View Full Version : Dead of the Night: The Rules

07-22-2009, 10:09 PM
Okay, first of all some ground rules. The following rules were written before the formation of this group and were previously spread out over a number of threads in different forums. For convenience sake I have since then transferred most of them to this group and those I could not transfer will be restated below in post #2. Please do not post here as this thread is intended solely for the DM to post rules and rule changes. For comments and questions use the comments and questions thread.

1) The first set of rules were written by Baron Samedi when he first began to form the PBP in the social group Gardens of Stone. I have now transferred these rules from the Gardens of Stone to this group and edited them and made certain changes to them to make them current and up to date. These rules can be found in the thread Vaults of Silence: A Ravenloft BPB.

2) Once you have read this, find the thread New Domain Lord of Ravenloft which has also been transferred from the Gardens of Stone to this group. This post and the ones that follow are the more important ones as they deal specifically with my PBP and the rule changes I made. These rules have also been edited and are now up to date.

07-30-2009, 08:55 PM
The following is a summary of the more important rules originally written in the thread Ravenloft PBP: Looking for Players*:

(*Note that some of the information in this post is now out of date. See post #5 below for updates on the outdated material.)

For anyone who is unsure what Ravenloft is, it's a demi-plane and a campaign setting based on Gothic horror and utilizing Pathfinder (a.k.a. D&D 3.75, in this case). This particular PBP campaign will focus largely on mystery solving and role playing, with an occasional combat every so often. You need not know a thing about Ravenloft (I'll let you know anything important) and we'll be starting off with 1st level characters (see update below in post #5).

I don't need a lot of players to start off. In fact I intend to start with just a few characters and gradually introduce others as they come along. As for the frequency of posting I'm thinking about once every three days but this can be altered depending on what works best for the players.

One thing that I do ask right from the start though is that anyone who is interested, I would prefer that you not discuss specifics in this forum about the kind of character that you would like to run other than the character's race and whether or not it could be considered a Warrior, Divine Spellcaster, Arcane Spellcaster or a Rogue. This is important.

When making up characters use the following rules:

For ability scores use these numbers as your dice rolls, making sure to place 3 numbers in each and every ability score:

(2 6s, 7 5s, 5 4s, and 4 3s)

The final ability scores can range from as high as 17 to as low as 9, which means that they will be above average scores, but I've always felt adventurers in Ravenloft should be above average. Note that this does not include the Pathfinder racial bonuses. So once these are added, you could end up with one score as high as a 19.

For starting hit points: We're not using any of the optional rules for bonus hit points at first level other than d8 HD for rogues and d6 HD for sorcerers and wizards. They will start out with max. hit points + con. bonus however.

For equipment use the average starting gold for your class then add 25 gold. I would prefer you buy equipment individually rather than use a starting package. Write all of your equipment out and figure up the weight. I do use encumbrance rules in my campaigns and if an item is not written down then you don't have it and it can't be used.

For alignment, I strongly recommend playing good characters, as properly played non-good characters run the risk of failing powers checks.

When you have a character sheet filled out (or something like it), send me a PM (again, see update below.). And remember, don't give out any clues about your character in this forum other than what I have noted above.

Gender makes no difference for PCs, but race can be a major factor. There are no orcs in Ravenloft, so there can be no half-orcs. And depending on what domain you're in (in most of them in fact), demi-humans are extremely rare and are often seen as demonic or some kind of evil faerie or goblin. In some places people will refuse to talk to them while in others they may be hunted down. Because of this I usually recommend running humans. However, we will be starting in a domain that resembles Greyhawk, which means it is one of the few places where demi-humans are common and accepted. But I give fair warning - we won't always be in this domain.

As for languages, there is no common tongue. You'll want to substitute Darkonian (which is the native tongue of our starting place) for common (in other words its a freeby). Demi-humans can have their racial tongues. But the rest of the languages I'll have to advise you on once I see your character.

