|Policies and By-Laws – House Rules|
Alright, so this isn’t so much a list of houserules as they are house suggestions. Still, worth reading.
- Leaving the Table – No one is going to force you to sit at the table the entire time we play; being tethered to a chair for hours on end is something you should be getting paid for (no, I am not giving you money to play). But, sometimes when you leave the table, especially during combat, things can grind to a halt. So, if you have to leave the table, the player sitting to your left will make decisions for your character in combat. That being said, if you leave the table, write a quick note as to what you’d like your character to do – if you have time, note any attack bonuses or damage for the player, so they don’t have to eyeball your character sheet trying to figure out what does what. And if you’re especially annoying to the person to your left, and don’t leave a note, don’t be surprised if your character suddenly succumbs to crushing depression, and throws himself off of a cliff.
- Roll All of Your Dice – Pretty straightforward here – when you roll to attack, assume you’re going to hit, and roll your damage dice at the same time. It shaves a little time off of your turn, but, in the long run, it makes things go by a great deal faster. Just have all your dice ready when making the roll!
- XP/Leveling Expectations – XP will be given out at the very end of the game session, instead of at the end of each opportunity to gain XP; if you have enough XP to gain a level, you can level up your character at your next extended rest. This allows the game to keep moving without math sessions between the action, and gives a nice, fat reward at the end of the day. Any XP gained by the party will be given to absent players as well, but, will be put on ‘hold’ – see below, under ‘Catching Up’.
- Catching Up – Even if your character didn’t participate in one day’s session, you’ll still be rewarded the XP, but only after attending as many sessions as you missed. For example, if over the course of three games, the party is rewarded 1000 XP, and you join during the fourth session, you’ll get that held XP at the end of your sixth game. This will allow players who are always able to attend to stay at the top curve of power, but, it won’t leave less frequent players completely in the dust.
- Cooperate – Dungeons & Dragons is a team-based game, now more than ever in 4th Edition. While in-party conflicts are expected, and, hell, in some cases, encouraged, in-party fighting should never become a game-brake. If you’re interested in a game where you’re perpetually betraying one another, I’ll happily organize a Paranoia campaign.
- Don’t Loot Whore – As shiny as imaginary objects might be, this isn’t a smash-and-grab campaign. I have no problem with less scrupulous PCs pocketing a coveted item here or there, but, trying to amass a vast treasure at the expense of the other players just isn’t fun. You’ll be sitting down with these other folks on a regular basis, so hosing them in the game lowers the party’s chances of survival in the game, and lowers your chances of being given a seat next session. Basically, see the Cooperate rule.
- Shut Up, For God’s Sake – Dungeons & Dragons is a social activity, there’s no question about it; getting together and acting like jerks with a bunch of friends is what it boils down to, ultimately. But, sometimes, other players, or myself, need to speak in order to move the game along. So, when someone’s trying to say something relevant to the game at hand, quiet down for a few seconds to let them speak. Some players are louder than others (you know who you are), and you drown out the other players that can’t bellow quite as hard as you can. And if I hear one more thing about Color Spray…
- Come Prepared – While plenty of us have extra dice, and pencils aren’t terribly hard to find, it’s still a good idea to make sure you have both of the above, as well as some scrap paper, if you find yourself needing. We’re more than happy to loan out dice and pencils where needed, but resources quickly get tapped – borrowed dice and pencils have a way of disappearing.
Character Creation and Re-Creation
Ideally, you’ll have some access to the latest version of D&D Insider’s Character builder, but, if that’s not the case, there’s no worry. You can make use of any Core books, as well as any Dragon Magazine resource (as well as the Eberron Player’s Guide, obviously, for the purpose of this campaign) to create your character. Presuming you came up with a character background, you may start your character at level 2; if the minimum level is beyond that (as per the experience rules – see here), then you can make a character at the minimum level.
If replacing a dead character, you can make a character at the same level, however at the minimum experience for that level; replacing a character that still lives, however, will be made under the same creation rules as if you were making a character as per the above paragraph – as if you were just coming into the campaign. This is to discourage wanton switching of characters.
However, not to lock people into poor choices, you are allowed to “mulligan” your character once per tier (heroic, paragon and epic); you’ll need to retain the same class and race (unless you can come up with a particularly clever ret-con), however, you can re-adjust your stats, powers and feats as if you were building from level 1.