I am looking for players and/or DMs to play in a long term D&D campaign set in The Forgotten Realms. The reason I need both players and DMs is because I want to use a rotating DM system. The idea is that everyone, including the DM, creates a character to use in game play. The DM's character joins the group as an NPC earning half XP for combat and spell casting (like an NPC Henchman). When the DM tires of running the game, he and one of the players switch places and the campaign continues where it left off, only with the DM's character now a PC earning full XP for combat and spell casting plus XP for role playing and problem solving as well. Meanwhile the player's PC is now a DMPC earning no XP for role playing and problem solving and only half XP for combat and spells. This helps prevent DM burnout and makes sure that all players who want a chance at either side of the DM screen get the chance. Here are some things to be considered before starting...
PLAYERS: I like playing with ROLE players (aka: Art ), not ROLL players (aka: Munchkins). This is D&D, not craps. Now I'm not saying that you're not allowed to play a blood thirsty barbarian who doesn't believe that there's a problem that exists that can't be overcome through the business end of a battle axe (hell, I'll be playing one myself) I only ask that you don't play him like an axe weilding automaton. While talking to NPCs, don't complain to the DM that you're talking to NPCs and not killing them, or go off to a different room to watch TV or play video games, or just sit quietly and doodle waiting for something that you can kill to show up. Complain to the other PCs (in character) that you're talking to the NPC rogue and not smashing him. Tell the DM you're looking about for traps or ambushes, or that you're using some of your skills to try and determine if the NPC is being honest with you or trying to bluff you. Then you're not verbally taking part in the conversation, but you're not just standing there waiting to kill either. Likewise If you tell me you're playing a silver tongued rogue who prefers talking his way out of situations to fighting, and your solution to every problem is to sneak up behind people and slit their throats, that's bad role playing as well.
GAME: I am going to be starting things off as DM. I have a few "getting to know you" adventures lined up so that players who've never gamed together before can get to know each other, and for the characters, who also have never met each other, to get to know each other and find a reason to adventure together as well. However, I am not as enamoured with the new 3rd Edition rules as everyone else in the gaming community. While I like some of the changes (the simplified combat and saving throw rules for example) others I detest (feats, barbarian rage, cleric domains, and the elimination of Spheres Of Influence, to name a few). Therefore I will be using a combination of 1st Edition, 2nd Edition, and 3rd Edition rules, as well as many of the optional rules from the 2nd Edition books Skills & Powers, Combat & Tactics and Spells & Magic. For example we'll be using Character Points (ChP) for skills and weapon proficiencies, Magic Points (MP) for spells, and Weapon Mastery.
EXPERIENCE LEVELS: First of all, we're going to be starting off play at higher than first level. Except for wizards and sorcerers, player characters will start play at 3rd level, with base XP for their respective class. Wizards and sorcerers will start play at 4th level, also with base XP for their class. All multiclassed demihumans have to start play at 3rd level in each of their respective classes, with base XP in each class.This is done for party balance, as wizards and sorcerers require so much more XP to advance at lower levels, and they get so few hit points and spells, this keeps them even with the rest of the group. Also, as other classes advance more quickly than mages, the whole party should all reach 5th level at roughly the same time. We will be using 2nd Edition Rules for leveling up (fighters need 4000 XP to reach 3rd level and 8000 XP to reach 4th level. Barbarians, rangers, and paladins need 4500 XP to reach 3rd level, and 9000 XP to reach 4th, etc).
EXPERIENCE POINTS: Combat XP will be determined by Challenge Ratings, as in 3rd Edition. Additional XP will be handed out for class abilities (spell casting, thief skills, combat, etc), role playing, and problem solving using 2nd Edition Rules.
STATS: The stats will not be split up into sub-catagories like in S&P . They will be the standard stats as listed in the 2nd Ed Players Handbook, and will be rolled using 4D6, reroll all 1s, drop the lowest die, and arrange to taste. In addition to STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, and CHA, there will be a seventh stat, COMELINESS (COM) or physical beauty. Also, wizards and sorcerers with high INT and CHA, respectively, will get the same number of bonus spells as priests and clerics with high wisdom.
