August to November 2023 Rotation
"Dude! My Alchemical Romance bailed on the battle of the bands, which means we're in! Or, we will be once we change our name... Apparently "DICKPUKE" isn't allowed or something..."
Congratulations, your band has been accepted to be a part of the 34th annual Sclipbert B. Bardangle School of Music Battle of the Bands! Your rival band will be there, and you must beat them as well as the other 14 indie bands to rise out on top. What is your band's name? Your rival's band name? What genre of music do you play? What is your stage name, as well as the stage names of your fellow bandmates? What will you do with the prize money (5k gp)?
Classic Array. 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 (before racial increases, feats and level-based ASIs).
Race: Any Race is permissible, as long as they are from the official Wizard Of The Coast published books with the exception of Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos, Eberron: Rising from the Last War and Spelljammer: Adventures in Space.
Alignment: Any Alignment is permissible
Starting Class: Bard
Backgrounds: Any Background is permissible
Starting Level: 3
Multiclass: After 3rd level Bard you can multiclass (So you could be starting as a very weak Bard with an eye on multiclassing)
Anticipated Ending Level: 7
Starting Equipment: As of Level 1
Rotation: Single rotation but with capacity to be over at least 2 rotations if players wish (would need to know within 1st month if want to continuous multi-rotation, or take a break and come back)
1st Session: We’ll use world-building game Microscope to create a timeline of our world together.
2nd Session: We’ll be doing character creation together, using techniques stolen from indie games like Fiasco and Before the Storm to tell the story of how your characters came together, the bonds between them and why they’re adventuring. Depending on how things are going, we might do some diceless roleplay or break out the PHB to make characters.
3rd Session: Action! We’ll start the session in media res with an action scene, probably a Hard fight.
4th Session and beyond: Adventure! Peril! Melodrama! Levelling up!
This is really a “default”, because you can and will overturn or modify it with the decisions you make in Sessions 1 and 2. But, if pressed, here’s what I’d go with:
A simple story with meaningful consequences for the characters and the world
Drama! I’m not averse to a bit of melodrama and camp too!
Plenty of puzzles and environmental challenges in addition to combat. Not every action scene needs to be a fight
Not a lot of downtime (which may mean that certain abilities and proficiencies are more/less useful than normal)
Emergent character development – nobody needs to come to the table with a detailed backstory, it can evolve in play
How I Roll
X-card: I want people to feel comfortable at the table, so I use an X-card. It will always be on the table. If anything during play makes to feel uncomfortable, touch it and we’ll walk things back and do it differently. You don’t have to say why. X-Card.
We all miss sessions – I will cancel sessions for work/family. Let me know if you want to skip a session. We can use the Discord channel for this. Most important session to make is Session 2!
I’m not a genius: I make mistakes and will do things that make accounting easier for me, like average damage for monsters, average difficulties for opposed tests etc.
I don’t have a plan – I’m unlikely to prep anything more than one session ahead. This means that I’ll expect you to give me an idea what you’ll do next at the end of a session!
With some narrative power comes some mechanical responsibility: D&D 5e has a lot for the DM to keep track of. I’ll expect players to read and understand the mechanics for their own characters and keep track of their characters.
I like DnD Beyond and will use it. It’s a great way of sharing characters with me – I’m Ragald on DnDBeyond
Character death is on the table and I won’t be providing plot immunity. Death can be a great moment for drama in a fantasy game. This is pushing my own comfort zone too! If you’re worried, I recommend using that bonus feat for Resilience (Dex, Con or Wis)
Session inspiration: We will use this optional rule from the DMG. I’ll explain how in Session 2, but it’ll be another chance for YOU to reward the kind of play you like
Milestone XP: Don’t worry about counting experience points!
Critical Fumbles: I don’t use them, they just seem to humiliate the players. If you roll a 1, you fail. You don’t stab yourself by accident.
Swapping spells: Spellcasters can swap out one spell known (including cantrips) when they level up.
Comedy names really bug me: I don’t know why, it’s just how I am! Please don’t call your character Paris Camembert or something. Suggest everyone keep this site in their phone browser bookmarks for sessions 1 & 2: Fantasy name generators
Maps and tokens: I’ll use them when you or I think they’re helpful.
Making a Character
Please let me know if you aren’t mechanically confident enough to make your own character or would like some help. I’ll help or ask a player who likes mechanics to help.
I suggest you write down 2 or 3 broad concepts in advance of Session 1. Something like “a daring swordswoman with peerless duelling skills, desperate for fame”. Try to include:
what your character does
what they bring to the group
what they want
Remember that Session 1 & 2 will help solidify them, so leave yourself some “imaginative wiggle room”.
