The Chess Arenas (Inactive)

Game Master adsapiens

General Rules:

- GM Chess is the ruler of these combats. He follows almost blindly “rules as intended” according to his interpretation. Don’t be a rules advocate and accept the game as it comes – for this to work, unfortunately, I have to say it isn’t a democracy. With that said, it is okay to point out something you feel is wrong or inadequate… Nobody is perfect, I’m definitely not. Just don’t push it, capisce?

- Be a good sport and make sure you post at least every weekday. Everybody has those bad periods, so just let us know if you’ll have to be out for some time before it happens. Turns are simply skipped if people misses it for too long (the GM will simply tell the other player to do another action). With that said, even the GM might have his busy moments and will let everybody know in advance. Don’t expect me to post more than once a day, ever, though, and definitely rarely on the weekends.

- I will try to select a small number of level 10 characters to begin with – maybe 4 or 6, still deciding. This number might grow later and I might reopen recruitment if I feel I can manage the load.

- Only Paizo official material is allowed, no third party at all. Don’t ask.

- The following races are allowed: all Core, all Featured, Changeling, Duergar, Gathlain, Ghoran, Gillman, Grippli, Kitsune, Kuru, Lashunta, Merfolk, Mite, Nagaji, Samsaran, Skinwalker, Strix, Suli, Vanara, Vishkanya, Wayang, Wyrwood and Wyvaran. Aasimars, Tieflings and Dhampirs can be of any Heritage, but can't select the special random abilities that replace the spell-like abilities.

- All classes are allowed, unchained or not. Yes, it means summoners too, even synthesists.

- This is not a gestalt game.

- For ability scores we're using 25-point-buy.

- For HP, use full for first level and half+1 for other levels.

- Firearms are extremely rare and early firearms only.

- Ammunition, arrows, etc.: to be able to use a certain type of arrow, pellet or ammunition, you’ll have to have at least 100 units of such. They will replenish after combat, but you might run out of it in combat if you don’t calculate properly. Even if you’re using a sling, don’t assume you can find rocks to throw. Carry them with you, and remember the weight. This rule also means that people using decks, like harrow decks, have to carry at least two.

- Background skills are not in use.

- No hero points or anti-hero system.

- No fractional BAB.

- No Wounds system.

- Variant multiclass is allowed.

- Combat Stamina is free for fighters and accessible to other classes via a feat.

- We’re not using anything Mythic on this game.

- Two traits; one of them must be a campaign trait from any campaign, and the other should be from a different category. All prereqs apply normally. Drawbacks aren't allowed, but you can purchase the feat "Additional Traits" for two more traits.

- Partial armor isn't allowed.

- Pets, companions, summons, etc., these are all allowed. Be mindful, of course, that the “arenas” – the environment you’ll combat in – is usually unforgiven to such creatures, and more than likely too tight for anything too large. You can have your horse as a cavalier, for example, but expect it will have to squeeze very frequently.

- All alignments are allowed and should be RP'd as supposed.

- We’re using wealth by level (so, 62000 gold). We’re not using the automatic bonus progression system. As usual, no single item costing over half of it.

- No crafting of any kind is allowed. Crafting skills and feats aren't used on the game and have no effect whatsoever. No consumables are allowed (no wands, no potions, no scrolls, etc.). No items with less than 3 uses per day are allowed.

- Similarly to the "no-craft" thing, no custom items are allowed. You can't combine "Boots of the Cat" with "Boots of Striding and Springing" for example, or a "Belt of the Mighty Hurler" with a "Belt of Constitution".

- We are using encumbrance rules, but assume coins have no weight.

- Use Golarion deities and philosophies. If it makes sense to your race, class, etc., you can be from anywhere in Golarion (keep in mind your campaign-trait and backstory, obviously).

- Recruitment will be open for some weeks. As we start seeing solid and complete submissions, I will announce a final date and wrap it.

Combats and Arenas:

- All combats are "to the death" and always between two characters only. With that said, dying at the arenas isn't permanent. Each pair of characters will be fighting in a different arena.

- Coup-de-grace are allowed and actually fairly common. They work differently at the arenas, though: Missing a coup-de-grace (as in, if the opponent makes the fortitude check) means the opponent is brought back to 1 HP and receives a free attack of opportunity versus the person performing the coup-de-grace. Missing a coup-de-grace also shifts performance +1 towards the survivor, which happens before he executes the attack of opportunity.

- All fights in the arena are considered Performance Combat. The rules are slightly different, though.

- All the penalties and boni from the crowd attitudes are untyped and not subject to immunity or resistance. They apply to all attack rolls, combat maneuver checks, ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws. This includes also concentration checks and caster level checks, as for example the ones for spell resistance checks, and even performance combat checks.

- The crowd attitudes vary. Negative to positive, they are Hostile (-2), Unfriendly (-1), Indifferent (no penalties or boni), Friendly (+1) and Helpful (+2).

- Different than usual, if a combatant is on the "Hostile" attitude point and fails a performance combat check, he doesn't automatically lose the performance part of the combat, but his opponent receives a victory point. Succeeding at a performance combat check while the attitude is "Helpful" still means gaining a victory point.

