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, welcome to Undermountain, dungeon of the mad mage

00:31, 18th June 2024 (GMT+0)


Posted by DMFor group public
GM, 3 posts
Halaster Blackcloak
Sat 23 Jan 2021
at 09:56
  • msg #1


The DM has final say on any rules adjudication, but welcomes corrections and questions.

Optional rules.
Leveling up will happen when accomplishing significant story goals - no need to track XP.

From the Dungeon master's guide, for now the only optional rule used is diagonal movement (when measuring range or moving diagonally on a grid, the 1st diagonal square counts as 5' movement, the 2nd as 10'; this pattern of 5' and then 10' continues when you're counting diagonally even if you move horizontally or vertically between different bits of diagonal movement).

Rolling dice.
Use the dice roller for all rolls, and be very specific in the "Reason for roll" field what the roll's for, like where or who it targets and what kind of attack, save, or skill check it is.

If a combat attack d20 roll is a natural 20 (critical hit) where the dice roller log below states "with rolls of 20", then double the number of all the damage dice for that specific attack (including things like charges, smites, and sneak attacks). If a combat attack d20 roll is a natural 1, "with rolls of 1", then you don't have to roll for that attack's damage because these always a miss, no matter what your attack bonus or the enemy's AC is.

To save time, the DM will make some rolls for the PCs, e.g. initiative and some saves (not death saves).

Unlike face-to-face games where you should always wait for the DM to ask for a roll, in play-by-forum games you are welcome to roll checks (not attacks or saves) you think the DM might request - tho the DM may ignore those rolls if they don't apply.

If you're new to rpol, don't worry about making mistakes - we'll teach you as you go.

Don't quote forum text in IC (in-character) threads. Do quote text if needed in OOC (out-of-character) threads.

Please try to use third-person present tense for in-character parts.

If you make big changes, note them at the bottom of the post, and try to strike them instead of just deleting them if it will remain readable.

Use "Quotation marks." when your PC speaks, and hilite it with a unique, consistent, high-contrast color (select the text, click the "styled text:" drop-down-list at the bottom right of the posting form, then click your color). Avoid the following colors for your PC's dialog:
  • orange because that's for game mechanic text like traits and features used,
  • brown because that's the most common NPCs dialog color,
  • red because that indicates concentration and map comments, or
  • colors used by other PCs (blue, dark green, or rose).
Character sheets usually use blue and/or bold for actions, green for bonus actions, and goldenrod for reactions; but these can be used for PC dialog since they don't have to be used for game mechanic text.

Try to avoid writing your character's thoughts - showing them instead with dialogue, body language, and actions.

Put the game mechanic text below a horizontal rule (click the blue "hr" link below the posting form). Bold things the DM needs to focus on, like checking if an attack hit the target's AC, changing HP, making saves, numbers rolled, etc.

An example of a correctly formatted post:

"Let's focus fire on this bear monstrosity!" Lance shouts to the rest of the party. He points his shield at the ravenbear, incants "Ukubetha ngomsindo", and swings with his divinely guided hammer.

Bonus action: Wrathful smite cast on Ravenbear (Concentration 1 min.: caster's next melee weapon attack hit +1d6 psychic damage, and target must make a Wisdom save or be frightened.

Action: attack ravenbear with warhammer - hits AC 20* for 16 bludgeoning, 5 psychic, and 4 radiant damage and ravenbear must make a Wisdom save or be frightened [disadv. on ability checks and attack rolls while Lance is within line of sight, and target can't willingly move closer to Lance] until spell ends. As an action target can make a WISsave to end spell.).

*Channel divinity: Guided strike: attack roll+10 after seeing roll but before DM says if it hit.

Move: 15' east to the blights if the Ravenbear is dead.

At the end of turn every creature within 10' takes 2 radiant damage. Lance succeeded on a Con save of 24 so concentration kept on Wrathful smite.

13:14, Today: Lance Devason rolled 10 using 1d20+6 with rolls of 4.  Attack Ravenbear with warhammer.
13:15, Today: Lance Devason rolled 5 using 1d6 with rolls of 5.  If warhammer hit, psychic damage to Ravenbear from Wrathful smite.
13:15, Today: Lance Devason rolled 16 using 1d8+8 with rolls of 8.  Bludgeoning damage to Ravenbear from warhammer with dueling and hexblade's curse.
21:57, Today: Lance Devason rolled 24 using 1d20+5 with rolls of 19.  Constitution save (DC 10) to keep Concentration on Wrathful smite after Radiant consumption damage.

Radiant consumption=round 6 of 10.
Hexblade's curse (on Ravenbear)=round 2 of 10.
Wrathful smite (Ravenbear frightened if it failed its WIS save)=round 1 of 10.
Concentrating on Wrathful smite.

  1. If a long rest is interrupted after 1 hour, the PCs get the effects of a short rest, unless abused.
  2. During a long rest PCs can identify 2 objects while awake.
Long lasting spells can be cast just before a long rest ends if the PC still has spell slots available before they're restored when the long rest end.

Official rules may be changed on the fly.

The rules for dim light, darkness, and somatic and material components not being observed sometimes, isn't a houserule - just the DM forgetting.

Feel free to discuss or suggest anything to make the game more fun.

See also the Character creation rules thread.
This message was last edited by the GM at 09:13, Tue 13 Dec 2022.
GM, 71 posts
Halaster Blackcloak
Thu 11 Feb 2021
at 15:32
  • msg #2


Edit: 2021-02-11 Adding:
Unlike face-to-face games where you should always wait for the DM to ask for a roll, in play-by-forum games you are welcome to roll checks (not attacks or saves) you think the DM might request - tho the DM may ignore those rolls if they don't apply.
All the players are new to rpol, so you'll learn as you go - don't worry about making mistakes.

2021-02-21 Adding info about damage dice for combat d20s that are natural 20s or natural 1s.

2021-08-16 Changed colors for dialog and bonus action in example.
This message was last edited by the GM at 15:24, Mon 16 Aug 2021.
GM, 207 posts
Halaster Blackcloak
Sat 27 Mar 2021
at 13:33
  • msg #3


I'm not houseruling the Healing spirit spell anymore, because the official Xanathar's errata 1.0 (PDF) has now fixed it, adding "The spirit can heal a number of times equal to 1 + your spellcasting ability modifier (minimum of twice). After healing that number of times, the spirit disappears."
GM, 423 posts
Halaster Blackcloak
Sat 16 Oct 2021
at 06:24
  • msg #4


2021-10-16 House rule: During a long rest PCs can identify 2 objects while awake.
2021-10-16 House rule: Long rests don't take effect if any fighting or casting happens during it. 2022-03-14 Got rid of this houserule.
2022-05-01 More details about dialog colors.
2022-05-01 Removed mention of flanking so that only optional rules that are used, are listed.
2022-12-02 Updated PC colors.
This message was last edited by the GM at 14:23, Fri 02 Dec 2022.
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