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Please consider the following to be a listing of 'best practices' and other assorted house rules for our PbP games.

If you are curious about the mood and play style of our current campaign**, then please see Rumble Expectations**.

Actions & Rolls

Please make the appropriate die rolls at the same time you are declaring the action for them.

Examples
If you say that your character is looking for something, make a perception check.
If they are going to to try and leap across a pit, let me know if you take a run-up and make an acrobatics/jump check.
If you are making an attack, please roll for both attack and damage. If the preview shows a critical threat, add another attack roll and note that it is to confirm the critical.

Obviously, there are certain instances in which we'll have to improvise, but feel free to use your best judgment. If you don't make a roll, I'll go ahead and do it for you, but keep in mind that it's much easier to reference one's own character sheet than someone else's.

Roll Format

For the sake of making it easy to figure out how modifiers are determined, I favor the following format:

[ooc]Rapier [dice]1d20+6 + 1 + 1 - 1 [/dice] bless, divine favor, combat expertise[/ooc]
[ooc]dmg [dice]1d6+2 + 1 + 1 + 1[/dice] bless, divine favor, inspire courage[/ooc]

I will always presume that the first modifier following your die roll is your base modifier. Following that, I like to see a listing of each bonus that has been applied.

Generally I attempt to perform rolls in chronological order and then by the alphabetic order of the characters involved. For enemies, I generally work from top to bottom, left to right. However, since adding rolls after-the fact will change all subsequent rolls, if there's something I've forgotten (usually AoOs or confirmation rolls for critical threats), then I'll add those afterwards so as not to change existing results.

Character Profiles

If at all possible, please try to arrange the blocks of your character sheet in a fashion similar to how Alis' is laid out. That would make it a great deal easier for me to find important information quickly and easily. I do realize that I'm rather OCD about my formatting but I'm not asking for you to do the same. Just please, don't spoiler all your combat info and skills. That's a real headache for me when I'm trying to make quick references.

NOTE: To make things easier, I maintain a blank File:PaizoCharacterProfile.txt that you can download and fill-in.

General Layout

  1. Tracking Info Bar
  2. General Info
  3. Ability Scores
  4. Physical Description (spoilered)
  5. "Monster" Description Stat Block (this is one section I'd really like to see mirrored)
  6. Skills (not spoilered)
  7. Feats/Flaws/Traits (not spoilered) in a bullet list
  8. Racial Abilities
  9. Class Abilities (spoiler for each class)
  10. Spellcasting
  11. Background (spoilered)
  12. Progression (spoilered)

Tracking Info

The GM will create a tracking page for you on this wiki. This can be used to note spells prepared/cast, wand charges, inventory, wealth, etc. This makes it a lot easier for everyone else to see what resources we all have have left. The formatting for lists, etc. is also much simpler than on the forums.

When tracking spells or charges, please use hash marks to track the remaining charges rather than how many many charges have been used. In other words, each time you cast a spell or use a charge, delete one of the remaining hashmarks for that wand or for that level of spells. For spells, it may also be helpful to list in parenthesis which spells you have cast thus far on that day. (This can be useful for recalling if you have an effect that you might otherwise forgot that you cast.

In addition, the following should be copied to the top of your character profile. Simply add the URL for your own tracking page near the end. This will provide links the the PbP's 'table of contents', the party's main inventory page, and the matrix showing everyone's skills, languages, etc.

[bigger][b][ Tracking Info | [url=http://paizo.com/people/Laithoron/wishlists/v5748l939kl4y]Party[/url] ([url=http://wiki.worldsunknown.com/wiki/Category:Tracking,_Rumble]Inventory[/url], [url=http://wiki.worldsunknown.com/wiki/Party_Matrix,_Rumble]Matrix[/url]) |[/b] [url=]Personal[/url] [b]][/b][/bigger]

Dialog

Speaking
When your character is speaking, please bold their dialog ([b][/b]).
Interior Monologue
If they are thinking to themselves, then please represent that with italics ([i][/i]).
Shouting/Whispering
Shouting or whispering are more easily perceived by putting either [bigger][/bigger] or [smaller][/smaller] tags around your bolded dialog. You can also use ALL CAPS for emphasis.