07-31-2009, 09:41 PM
A word about story telling and the format of Dead of the Night:

As previously stated, Ravenloft, more so than any other campaign world made for D&D that I'm aware of, is about story telling. It is also about mystery solving, role playing and to a lesser extent, fighting creatures of the night. But it's most important element is the story. This is because at the root of Ravenloft is the Gothic horror novel - a tale of suspense, horror and dread, a tale of restless spirits, towering castles, and mankind's fear of the unknown. It is therefore important in a Ravenloft campaign to set a certain tone or mood that helps to convey that sense of dread necessary for a successful Gothic horror novel. And because Ravenloft is more about telling a story than it is about epic battles, it is particularly well suited to a PBP, more so than other campaign worlds.

As such, I believe it is important to make every effort to try and set the mood of a Gothic horror setting. But, unlike with my face-to-face tabletop group, I can't turn out the lights, light a bunch of candles and put on spooky music to achieve this effect (of course, players of the PBP are welcome to do this on their own). No, instead we have to rely soley on the written word - just as in a Gothic horror novel. This is why we should also strive to make this PBP resemble a Gothic horror novel in every way we can. And this means sticking to a certain format. So the following are certain guidelines that I would like every player to follow:

1) Please, no computer shorthand in the in-game thread. I'm not so concerned about other threads, but in the in-game thread, every sentence should begin with a capital letter, every "I" should be capitalized and no lols, btws or other abbreviations.
2) Do not refer to game mechanics in the main body of text. Any game mechanics or out of character comments should be set below the main body of text in italics. The same goes with any online rolls made. If it is necissary to make a dice roll before finishing your post, then go back and edit it, once you have seen the outcome of the dice roll, and make sure that all of your main text is above the dice rolls.
3) Take your time when posting to avoid typos and write your posts as though you were writing a story yourself, because that is, in fact, what you are doing. This is a chance for you to show off your writing skills or at the very least try to improve upon them. If you are prone to making typos or spelling errors, proof read it before and after posting. If need be, go back and edit any mistakes. Try and make it something worthy of publishing.
4) When you check in to make a post in the in-game thread, it's a good idea to check at the very bottom to see if another player is also in the thread. If you find that one is, have some courtesy and do not post. Give the other player time to do whatever he or she is doing. If need be leave the thread and come back to it later to post so that you don't jump the gun on the other player.
5) When your character speaks, use quotation marks around what he or she says. Again, write as if you're writing a novel.
6) Stay in character and, unless your character is trying to make a joke, leave the jokes out of the thread. Nothing ruins a tense moment more than an out of place joke.

The following is an example of how the in-game thread should look:
__________________________________________________ _______________________


You awake in the middle of the night to the sound of something moving just outside your bedroom door. You hear the sound of claws scraping at the door frame followed by the low growl of a large beast of some kind. In the narrow space below the door, you see the shadows of a creature that appears to walk only on the front half of its clawed feet.

__________________________________________________ _______________________

Player #1:

I slowly pull the covers of my bed to the side, and attempt to move quietly to the other side of the room where my sword is lying. Unfortunately, the floorboard gives out a loud creek and I panic. I yell out hoping my companions in the next room hear me, "Help! Guys, help!"

I failed my move silently roll as I needed a 15 or better.

move silently check

__________________________________________________ ______________

In the above example, for the player, I wrote the first sentence, then posted it so I could make the dice roll. Once I saw that the move silently roll had failed, I went back to edit it and added the rest. Now of course, in reality, the player probably would not have known he needed to roll a 15 or better to make the move silently check - but you get the point. The main body of text is at the top in normal print, the out of character game comments and mechanics are below in italics (skip at least two lines in between the two), the dice roll ends up below that, and as you can see the dice result history always winds up at the bottom.

Remember, this PBP is a Gothic horror story and you, the players, are as much its author as I am.

09-10-2009, 07:24 PM
It is time now for me to introduce a few more rules that players familiar with Ravenloft should be aware of, but others may not be. These are the Fear, Horror and Madness checks. Each one of these has various triggers that call for a check as well as various effects for failing one of these checks as follows:

Fear check - This typically happens when faced with some real threat that appears to be beyond what one can normally be expected to handle.

