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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    Salutations Readers,

    About a year ago I was reading a post about people having a contract for their players and, at the time, I thought this seemed a silly idea. Since then I have started in another game where some players, and the DM, seem to think it is fine for the first person to grab a magic item to keep it! which made me think perhaps there is a need for some sort of contract?

    Now I have seen a few people post length legal contracts but I wanted to something more like a pirate code; a dozen or less bullet points to govern the conduct of the party and distribute treasure equitably. I thought I would share what I wrote in case the hive mind has any suggestions for improvement. The intent is for it to be a document the characters, not the players, sign in game.

    "an engagement" seemed a better term than Adventure to describe the game.

    Articles of Agreement for the Free Company

    1st: Every person has a vote in affairs of moment and receives one equal shares of the plunder.

    2nd: It is severely prohibited to every one to usurp anything, in particular to themselves. We make a solemn oath to each other not to abscond, or conceal the least thing they find during an engagement. If afterwards any one is found unfaithful, who has contravened the said oath, they immediately shall lose their share and be turned out of the Company with forfeiture of all possessions.

    3rd: Any person found pilfering money or goods from the company or its members will suffer the same punishment as in the former Article.

    4th: That if any person lose his life in time of engagement or in the Companys service, his share shall be paid to his attorney for the use of his family or friend.

    5th: Good Quarters to be given when craved.

    6th: A Person that is proved a coward in time of engagement shall lose his share.

    7th: That the company shall out of the plunder taken pay for the healer’s chest and set aside an agreed amount to provide provisions and lodgings for those contracted. Every person has equal title to the provisions and liquors unless a scarcity makes it necessary, for the good of all, to vote a retrenchment.

    8th: All remaining plunder, be it jewels, goods or any other thing whatsoever to the value of one piece of silver, will be sold and the coin distributed. Members of the company may choice to buy items being sold for the price the company would receive. If more than one person wants an item it will be auctioned.


    If you want to be more evil
    9th article: We declares as enemies all those who are not part of this company. We permits the use of force or guile to take their goods, commands each man to give no consideration or mercy to anyone and to put to death any who resist or defend themselves, even his own kin.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2019

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    A Code of Conduct for a Party/Gang could be handy. Any self respecting thieves guild has a code. Organized Crime syndicates all have rules.

    There are certainly times I've been tempted to call out other party members for acting against the best interest of the team that an agreement like this would have helped delineate what our party ethos was or what was or was not acceptable.

    I'd RP it's drafting and ratification. I'd probably argue that a 2/3 or 4/5 majority was required to ratify, and insure it includes guidelines for new members, ramifications of violations, and amendments. Of course if the narrative includes a patron, they could dictate terms.

    Some parties could embrace this idea, and others may hate it - neither would be 'right' or 'wrong.'

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    HalfOrcPirate

    Join Date
    May 2014

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    Rule 1. Don't be a ****

    Rule 2. See Rule 1

    Rule 3. Seriously, don't get it yet? See Rule 2.
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    Where did you start yours?

    The PCs, walk into a town they've never before visited together, all the villagers stop & stare at them. The PCs realise why when they get to the fountain at the centre of town, there are accurate statues of each of them, even down to the gear they currently carry. The statues have been here for generations...

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2017

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    I wish I'd had these rules when I was DMing a bunch of 13/14 year olds.
    - BloodOgre
    "And now, a song I wrote about Paladins. It's called, 'Crunchy on the Outside, but Chewy in the Middle'!"

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Banned
     
    Anderlith's Avatar

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    Jun 2011

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    I usually do Letters of Mark when doing civilized adventure like this hose found in Eberron. I’ll sometimes do a Round Robin for pirate stuff, once did a full mercenary contract, & such. I say theme it around the style of adventure you want.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    I prefer to play with people who dont need these rules.
    I am the flush of excitement. The blush on the cheek. I am the Rouge!

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    I prefer to play with people who dont need these rules.
    I did consider dropping out of the game but I quite like most of the players. Our previous games were AL so treasure distribution was not an issue. All the local groups quit AL with the rules changes though so that is not an option any more. I figured I would give this a try before quitting.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Lyracian View Post
    I did consider dropping out of the game but I quite like most of the players. Our previous games were AL so treasure distribution was not an issue. All the local groups quit AL with the rules changes though so that is not an option any more. I figured I would give this a try before quitting.
    Have you considered saying "shouldn't we make sure the loot makes the groug as a whole strong as possible instead of everyone just getting grabby?"

