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    [OOC] Pool of Radiance

    Free New Phlan!

    The New Phlan City Council is leading the fight to free their captive city. Heroes are retaking the city block by block from the evil hordes.

    Riches & Fame!

    The council is looking for soldiers and rogues, mages and clerics, heroes of all kinds, to come to New Phlan. The wealth and land of an ancient city await those willing to reach out and take it.


    Legends will be written about the heroic struggle to free New Phlan! Ships to New Phlan depart twice monthly. When you arrive, see the New Phlan City Council for the latest news and information.

    Make your Fortune in New Phlan!

    The year is 1348 DR.

    Young adventurers journey to the ancient trading outpost on the north shore of the Moonsea, situated in the river mouth of the Stojanow, in search for riches, fame and glory. The ruined city, destroyed by a horde of savage humanoids led into battle by a flight of dragons half a century ago, is about to be rebuilt once more. Before this can happen, however, Phlan must be retaken; many of the horde had settled in the ruins since then.

    I'm starting a new D&D3.5 PbP campaign based on the AD&D adventure campaign 'Ruins of Adventure' (which tells the story of the CRPG 'Pool of Radiance', the first in the 'gold box series' from 1988). I will use the adventure book as a guideline for the story mostly.

    The game will be mission-driven, but you will have several missions to choose from and while the story will unfold itself in and around Phlan, the players will have quite a bit of freedom in what they are going to do there. While the campaign itself naturally is quite battle-centered, and there will be frequent and challenging battles (with a battle map like this; the map is created by a javascript, so js must be activated to view it), I generally try to aim for a decent mix with roleplaying opportunities and other encounters. However, the players usually have the choice how they want to approach an encounter. Please note, that not every encounter will be a suitable combat challenge, but there will always be a way out, if you can find it. I'm never aiming for a TPK, but I will not fudge the dice either.

    I'm looking for a total of five players, who will take on the roles of young adventurers out to prove themselves, or whatever other reason brings them to New Phlan. I will not choose players on a first come first serve basis, but rather decide arbitrarily or randomly to give everyone a fair chance, despite different time zones, etc.

    There are a few requirements, which I hope you all will be able to fulfill.

    First, I would like to see at the very least one post every other day, but more than that is certainly better. This does not mean, that I will kick you out after two days, but rather, that I want to see an overall steady posting rate and that everyone involved shows some commitment. I'm sure you all understand how important that is to keep things running. It would also be nice, if you would inform us about any lenghty (a week or more) periods of absence (holidays and so on), so we won't be waiting for you in that time and can move things along.

    Second, I want you to use decent punctuation, grammar, and so on. I will certainly not give you an XP penalty for typos, but I want the posts to be readable. Likewise, the language does not need to be perfect (I'm not a native english speaker myself), but understandable.

    Third, I would prefer players who do not blindly follow the trail, but also use their own inspiration and imagination sometimes. That means among other things, that you should not only wait for me to post something for you to reply to, but also reply to the other players or even start something on your own. I will try, if you provide me with some plot hooks, to incorporate them (I can't promise that, since some stuff simply won't work, but I will try). I'm certainly aware, that occasionally there simply is nothing to say, and that's cool. It's just a general principle.

    Fourth, it is certainly helpful, but not absolutely required, that you are familiar with the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. Of course, you should not be familiar with the Ruins of Adventure campaign or the story from the Pool of Radiance computer game (not the more recent one, there are two, this one is from 1988), which it is based on.

    Fifth, if you could provide me with a picture/portrait of your character (but please no manga/anime!), that would be great. I will use that for the battle maps then.

    There are a also few options concerning character creation, which I would like to hear your input about before deciding which route to take. These options will not be individual to each player, but rather be determined upon as general rules for this campaign. Please include your preferance to the following options in your reply (a simple yes or no will be sufficient for each option, but feel free to explain your opinion, if you want to). If you feel strongly about a particular option (i.e. you wouldn't want to play the other way), please include this as well. Thank you!

    Both of the following options are being used!

    Option 1)

    Character sheets could be secret. Every player will get a password protected access to his or her character sheet, which noone else (except me, of course) should be able to look into. I will keep them up to date, then. Your character submission will be sent to me via e-mail (I will provide you with an e-mail address, if it becomes necessary) and not be posted on this site (or anywhere else for that matter).

    The advantage of this option would be, that there would be more emphasis on the in character descriptions of your character, since that's all there is. It would require, that you use these descriptions to play up certain characteristics of your character to give everyone a good idea of what your character represents.

    Option 2)

    Gestalt characters! Under this option, the player characters (and only the player characters, and maybe very few important NPCs) would be using the Gestalt rules found in Unearthed Arcana. Under this option, there would be no multiclassing at all, which also means no prestige classes, naturally; you simply pick two base classes and that's it for the lifetime of your character. (*) Furthermore, each character could have only one full spellcasting class (defined as a class that reaches 9th level spells at some point over 20 levels).

