Seems thread 13 was lucky after all, XenForo is here! This thread is a continuation (and likely the final one at that) of the previous threads (the first one, the second one, the third one, the fourth one, the fifth one, the sixth one, the seventh one, the eighth one, the ninth one, the tenth one, the eleventh one, and the twelfth one) due to the server issues that previously existed with the less-optimized vBulletin. They are immortalized (ish) here for posterity. Current Status We are not currently accepting players. The campaign is over! The game is no longer playing, I hope everyone had fun! SYSTEM 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. See the FAQ for the reasoning behind this. CHARACTER GENERATION GUIDELINES The rules work as per Player's Handbook 1 (4th edition) for a first level character with the following exceptions and/or clarifications- 1) No races from the Monster Manuals or Manual of the Planes. 2) No backgrounds. 3) No themes. 4) All feats and items are allowed assuming you meet their prerequisites regardless of setting. 5) Point Buy and Dice Rolling your ability scores are both legal generation methods. The latter is a bigger pain in the butt for me since I have to make sure you aren't cheating. Please ask me before you dice roll your ability scores. 6) No playtest materials will be allowed. Officially finalized and published material only. This means that where applicable we will be using available errata. 7) No evil aligned characters. I made that mistake once before, never again. 8) I strongly encourage, though do not require, classes from the Essentials line of books. They work a lot better for the sort of pacing that sessions have had so far than the PHB1-3 classes do. 9) The sunrods in the adventurer's kit don't exist, you have to buy them separately (you can keep the 8gp the sunrods were worth, though, which you can then spend on other light things or buying the house-ruled sunrods). See the FAQ for more information about house rules. 10) We're using survival hours, a derivative of survival days from Dark Sun. These cost 2sp/hour unit and weigh .25 pounds/hour unit and are representative of food, water, etc. needed to walk out and about in the wilderness without any problems. For those of you who wish to begin making your characters but require help (i.e. those who have not played D&D before), please feel free to request it and I shall do my best to assist. SETTING The setting is, in a sentence, "Go West." Our story begins in the year of 2261 with the Empire of Khaled. Well, sort of. You see, the Empire of Khaled has been at war for the last decade with a neighbor of ill-repute, and at long last the war is coming to an end. What this means is that, for the first time in a long time, the Empire can finally begin to pay attention to its colonies... or it will soon, anyway. This is where our heroes, such as they are, come in. Intrepid explorers, thrillseekers, or even just plain old "high risk businessmen", these men and women have decided it is high time to set out across the Great Western Sea to attend one of the Imperial colonies before the Empire proper turns its attentions back to expansion of its borders. In other words, the land of opportunity, and the timing of a lifetime, has presented itself - a land ripe for the picking, open for expansion and exploration, and not a single government in a thousand miles willing or able to interfere because of the war. Whatever their personal reasons, many adventurers have seemingly flocked to the opportunity. While certainly not a life path chosen by many (read: almost none) because of its extreme danger, adventuring can prove extremely rewarding - such is the hope of each individual who makes the journey across the Great Sea. This leads us to the specific setting we will be using for the campaign: the Town of Anchorholde and lands surrounding. In game design terms, those of you who enjoy "old school" roleplaying design can consider the wilderness surrounding Anchorholde as a kind of "megadungeon", which you will make sorties into at length. ANCHORHOLDE, THE TOWN OF Bordered on the eastern side by the Great Sea, Anchorholde is a town somewhat in disrepair due to the lack of attentions from its mother country during the war. Built in a natural harbor, it is home to some 1,856 people in a region approximately 1/3rd of a square mile in size (roughly 1 mile along the coast by 1/3rd mile inland). Surrounded by a wooden pallisade to protect from danger (properly maintained with a five hundred foot deforested perimeter), it is a constituent city of the Khaled Empire and governed by the human named Kama, surtitle d'Anchorholde. His captain of the guard is a warforged (whether he is a servant of the governor, owned by him, or simply indebted or else with an extreme sense of duty is unclear) with a name equivalent to his title: Captain. The governed body contains, among many others, a prominent blacksmith, alchemist, high priest, two tavern-like establishments, and a naval liaison in control of the harbor. The town makes almost all of its subsistence from the ocean with fishing and harvesting of minerals from the sea, leading to the outlying areas (beyond the pallisade) being lightly patrolled, if at all. Anchorholde has a single large