Private LFR "Campaigns" and the Rules

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Very recently, I decided to get into the LFR (and RPGA) possibilities as a DM.  I have been DMing almost 30 years, but haven’t really hosted anything set in Toril since the 80s so thought it would be refreshing to get back into it and bring along some friends.


So to facilitate this, I set up a couple of gaming nights, private “campaigns”, and am adding people into the mix for them. As my friends didn’t make out a complete roster for either night, I did a little advertising to get the numbers up to about 6 for each night (figuring it would allow for 1 or 2 people to miss occasional nights and still allow a session to proceed).


That said, someone who isn’t actually joining my campaigns brought up some interesting rules issues that I would like to have clarified.


Again, keep in mind that this is a private campaign.. and by campaign I mean that I hope to have continuity from session to session, backgrounds for characters, and, yes, even roleplaying. ;)  I would like to do more than say… “last time you ran through that… now you are here doing this… and go…” I’d like to fill in the gaps and create an atmosphere of real involvement in the world and some more depth of detail without breaking from the spirit and intent of the LFR.


The issues the outside person brought up:


1) A DM cannot change any rules (which I don’t) or reject any player options that are listed as legal in the character creation guide (which I do, sort of). In other words, I am working with the players to flesh out backgrounds, work together to create interesting & viable reasons for them all to be together, and to create an “Adventuring Company” that is set in Toril. I did put some restrictions on character creation. Some are a part of the RPGA I believe (no evil characters or worship of evil gods), but I encouraged everyone to play races that would mesh well together and make sense in the campaign. While I didn’t specifically say “you can’t play a minotaur”, I said that playing anything exotic would need to be approved by me. I wanted to see what roleplay and background they would come up with first to explain their presence and inclusion with the group. Is it okay for me to create a more in-depth, more restrictive private LFR campaign?


2) I know the PRGA Character Creation Guide is pretty specific about what’s legal, as a DM, in its rules. I just want to make sure I have the right of it. If I decide one encounter is too hard so I drop a skirmisher while another needs a little boost so I add an extra brute, am I right in reading that those changes will not change the XP earned for that encounter?  Same way with tactics… if, instead, I tweak the tactics a bit to either increase or decrease the challenge, I am still legitimately playing a LFR campaign?  It also looks like there’s no leeway involved in treasure. So, even though a +1 Orb of  Inevitable Continuance is the same value (and item slot, intent) as a Thunder Wand +1, if I were to change the Treasure Rewards as such I would be invalidating the campaign and ruining the official nature of the characters?


3) Related to (2), I also noticed that the two modules I initially intend to send the groups into seem to be using the old table suggestions for DCs for various traps, skill checks, etc.  I intend to adjust them to be more in line with the new DC tables from the Official Errata, but was told that any altering of the material would invalidate the game as LFR.


4) He suggested that I just call this campaign something else and to stay away from using LFR because I would be misleading my players to think they are a part of the LFR because I am not using everything to the letter. He could be right, for all I know.


It could very well be that my intention to try to pull some friends (new and old) into the Forgotten Realms through the Living Forgotten Realms material is ill conceived. Perhaps my private campaigns are better off as being listed as Other: D&D Campaign (Forgotten Realms) and stay away from the LFR stuff.


Honestly, I was simply hoping to see what interesting creations and direction the Forgotten Realms was going in and using the Living Forgotten Realms material as a conduit to that ends. It could be that I am better suited just doing homebrew campaigns set in FR where I can add more roleplay and adventuring cohesion to the campaigns.


Still, would love to hear others’ take on the subject and what does and can work for FR campaigns.


Thanks in advance!


SR


PS: Sorry for the wall of text!  Didn't realize how much I wanted to ask about. :P

My take (and I'm nobody official):

(1) In general, characters are legal as long as they conform to the CCG.  However, you can post any restrictions you want for your private play experience.  (i.e. I am judging an LFR table for Adventuring Company X. Adventuring Company X only allows humans to join. If you want to play at the table I am judging, you'll need to bring an appropriate human character.)  Ultimately, it's up to you how permissive you intend to be with characters. At PUBLIC events, you cannot turn away players who are playing a CCG legal character solely for that reason.

