Curse of Strahd
Instead of giving you my blurb for Curse of Strahd, I will let you read it here.
First off, PCs will start at 1st level.
Second, as we are using published material, I have decided to keep PC creation guidelines simple. Players have 2 options.
Option 1: Players can use Adventurers League guidelines. Players that choose this option will be provided with AL logsheet information when their character finishes/leaves the campaign. AL Legal PC creation guidelines can be found here.
Option 2: Players have access to expanded material for PC creation. You would use the AL guidelines to create the PC, but you would also have access to options from the list below. Players that choose this option will not be provided with AL logsheets for their PC.
- Death Domain (DMG pg 96)
- Oathbreaker Paladin (DMG 97)
- Eladrin Subrace (pg 286)
- Aasimar Race (pg 287)
- Unearthed Arcana playtest material (apart from Eberron, psionics, and the Favored Soul) which can be found here. Please note that players should review chosen options with the GM prior to play
* Favored Soul Sorcerer Path
Lastly, I would encourage you to think about background features. If you are not sure if a feature will be usable, please ask me during PC creation. (As an example: I do not see PCs getting any usage from the Retainers feature of the Noble Knight variant.) Also, if you take the Haunted One background, be sure to use the updated version found here.
Rebuilding follows AL rules with the following exceptions:
- You can change your build option when rebuilding
- If you wish to rebuild to an Option 2 PC, you must do so prior to 4th level
- If you choose Option 2, and you wish to rebuild, you must do so before reaching 4th level
Over almost two decades of GMing, I have learned that a D&D campaign is a cooperative effort both on the part of all the players as well as the DM. Because of this, I like to share, as early as possible, information about how I run a game so that players can be aware of my thought process ahead of time.
When DMing, I try to be reasonable while following the RAW (with the exceptions below). I do this as I feel predictability & constancy with the rules is a benefit to players as they know what to expect which lets them plan ahead. So, please feel free to ask for clarifications sooner rather than later. I am happy to answer questions as I want the game to be as successful as you do.
- Electronics at the table: Please avoid excessive smart phone & tablet use during the game. Playing other games and engaging in other conversations is rude to the rest of the table. It also wastes time as the group will have to stop what they are doing to explain to you what you missed. (This is true even when your PC is ‘absent’ as the group loses the option to say, “we tell him what we learned.”) Using a device or computer for books, character sheet, dice, or anything related to the game is perfectly acceptable.
- Assumptions are not my fault: If your PC makes an action based on an assumption, that’s too bad. Years ago, I stopped listening to, “But if I knew…” and the many variations of that statement. If you are not sure, ask a question. If you honestly feel that I made the mistake, make a note of it, and bring it up after the session. We’ll figure something out then. Otherwise, we will continue with play with the action having occurred. That said, I do not believe a GM should withhold information that a PC would have simply because the player did not “ask the right question”. I will always try to inform you of facts your PC would know. However, as I am human and just as prone to errors as the rest of the human race, you should always feel free to ask questions as I am always happy to answer.
- Replay is undesirable: I believe that replaying takes away from the table, especially in a game focused on investigation, mystery, and exploration. To that end, I have decided not to sit players who have previously read or played this module. As I know many players have played Death House, I have decided to re-write that portion of the story so as to avoid any issues.
- Meta-gaming: During combat, lets see if we can keep this to a minimum. It’s hard, I know, but it may give the game sessions a bit more verisimilitude. Additionally, if we can avoid excessive chatter in combat (i.e. “if you do this, I can do that and it’ll work this way” or “these things are such and suches), fights will move quicker and finish faster which ultimately helps with pacing.
- PvP: I have never been a fan of PvP fighting as it can kill a campaign. However, recognizing that we may possibly be mature players, I am willing to entertain some degree of it, if all parties are agreed. A few stipulations to consider: work out the fight without dice. You heard me. Role-playing a fight is fine; roll-playing a fight is not. When role played (feel free to refer to Amber DRPG) this way, it can be interesting. If players cannot agree on how this works out and want someone to adjudicate the story (still without dice), I can do that. Additionally, odds are that your PCs are friends, or if not that, at least comrades in arms. When soldiers fight, the fight usually clears the air between them. They can have a healthy, if grudging, respect for each other. They generally do not set out to murder each other. So, no killing. I would suggest that spells and weapons would probably not belong in a barroom brawl between friends or “frenemies”, but if the story sounds good, then it is fine.
- Rules Disputes: These are certain to occur at some point. They are unavoidable.. Please keep your argument brief. There is plenty of time away from the table to hash these things out. Also, you should know that I am MUCH MORE open to your argument when it does not happen in media res. If the rule is a life-or-death situation, I will be more lenient. And after all is said and done, if I am wrong and you are right, we will find a way to make it up to you. Finally, you may wish to be aware of arguments which I will summarily dismiss: “The rules don’t say I can’t…”, “I know X says this, but Y implies that…”, “Can you please show me that?” (The GM is assumed to be right until proven wrong.) The best way to avoid an issue is to discuss the point(s) during PC creation.
- Fear, Horror, Madness: in this game, Fear will require a Wisdom save while Horror will require a Constitution save. Madness will be adjudicated as per the DMG.
- Dark Powers Checks: The Dark Powers of Ravenloft always encourage people to depart from the straight and narrow and to take the easy path. Unlike traditional games, you will not roll Dark Powers checks nor can you fail these. That said, evil PCs (with the exception of LE blackguards) will become NPCs. If you take too many evil actions, your PC will be judged to have shifted alignment. Become NE or CE, and your PC becomes my NPC. I should mention that the DM may receive mechanical benefits if there are LE PCs at the table.
- Variants: I have made the following decisions regarding the various “variant” rules suggestions from the core books.
Equipment Sizes (PHB pg 144): this will NOT be used at campaign creation but WILL be used in the Demiplane.
Encumbrance (PHB pg 176): I have decided to try using this rule. When adding things up, please remember that 50 coins= 1 lb.
Playing on a Grid (PHB pg 192): Not every combat will use the grid, but we will use the grid and minis as necessary.
Monster Manual variants: Probably. I believe this should be discovered during play. For those variants specific to Familiars: yes.
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