|Note: This FAQ is a work in progress and will be updated from time to time.
What separates Andurin from all other game settings?
Andurin first began as a setting for a real tabletop game using 2nd edition AD&D rules. That campaign ran for almost four years, between 1993 and 1997. Player characters began at 1st level all the way until 20th level, whereupon I ran one final scenario and then shelved things for a while.
When 3E D&D came out, I decided to update the setting and use it as an eventual basis for online gaming using Neverwinter Nights or some other platform. This site and all the material on it is the direct result of that decision.
Several concepts separate Andurin from that of most other D&D settings, namely the following:
- It is a home-brewed setting that uses either original material or adaptations of material found elsewhere as the basis for its content;
- The fact that on balance, it is a low-magic setting (although there are areas in the world where magic-use is normal for a D&D setting);
- The concept of an Aspect, which provides for an elegant method of creating a near-limitless pantheon from a system that only has twelve gods;
- The world is extremely detailed and rich in lore. Interested players are advised to become familiar with the files on the site before applying to join a campaign as the setting has its own internal dynamic that does not necessarily equate to a published setting such as Eberron or the Forgotten Realms;
- Fate, dreams and prophecy play an integral role in the flavor and construction of the world, from religious beliefs to social traditions to history and geopolitical relationships.
You've been playing for over three years and your PCs are only 9th level? This is d20 3.5 D&D. You're joking, right?
My general feeling is that character progression as normal in 3E and 3.5 D&D is way way to quick. In fact, having learned from previous campaigns, a character progression of 1st level through 20th level in four years real time is too much too fast too soon. In an ideal situation, I would like character progression to be meaningful yet at the same time not be all about who can get the most power in the fastest time possible. Players need to have a sense of accomplishment yet at the same time, the focus should be on character development, not statistical development.
It's been a trial and error for the past three years but this is a style we prefer over the norm. If you want a more rapid PC progression, then you might want to pass this game by.
Why do you have an age requirement? That's so discriminatory.
Although age is not necessarily indicative of maturity, it is in our experience necessarily true that the older a player is, chances are that he or she is more likely to behave in a more mature, considerate, courteous and respectful manner than otherwise.
Again, I would like to stress that this is a generalization.
There are teenagers who I have come across as mature beyond their years; similarly, there are adults in their mid-30s who, in my opinion, belong in nursery school. That being said, my players and I strongly prefer individuals who are 18 years and older. HOWEVER, in recognition of the fact that there are people who are exceptions to the rule, we have recently made it a requirement that all interested players participate in a player/DM interview. The interview is the first opportunity to determine compatibility.
I'd like to use a character class from a book that's not found in your list of accepted source material. Why can't I?
In general, I'm quite flexible when it comes to character generation as long as I feel that the PC is a good fit with the world. I am primarily concerned with game balance and preservation of atmosphere. Some character classes/feats/skills/items and/or spells are not necessarily suitable for inclusion. If I reject or change a player request, it's usually with this in mind.
Finally, I feel that there is simply an overwhelming abundance of source material for D&D that's continually generated by the gaming industry. This is both a good and a bad thing. It helps to keep things fresh for new and old players alike. However, the continual production of material means that an enterprising DM or player must make informed choices about the book(s) that he or she would like to peruse. I feel quite strongly that the list of core books in addition to the PC material on the site allows for a wide variety of character classes to be generated by players in either campaign, such that non-core material is not necessary. By "core books", I mean the list of core materials given below, from which material may be drawn for use by games set within Andurin. Note that this is not necessarily the same as "official core books" which usually means the DMG and PH.
I like to play characters of dubious moral quality. Why do you have a ban against evil PCs?
In my experience, a properly played evil PC has the potential to liven up a campaign as well as destroy it. The problem is that it takes a fairly mature and responsible individual who is willing to work within a number of parameters set by a DM so as to ensure that a successful campaign is not inadvertently destroyed by the IC actions and attitudes of an evilly-aligned player character.