    (*) This part has changed to the following:
    - LA replaces the full Gestalt progression for one level, but you can buy it off later (per UA rules (UA pg. 18)).
    - Racial HD are figured in just like classes (they fill the lowest levels of one side of the Gestalt).
    - One PrC can be chosen, but it will likewise replace the full Gestalt progression. In some cases (let me know in advance, if you plan for a PrC, so I can look it up) I will have to add a minimum ECL requirement to enter the class, or even add additional prerequisites. Most PrC should not be a problem, since they have some prerequisites based directly on the character level, anyways (BAB, skill ranks, spell levels, etc), but others do this by using certain class abilities from multiple classes, which under the Gestalt rules would be easier to obtain than it should be.
    - No other form of multiclassing is permitted. You can switch between your Gestalt progression (the two initial classes) and the PrC freely, however.

    Alright... now you surely want to know a few more details.

    Character Creation
    Disclaimer: I don't mind powerful characters, but I do not want to see pure power gaming abominations with no 'character' at all. You don't have to base all the decisions for your character creation on the background you have in mind, but it should be possible to connect the character's stats with the character's background.

    Note: For now, I do not want character sheets or any extensive details (in case we are going to use Option 1)), but only some very basic information, including Race, Class(es) and a short Background Synopsis for your character. A general classification (i.e. warrior-type, melee-oriented; or arcane spellcaster) is totally acceptable for now. More details, like a full character sheet and directions where you are heading towards (i.e. which prestige class, if any, unless we are going to use Option 2), of course), later when it's clear who is going to play and what options we are going to use.

    Allowed Sources: All three 3.5 Core Books (or SRD), PHB2, the Complete series, the Races series, the Player's Guide to Faerűn and all referenced material therein is generally acceptable (I do reserve the right to veto some particular material, like Ur-Priests or Frenzied Berserkers, but in most cases material from these sources is ok). Each of those in the most current version according to the errata or FAQ/RotG. I will also allow other WotC sources (i.e. Unearthed Arcana), as long as I have them, on a case by case basis. I will generally not allow any 3rd party sources or psionics.

    Starting ECL: 2nd level. Expect to see this raise quite a bit during the campaign. I'll be quite free-giving with XP.

    Alignment: Any nonevil. This restriction is also active during the game. While you are not prevented from performing actions, classified as evil, you should not overdo it.

    Races/Classes: All races up to +1 LA (no or not too many racial HD) and base classes from the above-listed books, except the oriental ones (although I might make an exception there for a completely oriental-flavored character from the east of Faerűn, but I generally prefer non-oriental characters). Typical races, i.e. from the PHB/FRCS are generally preferred and should make up the majority of the party.

    Ability Scores: 28 PB with six randomly determined abilities being raised by +1 after the PB points are distributed. A single ability can be raised multiple times this way; when this raises an ability beyond 18, the first, third, and/or fifth increase, that raises an ability beyond 18, can (and must) be relocated to any other ability score as you like, but the second, fourth, and/or sixth raise is lost. Also see the house rule on raising ability scores during level up.

    Hit Points: Maximum for the first two levels; standard HD roll thereafter with a minimum of HD/2 for each roll. This also applies to animal companions and special mounts.

    Starting Money: 600 gp, no regional equipment.

    Various: No templates, no spellfire, no spiked chains.

    House Rules
    I will use a number of house rules, most of them are small fixes or additions to a few rules I simply don't like. This is not a complete list and there might be some new house rules coming up during the game (in particular to prevent rules abuse), however, I will always ask for your consense before adding a new house rule and won't ever do so right within a situation where it would be a disadvantage to you (other than preventing abuse). I'm sure this won't happen a lot, and surely a lot less if you don't even try to abuse any rules.

