West Marches: Westmoor
New Player Orientation
Days beyond the western borders of the Kingdom of Gyleon rests Westmoor, a town of ill repute. While most civilized men and women are content to rest within their villages, enclaves, and holds, a select few feel the call of the wilds beyond civilization. By tradition, Westmoor is where these men and women gather to venture forth. Bold or quiet, selfish or generous, discontent or curious, you have come here to leave the civilized lands behind and forge a new destiny for yourself. Social mobility is limited, and adventuring is one of the few ways a person can rise above the station of their birth.
Welcome to D&D!
If this is your first time playing D&D or any RPG, here’s a great intro video to introduce you to the basic ideas of roleplaying games.
Tone of the Game
West Marches is meant to be a game about exploring a wild, dangrous frontier. Yes, there is treasure to be found, and yes, sometimes the bards will tell tales of your epic feats, but sometimes just returning alive is reward in itself. The 5th edition rules are noted to be a bit lethal at low levels, but that fits right in with the hazards of exploration. Don’t ignore low-level enemies; the introduction of the Bounded Accuracy concept in 5e means they are still deadly in numbers.
We’re all here to have fun, but people find fun in different ways. Some people enjoy a very goofy game with lots of fart jokes, and others love playing very serious characters. In this game I’m going for a middle ground, maybe 70/30 on the serious side. There’s room for fun and humor, but please don’t make characters named Peens Brayeth.
The role of the DM in this game is going to try to get back to the roots of the game, more of an impartial referee than the “lead storyteller” position it has become over the years. I’m not out to get you, but I’m not going to pull any punches, either. I’m not going to fudge the dice to let your characters live just a little longer. I’m not going to make the “story” exactly the right difficulty for your party. It’s a world with dangerous places and people, some of them more dangerous than others. Use your wits, and may the saving throws be ever in your favor.
Characters in Westmoor are adventurous types who are not content with civilized life. Gyleon is an empire so vast and stable that there are few places left in the world that can offer the excitement they crave. That desire is fulfilled in the far western reaches of the continent, known as the West Marches, a border area on a frontier which still offers excitement, discovery, and riches.
You can play any type of character as long as they are motivated to venture into the dangerous unknown. That’s not to say you have a crazy deathwish – you still expect to return to safety so you can spend your loot or bask in the admiration of your peers. But political intrigue, commerce, and the easy life are not what you live for.
The game is played using the D&D 5th edition rules. At the moment, any character option in the Player’s Handbook is fair game. You may bring any Level 1 character to the table. This includes the optional rules for Feats and Backgrounds. Ability Scores can be created with the Standard Array ahead of time, or by dice roll at the table. Characters created by dice roll start with Inspiration.
15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8
The DM may reject any character that will be too antisocial, hostile to other players, or disruptive to play in general. Remember that we’re here to have fun as a group, not to antagonize each other. If a character gets too difficult to fit into a party, or simply becomes too “weird,” consider retiring the character to a more settled life in Westmoor, where they may or may not become part of the game world for later characters.
Players may join or leave the game as they wish. This is is the Player Pool, your fellow adventurers. You are responsible for talking among yourselves to organize game days, share information, and just have a good time. The DM is not the social leader of this group! We are all adults and we should be able to treat each other with respect. You are expected to work out any differences like adults. The DM reserves the right to refuse to run a game for anyone causing disruptions, including someone making an unpleasant scene about someone else’s transgressions.
For logistical reasons we are limiting players to our group of coworkers and direct family or close friends (significant others, siblings, your best friend since kindergarten…). For one thing, we often make use of the facilities after work hours, and we also mostly know one another and avoid the “friend-of-a-friend” awkwardness.