This thread is being set up as a way for my players to talk to me, the DM, or each other between games.
The campaign setting we will be using is the "default" 4th edition D&D "Points of Light" setting. I don't think I'll be making many changes to what is presented to us as in the descriptions of various races, monsters, and gods as written in the published books. I'll simply be taking those concepts and putting them together to produce a world everyone can have a fun adventure in. So whatever you read in any published D&D book that isn't specific to some other campaign (like Forgotten Realms or Eberron), you can pretty much take that as gospal.
No Evil or Chaotic Evil alignments. Unaligned, Good, or Lawful Good is accepted. I'm imposing this limitation so that nobody gets out of hand and completely derails the adventure. I essentially don't want anybody playing either of these bad character stereotypes: "Stupid Evil"
or "Chaotic Stupid"
. Now just to be clear, this doesn't mean I expect everybody in the party to be saintly or anything like that. Anti-heroes are just fine. Just don't devolve the campaign into a game of "Grand Theft Auto" where the PC's will find any reason whatsoever to behave like homicidal maniacs going out and commit wanton destruction and mass murder on innocents. I essentially would like to see the party composed of heroes doing heroic things; whether they are your classic chivalrous "white knights in shining armor," anti-heroes, or even "dark heroes." Whatever your character's quirks are, they need to have some motivation to help people out (even if it's a selfish, greedy one, such as being a mercenary who does it only for the gold), and generally not piss off their prospective employers (by killing them). A good reputation will go far to keep the party swimming in quests and rewards.
Standard rules for rolling up new characters. Everyone starts out at level 1. I strongly encourage everybody to obtain a copy of the offical Character Creator for D&D 4e, and use that program (it will make things so much easier and faster to keep track of). Nothing offered in in the Character Creator will be forbidden as of right now. Consumable magic items like potions, alchemy stuff, and scrolls can be bought "at-cost" during character creation (there will be a mark-up to buying magic items once the adventure starts, if they're even available for purchase at all). All races, classes, feats, powers, and backgrounds are legal as long as they came from an officially published Wizards of the Coast source (all of which are in the Character Creator). So with that in mind...
Do it. Not only am I not worried about powerful characters, but I encourage you to optimize them as much as you can. I've included a great link to a bunch of character optimization guides in a post below. If you build a solid and powerful party, this means I can throw more challenging encounters at you guys, which will result in better rewards for victory. And speaking of rewards...
The Dungeon Master's guide actually recommends that I offer the opportunity for all players to submit "wish lists" of magic items they hope to get as the adventure progresses. I'm going to take their advice. I fully encourage everybody to post their respective "wish lists" in this thread. Write down 3 to 5 magic items you would like to get, that are no more than 4 levels above your character's current level (magic items up to level 5, in this case). HINT: Pick 1 magic item for each level (a level 1 item, a level 2 item, level 3, etc.) to make sure that you have the best chances of eventually walking away with something from your list. NOTE: These wish lists aren't guarantees that you'll get everything or even anything you write down. They merely serve me as a guideline for the items I should include in the adventures I write up.
Illir asked me a great question - how often are we going to be outdoors? I'm going to try to strike a balance between all the types of environments your characters will be adventuring in. This means you'll roughly spend an equal amount of time in an urban environment, in the great outdoors, and even underground. This is so that any character who is trained in the Nature, Dungeoneering, and Streetwise skills all have their respective opportunities to put their skills to good use.
Simply put, you'll get out of it whatever you put into it. If you want to skip over most conversations, choosing to mainly be the silent type of adventurer who is more into action than words, I have no problem with that and won't beat you up over it. That said, if you have more fun with the game by engaging in epic, dramatic dialogues with NPCs, I will cater to that as well - but you have to make the first move and give me the signal that this is what you want. When it's appropriate, type out what your character is saying or what he is doing, and I will try to respond as appropriate, and really try to set the scene for everybody given how involved I can sense a player is in the roleplaying.
I will try to strike a roughly even balance between combat and non-combat encounters (the latter being when a lot of skill checks will become involved, as well as the opportunity to roleplay). There will also be traps and hazards to overcome every so often. I will also reward EXP for accomplishing minor and major quest objectives. Minor quest objectives will usually be in the form of PERSONAL quests - so the more background you are able to write up and give me for your character, the more plot hooks I can insert into the adventure for your character to pursue and possibly be rewarded for. This isn't to say I want 10 pages worth of character biography - a single paragraph should be enough to get the ball rolling.
ONLINE PLAY AND TIMING:
I'll be the first to admit that running games online are usually slow. I'm going to be doing my darnedest to keep things moving as fast as they would be if we were to be sitting down at a table, face-to-face with one another. With that in mind, I realize that there will be a lot of distractions that come up during our gaming sessions. I hate to be a facist when it comes to online play, but it's something I have to do for the sake of making sure everyone else is having a good time. So this is why, if I call on you (to either take your combat turn or else answer some other prompt), and you don't reply within 1 minute, I will consider your action to be delayed until you get back, and simply move on to whoever is next. I hate to be like this, but I can't personally monitor what's going on over at your house - so I don't know if you're being distracted by a spouse or if you're trying to play World of Warcraft in another window. In either event, it slows down the game for everyone else. If you're trying to type out a lengthy paragraph, though, and need more than a minute, just do something that lets me know that you're at the keyboard and I have your attention, and I'll give you more time.
LENGTH OF SESSIONS:
I'd like everyone to plan on gaming for 4 hours at a minimum each time we all gather to play. But I'm not going to set any arbitrary "stopping time" after 4 hours have elapsed - we'll keep going until one of us has to call it quits for the night.
SPEAKING "IN CHARACTER" AND "OUT OF CHARACTER":
I don't mind how often anyone speaks to each other out of character, or in character. Just as long as you differentiate between the two. So for in character dialogue, I suggest you "put quotes" around whatever your character is saying. For out of character talk to anyone else playing, either use (parenthesis), [these things], or begin with whatever you're about to say with "OOC:". I don't mind anyone discussing tactics with each other during combat, either, or otherwise making some other suggestion to a party member on how to tackle an obstacle.
This is all I can think of to mention as we get this thing started. If you have any other questions about the campaign in general, feel free to ask in this thread and I'll answer as best I can.