The FLAILSNAILS Conventions

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The following is taken more-or-less directly from the post on Jeff’s Gameblog, and the earlier one on Playing D&D with Pornstars.

We the referees of the DIY RPGing, in Order to form a more perfect Ruckus, establish Justice, insure intercampaign Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and Play some Games, do Ordain and Establish this set of Free Location And Inclusion Laws Supporting New And Interesting Leisure Situations – FLAILSNAILS.

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Article 1

Any character that began play at 0 XP (or less) and level 1 (or less) on or after July 26, 2011 may move freely from their native campaign (or any they have participated in subsequently) into games of a like genre run by any referee subscribing to these FLAILSNAILS conventions whether via electronic media or in real life provided the player can get a spot in the game. That’s the point of them.

E.g. if you made a character for Arcadayn’s Swords and Wizadry game, you can move it to my BLUEHOLME™ game since I subscribe to the FLAILSNAILS conventions. If he does, too, you can bring it back to his game the next day, and then take the character over to your Uncle Chippy’s game if he is down, and then bring it back to my game and then … you get the point.

Article 2

As stated, characters may be imported/converted from any game of roughly the same genre and system as the new referee’s game, however the new referee is free to determine precisely what “roughly the same” means. Referee and player shall negotiate any complex translation issues regarding system-specific mechanics or powers.

In the case of D&D and similar games, any TSR D&D system or retroclone (Labyrinth Lord, Castles and Crusades, Swords and Wizardry, BLUEHOLME™ etc.) is considered acceptable in FLAILSNAILS games, plus, at the individual referee’s discretion, refugees from Pathfinder, 3.5E, 4E, 5E, Rolemaster, Tekumel, Warhammer Fantasy Role Play, LOTFP, Harn, GURPS, Pendragon, etc., providing the character’s stats can be translated into terms sensible in the new system (and vice versa.) Ask your referee if your character is okay.

Same thing goes for other games – like if you want to run your levelled-up Shadowrun PC in my Forbidden Mazes of the Jennerak game, I’m down because fucking FLAILSNAILS.

The details are up to the referee’s discretion, but the purpose of the FLAILSNAILS conventions is to encourage sharing of ideas, rules, and funny stories across groups of gamers, so whatever can be done to encourage and facilitate character immigration (writing Palladium-to-D&D conversion rules for instance) is encouraged.

Article 3

Characters will level up at a number of experience points appropriate to the system of the last adventure they played in before such time as they were eligible to level up in that system.

Jeez that’s hard to understand. What we’re saying is: if you gain 200 XP so as to total 1,100 XP by the end of an adventure and that adventure was run in a system where you level up at 1,000 XP, then you level up, regardless of what system your character was “born” under or where it’s going next. A level is a level. While in a world you abide by the conventions the referee there uses for characters of your class; but likewise, when your character gains a level he or she has earned it, even if he or she subsequently enters a world where a like number of experience points would not have earned you that same level.

For purposes of clarity, think of and talk about your character’s XP as follows: “I am 300 XP into 2nd level”. Since, for example, a character levelling up in vanilla 3.5E needs 1,000 XP to get to level two, a 3.5E character who has 1,200 XP is “200 XP into 2nd level” in ANY system. S/he does not “have” 1,200 XP in any system but 3.5E, s/he’s just “200 XP into 2nd level” in Labyrinth Lord.

If this creates a situation where a character would automatically level up merely by starting an adventure in a new system (i.e. you’re 3,000 XP into 4th level and suddenly start an adventure in a system where you only need 2,000 more XP to get to level 5) the referee may ask you to recalculate your progress as a percent of progress toward the next level in the old system.

If you want to make shit real easy for everybody, referees can just look at the levels of the characters involved and reward XP in terms of “percent towards the next level” for those characters. Like say “congratulations, you all earned 30% of the XP you need toward level two or 20% of the XP you need toward level 3, go do math.”

At some point we may come up with a unified XP table, but, like, Jeff or somebody can do that.

