Lord of Shadow & Flame
1, The story wins out over the rules: This means that at appropriate times we may ignore the rules in favour of telling a good story!
2, Experience and Attendance: If a player doesn’t show for a session, I will either make their character an N.P.C for that session under my control or I’ll write the character out for that session (meaning that for whatever reason, they’re not there). The first two sessions you miss, your character still earns FULL Experience Points. From then on, if you miss a session your character will earn HALF Experience Points for that session. When your character is being N.P.Ced, I’ll roleplay your character as appropriately as possible. However, if something bad happens to your character – tough luck!
Addendum: You only earn HALF Experience points when absent IF the G.M has an up to date copy of your characters stats. If not, NO xp for you!
3, Rules Disagreements/Disputes: These should be discussed AFTER a session NOT during, as it detracts from the enjoyment of the game. If you don’t like a call I make, register your disagreement and let’s move on – if it’s that serious we can discuss if further later. Once I make a final call on something though, it’s final.
4, Roleplaying and Experience Points: I use a system for awarding Experience Points which is weighted towards roleplaying and away from just killing monsters and taking their stuff. The reason is simple: players should be rewarded for good ideas, quality roleplaying, thinking and solving problems rather than using the ‘if it moves, kill it’ philosophy. We’re be using the ‘Medium’ Character Advancement speed.
5, This is a game of heroic adventure. From time to time I may award points for the following…
Hero Points: These are awarded when a character does something particularly heroic. This could include risking ones life to rescue an important N.P.C during the course of an adventure, executing a cunning plan to overcome the enemy, or simply displaying great selfless kindness or charity without the expectation of a reward etc.
Heroism isn’t the same thing as stupidity. Don’t expect to gain a point for doing something obviously suicidal just for the sake of it. Instead, expect to get dead.
A player can choose to spend a Hero Point to get a +5 bonus on a single d20 roll (To Hit, Save, Skill Check or Caster Level Check). This can be applied after the roll is made if the player chooses. Two Hero Points can be combined for maximum a total of a +10 bonus. No character can have more than 5 Hero points at any time.
Fate/Destiny Points: These are even more rarely awarded than Hero Points and can be much more powerful when they come into play. Fate or Destiny Points can alter the plot of current events of the game, usually to the benefit of the character spending the point.
These points imply that the character involved has some kind of special purpose to fore fill. Swearing a serious oath or making a genuine promise can invoke either Fate or Destiny, if the gods are listening. These points may be granted in combination with a Hero Point, should the gods decide they have a special purpose for the character.
Fate: These can be used as a sort of ‘get out of jail free’ card. Fate points are spent for a character to avoid something terrible happening to them which would otherwise be impossible to avoid. Example: Your character has just taken 143 damage from the Elder Dragon, reducing him to -51 Hit Points. A Fate point could change this so that the character was merely KOed, captured rather than be killed, only to have a chance at escape later, or even being missed altogether. Alternatively, a player might spend a point and negotiate with the D.M to include a twist in the plot in favour of their character.
Destiny: Destiny points are spent for a character to achieve something miraculous which would otherwise be impossible. In game mechanics terms, a Destiny Point could be spent to gain an auto success, and in the case of a To Hit roll, with maximised critical damage. It could also be used to carry out some other impossible action Example: The party is being pursued by a group of powerful demons through the ruins of Myth Drannor. The party is badly wounded and if caught, there is a good chance most of the group will be killed. Woz uses his Wand of Lightning to blast down a near by tower, destroying many of the pursuers and blocking the path behind. Whatever the desired effect, the event must make sense in context of the game.
Often Fate and Destiny Points will have no game mechanical effects, instead they change the direction of the game in the favour of the character spending the point.
These points cannot be ‘traded’ between characters. All points are awarded at the D.Ms discretion. Generally appealing for a point will be met with a stern ‘no’.
If a player roleplays their character really well, if a character is carrying out an action that is vital to their beliefs (not necessarily alignment), or if the party has reached a major event or achieved something key to the story during the campaign – they may also earn a Fate, Destiny or Hero Point.
The key word here is drama. Spending these points should come at appropriately dramatic, exciting moments.
6, If you don’t have it written on your character sheet, your character doesn’t have it in game. This is pretty straightforward. Make sure you keep an up to date character sheet including all your relevant abilities and a detailed equipment list including each items weight, as we will be using the Armour Check Penalty and Encumbrance rules. This avoid disagreements about what characters can and can’t do and what they do and don’t have on them.
7, The Golden Rule: We’re all here to have fun! If we keep this in mind the game should all go swimmingly! ;-D
8, Character Death and Resurrection: I don’t like running games where there is no real threat of death or where there are no consequences for dying. If your character dies, you have two options…
A, Get the dead character resurrected. This relies on either your fellow P.Cs getting this done in-game by finding someone willing and powerful enough to cast the spell. There may be some wait between the character’s death and when the group can get the character brought back. Costs are listed below…
Raise Dead = 5,450 gold and -2 Levels
Resurrection = 10,910 gold and -1 Level
True Resurrection = 26,530 gold and no Level loss
B, Make up a new character. The new character starts with an Experience Point loss of 25% Experience points required to reach their next level. Note: this may result in the character dropping back one level.
Deceased Character’s Equipment & Wealth: A dead character’s equipment and wealth is passed on or sent to their family and not horded/divided up by the group. The reason for this is simple – it avoids a ‘glut’ in treasure/equipment amongst the party and helps maintain game balance. If the character has written a will, they may give up two items of no more than 25% of the character’s total base character wealth (see page 399 Pathfinder Core Rulebook) each to a fellow P.C if he wishes. Alternatively these gifts can be other wealth or property of the same values.
A note on Death and Resurrection: Death is more than an inconvenience. Resurrection, even with the right level Cleric and enough money, is never guaranteed. If there is a good size temple (particularly if it’s your faith or a friendly one), you the body and a sizable donation, then its quite likely. A devout Paladin entering her home temple beseeching the High Priest to raise her dear friend is much more likely to receive the aid requested. A Rogue who is a known wanted criminal wandering into a foreign temple, dumping a bloody corpse on the floor, throwing a sack of treasure at the feet of the High Priest and demanding a miracle to be performed quick smart, wont.
9, Death from Massive Damage: We are using the ‘Massive Damage’ optional rule in this game. If you take a single attack that deals damage equal to half your total Hit Points that doesn’t kill you outright, you must make a Fort save DC 15 or die regardless of your current Hit Points. The single attack must deal a minimum 50 points of damage to cause Massive Damage.
10, Auto Fail and Success: As per the Core Rules, if a save throw comes up a natural roll of a 1 on a To Hit or Saving throw, it’s an automatic fail, regardless of modifiers. A natural roll of 20 is an automatic success on these rolls, regardless how high the DC or of any modifiers.
Additional House Rules may be added in the future.