(2) Yes, you can add/remove monsters already in the encounter - and play the tactics any way you want. You cannot change the treasure bundles and still be LFR-legal.

(3) For older mods, you should always incorporate the errata.  (Of course, you are well within your rights to give bonuses or penalties for good ideas and/or roleplaying.)

(4) Many judges run their own content as MYRE adventures so that players' characters remain LFR legal.  To be legal, the characters need to (a) be CCG compliant and (b) have an accurate adventure log recording the XP/treasure as restricted by the mod. 

Hope this helps! 

Dan Anderson @EpicUthrac
Total Confusion www.totalcon.com
LFR Calimshan Writing Director
LFR Epic Writing Director

LFR Myth Drannor Writing Director

My feeling is this: you can "go off the map" and make whatever changes you want...but you and your players should recognize that you're no longer strictly playing LFR.

The real benefit to hewing to the LFR rules is that your players' characters would be "portable" -- that is, they could play those characters at an LFR table at a convention.  If there's no intent for doing that -- if they will only be playing those characters in your campaign -- theh, there's really no harm in you "changing the rules".
"Of course [Richard] has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives. It's 1183, and we're barbarians!" - Eleanor of Aquitaine, "The Lion in Winter"
Re: point #1, what Uthrac said.

Basically, you are running a private campaign, whose characters are legal to play in the LFR campaign ... thus, you can add whatever restrictions you want to put on them. In fact, in my opinion, you could -even- declare that if they want to play in your private/home campaign they can't use material from certain books, Dragon, even from the PHBH minis sets. If you wanted to and if the players agreed. If they don't want to abide by your desires, that's on them. They can go find another game. Or you can change your restrictions.

Is that out of keeping with the spirit of the CCG? I don't see why. After all, the point is that the CCG is the way to determine what the overall campaign with allow as legal. For public play, that is both the min and the max allowed set. For private play on the other hand, players and GMs can agree to all sorts of other restrictions. Uthrac has a very cool adventuring company (a couple actually) that runs together, they have restrictions both IC and OOC that their PCs must abide by and they are a lot of fun to play with. However, all the players agreed to those restrictions.

When running their characters at public events, though, if they wanted to use a feat from Dragon (via retraining) and wanted to go through the bookkeeping and risk of being unable to play their character in your private game until next level .... sure, they can do that too.
As my friends didn’t make out a complete roster for either night, I did a little advertising to get the numbers up to about 6 for each night (figuring it would allow for 1 or 2 people to miss occasional nights and still allow a session to proceed).

Don't advertise that you're running LFR games.  That will only lead to misplaced expectations and player disappointment.

If I show up for an LFR game, I expect that I will be playing LFR, not a bastardized version thereof.  If, however, I see someone advertising that they're running a home campaign where the characters will be LFR-legal when they leave, that's a separate matter.

* As the organizer of the event, you are free to exclude anyone you want.  As an LFR DM, you don't get to tell people what rules they can use or what type of characters you can play.  As an event organizer, you're welcome to say that only players with human PCs are welcome.  This is an important distinction.

* You are free to make minor changes to an encounter, such as dropping a creature or adding another one present in the module, or changing their tactics.  Read the CCG for the complete list of what's allowed.

* You cannot change the rewards an adventure offers.  You cannot give the PCs more XP or GP than is listed in the rewards section, nor can you offer them different magic items.

* You're free (and encouraged) to apply errata.

I think it's a fine idea to run a home campaign, where the characters are also legal for use in LFR.  You need to make sure, however, that prospective players know that they're walking into a home campaign that uses the LFR rules, and not just a group playing LFR modules.
If you really want a customized touch, I'd suggest you look into the MYRE series of adventures.  You can basically design your own plots, characters and encounters and still remain LFR legal.
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Heh. What a can of worms I have opened up here!
Funny, originally, as I explored the possibilities out here, I saw the RPGA material and then the Living Forgotten Realms subdivision and though, "Wow, that's pretty cool."  Naively, I didn’t realize how much control I would lose by intending to do a LFR campaign.


