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Thread: L4W Charter - Read this first!
Monday, 15th December, 2008, 11:32 AM #1
L4W Charter - Read this first!
Living 4th Edition is a community campaign setting where a large number of characters can interact in multiple different adventures, campaigns, and stories. Multiple adventures run simultaneously with their own DM and players. What happens in one adventure can directly affect another adventure, and what happens in all of the adventures affects what is happening in the world.
First, all regular rules for the message boards are in effect. If there is any confusion on this, consult the ENWorld FAQ or email any moderator.
In order to play, you will need to create a character. Once your first character reaches 2nd level, you are allowed to create a second character. When two of your characters have a combined level of at least 6 and are both above level 1 (for example, one at level 4 and one at level 2), you may create a third character. Characters played by the same player may not interact with each other in any meaningful way. They shouldn't ever be in the same place at the same time, and no exchanging items or services with yourself, even through a third party. Only three characters per player are allowed at this time; to make a fourth, one of your first three will have to die or retire. (See the Death and Retirement sections below).
A character is created using the guidelines defined in the Living 4th Edition Character Creation Guide. The details for character creation are contained there, and not on this page. Once your character has been submitted and approved, a link to the approved version of your character sheet will be added to the official Approved Character List.
Once your character is submitted, your character may enter the Hanged Man Tavern. The tavern is for characters in between adventures, and it is the most likely place for a new adventures to begin.
You may enter the tavern and even join adventures (with your DM's approval, of course) before being approved, but you cannot be awarded any experience until your character has two approvals, at least one of which must be from a Senior Reviewer. There is a list of Senior Reviewers at the end of this post.
Once you join an adventure, you are expected to warn your DM if you are unable to post fairly frequently. Exactly how frequently depends on the DM, but most DMs prefer to be told if you cannot post for two or three days or longer. If you do not warn the DM, they may choose to exclude your character from some of the adventure's rewards, or even to dismiss them from the adventure.
When you are awarded enough experience to gain a level, and the adventure from which you earned experience is still in progress, you may level up and play without re-submitting your character. However, when your adventure ends, if you have gained one or more levels during the course of that adventure, you must re-submit your character. The process for submitting your character for approval after leveling up is the same as for the initial character submission: edit your character sheet in the wiki and put a link to your sheet at the bottom of the Approval Requests page, as described in the Character Creation Guide. As with initial submission, you may continue playing before the approval process is complete, but cannot receive any more experience until the level up is approved.
Every time your character gains a level, you can retrain one feat, power, and skill. If new character options have been approved for play in L4W since your character’s last approval of submission or level-up, you may additionally retrain one new feat, power, and class feature (when selectable) from the new source(s).
Once during a character's career, you may do an overhaul of your character. This is a single opportunity in that character’s career to recreate all mechanical aspects of the character except for class, race, and basic character concept. The overhaul must be approved as per the normal rules for character approval, and requires DM permission if the character is involved in an adventure.
A Dungeon Master of some kind is necessary for any adventure, even an extremely short vignette. In order to start an adventure, the DM must request that the current judges in charge of adventure approval approve the adventure. Any adventure needs to submit the following information in order to be approved:
1) Who are the players: This can be a specific list or this can be a description of what kinds of characters are likely to fall in line with this adventure. DMs are strongly encouraged to offer openings to players that not already has a character on an adventure.
2) What is the story: What is the story of the adventure itself? What are the events that lead up to How is victory achieved or defeat met?
3) What is the background: Describe the setting, the people, and the motives that make this adventure.
4) What is the challenge: Specifically, what encounters, skill challenges, and roleplaying challenges will the players encounter? You don't need to completely spell out every encounter, but you should indicate where in the adventure the encounters lie and give a basic description and indicate how difficult they are meant to be. Example: "After defeating the animated waterbed, the PCs must escape the haunted boudoir by fighting their way through a series of trapped corridors while spectral French maids emerge from the walls and pursue them with diseased feather dusters. This encounter will be 2 levels above the PCs level".
5) What are the rewards: What kinds of rewards are there to be found? Fame, money, magic, and experience should all be expressed here. Anything that can be a reward is important for the judges to see. At a minimum, describe which treasure packets and the total amount of experience from encounters that PCs can get.
6) How long is the adventure expected to be? E.g. a long campaign, a medium length adventure, or a short vignette with only a few encounters. DMs new to play-by-post gaming are strongly encouraged to run a few vignettes and short adventures before trying their hand at a longer game.
