multiplied by five minutes, equals thirty minutes; that's where our thirty minutes of budgeted RP comes from.
2b. DM Encounters: Every so often (about once or twice per adventure), the DM will introduce the group to a unique, interesting and quest-specific roleplay encounter. It may be a cowardly kobold runt, or a scheming underling, or a book that reveals a clue about the adventure ahead; when this happens, the group will stop and briefly decide how they will handle/react to the situation. These encounters exist to keep established adventures fun and fresh, and won't take much time to complete.
2c. RP on the Move: Anyone can RP at any time while the group is moving. If it's not slowing us down, you can roleplay as much as you want, as often as you want! Because we default to sneak movement speed outside of combat, it's easy to set yourself to auto-run while you type or speak out something rp-centric!
3. In-Character (IC) and Out-of-Character (OOC): Anytime the characters are grouped together, and they are in a non-explorer adventure (past the normal-> elite selector screen), they are assumed to be IC. When you are running around Stormreach on your own time, or while you're grabbing quests, you are assumed to be OOC (unless you want to randomly RP with strangers). Unless it's super disruptive, players may go OOC as often as they want/need to.
3a. OOC Mode: Sometimes, we may just want to play the game together as a group of friends. Maybe we're doing some challenges together, or we want to run a few really difficult timed or elite quests for fun. Whenever we're in OOC mode, we move quickly and avoid the slowdown of being heavy RP. Players are still free to throw out RP-friendly information, but the Sneak-mode requirement on movement is lifted.
4. The Dungeon Master: Faeylin will be playing a character just like everyone else. In addition, she will also serve as the group's DM. While she is in DM-mode, her character will often fall into the background, to avoid cases where she's having conversations with herself.
4a. DM Responsibilities: The DM will create new RP encounters in established adventures; each run will feature something new and unique. It might be a puzzle or a trap (outside of the game's actual mechanics), a source of background information (like a discovered notebook), or a new non-combat npc character that presents a moral dillema (ie, does the party let the big bad's unwilling underling go free?)
4b DM Liberty: The DM is free to change the story for any of the adventures in order to make sure they fit the group better. If the DM offers contradictory information, we will ignore the in-game quest text.
5. Immersion: We'll aim to foster an environment where it's easy to get immersed in the game. We're not going to go out of our way to limit OOC chat, but we will do things like read quest text or NPC dialogue out aloud.
5a. Explorer Areas: We do not feel that vast explorer areas represent the meat of the DDO group experience; instead, we will be focusing on the actual adventures. When we do have to navigate big, open explorer areas, we'll operate primarily in OOC Mode (see above); some of the smaller explorer areas will still be run under our traditional rules (at the DM's discretion).
5b. Quest Text: We will read out quest text as a group. Generally, the DM will read for the NPCs, and the players will be able to speak for themselves (as long as they somewhat stick to the dialogue options). This generally involves picking up a quest and turning it in; some of this may also take place in Tavern posts (see below).
6. The Tavern: An age-old table-top establishment, the Tavern is where adventurers go to regroup, to celebrate, to nurse wounds, and to find new work. Tavern posts are IC and RP posts in this thread that advance the story. Please note, that these posts don't actually have to be set in a tavern, and can have any setting that makes sense.
6a. Prequel Posts: The DM will generally make these before each new game night, establishing the IC circumstances behind next week's adventure selection. Maybe the group has boarded passage on an airship, and it happens to crash somewhere
6b. Chronicle Posts: The DM will generally follow up on a game night with a chronicle post, offering an overview of what happened to the characters. Sometimes, these will be paired with next week's prequel post.
6c. Player Involvement: Players may also post as much as they'd like, describing what their characters are doing between game time. Try not to take control of other important characters (important quest NPCs and fellow player characters) or derail quest events in your posts. They can also choose not to post as well if they'd like; all involvement on the forums is completely optional.
6d. Loose Ends: If the DM doesn't respond to your Tavern posts before the next game session, you can always ask for a quick resolution at the start of the next game session.
7. Spoilers: Players should assume that their characters have no foreknowledge of future quests. If your character hasn't been there before on their current life, they don't know about specific traps or NPCs, etc.
