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General - Gamemaster Resources - Pre-Game Setup Survey

How lethal do you want the game?

0 No lethality Characters may be rendered unconscious or disabled, but won't ever actually die, and won't suffer permanent injury. I love my characters and never want anything bad to happen to them. A TPK will result in the characters being rescued in some fashion.
1 Soft lethality Characters who "die" can come back with a permanent penalty of some kind, but won't actually die. This does not include obviously suicidal actions (swimming in lava, etc.). I like my character, and want to play them for a long time, but I'm okay with them taking a few hits along the way. A TPK will result in something bad happening to the characters, such as being captured or robbed.
2 Low lethality Enemies will not actively attempt to kill disabled characters, but may kill the character while attempting to disable them. Enemies will not coup de grace anyone already unconcious. I like my character, and I'd rather not die. TPKs may result in players bleeding out or naturally recovering; it will fall entirely to the rolls of the dice.
3 Normal lethality Enemies will attempt to kill disabled characters when the opportunity arises, but will typically focus on important threats first. I like my character, but death is a part of the game. TPKs will have varying results depending on the nature of the enemies; players may be killed or captured.
4 High lethality Enemies will target easy targets, and will make a concerted effort to kill as many players as possible. Death will be a serious concern. Character death is a thing; I won't let it ruin the game for me. TPKs will have varying results depending on the nature of the enemies; players may be killed or captured, but are more likely to be killed.
5 Very high lethality Someone will probably die every session. Encounters will be above average difficulty for your level. Combat will be fast and brutal. Fuck my character, I'll roll a new one. TPKs will have varying results depending on the nature of the enemies; players may be killed or captured, but are more likely to be killed.
6 Absurdly high lethality Bring a stack of new characters to every session so that you can warm yourself around the pire which the DM will throw them upon.

How should dead characters items be handled?

1 Lost in time and space Any items the character was carrying are lost forever with no chance of recovery, and possibly with no explanation.
2 Keep the big stuff Items relevant to the plot or crucial to the party are kept, but other items disappear.
3 Something to remember them by Important items are kept, and each player may keep one minor item.
4 Just a few thing Important items are kept, and remaining items have a random chance to survive their owner's death.
5 Most of his stuff survived! Important items are kept, and remaining items are very likely to survive their owner's death.
6 I loot the body All items survive and are available to the party.

How should new characters be built?

1 New Blood++ New characters start at the same XP as the highest level character in the party. Generally best if all characters have the same amount of XP. New characters are new, shiny, and ready to rock and roll.
2 New Blood+ New characters start at the average XP of the current party members. New characters will fit right into the party.
3 New Blood New characters start at the minimum XP for the average level of the party. New characters will be essentially in line with the party.
4 The Rooky New characters start at the minimum XP for the party's average level-1 (minimum level 1). New characters will need to do some of catching up.
5 The FNG New characters start at the minimum XP for the party's average level-2 (minimum level 1). New characters will need to do a lot of catching up.
6 Start from 0 New characters start at level 1.

How should new characters be introduced?

1 From The Aether New characters appear fully formed with no further explanation and no questions asked.
2 Hero Closet New characters appear somewhere convenient, and join the party with no further explanation and no questions asked.
3 Waiting in the Wings New characters are recruited from the local populace, and join the party with no further explanation and no questions asked.
4 New recruit New characters are recruited form the local populace, and the party must make an effort to integrate the new party member.
5 An old friend New characters must be selected from established NPC's who are fit to join the party, and the party may need to make an effort to integrate the new party members.
6 No new characters If someone dies, the party continues short a member.

How would you like the campaign's plot be handled?

1 Railroad CHOO CHOO. Trains departing daily for plot town. Stops at Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, and Falling Action.
2 Railroad lite The campaign will be largely structured, but there will be room written into the plot for the party to deviate from the plot slightly.
3 Off the rails The campaign has a central plot, but there will be plentiful opportunities for side quests, and freedom to roam off the plot once in a while.
4 Open World Sandbox There is a plot, but the game will swing wildly in and out of the plot. There will be lots of side-quests presented, and plenty of things to distract from the campaign's plot.
5 Episodic The DM will present a self-contained adventure each session, but the only constants between adventures will be the players and setting. It's like an episode of a cartoon from the 90's: everything resets at the end of the episode except the main characters.
6 Playground Sandbox The DM won't even bother writing notes before the session. Warning: Sandbox may contain a non-zero number of partially-buried turds.

How should rules be interpreted?

1 WWE RAW RULES AS WRITTEN. ELBOW DROPS AND ABUSABLE GRAMMATICAL ERRORS EVERYWHERE. THE RULES ARE A CAGE IN WHICH TO CONDUCT CAGE MATCHES.
2 RAW Rules will be interpreted as written, unless the rules as written are completely ambiguous or extremely incomplete.
3 Case-by-case Rules will generally be interpreted as written, but may be modified or overridden if they present issues.
4 RAI Rules will generally be interpreted as written, but even slightly ambiguous or confusing cases will be handled "as intended" according to DM interpretation.
5 RAI (Liberal) Rules will be interpreted as intended (in the DM's opinion), even if that interpretation conflicts with the rules as written. House rules may be frequent.
6 Filthy Hippy The DM might not even read the rules.

How graphically violent should the game be?

1 Mild Animated Violence Enemies take damage and fall down with Xs over their eyes. Swords are made of foam rubber. Bullets are nerf darts.
2 Power Rangers You hit people and they shoot sparks. Swords are metal, weapons shoot lasers for no apparent reason.
3 Violent Cutting people with swords may cause bodily harm or death. Think real-world violence, but cut down enough that you could show it on prime-time television.
4 Gory Death will be violent and bloody, but not horribly excessive. Gore is uncomfortably realistic.
5 Very Gory Death will be horribly excessive for shock value. Gore will be akin to a TV crime drama: every show is competing to be the goriest.
6 MORTAL KOMBAT Tear out your enemies spinal columns and hold them above your head in triumph. Enemies are basically bloody water balloons.