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Thursday, 27th May, 2004, 06:07 AM #1
Novice (Lvl 1)
The Guide to Living EN World - New to Living EN World? READ THIS FIRST!
The Guide to Living EN World (Updated 7/21/06)
I'm totally new to Living EN World. What should I do first?
Read all of post #1 of this thread (you're already here). When you're done with that, you can skip the rest of this thread for now.
How do I create a character and start playing?
Read the rest of this post, then follow the link to the Living EN World Character Thread and read post #1 of that thread.
How do I DM an adventure here?
Read the rest of this post. It tells you how to submit an adventure for approval in Living EN World. Once two judges approve your adventure, post an adventure hook in the current Tavern - City of Orussus, Red Dragon Inn thread.
How do I get a feel for the flavor of Living EN World?
Read the rest of this post, then read the first post of any Red Dragon Inn thread. Want more? Read a few more posts in any Tavern - City of Orussus, Red Dragon Inn thread to see how recruitment works. Still want more flavor? Read a few posts in any of the recent [Adventure] threads.
What if I read everything and still have questions? Where do I turn for help?
Post a question in the General Discussion thread. Don't be afraid to interrupt an ongoing discussion there, it happens all the time.
Now, for the info:
Living EN World 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 FAQ or email any moderator.
In order to get started, a member needs to set their settings on the message board so that an active email address is available to other participants in the game. This can be done by going to the User Control Panel -> Settings -> and then selecting to accept emails from other board members. This is necessary so that relevant emails can be sent to your address readily. Allowing your email address to be made public is important because if your email address is private only, a moderator or admin would need to retrieve the email address and email the user to request if the user would like to receive an email from the individual player or DM. Adventures and characters will not be approved if your email address is not available to the other LEW community members.
In order to play, you will need to create a character. A character is created using the guidelines defined in the Living EN World Character Thread. The details for character creation are contained there, and not on this page. This official thread contains every character, whether approved or not, for Living EN World. Characters that have been approved will be marked as so in the 1st post in the thread, and dated. Characters are also alphabetically linked in this 1st post so that you can easily find any character's statistics. Characters must be re-approved when they level up.
In order to be approved, a character must have all information match the guidelines defined in the thread. Once a character is posted (and you should only use one character per post, and make only one post in the thread per character), email one of the judges associated with the character thread. That judge will reply to this email with any corrections they have once they get the chance. If your character seems to be taking too long to be approved, post in a general discussion thread to see if anyone can help. Approved characters will be dated in the 1st post in the thread, and you will need a recent approval before joining a new adventure.
Each player can have up to three different characters. You can only have 1 character at a given location at a given time. This means that your character cannot interact with another of your own characters. It is also incorrect to indirectly affect your own characters through a medium such as trading with one character in order to transfer an item to your second character. This rule is done both to discourage any form of “cheating” and to encourage players interacting with other players.
Once a character is approved, your character can go to the Red Dragon Inn. This thread is for characters in-between adventures. Both before starting and after completing an adventure, your character can go to the Red Dragon Inn to interact with other characters and form a party. When a new adventure is introduced, the Red Dragon Inn will be the most likely place to find the hook for the adventure. The Red Dragon Inn acts as the primary hub for adventures, though there may be additional taverns added later.
When an adventure begins, your character will both need to be approved to join, and be able to stay with the game. This means that you are required to warn the DM if you will not be posting less than once ever two-three days. If you do not warn the DM, they can penalize your character in any experience rewards for the game. Characters can level up after adventures if they have enough experience. Leveling up during an adventure is up to the DM, and because of approval issues it may not be a good idea depending on the group of players.
Approved characters need to submit for re-approval each time they level up. This is necessary to make sure that a character has the correct information. It may help to keep a back-up copy of your original approved stats.
Please note that the Leadership feat has been limited to reduce the potential for abuse. See the Rules and Mechanics thread for details.
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.
2) What is the background: Describe the setting, the people, and the motives that make this adventure.
3) What is the story: What is the story of the adventure itself? Who are the bad guys? What are they doing? How is victory achieved or defeat met?
4) What is the challenge: Specifically, what are the likely challenges the group will face? What levels of characters are expected for this adventure? What are the encounter levels of any combat that will be encountered? Will challenges be overcome through combat, stealth, skill, or diplomacy?
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.
The judges may ask for detailed descriptions of the above, and it is important to establish whether this is a campaign, an adventure, or a short vignette. Experience in play by post may also be important (a new DM may be discouraged from trying to run a very long adventure more than a DM that has had success before). If there are any questions as to the DM’s reliability, they will be made by the judges (previously abandoning a game will limit the DM to doing a few Vignettes to warm up before taking on a new adventure, for instance).
If an adventure is approved, then the DM can begin recruiting if necessary. The Red Dragon Inn is the place to go to find a party of adventurers. The DM can choose to disallow characters from joining, as they need to. It is their adventure, and they should have the right to decide who can play. After the adventuring party is formed, the DM needs to find a judge that is not playing to watch the adventure. This judge will help the DM where necessary, but most responsibility falls on the DM to run the adventure.