church devoted primarily to Pelor, though there are alcoves for the lesser deities as well. In addition, it has a myriad of housing and docklands, as well as a fairly distinguished market for a town of its size. Indeed, several naval vessels may often be found on maneuvers nearby, and it is likely upon them that the adventurers arrive. As a constituent town of the Empire of Khaled the town of Anchorholde behaves primarily under the governances of the Empire, including its calendar and currency. THE IMPERIAL CALENDAR The Imperial Calendar is very similar to our own, save different names. The current year is 2262, and the days Monday through Sunday are as follows: Raqday, Errsday, Insday, Melday, Corsday, Sehday, and Pelday. Similar to our own weekday calendar, each day ends in the suffix "day" and is devoted to a major god of the D&D pantheon. Weekends are usually time off, just like in the real world. The months, in turn, are listed as follows: Duisternis, Chandrakant, Maganyos, Pantheras, Vahan, Cathair, Diogo, Vedrus, Khal, Orchimens, Novern, and Ultimens, equivalent January through December. The names of the months originated long ago, long enough that their significance has been forgotten by the living memory of the world's population in the Empire of Khaled. IMPERIAL CURRENCY As a foreword regarding the town of Anchorholde, it is not large enough to warrant the use of Platinum pieces - as such the town's banking institution tends to be the only ones to use them, often as a means of transacting the purchase of land by a landowner or exchange with the Empire at large via boat. The copper Mina is minted in individual regions by the governors, barons, or other ruling class members. In Anchorholde it features a portrait of the governor on the face, and on the reverse it features a cornucopia to represent its peasantry-associated intentions. The edges are not milled and are in fact somewhat irregular, leading the slightly seedy underbelly occasionally to engage in coin clipping. The income gained by clipping copper coins isn’t terribly substantial, though, so for the adventurers arriving for the express purpose of making money it is unlikely to become invested in a lifetime of counterfeiting pennies. The Crown presents a raised image of the king (supposedly because a silver piece is in wider circulation than a gold piece, and therefore his image is more well known among his subjects as a result). Upon the reverse (“tails”) side is an engraving of the king’s heraldic crest wreathed by a crown. This symbolizes how the king is always related to the other kings (the crown) due to his position, but that he is mostly an individual (most of the imagery changes from king to king because of different house crests). These coins were minted around three years ago (when the current monarch took power) and are re-minted at the least each time a new monarch takes power, or as needed. The Sovereign (“Draco”) coin is embossed with a large, stylized dragon (in medieval fashion a la the stylized Lion on Richard the Lionheart’s banners) upon the front, with milled ridges along the edge of the coin (although there is no raised lip around the perimeter, not unlike a US Quarter, albeit gold). The back is pictured with the same dragon image, though it is engraved rather than embossed as though it was press-stamped through to the front of the coin. The date of mint, at present around ten years past, tends to go for quite a long time between remintings. The Piece of Torm is embossed with the visage of Torm upon the “head” of the coin, and upon the “tail” of the coin is a beam of light striking a squareish citadel temple, indicating Torm’s return to life after defeating Bane during the Time of Troubles. Though no true citizen of the kingdom would dare attempt to “coin clip” a Piece of Torm the rim is nevertheless carefully pressed with a raised lip, not only symbolically acting as a wall against chaos entering the flat of the coin, but additionally acting as a literal wall against the chaos of counterfeiters shearing valuable platinum from the coin’s edges. The Empire of Khaled once also used Electrum coins (a mix of gold and silver), though the purity could never be maintained due to a lack of the advanced metallurgical skills required and so they were eventually discarded in favor of a more robust system of coinage. THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PLAYERS "Is that really all of the setting?" you may find yourself asking. Well, yes and no. It is all of the setting you're going to be getting from me. The rest of the setting that I'm working on is all set to the West of Anchorholde - things that you, the intrepid explorer, would not yet know about not having uncovered it! So, on my end, there is a lot more setting... but obviously telling it to you would make this a story, not a game. On the other end, however, I have purposely left a wide swath of empty in the metaphorical chapter on the Empire of Khaled. When you make your character and give him or her (or even it, depending on which race you select) a motivation for heading to the West you can, and should, feel free to make up whatever you like regarding the Empire. I left it a pretty blank slate for a reason. First come first serve, though, since, obviously, you