General Rules & RTJ.   Posted by The Referee.Group: public
The Referee
 GM, 3 posts
Thu 17 Jun 2021
at 22:07
General Rules & RTJ
“The D&D game has neither losers nor winners, it has only gamers who relish exercising their imagination. The players and the DM share in creating adventures in fantastic lands where heroes abound and magic really works. In a sense, the D&D game has no rules, only rule suggestions. No rule is inviolate, particularly if a new or altered rule will encourage creativity and imagination. The important thing is to enjoy the adventure.”

Tom Moldvay
3 December 1980

The game system we will use is old-school Dungeons & Dragons. I will mostly draw from B/X D&D, AD&D, and the Rules Cyclopedia. But I will be taking inspiration from OD&D, BECMI, AD&D 2E, and any number of OSR games.

If you don’t have access to the books, you can use the freely available OSE SRD. Old-School Essentials (OSE) is a nearly identical retroclone of B/X Dungeons & Dragons. We will also use OSE Advanced Fantasy to allow for players to split race from class and use any of the AD&D classes.

The fantasy world is a homebrew influenced by Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play, Robert E. Howard’s Conan, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Call of Cthulhu, Grim Hollow, and Darkest Dungeon. I’m a fan of the weird early days of D&D and the sometimes psychedelic blend of fantasy and science fiction, so expect some things to be weird and strange.

The game will be character-driven in a persistent, open-world sandbox. Play will focus on short, quick expeditions (2-3 months of play time) so players can come and go without committing to multi-year long campaign. Though you’re welcome to stay and play however long you like.

All of the rules and decisions made by the DM are in the interest of having fun. We’re all here to have fun.

Optional rules like encumbrance will be used. We will be tracking food and water. I have a few house rules to make exploration a bit more challenging, but also some to make the characters a bit more resilient.

This is an exploration-focused game with a fair dose of role-playing, combat, and weirdness. Bad things can and will happen to your character. Funny things can and will happen to your character. If you can’t accept that, don’t play.

Don’t Be A Dick. Wheaton’s Law is always in effect. Things I consider violations of this rule include, but are not limited to: power gaming, min-maxing, metagaming, rules lawyering, reading the module, and anything that prevents others from enjoying the game.

Fantasy First, Rules Second. We’re all here to have fun telling interesting and engaging stories. That’s infinitely more important than the rules. The rules are guidelines to facilitate us having fun. Don’t worry about optimizing the mechanics or making the perfect tactical choice, focus instead on playing your character, having fun, and telling an interesting story. Just remember: “the object of the game is to have fun by playing roles, stupid or weak characters can be as much fun as smart, powerful ones—if the roles are played well.”

Respect. Always be respectful to your fellow players. IC, play your character’s personality, but be respectful. Characters can be disrespectful if the scene calls for it, but be sure you separate character actions from player actions. If you need to justify some behavior of your character with “that’s what my character would do” you’re almost certainly violating this rule and Wheaton’s Law (above).

Problems. If you have problems with another player, remember we’re all adults and bring it up with that player privately. If you can’t resolve the issue, bring it to me privately.

Rating. This game is mature, not general or adult. There will be fantasy violence and some mild horror themes. Keep gore to a minimum and any sex will fade to black.

Instant Kick. Nothing will get you booted from this game quicker than: racism, sexism, homophobia, and disco. No, I’m not kidding.

Real Life First, Always. Real life will get in the way. All I ask is that if you can, drop me a message to let me know something’s up. You don’t need to tell me the details.

Frequency. In-character posting frequency of at least once every few days (48 hours). If you haven’t posted by the 48 hours mark, I will skip you. Two skips in a row and I will remove you from the in-character group. If I don’t hear from you and you haven’t logged in for a week or more, I will write your character out and remove you from the game.

Weekends & Holidays. Most games slow down on the weekends and around holidays so those are a gimme. You are free to post on weekends and holidays but they are not counted against you for being skipped or kicked.

Standard Prose Formatting. Always use standard prose formatting for in-character posts. Dialog should be in quotation marks. “Like this.”

Dialogue Color. Pick a color for your character’s dialogue. It helps avoid confusion when writing out conversations. “Like this.”

Thoughts. Keep your posts free of your internal thoughts that no one else can react to; only post what can be seen, heard, touched, tasted, or smelled. Express your character through action, dialogue, and body language.

Description. Don’t skip the description. Keep your posts interesting and entertaining. Use present tense (ie “shoot” “run” “kick”) rather than past tense (i.e. “shot” “ran” “kicked”). It feels more immediate.

Push for evocative descriptions as they add to the tone, drama, and everyone’s enjoyment of the game. Boring one-line posts are the bane of PBP games. Don’t do that.

IC vs OOC Text. Unless you have to invoke game mechanics your post should be free of OOC text. Any OOC conversation should be in the OOC thread, not the IC threads. If you have a rules question about something happening in game, ask it in the OOC thread.

If you have a question about something your character should know, that’s an OOC question. If you have a question about something your character doesn’t know, that’s an IC question. If you’re not sure, ask in the OOC thread.

Please write all out-of-character text at the bottom of your post in orange.

Rolls. When posting an action, please include all the relevant info and rolls you might need to make at once. If you’re making an attack, roll the to-hit and damage. If you’re holding an attack, roll the to-hit and damage. Also, list what you are rolling as OOC text in orange at the bottom of your posts. For example:

OOC: To-hit with a sword: +2. The DM rolled 8 using 1d20+2 ((6)).

What I’m Looking For. I  want players who will treat the fantasy world as if it’s a real place. Play the world, not the rules. I want players who will at least attempt to get into character and think about what their character would do, rather than just what the player wants to do. I want players who understand that the goal of playing RPGs is to have fun and see what happens to the characters, not players who are out to “win” or always make the “optimal” choice.

Problem solving goes beyond what’s on your character sheet. You can try anything, though there’s no guarantee of success. Come up with crazy plans, get creative. Be entertaining. You will meet contacts, learn secrets, and gather weird cyphers during your adventures. Use those resources. Engage with the world.

All characters will start at 1st level and be randomly rolled. Don’t RTJ with character sheets or backstory write-ups. We’re using only brand new, freshly rolled characters. You can develop your character’s backstory as you play, if you choose.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:50, Sat 06 Nov.