I have in the past, run campaigns which have included characters who were not quite heroic....but these have been tabletop games, where I knew the players. Online gaming is different from F2F games, so its usually difficult to gauge the intent and personalities of your individual players unless you've been DMing them for a while.
That being said, although at some point I may loosen up this restriction, I do not have plans to allow evil PCs at this time.
Can you go into detail about your ban against monster PCs?
Actually, I am quite open to the possibility of players playing a nonhuman (i.e., orc or goblin) player character, and in point of fact, there was at one point a goblin player character. However, it is quite true that in my experience, most players I have come across who do play humanoid PCs are not doing so from an RP-oriented aspect.
If a player has demonstrated to me that he or she is a great roleplayer -- by sending me a sample of a game log in a previous campaign -- I would most likely make an exception to the rule provided that the log was in my judgment, memorable enough to make the cut.
Why are you so selective? Get real...it's just a game.
In the words of one of my players:
We're not trying to make you jump through hoops. However, in the time that these games have been running, we've had problems with some of the players on Open. Most of the time, it's simply that they play for a couple weeks and then decide that they don't like the game or that they can't be there most weeks. No hard feelings, except that it's hard to just drop a character into the game outta the blue. Most of the time, the DM is helping them with the backstory, and we're working together to give the new char a short-tem goal to get into the party along with a long-term goal that is served by staying with the party. Accomodations are made, and when someone just drops out after a couple weeks, it's a bit of a pain.
The idea with the application process is to get a player that will stick around for a while. Admittedly, when we ask for the Bob, we are judging your quality as a roleplayer. However, the rest of the process is so that we're all on the same page and that you fully understand what you're committing to. Reading about the world should be natural and many folks ask to join because they see the depth of the material and respect the amount of effort that went into it. The logs give you a good idea of how the players interact with each other and how they might treat your character. Lurking for a session demonstrates the pacing of the game. It sounds like a lot, but we can get new players in the game within a week or two of applying.
We have great groups and a lot of fun, and we try to keep it that way. Thus, we try to filter out the jerks, the min-maxers, and the flakes.
Wheel of Time
I notice you use material for the d20 Wheel of Time game. What do you include and don't you include in Andurin?
In general, the following are available for use by players from the WoT book:
- Character classes;
- Skills and feats;
- Equipment (see me for details);
- Weaves (if playing a wilder or channeler);
- Certain ter'angreal
Note that Andurin has its own races, so Seanchan don't exist. Effective January 2006, players are able to create Ogier player characters if they wish. The madness rating functions differently on Andurin. Players are unable to play asha'man or Aes Sedai at this time.
If you have any specific questions relating to the WoT book that isn't covered in this answer or need more information, please ask me directly.
Can you give a list of books that I can use for creating PCs?
The list below is effective September 2006.
- DMG II
- PH II
- Complete Adventurer
- Complete Arcane
- Complete Divine
- Complete Psionic (see me for details)
- Complete Warrior
- Heroes of Battle
- Races of Destiny (see me for details)
- Races of Stone (see me for details)
- Races of the Wild (see me for details)
- Tome of Battle (see me for details)
- Tome of Magic (see me for details)
- Arms and Equipment Guide
- Defenders of the Faith
- Masters of the Wild
- Tome and Blood
- Song and Silence
- Sword and Fist
- Unearthed Arcana (see me for details)
- Wheel of Time d20 Roleplaying Game
- Arabian Adventures
- Oriental Adventures
- Magic of Incarnum (see me for details)
This list will be updated as necessary.
Credits and Acknowledgements
Credit should go to the creators of the Aquerra campaign setting for inspiration and material adapted from their web site, in particular writing which provided some of the basis for elven, dwarven and gnomish culture as detailed in the rules files.
Source material for the Tuatha de Dannan (via d20 Open Gaming License) is taken from Dom's Fun Gallery.