After the group is filled and the adventure thread starts, the DM will need to record all awards information as the thread progresses. After every point where experience should be awarded, the DM needs to email the judge that has offered to watch their game with this information. The judge will keep these notes on experience and treasure, and will use them to award the party at the end of the adventure (or if the adventure ends prematurely). This is done because it is very important that the judges have ready access to the DM’s notes in order to deal with a missing DM or other problem.
Also, while a game is running, the DM needs to keep a post with the interface information and a list of all characters playing in the game. This information should be kept in the Adventure Tracking Thread. This is important, because it allows anyone curious to find the information on the basic parts of an adventure necessary to relate to it, and also gives Judges a list to go to for finding all the characters related to the adventure. Characters that abandon an adventure or leave mid way should be listed, but notation of their condition might need to be added if they are not to receive experience for the adventure past a certain point.
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.
For time spend adventuring, 50XPs will be assigned per level per month, to a maximum of 400 XPs/month for PCs level 8 and above. This modified amount will be effective for XPs assigned after this proposal is accepted, however, PCs adventuring on 05-29-05, 03:03 PM (GMT) will get the higher of the revised amount per this proposal, or 100 XPs/ month. Thus this proposal will not reduce the XPs to be awarded to any current adventurer.
After concluding an adventure, the DM gains 1 DM credit per real-time month spent on the adventure. A DM credit can be used to add a benefit to one of the DM's own player characters. It is up to the player to find a reasonable explanation for this "windfall". Credits spent must be approved by a Judge, either in the General thread or at the end of the adventure thread where he gained the credits. DM credits should be documented similar to XP.
Credits can normally only be spent on a PC that is not on an adventure. Players on an adventure can petition their DM to allow using DM credits but he has no obligation to allow its use. Even if he allows it, he may limit spending as he sees fit. Also, spending must still be approved by a judge (see above).
DM credits spent will net a PC:
Experience points - the PC gains 50 XP per ECL per DM credit spent. If applied to a new character, you can start that character at a higher level with all benefits (ie more starting treasure, use a LA race/template and so on).
Money - the PC gains 50 GP per ECL per DM credit
Craft points - the PC gains 25 CP per ECL per DM credit
Rewards are limited to ECL 8, meaning that you can never gain more than 400XP, 400 GP or 200 CP by one DM credit.
A DM which 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 LEW, 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.
Adventures running in parallel will all yield DM credits.
Implementation: This applies to currently running adventures as well as new ones, but time spent is only counted as the time after January 1st 2006.
The world of LEW is changing as it grows. There are three different areas of world building that LEW is concerned with. The small scale is left mostly in the hands of the individual DM, and consists of NPCs, small groups, minor sites such as those related to a specific adventure, and the effects of an adventure on articles contained therein. The second tier is the interface between an adventure and the rest of the world including other adventures and the interaction of all things that take place in the world. The third tier is the meta-tier, related mostly to the game itself, but not the story.
The creator decides the difference between 1st tier and 2nd tier content in what they create. As an interactive part of the setting a DM or player needs to decide which parts of his content is available for others to “interface” with. Information that is considered to be available for any other character or DM to interact with is called “PUBLIC” while information that cannot be affected by anyone without judge approval is called “PRIVATE.” Here is how you define what is PUBLIC and PRIVATE:
Information in a characters BACKGROUND is considered PRIVATE unless the player of the character chooses to declare it PUBLIC by stating so. PRIVATE information in a BACKGROUND is to be read, but not touched. You cannot change the private information in another characters entry, and you cannot use it to springboard an idea. So, in a PRIVATE entry, if a character is chasing after someone because they murdered their brother, a DM does not have permission to create that murderer and have them interact with the character. However, the DM can always request that a PRIVATE entry be made PUBLIC for the extent of an adventure by emailing the content’s creator. Any DM could use PUBLIC entries, as they feel necessary. In other words, if a DM sees a public entry, they can choose to interact with it however they want, just so long as they don’t change the public information. So if the murder note above was declared public, any DM NPC could choose to know the murderer or to know them personally, or even to have a similar relationship with this created NPC (thus leading into a possible adventure).
Inside of a game thread, all information is considered PRIVATE until a DM decides to set up an interface. Interfaces can be sites, NPCs, or anything else that the DM would enjoy having interaction with. To declare an interface, the DM needs to post the relevant information for the interface in the first post of the thread. For instance, if a DM declared an Interface for “the ruins outside Ignussus & the three keys to the demon's heart which were lost to time, which the players in this game are looking for” then another DM can put that information into their active adventure by having their group find one key, and seek to bring it to the other adventure. Interfaces are only important while an adventure is running, however, because a completed adventure leaves everything behind as PUBLIC content. A completed adventures location, surviving NPCs, left over treasure, and anything else is available to other DMs to use in their own adventures. Incomplete adventures are ripe pickings for a new hook.
