|Requirements for the Friday game
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If you're viewing this page, it's probably because you were directed here from an ad that I posted on the OpenRPG forums or some other gaming forum such as the boards on Wizards of the Coast's site. The material below sets forth what my players and I are looking for in terms of potential players who might be interested in joining our little group. Our games take place on OpenRPG and use 3.5 D&D rules with slight modifications, all of which are described in the files under the Rules sidebar, on the right hand side of your screen.
1. Game schedule. Hours for the game are 9:30 pm EST to 3 am EST. EST means Eastern Standard Time and is GMT -5. This is a weekly game. Server is usually Tangled Web, Open Veav I or Digital Elysium and the room is Tolmara. Notification of when a game is held is sent by e-mail to all players. When you join the site as a registered member, you will also be automatically subscribed to an e-mail group list. The schedule is usually sent anywhere from one to four days in advance.
2. Game setting/rules. The game takes place in an original homebrew campaign world and uses the 3.5 D&D ruleset.
3. "Bob", the character. One thing we've noticed of late is that a lot of players seem to equate "more exotic" with "better." This is an attitude that 3E and 3.5 D&D seems to foster, what with half-dragons and half-celestials and mineralized warriors and I don't know what-all. There are players out there who turn up their noses at humans because they prefer "real roleplaying"--meaning they prefer to play something impossibly exotic and powerful--and humans are "boring."
Before I let someone run, though, I want to see them walk. Before I let them play a truly bizarre character, I want to see them demonstrate that they have the skill to do so.
A good player can play anything and play it well. If a player can't find a way to make a human character unique and believable, though...given that he IS a human, and has some idea of how they think...how am I supposed to believe he'll be able to do the same for an elf who has lived hundreds of years? How am I supposed to believe he'll be able to do the same for something even more exotic than that?
There's nothing inherently wrong with an exotic character. There is something wrong with using 'exotic' as a substitute for 'interesting.'
If I've learned one truth in three decades of gaming, it's this: if a player isn't creative enough to make a human "not boring"--if he can't come up with something unique and interesting enough to make the character exciting--then he darned well can't do it with a Cosmic Vampiric Dragon-Elf.
Instead of having a flat, lifeless, cardboard character, he'll have a flat, lifeless, cardboard character with lots of powers and pointed ears, that's all.
Thus: Bob. Someone who can take a painfully-average human, the blandest by the book character possible and make something interesting, exciting, and unique out of him....THAT, to me, is the measure of a good player.
"Bob" is a 1st level character. He is human and can be of any character class so long as it can be found in the 3.5 D&D Player's Handbook. He can be from Andurin or from a setting of your choice. The only limit is your imagination.
He may be of any alignment as long as it is a non-evil alignment.
His ability scores are: 7, 10, 12, 11, 13 and 9. Arrange them as you see fit. Assume he has full hit points and maximum gold per the book for a starting 1st level character of the appropriate class. Equipment, skills and feats are up to you.
Your assignment is to create a character and a substantial background story. When you write the story, remember that quality is preferable over quantity. In doing so, you should attempt to answer any or all of the following questions: What is his personality like? What is his primary motivation? What are his ambitions or goals? What are his likes and dislikes? If Bob were the protagonist in a novel, why should the reader care about him to continue reading beyond chapter 1?
You have one week to create the character background. E-mail the character to SobaAddict70 at gmail dot com. When you e-mail the character, please put "Andurin -- Bob's background" in the subject line and paste the background information into the e-mail; DO NOT send as an attachment or I might treat the e-mail as spam.
Your submission will be judged by the players to see whether or not you might fit into the group. They want to see your point of view. Go out there and make it work!
4. Required reading, Open RPG client version and player interview. Documentation for the campaign world is fairly extensive and must be read prior to joining the game. Due to the amount of information, it is recommended that if you are serious about playing, that you read the material in advance. Unless otherwise noted, game information on the site takes precedence over rules in the PH. If you would rather join a game that does not have an extensive amount of backstory material to absorb, then this campaign is not for you.
Required material are all of the files under the "Rules" menu. The material must be read prior to character creation. There is no time limit as far as the reading is concerned, although I do ask that it be mostly completed prior to character creation.
In addition, it is highly recommended although not required that you read through ALL of the Tolmara logs. Why read 50+ logs? The answer is that a great deal of information about the world is given in the logs, information that is not found within the Rules files. You would be doing yourself a disservice by not reading the material. I'm not asking you to memorize the information found therein, but rather so you can get a feel for how things are integrated in the world. Remember that this is a home-brewed world, with distinct cultures and races. It's not the Forgotten Realms and it's not Greyhawk. It has its own inner dynamic which cannot be neatly categorized or pigeon-holed.
Credit should go to Digitalxero for his assistance in creating and maintaining this web site.
