RTJ, House and Posting Rules/Expectations.   Posted by The DM.Group: 0
The DM
 GM, 493 posts
 Darkness waits
 beyond the light
Fri 4 Dec 2009
at 12:52
RTJ, House and Posting Rules/Expectations
This thread will contain all house rules that I have created.  It will also contain any rulings that I make during the campaign that alters or goes against the Rules As Written (RAW).

Request to Join (RTJ)
The request to join is pretty simple.  Just send me a brief bio on yourself including: -
  • age,
  • sex,
  • real name,
  • timezone,
  • years of experience on RPOL,
  • level of knowledge about the Forgotten Realms,
  • level of knowledge about D&D 3.5,
  • and finally, some sample writings (combat and non-combat).

This message was last edited by the GM at 09:06, Fri 17 May 2013.

The DM
 GM, 494 posts
 Darkness waits
 beyond the light
Fri 4 Dec 2009
at 12:52
Intelligence Increases
As a character gains experience and earns character levels, a character gains the opportunity to increase his ability scores.  Unlike the RAW, when a character improves his Intelligence score, he gains additional skill points as if he had this new Intelligence score since 1st level.

In other words, a character retroactively gets additional skill points for his previous character levels when you improve your character's Intelligence score.
The DM
 GM, 496 posts
 Darkness waits
 beyond the light
Fri 4 Dec 2009
at 13:58
Posting rates
Following the recent Poll I would like it if each player could post 2 or 3 times per week and ideally at least once in between each DM post - even if it is just what I describe as a "nose picking" post.
The DM
 GM, 497 posts
 Darkness waits
 beyond the light
Fri 4 Dec 2009
at 14:40
Posting Expectations
As a general rule, please make your posts descriptive and not just informative.  It makes it more entertaining for all of us to read and is what makes my job worth while.

  1. Languages and text.

    Just typing actions and such can be done in normal black text.  OOC stuff appearing in the IC thread should be either a private line to me, or at the very least, marked in orange (and ideally small as well).  Using the Spoiler feature is also good form.

    Spoiler text: (Highlight or hover over the text to view)
    <Orange><small><spoiler>OOC This is an example.</spoiler></small></Orange>

    I would like you to list your character's speech in a different colour depending on the language...  Note - I also use the Language Groups that exist, so please also use those when posting in anything other than common.

    • Normal speech (common) and text in blue
    • Northern speech and text in aqua (it is a variant on common anyway)
    • Elven speech and text in Green
    • Dwarven speech and text in Brown
    • Any other language speech and text in purple. (and then make sure you describe the language.)

      Note - red speech is reserved for the DM.

    Note - if you want to speak in the "Northern" then you can - though certain party members (Merrell and Blondung) were not brought up in the North and don't speak it...  they probably speak the "Daleland" dialect instead...

    <OOC>[EDIT:IF you want to improve slightly on the above, then you could use the following to indicate different levels of noise of speech:

    "LOOK OUT!" he yells across the room.
    "Oi you Gerrof!" he said loudly to the street urchin.
    "Pass me the butter would you" he say politely to the butler.
    "Jeepers, look at the size of his nose!" he says quietly to the man at his side.
    "I think there are orcs behind this door!" he whispers to his companion.

    Of course, if you wrote "'Sneak on ahead Yvandel' Milo says quietly" and missed the italics, I wouldn't actually penalise you for missing the formatting since you also mentioned "quietly"...]

  2. Skill Checks and other dice rolls
    When you want to perform any action that you think might require a skill check or a dice roll - please roll it (unless you think it is the sort of roll that should be a secret one for the DM).

    Use the dice roller and and cut & paste the results of the roll into a private line to me.  Some rolls, like initiative, don't need to be private.  If you're not sure if it needs a roll, I can do the roll, and certain skill checks, like Appraise for example, I will roll secretly anyway.  If you are not sure - you could always read up on the skill on http://www.d20srd.org/ to see if it is the sort of skill that would be appropriate for a DM to roll or the player.

  3. Combat
    I've tried a number of different methods for running combats, but they do tend to end up being slow regardless.  The current method is once combat starts, I roll the initiatives and then expect each person to post once in their initiative order.  OOC posts to the OOC thread are allowed (and encouraged) if you have any queries about the scene/rules questions etc.  The IC thread however I would like to keep clean and everyone posting on their initiative only.  The one exception to that is if people wish to speak out of turn, as that is a free action that can be done at anytime - within reason - see below!

    Note - if you don't post, you get to stand dumbfounded by whatever situation and do nothing - or, if in the middle of some particular action, continue doing exactly what you were doing before.  If you wish to delay or ready an action then state that and I will move the

    When you post for combat, start with description of what you are doing as per normal(not including statistics just a description).  Then under an ooc section (preferably hidden using the Spoiler tags) post your actions and moves in game terms and include appropriate die rolls - feel free to include damage rolls even if you are not sure if you hit or not.  Ditto with Critical threat rolls.

    Please remember to label your rolls in the dice roller.