SAVING THROWS: We will be using the D20 system for saving throws (Fortitude, Reflex, and Willpower). Those with a high DEX score add their defense adjustment to their Reflex Save. Those with a high CON add their Hit Point adjustment to their Fortitude Checks (while only the warrior classes get Extraordinary CON, non warriors use the Extraordinary CON adjustment for their Fort Checks and the regular adjustment for their HP rolls). The Magical Defence Adjustment from WIS is used for Willpower Checks.
THIEF SKILLS: We will be using 2nd Edition Rules for Thief Skills (ie: Percentile Dice).
RACES: The basic races of the 2nd Ed Players Handbook will of course be available. They can NOT be customised for extra ChP like it says in S&P. Humans, elves, half-elves, dwarves, gnomes, and halflings are as they're written in the PHB. However, if you want to make them more exotic you're welcome to use the rules in the Complete Books Of Elves, Dwarves, and Halflings & Gnomes.
I also have The Complete Book Of Humanoids. If you ask nicely, and have a strong narative for your character (ie: a good back story), you might be able to play a humanoid PC. You need to convincingly explain why a satyr, centaur, or voadkyn would leave their forrest home. Or a wemic his jungle, or a thri-kreen his desert oasis. And if you idea is for a humanoid PC is one that's typically evil (orcs, ogres, minotaurs, etc), then you not only have to explain why they left home but also why they aren't evil. Did they put on a Helm Of Opposite Alignment? Come from a backwards universe like in the classic Star Trek episode Mirror, Mirror? Get caught in a wild magic effect? A case of nurture over nature (a kobold raised by halflings, a hobgoblin raised by dwarves, a verbeeg raised by human barbarians, a half ogre who's mother was a paladin, etc)? Was he originally human but was killed on a previous adventure and got reincarnated? Use your imaginations. I MIGHT even allow a humanoid PC that's not in the book (vampyre, maedar, red widow, alu-fiend, etc), but you'll have to be REALLY convincing.
ALIGNMENT: All PC alignments MUST be NON-evil. Good or neutral alignments ONLY. Chaotic Neutral is only allowable if you're going to play it as a free spirit and not try to use it to sneak an evil character into the group. I don't want to see anyone going on a killing spree and then saying "I'm Chaotic Neutral, it was my whim!"
WIZARD SPELLS: We will be using 1st Edition cantrips (0 level spells), 2nd Edition spell lists/effects, and 3rd Edition components (V, S, M, & F) and Saving Throws (Fort, Ref, Will).
PRIEST SPELLS: We will be using 2nd & 3rd Edition spell lists for priest spells. I have recategorized all 3rd Edition priest spells by Spheres Of Influence. Your standard cleric has access to all of the spheres listed in the 2nd Edition Player's Handbook, plus minor access to the additional spheres of War and Travelers.
CLERIC DOMAINS: Domains do not exist in this game.
FEATS: Feats do not exist in this game. Some will be converted into skills and proficiencies, others will just cease to exist.
SKILLS: We will be using the skills rule from the 2nd Edition book Skills & Powers. Skills are purchased with Character Points (ChP), in much the same way Skill Points are used in 3rd Edition. Skills have a base chance of success, which can be improved upon by spending more ChP. The chance of success can also be altered positively by high stats, or negatively by low stats. There are no Difficulty Checks, but the chance of success can be altered by environmental and other factors.
ARMOUR CLASS: We will be using the 3rd Edition Rules for Armour Class and Attack Rolls. In other words, the higher the number the better the AC/Attack Roll (ie: no more THAC0).
MULTIPLE ATTACKS: We will be using a combination of 2nd & 3rd Edition rules reguarding multiple attacks for PCs. As in 3rd Edition, all classes will gain extra attacks as they advance in levels. However the number of attacks and the attack rolls will be using 2nd Ed Rules (ei: warriors get 1 attack/round at levels 1-6, 3/2 at levels 7-12, and 2 attacks/round at level 13 & up). The 7th level fighter makes both attacks at +7, not +7 for the first then +1 for the second.
CRITICAL HITS: All rolls of a natural 18 or better are critical hits, as long as they hit by a margin of at least 5. Thus if you need to roll a natural 18 just to hit, a natural 20 will never be a critical hit. But if you only need to roll a natural 13 to hit, then a natural 18 or better is a critical.