Article 4

FLAILSNAILS referees may run adventures designed for specific levels of characters, just like anybody else. Since waiting around for every other FLAILSNAILS-eligible character to level up as high as your barbarian did during that week you spent off school when you broke your ankle is boring, we have established optional rules for importing “overlevelled” characters into lower-level games …

Each FLAILSNAILS referee is free to establish his or her own “handicapping” rules for such situations, however these are the Default FLAILSNAILS High-Level Character Handicapping Rules For D&Dish Games …

Roll 1d100 per level above the accepted maximum your character is to see what disasters befell him or her during the long journey to the foreign domain wherein their next adventure takes place.These handicaps are temporary – results only apply during the adventure in question (if you survive your season of “slumming”, you get better). Penalties cannot take characters below minimum score for the system in question or below 4 hp.

1-3 Blinded.

4-6 Deafened.

7-9 Gone mute.

10-12 Lost an arm.

13-15 Lost a leg.

16-18 Gone mad: 25% chance of doing the exact opposite of intended action (after action is declared) each round during times of stress.

19 Cursed: Slowed.

20 Cursed: Laughs continuously and uncontrollably, must make a Wisdom check to speak an intelligible sentence.

21-23 All equipment lost.

24 One of your items is now cursed: new referee secretly decides item and specific curse.

25 Sex change: armour doesn’t fit now, re-roll Charisma.

26-28 Disease: halve your hit points.

29-31 Disfiguring disease: Charisma is effectively the minimum, no henchmen.

32-34 Brain damage: lose 1d6 from Charisma, Intelligence and Wisdom.

35-36 Major brain damage: lose 1d8 from Charisma, Intelligence and Wisdom.

37-39 Too much light reading during your trip: lose 1d10 Intelligence.

40-42 Culture shock: lose 1d10 Wisdom.

43-45 Disease: lose 1d6 from Strength, Constitution and Dexterity.

46-48 Major disease: lose 1d8 from Strength, Constitution, and Dexterity.

49 Curse: kleptomania.

50-51 Pregnant or melded to useless siamese twin: lose 2d6 from Dexterity.

52 Smells terrible, scent is obvious to any foe at 100 yards

53-55 Character is on a bender and won’t sober up until adventure ends.

56-58 Character has become grotesquely obese: -10 Dexterity, always last initiative no matter what system is used.

59 Curse: character can’t see weapons, claws, teeth or fire. 50% chance s/he doesn’t know it.

60 Curse: 17 and 18 are cursed numbers for character – rolling either # is a fumble.

61 Mutation: roll on baleful mutation chart of referee’s choice.

62 Artificially aged: -1d10 Constitution -1d10 Dexterity, -1d6 Strength, -1d20 hp.

63-65 Fugitive: extremely thorough authorities are following you everywhere.

66 Shrunk to 1′ tall.

67-69 Hung over: -3 to all rolls.

70-72 Type 2 hangover: hearing and vision are only 25% reliable.

73-75 Having an Elric phase: can only go 4 rounds without needing to smoke/inject/inhale some exotic substance. You will run out of it after d4 days.

76 Curse: in any round, all attacks will be against our character until at least 2 have been successful.

77 Curse: if any of your companions fall victim to a spell, you will, too.

78-79 Haven’t been eating properly on your trip: lose 1d12 hp, 1d8 Constitution and 1d6 Strength.

80 Depressed and pining for home: -5 to all saves.

81 Infected wound: -1d6 Constitution and -3 to attack rolls.

82 Roll twice ignoring redundant results.

83-85 Limping: -5 Dexterity, movement is 1/3 normal, blows doing more than 2 hp will knock you over unless you’re braced against a wall.

86 Paralysed from the waist down, you have a wheelchair, though.

87-88 Just tired from all that walking: -1d4 to all rolls.

89-90 Frostbite on the way: lost 3d4 fingers.

91 Partially possessed by minor demon: Wisdom roll in times of stress to avoid aiding forces of evil.

92 Just loves it here! Character spends all free time writing a travel journal or sketching the landscape, cannot rest properly at all.