    * Spell Focus grants +2 to the DC, Greater Spell Focus is not available.
    * Some spells with a duration of 1 min./level have 10 min./level instead. Bull's Strength, Cat's Grace, etc, Invisibility, Fly and Polymorph. Furthermore Polymorph is a personal range spell and the material component is replaced with a focus component; the focus is some part of the creature you want to polymorph into. Alter Self, and all spells based on it, grants the natural perceptions of the chosen form, which includes low-light vision, darkvision, scent and in some cases also other natural forms of perception, like a bat's blindsense, but never blindsight or tremorsense. Righteous Might grants full size changes as if the caster was a monster advancing in size along with the reduced damage reduction as per the errata.
    * Detect Magic and Arcane Sight count as interacting with an illusion; when detecting one, an immediate, secret Will save will determine, whether the caster is able to read the correct school, on a failed save an appropriate but false reading will be obtained, the specifics of which are determined by the creator of the illusion at the time it is created.
    * Half-Orcs (and Orcs) have a +4 racial bonus on Intimidate and are proficient with all simple weapons and one martial weapon of choice.
    * Half-Elves gain +1 bonus skill point per level just like humans.
    * Sorcerers gain Eschew Materials as a bonus feat at 1st level and have 4 skill points per level with Diplomacy, Intimidate, Knowledge (the planes) and Use Magic Device as additional class skills.
    * Wizards pay only 10 gp per page (instead of 100 gp) to scribe spells into their spellbooks.
    * Rogues and other characters with the trapfinding ability can spot traps during movement, just like elves can detect secret doors. There is no penalty to the Search check for careful movement (half move), but a -5 for full movement and a -20 penalty for running.
    * Rangers calculate their effective druid level to determine their animal companion's bonus abilities by reducing their ranger level by three, instead of dividing it by two.
    * Rangers get their favored enemy bonus on Knowledge checks to identify mosters, which are their favored enemies, and their special powers or vulnerabilities. In addition, they can treat these Knowledge checks as trained, even if they do not have ranks in the relevant skill.
    * Every 4th level, when the character can increase an ability score, he or she gains 4 points instead, which are spent on the base abilities (without racial or magical increases figured in) just like Point Buy during character creation. The cost to raise an ability to 19+ this way is 4 points for each increase. Points not spent are wasted.
    * Item creation with Brew Potion and Scribe Scroll is faster than usual. A number of identical potions with a combined value of at most 1,000 gp can be brewed in one day, and a single scroll with up to six spells on it can be created as a single item with the creation time based on the combined value of the scroll.
    * If there is no target given for Dodge, the first opponent, that the character is aware of, who is attacking him or her, will be chosen as the target automatically.
    * Cleave does not work on an attack of opportunity.
    * Maximize Spell-Like Ability has a prerequisite of caster level 8th or higher and the maximum spell level equivalent is figured accordingly (i.e. 1/2 caster level - 3).
    * A prone creature can spend a move action to be able to perform a prone 5-ft. step, which works just like a regular 5-ft. step, including the limit of one such step per round, with the only exception, that the creature stays prone.
    * Range penalties only apply after exceeding the range increment.
    * Players will not be informed about the exact damage taken during combat. Instead a more general status (see the list below) will be given and the descriptions in the combat resolution post will hint at the severity of an attack. It's not immediately obvious, whether a creature is dead, therefore it might still be shown as dying.
    unscathed: full HP
    scratched: 91%-99% HP
    lightly wounded: 76%-90% HP
    moderately wounded: 51%-75% HP
    severely wounded: 26%-50% HP
    critically wounded: 1%-25% HP
    disabled: 0 HP
    dying: -1 bis -9 HP
    dead: -10 HP
    * A creature that is severely wounded counts as fatigued, a creature that is critically wounded or disabled counts as exhausted, with the appropriate penalties. These conditions stack as normal, but they cannot be removed by normal means or rest, only healing the wounds, which raises the wound condition to a higher level, can do so and then the associated fatigue level is immediately gone as well.
    * The XP loss for losing a level is figured differently; it is a fixed amount based on your current level, specifically (ECL-1) times 1,000 XP, i.e. the amount you had to earn to advance from the last level to the current level.

    Posting Guidelines
    There will be five threads for this game, which you will frequently use. I will include a 'thread navigation' (collection of links) in the first post of every thread.

    [IC] - The game thread, where all the in character action takes place. Please post the name of your character (only the name) in the 'Title:' line of every post. Use ôcolored text in quotationsö or ôcolored italic text in quotationsö (I will use italics, but you don't need to) for speaking (pick a color you like, which is not too painful to read) and italics for thoughts (thoughts should only be used sparingly), with everything else in standard text. As the story unfolds as we go, I'd prefer that present tense be used, unless speaking of past happenings, of course (sometimes, if a player hasn't posted for a while, it might make sense to recap what his or her character did during that time, in which case past tense would be appropriate). I will sometimes post spoilers for specific characters only, to provide information that only this (or these) character(s) have, I will not overuse this feature. No OOC-comments in the IC-thread, please; I will sometimes post some OOC-information there (i.e. a status report after each round of combat) in small silver text, but that is all, for anything else use the OOC-thread (there is an edit button, if you post in the wrong thread accidentally). When the game moves into combat rounds, you will not post in the IC-thread at all (see [COMBAT]); I will post a combat resolution post for every combat round. Once combat is over, everyone continues to post in the IC-thread as usual.

    [OOC] - Post all the OOC-comments here, even quick ones. Please abstain from posting any OOC-comments in the IC-thread.

