Black Marches Gaming Philosophy


  1. A significant fun part of D&D is the challenge. Players should optimize their characters for effectiveness and the DM should work to make challenges appropriate for the level of effectiveness of the characters.
  2. A DM should not punish characters for employing strategies or tactics that the DM did envision rather the DM should roll with it and try to make future encounters overcome that vulnerability if necessary.
  3. A DM should not "railroad" or force players toward a specific goal, hints and encouragement are fine, and the DM should improvise as the players choose to go places and take actions that the DM did not originally envision, that's where a lot of the fun of D&D is.
  4. Players should police themselves according to the Gentleman's Agreement rather than DMs trying to put lots of fixes to an imperfect system
  5. Allowable material should generally be broad and Campaigns should avoid playing "Mother May I" as much as possible
  6. All alignments are allowed, and characters should generally be allowed to do as they wish, the DM should never say "But your character wouldn't do that"
  7. PVP and stealing are allowed only if there are good story reasons for it and the players are mature enough for it, "just playing my character" is not a justified reason or salvageable character archetype for a team game
  8. Character death and TPKs have to be a possibility for danger to mean anything and with Action Points and methods of raising the dead, there should be plenty of opportunity for success
  9. DMs can choose to disallow certain characters or players just as players can choose not to play with certain DMs, fair is fair, but such decisions should be made with good reason.
  10. We all enjoy playing third edition D&D despite it's imbalances, and imbalances between characters will never completely go away. If you feel you're being heavily overshadowed by other characters ingame, talk about it like gentlemen and/or find or start another game in Black Marches.
  11. As a DM, if you believe certain characters are too powerful or weak for your challenges or compared to the other characters, simply work with the player to make the character palpatable, or don't allow the character
  12. Above all the DM and the players should aim to have the most collective fun as possible.
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