93-95 Can’t speak what they call “Common” around here.

96 Can speak Common but finds the local dialect intensely grating: especially the way the locals pronounce the words “go”, “if”, “to”, and “get”. Use of those words will cause the character to attack the speaker for 1d4 rounds.

97 None of these hicks can understand you through your accent.

98-100 Your blood is too thick for this climate: you shiver or sweat all day: -2 to everything.

Article 5

Overlevel magic spells, spells not native to the new setting, unusual powers (such as psionics) and imported magic items may generally be used in the new game, however, the new referee is free to determine the exact details of how such things work. Spiritual conditions and mortal-deity compacts differ from domain to domain.

E.g. use that crazy wand Jeff gave you in my game and it might no longer work the way you think it does, at least until you get home.

If such powers, abilities, or items are forbidden altogether by the referee s/he will make an honest effort to warn the player first. Neither referee nor player shall be a dick about this.

Article 6

The ontological status, authenticity, and rationale behind allegedly ‘unique’ items imported to settings where identical items already exist shall be determined by whoever’s refereeing during the time wherein the paradox appears.

E.g. if you go on an adventure to find the Wand of Orcus with Calithena refereeing and show up at the pub holding the Wand of Orcus (because you got it in an adventure with Ian) then it’s up to Calithena to explain this shit and he can make up any crazy thing he wants.

Article 7

When you post a new Costantcon game, say whether you are down with imported referees or not.

Article 8

There are no in-game “hoops” to jump through in order to move a character from one game to another – i.e. you don’t have to have your character sail in-game over the North Sea to get from Zak’s Vornheim campaign to Jeff’s Wessex campaign.

However it is acceptable (and maybe fun) for referees to create mini-“crossovers” in order to do fun, gimmicky things between campaigns. Like, Jeff could say, “First 3 characters to kill the a sea dragon in Vornheim get to be in my Wessex game on Thursday”.

Article 9

Players have the right to construct their own characters’ “timeline” to justify how s/he ended up in place A on Monday and place B on Thursday. However:

  1. Once a FLAILSNAILS character dies, you can’t use that character again in real-time, no matter when in the “timeline” the character died and …
  2. If you gain items or level up over the ceiling for a given adventure in the middle of that adventure by doing a “side quest” somewhere else, it’s the referee’s discretion as to whether you now have the items or are considered “levelled up” during subsequent parts of that adventure.

E.g. if I am level 5 and do part one of Evillossia Dungeon (adventure for levels 3-5) with referee Biff and we leave off with me alive in a pit, then the next day I go play with the same character in referee Jed’s campaign and kill an owlbear mastermind and level up to 6 – (so high I’m no longer in the suggested “range” for Evillossia Dungeon), and then I pick up the next day in the pit in Evillossia, it’s up to referee Biff whether I immediately level up to 6 for purposes of this adventure in Evilossia or whether I have to wait until that adventure ends.

Article 10

All this stuff, plus a calendar of FLAILSNAILS games on Google+ and pages for individual FLAILSNAILS-friendly campaigns and characters will all be on a webpage at some point. Or so we claim. Hey, Calithena’s working on it. He’s a busy guy.

Players will get XP rewards for pitching in with administrative bullshit on that site if and when we get it going.

Article 11

To speed things up, individual referees might wanna post a blog specifying exactly what their conversion and/or overlevel handicapping policies are that they can put up whenever they’re running a FLAILSNAILS G+ game.

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We, therefore, the representatives of the Old School Ruckus, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Referee of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these campaigns, solemnly publish and declare, that these united domains are free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent gameworlds may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to FLAILSNAILS our dungeons, our spare time, and our sacred honour.

Signed:

Representing Vornheim: Zak S

Representing Wessex: Jeff Rients

Representing Ilthar: Calithena

Representing the Known World: Dreamscape Design

Representing the Land of Nod: John M. Stater

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