cannot have two conflicting pieces of factual history. SCHEDULING There is no defined schedule, and that is what makes West Marches such an aptly suited concept to running online (or in any other situation where the players will be intermittently busy). There is not necessarily any commitment to showing up week in and week out on Tuesday. Why? How does that work? Well, the West Marches charter is simple: players decide what to do, not the GM. You don’t show up every Saturday and go “well, I can’t think of anything, time to go home”, either. It is the players’ job to organize the game. How? Here's an example of the kind of thing you could post: “Hey guys, I’m free Tuesday and I’d love to play a bit. What say we go check out that old ruined watchtower we saw in the distance last time? I can’t go by myself, who else is in?” From there you would all begin to have a bit of a chat about who wants to play and when they can do it, and hey maybe you should check out this cave you found in the swamp instead because that looked pretty cool et c. The simple version in four easy rules goes something like this: 1) The GM has to be available that day. This should explain itself. 2) You must give the GM some time in advance (about 3 days is fair for the most part) to prepare things that may not be entirely done yet in the direction you set off (with notable exceptions being return trips to a place you've already been; since the stuff there is already done notice can usually drop to a single day in advance). The GM holds the power to veto things he thinks may end up being a waste of time (“Let’s go grind out some levels against the kobolds!” *buzzer*) or else impossible to run ("Can we play in 2 hours? By the way we're going some place you don't have anything ready!" *buzzer*). 3) You MUST schedule games via this thread. It doesn’t matter whom you Private Messaged or Texted or went Bowling with at the London SB get-together, if you decided you want to play there, post it HERE! Everything must be kept public regarding scheduling. The social monster is scary enough as it is. For those of you who enjoy a good bit of in-character there’s another bonus to this method – it represents yourselves, the adventurers, getting together in town and getting a plan set in stone before you go somewhere. In the real world if you were planning a hiking trip (not to mention something as dangerous as raiding a dungeon!) you would ask around for people to come with you, and plan out your provisions, and when you were going. It works just the same here. Please keep in mind that in the interest of scheduling it is probably best to come back to town at the end of every sortie into the wilderness. In fact, I strongly encourage it. VERY STRONGLY. If you camp out in the wilderness that means that your characters are not in town to schedule another excursion with those who are. This leads to us having to wait for your next session with the EXACT same people to resolve your "not back in town yet" situation, which is hard since, given the way the game is designed, getting the same 4 or 5 people together again within a short span of time may be difficult. It can also put us into the very odd continuity warping situation of a second party, tired of waiting for the first to be done, happening to venture near where the first party is frozen in time between sessions (as an example, Party A leaves town on the 15th [real time and game time] and pauses in the wilderness. On the 17th [real time and game time] Party 2 gets bored and heads to where Party 1 is going. They raid the place of loot and get back to town. Party 1 then resumes the game only to arrive at the place where a party two days in the future have stolen all of the loot! That is not good for gameplay!) Please do not put the GMs through having to deal with that and plan your time accordingly to make it back to town at the end of every session wherever possible. Do understand: it will not always be possible to return to town at the end of a session, especially in navigating to particularly far-flung locales (or while under interesting access conditions, where you'd rather not wait for the next solstice for the door to open again). But, whenever you can, you really, really should try to end a session back at town. One last thing. Okay, two things, really. Sorry, I suppose the bolded text lied. The number of players I aim for in a good session is between 3 and 5, inclusive. If you schedule a session with three, four, or five players in it, you will not have to ask special permission about how many players you have. Having determined the rough extent of my personal attention and words-per-minute typing speed, if you attend a session with five or more players it is required to use voice chat. I cannot manage five or more players at once via text alone. With four or fewer players, voice is optional and its use will be determined by majority (or plurality if any abstain) vote. In the event of a tie vote it will be decided by DM fiat. You can of course have fewer than 3 players or more than 5 at a session, but the reason those nominal limits exist is simple: more than 5 people is too many cooks in the kitchen (not only does the game become too "easy" in normally challenging locales, but also you start