7a. IC Spoilers: Research in musty old books, visions from the gods (or something more nefarious), logical inferences, the word in the slums, noble gossip, etc. Every character gets one character-appropriate IC spoiler per week (usually delivered in the prequel post by the DM); Bards get three!
7b. Preparation: Players may use the information gathered in the prequel post (including IC spoilers) to plan for the upcoming adventure(s). This allows them to pick out, to the best of their available knowledge, specific gear from their stored loot or consumables from merchants (like remove curse and curse disease wands for encounters likely to include mummies) that they feel may help them in the upcoming adventure.
7c. Character Knowledge: Anything your characters learn during game time is free knowledge. Otherwise, feel free to ask the DM if your character knows something or not. The cleric, or possibly the wizard, might just know how to remove a Mummy's curse; a party's thief or fighter probably does not. Don't assume your character automatically knows how to break damage reduction (DR). You can, however, always roleplay the search for that knowledge in a Tavern post (as simple as, "Rouge, the thief, asks some of those Silver Flame guys about Mummies).
8. Romance and Sex: Even though we're all adults, the focus is on the dungeons and dragons action and roleplay, and not so much on romantic or sexual roleplay. This is an obligatory section meant to deal with anything romantic or sexual that might come up
8a. Romance Between Characters: Players (even if they're involved in real life) are encouraged not to go beyond the "crush" stage with their characters. It's perfectly okay for characters to have a crush on each other, as long as it remains playfully awkward or fun for everyone involved (the occasional lingering gaze on an unsuspecting party, or stumbled words and a blush). It's less okay when the interactions between two players overwhelms everything else. Players, of course, are free to roleplay privately as long as it happens outside of game time and it doesn't spill over into our main group (ie, no messy, complicated relationships between characters).
8b. Sex: We're going to keep the game relatively PG. There might be inuendo here and there, sometimes even prompted by Turbine themselves (a scantily clad woman asks if you intend to let her go after you slay her captor). If a sexual situation every does come up, we'll fade to black and move on.
8c. The Abstract: Sometimes you might want something complicated to happen to your character. Maybe your character finds a suitable NPC partner, and gets married between adventures. Maybe your soft-hearted adventure adopts an orphan met on their travels. Perhaps one of your character's parents has died, or is dying. Events like these happen in the background, or the abstract; your character is now a spouse, or a parent, or has lost a parent, but when the group meets, they're still just themselves. Feel free to reference these changes in your roleplay, but again, don't let them dominate the group's time. Tavern posts are a better venue to roleplay these things out!
Character Rules: Starting Stats, Races and Classes, Tomes, Hirelings and Pets, Difficulty Settings and Bravery Bonuses, Shrines and Resting, Death and Ressurection, Banking Experience and Leveling Up, Repeating Quests, Playing Outside of the Group, Catching Up
1. Starting Stats and Races: We're not going to be draconian here; you may use 28 or 32 point builds (whatever you have available). To help prevent power-gaming, I am going to suggest that you don't start with a natural score (before racial modifiers) above 16 or below 10, but it's not an absolute requirement. If you do have an 8 (or 6) in Int or Cha or Str, for example, be prepared to make that a central part of your character.
2. Races and Classes: All races and classes (not sure on Iconics) are on the table at this time. We are starting out in Eberron, so please make sure you understand what it means to play a Warforged or a Drow if you choose that race; Eberron Drow are very different from their Forgotten Realms counterparts. If you have an exotic character race, please make sure you acknowledge that in your roleplay; races are more that just the benefits they offer!
3. Tomes: We're going to allow found-tomes only; you must find the tome during your adventures with us. Tomes may not be traded between characters; if you find one (or get one as a quest reward), lucky you! If you get a tome you cannot use--or you start out with free tomes at character creation--you may store it in your bank to use sometime in the future.
4. Hireling and Pets: Will not be used. I know this feels really punishing, especially for druids and artificers, but they undermine group play in so many ways. Pet and Hireling AI is also really awful and buggy, and they can cause many quests to fail if they're not perfectly managed. You are absolutely encouraged to roleplay having a pet (anything reasonable of your choice) if it's central to your concept or theme.