For character generation and a list of house rules, please click here. New characters entering the Friday game should not have equipment (includes magical items) in excess of 33,000 gp total.
You will need to update your client to version 1.7.0 (or higher) in order to lurk on the server where we hold our games. A link to this version of Open RPG can be found in the Links section. All games are held on either OpenRPG Veav 1, the Tangled Web server or OpenRPG Dev 4.
There is a player/DM interview. This is typically held once someone expresses interest in a campaign and is required of all potential applicants. The purpose of the interview is to determine whether the game meets your interest level. One or two players from my campaign will be present during the interview. This is, short of lurking during a session, a prime opportunity for you to ask penetrative questions that can give you a clearer impression of what kind of game you might expect to encounter. I will also ask a few questions that might help better determine what your play preferences are.
5. Lurking. You must lurk for at least one session, from beginning to end. The reason this requirement is present is because I would rather have a player join a game he or she is comfortable with, having seen his fellow players in action previously. There really is no better way to determine if a game is right for you short of actively participating in it. You can make your own observations as to group dynamic and DM-management style by being an impartial observer.
Note however that there is no such thing as a typical session when it comes to our playgroups. There have been sessions where no combat has occurred, where it's pure RP for six hours. There have been fairly intensive combat-oriented sessions. There have been a mix of both.
6. Group preferences. My players and I like RP-intensive playstyles and the campaign storyline/game logs reflect these preferences. We are looking for reliable, mature, courteous and responsible players to join the Friday campaign. Please be advised that there is an age requirement to joining the campaign. You must be 18 years or older to enter the game. We recognize that age is not usually a reliable barometer of maturity, but in our experience, most players who we have come across that we have liked or who have joined the campaign tend to be past this point. The median age within the Friday game (I run a Saturday game as well) is 25.
7. Core books. Core books are defined as the 3.5 Player's Handbook, the 3.5 DMG, Dungeon Master's Guide II, Player's Handbook II, Stormwrack, Complete Adventurer, Complete Arcane, Complete Divine, Complete Warrior, Complete Psionic*, Frostburn, Heroes of Battle, Sandstorm, Races of Destiny*, Races of Stone*, Races of the Wild*, Tome of Battle*, Tome of Magic*, Unearthed Arcana*, Magic of Incarnum*, Arms and Equipment Guide, Defenders of the Faith, Masters of the Wild, Song and Silence, Sword and Fist, and Tome and Blood. Other core materials are the Wheel of Time d20 campaign sourcebook, Oriental Adventures and Arabian Adventures. Arabian Adventures can be downloaded off the internet by clicking here. Epic Level Handbook is not a core option since none of the characters in the campaign have reached epic levels and will not for quite a long time. Books marked with an asterisk contain material that may need additional discussion before I will allow something into the game.
If you don't have access to the 3.5 PH or DMG, you can download the System Reference Document files off of Wizard's website.
This list may be updated from time to time.
If you have an idea from a book that is not found in the list above, you will need to pass the idea by me. Most ideas, character classes, items, prestige classes, feats, etc. from the books referenced above are fine but some are not and will need to be vetted as well.
In keeping with the nature of the campaign setting, you may create any type of character provided that the character is 3.5 D&D legal, is not evil, is not a monster-based race (includes half-orcs but NOT Khajiit or Argonian) and otherwise uses source material detailed above or found on this site. The party currently consists of the following: Half-elven rogue, human barbarian/fighter, human algai'd'siswai/wilder/cleric and human cloistered cleric/church inquisitor. As you can see, some kind of pure fighter or warrior, or other type of muscle is needed, although you are free to create whatever you wish. Players who wish to play psionicists must have been active participants in the Friday game for a minimum of four (real) months before this option becomes available to them.
8. Rate of advancement. XP progression is horribly slow in this campaign, by design. Well, a more accurate statement would be to say that it's not quite as swift as other campaigns you may be used to. The Friday game has been running since October 2003 and although we've had breaks from time to time, characters have only recently reached 9th level. We prefer players who are more concerned with developing characters with rich personal histories and interested in seeing those characters' attitudes and motivations change over a long period of time. Hack and slash and combat are important elements of the game, but are not emphasized as much as other campaigns that you may have participated in elsewhere.
9. Topicality. What is the game about? It's a fairly complex epic storyline of the "save-the-world" variety. I run another game set in the same world, and events/story arcs in this game sometimes affect and are affected by events/story arcs in the other. There are probably many of you who've played in numerous other games that had this type of plot, so it's understandable if you'll pass on this game.
For those of you who ARE interested, you should know that in addition to the plot, the game is grounded in an exploration of certain questions of philosophy, namely, a) what is "the good" and how does it relate to real life?, b) what is "justice" and is political and social freedom necessarily a function of the rule of law?, and c) what is "freedom", how does it relate to free will and causality? These questions are explored throughout the game on a number of levels, and serve to enrich the players' experience outside of the norm.