    Btw, I agree that the DM should be ok with however the party divides up the loot. That's a player thing he shouldn't do more than observe.
    I am the flush of excitement. The blush on the cheek. I am the Rouge!

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2018

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by da newt View Post
    A Code of Conduct for a Party/Gang could be handy. Any self respecting thieves guild has a code. Organized Crime syndicates all have rules.
    Well, more like guidelines really...

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    Have you considered saying "shouldn't we make sure the loot makes the groug as a whole strong as possible instead of everyone just getting grabby?"
    Not quite those words but I tried that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    Btw, I agree that the DM should be ok with however the party divides up the loot. That's a player thing he shouldn't do more than observe.
    I agree it is not the DM's job to tell the party how to distribute loot but I do see them as part of the problem when there answer is "roll initiative" and someone who is 30' away gets to pick up stuff quicker than the person 5' away.

    I do not have any problems in the two games I run but this is the only one I am playing in at the moment.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2018

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    I present to you the Steel cloaks (my current
    group) agreement.


    Party Accord
    Article 1. Party Composition
    Member addition or expulsion requires unanimous consent from all current Members. During expulsion
    votes, the Member in question is denied his vote.
    Article 2. Inactivity
    In the event of inactivity on the part of a Member (death, illness, absence, capture, petrification, or trans
    dimensional shift), the inactive Member may have their benefits suspended by unanimous consent of the
    remaining Members no earlier than after one fortnight of inactivity. Until such time, the remaining members
    must do everything in their power to return the absent member to good standing, which includes using all
    Party Funds to achieve this goal. In the event of irreversible Death or 1 month of absence, all personal
    wealth and the deceased Member’s Quest payment will be given to a beneficiary of their designation.
    Article 3. Quests
    The acceptance of any Quest requires a majority vote among all active Party Members.
    The abandonment of any Quest requires a unanimous vote among all conscious Members
    Article 4. Amendments
    At any meeting of a full contingent of Members the terms of this pact may be amended and are retroactively
    active to the offense that prompted the amendment. Ratification of the amendment must be unanimous
    Article 5. Funds
    All valuables (non magical) will be kept under lock and key as "Party Funds". This fund can be used to
    purchase equipment, goods, services, lodgings, real-estate, transportation, food or drink. But any purchase
    using Party Funds must benefit the Party as a whole or be in relation to an active Quest. All purchases with
    Party Funds remain the property of the Party.
    All payments for completed Quests will be divvied equally to the Party and are the personal property of the
    Member, and thus can be spent without restriction.
    At any time a portion of Party Funds may be distributed equally as payment through a unanimous vote.
    Article 6. Magic items
    Items found are property of the Party and their use is encourage to benefit the Party as a whole.
    Assignment of items is based on greatest benefit to the Party. Each interested Member will put forth their
    case for wanting said item. If there is more than one deserving Member, the claimants may negotiate and
    offer items, cash, or a future boons to the counter-claimant. If no decision can be made through timely
    negotiation, the decision is left to chance.
    Items may transfer from the Party to individual possession at fair market value, but must be agreed upon by
    majority vote and must be paid for with personal funds.
    Article 7. Discovery
    Each Member is required to honestly divulge any findings of value to within a platinum piece. Failure to do
    so can result in a cumulative 2% Share penalty.
    Article 8. Member Conduct
    Members must not willfully withhold information vital to the survival or profitability of the Party
    Members must not actively harm the Party’s reputation, finances or physical manifestations
    Carousing shall take place between contracts, and in such a manner as to not reflect poorly on the Party.
    Article 9. Benefits of Membership
    An equal vote on all Party business (except self concerned expulsion)
    An equal share of Party payments, and access to the Party’s belongings
    Access to an adventuring Party for any personal issues that may arise
    Access to Member skills. Tradework that does not directly benefit the Party or further the current Quest will
    be paid at half market cost out of personal funds and will be carried out at the earliest convenience.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    stoutstien's Avatar

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    Sep 2015
    Location
    SD
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    Male

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    Nothing Wrong with it but it won't address player issues. This sounds more like player action conflict not character problems.
    what is the point of living if you can't deadlift?