losing individual impact on the course of gameplay), and fewer than 3 people is probably going to be very dangerous (and I don't want people to die just because "they thought they could totally go with 2 people and it'd be fine" - consider this the warning that one or two PCs is probably not going to have a good time except in the very easiest of locations relative to their current level). You can go with more than five or fewer than three, but it requires explicitly asking and my explicit approval, while going anywhere with three to five characters is considered approved by default unless I say otherwise. The second thing, again sorry about my bolded text fibbing there, is watching a session you are not a part of. The power of a rotating cast game is in its social implications - you will not always adventure with everyone, and you will be forced by the nature of the game to rely on second-hand information. Sometimes this information is extremely accurate, sometimes it isn't. That's up to the person giving it to you. I want to give players lattitude in just how much of that treasure vault they found that they want to share with everyone else. At the same time, you are all on the same side here. Just sometimes you don't want somebody snatching up your rightfully earned cash if you did not have the time to claim it. It's a fine line to walk between friends, competition, and in the middle, friendly competition. I aim for the center-point, and this rule may be adjusted depending on how things are going. TIME ZONE PRIMER Here are some popular time zones as of the moment (I will attempt to keep this listing up to date for the current daylight savings status, but it is up to y'all to figure out whether where you live observes it or not) - GMT/UTC. UTC (Universal Time, Coordinated) is the official neutral time zone as measured by an atomic clock. It is accurate to within fractions of a second. Besides its superb accuracy, it is otherwise equivalent to GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). Times are usually expressed in GMT or UTC plus or minus (+/-) X, where X is the number of hours ahead or behind your time zone is. Eastern Daylight Time (US Eastern Seaboard), Central Daylight Time (US Central), Mountain Daylight Time (US Mountain), Pacific Daylight Time (US Pacific). EST = UTC - 4, CST = UTC - 5, MST = UTC - 6, PST = UTC - 7. All the nations of Great Britain and Ireland are currently on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). GMT = UTC. All nations of continental Europe from Spain in the West through Poland in the East are on Central European Time (CET). CET = UTC + 1. Portugal is currently on GMT = UTC. When discussing time, please feel free to use these conversions for sake of clarity. Dramatis Personae IC document posted in Tavern FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Q: What about unusual party make-ups? What if the five wizards all want to play on Thursday with no paladin or ranger or, or, or- A: That’s how it goes, then. Sometimes in real life you don’t have a “balanced group”, either. Ideally you’d probably want to bring some of everything you need every time you go out, but if scheduling prevents it then don’t be afraid to go without a cleric! This applies to making your characters, too. Since there are so many of you it will be nigh-on impossible to plan out a "balanced group" in advance; don't be afraid to play what you want to be just because the role is "already taken". In fact, dealing with adversity of this type is often one of the most fun experiences. Nobody tells the story about the time they all did their roles reasonably well and beat the orcs, but the time that there were four wizards and the cleric had to tank, now that is much more interesting! Q: Can I run multiple characters at a time? A: No. While the hallmark of 1st edition D&D where these "big tent" style campaigns were popular was players with multiple characters, that was out of necessity to have several PCs of several different levels simultaneously so that they could always adventure together appropriately. In this campaign that will not be an issue we will have to overcome, therefore there is no need to run more than one character at once. This includes running somebody else's character if they're going to be absent - for all intents and purposes, you are your character and nobody else's. Q: Wait, real time AND game time? A: Yes, time in the game will proceed in accordance with time in reality, while no games are being run, at a 1:1 scale. If it's the fifth today (which it is at the time of this FAQ entry's writing), it will be the fifth in the game. Tomorrow will be the sixth both in reality and in the game. This has important implications in things like the continuous timeline of the four seasons or slightly more mundane events like paying for room and board at the inn. After a game is complete, time in reality will need to catch up to time in the game (that is, if you leave today and it's the 26th, spend 2 days in the woods, and come back on the night of the 28th, you would be unable to play again until real time arrived at the night of the 28th. This is so our calendars remain synched and shouldn't pose any real issues). Q: How long does lamp oil last? A: A pint of lamp oil will