D&D Contract with F-Ram the DM

This document is a work in progress. If you see something you feel shouldn’t/should be there please communicate that with me (https://discord.gg/rnWFADMbTH)

I often make case by case exceptions!  View this comment for update log

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A bit about me and the goal of this document

Hi, I’m F-Ram!


I am in my mid 30’s and love to use D&D to make lasting friendships!  I used to be the Regional Coordinator of Adventurers League in Montreal, founder of DnDMontreal.com and have over 3000 hours of DM experience in Tier 1 exclusively with pre-written modules. A while ago I realized that I am not an all-arounder DM.. and that used to make me feel very guilty! It actually made me quit the hobby for a long time…However, I realized that if I was clear about my strengths, weaknesses and preferences, that I can ethically and confidently play the game with you! I am so honored for you to take a moment to review this doc! Thank you sincerely!

Allow me to be the first to admit that this document might seem restrictive. Please allow me to say that I assure you that I am not a controlling person in general! :p The design of this document is to make me, and in turn you, feel most comfortable, confident and effective! It’s also designed to try to make you feel like you are in the Forgotten Realms. In short, if you are looking for a mechanics heavy game, I might not be a match for you, and that’s ok! So consider this a baseline social contract. None of this is hard and fast! Let’s talk and see what we can do to find a middle ground. 🙂 

My strengths are as an actor, comedian, director and communicator. But most of all, I think my passion is trying to give you a memorable and unique experience. For instance, I often make art assets (see my artwork here). I believe fun should be obtained through RAW and RAI so you will find me strict on those. While not as strict, I prefer following rules of the setting (Forgotten Realms) as well. However, I am open to ROC but as long as it feels grounded. My overall goal is trying to create a safe space for you to feel like your character. It’s not about the mechanics, it’s about the escape! 

My weakness on the other hand, is that I am very poor when dealing with the unknown… You will find me struggling with home brew and improv. For instance, if you try to get spells to do stuff they aren’t designed for you will find me getting very anxious and scared. I get around this by exclusively running prewritten modules and I tend to use them as sort of a loose script for an sprawling epic story! I am also very weak at balancing encounters. I get around this by favoring the players in multiple ways (see examples) so you won’t need things like powerful feat combos! 

Thank you for your time. Please let me know your thoughts. I am always looking for feedback! 

  • F-Ram

The design of this document is to keep PCs in the average range of what is possible in 5e. 

The goal is to keep them close to what I am comfortable around, adjudicating and directing. 

Character Creation

General
  • How I adjudicate rules I don’t already know

  • Reskinning within reason is allowed but mechanics can't change (within reason)

  • Charactermancer Required (No D&DBeyond)

Classes 
  • No multiclassing (firm)

  • No two of the same subclass (not firm)

  • Eldritch Sight removed (not firm)

Removed Sub Classes
  • Life Cleric (not firm)

  • Twilight Cleric (firm)

  • Battlesmith Artificer (not firm)

  • Oathbreaker Paladin  (firm)

  • Necromancy Wizards  (firm)

  • Pact of the Genie Warlock (not firm)

  • Circle of the Shepherd Druid (firm)

  • Way of the Four Elements Monk (not firm)

  • Assassin Rogue Discouraged (not firm)

Races 
  • All PHB allowed

  • All SCAG allowed

  • All EEPC allowed except Aarakocra

  • MTF’s Tieflings allowed (not the rest)

  • No Template Races

  • No UnderDark Races

  • No Customized Origins

Ability Scores

Standard Array Only (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8)

Hit Points 

Average Only


Starting Equipment

No starting gold, need to use the load out

Starting gear at higher Level
Ref: Equipement chapter (PHB)

Alignment

No evil alignments

Ideals/Bonds/Flaws/Personality

All players must be team players

Backgrounds
  • Charlatan Removed (not firm)

  • You can swap out skill prof and toll prof/languages and feature within reason 

Spells
  • Some spells may be removed depending on the campaign

  • Any spell that summons multiple creatures (one creature is normally fine)