The things we're looking for in an adventure proposal are basically as follows. First, to make sure that the DM isn't planning anything too unbalancing or destructive, like handing out a bunch of +5 vorpal swords to level 1 characters or having an army of undead dragons invade Daunton. Second, to make sure the judges have enough information about the adventure that if the DM were to suddenly disappear, a judge or substitute DM can step in and finish the adventure. Third, to make sure that any new setting details or NPCs you introduce are compatible with the rest of the living world's setting.
Submitting an adventure proposal does not mean that a DM can't improvise. No plan survives contact with the enemy, and no adventure outline survives unchanged once the players start posting. DMs are expected to use their judgement and adapt to player actions throughout the course of an adventure, and there is no need to re-submit if a DM changes plans in response to players.
DMs are not as limited as players in terms of what sources they may use. Feel free to use monsters from non-approved sources, or custom monsters, as long as they fall within the DMG's guidelines for customizing monsters. When in doubt, consult a judge. The exception is items; if you intend to have items in your game that might possibly fall into the players' hands, they should either be from approved sources or you should clear them with a judge first.
When an adventure is approved, then the DM can begin recruiting if necessary. The Hanged Man Tavern is the usual place to go to find a party of adventurers, though the DM may arrange a different beginning by discussing it out of character in the discussion thread. The DM need not take all comers, they may choose as they see fit from among the characters who express interest. As mentioned previously, DMs are strongly encouraged to offer openings to players that not already has a character on an adventure.
After the adventuring party is formed, the DM needs to find a judge that is not playing in that adventure to watch the adventure. This judge has the responsibility to step in if the DM disappears, and can override the DM if necessary. (This should be very rare, and would only happen in response to abuse by the DM.)
After the adventure is completed, the DM will give final awards for experience and treasures, and resolve how the PCs leave the adventure if it is site based. If there is an option for a continued adventure, it is important to plan for some players to be able to leave and for new members to join a group, because this is the nature of the forum.
Feel free to check out this wiki page for more info Adventure Submission - Wikia
Experience and Gold
To help compensate for the slow nature of play-by-post games, characters earn extra experience in two ways.
First, all normal XP awards (for defeating monsters, succeeding at skill challenges, and completing quests) are doubled. This means that treasure from treasure parcels should be awarded at double the normal rate as well, since it now takes only 4-5 encounters to gain a level instead of 8-10.
Second, characters earn experience simply for participating in an adventure. The amount is calculated so that it would take 12 calendar months for a player to advance a level solely by time XP. To prevent characters who advance using this XP from falling behind the amount of treasure they should have at their level, they also gain gold when time XP is awarded (12 months of time gold equals a 1/5 share of all ten treasure parcels for the given level).
Thus, "Values are per month spent adventuring at the given level."
Old Time Amounts
- 1st level characters: 167 xp and 126 gp.
- 2nd level characters: 209 xp and 178 gp.
- 3rd level characters: 250 xp and 254 gp.
- 4th level characters: 292 xp and 350 gp.
- 5th level characters: 334 xp and 466 gp.
- 6th level characters: 417 xp and 626 gp.
- 7th level characters: 500 xp and 894 gp.
- 8th level characters: 584 xp and 1,266 gp.
- 9th level characters: 667 xp and 1,746 gp.
- 10th level characters: 917 xp and 2,334 gp.
- 11th level characters: 1,000 xp and 3,134 gp.
- 12th level characters: 1,167 xp and 4,467 gp.
- 13th level characters: 1,334 xp and 6,334 gp.
- 14th level characters: 1,667 xp and 8,734 gp.
- 15th level characters: 2,000 xp and 11,667 gp.
- 16th level characters: 2,334 xp and 15,667 gp.
- 17th level characters: 2,667 xp and 22,334 gp.
- 18th level characters: 3,334 xp and 31,667 gp.
- 19th level characters: 4,000 xp and 46,667 gp.
- 20th level characters: 5,334 xp and 58,334 gp.
DMs may choose whether to withhold time XP until the end of an adventure, or award it during the course of an adventure, as they see fit. Time XP during an adventure should only be given for complete calendar months; a 1st level character should not be awarded 8 xp for 3 days of adventuring except at the conclusion of an adventure.
