27 March 2012

10 Basic Campaign Questions

Inspired by the 20 rules qualifications from Untimately, which I answer here, I thought it might be useful to organize a list of other fundamental questions about one's old school fantasy role-playing campaign. Here are the 10 basic campaign questions that occurred to me:

1. What races are available as PCs?
2. What classes are available as PCs?
3. What classes (including multiclasses) are available to each PC race?
4. Are there level limits for demi-humans?
5. Are dual classes available to humans? If so, how?
6. What alignments are used?
7. How strictly is alignment enforced?
8. Do alignment languages exist?
9. Initial hit points for starting PCs: Standard roll? Reroll for low rolls? Maximum hit points at 1st level? Other?
10. Weapon proficiency rules?


Here are my own answers:

1. What races are available as PCs? Usually Human, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling. Occasionally Dark Elf, Goblin, Pixie, Lizard Man, Centaur, et al. If it fits the campaign, I'll permit the races from Realms of Crawling Chaos: Sea Blood, Subhuman, White Ape, and White Ape Hybrid.

2. What classes are available as PCs? Cleric, Fighter, Magic-user, Thief, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling.

Fighters may choose a background such as Barbarian, Brigand, Cataphract, Engineer, Hunter, Knight, Sailor, Soldier. Each background includes appropriate secondary skills and a special combat bonus.

Magic-users who belong to a guild or college of magic have access to certain spells that are only available to members. In addition, members have easier access to common spells, although their manifestations may bear a uniqueness characteristic of that organization.

Clerics have access to certain spells that are available only to the clergy of their patron deity. Clerics have the usual restrictions prohibiting the use of edged weapons, but are free to use those weapons sacred to their patron deity even if they would ordinarily be prohibited.

Thieves may choose which thiefly skills to advance as they gain levels and at what rate, thus enabling them to specialize in burglary, picking pockets, filching at markets, trap expertise, encoding and decoding messages, disguise, poison lore, etc. (Yes, thieves have the skills of disguise and poison lore that were the province of assassins. Being an assassin is a matter of being a thief who specializes in assassination. Similarly, a thief could be a spy or scout depending on the skills emphasized.)

Dwarves, Elves, and Halflings may also choose backgrounds that allow them to specialize.

3. What classes (including multiclasses) are available to each race? [Edit: Since I've decided to use Basic/Expert D&D-style race classes, this question no longer applies to my campaigns.]

4. Are there level limits for demi-humans? No.

5. Are dual classes available to humans? If so, how? [Edit: Since I've decided to return to Basic/Expert D&D-style rules, no.]

6. What alignments are used? Either Law-Neutrality-Chaos or LG-NG-CG-LN-N-CN-LE-NE-CE.

7. How strictly is alignment enforced? For clerics very strictly. For other classes there is much greater leeway. I do not allow evil PCs, however.

8. Do alignment languages exist? No.

9. Initial hit points for starting PCs: Standard roll? Reroll for low rolls? Maximum hit points at 1st level? Other? Maximum hit points at 1st level.

10. Weapon proficiency rules? No. Class and race are the only potential limitations for using standard weapons.

[Originally posted here in Fudgerylog.]

[This article has been transferred from this location in Roundouse #2.]

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