I will be both the event organizer and the event DM, though, so perhaps all is not lost.


I suppose now, though, I am vacillating between either continuing with the idea that all characters from this private campaign will be LFR legal, but that the campaign itself will not be completely open to all comers… or with just making this a RPGA legal campaign set in the Forgotten Realms so I don’t have to worry about one of my players insisting it’s his legal right to use his decked out level 4 paladin when everyone else was starting with fresh level 1 characters.


I am really looking forward to getting back into the Forgotten Realms after a long hiatus.  The question is simply, will the LFR be an enhancement to my desire to see friends (new and old) explore its expanses, history, and future or will it be a detriment to any hopes of having a cohesive, continual campaign.


It sounds more like the latter. LFR is intended for fire-and-forget play where there’s no use for party organization or campaign structure.  Which makes me believe I better talk to my players and update the advertisement to reflect the fact that I am going to need to change it to a FR set campaign that’s not intended to be LFR restricted.

I didn’t realize how much control I would lose



Frankly, if control is an issue for you, you are far better off avoiding any claims to LFR at all.

Feel free to modify LFR adventures for your own private purposes all you like (even though it probably isn't within the spirit of the organization, you can order all the adventures you like and then cancel the events) if you are interested in a large collection of free adventures - although you'd probably be better served by the slightly-less-than-free Dungeon magazine for this purpose I reckon.  Just don't call what you are doing LFR, or even hint that PCs will be portable into some other official LFR setting, and everyone is fine.

LFR is very, VERY casual in nature.  Not at all like the traditional campaign you'd run by yourself.  It is easy for us old-timers to forget just how different it is. 

If you are interested in things like continuity, long-term story, and adventures customized for individual PC backstories and motivations, then LFR is not the place for you.  If you are interested in casual light-roleplay and smooshing bad guys, then LFR is just for you.
Frankly, if control is an issue for you, you are far better off avoiding any claims to LFR at all.

You seem to be right. It sounds like a LFR DM is there just to read text out of a predefined adventure. Nothing wrong with that, but not all that I want as a DM.

If you are interested in things like continuity, long-term story, and adventures customized for individual PC backstories and motivations, then LFR is not the place for you.  If you are interested in casual light-roleplay and smooshing bad guys, then LFR is just for you.

Well, for those who've been through any of my campaigns, they will attest that we are mostly casual light-roleplay with plenty of baddies smackdowning... but that's mixed in with backgrounds, motivations, and plenty of interaction with the DM in an evolving story.

The idea, though, that players have more input, is a bit foreign. Not to mention the fact that it's alright, even encouraged, for players to know the adventures ahead of time! Surprised That just goes against my old timer ways. Tongue out

"Bob, in this next room, there's going to be a trap on the left side, 3 squares in. Need you to use Arcana on it right away to counteract it. It's a killer. Jenny, you will need to take out a skirmisher that will be on a platform to the left because it's there to try to take out our leaders. Oh, and don't forget to check the pillar when we get done with this. There's a loose panel that hides a magic wand in it.  Let's do this!"

Come to think of it, that's not so foreign after all.. it's called raiding in an MMO. Wink

"Bob, in this next room, there's going to be a trap on the left side, 3 squares in. Need you to use Arcana on it right away to counteract it. It's a killer. Jenny, you will need to take out a skirmisher that will be on a platform to the left because it's there to try to take out our leaders. Oh, and don't forget to check the pillar when we get done with this. There's a loose panel that hides a magic wand in it.  Let's do this!"

Come to think of it, that's not so foreign after all.. it's called raiding in an MMO.


Man, that kind of meta-gaming drives me up a wall.  Fortunately I don't feel so handcuffed as to not mix things up when people are that blatant.  Move the trigger panels 3 squares closer, hide the enemies in different parts of the room, change the tactics listed.

