I normally ignore these but I like Brendan's set of question about what type of game you run.
Ability scores generation method?
3d6 six time arrange accordingly. Reroll a new set if you have two scrolls under 8 or no scores over 12.
How are death and dying handled?
-3 times your levels until you reach your cap of negative constitution.
What about raising the dead?
Per spell, basically you are raised but weak for 1 week of in-game time.
How are replacement PCs handled?
Roll them up normally and I will work them in. If the campaign has been going on for a while I will start them at a higher level randomized by a 3d6 roll.
Initiative: individual, group, or something else?
Individual. 1d6 + your dex bonus. Fighters get to add their to hit bonus. I manage it by using a count down. Monsters use group initiative except for important NPCs.
On their turn players can do two actions, with a half-move considered a action and only one of the action can be an attack or a spell. Can always move 5 feet without drawing a free attack. So if you want to retreat without a free attack against you. You can take a 5 foot step and then a half move. Combat rounds are considered to be six seconds.
Are there critical hits and fumbles? How do they work?
Roll normal damage. If you roll a nat 20 you do a critical hit. Roll again to see if you score another natural 20. Stop rolling if you don't roll another 20. Each time you score a critical you get to add max damage to the damage you rolled.
A natural 1 is a critical miss, roll a d6. 1-3 you throw your weapon away 1d3 x 5ft away in a random direction. Or fall prone if fighting unarmed. 4-5 you hit an ally, 6 you hit yourself.
Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet?
A adjusted roll of 17 or better that hits on a helmless target is a successful head short and cause the target to make a saving throw at +2 or fall unconcious. A adjusted roll of 20 or better is a faceshot and will cause the target to make a saving throw or fall unconcious unless they are wearing a greathelm.
Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee or do something similarly silly?
If you critically miss a result of 6 means you hit an ally.
Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything?
You will need to run.
Level-draining monsters: yes or no?
Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death?
How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked?
Magic Item components, and gold should be strictly checked. The rest within reason.
What's required when my PC gains a level? Training? Do I get new spells automatically? Can it happen in the middle of an adventure, or do I have to wait for down time?
You go up a level when you earn the XP. However magic-users will need to spend time time scribing new spells. 1 day per spell level, and 100 gp per spell level. Clerics will need to wait until their next rest period to pray for new spells. I have several custom classes that have require specific actions by the PC when they reach a certain level.
What do I get experience for?
I award monster xp plus a roleplaying bonus of a factor times the character level. The factor is usually set to 200 or 400. I will give additional rewards due the resolution of important character goals and penalizes out of game or metagame crap at the table (this happens rarely).
How are traps located? Description, dice rolling, or some combination?
You must describe what you are doing before making any rolls.
Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work?
Players are free to whatever they want. If they want to spend money and time getting retainers more power to them. However that means they have a group of individuals to deal with.
As for morale I make a check when 50% of their allies are down, and another when 25% of their allies are down. For the first 1-3 they stay, 4 to 6 to they run, for the second, 1 to 2 they stay, 4 to 6 they run. If they are in a lair or home then they only run or surrender on a 6.
How do I identify magic items?
Character basically roll a d20 plus their intelligence modifier if they roll a 15 or better they ID the magic item within one turn. If they want to spend a rest period doing the ID they automatically succeed. Magic users get a additional bonus due their Thaumatology ability which is any thing that has to do with the identification or understanding of magic.
Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions?
Magic Items are divided into three broad groups. Common, Uncommon, and Rare. Common magic items (potions, etc) can be easily bought at a magic store, Uncommon generally can be bought in very limited quantities, while Rare items are only avaliable on the auction circuit where access is controlled.
Can I create magic items? When and how?
Working on the exact prices but basically spend the time and gold pieces and the items is created.
What about splitting the party?
Not a issue but don't whine if you don't feel like you are partipating the whole time and you will have to learn to handle how to roleplay properly even when you have out of game knowledge about what the other half is up too. One of the few things I will blue bolt a player for is metagaming.
Since I don't have my blog, I'll post my responses here:
1. Ability scores generation method?
2. How are death and dying handled?
I'm running a Carrion Crown AP with some houserules. Dying is as per Pathfinder, but Death is permanent. You die, make a new character.
3. What about raising the dead?
Not going to happen.
4. How are replacement PCs handled?
For dead PC's, a sibling character can be made, get's half starting wealth, but is entitled to his fallen sibling's effects. Or the player can make a new character from scratch.
5. Initiative: individual, group, or something else?
6. Are there critical hits and fumbles? How do they work?
Crits as per Pathfinder.
7. Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet?
No, other than AC.
8. Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee or do something similarly silly?
If your friends are cover to the opponent, you hit them. Precise Shot eliminates that though.
9. Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything?
In the AP, I run the encounters as is, but I won't purposely throw in killer encounters unless the players decide to go "off map", then it's the dice fall where they may on random encounters.
10. Level-draining monsters: yes or no?
11. Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death?
I will use them, but won't overdo it.
12. How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked?
Both are fast tracked.
13. What's required when my PC gains a level? Training? Do I get new spells automatically? Can it happen in the middle of an adventure, or do I have to wait for down time?
None of that.
14.What do I get experience for?
Killing or defeating monsters, finding or surviving traps, putting haunts to rest.
15. How are traps located? Description, dice rolling, or some combination?
Perception roll by DM
16. Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work?
This is my house rule. Mercs can be hired. They are warriors, adepts, or experts only. Hirelings are commoners only.
Mercs will fight unless they are brought within 20% of their hp in which they automatically break off engagement. If they are hit with fear effects, they are gone forever if they can escape. Most mercs are neutral and will turn on the PC's if someone promises better pay and / or treatment.
17. How do I identify magic items?
Potions can be identified with Spellcraft and detect magic. Mundane magic items must be identified with identify and Spellcraft, but can be automatic with the pearl. Identify can be fooled by cursed items.
18. Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions?
Anything up to the GP limit of the town or city and upon the hard limit of the character's level. However, magic is shunned in the game by the common folk so the PC's have to go to cities or big towns to even go looking for it. Trying to buy or sell magic items in a village is a great way to start a mob.
19. Can I create magic items? When and how?
If the PC has the appropriate feat and time.
20. What about splitting the party?
Not my preference, but it can happen.
My video reply to these questions:
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