A Dance with Shadows
h3. Basic Info
- Meeting Time: Sundays 6:00pm – 12:00pm
- Location: Jay’s
- Food: Kayla will be in charge of ordering food. She’ll take orders each week before the game begins to ensure we are well fed for the night. Be sure to bring cash to reimburse her for your order!
- Drink: Jack has offered to handle drinks! Will most likely vary on a weekly basis, if you are interested bring cash each week so we can restock and reimburse Jack.
h3. Rules Recap
- You are responsible for knowing fundamental game mechanics and rules.
- You must have a copy of the the related PHB material, either physical or digital (if you need a digital copies I am more than happy to provide them :).
- You are responsible for creating, updating, and maintaining your own character.
- You are committed to showing up at the scheduled playtime once a week.
- You must have an Obsidian Portal account, as the site will be the nexus for all game info.
- You are required to have fun, damnit.
- Not having fun will be punishable by fun.
h3. Messages for the DM (Optional but welcomed!)
- Item Wishlist: Compile a list of items and item properties you find ideal for your character so I can better arm the party.
- Character Traits: Provide specifics on an ailment, property, or trait your character has which may come into play during the campaign.
- Character Growth: Have any major/serious changes planned for your character? Coming of age, personal transformation, test of strength, ideological crisis etc. Contact me and we might be able to work it in to the game.
- Personal History: Help me flesh out the campaign by providing information on your character’s personal history, acquaintances, family, and dark secrets. These things may appear and play a pivotal role in the story!
h3. Mission Statement
1. Why Bother?
Adventures are important to us and we hope that they’re important for you, too. The only reason to play a pencil-and-paper RPG these days is the people you play with; it’s the the world and characters you create with your friends that make this game unforgettable. That means being invited to a campaign is a trust to help make your collaborative world the most fun it can be.
2. Committed: A Bellevue Story
The game works best when everyone is equally committed to making it work. If the mechanics are easy and fluid, then we can all spend our efforts where they’re really important: imagining and roleplaying. We shouldn’t be slogged down in tedious rules questions or by players (or DMs) having trouble with mechanics.
3a. The Theory and Practice of Sword-Slinging
Each player in our campaign must have a Player’s Handbook (.pdf is available online) and have read the whole section which precedes the specifics of classes and races, at least. This is only a few pages This means that more people know more rules and so can have more fun roleplaying. You can’t enjoy baseball if you don’t know how balls behave when hit.
3b. A Character-Building Experience
Your character isn’t just a personality concept and it isn’t just a set of abilities to roll dice for larger or smaller numbers. It’s both those things, but through the alchemy of roleplay and story, it becomes more: it becomes a persona, a role to inhabit. That’s hell of fun. It’s also worth devoting time to thinking about.
You’re only going to be happy with your characters if you’ve looked at all the possibilities, dug into how they work, and thought about what role play ideas your abilities inspire. Or, on the other hand, thought about what kind of person you might wish to play and what conceits you enjoy, and then dug around in the game system to make those ideas possible. Bugbear nature priest? Bumbling rogue with a golden tongue? Sullen elf with strange and prophetic tattoos? There are nearly infinite possibilities.
In other words, you’re responsible for making sure your characters shows up at camp with their boots on the right feet and their halberds sharpened. And also for knowing what they can do with those halberds.
4. So Then What?
When you take some time and think about who your avatar is and how it works, you’ll come to the table with confidence, mechanical know-how, and a character idea you care about. Everything will run smoother, and we’ll all be playing the most important 66% of “RPG” together. This is what makes stories unforgettable. For my part, I promise we’ll put in the time, dedication, and energy running a great campaign requires. This is a lot, and you make it easier by doing your part.
Imagine a game where combat is easy, exciting, and fast – instead of slow and halting- and where you can focus on strategy, solving puzzles, talking with people and monsters, and figuring out the twists and turns of the world you’re inhabiting. That’s the kind of game we’re going to create together. And you’re invited.
The most important word is “play”, in its best possible senses.
5. Campaign Info and Additional Requirements
We’ll be running a playtest of Dario Nardi’s Radiance RPG, a game that combines the best of past tabletop games and incorporates new mechanics and themes to create a holistic and enjoyable gaming experience.
You must provide a backstory for your character, this can be vague and mysterious or robust and in-depth, as long as it gives us a feel for who your character is and helps create a motivation. This motivation should be a believable ideology, vendetta, history, or desire that helps us collaboratively create a story for your character and keeps them invested in the events of the campaign.
AttN (Arrow through the Neck) (phrase): The means by which a Dungeon Master arbitrarily kills a player character because the player has that character do something that the Dungeon Master disapproves.
Back Loaded (adjective): Refers to a class, spell, ability or other graduated rule whose benefit(s) at its later stages are greater than those of its initial ones. Contrast Front Loaded.