burn for approximately 4 hours. The wick will last for so long that a replacement wick will not be a concern within the scale of this campaign. Q: How much do coins weigh? A: 50 coins of any type weigh 1 pound (with potential exceptions from non-Imperial currencies to be noted during play). Q: Why are you telling me all of this encumbrance type stuff? A: Resource management is an important part of this game. I feel that it is something that is often ignored in your average "narrative high adventure" campaign, and in this setting such a concept is entirely appropriate. I make sure to simplify it wherever possible - there's no need to track food and water separately, for instance, when an abstracted "survival hour" (based on Dark Sun's survival day concept) will do. Q: What sort of availability can we expect on items to buy from shops in town? A: Commodities like proper magic items (weapons with plusses on them) and things like horses are likely to be rare in a small colonial town like this because of a lack of materials, craftsmen, or imports. Over time availability may change due to different global conditions. The town does have an alchemist, so minor magic items and such things as alchemical consumables are likely not going to be too hard to get in at least small quantities. Q: What happens if I die? A: In order to portray the wilderness as unforgiving, and since the PCs in 4th edition are already pretty buff compared to older editions, you should probably not expect an easy raise dead ritual to be on hand. In this eventuality you will be allowed to construct a new character of a level deemed appropriate by the DM should you wish to continue playing. Consider character death a chance to play that class you always wanted to play but never got the chance to - dying isn't fun, but it's not much of a setback on fun, either. If you achieved a high character level before your character died expect to start at a level above 1 as a reward for your hard work and dedication. Q: Do I need residuum/ritual components to cast rituals? A: No, the gods of magic also accept cash, check, or mastercard. (You can use coins). Q: Why 4th edition and not Pathfinder, 3.5, 2nd AD&D, GURPS, et c.? A: I am most familiar with running 4th edition in an online medium, and it is therefore in the interest of smooth gameplay that I am using the system with which I am most familiar. Additionally I have neither the time nor money to invest in other RPG systems at this time, as well as many of them not possessing as clearly useful and freely available online tabletop applications like Map Tool offers with its user-created macro frameworks. The key constructs of 4th edition that will be getting used are its equipment, combat system, and character generation system. Since it doesn't offer a lot of advice on other topics, like overland travel, it makes sense that they are drawn from other places or else created wholesale. Q: What's this I heard about a "token"? A: A token is what Map Tool uses to represent your character on the virtual tabletop. Since we aren't sitting around a real table it is of utmost importance that this token contains all of the things that your character sheet would normally possess, such as your powers, skills, age, race, equipment, weight, height, backgrounds etc. etc. Playing without a token on Map Tool is the virtual equivalent of playing without a character sheet. Q: So, how can I set up this "Map Tool" thing, exactly? A: While the process has a tendency to get a little complicated (software isn't perfect!) you can start by navigating to this webpage and downloading the Map Tool client we are currently using (1.3.b86). From there you can ask for further directions in the thread, by PM, or any other usual method of communication. Q: Are there any house rules? A: Yes. Long story short there is a restriction placed on Sunrods. They now cost 40 gold a piece and require a strength score of 17 or a constitution score of 15 to carry. In order to balance this "nerf" to the PCs' ability to see, I have also included a house rule that you may use an action point to add 1d6 to any die roll any time you could otherwise ordinarily spend an action point, assuming the action to spend the action point lands adjacent to the action with the die roll you are adding to. In other words, you cannot make an opportunity attack, then wait a few turns, then say "wait a minute I retcon my opportunity attack with this +1d6 to the attack roll", but you could spend it either directly before or directly after an attack on your turn and use it in that way. Q: I still don't get it; how are we supposed to schedule these things, anyway? A: After the first session it will help a lot to think of this thread as being a sort of meta-in-character thread. You are the heroes (despite your forum guises) planning for your next expedition in the taproom of the Captain's Quarters Tavern & Brewery. Posting in character is strongly encouraged, though not necessary. If you think confusion may result, then pick a color (any color!) to post in-character things with, or else delineate them clearly. Keep in mind that since not every player will play in every session (in fact, very few will play in any given session) it will be very helpful to post in-character to the