    As mentioned above, speaking is generally considered a free action - unless you start making long speeches - in which case it starts to cut into what else you can do in the round...  Consider about 25 words or less to be acceptable as a free action.

This message was last edited by the GM at 08:59, Fri 17 May 2013.

The DM
 GM, 498 posts
 Darkness waits
 beyond the light
Fri 4 Dec 2009
at 15:03
Posting Examples
This are some examples of what I consider good posting:

Combat posts:
Blondung winces as he watches both Ceely and Lucretia have their feet pulled out from under them by the long clawed arms of the thing they were fighting.  He certainly had no intention of getting that close to the monsters.  Unconsciously, one hand went towards his stomach, and he had a momentary flashback from the pain of being gutted by that wereboar several weeks back.  No, he certainly didn't want to get up close and personal with any more monsters.  Focusing, he summons a powerful spell to mind, his hand moving from stomach to inside pocket to pluck out a small ball of something grey and slightly covered in lint even as he moves a few paces to get a better line of sight.

With a shouted "KEEP DOWN!" the ex-Zhent allows a smile to play across his lips as his fingers move through complex gestures and he mutters arcane words.  The pea sized ball leaps from his hand with its final out flung motion, to whiz in a straight line, straight above Lucretia's head to explode some twenty five feet beyond into a huge ball of fire.

Move to P21, Cast Fireball.  targeted at top left corner of G8

15:06, Today: Blondung rolled 29 using 6d6. Fireball damage.

Herod moves a few steps forward to face the Hobgoblin.  He draws his longsword as he comes closer to the creature.  "Die you bastard!" he yells, attacking the large goblinoid with a ferocity born from anger.

OOC: Moves 10 feet forward to XY and draws longsword as a free action.  Attack Hobgoblin at X'Y' location as a standard attack action.
14:40, Today: Herod rolled 21 using 1d20+5. Attack Roll.
14:41, Today: Herod rolled 9 using 1d8+3. Damage. 

Non-combat post:

As Lucretia, Merrell and Cleo argued for working their way around the orc camp, and Milo, Yvandel and Vaslin argued against it, yet again Blondung couldn't believe he was still stuck with this crowd of losers.  He glanced again at the back of his hand where the sigylls could just be seen writhing like worms under his skin.  Cursing for the nth time under his breath he hated with a vengeance what had been done to him.  The fact that the same had been done to his companions didn't engender any sympathy in him - merely a resentment for the tying of their fates together.

"Oh stop arguing like children!" he interjected loudly at last, his patience finally broken. "Lucretia and Cleo, stick to waving your swords around and leave the decision making to those with brains" he admonished, before turning to Merrell.  "And you! If you weren't such a love sick puppy, you'd realise what a foolish decision you were supporting!" he sneered.  "As Vaslin pointed out, it's obvious we're in no condition to risk encountering a whole orc tribe.  We will have to seek another route."  Part of him knew his words would antagonise his companions - yet again! - but he often had little control about how his own frustration came through.  "Fools!" he muttered in the tongue of the Heartlands, more to himself than anyone else.

Remember, all the text that I have typed in an OOC can instead be placed in a private message to me.
The DM
 GM, 499 posts
 Darkness waits
 beyond the light
Fri 4 Dec 2009
at 15:35
Kudos are a player-player mechanic (as opposed to the traditional gamemaster-player mechanic) to reward good roleplaying.  When ever a player (let's call him player A) feels that another player's (let's call him player B) roleplaying was above-the-norm or suggests a brilliant idea, tactic, etc., player A can award a "Kudos point" to player B.

At any time, player B can then spend his kudos to gain a +1 bonus to any die roll.  A player can only spend as many kudos on a single die roll as his character has total class levels.

Kudos can only be awarded for role-playing, ideas, etc., and should not be awarded for a die roll (ie. not because player C rolls a natural 20).  The GameMaster reserves the right to challenge or deny any kudos awarded.

(Idea stolen from another game - thanks to the Gamesmaster of that game for that.)
The DM
 GM, 500 posts
 Darkness waits
 beyond the light
Fri 4 Dec 2009
at 15:38
Critical Misses
Critical misses, like critical hits, do not result from a single die result.  If your character's attack roll comes up as a natural 1, immediately make a second attack using all the same bonuses as the missed attack.  If this second attack comes up as a failure (any failure) then your character has suffered from a critical miss.  If the second attack comes up as a hit, then the first attack was just a standard miss.

A character who suffers from a critical miss loses all available actions for the remainder of the round, due to lost balance, weapon slippage, etc.  Have fun with your critical fumbles.

The critical miss rules do not apply to skill checks.  Rolling a 1 on a skill check can still succeed if your skill bonus is large enough to raise the result above the target DC.

If you have a little trouble with coming up with critical miss results, here's a simple table you may roll against.

