Friday, August 30, 2013

Campaign Design - General Notes for the Three Worlds Campaign

General Notes:
  • As a rule of thumb, for the purposes of the campaign the rules as laid out here take precedence over the rules that may be found in other sources. If there is a conflict between how a class, race, feat, spell, or other rule is presented here and as it is presented elsewhere, the rule presented here is the one that I will use.

  • That said, I am human and do make errors. There may be typos, garbled grammar, and other small errors in these rules. If you find what you think is an error, please bring it to my attention and I'll either correct it or clarify what I meant.

  • The campaign design is a work in progress, and will likely remain so for quite a while. Consequently, I may intend to include something that is not yet posted to the site but simply have not gotten around to writing it up and publishing it. As a result, if you have a particular character option you would like to use that has not been mentioned in the rules, send me a note or otherwise bring it up to me and I'll take a look and see if it fits.

  • I would like the tone of the game, and related chatter in general, to be PG-13 at most. I am simply not real interested in dealing with lurid depictions of erotic, gory, or violent material.

  • If you smoke, I ask that you don’t do it in the house. If a player (or players) is a smoker, I will schedule a couple of smoke breaks during the session so they can step outside.

  • If you are going to miss a scheduled session, please let me know ahead of time. Characters of players who are absent will be explained out of the session’s action, and gain no experience points while their player is not present. Whether characters who miss out on the action gain a share of treasure is entirely up to the other party members.

  • Once we know how many regulars we have, I’ll set a minimum number of players that will compose a “quorum”. If we have fewer people able to show up than the “quorum”, we won’t play the campaign that week. Usually, those who are able to attend will be welcome to anyway, we will just play something else that day.

  • Please avoid silly names. Few things jar people out of their immersion in a setting more than having “Windex the Barbarian” fighting alongside them. I have put together a guide to the naming conventions for the various inhabitants of the campaign world, and hope that you use them to craft names that both fit your characters and the setting.

  • While I am not going to dictate party make-up, a party with a diverse set of skills and abilities among its members is like to fare better than a party of characters with similar and overlapping strengths. If you want to play a party of nothing but fighters, that’s fine, but that will make some challenges and opponents more difficult than they would be otherwise. You will miss the skills and abilities you forgo if the party ends up being a collection of very similar characters.

  • Although not specifically necessary, one skill that frequently gets overlooks is the “social” specialist. Doing without this skill in the party will make information harder to come by, buying equipment will be a more expensive proposition, tracking down that wizard who can craft the item you really want made will be more difficult, and so on.

  • Despite being popular in literature and movies, “lone wolf” type characters often make poor party members. Extreme versions of the “lone wolf” archetype can drive other party members (and the DM) batty. I won’t outlaw “individualistic” character types, but remember you are designing a character that is to be a member of a group, and should actually be willing to work in a group for an extended period of time.

  • Don’t expect the technical details of “real world” physics, chemistry, astronomy, and biology to work in the same way in the campaign setting. Just because, in the real world, gravity causes the earth to orbit a sun that is powered by nuclear fusion does not mean that in the campaign world the sun is not a golden disk carried across the sky by a chariot pulled by horses made of fire. Things in a fantasy world work via “fantasy mechanics”. In the setting, it is possible that Aristotle’s various erroneous musings about the physical world (such as spontaneous generation) could very well be correct in the fantasy reality of the campaign world.

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