NOTE: If you hate typing formatting codes, then see ShortKeys below.

Tense

For the most part we'll be describing our characters thoughts and actions as they are happening. Therefore, for the most part we'll be using the present tense rather than past tense.

Initiative

The GM will roll initiative for the entire party and monsters all at once. When rolling initiative, party members will be listed in alphabetical order followed by allied NPCs, followed by enemies. If you have already rolled initiative for yourself prior to the GM's post, that roll result will be used for you instead.

Formatting

During combat, the initiative order will be updated near the bottom of every few posts. The text will be large-sized to make it easier to see, and characters, NPCs, or enemies, who are currently eligible to act will be bolded.

The initiative order will read left-to-right, and as combat round progresses, the characters and enemies who have already acted will be moved to the left of the bolding. Once everyone has acted, it will be the next round with the characters listed at left acting again.

Example:
Next Up: Darvesch, Lureene, Slavers, Alis, Priyya, Mal, Demon, Isaac, Amhranai
Next Up: Lureene, Darvesch, Slavers, Alis, Priyya, Mal, Demon, Isaac, Amhranai
Next Up: Lureene, Darvesch, Slavers, Alis, Priyya, Mal, Demon, Isaac, Amhranai
Next Up: Lureene, Darvesch, Slavers, Alis, Priyya, Mal, Demon, Isaac, Amhranai
Next Up: Lureene, Darvesch, Slavers, Priyya, Alis, Mal, Demon, Isaac, Amhranai
Next Up: Lureene, Darvesch, Slavers, Priyya, Alis, Mal, Demon, Isaac, Amhranai
Next Up: Lureene, Darvesch, Slavers, Priyya, Alis, Mal, Demon, Isaac, Amhranai
Next Up: Lureene, Darvesch, Slavers, Priyya, Alis, Mal, Demon, Isaac, Amhranai
Next Up: Lureene, Darvesch, Slavers, Priyya, Alis, Mal, Demon, Isaac, Amhranai
<next round>

In the event that a character delays or readies an action, their place in the initiative order will be adjusted to match.

Pets

Pets such as familiars, animal companions, eidolons, etc. will not have their initiative rolled separately. Instead they will act on the same initiative count as the main character. Once combat starts, you may alter their position in the initiative count by readying or delaying as normal.

Turns

Surprise Round
If there are several party members or allied NPCs who all get to act before the next enemy does, they may act in a first-come, first-serve order. That way, if someone is having a busy day at work and can't post quite yet, they don't have to feel badly about holding up the game for everyone else.
Example:
Next Up: Lureene, Alis, Darvesch, Slavers, Priyya, Mal, Demon, Isaac, Amhranai
<Alis, Darvesch, and Lureene's players may post at any time. Mal and Priyya cannot act until after the Slavers.>
Subsequent Rounds
After the first round of combat is over, things become simpler. At this point we shall simply take turns between the party and their allies, and the enemies. As before, players and allied NPC may act in any order as their player has time to post. In otherwords, if your character's name is in bold, you are up to act, even if there's 10 other people whose names are bolded to the left of yours.
Delay of Game
If a great deal of time passes and a player is unable to post, I'll begin delaying their turn until the end of the round. If I have still not received any word by that point, I'll have their turn NPC'd either by myself or another player.

KO's

If you fall below 0hp in battle and go unconscious, you do not simply wake up the moment you rise above 0hp. Please see Knock Outs** for more information.

Leveling

Upon the conclusion of the encounter in which you leveled, everyone is treated as if they have just had a full night's rest. Think of it as a second-wind of sorts. Spells are regained, HP are healed, etc. Note that your current HP total should increase by an amount equal to however many HP you gained at level-up.