As much as the "4E is an MMO" argument strikes me as a stupid and ignorant thing to say, I have to agree that LFR is quite well described that way, with each adventure being an "instance".  I'm lucky that I like having the option to play that way, as well as having a long-running campaign option.
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I've been running a MYREd LFR game for months, full of continuity, own awards, all kinds of stuff - and they'll be able to leave the campaign when it finishes and play regular games just fine.

You've been given an impression that LFR is less flexible than it actually is or can be. Some people might treat it like an MMO - and in some cases it might even be entertaining to play it like one very briefly, but there's certainly no requirement to do so. The big catch is that you can't change the treasure rewards. If you plan on mucking about with things a lot beyond that, warn your players. They can decide if it's too far from stock LFR play for them or not.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
Man, that kind of meta-gaming drives me up a wall.  Fortunately I don't feel so handcuffed as to not mix things up when people are that blatant.  Move the trigger panels 3 squares closer, hide the enemies in different parts of the room, change the tactics listed.

As much as the "4E is an MMO" argument strikes me as a stupid and ignorant thing to say, I have to agree that LFR is quite well described that way, with each adventure being an "instance".  I'm lucky that I like having the option to play that way, as well as having a long-running campaign option.

I am with you. In truth, any RPG can be played like an MMO if that's the way you want to run the game. 4E wasn't a refreshing change (for me) because it was suddenly more MMO like... it was because most of the restrictions and the balance amongst the classes was overhauled. It's now cool to play all the classes from day 1 through day 100 and beyond.  And while there is certainly miniature system tactics, we still control the amount of roleplay we want in our groups.

I am not looking to bring WoW to the tabletop.  WoW does a great job of being WoW all on it's own. What I want is to tap back into the richness of the Forgotten Realms and am just exploring the various paths that can get me there.

I've been running a MYREd LFR game for months, full of continuity, own awards, all kinds of stuff - and they'll be able to leave the campaign when it finishes and play regular games just fine.

You've been given an impression that you LFR is less flexible than it actually is or can be. Some people might treat it like an MMO - and in some cases it might even be entertaining to play it like that one very briefly, but there's certainly no requirement to do so. The big catch is that you can't change the treasure rewards. If you plan on mucking about with things a lot beyond that, warn your players. They can decide if it's too far from stock LFR play for them or not. 

Hmm... See, that's what I was rather planning from the start, but there was a prevalent notion that if I didn't allow that guy to play his level 4 Drow Assassin from the start or allow her to play her 3rd level minotaur barbarian, I was hereby banned from calling my campaign LFR and should feel shamed for duping those poor folk into believing they were getting a legitimate LFR event.

I thought the treasure, reward parcels, and XPs guidelines were interesting and quite workable (from either specific LFR modules or the My Realms guide). I didn't see any reason that I couldn't keep within those specifics. I also want them to use CB legal characters that also fall within the guidelines set out by the LFR subsection of the RPGA Character Creation Guide.

I just didn't want to have players who knew everything that was going to happen, to have constant character swapping, no continuity, have to allow any LFR legal character to be brought in without rhyme or reason, etc.

I have altered the original posting for new players openings (I was getting too much response anyway, quite honestly) to make it clear to anyone interested that while I plan on adhering to spirit of LFR and that characters who play in the campaign should be LFR legal, I am not going to stick strictly to LFR pre-created modules verbatim.

One easy route to take is to have each of your new groups go through as an adventuring company, with the AC restrictions being whatever your campaign restrictions are. Since it's a private game, not public, you don't need to take the level 4 drow or minotaur or whatever, if that's something the group is cool with.

I know a couple folks who try very hard not to play in mixed groups of replayers and new players, to avoid spoiling the experience. Seems to work decently for them to do so, and I'm happy to tag along for the benefits. 
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
I've been running a MYREd LFR game for months, full of continuity, own awards, all kinds of stuff - and they'll be able to leave the campaign when it finishes and play regular games just fine.