BBEG (Big Bad Evil Guy) (term): An arch-villain, -nemesis, or -foil used by the Dungeon Master, often in a recurring role, as the climax to an adventure, story arc or campaign. Etymology: Message Boards, term first used in the thread Honesty vs. Story.
Cheese (noun): 1. (derogatory) Character, spell, feat or other game overpowered element or combination of games elements. 2. Use of rules elements that violates the spirit of the rules without violating the technical wording. Etymology: English slang, taken from the term cheesy, meaning shabby or cheap.
Crunch (noun): Related to, resembling or dominated by game mechanics. Contrast Fluffy. Etymology: Gaming industry, term made popular by Sean K. Reynold’s euphemistic essay on the gaming industry entitled, Forgotten Rums.
Dump Stat (noun): An attribute that is often dumped for a specific class or build.
Flavor (noun): Referring to the narrative description of a class, race, monster or power so as to make it appear completely different, even though it remains the same, mechanically, as contemplated on page 55 of the 4e Player’s Handbook. See Fluff.
Fluff (noun): Euphemism referring to a published material or portion of a published material that contains flavor text, see also Crunchy. Etymology: Gaming industry, term made popular by Sean K. Reynold’s euphemistic essay on the gaming industry entitled, Forgotten Rums.
Front Loaded (adjective): Refers to a class, spell, ability or other graduated rule whose benefit(s) at its initial stages are greater than those of later on. Contrast Back Loaded.
Gish (noun): Character who combines elements of an arcane caster and melee combatant. Etymology: Dungeons & Dragons, refers to a title original given to Githyanki fighter/magic-users.
Gygaxian (adjective): A campaign with a high mortality rate for player characters, and often characterized with dungeon crawls and death effects for which there is no (or little) defense or save. Etymology: a mischaracterization of the campaigns run by E. Gary Gygax, one of the founders of Dungeons & Dragons, often based on the S1: Tomb of Horrors tournament module he wrote, which was published for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (First Edition).
House Flavor: 1. (noun) An official variant of unofficial customized description of an object, creature or power in a game that does not alter its mechanics; 2. (verb) to create house flavor. Compare House Rule.
House Rule: 1. (noun) An official variant or unofficial customized rule used within the confines of an individual play group; 2. (verb) to create a house rule. (Var. Houserule.) Compare House Flavor.
Metagame (verb): To make character decisions in an RPG based upon game knowledge rather than character knowledge.
Metagamer (noun), 1: A player who uses out-of-character knowledge to benefit his in-game character. 2: Someone who metagames.
MAD (Multiple Attribute Dependency) (expression): Phrase referring to character classes whose abilities require good scores in multiple attributes rather than just one. (Compare Single Attribute Dependency.)
Min/Max (term), 1: A player who designs her character, usually within the basic parameters of the rules, to maximize that character’s advantages and minimize its disadvantages. 2: A power gamer.
NAD (Non-Armor class Defense) (noun): Fortitude, Reflex and Will Defenses.
Nova (term) A character built to expend all of its powers immediately to devastating effect, but leaving it severely weakened afterwards. 2. (verb) To expend all ones powers immediately, often “to go nova”.
Page 42 (term): Refers to the ability of the DM to invent new rules to accommodate improvised actions by characters. Etymology: page 42 in the Dungeon Masters Guide (4th edition), which contains tables for improvising difficulty checks for actions not otherwise contained in the rules.
Page 55 (term): Refers to the ability of the player to reflavor powers, as long as the power does not mechanically change. Etymology: page 55 in the Player’s Handbook (4th edition), which contains the rule for reflavoring powers. See Flavor.
Power Creep (noun): The tendency of RPGs to increase the PCs’ power level as more supplements are released.
RAW (Rules as Written) (term): Strict interpretation of the rules. Referring to the implementation of rules as they are literally written in the core rulebooks. Often times invoked to solve disputes involving semantics and questionable use.
RAI (Rules as Intended) (term): Loose interpretation of the rules. Referring to the implementation of the rules as they were intended, regardless of semantics of how they were written in the core rulebooks.
Railroad (verb): To, as a DM, force the players along a linear storyline that often does not allow for deviations created by player input.
Rider Effect (phrase): Any effect of an attack other than damage.
Rules Lawyer (noun), 1: A player who is knowledgeable of the rules and uses them to his advantage; sometimes even to the extreme of using one rule to argue a point to his advantage, then using another rule to argue against that point when it becomes a disadvantage. 2: A gamer knowledgeable of the rules.
SoD (Save or Die) (phrase): An effect that can remove a character from combat in one round regardless of hit points. Etymology: prior editions of D&D, which had many spells that killed a player character if he failed a saving throw.
SAD (Single Attribute Dependency) (expression): Phrase referring to character classes whose abilities require good scores in one attribute rather than several. Compare Multiple Attribute Dependency.