thread, that way when your characters do finally meet up they have a feeling of what the other is about despite never having been on an adventure together. Since the real time and date is roughly equivalent to the game time and date this is made even more immersive, since even if you post out of character you will still be planning in what amounts to real time, both in the game and outside of it. Q: This is all some kind of elaborate DM trick or charade, right? We're going to go somewhere and halfway there we're going to meet prepared encounter X? A: I can assure you that this is no trick of DM misdirection! You will be exploring a world that exists as-is; once the session starts the "worldbuilder" gloves come off, and the "fair arbitrator" hat gets put on. The GMs' hands are powerless to change the world itself once a session begins and world consistency is a huge goal. Try to keep that in mind when you're being chased by a pack of wolves: I'd help if I could, but I can't! Q: How hard can I expect this campaign to be? Will I die often? A: That's mostly up to how well you play, or so I'd like to think. It does edge towards "harder", though, so I recommend caution rather than a heroic gung-ho attitude. It dips down into impossible if you don't keep your wits about you - you may stumble into the lair of something extremely nasty, and if you don't take the time to think about what you're about to do, it's easy to fall into the "he wouldn't put us here if we couldn't beat it! Charge!" attitude, and that may end up getting you in trouble since it won't have been me who put you there and as a result I am under no obligation to make sure it doesn't kill you deader than disco. Monsters are dangerous foes to be fought with caution and only when necessary, not pinatas full of experience and chocolate coins. I will do my best to play monsters as realistically as possible (admittedly, arguments about realism in a game about dragons and magic is a bit ironic), and, again, the world will not change out from under you. A monster's defensive ability will not unreasonably change, nor will their offensive ability or intelligence. Nothing will be fudged for you or against you. You may be tempted to help mitigate the odds by bringing along a plethora of other player characters with you, but try to keep the number as low as you reasonably can for the task at hand. The fewer players in a given session the more spotlight you get and the more important your actions are, not to mention the bigger your share of loot and experience points! Q: Won't I be missing a lot of the campaign's content because I don't play every session? A: Yes and no. You won't be there personally, but you should encourage the people that attended to relate to you what you missed. This is part of the player driven nature of the campaign. Q: Player driven? A: As this is a sandbox game, I have decided to go whole hog with the amount of player driven action. It is up to the players to schedule sessions, including what they intend to do during that session, whereupon the GM will craft the necessary materials if they are not yet ready. The GMs will not supply maps or AARs (after action reports, basically session summaries) - they are neutral arbitrators, world builders, and facilitators; GMs make the world, exploring it (and by extension, telling others about what they found) is entirely up to the players. Q: Where can I find things I may have missed like these aforementioned AARs or maps? A: Make sure to check the thread (or previous versions of it), the archive that blackseven has put together, or the latest renditions of player made maps here, here, and here (discontinued). Q: How, exactly, can I get my hands on rarer magic items, like those with enchantment bonuses? A: You can craft them yourself (with residuum), you can potentially provide the residuum to a craftsman with a fee for creating the item (depending on what item it is), or you can purchase them with money from overseas. Overseas shipping is not possible for residuum as it supposedly attracts sea monsters. Please allow several weeks for shipped items to arrive and be prepared to pay for their cargo space (generally around 15% of the item's cost). Note that some items may be too difficult for the town blacksmith (or his associates) to craft, even given the proper materials. You will need to make these items yourself or acquire them in some other way. Q: Hey! What happened to overseas!? A: A dangerous sea beast has emerged from the depths of the ocean; it is obstructing the traffic of magic items and materials across the expanse until it is dealt with. Q: Are there any rules of proper etiquette for the sessions? A: Text has a peculiar problem in that many people talking over each other happens frequently. You wouldn't think of speaking over somebody else in person, so please exercise understanding in that the DM can only pay attention to one person at a time. Since text is commonly used compared to voice (at the moment) this comes up a lot. Furthermore, moving your own token around as you please in real time during exploration often leads to a sort of Token Clusterfuck where people place their tokens on top of each other or end up in positions that the rest of the party are not at all prepared for. Please