Persistent World - DM Guide

Everything you need to know about running events that use our persistent world system.

Version 1.1 - Release Notes


Introduction

To start with, please note that most of the features of this system are optional for DMs. If you just want to run some one-shots that have no connection to anything at all, cool. This persistent world system is intended to be flexible so you can run the type of games you want. The only things we ask are that:

  1. You abide by our standard policies and guidelines. We are an inclusive group and strive to provide fun, stress free and (where possible) newbie friendly experiences.
  2. You stick to are the limits on handing out gold and loot. Otherwise the world economy will go off the rails.

If you haven't already, please review the player guide in detail so you know how your players interact with the system.

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The persistent world map is an interactive tool that players can explore and DMs can edit. As a DM you can name regions, build settlements, create npcs and more.


Signing Up For Games

If you would like to run a game you will need to be a registered user of the site. Once you are registered you can find a complete list of all our games on our DM Schedule page. Just click on any of the open spots (listed in red) and your spot will be confirmed automatically.

Signing up to run a game only commits you to the session you choose and all spots are first come first serve. We have DM guides available for all the events we run, please review the appropriate guide prior to signing up for a session.


Balancing Your Table

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Most of our tables will allow for a range of player levels (usually 3 levels). If you are concerned about your lower level players dying a bit too easily you can optionally allow them to roll hit dice up to the highest level player to temporarily increase their HP maximum.

For example, if you have a party of three L1 players, two L2 and a single L3 you could allow the L1 players to each roll two hit dice and the L2 players to roll one. You could also allow them to increase the number of hit dice they have to match the higest level.

This process will give your players a fairly equal spread of health but will not affect their damage output or abilities otherwise. At the end of the session the PCs max HP and Hit Dice reverts back to normal. Note that these rules are optional, but are also an easy way to keep your game a bit more balanced.


Adventure Rewards

Gold

In order to make sure that the game economy stays somewhat balanced please try to stick to this chart when handing out gold to PCs. The lower number is the ideal target, exceeding the higher number is frowned upon. Also, these are what we feel the max should be in most cases. You do not have to give out this much every time, make 'em earn it! You can give this out at the end of the session or work it in to the game if you like.

Character Level GP per Player (per session)
Levels 1-4 75-100
Levels 5-10 150-200
Levels 11-16 550-650
Levels 17-20 5500-6500
Magic Items

As with gold, we will have some limit on magic items in order to keep the world somewhat sane. This chart details what you can give out per session for the whole party. Note that this is NOT per player. If you really want to throw around some common magic items try to limit what you give to one per player per session.

Minor * Major *
Character Level Uncommon Rare Very Rare Legendary Uncommon Rare Very Rare Legendary
Levels 1-4 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Levels 5-10 3 1 0 0 2 0 0 0
Levels 11-16 2 2 1 1 0 1 1 0
Levels 17-20 0 1 2 1 0 1 1 1

* The items in the table are divided into major and minor categories as per Xanathar's guide. You can find the full list of items sorted by category here.

Treasure Points

1) Purchase a magic item: Players can use their points to buy items from this chart. All purchases must be signed off on by a DM, when doing so please look up the item to be sure they got the category correct and make sure they have hit the level requirement to purchase the item.

2) Save Points: Players can save their treasure points to buy whatever they want provided they meet the level requirements and have enough points. Note that the max amount of points that they can save is 12. Any additional points they earn are lost if they are at 12 already. Any items purchased with saved points need to be signed off on by a DM as above.

Magic Item Category PC Level Required Treasure Point Cost
Minor, Common 1+ 4
Minor, Uncommon 1+ 4
Minor, Rare 1+ 4
Minor, Very Rare 6+ 8
Minor, Legendary 13+ 8
Major, Uncommon 1+ 8
Major, Rare 6+ 10
Major, Very Rare 12+ 10
Major, Legendary 14+ 12

Homebrew & Overpowered Items

In general, honebrew or overpowered items are NOT ALLOWED in the persistent world. Anything that is not on our list of magic items must not be in the player's posession at the end of the session. This rule exists in order to keep the playing field level, not because we are fun-hating lizard people. Not that there's anything wrong with that of course...

If you really want to give your players a homebrew item or something that is above the level they could purchase you can absolutely do so, but you should let the players know at the outset that they will not be able to keep it at the end of the session. If they get to have a giant airship with a loyal army of warriors at their beck and call for the adventure, by all means. Just make sure that at the end of the adventure the airship and the army fly away on their own.

If you want to re-skin an item to make it fit your story better by all means do so, but on the PC log sheet and inventory be sure to put the original item in brackets beside it so that other DMs know what it actually is. So maybe you want to give Randy a set of "Vials of Alchemical Hellfire", which is based on a "Necklace of Fireballs" but fits much better into the story you are telling. On the log sheet and any inventory the PC should record "Vials of Alchemical Hellfire (Necklace of Fireballs)"

If you would like to add an actual homebrew item to the world you will need to submit it to us for review first. If we have concerns we will work with you to balance the item and then we can add it to the list of available items for the world.


Purchasing Magic Items

This section describes discretionary rules and guidelines to allow PCs to purchase magic items in game with their gold. PCs do not automatically have the ability to buy these items, they can only do this if you offer it. It has no effect on handing out adventure rewards as described above. If you would like to allow your players to purchase magic items in game please follow the following rules:

  1. Only minor Minor Common and Minor Uncommon items may be purchased.
  2. Potions and Scrolls still cost the same as noted on the "What PCs Can Spend Gold On" table in the player guide.
  3. Items on the Minor Common are available for 100gp.
  4. Items on the Minor Uncommon are available for 500gp.
  5. Any magical armor purchased must also include the base cost of the type of armor being purchased.

Regional markets at settlements are a good place to offer this sort of stuff but feel free to include it however you want. If you would like to offer discounts for good role play or skill checks please feel free, below is one model. However if you apply discounts please do not go below 50%.

Skill Check Result Discount Final Item Cost
1 - 17 None Common: 100gp, Uncommon 500gp
18 - 19 10% Common: 90gp, Uncommon 450gp
20 - 24 25% Common: 75gp, Uncommon 375gp
25 + 50% Common: 50gp, Uncommon 250gp

World-building

One of the optional features of the persistent world is the ability to affect a shared world that DMs can run adventures in. The main interface for making changes to the world is the world map. Our shared world is made of a few types of distinct components:

  • Worlds - Worlds are the highest level objec and can contain multiple linked maps. To start with we will only have one world available and it's basic properties are not changeable.
  • Maps - To start with we will just be using one map, but in the future we can add maps to the North, East, South or West of the current one.
  • Hexes - These are what make up the map. DMs can click on any hex in the map and then select the name of the hex to edit it's properties or add places to it.
  • Places - These are settlements and natural features found in a specific hex.
  • Establishments - These are businesses and locations found in a "Place". Hotels, taverns, docks, the local well, a sacred tree etc.
  • NPCs - NPCs are currently tied to a specific "Place".

For an overview of how the map tool works you can check out this tutorial video.


Levelling Up a PC as DM

Each time you run a session at one of our events you receive the session XP, treasure points and gold you would have received if you had been playing in a session yourself. You may apply this benefit to any character you have in the persistent world. The benefit is relative to the PC it is being applied to not the session. So if you run a level 15 session and apply the benefit to a level 1 character they only get 100 gold, not 650. You can sign off on your own level rewards but you still need another DM to witness stat and hp upgrade rolls. Be sure to read the player guide before you jump into a game.

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