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charisma in arcology

L's rules of GMing

(These rules are for Charloft RPG , which uses a modified version of Unisystem. Please see the wiki for relevant information.)


Everyone has their own play style, and their own style for running a game as well. Thought maybe I'd jot down some notes about how things work and what I'd like to see when I'm running the adventure. I imagine some of these hold true for our other GMs as well, but your gaming mileage may vary. Other GMs might want to list the rules for their play sessions! It'll be helpful. =)


1. Please get involved with the story. Nothing is more disheartening to a GM than players that are not participating with what is going on around them. Interact with the environment and the NPCs. Make plans. Advance the plot. Players who are actively involving themselves with the story and making an effort to be a part of it will receive more XP than lurkers.

2. Use details and descriptions to add flavor to your actions in combat and elsewhere in the story. A good description of what you are trying to do may swing a hairy situation over to your favor, or add a bonus to your roll. Not giving a description, or giving a poor description when prodded for one, may result in a negative modifier to your roll.

3. If you only attend for part of a session, or are extremely inattentive while gaming (not emergency situations, but say... playing another game while talking to your cat and watching a movie instead of paying any attention to the room) you will receive less XP (possibly NO XP) than those who are actively participating in the game.

4. At any time, if you are stuck for what to do next, try asking for one of the following:

  • A perception (per+notice) check to see if your character can notice something helpful in the area.

  • A knowledge (int+knowledge) check to see if your character can think of an idea that will be of use.

  • A relevant skill check (int+occultism to examine a magical item, say)



The GM is not the only one that can call for a roll on something; you are free to request a roll at any time. You will have your request granted, or be given a reason (ex: Sports skill won't help you here) why you can't roll that particular combination.

5. Occasionally the plot will bite you in the ass. You will receive drama points for these sort of occasions, particularly if you play along and further the story.

6. There are often hidden areas, objects, and side quests. These aren't part fo the main story, but can be pursued at the party's discretion. Sometimes they're a distraction from the main plot - if there's a time crunch, you may want to come back for them. Other times, they can provide something helpful for use in the main story. You never know until you try! Choose wisely.

7. Please remember that IC/OOC are separate. Most folks don't have a problem with this, but just bear it in mind. Try to play your characters according to what they would do in a situation, even if you the player might not necessarily agree with their choices. Character development is its own reward, but there may also be drama points awarded for situations where you follow character and it is difficult to do so.

9. If you need a bathroom/food/leg stretch break, please speak up. The GM is not a mind reader. If you would like to put in an intermission request in, or a request to end a session at a certain time, or schedule a session for a certain time - please do so.

10. No more than two characters per person on the adventure at any time. If you are new to adventuring, or have trouble multi-tasking, make that one character.

11. If you have to leave a session unexpectedly and your character is currently important to the plot or situation at hand, your character may be puppeted by another player. If you know you're about to disappear, you can choose your own stand-in - if not, one will be chosen for you. Stand-ins will generally not use any of your DP (unless it is a life or death situation) and you will still earn XP for that character as if you remained in-session.

12. Please come to the gaming session at the agreed upon time with a completed and checked character sheet. Last minute character changes are a no. You should be prepared to play, with a pre-approved character.

13. Familiarize yourself with the workings of the system. If you have time, read over the rules and have a general understanding of what you will need to roll for which checks. At the bottom of your character sheet, you should list (or have someone list for you if you need help setting it up) common Maneuvers your character will make and what the roll for each is. It saves time.

14. Please try to avoid passive-aggressive and defeatist commentary in flavor text if at all possible. It gets to be a bit of a downer seeing "Like he's going to make this roll" and "He's got about as much chance as I do of getting laid" etc. , not to mention the breaking of IC/OOC. It's fine for the character to be doubtful of his own chances of success in flavor text "He's not sure if he can make this shot, but he's determined to try" or "He's been struggling to learn the arcane symbols..."

15. DP usage should be meaningful. DP = Drama Points. Try to save them for dramatic moments - heroic feats, plot twists and so forth only have meaning if we use them appropriately. Sometimes it's okay to take a hit that isn't going to kill you, or make a less than spectacular shot. If the scenario is getting too hard to face without repeated DP usage, it might be time to find another way to approach things. If it's absolutely too hard no matter what you try - tell the GM and she'll see about toning it down some.

16. XP and DP will be awarded according to the following criteria:

  • How much of session character was present for

  • How actively character participated

  • What skills were used (for banked XP)

  • What the character contributed to the story (DP)

  • What the character did to further the plot (DP)

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