The Basics and Character Creation
Hunters of Avalon is an immersive role playing experience where players solve mysteries individually and in groups. It’s not a LARP – you are rewarded if you dress up and act in character, but don’t worry, there is no penalty if you don’t want to! You will go on adventures at both the Tabletop and Metagame to solve the mystery of missing dragons, find relics, and earn prestige to increase your standing in the guild.
You don’t need any previous RPG experience to play; we’ll happily teach you everything you need to know! That said, you will need to create an account on our registration site and tell us about the character you want to play. We will do all the number crunching for you, but we want you to play a character you’re excited about. We ask that you pick the race, class, and fill out a small backstory so we can do our best to work the things you care about into the experience. The good news is it doesn’t take long to do, you can create as many characters as you want in your profile, and we reward you with prestige for completing this little quest. Pro-tip: A clever backstory is a good way to get training in a skill, or proficiency in a language your race/class may otherwise not have.
After that, the most important rule you need to remember is to not be a jerk. We don’t allow or condone any behavior that will ruin the fun for another player. Your alignment, backstory, or character concept are no excuse to make the game less fun for someone else. The most obvious places this can come into play are stealing and combat. There is no stealing from other players/non player characters and no player vs. player/non player character allowed. We strive for an immersive and cooperative event, and these are the fastest ways to ruining the experience for people. If you like to do either, keep it in your home game. Hunters of Avalon is not the venue for it. If you do either, you will be penalized heavily up to and including being kicked out of our events and permanently banned from playing. Review our Code of Conduct for further information.
The Metagame is the most unique part of the Hunters of Avalon experience! It’s made up of everything you do away from the tabletop sessions. You’ll earn coin to buy food, rent your room at the inn, and purchase items from live NPC’s (non-player characters). The guild will provide you with a small amount of copper to get started, then it will be up to you to earn more by completing tasks for the NPC’s, finishing class specific side quests, or winning ability challenges like axe throwing or potion mixing. You may even find small clues and puzzles scattered about that will earn you rewards. In our larger events and campaigns, you’ll need to combine what you discover in the tabletop with things you find in the Metagame to unlock and solve the escape room. You will be assigned a guild agent at the beginning of your adventure. That person will guide you through the Metagame in much the same way a GM guides you through the escape room, though you will have quite a bit more freedom to explore the world around you.
This is repeated from the overview, but the most important rule is don’t be a jerk. There is no stealing from other players/npcs and no player vs. player/npc allowed. We strive for an immersive and cooperative event, and these are the fastest ways to ruining the experience for people. If you like to do either, keep it in your home game. Hunters of Avalon is not the venue for it. If you are do either, you will be penalized heavily up to and including being kicked out of our events and permanently banned from playing.
The next most important rule is The Rule of Black. If something is painted black or covered in black in any way, do not touch or interact with it. If you’re ever in doubt, ask your guild agent.
You may negotiate for goods and services, we’ll teach you how when you arrive at the events. You can even negotiate for quest rewards! Your success or failure will largely depend on the NPC disposition toward you and if you’d like to spend your prestige to increase your odds of success. With that said, we expect you to abide by the results of your negotiation. If you are given a quest to retrieve an item then negotiate your rewards and fail, you must still complete the quest or you will be penalized. Even if the results of your negotiation mean you receive no reward. Sometimes the reward is small (like hunting rats) so there is no way to negotiate a better reward. The NPC in charge will let you know if you can negotiate or not.
Lastly, don’t break anything unless you are explicitly told to do so. When in doubt, ask your guild agent. We strive to make puzzles that require your brains, not your brawn. While there may be an occasional door to break down or statue to smash, we’ll let you know when it’s time to hulk out.
Tabletop play uses Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition rules with a few modifications. The most important one to remember is Rule 0 – The GM is always right. We work to be fair and accurate in application of the rules, but everyone makes mistakes and sometimes we use clever applications that players are unfamiliar with. Please don’t break immersion by being a rules lawyer or arguing during the session.
