Campaign Rules Questions

I'm kind of phoning it in by doing these questionnaires, but this one (and the next) are actually good ways to help define a campaign both for the person running the game and any potential players.

For the series of questions in the next two posts, I'll be using my take on the Wilderlands of High Fantasy, which uses Pathfinder as the rulesset, as the basis for answers. Were I to use my Khardtha setting, would much of the answers be different? That's an interesting question, and one I might delve into at a later date!

I'm starting off with a series of questions posted by Brendan here at Untimately.

Let's begin.

1. Ability scores generation method? 4d6, 7 times. You choose order.

2. How are death and dying handled? Staggered at 0, Unconscious and Dying at -1, Dead at -Con score.

3. What about raising the dead? This is extremely difficult, and more than likely requires a quest of some sort.

4. How are replacement PCs handled? Should a PC die, the player brings in their next one at the old PC's level -5, or 1+1 for every five levels the highest level PC in the party has beyond 1st, whichever is higher.

5. Initiative: individual, group, or something else? Individual, though hirelings go on their boss' turn, and like groups of GM controlled characters go on the same count.

6. Are there critical hits and fumbles? How do they work? Yes and yes. Critical hits follow the charts posted here, here, here, and here. I don't have a good fumble chart, so I either use the iFumble Pathfinder app on my phone or default to flat-footed/bowstring breaks, etc.

7. Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet? Sure. You look cool! Also, sometimes you get visibility and hearing penalties! Oh, and it saves you from some nasty crits sometimes.

8. Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee or do something similarly silly? It has been known to happen, yes.

9. Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything? Run, Forrest, Run!

10. Level-draining monsters: yes or no? Yes. Though many Pathfinder monsters have had their level and stat draining abilities nerfed, I like to retain a more classic and deadly feel in my game.

11. Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death? Yes. Again, Pathfinder has removed many of these instances, but I just tend to ignore the fact that the game promotes pussies.

12. How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked? I like to be fiddly with it. When the group is camping in the wild, resource consumption becomes much more important, and if they're running for their lives, encumberance does, as well. Usually, a fair assumption can be held to both in the average day.

13. What's required when my PC gains a level? Training? Do I get new spells automatically? Can it happen in the middle of an adventure, or do I have to wait for down time? I like instantaneous level benefits. The only time I press for training is if someone chooses to multiclass or, especially, take a prestige class. Then it's usually handled in down-time, unless something seems interesting enough to play out.

14. What do I get experience for? Everything! Combat, avoiding combat, parley, regular friendly encounters with NPCs, etc., etc.

15. How are traps located? Description, dice rolling, or some combination? Either way, and possibly with a bonus to the roll if both methods are used simultaneously.

16. Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work? They aren't necessarily encouraged, but it doesn't usually take long for the players to pick up on how useful they are. I haven't yet solidified a morale system for my game, though I am working on one. The two most recent are a d6 roll modified by certain factors, and a WIS roll in the old form (roll within stat).

17. How do I identify magic items? Usually by their soft glow, but also with the various spells meant to do so. Permanent magic items are exceedingly rare in my game.

18. Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions? Yes, there are chances for certain types of minor magic items to crop up, if you can identify a dealer of such. 1-4 potions are usually available at any given time, but they might not be exactly what you're looking for, as they're randomly determined.

19. Can I create magic items? When and how? Again, yes...however, I've ruled that permanent magic items are rare because the creation process has been lost to the ages. You can take the various item creation feats (except for Brew Potion, which is fairly easy to learn) only after discovering the secrets of such acts via dungeon delving, tomb robbing, etc. for the formulae.

20.What about splitting the party? Sure. I'm certain that's usually a good idea.

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