1d6  Result
---- ---------------------
 1    Loses balance and stumbles comically.
 2    Weapon twists awkardly in hand and feels awkward, Character needs to re-establish his grip.
 3    Sweat/sun/etc. floods the character's eye at the most inappropriate time.  Stumbles comically and must clear eyes for remainder of round.
 4    Sudden movement by ally/enemy/etc causes brief but paralysing fear.
 5    Backpack shifts unexpectedly causing the character to stop and regain equipment balance.
 6    Something equally entertaining.

Basically, a critical miss only hinders the character for the round in which it occurred.  It will never hinder your character for the next round and beyond.  In other words, your characters do not drop weapons or other items, because that would require the character to recover the weapons/item in the next round.

(Also stolen from the same other game!)

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:39, Fri 04 Dec 2009.

The DM
 GM, 502 posts
 Darkness waits
 beyond the light
Sat 5 Dec 2009
at 10:24
Spontaneous Casting of Healing spells
Cleric characters - don't forget that in D&D 3.5, healing spells do not NECESSARILY need to be prayed for in advance:

To quote from http://www.d20srd.org/srd/classes/cleric.htm

Spontaneous Casting

A good cleric (or a neutral cleric of a good deity) can channel stored spell energy into healing spells that the cleric did not prepare ahead of time. The cleric can "lose" any prepared spell that is not a domain spell in order to cast any cure spell of the same spell level or lower (a cure spell is any spell with "cure" in its name).

An evil cleric (or a neutral cleric of an evil deity), canít convert prepared spells to cure spells but can convert them to inflict spells (an inflict spell is one with "inflict" in its name).

A cleric who is neither good nor evil and whose deity is neither good nor evil can convert spells to either cure spells or inflict spells (playerís choice). Once the player makes this choice, it cannot be reversed. This choice also determines whether the cleric turns or commands undead.
The DM
 GM, 510 posts
 Darkness waits
 beyond the light
Mon 7 Dec 2009
at 14:34
Wizards and Clerics - guidelines for acquiring spells
Each morning, the clerics and wizards need to pray/study to obtain their spells for the day.  This takes time.

More specifically, it takes time as follows:

1 hour of prayer/meditation, followed by 1 minute per spell level (1/2 a minute for Cantrips) to actually fix the spells in the brain.

    SO - as an example, Blondung's full complement of spells is

    CLASS & Level                0th   1st   2nd   3rd
    Wizard    6                   4     3     3     2
    High INT Bonus Spells:              1     1     1
    Spellcasting Prodigy Feat                 1           

    So it will take him, 1 hour of meditation, plus 25 minutes to then relearn every spell.

IF you are keeping an uncast spell from the previous day, then obviously you don't need to count that...  What this means is that at the party's current level, spell casters are likely to spend a maximum of an hour and a half each morning preparing for the day.

(This is better than the original straight 10 minutes per spell level that I used to run!)
The DM
 GM, 587 posts
 Darkness waits
 beyond the light
Sat 20 Feb 2010
at 23:27
Leveling...  rolling HP.
When rolling HP - feel free to use the dice roller and past the results into a PM to me.

Note - because you are supposed to be heroes - tick the box marked "re-roll 1s" :-)
The DM
 GM, 605 posts
 Darkness waits
 beyond the light
Wed 10 Mar 2010
at 09:02
Use of Meta-game terminology In Character...
This is not allowed.  I do not want to see things like:  "Do you have a +1 sword?"

I actually struggled with what to call that lowest level of magical bonus. I would appreciate a suggestion as to how that would be referred to.

A range of words could be used

+1 Minor, small, tiny, low level, weak
+2 Moderate, medium,
+3 Strong, large
+4 Powerful
+5 Extremely powerful
+6 Epic

"Ah madam, all the blades you see here are masterwork, but let me talk you through the selection I have.  This first one has a minor enchantment (+1), helping guide your blade for a more accurate and harder strike."

"The second one here, beautiful metalwork don't you think, it also has an enchantment on it as do the others I am about to show you.  The magic used within this one is more powerful than the first, but still only of moderate level (+2)."

"Ah, you have a good eye madam.  This one here has a strong enchantment (+3) cast upon it, the blade will help power and guide your sword arm to strike more effectively."

"This is a rare blade indeed for there are few that have magic of this power poured into the blade.  Yes, this is indeed a powerful blade!"

"No, I'm sorry.  That last blade isn't for sale.  It is a unique blade, once owned by the Marquis de Sade some three hundred years ago.  It has an extremely powerful enchantment (+5) on it.  It was handed down through the generations for many years before unfortunately William Sade, the great great grandson of the Marquis was strangled to death by a disgruntled servant and the blade stolen.  For many years, it was lost, before popping up in the hands of a rogue who had cut his way to the top of the Rogues of Tilverton - a thieves guild there.  When he was finally brought to justice, the blade was held for a while by the governor of Tilverton - before returning to Cormyr.  The Sade family had long since lost their wealth and dispersed, and I was fortunate to be tracked down as one of the last few remaining relatives - so it was granted to me...  I couldn't possibly part with it... at least not without an extremely good reason."