We mentioned this in the introduction, but it bears repeating. There is no stealing from other players/npcs and no player vs. player/npc allowed. We strive for an immersive and cooperative event, and these are the fastest ways to ruining the experience for people. If you like to do either, keep it in your home game. Hunters of Avalon is not the venue for it. If you are do either, you will be penalized heavily up to and including being kicked out of our events and permanently banned from playing.
We replace inspiration with prestige – you can spend your prestige to gain advantage on a skill check, ability check, saving throw, or attack roll. You can still only spend 1 on any given check at a time (at the GM’s discretion) but, unlike inspiration, you may have a stockpile. Keep in mind prestige is how you advance within the guild so spending it may result in slower guild advancement.
We build immersive environments around you so when you need to investigate a chest of drawers for clues, you don’t roll for it, you do it in real life. If you need a clue, the GM takes your score in a particular skill into account when deciding what sort of clue you receive.
Besides solving puzzles, you’ll want to earn prestige tokens while playing the game. Prestige serves two purposes. First, earn enough and you’ll increase your Guild Rank. Second, you can spend it in-game to gain advantage on attack rolls, saving throws, ability checks, and skill checks, or while negotiating with NPC’s for items/services/rewards.
You can earn prestige in a number of ways, here are a few:
- Dress in character
- Complete your account profile and make at least 1 character
- Solve puzzles quickly or in an elegant fashion
- Win ability challenges (Axe Throwing, Hammer Throwing, Poetry Writing, Meditation, Totem Building, Potion Mixing)
- Good Role-Playing
- Reaching side quest milestones or completing side quests
- Helping an NPC when they need assistance
- Turning in your adventure loot to the Guild
As you earn prestige, you’ll increase your guild rank. In simple terms, your guild rank determines what level character you start a game with, how much money the guild gives you to start an adventure, and what gear you start with. Your guild rank is tied to you, the player, not your individual characters. That way you can play different characters each game and they start with benefits based on your rank, even if you’ve never previously used them in game. For example you might play a Dwarven Fighter your first game. As a 1 Scale Greenhorn you would start with 10 copper pieces. At the end of an event, you earn enough prestige to be ranked as a 2 Scale Greenhorn. The next time you play, your Dwarf Fighter would start with 15 copper pieces, but if you wanted to play something else, a Halfling Ranger for example, you’d still start with 15 copper pieces for that character.
There are 5 Tiers of guild ranking, divided into 10 sub-ranks per Tier. You are hunting dragons so each sub-rank is known as a Scale. After earning your 10th Scale in a Tier, your next advancement is to the next Tier – a 10 Scale Greenhorn becomes a 1 Scale Agent.
The Guild Tiers are:
- High Council
Your characters will all level up as you increase your guild ranking. You can switch characters from one event to the next and not have to worry about one of them falling behind! This will give you the flexibility to try more of the game world as different characters without sacrificing individual advancement.
When you gain a new level, we’ll take care of the details for you and provide your new character sheet at the next event. You only need to let us know which character you want to play when you sign up! If there are specific class features you’d like, you can let us know ahead of time and we’ll do our best to accommodate. Please keep in mind, we balance the challenges away from the tabletop with features you use in the tabletop so some spells and features, like comprehend languages, simply don’t exist in this world.
As a Hunter for the Guild, your primary goal is to return with proof of dragons. Failing that, the guild is always on the lookout for anything magical. You will gain prestige for any of the following that you turn into the guild at the end of an event.
- Magic Weapons
- Magic Armor
- Wondrous Items
- Spell Scrolls
- Enchantment Scrolls
- Condensed Magical Energy: “Dragonite”
- Evidence of Dragons (Written Report of your Adventure findings)
Any gear you don’t turn in to the Guild, including basic mundane gear (rope, torches, etc.) must still be given to the staff at the end of the event. However, it becomes tied to your character permanently and can be used any time you play that character. This allows you to decide if you want to gain ranks within the Guild faster or keep that sweet +1 longbow.