You've been given an impression that LFR is less flexible than it actually is or can be. Some people might treat it like an MMO - and in some cases it might even be entertaining to play it like one very briefly, but there's certainly no requirement to do so. The big catch is that you can't change the treasure rewards. If you plan on mucking about with things a lot beyond that, warn your players. They can decide if it's too far from stock LFR play for them or not.



I assume by "own rewards" you mean the ability to choose an item of Character level or less from one of the PHB's?  Since assigning rewards and giving options outside of PHB's is against the MYRE rules the last I read them.
If I didn't allow that guy to play his level 4 Drow Assassin from the start or allow her to play her 3rd level minotaur barbarian, I was hereby banned from calling my campaign LFR and should feel shamed for duping those poor folk into believing they were getting a legitimate LFR event.


It sounds like your best bet is going with Private events.  So far, I've been doing really well with the group that I play with in person the most.   We never finish one of the adventures in 4 hours, but the characters people are playing are actual characters, not just "toon 1".  (Side note: when someone calls their character a toon, I want to stab out their eyes - I'm not sure why).  Belgos the Sorcerer is not just a Drow with his bonuses lined up to do great damage; he is a drunkard, loud-mouthed character with a reputation that helps him in the dirtiest bars in Waterdeep as much as it hurts him in the respectable places.

To play by the rules of a Public event, you do have to allow that level 4 Drow Assassin that knows the adventure boxed text by heart, and will deal 35 points of damage every round... and that sucks when you want to play your new characters.  With a Private event, you do have to let him play that character, but only if you invite him.
What makes me sad - no more compiled magazines: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/27580349/Dungeon_and_Dragon_Magazine_PDFs&post_num=24#495423645
It sounds like your best bet is going with Private events.  So far, I've been doing really well with the group that I play with in person the most.   We never finish one of the adventures in 4 hours, but the characters people are playing are actual characters, not just "toon 1".  (Side note: when someone calls their character a toon, I want to stab out their eyes - I'm not sure why).  Belgos the Sorcerer is not just a Drow with his bonuses lined up to do great damage; he is a drunkard, loud-mouthed character with a reputation that helps him in the dirtiest bars in Waterdeep as much as it hurts him in the respectable places.

To play by the rules of a Public event, you do have to allow that level 4 Drow Assassin that knows the adventure boxed text by heart, and will deal 35 points of damage every round... and that sucks when you want to play your new characters.  With a Private event, you do have to let him play that character, but only if you invite him.

That's what I was hoping to hear. I was very straightforward when describing the campaign I was planning, including my desire to see some interconnectivity between characters. At least a rough idea of why they are together or a way to tie them all in on the first event. There are some who don't really get into the nitty-gritty of character development, but they do well enough coming up with a background and light roleplay to give color to the character. Others really enjoy well developed description and personalities so I want to play to that as well.

In the end, based on our old campaigns and in our little "for fun", off the record, test nights, everyone is having a great time.... no one has complained at all about starting new characters or some of the restrictions I might place... or the desire to make this a continuous campaign.  It wasn't until someone outside the group cried foul that I thought I should really take a closer look at what I should be calling these campaigns and how I should report them.

I knew it was going to be a mixed bag, though, when I set this up for online, virtual tabletop play.
The CCG says that LFR characters are created using all of the rules presented in the CCG.  The CCG rules are for both private and public play of LFR, so you have to follow all of the rules for character creation.  That means character creation choices cannot be limited.  However, the CCG rules are typically not enforced by anyone other than the DM and players, so if you and your group want to break the rules, nobody will stop you.  Being a private game you do not have to play with people who do not agree to your rules.

The DM Adventure Adjustments part of the CCG is for both LFR public and private play.  Nobody is going to come and stop you from playing if you do not follow these rules, but it is technically not allowed to change the modules in ways other than what is listed in the CCG.

If you just play a RPGA sanctioned private game, you are allowed to ignore any rules you want, but then it does not count as part of LFR, it is just your sanctioned private game where you use LFR adventures.