That said, here are my mechanical guidelines:
27 point buy attributes. You can find a calculator on the link below. If in doubt, go for the classic array of 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 (before racial increases, feats and level-based ASIs). Point buy
Everyone gets a FREE bonus feat at 1st level. This is to add spice and make certain builds easier. It also helps players who want to make supposedly “suboptimal” combinations
Level will be between 3 and 5, depending on how many players I get. My intention is to have many of the iconic D&D monsters be a Medium challenge (I’ll do the maths once I know how many players I have and let you know). Suggest you build your character at level 3 because then it’s easy to level them up before Session 3 if neccessary
Races, classes, feats, backgrounds etc are allowed from the following books (except where stated). It is possible that some options will be removed when we decide our world’s “palette” in Session 1
Players Handbook (except variant human – play a regular human with point buy stats and a bonus feat, you won’t regret it!)
Dungeon Master’s Guide
Elemental Evil Player’s Guide (except aaracockra)
Volo’s Guide to Monsters (except yuan-ti pure blood)
Sword Coast Adventurers Guide
No multiclassing, at least for starting characters. D&D 5e goes out of it’s way to make this unnecessary through subclasses (e.g. eldritch knight, divine soul) and feats (e.g. magic initiate, fighting initiate, skilled)
I still use old-school racial ability increases, rather than the new rules from Mordenkainen’s that let people choose their ability score increases.
Assume starting equipment for a 1st level character of your class. We’ll talk about extras in Session 1, depending on the tone we’ve established by then
If you want to be a ranger, let me and the other players know which natural environment and favoured enemy you’re thinking of in Session 1 or 2. It’s important for that class that they get at least some time in their favoured terrain or facing their favoured enemy. Telling us helps us all work them into the story.
Please don’t be afraid to “go obvious”. The half-elf ranger who feels at home in neither world, the stoic dwarf fighter and the dangerously curious human wizard aren’t cliches; they’re archetypes. If you start from a readily-recognised base, I promise your character will evolve in play
5e D&D game for characters starting at level 5
Softly carrying on from Ovion office.
It will be a Circus set up in the town of Corfin. Who have gifted the many delights to the town.
This will be a flexible run game focused on the roleplay.
Aim is to run a game that empowers players.
Props will be used aiding Roleplay relating stuff from time to time.
Coriolis is a Sci-fi game where you play part of a ship’s crew.
What sort of ship depends on what sort of group you are. Are you Free Traders, Mercenaries, Explorers, Agents or Pilgrims.
Which faction are you aligned with or against. Factions include the Consortium, a group of powerful corporations; the Zenithian Hegemony, who are the descendants of the captains family onboard the colony ship the Zenith; the Free League, the union of free traders; the mercenaries of the Legion or Ahlam’s Temple, with its courtesans and philosophers and others.
Your characters and your ship are built in the first session when you decide on your patron. Once that is done you work out who is your Nemesis and why.
For your character profession you can choose things like Agent, Pilot, Soldier, Negotiator or even a fugitive. You can be Human or a Humanitem, a genetically altered human that is looked down on by some people, but perhaps able to breath underwater or work in sub zero temperatures in their shirt sleeves.
Professions are just a starting point for your character as you can then pick up any skills and talents you wish as the game goes on. These can include newly manifested mystical powers like ESP or telekinesis. With enough money your character can get cybernetic implants or bionic sculpts that allow for greater than normal abilities or even extra limbs and wings.
Coriolis uses the Year Zero Engine which mainly uses D6s where a 6 means a success and more sixes means a better success. If you are interested in the game you can pick up a starter set for free from the Free league web store or on DrivethruRPG.
The Keep on the Borderlands is one of the most popular adventure modules ever released, with millions of published copies!
Written by Gary Gygax in 1979, KotB represents the quintessential introduction to Roleplaying and absolutely nailed it first time round.
Players will spend the sessions exploring the Keep and its residents, venturing into the surrounding wilderness and delving into the nearby Caves of Chaos in search of treasure and notoriety.
The Keep is humanity’s stronghold on the borders between law and chaos and will you be the adventurers to clear the way? I plan to run KotB with the modern day ruleset of D&D 1E which was often referred to as the Basic and Expert set.
These have been rewritten as Old School Essentials and act as a fantastic way to experience early D&D and to see the system’s roots. It is a system that focuses more on adventure and dungeon delving with character story typically emergent from the gameplay.
With plenty of opportunities for roleplay in the Keep and interacting with its citizens and fast paced dungeon action in the Caves of Chaos, it strikes a delicate balance that leaves many still in search of an adventure that tops it.