CRITICAL EFFECTS: Anyone hit by a critical must roll a successful Save vs Reflex or suffer a crtical effect. Any critical hit is going to cause at least double damage (sometimes triple), but if you fail your Save vs Reflex, you could suffer a crippling or even fatal critical effect (severed limbs, decapitation, paralysis, brain damage, etc).
CLASSES: The following are the playable PC classes and what, if any, changes have been made to them.
BARBARIAN: For this class we'll be using a cross between the class listed in The Complete Barbarians Handbook and The Complete Fighters Handbook. He gets the hit dice, special abilities, movement rate, and armour restrictions of TCBHB and the weapon restrictions of TCFHB. The Beast Rider, Berserker, and Savage, kits are available from TCFHB, or any warrior kit from TCBHB. The Rune Caster kit from The Viking Campaign Sourcebook is also available.
BARD: This class is exactly as written in The Players Handbook. If you want to add some flair to it you can choose a kit from The Complete Bards Handbook.
CLERIC: Clerics are exactly as they are written in The Players Handbook. If you want to add flair to your character you can choose a cleric kit from Warriors & Priests Of The Realms.
CRUSADER: This is a new class from the book Faiths & Avatars. There are no kits for this class, so it will be played as is.
DRUID: This class is to be played as written in the Players Handbook with the following exceptions. First, the character can be of any partially neutral non-evil alignment. Second, if you're a specialty priest of a specific nature deity then you get the spells and special abilities listed under that deity's entry in whichever book you're using. You also have the option of using a druid kit from The Complete Druids Handbook.
FIGHTER: This class is played as written in the Players Handbook. Feel free to use a kit from The Complete Fighters Handbook in order to personalize you character, except obviously for those kits which are now considered barbarian kits.
HOLY CRUSADER: This is another new class, this one from Warriors & Priests Of The Realms. There are no kits for this class, therefore it will be played as written.
MONK: This is not the monk kit listed in the Complete Priests Handbook, nor the monk class listed in Faiths & Avatars. This class is simply the 3rd Edition class converted to Version 2.5 terms.
MYSTIC: This is another class listed in Faiths & Avatars. Personally I think they're pretty useless in an adventuring party, but if you want to play one feel free. They're played as written.
PALADIN: This class is played exactly as written in the Players Handbook. That means only humans can be paladins. If you want to customize your paladin character please feel free to choose a kit from The Complete Paladins Handbook or an appropriate kit from The Complete Fighters Handbook (the Cavalier, Noble Warrior, Samurai, or Swashbuckler, perhaps).
PRIEST: These are the priest classes listed in the books Faiths & Avatars, Powers & Pantheons, and Demihuman Deities, also referred to as "Specialty Priests". As they are already specialized classes, there are no kits for them (hense the term "Specialty Priest"). They are played just as they are written. They are also one of the reasons why I prefer 2nd Ed to 3rd Ed.
PSIONICIST:This class works exactly as written in The Complete Psionics Handbook. As this class is already quite specialized, there are no kits for this class.
RANGER: This class is exactly as written in the Players Handbook. If you want to add some flair to the character you can choose a kit from The Complete Rangers Handbook, or perhaps an appropriate kit from The Complete Fighters Handbook (Outlaw or Wilderness Warrior for example).
SHAMAN: This class is a blend between the shaman class listed in The Complete Barbarians Handbook and Faiths & Avatars. They'll have the hit dice, climbing, leaping, dodging abilities, etc listed in TCBHB, as well as the spell casting ability. Plus they'll have the spirit guide listed in F&A. You can also customize your shaman by choosing a shaman kit from TCBHB.
SKALD: This is the barbarian version of a bard. Skalds are exactly as written in The Complete Bards Handbook with the following exceptions. They get d8 hit dice instead of d6. They also get the shaman's leaping, springing, dodging, and fast movement abilities. Other than that there's no difference from what's printed in The Bard's Handbook.
SORCERER: This class is exactly as written in the 3rd Edition Players Handbook, only converted to V2.5 rules. He gets bonus spells for high CHA, 6 ChP to spend on weapon proficiencies, 8 ChP to spend on non weapon proficiencies, wizards saving throws, hit dice, and THAC0. Sorcerers can also choose kits from The Complete Wizards Handbook.
THIEF: Or ROGUE if you prefer, this class is exactly as written in The Players Handbook. If you want to personalize your character you can always choose a kit from The Complete Thiefs Handbook. Even assassins are allowed, as long as they're neutral and not evil.