So, my point is that while you are supposed to follow all the CCG rules if you are running a LFR private game, nobody will enforce it. That is why you might be told that it is ok to do these things and have your game still count as LFR.
I've been running a MYREd LFR game for months, full of continuity, own awards, all kinds of stuff - and they'll be able to leave the campaign when it finishes and play regular games just fine.

You've been given an impression that LFR is less flexible than it actually is or can be. Some people might treat it like an MMO - and in some cases it might even be entertaining to play it like one very briefly, but there's certainly no requirement to do so. The big catch is that you can't change the treasure rewards. If you plan on mucking about with things a lot beyond that, warn your players. They can decide if it's too far from stock LFR play for them or not.



I assume by "own rewards" you mean the ability to choose an item of Character level or less from one of the PHB's?  Since assigning rewards and giving options outside of PHB's is against the MYRE rules the last I read them.



As in, they have accumulated story awards and benefits in the city that the campaign is centered in - gaining a bonus to Diplomacy with the residents, a tower for their home base with a magical servant, access to consumables, items they can use while in the city environs, a boon-like bonus when they are working on the quest for a plot spirit, etc. None of it comes with them when they leave the MYRE, none of it is a bundle, but they're all temporary benefits that are very relevant to the campaign as a whole.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
As a player in Keithric's game, I can attest that the private MYRE style works very well, and I have a stronger connection to my 7th-level barbarian's personality than any of the 12 characters in my public-play stable. I highly recommend this style of play for a home game.

Keithric is quiet correct in his assessment of LFR. In home games you are free to run the game as you want, although if you change rewards the characters stop being LFR legal and cannot be played outside your own game. There is nobody going to knock on your door if you change adventures beyond what is allowed in LFR, and most would really not care if people play their characters in public events either. The players and the DMs should realize though that by changing those adventures there is a risk it eventually clashes with new materials. The DM should also make sure the players are aware of the fact, and decide beforehand whether they still want to join. That is no different from when you start a normal campaign. It is just that with LFR people already have a strong idea on what the campaign entails, and it is even more important to note that it is going to be different from the casual one-shots most players assume* LFR is.

Note that it is also a good idea to discuss your policy about playing LFR adventures outside your own game. It can be a bit of a dissapointment if the regular player suddenly outlevels the rest of the group due to a visit to a convention or has to sit out an adventure because he happened to play it before.

* I say assume, because if players actually pay attention to the adventures they play beforehand, selecting adventures based on storyline and region, by now they can easily get to paragon level and feel it is one big connected campaig without even running a single MYRE.

We've run a number of "home campaigns" with the outcome that "at the end of the campaign, these characters will be LFR legal."  Basically, we all agreed to play our characters together from Level 1-7 with the same DM/storyline until the conclusion of the campaign story arc.  When we went to game days, conventions, etc. we used different characters.

At the end of the campaign, our characters went their separate ways.  We all walked away with LFR-legal Level 7 characters, and made new characters for the next campaign.  This was VERY satisfying.  For those of use who developed characters that we really enjoyed, we did not have to abandon them at the end of the campaign - - they are still playable at any LFR event!  Some of our players got "bored" with their characters - or became more interested in trying out new content - so "retired" their campaign characters. This system worked for everyone.

The LFR adventure library has enough content that you can play many quests/story arcs and still get continuity. Planning is key if you don't enjoy "replayers."  Be clear about which mods/stories you want to run, and communicate to players that they should avoid playing those adventures at other venues.  (In our group, we rotate judges, so if someone plays a new mod at a different venue, they judge it for the rest of our group!)

There are many play-styles and groups out there, and it sounds like you have a good idea of what you want to do. Go for it! 

Dan Anderson @EpicUthrac
Total Confusion www.totalcon.com
LFR Calimshan Writing Director
LFR Epic Writing Director

LFR Myth Drannor Writing Director

The more I read, the more I am confused… but not discouraged at all.