5. Difficulty Settings and Bravery Bonuses: We will aim to keep a Hard Bravery Bonus Streak going throughout our adventures. Even without power-gaming, I feel that normal difficulty will end up feeling too easy/boring for a group of 4-6. For any quest we cannot complete on Hard, we will make sure we outlevel it (+2 levels over base) to avoid breaking our streak. We may also do some of the easier quests on Elite (esp. those that are trap/caster light), but we will not focus on keeping an Elite BB streak active.
6. Shrines and Resting: Will be used sparingly. Most of the time, we will skip past shrines without using them. When we do choose to use them (because some very long quests are based around the assumption of their use), we'll make them an RP event. For example, on passing a shrine, I might say, "This room seems safe and discreet enough; perhaps the group can retreat here later, for a few hours of rest." Shrines are usually a one-time deal. The entire group should make use of them at the same time; if you choose not to rest, you can't run back to use the shrine later.
7. Death: The PCs are heroes, and although ressurection does exist in the game's lore, it feels kind of brutal for characters to be killed and brought back to life dozens of times over. Whenever a character "dies" in the game, we're going to assume that they are beaten so badly that they are out of the fight. If a character drops into the negative hit point range, without dying, we're going to call that dropping down to one knee. Furthermore, we will allow ressurection, but we'll consider it healing very grave wounds; for the rest of the adventure, that character--patched up by divine magic, but struggling to carry on--should be roleplayed as exhausted and wounded.
7a. Out of Combat Ressurection: In most cases, ressurection will only happen after combat is over. The one exception to this would be if the character was dragged away (again, out of combat) and tended to in a safe place.
8. Leveling Up, Banking Levels, and Experience: Are managed for the entire party by the DM.
8a. Leveling Up: The group will always level up together; every member of the group will always be the same level. The DM will make it very clear when you are to advance to the next level, as in "Alright guys, let's level up before next sesssion. We're level 5, woot!" You are never allowed to level up without checking with the DM first, and doing so may actually cause you to be left out of game sessions until the group catches up with you.
8b. Banking Levels: In DDO, you don't have to level as soon as you have enough experience to do so; instead, you may choose not to advance, and instead continue earning experience towards a second level (all the way to +2 levels - 1 xp). We will frequently bank levels to game the quest levels for the Hard BB streak. We will also bank levels to avoid leveling up the group when only some members have enough experience to do so. Banking levels also allows group members to play outside of our static (more on this below).
8b. Experience: We play together primarily to have fun and enjoy the game and each other; experience and leveling up is a fun side effect. For that reason, we will sometimes force party members to forfeit experience (especially when they choose to play outside of our static). If you get ahead of the rest of the group (measured by your xp total vs. the DM's total, who will always be present at all sessions), you may end up at the banked experience limit (+2 levels - 1 xp). In this case, the group will continue to earn experience from their adventures while you are effectively frozen, and unable to earn additional experience. We will not level up faster to avoid causing you to lose xp!
9. Repeating Quests: Won't be done very often, if at all. We may roleplay a second quest attempt if we happen to fail a quest the first time. We may also slip into OOC mode and quickly zerg through a failed quest attempt in order to continue on with the story. We will not redo quests for experience or loot drops.
10. Playing Outside the Group: Is actually allowed! While we are a static group, the way DDO allows you to choose when you level up avoids making this a neccessary restriction. No matter how much you play, you are never allowed to level up without the DM's permission. If you do so anyway, you will likely not be invited back to game sessions until the group catches up with you (or you might be replaced). Also, you are absolutely not allowed to keep any loot or tomes from out-of-group runs; make sure you dispose of any and all loot (no banking) before you meet back up with us.
11. Catching Up: If you miss a game session, it is your responsibility to catch up in terms of the broken quest chains and lost experience. This is to be done on your own time (ie between game sessions) and you're still not allowed to keep any of the loot. We will be inconvenienced by your absence during out scheduled meet, and we feel that inconvenience of having to catch up on your own makes up for that. If catching up is very difficult for you (because of your character concept or quest difficulty), it's possible we may be able to schedule a time between game sessions to assist you in a quick, OOC run to help you catch up for quest chains (no promises here!)