In order to reward DMs for their essential contribution to the community, DMs earn points for the successful completion of an adventure. These points, called DM points, may be redeemed for a month's worth of Time XP for the character of the DM's choice. A DM earns two points per complete calendar month that their adventure covers. Thus, for a successful adventure lasting six months, a DM would earn enough points to exchange for 12 months worth of time xp, which would be one full character level. No points are awarded for partial months; however, a DM will always earn at least two points for completing an adventure even if it lasts less than one month. Points are awarded by the adventure's judge at the conclusion of the adventure.
A DM who abandons an adventure without notification gets no reward for that adventure. If a DM quits an adventure prematurely but gracefully (i.e. handing over material to another DM and helping her out with minor details) she receives full credit up until the point she quits, while the new DM receives credits from that point on in time. If an adventure ends due to player dropout, the DM gets full credit.
As there are some long-running adventures in L4W, the DMs of these can petition the judge to award credits during the course of the adventure, typically at the same time as XP is given to the players.
Multiple adventures running in parallel will all yield DM credits.
Please track all DM credits, earned and used, here
DM Credits Tracking - Wikia
The setting of L4W -- its geography, backstory, NPCs, regions, and so forth -- is described in the setting wiki page, starting with the Transitive Isles. The setting is designed to grow and change over time. This change takes place in four main ways:
First, and most commonly, DMs create new areas, dungeons, organizations, towns, NPCs, and so forth related to the adventures that they run. Since there are many adventures in L4W, and not everyone will read them all, setting elements that DMs create may be forgotten if no one takes the time to transcribe them into the wiki. Judges will want to see an outline for this kind of content in the adventure proposal, and may request changes to help it fit with the existing world better.
Second, people can propose new setting elements by starting a thread in the forum to discuss them. If, for example, you wanted to create an international league of thieves' guilds, you could start a thread with a description of the league to discuss the idea. If a consensus forms that this is a good idea, then you can add it to the wiki, and it becomes a permanent part of the world. (Note that there is nothing stopping you from just adding it to the wiki in the first place, but for setting elements that are likely to affect a number of players and games, it is considered polite to have a discussion on it first.)
Third, players create setting details as part of their characters' backstories. Since there are many characters in L4W, and it's not possible to check everyone's backstory all the time, if you write content into your character's backstory that you want to be a persistent part of the shared world, it would be a good idea to edit that information into the setting wiki. Also, DMs are encouraged to look at players' backstories and, with permission from the player, include that content in their adventures. Judges will read these backstories at character approval time, and will ask for changes if it doesn't fit.
Fourth, time. The Transitive Isles is based on the concept of small clusters of islands drifting in an ever-changing sea. Sometimes entire islands just disappear and are never seen again, and sometimes, thick gray fog covers part of an island for a time, and when it passes by, things have changed. In metagame terms, there is an explanation built in if we have conflicts in the setting, or if setting elements are forgotten. We'd prefer to keep the world fairly stable, but we also want the ability to wipe parts of the slate clean if needed.
Game mechanics and approved sources
At the time of this writing, the games in this world are run using 4th Edition D&D rules as described in the list of sources here. Characters may be created, leveled up, and retrained using these approved sources. Note that potentially problematic items can be proposed for exclusion.
Changing the rules: proposing new sources and mechanics
Any player may propose that the rules be changed, or that new source material be allowed. To do so, the player should create a new thread in the forum with a title beginning with "Proposal: ". In the proposal, they should explain what the proposed change to the rules is, and why they feel that the change is needed. The judges, after allowing time for refinement and discussion of the proposal, will vote by indicating YES or NO in a post in that thread. (Judges may also mail their votes to email@example.com, in which case another judge should post the vote to the thread on their behalf.) In order to pass, a proposal must receive at least three YES votes, and the YES votes must outnumber the NO votes by at least two. When that condition has been met for 48 hours, the proposal passes and becomes part of the official rules. If a proposal receives at least 3 NO votes, and NO votes outnumber YES votes by at least two for a period of 48 hours, the proposal fails and the matter is closed.
It is possible that a proposal will neither pass nor be officially closed. Example: A proposal may gain 4 yes votes and 3 no votes and attract no further votes. In such a circumstance, the proposal has not passed and does not become a rule barring a change in circumstances.
A proposal that fails may be proposed again, but not before one month has passed since it failed. Players may also propose to repeal a passed proposal after at least one month has passed.
A judge cannot vote in his or her own proposals.