The LFGCCG 1.99 document has some interesting tidbits in it that I am trying to absorb.


Page 4:
Rules for Home Games


If you’re going to be the DM for a homebrew game, you can choose to follow any or all of the information in this guide. However, if you make your game a RPGA-sanctioned public event, meaning different players can rotate in and out of your sessions, you need to use two rules presented here: characters use Method 1 or 2 for ability scores and characters have use of RPGA Rewards cards (see below). The rest is up to you.


It seems to read, to me, that having some restrictions (as the organizer/DM), such as starting at level 1 or limitations on what races are allowed, is within my right while still being a legitimate LFR RPGA event. As I am clean and concise with the documentation and requirements of my events, players understand my particular expectations and campaign related details. There shouldn’t be any confusion or uproar over said restrictions.


However, on Pages 10-11 we have rules on Organizing and DMing for LFR:


The DM cannot specify what rules elements are or are not allowed for characters.


Which, when compared to Page 4, seems to clash. Pages 10-11, at no point, say these rules are only for open, public play events.


In the end, my current take on the question at hand is generally:


  1. A campaign based on continuity, roleplay, and a “company” of characters does not go against any LFR or RPGA tenets.

  2. As the organizer of a Private Campaign set in the Forgotten Realms using the LFR guide for creating legal characters, I can set restrictions as to what characters are legal within my campaign. If I want to exclude PHB3 races from my campaign or even have class restrictions/limitations (for roleplay/story element purposes), it’s okay to do so. Restricting players to new characters (at campaign’s inception) is in my right.  It’s the player’s decision if he wants to apply to join under said limitations.

  3. That said, even if I set an event up as Public, so long as I advertise it as a Home Brew event with specific rules exclusive to it, I could, in fact, do so. Whether or not characters created or used in said event will be LFR legal beyond that event is another matter entirely.

  4. Which brings me to that important distinction. It would seem to me, based on what I read, that if I were to use LFR Regional Modules and run them as intended (with the minor latitudes allowed in adjusting them) as well as creating modules using the My Realms guide, that characters that come out of the Private Campaign could still be very legal if players wanted to, thereafter, use them in Public venues.  I can restrict them to using them only during the private campaign for the course of that Private Campaign, but if someone were to leave (for whatever reason) or the campaign be terminated or come to a natural conclusion, there should be no reason that the players could not use those characters in other LFR events and be considered viable, legal characters.

The spirit of the LFR might be to set guidelines down to allow players to use CCG legal characters of any Level Band in any appropriate event for that level range, but D&D has a strong history of being well suited for campaigns centered around a continuing story, roleplay, and groups of cohesive players. I don’t think one has to preclude the other.  I think the two can meet in the middle somewhere and coexist. A private campaign (played with detail and depth that is natural for a world rich with plot in the Forgotten Realms) that produces LFR legal characters and which run events (adventures) that adhere to the guidelines of the various adventures (including My Realms creations) does not break from the essence of what is D&D and LFR.


At least, that’s my take on it to this point.


I want to also express my appreciation for the input, encouragement, and well-intended advice set out here by everyone. There's a lot of food for thought and well expressed opinion that has helped me get a better understand of what I intend to throw myself into.  And I am sure my "take" will continue to evolve as time goes on.


As always, I am open to more suggestions, rules clarifications, other input, and inquiries.

  1. A campaign based on continuity, roleplay, and a “company” of characters does not go against any LFR or RPGA tenets.

  2. As the organizer of a Private Campaign set in the Forgotten Realms using the LFR guide for creating legal characters, I can set restrictions as to what characters are legal within my campaign. If I want to exclude PHB3 races from my campaign or even have class restrictions/limitations (for roleplay/story element purposes), it’s okay to do so. Restricting players to new characters (at campaign’s inception) is in my right.  It’s the player’s decision if he wants to apply to join under said limitations.

  3. That said, even if I set an event up as Public, so long as I advertise it as a Home Brew event with specific rules exclusive to it, I could, in fact, do so. Whether or not characters created or used in said event will be LFR legal beyond that event is another matter entirely.