Horror check - This happens when witnessing something that would cause revulsion or some similar kind of reaction.

Madness check - This happens when witnessing something that might cause insanity.

The most common of these, and potentially the most detrimental of these when failed is the horror check. A failed horror check can result in a wide variety of responses from anyone who fails them. These reactions can be as mild as aversion to something to nightmares to obsession to senseless rage to a heart attack. Perhaps the worst part of failing a horror check is that it's effects may last for weeks or months and, should it continue, can even cause deteriorated health and eventually death. However, one thing that a player should always keep in mind is that they can avoid making horror checks if they act appropriately and act horrified through role playing. This will likely mean that they can take no action other than acting horrified. But when called upon to make a horror check, if there is no obviuos threat in sight, doing nothing but acting horrified is better than failing a horror check and being stuck with the consequences for weeks or months to come. The only bad thing about role playing horror is that you can take no action while doing so - but there is no lingering after affect. On the other hand, there will be times when you will want to take the chance and try to pass a horror check, particularly if your character is also threatened at the time, because you will want to be able to defend yourself against that threat.

A horror check is a Will save - but there can be a lot of modifiers to the roll both positive and negative.

So, to be clear, I will let you know when I need your character to make a horror check (or a fear or madness check). At that time, you have the option of making the check or role playing your horror in order to avoid making the check (fear and madness checks cannot be avoided in this manner however). And keep in mind, you don't have to wait for me to tell you to make a horror check. You're free to act horrified anytime you like. :fear:

02-04-2010, 06:25 PM
Update for new characters:

For anyone who is interested in joining this pbp, I will be using this post and constantly updating it on what kinds of characters are currently in the pbp as well as any changes made to those rules listed above in post #2.

Current Character Roster:

Amber - human, female PC, arcane spellcaster
Leon - half-elf, male PC, warrior
Rune - elf, male PC, warrior/arcane spellcaster
Vlin - human, male PC, rogue/warrior
Alden - human, male NPC, warrior
Varian - human, male NPC, divine spellcaster
Cissinei - human, female NPC, warrior
Sebastian - the dog

Please note that I recommend running human characters for the reasons that I have stated above. But it's really up to you on this.

As for classes, there are some that are either inappropriate for Ravenloft or present certain problems that I would rather not deal with, and so will not be allowed. These include: barbarian, paladin, druid, dragon shaman, and any oriental characters to name a few. Unfortunately I cannot give a complete list of banned classes. However, there are many classes allowed outside of the Pathfinder rules (in other words, D&D 3.5 classes) that will be acceptable. If there is any question about whether or not I will accept a class please send me a PM.

One other note concerning divine spellcasters: There are very few deities worshiped in Ravenloft that are appropriate for divine spellcasters. If you are interested in playing a divine spellcaster let me know and I will send you the information on these deities. Otherwise you can pick almost any deity if you chose to play a character from another world. But this choice has other limitations, such as the unlikelihood of finding others who also worship that deity. Demi-human deities are somewhat of an exception to this rule. But you would have to be a demi-human, with its difficulties as described above, and the only other worshipers of these demi-human deities would be found in the few places where demi-humans live. And no, I will not allow divine spellcasters who simply want to worship an idea, as suggested in the Pathfinder rules.

As for character sheets: Use a Pathfinder character sheet at dndsheets.net and send me a link to it. Don't forget to make the character sheet viewable by the public when you do.

As for starting hit points: All the characters are currently 2nd level. You will have max hit points for first level. For 2nd level, roll for the hit points in the ooc thread. Let me know if you do not know how the dice roller works here on P&PG.

As for starting gold: Use the average starting gold listed for your class at 1st level as per the Pathfinder (or D&D 3.5) rules, and add an additional 125 gold to that.

Otherwise, follow the rules stated above in post #2. And if you have any questions, please send me a PM.