We have had many questions come up repeatedly on the forums and in character feedback forms, so this FAQ is an attempt to address them. Note that these questions are in no particular order. Expect this section of the site to be updated on a regular basis. If you don't see an answer to a particular question you have, by all means direct it to our forums or to one of the staff's email.
Can I use a bow in Forest of Doors?
Yes. All bows must however have 30 pound pull or less, with all crossbows limited to 25 pound pull or less. Like nearly all weapons in Forest of Doors, your character can use a bow without purchasing the Bow skill. However, archery is unique in that players must be certified by the Forest of Doors staff or archery marshal. This is usually a fairly quick process that involves a discussion of the proper and safe use of boffer LARP archery, as well as a short skills test to assure the competence of the archer.
Why are Thrown Weapons the only weapon that requires a character to purchase the accompanying skill?
We began the game with no limitations on thrown weapons and found that field battles became two lines lobbing weapons at one another. Aside from having a totally different feel than we wanted for combat, it made melee combat effectively useless. To protect the feel of combat and the balance of the game itself, characters wishing to use Thrown Weapons must purchase the Thrown skill.
What items that I bring into game must have a tag?
You can bring whatever props you wish to game as long as they are not real weapons or other items banned from state parks. However, for the item to have in-game value, it must have a tag. Tagged items can be purchased in-game or crafted during production periods. For instance, if a player wishes to bring a small dream-catcher to game, for trading purposes, the player could get a tag for a “Rustic Work of Art” (which costs 1 Twist to make but sells for whatever the buyer is willing to pay) during character creation. Alternately, they could create the item themselves using the Craft skill. Regardless of its origin, this item can be sold for in game money, used as part of a Ritual, or simply as a prop with in-game value behind it.
What foods are allowed in play?
You can bring whatever food you want to the game and justify its presence as long as it fits the setting to some small degree. If you wish to make steak, feel free to explain it by having hunted down a bull that wandered from another world into the Forest of Doors. If you want to bring a mixed salad with vinaigrette, feel free to claim that you purchased the ingredients from a passing merchant or foraged the ingredients yourself. The comfort of our players is very important to us and being able to eat as you want is a big part of that. However, if you wish to go the extra mile and eat “forest fare,” you are perfectly welcome to do that as well. Some characters may impose dietary restrictions based on their setting on themselves (vegetarian fairies, junk food from the Goblin City, traditional fare from the Empire, etc.).
What "perks" are afforded to new players?
All first time players receive a discount of $15 off their first event. Thus, a one day event would be free, a two day event would be $15, and a three day event would be $30 for a first timer. Furthermore, all new players receive a “newbie module” designed to introduce characters to the Forest of Doors. This plot-directed module sets the tone, gets players in character, and helps to teach the rules. New players also do not have to put in any time playing “Non-Player Characters” (aka Monstering) during their first event. Finally, first time players are allowed to respend their character at any time before their second game or even create an entirely new character with the experience they earned from their first game.
When are we considered in character?
During an event, play begins when announced. After that, everyone is considered in play at all times unless players wear a white headband or use the required out-of-play gesture (hand or weapon on head). We consider being in play at all times vitally important for the feel of the game and thus every single statement made when you are not signaling that you are out of character is considered in play. Players that consistently break character will be asked to be more conscious of their in and out of game states. Frequent abusers will have their experience reduced for the event. That said, players may use the bathroom out of play, as attacking folks in such a circumstance just isn't very nice.
What items must be represented by a prop (phys-rep)?
Alchemical items (vials for liquids, candies for tablets, and makeup for pastes), Lumencrafted items, Weapons, Armor, Traps, and miscellaneous tagged items (such as jewelry, tools, and other crafted items) must be represented by props. There are a few tagged items that do not require props, however. For instance, tagged commodities such as lumber, iron, and gold are assumed to represent large quantities of these things. They do not need physical representation because they are assumed to be off screen, but those who want to bring props to represent them can do so, as long as they are reasonable and safe. As with anything that might be questionable, running it by the staff will save you a lot of headache. Some things, such as Healer's Tools, are not tagged but are still required as props. Tinker’s Tools, on the other hand, are both tagged and require a phys-rep, as they are actually used in-game to disarm traps and pick locks.
I sent in my background… when do I get the 5 character points?
You get these points at the end of your next event, added to whatever character points you would ordinarily get for that event.
I sent in my background but haven’t heard back. Is this normal?
