House Rules and Game Mechanics
0. Character Creation
- There are no languages in this setting except the ones on the Languages page. If the PHB entitles you to a language that does not exist, such as Elvish, you may choose any language from the list in place of that.
- If you're playing a Ranger, we are using the Revised Ranger rules from Unearthed Arcana.
- If you're playing a Human, we are using the variant rule from the Player's Handbook; you may choose to either take +1 to every stat, or +1 to two stats plus one skill proficiency and one Feat. Alternatively, if you are a qualifying Patron, you may use one of three Human-exclusive Exotic Subrace templates from the Races page: Sidra, Serin, or Kimaron. (The Euphon subrace is Elf only.)
- Class Features from Xanathar's Guide to Everything may be approved on a case-by-case basis, but only features from the core Player's Handbook are guaranteed approval.
1. Resource Management
In general, player resources are tracked very closely. However, certain resources in the inventory create exceptions for expediency's sake. Here's a short list of clarifications about that:
- Food and drink are not normally tracked very closely. It is assumed that when you go out on an adventure, you are able to acquire and bring with you an amount of food and drink necessary to complete that adventure. It is also assumed you're able to scrounge up enough money to pay for it; money spent on food in town does not typically count against your gold total.
- This changes if your character enters into a situation wherein it is dramatically necessary to consider food and drink. If the party gets dunked into the ocean and all their food is ruined, then that's potentially a source of drama and the DM will begin to pay close attention to how and when the adventurers are eating. Similarly, if the only source of food is a cruel merchant charging ridiculous prices, then purchasing that food will surely deduct from the amount of gold that's on your character sheet.
- Ammunition is always tracked, and restocking always requires an in-character purchase to be negotiated.
2. Spells and Abilities
- When you acquire a new spell, check its material components carefully. If the material component does not explicitly list a gold cost, then you may assume that this material component is covered by your character's component pouch or arcane focus. If there is a gold cost listed, then your character must have that spell component explicitly listed in their inventory before the spell can be cast. Additionally, the spell description will state whether or not the materials are consumed. If the materials are consumed, then you must buy more before you can cast the spell again; otherwise, a one-time purchase allows you to cast the spell infinitely unless you lose the component.
- A Verbal component to a spell requires your character to speak out loud (and to be able to do so). A Somatic component requires your character to have at least one hand free to gesticulate, and these gestures are obviously magical in nature and cannot easily be concealed or blended into normal body language. A Material component requires your character to have the item directly on his or her person, but does not require the component itself to be handled (in other words, a spell that has only Verbal and Material components may be cast hands-free, as long as the Material component is on the caster's person and he or she is free to speak).
- Spells from Xanathar's Guide to Everything may be approved for use on a case-by-case basis. A list of banned spells appears below, but the DM reserves the right to disallow any spell from this supplement at discretion.
Some Rules for Specific Spells (added to as needed):
- Comprehend Language only functions if the person who is speaking or writing the language you are listening to or reading actually speaks that language. If the author, or the person who's talking, has no idea what they are writing or saying, then the spell does nothing.
- Earth Tremor: To clear up some confusing wording, this spell affects a 10-foot-radius area centered upon the caster.
- Banned Spells:
- Toll the Dead
- Chaos Bolt
2. Resting and Recovery
- A character who returns to town automatically gains all of the benefits of a Long Rest. This only applies to characters who actually return to town; if a PC plays in #tavern while their character is between sessions of an active quest, that is asynchronous and doesn't count.
- A Short Rest requires one hour of peace and quiet. It does not require sleep. Characters may wear armor, converse—if those conversations are peaceful—and cast ritual spells while benefiting from a short rest.
- A Long Rest requires the party to spend the night, to spend a significant portion of that night sleeping, and to remove all armor (if your character typically wears armor, please refer to the Player's Handbook for rules about how long it takes to don and doff that armor). Characters may keep one watch, cast one ritual spell, or perform one other such equivalent action and still benefit from the Rest. If the Rest is interrupted, such as by an ambush, the party may resume the Rest afterward.
3. Health and Combat
During combat, you may or may not be told how much damage you have been taken. If the DM decides to keep you in the dark about your current hitpoints, you will have to rely upon the verbal description of the injuries in order to get a sense of how hurt you are. Medicine checks to determine hitpoints are not permitted during combat.
Outside of combat, players may learn how many hitpoints a PC has remaining with a successful Medicine check. Everyone will automatically know their current hitpoints if the party chooses to take a Rest.
For the sake of expediency and realism in a game which potentially contains lots of players, combat turns in Walpurgis are timed. Remember, a turn of combat in D&D is only six seconds—your character doesn't have a lot of time to think, so neither should you. If three minutes of real time have passed since the DM has announced your character's turn, and you have neither posted your character's action nor engaged the DM with a reasonable question about your action, then the DM will rule that your character is too overwhelmed by the chaos of combat to make a snap decision, and your action for that turn will be forfeited and skipped.
It is therefore strongly encouraged that you start working on your character's action, and ask any relevant questions, before your turn is announced. This will make combat a faster and more pleasant experience for everyone.
4. Character Progression
Experience points are awarded by the DM at the end of a game session. If you have to leave the game session early, your character is assumed to have retreated back to base camp or to town; such characters only receive XP for the parts of the adventure in which they participated.
XP is given out not just for combat encounters, but for all challenges. Monsters do not have to be killed in order for XP to be given; sometimes a tense negotiation is more challenging, and awards more XP, than gratuitous slaughter.
When you level up, you may choose to either roll your Hit Die for your new level, or take the average result on that Hit Die rounded down. So if you're playing a Fighter who has a d10 for a Hit Die, you can either roll the d10 or opt not to roll and take a default result of 5. If you choose to roll, you must accept the result.
5. Character Advancement
Characters may only level up while in town. When your character is between quests, you may visit the #levelup channel in order to roll your Hit Dice and to make clear your intentions for your level up. If your choices are approved, the DM will add the changes to your sheet.
6. Repeat Adventuring
In order to prevent the formation of cliques, and to encourage a constant rotation of party compositions, the following rule is in place: the same party composition cannot go on two quests consecutively if any other players are available. That is, if a party consisting of Players A, B, and C just got back from an adventure, that same party of A/B/C cannot go on another adventure together immediately if Players D, E, and F are available—they have to mix it up. Perhaps Players A and B invite Player D along next time, while Player C decides to go on an adventure with Players E and F, for instance. But if Players D, E, and F are all occupied elsewhere or unable to play, the A/B/C team may band together again.