  • Anything that negates short/long rests (generally firm)

Feats
  • They can't be too additive (generally firm)

  • Avoid Broken/Overly Powerful Builds (firm)

  • Generally I run with no feat at level 1, feat at level 4, asi at level 7, feal at level 10, asi at level 13, feat at level 16, asi at level 19. (not firm) 

Removed Feats 
  • Alert (not firm)

  • Healer (not firm)

Removed combos/builds 
  • Sentinel + Polearm master (firm)

  • Rogues + Mobile (firm) 

  • Crossbow expert + sharpshooter (firm)

  • Dedicated Grappler builds (firm)

  • Half-Orcs can’t be Hexblade Warlocks firm)


General

Variant Rules Used 
House Rules Used
  • Everyone is always carrying an equal part of the GP loot at any given point and weight is not calculated during the adventure

  • Skill checks degradation (pending review) 

  • Take 10

  • Take 20

  • Stealth roll only at the moment of possible detection

  • Additional tool proficiency/language equal to INT modifier (Except if you are a Wizard or Artificer) 

  • Initiative ties are broken by DEX scores 

  • I don’t want to attack pets

  • Crit damage rolls of 1 are rerolled once and keep the second roll (optional)

  • Healing potions and Hit Die rolls of 1 can be rerolled and you take the second roll

  • You’ll roll your death save in secret 

  • If you fall below zero you earn a permanent scar. Set by the DM or the players. 

  • New Players can respect characters between sessions.

  • Need proficiency to help with checks

  • Animal Handling is removed

  • Death magically destroys GP, armor and weapons carried. (NOTE since all players carry a portion of party loot this will destroy their loot as well). After death, the player's backup PC will arrive after 2 hours of out-of-game time with half HP, half spell slots and full hit dice. Dead PC has the option to return as a modified ghost until then. 

  • Facing while readying an action

  • Enemies with Multiattacks can attempt a Grapple with one of their melee attacks

  • When does ? Cover become Full Cover 

Rule Clarifications
  • DM inspiration is rewarded at the start of every session 

  • If you can, please review the Errata 

  • You can’t walk diagonally around corners 

  • Always have your next level and backup character ready

  • Potions take an Action and I roll the result

  • You can’t speak languages while Shapeshifted/Polymorphed

  • You need to have seen the creatures you want to Polymorph/Shapeshift into. Determined based on Level by DM

  • Human eye sees candle flame or brighter at 1.6 mi (8400 ft)

  • Light Sources clarification

  • Spell Components clarification

  • Thieves’ Tools clarification

  • Perception vs Investigation

  • Torches need tinder box to light

  • Phantasmal Force shouldn’t add additional conditions and is most effective as a deterrent or a tool of deception

  • If a spell doesn’t say it can deal damage, it won’t be able to.

  • Identify doesn’t detect cursed items 

  • 360° Line of sight

  • You can’t easily cast spells discreetly 

  • Grappling

  • There is no way to detect cursed items. 

  • When does Invisibility end

  • Counterspell

  • Corners on a Grid

  • Sound Distance 

  • Line and other AOEs work like this

  • You know where everyone is your field of view and field of hearing. 

  • Dispel Magic only undoes effects made by spells that have been cast, not magical abilities. 

  • Magical Elements are not the same as Natural Elements

  • Green Flame Blade + Booming Blade isn’t an attack action. It’s a spell action. 

  • Hex Clarification

  • Misty Step and Thunder Step need line of sight. Dimension Door doesn’t.  

  • When using Thunder Step or Dimension Door to bring someone with you, they can’t be a size larger than you. 

  • The CR a Polymorph uses is determined by the target, not the caster

  • Shape Water Clarification

Magic Items

  • Pet Trinket is available in shops. (Animal can be changed to any medium/small sized animal. If you own a pet, feel free to send ma photo to use)

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