    All credit to the amazing avatar goes to thoroughlyS

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2019

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    I honestly do this as well- its important, ESPECIALLY in more dark or serious games- Set everyones boundaries so no one is uncomfortable or the DM is playing favorites.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Callak_Remier View Post
    I present to you the Steel cloaks (my current
    group) agreement.
    That is great. Thank you.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Somewhere
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    Male

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    Remember that the contract is only as good as your ability to enforce it. If your group is full of CN(E) anuses only in it for themselves, you can lay down whatever rules you like, but they are more likely to stick together in ignoring them than turning on each other to enforce it. After all "I'm CN, I don't care about rules" is standard view of such players.
    It's Eberron, not ebberon.
    It's not high magic, it's wide magic.
    And it's definitely not steampunk. The only time steam gets involved is when the fire and water elementals get loose.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    Remember that the contract is only as good as your ability to enforce it. If your group is full of CN(E) anuses only in it for themselves, you can lay down whatever rules you like, but they are more likely to stick together in ignoring them than turning on each other to enforce it. After all "I'm CN, I don't care about rules" is standard view of such players.
    Sure I know the Rogue will ignore it every chance she gets. The Paladin and Monk are both NG but being new players I do not think they know any better. This is the first ever RPG for one of them. I am wanting to show them in-character reasons for us to work as a team before the game completely implodes.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2019

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    We have a similar agreement (bound by the "adventures guild" that also takes a cut in profits (10% value equivilant to be paid)
    The last player that got caught stealing/hiding from the group from his "chaotic nature" found out that sharing is better then having nothing and being pitched into a dungeon.

    Most us as players just treat loot as split or "who is this useful for."
    Noone gets a second magic item till everyone has a first. No matter what, so sometimes people that want items right away end up with the worst of the loot.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2018

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    It's amusing to see so many rigid sets of rules considering how chaotic most PCs (IME) often tend to be. It also feels very metagame how much these focus on "equal shares/votes for all" when such arrangements fail to consider how manipulative (not meant in a negative way) the characters' social skills might be in negotiating terms (a Cha 16 person proficient in Persuasion should be coming out well ahead of the Cha 8 character without proficiency in Persuasion). Because of these two things, these feel way too much like trying to have an in-character fix for out-of-character bad behavior, and I don't think that ever ends well.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Pex's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    It's a great idea. I don't want to play with people who need this written down. They'll ignore it anyway.

    On the bright side its existence in a playing group may cause the player in question not to join or leave after Session 1.
    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    "Welcome to Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition, where the DCs are made up and the rules don't matter."

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    On the bright side its existence in a playing group may cause the player in question not to join or leave after Session 1.
    Here’s hoping!

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    From Chapter 2 of "The Hobbit":

    “Thorin and Company to Burglar Bilbo greeting! For your hospitality our sincerest thanks, and for your offer of professional assistance our grateful acceptance. Terms: cash on delivery, up to and not exceeding one fourteenth of total profits (if any); all travelling expenses guaranteed in any event; funeral expenses to be defrayed by us or our representatives, if occasion arises and the matter is not otherwise arranged for.

    Thinking it unnecessary to disturb your esteemed repose, we have proceeded in advance to make requisite preparations, and shall await your respected person at the Green Dragon Inn, Bywater, at 11 a.m. sharp. Trusting that you will be punctual,

    We have the honour to remain
    Yours deeply
    Thorin & Co.”

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    I will say this for it - its a good alignment test and roleplaying opportunity. A Lawful Character is at least going to obey the letter of the contract. A Chaotic Character will ignore it whenever necessary.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    zinycor's Avatar

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    Dec 2013

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    edited out.
    Last edited by zinycor; 2019-12-08 at 09:50 AM.
    Last son of the Lu-Ching dynasty

    thog is the champion, thog's friends! and thog keeps on fighting to the end!

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2014

    Default Re: (in Character) Articles of Agreement for D&D

    I'd go over each point with the party before you start playing, out of character. The whole point to a contract isn't really to make bad players behave so much as to unanimously agree what kind of game you're playing.

    Like, how silly is too silly? How serious is too serious? How dark is too dark? What level of PvP is acceptable? What's the party's general disposition going to be like? Is it going to wreck anything if someone plays an extreme evil, or even extreme good? Are people going to take roles like 'face', and are they going to be sacred or can anyone interrupt whenever they'd like? How's loot going to get divided? Who pays for party finances? Is anybody going to draw maps? How about take notes?

    The DM should also be privy to this conversation. It's really insightful.

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