  4. Which brings me to that important distinction. It would seem to me, based on what I read, that if I were to use LFR Regional Modules and run them as intended (with the minor latitudes allowed in adjusting them) as well as creating modules using the My Realms guide, that characters that come out of the Private Campaign could still be very legal if players wanted to, thereafter, use them in Public venues.  I can restrict them to using them only during the private campaign for the course of that Private Campaign, but if someone were to leave (for whatever reason) or the campaign be terminated or come to a natural conclusion, there should be no reason that the players could not use those characters in other LFR events and be considered viable, legal characters.



Sounds like you pretty much have it.  You want to use LFR adventures, starting at level 1 with PHB1-2 races to make a continuous campaign.  As an LFR event, you can't actually restrict the race choice, but asking your players to make new characters of a set of races is fine.  Once you tell them that they can't use a LFR-legal character, you are not really running a LFR game, but the characters coming out would still be LFR legal.  If the players do what you ask (PHB1-2 races, start at level 1) and you keep the treasure/XP/Gold from LFR adventures the same, your players can use those characters in any LFR game that they want to play in.



What makes me sad - no more compiled magazines: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/27580349/Dungeon_and_Dragon_Magazine_PDFs&post_num=24#495423645
This:

A private campaign that produces LFR legal characters and which run events (adventures) that adhere to the guidelines of the various adventures (including My Realms creations) does not break from the essence of what is D&D and LFR.



One big draw for LFR/RPGA/Organized Play is the portability of characters. It's a "shared rules/guidelines" experience that allows me to take a character from Table A and play it anywhere else in the community. If I move, go to a convention, or whatever, I can still play my favorite character.

By using the CCG as a guideline (with your own more-strict restrictions), your players have LFR-legal characters.  If they move away, the campaign ends, etc., they can still keep playing those characters.

I think if you clarify what you are doing, your players will understand.  It sounds like you are running:
"A private home-brew campaign set in the Forgotten Realms. However, note that characters will be LFR legal when they leave the campaign." as opposed to "I'm running LFR."  This still has the appeal of "life beyond the campaign" for the players, while allowing you to impose any "table-restrictions" you want.  (So yes, you can exclude PHB 3, if that is to your fancy.)  As long as your personal CCG is a subset of the LFR CCG (and rewards conform to the guidelines), characters will still be legal when then move to LFR.



Dan Anderson @EpicUthrac
Total Confusion www.totalcon.com
LFR Calimshan Writing Director
LFR Epic Writing Director

LFR Myth Drannor Writing Director

I would love to see more of these. LFR has all of the tools built right in to make it an extremely good roleplaying or home-based campaign.. that manages to keep Living-style portability and options open for everyone. DME, Adventuring companies and MyRealms!

You CAN be as In-Characterly restrictive as you want. Just make those restrictions into an Adventuring Company. This is what I did for my Drow campaign within a campaign set in the Underdark beneath the East Rift. (house-of-exile.wikidot.com)  You can be a drow or a slave of the drow. If that's not cool..find another adventuring company! I did this previously with my All-Arcane adventuring company. Your character needs an arcane power source to join.

Make all of the events private, and you can control attendance.  And by managing attendance, you can indeed control which races and classes are available. Because if the players want to play in a private event, they have to abide by what you are willing to work with. So.. here's where you invite "vetted" players.

Use MyRealms and you can add as much continuity and roleplaying as you like. These are great tools, and I happen to think they provide some good guidelines to DMs. MyRealms adventures really don't restrict you as far as content goes, and of course there's nobody standing over your shoulder when you DM.

I don't think you should worry too much about making events public..It's perfectly alright to make events public if you can handle it. 

A few people have mentioned "A private home-brew campaign set in the Forgotten Realms. However, note that characters will be LFR legal when they leave the campaign." -- I have to tell you. There's no functional difference. if it's LFR legal at the end, then it was LFR all along.
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