    [COMBAT] - This is a special thread for combat declarations. Whenever the game moves into combat rounds, I will put up a link to it. In this thread, instead of the IC-thread, you can then describe your actions for the next round. Your combat declaration should include a visual description (like an IC-post) of the action, which I can copy over to the combat resolution post in the IC-thread, probably with some modifications to put it into context. Since I will roll all dice when the combat round gets resolved, you should not include the result of your actions in the description, if it depends on a dice roll, which you cannot know about at that point. Furthermore, the post should include what actions your character takes below the description, for example...
    Free Action: Drop bow
    Move Action: Move to <space> and draw sword
    Standard Action: Attack <target>
    Abbreviations (like FA, MA, SA, FRA) can certainly be used.
    In some cases it might be a good idea to give alternate actions depending on certain events, which you are still uncertain about. Please consider the declared actions of your fellow players, when you post yours (you can ignore initiative order in this context, that means, if you see that player #1, whose character is acting after yours, is attacking monster A, then you could also attack monster A, moving into flanking position, for example, for support). This is specifically not considered metagaming (but rather an aid to better be able to cooperate, given that you do not know the outcome of the actions happening before your turn, it's just a fair compensation).
    I prefer combat to go quick, so if possible one combat round per day (at most one round per two days) would be good. If you know, that it is likely you cannot keep up at some point, posting a course of action in advance, which I can use as a guideline then, could work as well. If necessary, I will delay or control your characters to speed things up.

    [INFO] - This thread is read-only for you. I will use it to keep you up to date about various information, background, maps, experience, treasure, mission outlines, and so on. You don't need to worry about finding this thread as I will make links to the various posts wherever they are needed.

    [RG] - The Rogue's Gallery will only contain about the characters what can be seen/is known in character, i.e. appearance and some general description. No statistics will be included. Those will be available on the net for every player, but the sheet will be password protected.

    The Party

    outside Phlan

    • Eliath, moon elf fighter|rogue (HolyMan)
    • Elrohas Nenmacil, sun elf duskblade|cleric (Nac Mac Feegle; NPC)
    • Grynth, orc barbarian|ranger (Tailspinner; NPC)
    • Kylest Soulstone, shield dwarf fighter|scout (hafrogman; NPC)
    • Selvaggio, human druid|ranger (Mista Collins; NPC)
    • Intrepido, Selvaggio's wolf companion
    • Storm, human fighter|ranger (renau1g; NPC)
    • Thunder, human barbarian|favored soul (Branding Opportunity; NPC)

    currently missing...

    • Aylor Creegan, shield dwarf monk|fighter (Bloodweaver1; NPC)
    • Sir Dryw Domiel, half-elf knight|druidic avenger (Mark Chance; NPC)
    • Kordunn Asteroth, gold dwarf paladin|sorcerer (Voadam; NPC)
    • Oog, goblin rogue|warlock (Krug; NPC) - disguised as Elmus, halfling gourmet

    What to do now?
    If you are one of the above players, contact me at my DM-mail account; include some kind of unique identifier (some random word, phrase, number, or whatever you like) in the email and after you sent it, come back to this thread and post that identifier here, so I know for sure the email is from you. Once you have made up your mind about the character you want to play and you are *sure* how you want to distribute the PB points on the abilities, send that distribution to me, I will then roll the six d6 (see above) to increase them and get back to you with the results. At this point, your abilities cannot be changed anymore, so please make sure you got them right before sending them to me. When you have your character finished (stats, background, appearance (a detailed description would be good, including clothing and worn equipment, also some hints at some of the defining traits of your character as appropriate)), send it to the same email address for approval. I prefer plain text over anything else for the format. If you need a template to structure the stats, you can copy&paste the part under 'Statistics' of the below-linked character sheet template and replace/expand as appropriate.

    Feel free to ask any questions that come to mind concerning character creation or the game.

    Here you can see how your character sheet is about going to look like:
    Character Sheet Template
    It's not completely finished, but almost.


    [IC1] Prologue - Setting Sail
    [IC1] First Chapter - Valhingen Graveyard
    [IC1] Second Chapter - Missing Brother (Kuto's Well)
    [IC1] Third Chapter - Reconquest of Sokol Keep
    [IC1] Fourth Chapter - Temple of Bane
    [IC1] Fifth Chapter - The Rescue of Amber (Podol Plaza)
    [IC1] Sixth Chapter - Mantor's Library
    [IC2] Sixth Chapter - Mantor's Library (continued)
    [IC2] Seventh Chapter - Barren River


    [COMBAT] Combat Declarations
    [INFO] Campaign Information
    [RG] Rogues Gallery

    Last edited by Thanee; Thursday, 12th January, 2012 at 02:27 PM.

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