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MoonHunter Sayeth 20170607

MoonHunter

Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Core Things to know
1) Cue Cards
2) Riffing
3) Magic Boards
4) Chronicle Packet PART III
5) GM Journal (aka GM Pad, GM Notebook, etc)


Character Creation
This is not a reshashing of the rules, but things the players will find useful when crafting characters. If you want that, create quick books by printing out those sections of the rules (from PDF or lots of copying). You can append this section into those books. This section is just about “suggestions” and “rules mods”.

Note: In many cases, a well crafted game environment may exceed or modify the stated rules of the game being played. Modifications to classes/ templates for each species or group, gifts/ flaws only available to people from a certain region, attribute modifiers for each country, odd skills, and changes in the costs of certain skills, are all changes tied to the game environment. So these changes are what need to be mentioned here.

If your game has a Character Creation Ground Rule Sheet, put it here front and center

If you require a formal write up of the character’s conception and history (and any bonus points received from it), this is the place to state that.

I just have to say, I have found better results occur when the players all get together and have a character build party… one game session dedicated to creating an interesting and cohesive group that fits the chronicle well.
Conception
This should be based on the chronicle framework. The player should allways make a character that is going to fit the chronicle, to prevent the GM from rejecting it (with the classic lline, “Yes, you character is perfectly legal, but it does not fit the chronicle at this time.”)

If there is something that everyone should have in their conception and character, this is the place to put it. This is the framework applied to the character. If everyone needs to be in and around court, then being a sailor will leave you excluded.

The GM should include a few “bits” for player’s to add to their character’s conception. These are starting ideas that can be included in a character.

Some are stereotype or archetypes that fit the genre and setting.

Some common events that should be mentioned (Where were you iand what were you doing n the Great War?)

Some recommended jobs and positions: (Courtly jobs…)

These parts of a character’s history and experience should link them to the world and some of the other characters in the game. This is linkage and Story Weave

Starting Levels
The number of attribute, skill points, maximum points from flaws, and any starting experience points. These things need to be stated so players can abide by them.

Mechanics
These are two things: 1) common mechanics that players should consider using and 2) Rule changes to the character creation process. The Common Mechanics that players should consider using is the main reason for this section. It gives players something to build off of or select from the “very appropriate” menu. It ensures that more characters will be appropriate (mechanically) than without.

Archetypes/ Classes that will be available and useful. This should include common builds
Skills renamed, if any.
Bundles of skills that are useful
Gifts and Flaws and feats that will be most helpful. Putting the Chivalry up front in a knightly game serves to remind players how important that is.

Linkage and Story Weave
Characters need to be part of the world. They come from places, they know people, they learned things.

To the world:
This section should include suggested locations and organizations the characters could easily be attached to. Sources of training, (Oh which wizard tower did you attend) are also good link points. Recent events and recent historical events could be built into the character. These could have been determined in the conception, or can be added back to the conception and built upon..

To the Characters: How do the character know each other? .
Characters should have some point of contact, some reason they know and will work with each other. It should be more than “you were all hired to do this and must trust your lives to complete strangers.”. Every character should be tied to no less than two other characters in the group. This allows for one of your connections “to be removed from the chronicle” and still have another one to keep your character looped.

Players should define their character’s relationship with other characters. Initially it will be just the ones they knew from the start, but eventually it will be every character in the group. Relationships are often complex or even contradictory. They are often not happy friendly. r

One thing to consider, If they don’t know each other (before the start), will they be able to work together? This is a bit of metagame planning, but a good thing to consider. (We just met, but it is like we have been friends forever.)

The last thing one should consider, is will all the characters be fun to play together? Remember that your fellow players are primary people you will be roleplaying with (NPC come and go, but the party remains.) Think about Spock/ Bones/ Kirk or Cyclops and Wolverine for most of their run. Friendly Rivalries are fun to play with.

Meta Game:
This is a game after all. You do need to be able to do game thing…
1) Does the party cover the spread? Does it have everything it needs to adventure in this chronicle and game system
2) Do the players overlap? Some overlap is okay. Duplication of the same role in the group could be boring for one of the players. Make sure that everyone has a different shtick.
3) Do the personalities work with each other, even if they are friendly antagonists.

Rules Changes
This is for any rules, revisions, and House rules that will be in the game

Start with the game rules being used. What should also be included is “Allowed Game Resources”, other core books (editions usually), supplements, 3rd party sources, and so on are going to be acceptable to the chronicle.

House Rules are rules interpretations that troupes adopt for their chronicles. The most common house rules are specific interpretations of the printed rules (that are different than most gamers’ interpretations) or rule variants the group agrees on.

This is where you should you should note any real rule changes to conflict resolution, combat, magic/ psionics/ powers, or other sub systems that players are expecting to be the way the book says they are. This is section tends to be either totally empty or quite large.

Remember Rule Variations are perfectly acceptable as the GM is the final word on what rules are being used in their chronicles. All the players playing the game should be told what rules are being enforced for their chronicle or session before play starts. The Chronicle Packet is the best way to note them.

Play Rules and Player expectation
Play rules are the game etiquette and social rules the troupe follows while playing. (If you have heard people talk about the social contract for the game, these are defined by the play rules.) These rules cover such things as food and drink in the gaming area, the permissibility or boundaries of side conversations, the amount of rules talk allowed during a run, loudness, levels of politeness for the players.

This will probably include a section on the use of phones and laptops (and requested restrictions –like not surfing the web, not posting on forums, playing computer games, nor on social media). There may be limits on using it as a rule book or character sheet or dice rolling). Phones should only be used in emergency. After all calls disrupt movies right? Don’t they disrupt games?

Play related expectations about attendance, tardiness, scheduling absences, breaks, and how the group will handle disputes might also be addressed, and so on

Addressing “what is the acceptable level of attention to the game” is a point that many feel the need to address.

For many groups, these rules are not normally written down, but agreed upon by all members of the troupe. New groups should work together to find a comfortable set of play rules. However, some GMs will define these rules in the beginning of the chronicle. Most simply cut and paste this section from one campaign packet to another.

Some GMs feel the need to explain their approach to combat or economics or the supernatural or how the group will handle replacement characters, so the players will know where the GM – and by extension the game world – is coming from.

Some sections that are useful include:
Define what I expect from the character, and what I mean by it.
What do I expect from you?
What can you expect from me?

Updates

Chronicles grow and develop over time. Chronicle Packets should grow with them. A quick summary of the campaign is nice. I tend to update this once every “notable story arc” or so. (I take information from the EP section of the GM’s Journal and expand it).

New things will be important. New places and organizations will be explored and added. Certain details that should have been in the first packet should be includes. The GM has two options with these.
1) Re-issue a new Chronicle Packet every update, with “an action page” showing which sections are new or edited.
2) Put all the additions in a change document and place it at the end. Include an action page the players can scan through to see if there are areas they need to read.
 
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