Welcome to Living Pathfinder (abbreviated to LPF); a play-by-post fantasy roleplaying game that uses the Pathfinder rules and our own community created setting: the world of E’n.
LPF is a community campaign setting where a large number of characters can interact in multiple different adventures, campaigns, and stories. Multiple adventures run simultaneously with their own DM and players. What happens in one adventure can directly affect another adventure, and what happens in all of the adventures affects what is happening in the world.
Play-by-Post and LPFEdit
Play-by-post (PbP) gaming is a way to enjoy table-top roleplaying games (RPGs) like Pathfinder online without losing the vast open-endedness that make them so spontaneous and exciting.
PbP gaming (LPF included) uses internet forums to keep track of adventures and other goings on in the setting. The majority of LPF action, both in character and out of character, occurs in the forums at ENWorld.org. Most threads in the forum fall into one of the following groups:
LPF Social Group
The Living Pathfinder social group is a place for all members of the community to chat and get to know one another, though conversations generally relate to roleplaying and the LPF world, this is by no means a rule. Discussion threads can be created by anyone who wishes to talk about a topic that relates to the setting or rules and get a feel for peoples views before the creation of a Proposal Thread.
- Discussion threads are Out of Character (OOC).
- Get to know your fellow roleplayers; we’re generally a friendly lot.
- If you have any rules questions or problems getting started with LPF someone in the social group will probably help you out.
Any player may propose that the rules be changed or that a setting element be added or changed. To do so, a player should create a new thread in the social group with a title beginning with "Proposal: ". In the proposal, they should explain what the proposed change to the rules is, and why they feel that the change is needed.
The judges, after allowing time for refinement and discussion of the proposal, will vote and post the results in that thread.
- Proposal threads are Out of Character (OOC).
- Anyone may discuss the proposal. Players are encouraged to discuss and put forward any suggestions they may have; the more people who give their opinions, the better informed the judges are of the community’s overall feelings.
- Only judges may vote.
- In order to pass, a proposal must receive at least four YES votes.
- If a proposal receives at least 4 NO votes the proposal fails and the matter is closed.
- A proposal that fails may be proposed again, but not before one month has passed since it failed. Players may also propose to repeal a passed proposal after at least one month has passed.
The Dunn Wright Inn
Tavern threads, located in the Talking the Talk forum, are where characters that are not in an adventure get to stretch their legs and relax, as well as a starting point for new characters. When a DM has a new adventure and wants to recruit some players, they will usually do so from the tavern thread.
- Tavern threads are In Character (IC), if you wish to talk out of character please prefix what you want to say with ‘OOC:’; if you are writing more than a sentence it is polite to place your out of character statements in spoiler blocks thusly ‘[sblock=OOC:]text[/sblock].
- The actions of common non-player characters (NPCs); such as the landlord and staff, can be described by players when those NPCs are interacting with their own characters.
- Central meeting place for all characters.
- A Place for recruitment into an adventure.
Once a DM has his party of PCs and they have signed on to the adventure, they will create an adventure thread in the Playing the Game forum; this is where the adventure itself will play out.
Each DM will undoubtedly run their game a little differently; usually they will outline any specific rules or methods that they like to be used, the most common of which are in bullet points below. Characters will typically stay in an adventure thread until they finish that adventure.
- Adventure threads are In Character (IC), if you wish to talk out of character please prefix what you want to say with ‘OOC:’; if you are writing more than a sentence it is polite to place your out of character statements in spoiler blocks thusly ‘[sblock=OOC:]text[/sblock].
- Players may only describe the actions of their own characters; NPCs are controlled by the DM.
- Each player should choose a text colour and use it for their character’s speech throughout the entire adventure.
- A short stat block summarising your character sheet should be displayed during encounters (within a spoiler block).
Key Differences between a Living World and a "regular" Pathfinder game
- While they may be playing in different games run by different DMs all of the player characters in a living world exist in one setting.
- The setting is persistent. In principal an item a character finds in one adventure will carry on to the next, and so forth.
- In addition to the two roles everyone is familiar with (Player and Dungeon Master) Living Games include judges whose job is to arbitrate the rules of the setting, approve characters, step in to take care of a game (and it's players) if a DM disappears and so forth.
Key Differences between Play by Post Living Worlds and the official Pathfinder Society
- Everyone is a volunteer (so be nice)
- We don't do "modules"; generally speaking a DM runs one game and only the characters in that game experience that adventure.
- In some respects Living Enworld Games exist at a mid-point between "regular Play by Post" games (where each DM does their own thing) and the Pathfinder Society (where there are dozens of characters doing the same adventure at the same time).
Judges are an integral part of running a successful Living World setting, especially an online one. They have many responsibilities that include:
- Write, update and oversee the Wiki that helps define the setting
- Vote on new rules content (e.g. player-created prestige classes, feats, etc.) or changes to official Pathfinder content (house rules). This allows us as a community to put forward our ideas and make the setting our own without the game becoming unbalanced or unnecessarily complicated.
- Read and approve adventure proposals. This provides some fairly limited control over world-building, and ensures that adventure rewards are balanced compared with one another. It also ensures that a brief of the adventure is stored somewhere other than with the DM.
- Each adventure must be watched by a judge who is neither a player nor the DM for that adventure.
- Adjudicate rules disputes (rare).
- Approve experience awards (common, but mostly rubber-stamp).
- If an adventure's DM disappears, that adventure's judge fills in, either continuing the adventure or wrapping it up neatly so that the players aren't screwed.
Character checkers are an overlapping group of people; Judges are all character checkers, but not all character checkers are judges! When a new character sheet is submitted or changes are made to an existing one (such as when levelling up), it is necessary for the sheet to be checked through to ensure that it is ‘rules legal’, that all the math is correct and adds up, and that the characters background does not obliterate the shared setting.
In LPF character sheets require two checks before being fully approved; this ensures that any issues brought up in the first check though are corrected, and that an error is not missed. Only one of the two checks a character sheet gets needs to be from a judge.
Being a character checker is a reasonably informal job, and it helps to reduce the judge’s workload a little so that they can concentrate on their other responsibilities.
Judge’s Characters and AdventuresEdit
The characters run by judges are just the same as any other character in the setting. In order to ensure impartiality judges who appear in an adventure will only read the adventure summary section of that adventure and not the spoiler section during approval.
The current judges are GlassEye, jkason, Mowgli, perrinmiller, Aura, Systole and Satin Knights. The judges can be reached by sending a private message to Living PF Judge or an individual judge or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order to volunteer be a judge or character checker, you must already be participating in LPF and should have a good standing as a consistent and reliable player or DM. This means that judges should be people that frequent the forums. If you want to volunteer to help with any specific functions, ask the judges and we will probably find a way to use you.
Desirable attributes for JudgesEdit
The following is a list of what is expected of you if you apply to become a judge:
- Experience DMing, at least enough to be willing to jump in and rescue a game if the DM disappears.
- Familiarity, if not expertise, with the rules.
- Willing to volunteer some (possibly lots of) free time on a fairly regular basis
- Reliable, i.e. not likely to disappear without warning
- Regular email access outside of ENWorld
- Knows something about the history and purpose of the community, and buys into the idea.