Yes. We generally only contact players if their backgrounds need something changed or clarified. If you wish to know more about the status of your background, feel free to email Chas at email@example.com and he will let you know where your background stands.
Every player can buy 5 character points for their character with Brownie Points. When can I do this?
You can do this at any time. You can do it during character creation or wait to do it later. You could, if you wanted to, spend for it a year from now. You can even spend for it incrementally if you wish.
I submitted a character but didn’t receive my character’s setting packet. How do I get it?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and Charlie will send it promptly.
I sent in my feedback but haven’t heard back. Is this normal?
We get a lot of feedback and we do not usually respond to them individually. The only exception is when people ask us direct questions, though we prefer that players use this resource for actual feedback and instead direct questions to the forums or email.
Can I sell things at the game (for real money)?
Yes, with some stipulations. The staff must be informed prior to any event at which you wish to sell. The materials you are selling must be in some way related to the game (costume, weapons, props, etc). Selling or displaying wares is prohibited while the game is actually going on, so it is restricted to the time before and after the game itself. Obviously, characters are free to sell whatever in-game items they have during the event—for in-game money--especially considering how important mercantile matters are in game.
I have a costume/prop/character concept in mind but it isn’t historically accurate. Is it still allowed in game?
Forest of Doors is –not- historical reenactment. We have fairies and goblins and magic and whatnot. While we sprinkle historical details in game for flavor, this is not a game about historical accuracy. Players should not feel compelled to adhere to any semblance of accuracy to anything except the settings as written. The Desert of Brass is not actually supposed to be medieval Arabia nor is the Empire of Perfect Unity actually Confucian China. Obviously, a pocket watch isn’t appropriate for characters from the Realm of Castles, but, by the same token, players of characters from the Realm of Castle are free to design their own heraldic coats of arms without the constraints of actual historical heraldry. Characters from the Rock of Storms can use full plate armor even if the Vikings (who were an inspiration for the Rock of Storms) did not in fact use them. We do ask that players still remain however within the bounds of the setting and of course not to deliberately flaunt our rejection of historicism. If it is lame, we reserve the right to reject it.
How does my character come into game?
Usually, characters enter the game at the moment they come through a gate… in whatever state they entered the Forest of Doors (according to your back story). Events held at places other than state parks (like Dragon Con, etc.) might require a different way to introduce your character if it is your first event. If you have a specific way you would like your character to be introduced, you can contact a director to arrange something appropriate.
I have submitted a character and created a forum account but I don’t have access to the world-specific forums. How do I get access to the forum for my character’s home world?
In the “Forest of Doors” section of our forums there is a sticky thread entitled “Realm-Only Forums.” Make a quick post there requesting access and it will be granted. These forums, however, are only accessible to those who have actually been to an event, which simulates a character’s access to the people of the Forest of Doors.
What starting equipment will my character have?
Every character begins with 20 Twists worth of items, which are “sold” at the cost to create the item. These funds can be taken as weapons, armor, gems, alchemical items, or any tagged item whose cost is listed on the site. You can find a list of items your character could purchase under the Craft and Tinkering Production rules. Any money left over is given to players as a tag representing currency from their home world. This money can be exchanged in game for Twists (the proper currency of the Forest of Doors).
I wish to respend my character points. How do I do this?
Firstly, you have to be able to do so according to the rules. Players are free to completely change their character (to the point of coming from a different world with entirely different back story) after their first event. Players are also able to respend character points on skills whose rules are drastically changed. Players can also redo a spell choice if that spell’s system is changed dramatically. To respend any part of your character, simply fill out the “Character Submission” form under the “Players” section of the website. Players will be explicitly informed if either of the previous cases apply to them. Note what you wish to have changed and that you are using your ability to respend. The changes should be reflected on your character sheet during the next game.
When is the next event?
Our website has a section called Events which details the events we currently have scheduled.
Do you allow latex weapons?
We inspect every weapon every game. We do not give blanket acceptance to any class of weapons or any manufacturer. Latex weapons are often problematic for a number of reasons, though, and are most often rejected for not having a two inch thrusting tip, for being too hard, or for allowing the core to become exposed easily when striking an opponent. To be completely clear, we inspect every weapon every game and reserve the right to reject those we deem unsafe or aesthetically unfit. Weapons that hurt when hitting someone will fail, regardless of construction method. Our website details how to cheaply construct boffer-safe weapons here.
Forest of Doors is a “lightest touch” system. How do I make players in heavy armor feel my blows?
