A Learning Experience Play-by-Forum Game Rules

Table of Contents

  1. Posting Requirements
  2. E-mail subject lines
  3. Combat
  4. IC/OOC dividers
  5. Talking between PCs
  6. Changeling products
  7. Excuse typos
  8. Cantrips & bunks
  9. Birthrights
  10. Tempers (Glamour, Banality, and willpower)
  11. Your "Character sheet" post
  12. Experience Points and Advancement
  13. Backgrounds, Merits, & Flaws
  14. Player-Controlled NPCs

1. Posting Requirements

Every player must post at least once per turn, regardless of whether they want to say something or not. If for some reason you know you will not be available to post for a time, tell me in advance; this is not a problem. I will listen to excuses and appeals fairly leniently, but I really want people involved enough to post, otherwise your character is just dramatic dead weight. Sorry to have to be a bit harsh here, but it is difficult enough for me to come up with NPC actions, let alone actions for PCs whose players didn't respond. Not responding is simply rude to the other players and myself.

Always post in the third person, present tense (e.g.: "Ciaran lowers his sword as Arianrhod approaches. 'I'm glad you're okay,' he says with relief.").

Please try to remember to put a line that tells me that it is your character who is speaking or acting (i.e., "[Character's name] says, 'x...'") somewhere inside each post. This makes it easier for me to sort out who's doing what when I make up the Turn Summaries.

Please read the previous posts in a thread before posting on it. If you are responding to an earlier post in the thread, please quote that post in yours by using the "Quote" button on the forum (located in the upper right-hand corner of the displayed post -- see picture here). This makes it easier to see where the various posts fit in the flow of the thread.

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2. E-mail Subject Lines

Please start each subject line for any game-related e-mails with the words "Learning Experience." Helps me keep track of what's what.

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3. Combat

Combat will occurs in the standard Storyteller Action turn format. "If/Then" statements (i.e., "If x happens, then [character's name] does y....") are encouraged. I will roll all dice and keep track of any Wound levels (if your character takes damage, I will send a private post informing you how many Wound Level[s] s/he has taken). Do not post combat actions to the forum. Combat actions should always come to me alone, via either Private Message or e-mail.

Be realistic as to how much can be accomplished in one turn. Remember, your dice pool is the lowest for the actions needed (if your dodge is 2 dex plus 2 dodge for a 4 dice pool, and your melee is 2 dex plus 3 melee for a five dice pool, then your dice pool for a round in which you swing your sword and dodge is 4, to divide between the two actions.) Watching how past battles have worked should make this process much easier.

Here's a good set of examples to help people understand how the Action Turns should work:
Ciaran rushes forward. If he reaches the knight, he grabs the knight's horse's reins while parrying any attacks with his sword (2 dice for grabbing the reins, 3 dice to parry, for a total of 5).

Note: Colorful narrative interspersed with actions makes my job easier and causes me to be favourably inclined towards your character:) It is not a requirement however. It is just easier to modify your narrative then it is to come up with my own whole cloth.

Players may post "descriptive" posts to the list. This includes verbal exchanges, visual signals, and even descriptions of what your PC is doing. However, you as players must keep track of locations and may not take advantage of information your PC wouldn't have. I will try to post guidelines on who is visible to who with each turn. (I might say, for example, "Everyone can glance at each other, except Antonio who is flying high above in the dark, and Thand who is trapped in the cave") If a player is invisible they may only post verbal actions of course:).

Descriptive posts should never include game stats or cantrip names, but do not have to include if/then concepts designations. They can (and should) be somewhat general, though in some cases specific actions are fine: "Thand attacks the two orcs before him viciously", "Alwyna climbs the rope until she reaches the second story, then swings onto the roof and attacks the orc from behind".


You may describe the bunk, but never describe the effects of the cantrip; after all, someone may disrupt your casting, and the others shouldn't know which cantrip was ruined. Those with Gremarye may ask me if they can identify a cantrip being cast.

I will try to post 'descriptive' posts for the bad guys in battle, but I may not always remember. If I do post such, remember they are not set in stone, I might alter their actions according to what you do. Descriptive posts are _not_ required. Players do not have to post them if they don't wish to. Descriptive posts do not replace the actions sent to me, nor do they replace if/then statements, though they do give me an additional way to judge player intent.

Actions sent to the group will be ignored; your character will take no actions instead when this occurs. This means even if you send a descriptive post, you still need to send an action post to me.

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4. IC/OOC dividers

Separate the material in your posts between IC (in character) and OOC (out of character). OOC should be used whenever you have a question for me, and when describing game mechanics.

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5. IC Conversations

You are encouraged to carry on IC: conversations between yourselves. If you want the conversation to remain private, please use either Private Messages or e-mail. You do not have to send me a copy of every message in the exchange in those cases; just a summary or an OOC post detailing the gist of what happened is fine.

You can also use an "Interlude" on the forum for events that do not involve the entire group (like conversations between only one or two PCs and an NPC, for example). Just let me know, and I'll set things up for you. Keep in mind, though, that everyone on the forum can still read the posts in this case, so you're better off using Private Messages or e-mail if you don't want something to be public knowledge (at least OOC). ;-)

Please restrict conversations and interactions of an adult nature to e-mail or Private Messages; do not post them on the forum.

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6. Changeling Products

All the Changeling books are excellent resources, though some will have less use then others. I do require that all players have at least one of the following: Changeling: The Dreaming 1st edition, Changeling: The Dreaming 2nd Edition, or the Changeling Quick Start Rules available on the White Wolf Website. You are allowed to consult other Changeling books, but the rest are not required. Only use it as character knowledge if appropriate for your background/history. Be warned, I change some things.