- Victory points not used during combat are lost.

- The initial attitude of the crowd is Indifferent for both sides. Shifting to "Friendly" to one side means going to "Unfriendly" to the other.

- A natural 20 on Performance Combat Checks always succeed, and a natural 1 always fails.

- Consider the size of the Crowd always "Massive Mob" (+4 to the DC of all performance combat checks) and the battle always "Small battle".

- Cheating, Outnumbered, Unfair Advantage and Bribery/Coercion are not used.

- For a combatant to affect the crowd's reaction in some way, he must usually accomplish some visible combat display that has a chance of motivating the crowd toward a new attitude. If the crowd cannot see the combatant (because of total concealment, invisibility, improved cover, or total cover), he cannot affect the crowd's attitude in any way, but concealment and lesser forms of cover do not affect a combatant's ability to affect the crowd.

- If a combatant is invisible or undetectable somehow to the crowd for too long, the attitude will start to shift towards his opponent.

- The Swift Action triggers, as well as the Free Action and Immediate Action ones, are all in effect. The Mandatory checks are not.

- Performance Combat checks only occur due to one of the listed triggers, the use of a Performance Combat Feat or certain displays of role-playing per the GM’s discretion.

- In the rare case of a tie (both opponents are unconscious and can't recover any soon, for example), the person with more victory points wins. If it's a tie, the person who drew first blood wins. If it's somehow still a tie, the person who lost initiative wins.

- The combat itself has three phases: the “prep”, the “check” and the “get”.

- The "Prep" is a random number of rounds (1d4) in which each opponent can buff themselves or use them however they want. They can't move on the arena yet, but they can already "see" where they are and have an idea of overall circumstances. They also know their opponent by such point; feel free to look at each other’s sheet, assuming you know each other capabilities clearly.

- After the "Prep", there's the "Check". This basically consists of a series of five skill checks, with the skills randomly defined. The Knowledge skills and the skills less used in combat are much more likely to be checked here, like Appraise and Profession (all Professions count as a single skill). If a combatant can't roll a certain check, he loses 2 points; if he rolls under 10, he loses 1 point. Beating an opponent on the check means gaining 1 point, and beating by more than 5 means gaining 2 points. If at the end of all checks an opponent beats the other on the quantity of points, he receives 1 point towards the crowd attitude for free. If he beats the opponent by 5 or more points, he receives 1 point and has the right of a free performance check as soon as the fight starts.

- Finally the last stage is the "get”. Following initiative order, both combatants (plus all the NPCs...) are free to move in the dungeon and act as they please. Unless a combatant is actually engaged in a fight (versus NPCs, or the players already encountered each other and interacted) then he isn’t considered to be “in-combat” as per certain feats etc. that work only in combat (such as Rage, for example). If the two opponents disengage somehow and stay without interactions for over a long period of time, they will drop out of combat.

- The arenas are all small dungeons. I have several hundred small dungeons from decades of D&D, with the most varied themes. Assume that during the combat you’re in a different, pocket dimension, from which you can’t escape no matter what. These dungeons have traps (magical included), secret doors, different environments (water, climbing walls, etc.), puzzles/challenges and NPCs/monsters, most of them hostile. You know who your enemy is – the opponent – but that doesn’t mean the dungeon itself won’t try to kill you too. Many conditions on the dungeons might provide extra items – weapons, consumables, etc. – usable only during that combat. We still follow initiative and count rounds even out of combat.

- When necessary I will bring up small maps, usually via Google Docs. Other than that I will keep on “Theatre of the Mind” as to have “some” fog of war. Don’t expect a lot of secrecy in these things, though… Let’s assume the players are going to RP and play as honestly as possible. It’s just fun. Don’t use player knowledge.

Background and Fluff:

- Story: include two or three paragraphs of the character story, summarized. Feel free to go beyond if you’re feeling inspired.

- Appearance and behavior: a couple paragraphs should suffice here.

- Creativity is a must, as well as well-tied characters that make sense, realistically, in game terms. Look: we all know people will optimize as hell, and that’s fine. Min-maxing in this game is fine. However, the GM is much more likely to pick characters that still make sense and that we could see on the normal AP games. Why does this Halfling pirate have an alien armless dinosaur for his pet? Why does the outsider you’re merging with look like a multiarmed clawed spider with tentacles and a tail? Make sure the combo you’re using is powerful yet logical.

- We’re still role-playing here. Try to interpret your character with quality even during combat. This will certainly guarantee you might see other combats after your first one, even if you lose.

Character Sheet:

Follow something like this template for the character sheet. It’s important, in this type of game, that every calculation etc. is very clearly specified. It can be a little different than that, if it’s still clear enough where each point is coming from. For equipment/items, for instance, include their individual weight and cost. Please don’t make your poor GM question where something is coming from. Double check the math! Don’t trust Hero Lab or whatever you’re using to create the sheet 100%. They’re definitely a great start but that’s about it.