WITCH-DOCTOR: This is a new class. It is a sorcerer who was born and raised in a barbarian society. He levels up as a sorcerer, gets sorcerer ChP for proficiencies, weapon and armour restrictions, spells advancement, THAC0, etc. Plus, he gets a shaman's movement rate, climbing, leaping, and dodging abilities. He also gets D6 hit dice rather than D4. The trade off is he gets no bonus spells for high CHA. As this is a new class, there are no Witch-Doctor kits.
WIZARD: The wizard classes (that's mages and specialist wizards) are played exactly as written in the Players Handbook, except for the following exception, they get bonus spells for high INT. If you want to customize the class you will have to choose a kit from The Complete Wizards Handbook. Any kit is available except for the ones replaced by the barbarian witch-doctor class.
CHARACTER POINTS: All characters will be awarded 5 ChP per level above first in addition to their base ChP for first level, to be spent however the player sees fit. They'll also get one bonus ChP per language slot from INT. These can only be spent on skills with a basis in INT, though warriors have the choice to spend them on WP or skills. You may also choose a number of minor hindrances upon character creation for extra ChP, to be spent however you wish. After game play begins you'll recieve an additional 3 - 5 ChP per level achieved (Minimum of 3, the extra 2 are given out as a reward for excellent role playing). Once per level you can also trade some of you treasure for ChP. 1/3 of your treasure = 1 ChP. Note that this is total treasure, not just liquid assets. If you have 3000 GP, you spend 2000 GP on a high quality war horse, and then decide to trade 2/3 of your treasure in exchange for 2 ChP, you don't lose 2/3 of the gold you have left, you lose the war horse
MAGIC POINTS: All spell casters have Magic Points equal to their number of Hit Points. For every spell cast, you spend one MP per spell level (1st = 1, 2nd = 2, 3rd = 3, etc, all the way up to 9th level spells = 9 MP). From 0 MP to -50% a spellcaster is fatigued and must successfully Save vs Will every time he tries to use magic in order to maintain the mental consentration needed to cast the spell. He also suffers a -3 penalty to all skill checks, his movement rate, his AC, his saving throws, and his attack rolls. Once his MP has dropped below -50%, he's exhausted. He suffers a -6 penalty to attacks, AC, saving throws, movement rate (though it never falls below MV1), stats, and skill checks. Also he can't move faster than a slow walk, and he must make constant Saves vs Fort or stop to rest until he recovers sufficient MP. MP are recovered at a rate of 1 per hour of complete rest (can't do anything more strenuous than riding a slow moving horse). Without sufficient rest he recovers no MP. If the spellcasters MP ever reaches -100%, after every successfully cast spell he must make a successful System Shock Survival roll. If he fails, he falls unconcious and then must roll a successful Save vs Fort or die of exhaustion.
GOLD & TREASURE: Everyone will start out with 400 GP (double the maximum for fighters) to purchase weapons, armour and equipment with. Spend it as freely or as sparingly as you like. Any left over will be considered booty from a previous adventure. Some of you might be under the impression that because your character is starting out above first level that you automatically get a bunch of magic items. I had a player once who was constantly trying to use the Magic Item Charts in the DMG as an equipment shopping list for his characters. This type of behavior will NOT be tolerated. If asked nicely I MIGHT agree to your character having ONE relatively minor magic item, or possibly a one shot item like a scroll or a potion. But that's only if I'm feeling generous.
SPELL CASTING: I will be using the material component rule in my campaign. If your mage doesn't have 1000 GP worth of diamond dust, he can't cast Stone Skin. I also have a Vocal Component Rule. That means you have to come up with a vocal component for your spells and actually say them, preferably in character, while you're casting your spells. You can use any source you like for your spells vocal components. Anagrams of the spells names, rhyming couplets, saying the spell names backwards, made up jibberish, borrow the words from Harry Potter and other literary sources, whatever. And I personally prefer it if you either pantomime, or at least narrate, the somatic components as well (but that last bit's optional). As for Vocal Components? If you don't say it, your character didn't do it.
I know that's a lot of information, but it's really a list of what you CAN do, more than what you CAN'T. Anyway, I hope this campaign sounds like something some of you'll enjoy playing and I look forward to hearing from you.