Rule 1: I want everyone to have fun. Otherwise – what’s the point?
However, that leads to rule 2.
Rule 2: I can’t guarantee everyone’s happiness at all times. If you have a problem – tell me. Otherwise I can’t help you.
Rule 3: I’m not perfect. So, if I seem to make a mistake, tell me. Occasionally I’ll forget something, or misremember. It happens. Just tell me and we’ll figure it out.
Rule 4: Once you’ve told me, let it go. If I continue despite you telling me something, I likely have a reason for it. You may not know all the details, maybe I gave you misinformation in-play. Regardless, after I’ve heard you, let it go.
Everyone needs to fill out the “Crib” sheets. This is not optional. They are available from me, just ask. These are both for my benefit and yours. They flesh out your character and provide me with more ways to hook your character into the various plots, and give me something to work with. Also, early player-specific plot will largely derive from this sheet.
If you have a power idea that you can’t seem to construct out of the book, talk to me. I love new powers, but I’m going to scrutinize them – expect changes and revisions.
All characters are subject to review by me. I prefer powers and abilities that have some sort of definable origin. Whether that be given by some higher power, or gained through scientific experiment. Just give me something worthwhile. I’m not going to be a bitch about it, but I’d like to have some sense of cohesiveness.
I can provide character sheets of my own design. The sheets are not significantly different from the ones given in the book, but if you use mine, I can save your sheets on my computer and print them out should they get lost/destroyed/etc.
Please be on time: I know this can be difficult, and I’m pretty understanding. If at all possible, if you’re going to be late, just call me, or another player that you know is going to be there. Like GI Joe says – Knowing is half the battle.
We are certainly playing to be social – but keep in mind that I have a story to tell and others might well be interested in playing the game. Try to keep non-game related chat to a minimum.
I know our schedules are tight these days, so come ready to play. We’ll be lucky to get 3-4 hours a session of actual game-time, and I’d like to get as much in as possible. If you like to hold onto your character sheet – you are then responsible for bringing it. A pencil and dice (D10s) are useful as well, but I can help with those if you forget.
I generally play fair with my PCs. Most people don’t like this. I believe in consequences, so, if your character walks into an obvious trap, expect him to take a beating, or die. I let PCs die. Be aware. I’ll always let you create a new character and introduce them when appropriate. That character will be a set amount of character points behind the player with the lowest point total.
I don’t do NPC-only widgety powers, Deus Ex Machina, or High Saucery. Anything my characters can do comes out of the book or undergoes the same review process that the PCs do. If you see me using a power you can’t place, it means that it’s got rules, and you can find it and learn it. Oftentimes, the hard part is just finding out how.
Feel free to read any book about the game system you happen to come across – in the case of Aberrant, I’ve read them all. I won’t be using any of the specific story elements from the various books, though I may use powers or general concepts from other books. The gist is: If you read something, and I say something else: I take precedence.
Please keep the time that you pull me aside for character specific actions to a minimum. While this is a group-oriented game, I understand that characters will have motivations to do some things on their own, just try to keep it to a reasonable level. Loners just drag down the speed of the game for everyone.
I generally will storyboard any combat that the PCs don’t want to hash out. Anything over the characters’ heads will fall against them and anything easy for the characters will fall in their favor. Middle of the road combats will have to be played out. There’s just too much chance to storyboard those. Plot specific battles will also be played out regardless of difficulty. Also I’ll play out some combats just to keep you on your toes.
Also, I roll into combat anything that involves rolling dice. Stat checks, power uses, etc. A Mega-Strength Nova arm-wrestling a norm will have obvious results. I’ll storyboard anything that seems to have an obvious conclusion unless asked not to by a player.
Some people think I’m stingy with XP, others think I run Monty-Haul. It all depends on how you play. Largely, the plot lines I run won’t hinge on your powers, but on role-playing and creative thinking. So, I’m not afraid to hand out XP as it’s just not often a big issue. I hand out XP for cool RP moments and creative thinking as often as winning combat.
Also, If you gain something in play I often won’t make you pay for it. You got it on your own merits. That guy you spent half an hour of game time convincing to be your contact shouldn’t cost 3 XP.
However, if you do something to blow that contact away – I’ll take him away, too. Even if you paid XP for him – and no – you don’t get the XP back.
This series of rules allows characters to quickly change into what the players want to play post-character creation and rewards good RP. Players that just come to game will just get base XP. Keep that in mind.
Pretty basic – No Show, No XP. I don’t play PCs unless absolutely necessary, which is excessively rare.
Again – back to rule 2. Tell me. What I’m doing good, bad, silly, and otherwise. Whatever comes up. You got an idea about where you want the game to go? Tell me. Got a cool power that you’d like your character to get someday? Write it up and email me. Hate my guts and think I should go to hell? Leave a voicemail. :)
I’m willing to take custody of the player sheets and all related material. I’ll probably convert over any sheets in my custody to my sheet type so I can’t lose them.
I do have plots going on from the first session. I’ll also create one-shots for “vacations” from the overarching plot. Any requests are welcome and appreciated.
I don’t spoon feed experienced players/characters. You’ll have research to do, puzzles and plots to solve, conspiracies to unravel and Evil villains that pop up like bad pennies. Be prepared to think.
Dice Pool AKA “Take-A-Penny”
I generally institute this rule in the cases of excessive OOG chatty groups. I’ve found it works wonders for people’s attention.
At the beginning of game, one White die for each player is placed in a dish and an equivalent amount of Red dice for the GM. Any player may use any amount of white dice to add special effects, auto successes, etc to their powers during the course of the game session.
As punishment for excessive OOG talk, the GM may remove a white Die, or add a Red one.
Red Dice counteract White Dice on a one-to-one basis, or may act as White dice for the GM.
White Dice are added by keeping the GM on topic, or at the cost of 1 XP for 2 Dice.
Occasionally when no other relevant award exists for cool RP or creative thinking I’ll award a White Die to the pool.