GMDQ's page

3,230 posts. Alias of DeathQuaker (RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8).

About GMDQ

I am a 47 year old gamer who has gamed much of her life since adolescence, and has GMed (off and on) for the last 25 years.

GM Bio:
I am most experienced with Pathfinder First Edition, which I have played and GMed since it came out in 2008 (and played its predecessor, D&D 3.x, since it came out in 2000). I have worked for Paizo as a freelance editor on dozens of PF1e and Starfinder products, and made it to the top 8 semi-finalist round of RPG Superstar in 2015. I've also played many other systems, including but not limited to D&D (BECMI), AD&D 2nd ed, old World of Darkness (Wraith, Vampire, Mage, Werewolf, and Changeling), BESM, Exalted 1st ed, d20 Star Wars, Fantasy Flight Star Wars, Fate CORE and Spirit of the Century, and Mutants and Masterminds (2nd and 3rd editions).

At the game table, I expect, of myself and others, commitment, courtesy, common sense, communicativeness, and basic competency in the core rules of a given system. I expect players to understand that GMing is a significant time investment of preparation and therefore be respectful of my time and show up for me and each other (within reason, understanding life happens). I respect that players have their own agency and that good gameplay is a collaboration, not a competition, between GM and players.

I try to avoid triggering materials like graphic violence, abuse, and sexuality, and give warnings for such matters when appropriate. I am especially cognizant of this in play-by-post and other internet-based games, where players are likely to not know each other at all or only know each other within the fairly anonymous state that is the internet, and try to focus the game on rollicking adventures and not intimacy, gore, and other factors that differing individuals may have wildly different comfort zones regarding.

Outside of playing RPGs, I am a professional editor for public health research and communications. I'm a Quaker (liberal/hicksite), musician, occasional writer, and love comic books and video games.

Policies and practices for keeping PBP running smoothly:

1. If you check into the game to see what’s happened and (1) you have not posted in at least 48 hours and (2) you have nothing to say/post in character, then please post in the discussion thread that you are still here, your PC has nothing to add, and you are ready to move forward (or that you are waiting for a response from someone else, etc.). If you fail to do so, and we are waiting on you, I will bot your PC and we will move forward.

2. At the start of combat, I roll initiative for everyone and then I post full initiative order, with all involved characters/creatures’ microstatblocks. PCs who are clustered together in the initiative block (i.e., several of them act in a row before a foe does) can go in any order. You can also post your action at any time understanding the action will be placed as going off at your point in initiative; if you’re posting well in advance of your turn you may wish to offer conditionals (e.g., “if Monster A is still standing, I attack it with my sword, otherwise I move on to Monster B and these rolls apply to that instead.”)

3. I track conditions and HP in the initiative summary to the best of my ability (folks should absolutely offer corrections if necessary). I do not hide monster HP, AC, or Saves. This means you know when you hit something right away; you don’t have to wait for me to respond to an attack roll. I will hide, if the creature is unusual/rare/no Knowledge check has been made, things like DR, resistances, and immunities, until they become apparent. Here is an example of an initiative summary, with some encounter action to boot

4. We all roll our own targets’ saving throws. So if an NPC/foe I control casts a spell on a PC, I roll that PC’s saving throw to see the result right away. Likewise if a PC casts a spell on a foe, that PC’s player rolls the foe’s saving throw to see the result immediately. Again this is all to keep us from waiting for the result of an action so we can keep things moving. Take note that the forums save the order in which d20s are rolled, so don’t insert a d20 roll in an edit between two rolls made, just add new rolls to the end of the post or to a new post.

5. During combat especially, if a player does not post in 24 hours since their turn began, I will bot them so the game doesn’t freeze during combat (so many PBPs I have been in died while we waited for someone to take their turn.) I’ll follow any bot instructions you leave in your statblock/profile.

6. I use Google tools to visualize combats. On your turn, please move your own token. You can also add notes and/or spell templates as needed based on your action. I ask that you control any familiars/cohorts/companions/etc. (I may RP them if you need someone to talk to and not invent your own dialogue but generally I put PC-"owned" allies in the hands of the PC to control.

7. I’ll roll Perception and Sense Motive checks for PCs in moments where it makes sense to do so (checking situational awareness) but you can also certainly post those kind of rolls if you feel one is warranted and I have not already made the roll for you. For example I may roll your Perception in anticipation of an ambush, but you will want to roll Perception yourself if you are checking for traps.

8. Please do your best to be proactive about posting skill checks; do not wait for me to ask for them. While I will post prompts for checks when the narrative demands, if you want to make a check or think one would be helpful, please do so without waiting for me to ask you. Particularly please remember to declare you are using Stealth if you want to do so.

9. You may declare “auto-explore” when investigating a new area. I will then assume you thoroughly examine the room you’re in (taking 10 on Perception checks), and if finding nothing interesting, you continue forward into the next room with the same thorough examination until you find something unusual or encounter someone. You can add instructions like “we’ll follow the area and doors around to the right” or “I make sure to check under each rug in each room.” I’ll pause at reasonable intervals to check to be sure you are ready to keep going.

House Rules:

1. For Aid Another, everyone needs to post that they agree to Aid Another ahead of time. It cannot be done retroactively. Everyone rolls their skill checks at the same time. BUT: the highest roll is considered the base result, regardless of who made said roll as long as they said they were participating.

2. If your skill bonus exceeds the DC you do not need to roll if you don’t want to; you automatically succeed. You still need to declare you are making the check as many skill checks take time to perform. Taking 10 and 20 are fine in non stressful/non combat situations (remembering that taking 20 takes time, and your PCs may be in circumstances where time is a commodity).

3. Most magic items resize themselves to the user/wearer. So if an ogre killed a halfling wearing +2 studded leather, the ogre could then wear the studded leather, and if a human killed the ogre, the same suit of armor would become Medium for the human. Items clearly intended for a specific kind of creature still only work for that kind of creature, e.g., horseshoes of the zephyr only work on creatures with horse-like hooves (although they would resize for a pony versus, say, a hippogriff). I reserve the right to make other thematic and/or common sense exceptions, which shouldn’t happen often.

4. Magic items automatically are IDed, although very rare artifacts and other items may have some of their nature obscured and require an identify or legend lore to fully reveal all it can do. But I’m not going to make you make a check for every +1 longsword and potion of cure moderate wounds, etc., you find.