Proposals to include new rules content may be made either for specific rules or articles (e.g. "I propose that the text of Magic Missile be amended thusly...", or "I propose that we adopt the rules in the article 'Pimp my Halfling' in Dragon #666"), or for entire sources ("I propose that the Adventurer's Vault be made an approved source"). No published sources will be considered until they have been available to the public for at least one month. This is to allow the D&D community at large an opportunity for discussion and playtesting.
In a world where brave adventurers fight against monsters, death can be all too common. Fortunately for adventurers, death can be easily reversed, for the right price. Hadeys (or Lauto, as He is known in some places), god of death and merchants, is permissive of resurrection. An individual whose unfulfilled destiny is strong enough for them to pull free from the numbing embrace of the underworld is free to go... provided they play his price. That price is, of course, the cost of the Raise Dead ritual: 500g up to level 10, 5000g for 11-20, and 50000g at level 21 or higher. He even allows others beside his priests to intercede on behalf of the dead provided they observe the proper formalities (perform the raise dead ritual) and pay his price; he's a reasonable god and won't turn down a deal, especially a deal that benefits him.
His temple on Daunton will even loan the character the money required for them to return to fulfill their destiny; though their interest rates can be quite exorbitant, and their collectors... enthusiastic.
On the other hand, players may allow their characters to pass on to the underworld. If you do not wish your character to be resurrected, leave the character sheet intact, but preface it with a note that the character is dead, and at what level that happened.
A permanently dead character obviously does not count against the number of PCs a player can have. If a character of 2nd level or higher has been killed, the player can mark him as permanently dead, and replace him with a character of a level higher than 1st. This works the same way as retiring such a character. (See below.)
Not every adventurer stays one until his death. Some may want to retire before meeting an untimely end, or because they feel they achieved their goals and have no reason to further embark on quests. As such, a player may decide to retire one of his characters, possibly to make room for a new one, since the number of PCs a player may have is limited.
Retirement is permanent. You cannot choose to return from retirement.
When you decide to retire a character, keep the character sheet intact, but preface it with a note that the character has been retired, and at what level that has happened.
You have two options when replacing a character:
A) Create the new character at the same level as the old character. It will start with the following wealth, based its level:
- Level 1: 100 gp
- Level 2: 780 gp
- Level 3: 1750 gp
- Level 4+: full starting wealth as outlined in the DMG on page 143
It is permitted to recreate the "same" character with different mechanics, in order to change the character in ways beyond what the one-time overhaul allows. (For instance, turning a wizard into a sorceror, or an orc into a half-orc.) This can be accompanied by an explanation in-game (such as revealing that the orc has a hidden human parent) or considered a ret-con (such as declaring that the wizard was always a sorceror, and building him as a wizard in the first place was a mistake).
If you wish, you can mark your retired PC as public, effectively turning him into an NPC that DMs can use in their adventures, and possibly develop further. (You should not do this if you recreate the same character, of course.)
The retirement rule is intended to give players a way of gracefully escaping from characters they are tired of, or that aren't as much fun as they had hoped, or who have accomplished their character goals, or were not built in a way that truly reflects the player's conception. It is not a license to continually optimize the same character, get out of permanent conditions for free, or choose better items for the same character. Players who abuse this rule may find themselves warned by the judges, or their replacement characters may be denied approval. When in doubt, ask a judge.
The current judges are covaithe, garyh, Lord Sessadore, Ozymandias79, TwoHeadsBarking, renau1g, H.M. Gimlord, Iron Sky, and Luinnar. Former judges who are now inactive include Atanatotatos, Halford, JoeNotCharles, Dunamin, ScorpiusRisk, Kalidrev, and Graf. covaithe is in charge of moderating, including the moving, closing, and deleting of threads. The judges can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order to volunteer be a judge, you must already be participating in L4E and should have a good standing as a consistent and reliable player or DM. This means that judges should be people that frequent the forums. If you want to volunteer to help with any specific functions, such as character approval, ask the judges and we will probably find a way to use you.
All judges are senior reviewers. Additionally, these people are also senior reviewers: Mewness, CaBaNa, Karlowitch, Son of Meepo, WEContact, Dekana.
Living 4th Edition Wiki Main Page
Character Creation Guide
Character Listing Page
The Hanged Man Inn
Pantheon of Deities
L4W:Adventure Index - ENWiki
Important Email Addresses
Any questions should be directed to the judges at email@example.com.
Last edited by L4W Facilitator; Sunday, 22nd April, 2012 at 06:41 AM. Reason: changed character approval process
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