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Session Zero Notes

These are the guidelines for the party and our adventure.

Game Setting

Setting information can be found at http://cailore.com/. Information will be added to this site as the game progresses. As a thanks for helping us play test this adventure in 5e on Fantasy Grounds, each player will receive a free copy of the adventure at its conclusion.

Rules

Open Game License (OGL) 5e (You can download the Dungeons & Dragons 5e basic player’s guide here). This SRD will largely be applied RAW (Rules as Written) using the platform’s standard rule file. As the campaign progresses more ‘homebrew’ character options will be available and will be described on Cailore.com.

Player Experience Expectations

It is helpful if players are familiar with the rules of the System Rules Document (SRD) but are not required, we are happy to help newcomers to the system. Many of the players will be using Fantasy Grounds for the first time, so no experience with Fantasy Grounds is expected.

Platform

The game is run online using the virtual tabletop Fantasy Grounds. The Game Master runs the Ultimate edition of the program, so players can participate using any edition, including the free Demo version, which is available for download here: https://www.fantasygrounds.com/

You can watch a pretty good player tutorial here:https://youtu.be/dAshnF025KA It will give you a nice jump-start on understanding the platform.

You can also read the user manual here: https://www.fantasygrounds.com/filelibrary/FantasyGroundsUserManual.pdf

Fantasy Grounds Server: good seal bold seal
Teamspeak Server: ts.fg-con.com Password Dungeoneers Teamspeak Category: D&D5E Room: Cailore Upriver Contact me for password @CailoreDM (twitter) or @Cailore.Fantasy (FB)

Platform Setup

Well before the game is to start, you should install Fantasy Grounds if it is not already on your computer. The first thing you should do is run the Connection Test found on the starting screen of the launcher (shown in the picture to the left). Click the “Run Test” button, if green letters appear to saying, “SUCCESS” as in the example, you are good to go to the next step. If your computer fails the connection test, please consult the forums for help: https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?23179-Connection-Test-Failure

If you want to be able to converse with the Game Master and other players using voice chat and to hear the sound effects accompanying the adventure provided by Syrinescape, you will need to install TeamSpeak3. You can download it for free at https://www.teamspeak3.com/teamspeak-download.php.

Gateway

To get into the game, you will need a special passcode to get into the game. If you have already submitted a character to play, enter your username as the name of your character if you haven’t done so, enter your real name and you can select a pre-generated character on the other side.

To receive the Host Address, please contact the Game Master the morning of the game. First priority will be given to players who attended the previous week’s game, but other players will be accepted as ‘standby’ and will be given access to the game if there are fewer than 8 players signed into the game at 10 minutes before start time.

Number of Players & Attendance

We will accept a maximum of 12 players into the ‘game pool.’ If you are unable to attend a session, you can keep your seat for the next session by informing the DM at least four hours before start. Players who have not signed on 10 minutes prior to start will have forfeited their seat for the game session, and ‘standby’ players will be invited to attend in their place.

Outside Fantasy Ground Communication

You can contact the Game Master through any of the following:

Game Calendar

Game Dates Time Zone Game Time
Every second London — Zulu Time 7–9 PM
Sunday Greenland 6–8 PM
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI 3–5 PM
5 November 17 Eastern US — Quebec, Ontario 2–4 PM
19 November 17 Central US — Manitoba, Saskatchewan 1–3 PM
3 December 17 Mountain US — Alberta Noon–2 PM
17 December 17 Pacific US — British Columbia 11 AM –1 PM
14 January 18 Alaska US 10 AM–12PM
28 January 18 Hawaii US 8–10 AM

https://calendar.google.com/calendar/embed?src=cfk6em0fptvr0gq0vrglnulcgs%40group.calendar.google.com

Game-style

Type of Game

The target style for this game is Relaxed Fantasy Adventure. There will be light role play, with players expected to interact with the game world from their character’s point of view and an honest attempt at developing an involved in-game persona should be made, but this isn’t Emo-Shakespeare—no one is going to be earning an Oscar for their performance, and some Out of Character (OOC) hijinks is permitted and good ‘table fun’. The challenges facing the Player Characters (PCs), will include basic combat, strategic planning, skill challenges, and role-playing challenges. Many, if not most, of the challenges confronting the party, will be possible to overcome with more than one of those approaches so the overall balance of game elements will be dependent upon the choices made by the players throughout the game.

Character Alignment

The Game Master makes no requirements upon PC alignment; however, players should be prepared for the consequences of their choices. In heroic fantasy, evil always consumes itself.

Campaign Length

The players will be playing through the adventure Lairs of Lawlessness, which takes the players from 1st level to 7th level.

Character Down Time

There will be no extended downtime during the adventure.

Character Creation

You may create 1st-level characters for the campaign using the point buy process on using HeroLab or D&D Beyond, or you can sign into the game 30 minutes before a session and I can help you through character generation in Fantasy Grounds.  You may use any homebrew information I’ve shared either on Cailore.com or D&D Beyond and the 5e Player’s Handbook—subject to the following restrictions:

Alignment

No Evil characters. While those can be fun to play, this is not that sort of campaign.

Race

No Drow, Dragonborn, Half-Orcs or Tieflings. The natives will literally start shooting at you on sight.

Classes

No Monks or Warlocks, both of these have story implications within the campaign world.

You can find our campaign information on D&D Beyond here: https://www.dndbeyond.com/campaigns/44709

Game Play

Fantasy Grounds creates a particular type of game environment so all facets of this will not be discussed, but the following elements will be of interest to players:

Combat & Taking Your Turn

To ensure the game moves in a quick and orderly manner, players will be expected to have their action ready when it is their initiative. If a player has not declared an action or intent within 20 seconds of the bell ringing for their initiative, action will pass to the next character or creature in initiative order.

Action of Record

Although we will have voice chat to facilitate some forms of communication, especially coordinating long-term actions and socializing, all character actions or statements made in character to in-world NPCs will need to be entered in the Fantasy Grounds chat field. This is to create an immutable record of the action and allow for easy review of previous sessions if the need arises. Once you hit enter, no take-backsys.

Meta-play & Role Play Expectations

Fun is the primary focus of adventure and no expectations are made upon the players to ‘forget what they know’ about the game. So long as meta-play does not lead to arguments with the Game Master, there are no penalties for acting out, or even discussing meta-knowledge.

Earning XP

Experience points will be awarded throughout play for overcoming challenges, regardless of the method of success. Combat, skills, planning, and role playing are all awarded equally. Bonus points may be awarded at any time for actions or role playing that significantly advance the story, character development, or progress toward goals. Progression rates are ‘standard’.

Level-up

If a character earns enough experience to achieve a new level, they may level up either at the end of the game session, or during the next play break, if they believe they can accomplish the leveling within 5 minutes time. At lower levels, this should not be an issue, especially if the player has thought about what direction they want to take their character. There will be a group pause for leveling when all PC have earned enough XP to be awarded 2nd level.

Player Behavior

  • Don’t be a dick.
  • The Game Master is the final arbiter of the rules—unless the built-in rule set doesn’t let the Game Master do what he wants, then Fantasy Grounds is the final arbiter of the rules.
  • Have fun.
  • Help other players have fun.