Map Movement

When specifying where you would like your character to end up, please be certain to list the approximate grid coordinate you are hoping to get to. For the sake of measurement, diagonal movement is counted as 1-2-1-2. This means your first square of diagonal movement counts as 5-ft while the next counts as 10-ft and so on.

Perception

When entering a new area where it is reasonable for the characters to be on-guard (i.e. in a dungeon, etc.) I will automatically roll perception and stealth checks upon entering each room.

PvP

There shall be NO attacks (whether lethal or non-lethal) declared or rolled against the characters of fellow players without the prior consent of both parties. Roughhousing and other such behavior can be roleplayed just fine via descriptive text without provoking in-fighting.

Spoilers

Roll Spoilers

For the sake of readability, I will generally hide rolls within a spoiler named "Rolls".

For information that only certain characters are privy to based upon Perception, Sense Motive etc, the spoiler will be in the following Format: "Perception DC 16 (character1, character2, etc.)". This format lists the DC of the check that was made. The names in parenthesis are the characters who successfully passed this check.

Character-Specific Spoilers

My assumption is that players read all spoilers, even those that are not intended for their characters. My reason for this is that I figure it allows you to get the full sense of the story, particularly if it's there's an in-character joke or character exposition going on.

Generally I don't mind this so long as your characters only act upon information they are actually privy to. If I think that your character is acting upon information that they don't know, expect to be called on it. This means that if your character has information given to them that the party needs to know, you should make certain to tell them in-game. There is no need to fully write this out as dialog, you may simply narrate it or note that others should read a particular spoiler. If you do recap things as in-character dialog though, I will be a stickler for the actual information you convey so be accurate.

Sex & Intimacy

If you want to take things beyond PG-13 then feel free to add a link to the game thread for those that wish to follow along. Let's try to keep the main game thread PG-13 or below out of consideration for others. We don't want anyone getting offended and having our entire game shit-canned. Think of starting a side-thread as insurance against that.

With that said, I do not mind tongue-in-cheek innuendo, double-entendres, or even 'fan service', just nothing explicit.

Tools

Auto Pager

This is a plugin/extension for both FireFox and Chrome. Once configured, it will automatically load the next page of a thread when you reach the bottom. This is handy not only for reading, but by scrolling thru an entire thread like this from start to finish, you can then save the page to disk and have the entire thread.

The script that allows this to work on the Paizo boards follows:

<autopager> 
<site> 
<urlPattern>http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/*</urlPattern> 
<guid>7c285f22-45cf-6310-fc1a-6198-7bad-058f</guid> 
<urlIsRegex>true</urlIsRegex> 
<owner>Matt Devney</owner> 
<contentXPath>//div[@class='post']</contentXPath> 
<linkXPath>//a[(text()='next >')]</linkXPath> 
<margin>1.00</margin> 
<enableJS>false</enableJS> 
<quickLoad>true</quickLoad> 
<desc>paizo messageboards rule</desc> 
</site> 
</autopager>

ShortKeys

Given all the die rolls, spoilers and other formatting that are needed, I highly recommend making use of ShortKeys to make your life easier. I myself use the full version of ShortKeys to input pre-defined blocks of text such as attack rolls, party initiative, etc. Single most time-saving piece of utility software I've ever used.

Tracking HP, Conditions, Effects, and Time

The GM has scripts used to keep track of spell durations, HP, etc. Conditions, and ability damage will be listed after or below your character. Spells and effects with durations will have the round (or hour of the day) on which they expire listed after them.

In combat, speaking is generally a free action, but that doesn't mean you'll just be able to ramble on forever with time standing still. Outside of combat, the GM will continue to tick off round for time spent in conversation, searching for or disabling traps, and walking about. Therefore, you should be mindful of casting short-duration buffs prematurely lest they expire before they can be used.