refrain from moving your own token unless it is in turn-based initiative order or you are otherwise instructed during a session in order to help alleviate this problem. Since it's difficult to handle people doing things simultaneously, I will generally assume that people do their actions sequentially in the order they say them unless they remark otherwise. Q: Are there any homebrew mechanical elements I should be aware of? A: Besides the house rules described above, I have finally figured out what seems to be a good system for resolving running from monsters (or chasing monsters that are running away). This is a rules hack of the Spirit of the Century chase rules, because they're really just the best I've ever seen. When you run from an enemy or group of enemies, one person will be the Trailblazer. They will pick from among the relevant "running away" skills (commonly defaulting to Athletics, with the potential for things like Nature in outdoors areas, Dungeoneering in a dungeon, Stealth with the potential for obfuscation, and the like). They will describe a maneuver attempted during running away and define a DC (Difficulty Class - the static number you will attempt to roll to hit with the skill). Up to one other member of the party may roll the same, or a different, relevant skill and replace the Trailblazer's roll with their roll (you can pick the better of the two results after they're rolled); a caveat to this is the same party member may not help the Trailblazer two exchanges in a row. Again, both rolls (and the actions they represent) are contingent on being "appropriate". Changing the primary fleeing skill mid-chase will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. If the DC of the maneuver is met or exceeded the party continues to flee (relatively) successfully. If the DC of the maneuver is missed (example: DC18, roll a 13 and a 15) the party's members each lose healing surges equal to the difference divided by two (rounded down, minimum 1). If the monster group is able to exceed the DC, they inflict surge damage equal to the difference divided by two (rounded down, minimum 1). If the monster group's roll does not meet the DC, they take damage to a stress track (the number of boxes in this track is equal to 1 per 4 minions, 1 per standard monster, 2 per elite monster, and 5 per solo monster) in the box number equal to the difference divided by four (rounded down, minimum one). If you are not familiar with the stress track mechanic don't worry about it, that's on my end. The advantage of the heroes in retreating from monsters is in that they often have a broader array of skills to choose from, and two chances to make the DC. The advantage of the monsters in chasing is that the longer the heroes try (and fail) to escape, the weaker the heroes will be when the monsters finally catch up to them. When the roles are reversed the players keep their unique ability to aid the Trailblazer. Since monsters don't have healing surges, when they flee they will either be killed as they are caught (for those that fled due to a clear mismatch), or if a stronger more intelligent foe decides to flee it will take an appropriate penalty if caught. Monsters can continue to flee until their stress track overflows, player characters can continue to flee until one of them takes surge value damage to their hit points from losing a surge while having no surges remaining (you can flee, or continue to flee, at zero surges, but if you fail a maneuver you are instantly caught in addition to taking damage for the surge you don't have). If you are caught (and the same goes for the monsters) you will need to play out a round of combat before attempting to flee again. Keep in mind that at any point during a battle (excluding the round after just being caught) you can choose to flee (and so can the enemy), and at any point during a pursuit you can choose to turn around and fight (for instance if you're about to run out of healing surges and want to have reasonable odds "with some gas still in the tank" rather than running yourself ragged and crossing your fingers). Each exchange of fleeing will be equal to a minute's travel at top speed (five times normal overland speed). There will be modifiers to these rolls as determined by several circumstantial factors, such as relative speed. Using a daily power will potentially allow you to use an otherwise unacceptable skill check (for instance, expending an arcane keyworded daily power would let you roll arcana). The general location of the party members relative to each other and the monsters will be up to the DM's discretion, which should be influenced by the narrative descriptions of the actions the players give when rolling skill checks. The numbers and process are undergoing fine tuning as they are used in game sessions and we get a better grasp on how well they play - keeping them lean, intuitive, and effective are the primary goals of the foot chase rules. If for some reason you are undergoing a chase while not on foot the same rules will be used as best as is possible. Q: What are the rules for gaining Experience Points? A: This Q&A is butting up against the character limit in posts on Spacebattles, therefore you should see the first post of the thread for this information.