Jeff Rients has a great list of 20 quick questions to add campaign details in ways that are likely to affect actual play. I was thinking, based on this other post by Jeff about treating all editions of D&D as a toolbox and this post by JB over at B/X Blackrazor about creating his own version of D&D, that it would be useful to have a list of rules that often change from campaign to campaign.
Here are 20 rules clarifications that are likely to be needed anyways at some point.
- Ability scores generation method?
- How are death and dying handled?
- What about raising the dead?
- How are replacement PCs handled?
- Initiative: individual, group, or something else?
- Are there critical hits and fumbles? How do they work?
- Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet?
- Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee or do something similarly silly?
- Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything?
- Level-draining monsters: yes or no?
- Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death?
- How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked?
- What’s required when my PC gains a level? Training? Do I get new spells automatically? Can it happen in the middle of an adventure, or do I have to wait for down time?
- What do I get experience for?
- How are traps located? Description, dice rolling, or some combination?
- Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work?
- How do I identify magic items?
- Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions?
- Can I create magic items? When and how?
- What about splitting the party?
If you decide this stuff early, you are less likely to have misunderstandings and more likely to all be on the same page.
Edit: index of some responses here.