Group Procedures

Group Procedures

Guidelines Privileges
Challenging GM Expectations
Absences Cancellations

Introduction

In the interest of supporting a long term Campaign, I have set in place a series of rules and guidelines to help facilitate a long term and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. For a few of the reasons below, I feel that it is necessary for all the players and the GM to be on the same page. Documentation of rules and policies helps all members assimilate into the group and demonstrates rule transparency for all group members. These guidelines are designed with that in mind. If you’re going to play in our group, please try to follow the golden rule and please be mindful of the items below.

General Guidelines for Members

  1. It’s just a game and a piece of paper.
  2. Please call, e-mail, or text if you cannot make it or will be late (I understand that things come up; I really do, just let me know).
  3. Cell-phones need to be turned to silent and any calls that need to be made or received are to be done away from the table. I prefer that texting at the table be kept to a minimum, and players keep focused on the game to reduce delays and repeating of information. You are welcome to load up this site or other game resources on your devices to help with play.
  4. As a group we will set an official start time and day, ending times vary (but not wildly). Currently our start time is at 15:00 EST, and we generally play until around 19:00 EST.

Player Privileges

  1. You have the privilege with your character to choose your own stats, to roll your own hit rolls, damage rolls, most saving throws, and most skill checks (certain checks need to be made by the GM in order to minimize meta-gaming).
  2. Player may run their own Companions and Pets provided they run them fairly.

Challenging GM Decisions

As the GM I have put a lot of time and effort into studying and comprehending the rules of the game. Even with the many steps I have taken to minimize bad rulings, you must realize that bad calls may happen from time to time; not even someone as brilliant as myself could possible memorize every rule or lore context for the Dragon Age: RPG. As frustrating as a bad ruling is for a player or the GM myself, it becomes much more frustrating for me as a GM when players seem to question every ruling, or constantly seek to twist every rule to whatever favors their desires the most at that moment.

This type of “rules lawyering” is detrimental not only to me as GM (as it undermines my authority within the game as the arbiter of the rules), but to the game as a whole. I can tell you from years of personal experience that there is nothing that kills a gaming session quicker than a prolonged in game rules debate (and many of you should be able to recall instances of this yourselves). Our group—as a whole—does not mind if a player has a question or concern about a rule, if this comes up during the game just let the GM and other players know that you have a question and we will discuss it. The way it normally goes is that we spend a few minutes talking about it, the GM makes an “at the table” ruling and notes the concern or question, and we go on from there.

At the end of the gaming session any rulings that the group has had questions or concerns about will be added to the rules queries section of the forums to be addressed prior to the start of the next session. The group members will then have until the next gaming session to research it thoroughly. We will use the forum post to discuss these concerns so that the time spent discussing before the next session is kept to a manageable amount of time. During the pre-session discussion any outstanding rule queries will be resolved for how our group wants to handle that situation from that point on. This will then be committed to the Mechanics section of the Codex.

Expectations of Members

Our group is an older and mature group of friends, we all have busy lives outside of the game. We place a premium on our free time and what we choose to do with our free time. Because of this, I try to set a high standard to make the game enjoyable and fair for everyone; part of this requires that every member be held to the same standard procedures. While the requirements are essential to everyone’s enjoyment of the game, I also put a lot of extra effort into the game and encourage, support, and reward participation and input on all levels from members. I believe that the best experience is constructed through mutual effort: cooperation, creativity, and development. However, we are all busy and the game’s primary purpose is for the relaxation and enjoyment. The purpose of the extra effort is to enhance an experience, not to burden our lives with more responsibilities.

Required (when asked to do this, it means do it as soon as possible):
  1. Manage Character Pages: Originally this was an optional aspect of the site, but it will now be required. This really only needs to be posted at each level. I do not expect or require that it be updated every session, but in case of absence it is required that the sheet be updated if you would like the character to be played in the session and not have the GM find some way to write them out for the downtime. My Reason – While I develop encounters for the plots I will use the details on the Character Page in order to balance the encounters appropriately. Not maintaining these details may result in skewed difficulty in encounters over the course of the Campaign. This includes ensuring that all details in the Player Secret sections of the page are also maintained. I will still be managing the Experience Tracker on the pages for you as there is some abstract work that goes into that.
Optional (when asked to do this, it means only if you feel like it):
  1. Visit Forums: Some group discussions will have to be resolved via the web site because there is not enough time before the game to hash out every aspect of a complex problem. It is encouraged to regularly visit the forum section of the site to stay aware of group discussions. This is also where to go to officially request information be added to the site you are not comfortable adding yourself.
  2. Web Business: Participation in keeping the website up-to-date can be a time-consuming task, and any help from players in posting in the Chronicle, finding artwork, and overall maintenance and participation is appreciated (and rewarded). If I come up with a better way to present the information on this site I may ask for help with updating to a new style for a bonus noted at that time. These tasks are optional.
  3. Have Fun: Sometimes we will try to arrange a group event, such as a board game or movie. Any player retains good standing without being a part of such events.

Player Absences

We are all going to miss from time to time. Normally, when a player misses that character gets no Experience Points for the session and the character will be written out of the adventure for that time in some way. As the number of absences increases the ramifications of when a player is missing increases via potential Character Level discrepancies.

There are some other options, however, and I do this because if someone has to miss—it is usually because “they have to miss”—a person should not be punished for responsibilities outside of the game. Here are the steps used to address this scenario:

  1. The player must individually decide if they want their character to be available when they are not present.
  2. In order to be played at all the player’s character sheet must be up to date and ready to go on the site.
  3. The Player should choose from the options of having another member of the group play their character (general chance for character death), having the GM play their character (reduced chances for character death), or not having their character played at all (no chance for character death). This choice should be on record and in no case will the character be passed off to someone not approved to play it.

It should be mentioned that as the GM I am a busy guy during the sessions, and the character more than likely would be less effective in my hands than another players, but will typically undergo less risks due to the nature of the GM simply having more information. The hardest part of this is typically the out of combat, in character decisions—all we can do is try to be true to what we believe that the character would actually do based on past actions.

Death is part of the game. No doubt whenever a character dies in hands other than that character’s originating player, the originating player is going to potentially feel like had they been there it would have been different. That feeling is natural and in many cases not unwarranted. Creating a character is a personal process that involves a bit of work. Truthfully, no one should know your character as well as you. Trusting your creation to another is perhaps the highest compliment that you can pay to your fellow group members. That being said, if a player is not comfortable with a another player running their character then that should not be taken as a slight.

There are some benefits to letting your character be portrayed in the session during your absence to go along with that risk. Depending on the choice made the character will get the following benefits:

  • If a character is played in absentia by another player, then the absent player’s character receives 90% Experience Points with the remaining 10% going to the player’s character who assisted as bonus Experience Points to their character.
  • If the character is played in absentia by the GM, then the absent player’s character receives 50% Experience Points.
  • If the character is not played in absentia by anyone, then no Experience Points will be gained.

Canceling Sessions

As a GM I try not to have to do this but sometimes real life happens and it is unavoidable. The group does have a standing policy to cancel a session if half the group or more cannot make the session.

Go Back

Group Procedures

Dragon Age: Requiem alex_redeye alex_redeye