The “lightest touch” moniker for Forest of Doors refers to the lightest touch your target can actually feel. You are allowed to hit players in thick armor harder in order to allow them to feel the hit, and adjudicating the force necessary for an opponent to feel a hit is a real skill that players will quickly develop. Some opponents, such as those with exposed skin, should be hit very lightly. However, players in heavy or solid armor need a larger amount of force to feel the blow. Feel free to apply more force if you feel you can safely and painlessly hit such players. If the player says you are hitting too hard, immediately scale back the force of your blows. As always, be conscious of the person at the other end of your weapon; if they say you are hitting too hard, you probably are.
How do I submit my downtimes?
After an event, every character who was present gets three downtime actions. There is a form for downtime submission under the “Players” section of the website. Remember that when filling out your downtimes you can double (or triple) up on one action for greater effect, or you can make three completely separate actions. Certain things are the province of specific skills, however. Learning something requires Scholarship, making friends or asking around town for information requires Diplomacy, and exploring the Forest of Doors requires Survival. The more specific your downtime, the more likely you are to achieve your goal.
When is final date that downtimes are accepted after an event?
We only accept downtime actions submitted two weeks after the event, and only if your character was actually present at the game. Often, we schedule events one month after each other and we need time to adjudicate and write up downtime responses.
My character has a weapon skill. Does it apply to all weapons of that type?
Yes. The Sword Skill allows characters to use its abilities with any sword just as the Close Weapons skill allows you to use your combat abilities with all close weapons. Note that heavy weapons and shields still require the Strong trait, even if you have the appropriate skill for such.
What happens if I am not Strong and I carry a heavy weapon or large shield? What if I wear heavy armor?
When a character that is not Strong holds a heavy weapon or wields a large shield, the weapon or shield is treated as the character’s arm for the purposes of wounds. Any attack that hits the weapon or shield counts as if it struck the character’s arm, and will immediately disarm them. Furthermore, characters without Strong cannot make attacks or use combat abilities with such weapons and shields. If a character who is not Strong wears heavy armor, they cannot move, cast spells, perform rituals, or attack/defend themselves in any way.
Do I still spend Prowess on combat abilities (such as a Power Strike) that do not successfully hit?
Yes. If you call the tagline, you spend the Prowess for it whether successful or not. This also extends to Feats as well. In Forest of Doors, if a resource is spent to do something it stays spent whether it was successful or not.
Do I always have to call my defenses against every attack?
Yes. In Forest of Doors, all defenses must be willingly called within 2 seconds of an attack. For instance, if you are hit with Poison and fail to call a defense within 2 seconds, your character is Poisoned, even if you have a Poison Resist. If you take damage on your Resilience you should still acknowledge the hit in some fashion such as saying “got it.” Alternately--and this is really preferred--you can roleplay the hit as long as it clear to your opponent that you are taking it. You could pretend to be knocked back slightly or cry out in pain as your opponent harms you.
Are characters who are Critical also unconscious?
Yes. A character who is Critical is always unconscious, barring certain abilities. Once a character is stable (no longer Critical) they are conscious.
What is Gatespeak and how does it work?
All characters, upon entering the Forest of Doors, find their speech transformed into Gatespeak. It is difficult to speak (but not write) in foreign languages in the Forest of Doors as the curious nature of the place asserts itself. Furthermore, all characters in the Forest of Doors are literate in Gatespeak and can read it as well as write it; all text props are assumed to be in Gatespeak unless they are noted otherwise.
What are Brownie Points and what are they good for?
Brownie Points are our way of encouraging a sense of community in the game. People who help the game get benefits for doing so. The amount of Brownie given is dictated by the amount of help we receive. Often, we will ask players for specific things (monstering, tags, props, logistics, etc) and award Brownie for it. Brownie Points can be spent on extra character points, discounts on events, and extra downtime actions. Please see the “OOC Policies” section under the “Rules” section of the website.
I don’t have the armor phys-rep I plan on using, but I don’t want to have to hunt down better armor in game. Can I begin the game with an item tag for higher level armor than I am currently wearing?
You may not begin the game with a higher point tag, but if you upgrade your armor out of game (and we approve its new rating), you can exchange your old tag for a new one during check in, paying the cost difference in Twists. We understand the difficulty in crafting armor phys-reps, so we allow this exception to the “buy all items at character creation or in game” rule.
Resilience is a character’s Armor, Protection, and Toughness added together. Which are lost first when a character is damaged?
