House Rules.   Posted by GM.Group: public
 GM, 9 posts
Wed 31 Aug 2016
at 17:32
House Rules

Initiative is an important part of tactical gameplay but it can bog down combat in a play by post game. This game will sacrifice a little tactical depth in order to facilitate smooth operation. Basically we're throwing the initiative system out the window for a more nebulous system in the interest of running things quickly and smoothly in a pbp environment.

There are 2 phases, the player phase and the monster phase. During the player phase any player can post and take their turn in any order. Turns occur in the order that they're posted. This way if Player 1 happens to get online in the morning and Player 2 happens to get online at night Player 1 doesn't have to wait a full day for his turn if Player 2 gets a higher initiative.

During the monster phase I'll post for the monsters and baddies.

The Initiative Bonus Caveat

Because we aren't rolling initiative ever (who goes first, players or bad guys, will generally be determined by things like perception checks vs stealth checks or simply picked by me) feats and abilities that affect your initiative won't do anything, so it's probably best not to take Improved Initiative. If you do want to take Improved Initiative or if you have something like a class feature that gives you an initiative bonus that bonus will translate to a bonus to attack and damage on the first attack each combat.

Misterguy is a Ranger, since he's in his favored terrain (city) he gets a +2 bonus to initiative. He and his compatriots are ambushed by cultists. On the first player phase he spends his turn maneuvering into a favorable position. After the bad guys have gone he's in position to attack, he gets +2 to attack and +2 to damage on the first attack that he makes. Subsequent attacks that round or for the rest of the combat do not benefit from this bonus.

Monster Stats

In order to encourage powerful, direct writing I'll post enemy ACs, saves and defenses publicly when combat starts. That way you can roll up all of your crunchy attacks and write the fluff portion of your post accordingly. You'll know if you hit or miss when writing your fluff so you can write "I wallop him!" instead of always writing "I try to wallop him". Feel free to roll saves on behalf of monsters that you're targeting with spells.

Combat Posting

In addition to an engaging fluff post please include any crunchy details below your post. When in combat be sure you let me know what you're doing with each of your actions. If you are currently being affected by special conditions, buffs, or debuffs it would also be useful to include them in a brief stat line.

Misterguy moves forward and swings his blade, the edge biting into the conscripts flesh.

Move action: Move up to the conscript
Standard action: Attack vs conscript. Rolled a 16 to hit and 8 damage.

AC: 13  HP: 12/18  Conditions: Raging


The expected pace of the game is 4-5 posts a week. I'll try to put a GM post up most weekdays, I'm generally busy on weekends. If you get skipped or fall behind don't get discouraged! We're all human, please don't be bashful to jump back into the game if you've fallen a bit behind.

Sometimes life gets busy and you aren't able to post every day. That's perfectly understandable, but in order to keep the pace of the game enjoyable for everyone your character may be skipped if we're in a high tension scene. If enough time has passed since your last post and we're waiting on your action I'll move things on without you.

If we're currently in combat and your turn gets skipped you'll get an additional standard action the following turn. If you get skipped a second time I'll take over and run your character as an NPC that round. You'll still get your extra standard action when you do come back.

XP Awards

I'm not a big fan tracking XP publicly. It leads to a very 'gamer' mentality where players do things, not because it's fun or heroic or in character, but because there are breadcrumbs of XP that way! Carrion Crown, like most of the excellent Paizo published adventure paths, has a suggested XP track that we'll be following. I'll track that on my end and inform you when you've accrued enough XP to level up.

Downed and Dying

Sitting out a couple of turns while your compatriots rescue you from a bad situation is no big deal in the fast paced environment around the tabletop, but being knocked out in a PbP game could mean that you have days or even weeks with nothing to do. In order to keep everyone engaged we'll handle being knocked unconscious a little differently.

If you are knocked into negative hitpoints you are no longer unconscious, you are downed, a state that represents being injured and mostly helpless. While downed you cannot attack, cast spells, or take full round actions. Your movement is limited to 5ft, which you can use either as regular movement or as a 5ft step. You can do things like aid another, retrieve an item, or manipulate an object. Being downed functions identically to being knocked out in all other ways--you still bleed out, you still need to make fortitude saves to stabilize, you still die when you reach negative hitpoints equal to your CON.

Fatigue and Resting

Adventurers need 8 hours of sleep per night to function at peak efficiency. If you get less sleep than that you must make a DC 8 Fortitude save or be fatigued the following day. The DC for this save increases by +2 for each hour of sleep that you miss. So an adventurer who only sleeps for 7 hours must make a DC10 save, while an adventurer who gets no sleep at all and stays up all night must make a DC24 fortitude save.

The first night you fail this check you become fatigued, the second night you become exhausted, the third night you pass out. This fatigued condition cannot be removed except by resting. The DC for this check resets after 8 hours of rest.

Misterguy gets 2 hours of sleep on Wealday, he makes a DC 20 fortitude save and passes, feeling fine the following day. He gets only 2 hours of sleep on Oathday, he makes a DC 32 fortitude save and fails, becoming fatigued. He gets a full night's sleep on Fireday, clearing his fatigued condition and resetting the DC for staying up late.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:31, Tue 14 Jan.