Change, Change, and More Change to RPGA Play

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on June 21, 2010

Last week both the RPGA Character Creation Guide and the Living Forgotten Realms Character Creation Guide were updated. Both documents are effective tomorrow (June 22, 2010). This is the last update scheduled for either document until October. So if you play Living Forgotten Realms (LFR) or you’re planning on going to GenCon to play D&D then you should check out these updates. This is probably the largest single update since 4e was released. Here are the highlights.

Creating Characters above level 1

You can now create character at levels 5, 8, and 11. This ensures you’re at the low end of the spectrum, while guaranteeing that you don’t try and play down. You follow the rules for creating high level characters from the DMG (which are the same rules you’d use for one-off RPGA sanctioned special events like the Ultimate Dungeon Delve). These guidelines include rules for starting gold and magic items. You begin play with one open item slot. Item slots from your previous levels are assumed to be filled.

The RPGA will also be releasing a series of pre-generated characters for use with LFR. They will be created using the same guidelines. So the only advantage to using their builds is that it’s faster. This character becomes your character and you have full control over them. When you level you choose the new feats and powers. You also have the option to retrain following the normal rules.

It’s about time they introduced this rule. Every time Wizards releases a new PHB there are cool new classes and races. It would be nice to try out some of these new builds in an LFR adventure, but I hate going back to level 1 every time. It takes so long to work a character up to paragon tier. I’m getting sick of playing those same level 1-4 adventures again and again just because I’ve got a new character. With GenCon offering a new set of paragon tier adventures this summer, I’m glad that I can create a new PC at level 11 and use him right away. Otherwise we’d see very few players with eligible character for these games.

Converting D&D Encounters PCs to LFR

“Characters played in Season One (and only Season One) of the Dungeons & Dragons Encounters program can easily be brought into Living Forgotten Realms.”

If you were lucky enough to find a magic item or two during D&D Encounters you can keep those items – even if you don’t technically have enough item slots available (for example, a level 1 character has two magical items). If this is the case you must commit your next available item slot to these other items (in essence your level 2 slot is already spoken for). Alternatively you can just sell these items and not commit to using any item slots.

RPGA Reward Card

There were two major updates in regard to the RPGA reward cards. This first update is that “…you may not have more than one copy of any particular card in your stack.” So for everyone (me included) who had multiple Snap Out Of It or Desperate Spell in your repertoire, you can only use one of each moving forward. Sorry paragon level controllers, you can’t take five Minion Slayers any more.

The second update is that “all RPGA Rewards cards, with the exception of Creation, Expansion, and Quest cards, will retire from play after December 31, 2010.” I have it on good authority that something new will be introduced to replace the reward cards, but I don’t have any additional information yet. Players who have become used to having those +1s and +2s on the table will have to live with more near misses in 2011.

Friendly Fire

How many times have you suffered damage from friendly fire? Have you taken enough damage from an ally’s attack to drop your PC? It doesn’t happen often, but it happens (as we discussed in Should Players Suffer When PCs Die?). The RPGA has introduced a new rule to ensure that players can’t attack other players.

“If you are in control of your character and want to use a power that could include other PCs in its area of effect, always ask the players controlling the affected characters if it’s OK to damage or otherwise hinder their character before you make the attack. If they agree, you may proceed, but if any of the affected players does not wish you to attack or otherwise hinder his or her PC, you must respect their wishes. This could mean retargeting the power so that it doesn’t include the other PC in the area of effect, or choosing a different power altogether, depending on the situation.”

Upward Progression

When your PC reaches the top level of their level band they have the choice of continuing to play at the top of their current band or move to the bottom of the next level band. But if you decide to move up, you’re committed to staying in the next band. “Once you level out of a particular band, that character is no longer eligible to play the lower-level adventures.”

So let’s say your PC is level 4 and you decide to play an adventure in the H2 band (levels 4-7). Assuming you’re still level 4 at the end of the adventure, you cannot then go back to play an adventure in the lower H1 adventure band (levels 1-4). Once you move up, you’re there to stay. I can’t image this happened very often, but now there’s rule to ensure forward progression.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Steve McQueen June 23, 2010 at 12:54 am

I’m not thrilled with the friendly fire rule. Makes it too easy for the group retard to run his fighter into the middle of a group of minions and prevent the wizard from flattening the lot of them with a single action. We’ll probably ignore that rule and let Darwin deal with that guy if it happens in the future.

2 Liam Gallagher June 23, 2010 at 10:09 am

I’m with you Steve, you should be able to kill PCs if their turns take too long, or if they have a bad body odour. But in all seriousness, I think asking for permission to light someone on fire is something that courteous people have been doing anyways. This change is just a footnote to the social maxim “don’t be a dick.”

I’m glad that the nonsense +1 cards are being phased out seeing as how that’s one of the reasons I stopped playing LFR. They never made sense to me in terms of storyline seeing as how arbitrary they were.

Anyways, I only commented because I thought that Steve’s comment was funny. But seriously, it’s not cool to kill retarded people.

3 Steve McQueen June 24, 2010 at 5:55 am

I’m not talking about intentional killing, just not holding my burst attack because a moron ran into the blast radius on the initiative before mine.

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