All other content that takes place outside of character interaction (such as deities and legends) is considered PUBLIC by default. Anyone can interact with these hooks as they are created. This sort of world building requires special approval though; any content that wishes to be added to the world building, as a whole needs to be approved. In order to get non-adventure related world building material approved, the content must be proposed in it’s own thread. Once proposed, it will be added to the list of unapproved content, and will be examined by the judges in charge of approving non-mechanics related content.
Third tier content, such as mechanics, is a special variety. There are strict rules about what can be proposed through this. First of all, the content must be Open Game Content or be an original creation. You cannot propose published material that is not OGC, because we cannot accept it into our setting. If a proposed prestige class, race, monster, magic item property, etc. is OGC or homebrewed, it is entitled its thread will be viewed by the judges in charge of approving mechanics related material. The judges that approve this material will examine it, and comment. Once a particular item is brought up for vote, YES votes need to exceed NO votes by at least 2 to pass, with a minimum of 3 YES votes. If NO votes exceed YES votes by at least 2, with a minimum of 3 NO votes, the matter is closed. Voting will remain open until either of these conditions has been met for a continuous period of 48 hours, at which point the decision becomes official.
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 judge cannot vote in his or her own proposals.
What happens with dead PCs?
In a world where brave adventurers fight against monsters, death can be all too common. Many accept this as their destiny, as priests powerful enough to return a deceased one to the world of the living are rare, and even the good-aligned ones are not always willing to perform that task.
One method is certain to bring back someone killed, which is sometimes referred to as "the northbound path".
It is considered common knowledge (DC 5 intelligence check) that there is a temple of Hyrag in the Godspires district of the City of Sanctus near the northernmost post of En World where even the most powerful resurrection magic can be performed by a sufficiently powerful priest. The costs to perform such a spell are expensive (the same as the cost listed in the SRD), and the material components can be purchased on site for their normal value. There may very well be other temples capable of performing this feat, but none of them speak publicly about these services. The temple of Hyrag is glad to perform this service for anyone of any alignment, but absolutely never discounts the cost, even for a priest of Hyrag.
People who would be unwilling to be resurrected usually state so to their companions, saying that they wish to "travel south" without interruption. Others carry tokens often associated with that desire.
When your character dies, and he either cannot be resurrected or would not want to be resurrected, leave the character sheet intact, but preface it with a note that the character is dead, and at what level that has happened.
A permanently dead character obviously does not count against the number of PCs a player can have. If a character of 4th 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, except that the new character starts two levels lower.
What happens with retiring PCs?
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. If you decide to retire a character of 3rd level or higher, you may start a new character at a higher level than 1st. If you do so, add a link to the post of the new character.
The new character starts one levels lower than the retired one, and has the appropriate starting wealth for that level. However, the character may not buy items that cost more than 1/5 of his starting wealth, with the exception of equipment found in the PHB (the Equipment file of the SRD) and potions (in the Magic Items IV file of the SRD).
For example, a new character started at 2nd level has a starting wealth of 900 gp. He may not buy items that would cost more than 180 gps.
Retiring a character this way opens up the possibility of playing a character of an available race with more than one Racial Hit Die and/or a Level Adjustment of +1 or higher. Note that both Racial Hit Dice and Level Adjustment apply to effective character level, and that the effective character level must be used rather than just the level of the character. For example, to create a gnoll ranger of 1st level, you would have to retire a 5th-level character, as the gnoll ranger has an effective character level of 4 (2 racial hit dice, +1 level adjustment, 1 ranger level).
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 may also retire two characters at once. If you do, add their experience and calculate level, then drop the level by 1, to a maximum of the highest-level character retired this way. Start with minimum XP for that level.
The standing judges are B4cchus, Boddynock, Bront, covaithe, Erekose13, Manzanita, orsal, Patlin, Rae ArdGaoth, and Trouvere. orsal is in charge of the character records. Knight Otu has volunteered as a story coordinator. Bront is in charge of moderating, including the moving, closing, and deleting of threads. All of the listed judges have also volunteered for the proposal committee, which approves proposed content.
In order to be a judge, you must already be participating in LEW 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, ask the judges first: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Bront20@gmail.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, erekose13 at hotmail dot com, email@example.com, orsal[MENTION=98025]Mai[/MENTION]l.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Rae.ArdGaoth@gmail.com, email@example.com.
Living ENWorld Wiki at BluWiki
Character Tracking and Interface Thread
Red Dragon Inn
Red Dragon Inn Trading Post
Pantheon of Deities and Demigods
Former Guide to LEW
Important Email Addresses
Character Approval Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, orsal[MENTION=98025]Mai[/MENTION]l.com, Rae.ArdGaoth@gmail.com AND email@example.com
Any Game Mechanics or Character Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org, AND email@example.com
Adventure approval requests must be sent to all of the following: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Bront20@gmail.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, erekose13 at hotmail dot com, email@example.com, orsal[MENTION=98025]Mai[/MENTION]l.com, firstname.lastname@example.org AND email@example.com
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