You don’t find magic items during your adventures, you find enchantment scrolls. These scrolls can be taken to various NPC’s to “enchant” a piece of gear for you. Since we don’t expect you to wear full plate for the event, or lug around a broadsword the whole time, weapons and armor are enchanted based on the equipment on your character sheet. You have to own the item you want enchanted. Other items, like capes, boots, belts, etc can only be enchanted if you have a masterwork item (i.e. a costume piece that looks sufficiently medieval). Modern muggle wear just can’t hold the enchantment, so we recommend dressing the part, just in case ;-).
Protip – Rings are an especially good costume investment since they can hold any enchantment. Typically an enchantment scroll will come with a restriction; for example a +1 attack and damage scroll can only be applied to a weapon. However, for a bit more coin, you can enchant a ring and have that bonus apply to any weapon you wield instead of just the one you currently have. Each character can only have 2 magic rings at any time though or their magic ceases to function so enchant wisely. As with most games numerical bonuses of the same type don’t stack so a +1 weapon bonus from a ring and a +2 weapon don’t become +3. You simply take the higher value.
Negotiation is the most used game mechanic in the Metagame. You can negotiate with NPC’s for better quest rewards, cheaper services, or less expensive equipment. There are, however, a few rules you need to follow.
The most important is we use the honor system. If you’ve negotiated and failed for a fetch quest reward, you don’t get to withhold the item for a bigger reward. Play to the results of your negotiation, not what you wish had happened. If you negotiate for a lower price and fail, you’ll have to pay the higher price or figure out a solution. Possible solutions are having someone else purchase the item for you, obtaining more money in other quests, having a party member loan you the coin, or asking the NPC if they have anything you can do for them to offset the cost. Failing at negotiation isn’t bad, it just adds to your story and overall immersion!
To negotiate you will roll a d20 and the NPC will roll a d20. Whoever rolls higher wins the negotiation! Reroll on a tie. If you win, the cost of the item/service is halved or the reward offered is doubled! Watch out though because, if you lose the negotiation, the cost of the item/service is doubled and the reward halved.
You may spend your prestige to gain advantage on the negotiation roll. In this case, you roll 2 d20 while the NPC rolls 1 and you take the higher number. This is a good way to get cheaper goods/services or better rewards at the cost of your guild advancement.
When negotiating, each NPC has a disposition toward you. It’s favorable, neutral, or negative. How you interact with them can move it so do a little role playing to find out their idiosyncrasies and how to get them to like you before you negotiate. If their disposition is favorable, they roll against you with disadvantage. If it’s negative, they roll against you with advantage. A neutral disposition is just a straight roll.
To keep the game moving, you can negotiate once per day with each NPC. You don’t negotiate per good/service/reward. Your negotiation results last that entire day, but reset to neutral the next day.
Not everything can be negotiated. Some simple quests, like finding rats for the innkeeper, offer such low rewards that they can’t be halved and doubling them won’t help you much. The good news is those quests are there to make sure you can always have enough money to eat each day.
Protip – Some things are offered by more than one NPC, if you fail a negotiation with one person, ask around. You may still be able to find what you need at a price you can afford.
Death in the tabletop follows the usual rules with the exception that you can only use 1 prestige to gain advantage on a death save each time you fall unconscious. If you are stabilized but not conscious and take damage, you may use 1 more prestige each time you stabilize.
You can die in the Metagame as well. We don’t allow fighting or combat outside of the tabletop experience, however you may become poisoned, be killed by a trap, or have some other horrible fate befall you. In the Metagame, you don’t track HP and there are no saves – everything is a 1 hit kill. Not to worry though! As with most fantasy games, death is just a setback not the end of your experience.
Simply visit the town cleric to be resurrected! You can pay to be resurrected faster, subsequently getting back to the game sooner, if you wish. However, if you don’t have the coin, you’ll need to sit in purgatory while the cleric raises the donations for your resurrection. This usually takes about 30 minutes if the gods like you enough.
Protip – your party members can pay for your resurrection if they need your skills to help solve puzzles. Your guild agent may be able to aid in your resurrection as well… but it will cost you prestige within the guild and they may dock your future wages since the cost of the resurrection comes out of their pocket.