Resilience is lost in alphabetical order: Armor, Protection, and then Toughness. This is only important when figuring when/if armor needs to be maintained, protections need to be reset, or you need to rest to regain Toughness. There are no powers that bypass a specific defense, so you will rarely have to calculate these on the spot.
Is a character’s Resilience based on location?
No. Resilience protects a character’s entire body at all times. Resilience is meant to be an abstract concept that represents how hard it is to wound a character, not how protected a character is in any specific location. Note that Resilience is not the same thing as wounds. A character can be wounded and yet still have Resilience, in certain circumstances. Restoring any component of Resilience (Armor, Protection, or Toughness) does not heal wounds.
What is the significance of red weapons?
In game, red weapons are treated as natural weaponry such as claws or fangs. They cannot be disarmed by any means, cannot be broken, and do not take damage from hits.
Do the Advanced Weapon Styles require that you use the weapon configuration for that style?
Absolutely yes. Advanced Styles require that the character use only the weapon (or weapon and shield) configuration listed. This means that Scholar’s Sword style is not compatible with a shield. Likewise, Noble Paladin only works with a War Mace and a Small Shield; A hammer or sword is insufficient, and if the Paladin has their shield broken or lost somehow, they lose access to their Advanced Style powers, as an example. Advanced Styles are very strict in their requirements.
How do I make spell packets?
Place some bird seed in the middle of 4-5 inch square of cloth. The color of the cloth relates to the type of magic the packet will be used for (see the section on Magic for more details on colors, near the end of part 1). Draw up the corners so that all the bird seed is contained in the packet with none leaking out, and fasten the corners closed with a rubber band. Make sure the packet isn’t so hard that it will hurt when thrown; the birdseed should still be somewhat mobile within the cloth.
If I take a wound to the arm in excess of my Resilience, do I also take a torso wound?
No. No matter how much damage is done to an unwounded limb, it never bleeds over to the Torso from a single hit. However, if you are hit again in a limb that is already wounded, you then take a torso wound.
Do combat taglines need to be called before the player attacks a target?
Yes. If you make contact before the tagline is completed, it does not count and you still spend the Prowess or Feat.
Do sources of enhanced healing stack?
Yes, as long as they are from different sources. This means that only one instance of Aid can help a person at a time and only one instance of a specific spell or item effect can help a character at a time. More powerful effects do replace effects of the same source, however (usually this only relates to the Healing skill). For instance, a character under the effect of Basic Aid and Blissful Fairy Wine heals in 30 minutes. If another character with Improved Aid later heals the target, the injured character would heal in 15 minutes. The normal progression of healing levels is 1 hour, 30 minutes, 15 minutes, and 5 minutes.
Can I perform more than one Ritual at a time?
No. Rituals can be performed back to back or in ways that easily flow into one another, but they cannot be performed concurrently.
I’ve spent a Charge I obtained from a Ritual. How do I get that Charge back?
First, you must have no Charges of that School of Magic at all, either by spending them or simply “burning” them (taking 5 seconds of concentration to divest yourself of the charge(s)). Then, you must successfully perform one of your Rituals. This Ritual becomes “Active” and cannot be used again until you are carrying no Charges from that School of Magic.
How long do spells last?
Spells last as long as their description indicates. If the spell does not indicate a duration, then the spell lasts for the entire event. Readied Spells can be maintained indefinitely as long as the caster maintains the requirements for the spell and is not rendered unconscious (either through in game effects or actually sleeping). Characters with Readied Spells active cannot perform Rituals or cast other spells, in general.
How do I get items off of monsters?
You should closely approach the downed monster and say “Searching.” The monster’s player will likely give you any items the monster had. If your character has the “Harvest Game” ability from the Survival Skill, you can also call “Harvest Game” to see if there are any valuable parts of the creature that can be salvaged.
Does restoring a target’s Toughness heal their wounds?
No. Wounds can only be healed by effects that explicitly heal wounds. A target whose Toughness is gone can still have their Toughness restored, but all wounds will remain until the character is healed in some fashion.
Do I really have to perform a ritual or can I just spend the appropriate amount of time for the ritual and gain a Charge?
Rituals are an important part of the game and gaining Charges from Rituals without actually doing them is considered cheating. If you don’t wish to actually do your Rituals, chances are you don’t want to play a magic user in Forest of Doors. If you don’t want to play a magic user in Forest of Doors, there are plenty of other character options that don’t involve performing Rituals.