Follow the link for a list of the Changeling sourcebooks being used in this game.

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7. Excuse Typos

Excuse typos from me (poor typing) and from some of our players for whom English is a second language (they still manage to out-type me :))

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8. Cantrips and Bunks

All the basic bunk rules apply. I'm a great believer in sympathetic magic, so 'appropriate' bunks will always go over well. Also, I don't see Glamour as chaos, so it doesn't hurt anything to always use the same bunk to achieve the same effect. The Changeling magic system appears to be a bit rigid, but if you look carefully at the realms, and use your imagination, it isn't. Most of the cantrips are guidelines; a changeling can modify them somewhat based on Storyteller approval, so feel free to ask me if you have any questions!

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9. Birthrights and Frailties

Be certain you know when your birthrights are Wyrd, and when they are Chimerical. It's important to take any non-game system Frailties into effect. A pooka who tells the truth often will lose XP, and may even start to have trouble changing shape, gain temp banality, etc. Some birthrights, like an Eshu's ability to get to where he/she should be, will require a lot of PC/storyteller OOC conversations.

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10. Tempers (Glamour, Willpower and Banality)

Always tell me whenever your character spends a temporary point of Glamour or Willpower, so that I can keep track. Should any of your character's permanent Temper scores change during the chronicle, you are required to inform me so.

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11. Your "Character sheet" post

I'll need your PC's statistics in a post sent to me (at storytellingoddess@juno.com), not the forum, with the subject heading: LearningExperience: (PC Name). Type all the information into the body of the post (no attachments, please!). In order to make it easier for me to find information when I need it, please use the following format:

Name: [mortal & faerie]
Mortal Age:
Legacies: Both Seelie and Unseelie
House (if any; all sidhe must have one):

Attributes: Physical, Social, Mental. Include specialties as appropriate. [ie Strength 2, Wits 5 (conversation)]

Abilities: Talents, Skills, Knowledges, Include Specialties as appropriate, only list those you have a stat in. [ie Drive 2, Kenning 4 (Chimera)]

Arts & Realms: List with score. (ie Legerdemain 3, Fae 2)

Backgrounds, Merits, & Flaws: List these, for Merits and Flaws provide a shorthand description of what it involves. [ie Resources 2, Poetic Heart (3 pt merit, great artist, May make a willpower roll (diff perm banality) to avoid gaining a point of temp banality, 1 per story)]. The shorthand is so I'm not constantly looking up merits and flaws. If your background is a mentor, chimera, etc., describe and name them. [Living chimera should just be named and described in their own section below]

Glamour, Willpower, Banality: List the permanent values, do not list temporary values here, as they will fluctuate. [ie Glamour 3, Willpower 6, Banality 5]

Health: List your health levels. For most, it's 0, -1,-1,-2,-2,-5, Inc. Some kith get extra health levels. No need to list chimerical, it's the same.

Ravaging/Musing Threshhold: If you have one, list it here. They are not essential, but is how your PC most often gains glamour.

Birthrights & Frailties/House Boon & Flaw: List all Birthrights & Frailties with a shorthand description of their effect (if it's an added ability, like a troll's Titan's power, it should be included already in the affected score as well). Sidhe should do the same for their House Boon/Flaw.

Legacy Quest/Ban: Describe the Quest & ban for both of your legacies here.

Description/Appearance: Mortal and Faerie

Background/Personality: This should be the longest section!

Equipment: Any equipment, real or chimerical, your PC has.

Chimera: Name, history and abilities of any living or unliving chimera your PC has.

Miscellaneous: Anything not covered above.

Follow the link for information on character creation.

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12. Experience Points and Advancement

I will issue experience points at certain points during the game. You may spend or save them. Sometimes, I will issue a point directly in an ability, instead of generic XP. Also, when raising Attributes, Abilities, et. al. with Experience Points, I would like you to give me some sort of in-character reason to justify the increase. This can be as simple as telling me, "My character is taking karate lessons at the YMCA, so I'm going to spend three XP to buy a dot in Brawl," or, "Since my character did a lot of research, I'm buying another dot of Lore." In general, I will mention when it is okay to increase in skill, but if you have decided on something, just ask me and I'll let you know.

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13. Backgrounds, Merits, & Flaws

These are always subject to Storyteller approval, of course. Sometimes, I might grant a few dots in one of these as a reward, similar to experience points. If this happens, it's always because of the circumstances of the chronicle. For example, if a PC steals a great deal of cash and gets away with it, then decides to invest it, that might translate into an extra dot of Resources to represent the interest the investment will be earning. Or, if a PC discovers and claims a mystical chimerical sword, that would indicate a gain of several dots in Chimera.

Follow the link for more information on Backgrounds, Merits and Flaws.

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14. Player-Controlled Non-Player Characters

Follow the link for information on Player-controlled NPCs.

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I'm certain I'll be adding to this as we go along. The Golden Rule is: If you don't know, feel free to ask!

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These rules were modified from the rules for A Holiday Tale, written by Paul Westermeyer.
First uploaded to mirror site -- January 10, 2003
This page last revised -- April 11, 2003

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This website copyright © 2000 by Midori Hirtzel-Church. All characters © 2000 their respective creators. Changeling: The Dreaming is copyright ©1997 White Wolf Game Studios. No copyright infringement is intended.