The East Marches official rules can be found here: https://amsterdamdnd.com/rules/
The rules here are largely player-edited and maintained, the rules on the official site are, of course, leading!
However due to EMs growth the rules have been supplemented by a few (previously) unwritten rules.
This page is meant to give a comprehensive overview of all the rules that are in place and enforced in the east marches.
- Downtime activities are not allowed. As time is fluid in EM (2 games may be happening at the same time, but one spans weeks while the other spans days), it'd be extremely difficult to handle downtime evenly.
- You are not allowed to run a shop for profit, this includes creating and selling goods, but also information brokering. You may run a shop for flavor/story reasons, but you can't collect profits from it. This to ensure there's no impact on the player economy or open sharing of information.
- You are not allowed to play more then 2 one shots a month, this is to make sure everybody gets a chance to play. There are rare exceptions that do not count towards this total. If that is the case it will be explicitly mentioned.
- You are not allowed to play in 2 consecutive one shots. If for instance, your character were to die during the first session, that would throw a very last minute wrench in the preparation of the second session.
- You can only play one character per session
- You are the 'keeper' of your character: their equipment, treasure, character sheet and tokens are your responsibility as a player.
- There is no "official" map for players to know where their adventure actually takes place. The Black Clover Inn, in the City of Brighthaven, has a big wooden table with a rough where adventurers scratched a rudimentary map of the surroundings, and whoever comes back from an adventure just adds to it what they just found.
- Flanking is an optional rule up to the preference of the DM. Building your character with the assumption of being able to use flanking is therefor discouraged. Always check with the DM at the beginning of the session if it applies to the current session.
- Most races, classes and backgrounds from the official content before Ravnica are allowed. No homebrew content, no content from Ravnica or later, no Unearthed Arcana. This is to avoid situations where the DMs are not familiar with the race/class, and unpredictable skill difference between players arise. This means the following content is available:
- Player's Handbook
- Monster Manual
- Dungeon Master's Guide
- Elemental Evil Player's Companion
- Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide
- Volo's Guide to Monsters
- Xanathar's Guide to Everything
- Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes
- Tomb of Annihilation's "The Tortle Package" (Not Tomb of Annihilation itself)
- The one exception to the race-selection above is (sub)races with a permanent flying speed. These are not allowed. For example: Aarakocra is banned but Protector Aasimar is allowed.
- All characters start at level 1. If it's your first time playing with any character, they will start at level 1. If you are already playing with a character of a higher level, and you want to play a new character, the new character will start at level 1. Even if you decide to retire your character when you think its story is done, or you no longer want to play it, the new character will start at level 1.
- Use point buy (or standard array) when making your new character. This is to ensure roughly equal power levels.
- Don't roll for hit points, take the average hitpoints as shown in the source books. This is to ensure roughly equal HP totals.
- You can have more than one character, but they will all be considered different: Different levels, different tokens, different equipment. Your characters can't "trade" with each other.
- Character alignment is flexible, but remember you are playing with other people (the "don’t be an asshole rule applies").
- ONLY if ALL parties consent, PvP is allowed. Make sure to clear it with the DM before, as some DM's might not approve.
- Remember that for evil-aligned behavior there are consequences in-game (guards, prison, ...).
- Characters that are there to fuck over other characters are frowned upon, and continued behavior can lead to being banned if it disturbs other players (so please report problematic characters in private!)
- Every time you play an EM one shot, you get a "token" which represents your XP. Tokens are imaginary objects that need to be collected in order to level up
- Every N tokens, you'll be able to gain a new level: From level 1 to 2, you need one token to level up to the next level above; from level 3 to 8, 2 tokens; from level 9 to 14, 3 tokens; from level 14 to 19, 4 tokens;
- This means to level from level 2 up to level 3, you need 1 token. To level from 3 to 4, you need 2 tokens.
- The official site is behind when it comes to the token count from level 9 to level 10. The site states it costs 2 tokens it actually cost 3. See Matt's sheet for a detailed table on the number of games needed each level.
- Tokens are your responsibility as a player. If you want to slow down your levels, you can just not use the tokens you have, and just hang around on your preferred level until you feel like leveling up!
- If you later want to use the tokens you've saved up, please be aware you need to play at least 1 game at each level. This to avoid massive level spikes.
- Don't "fake" tokens. It hurts the experience for every player in EM that follows the rules.
- In case your character dies at level N, you can make a new character of level N-2 (this might vary at higher levels). This mercy-rule is the only case in which a character can be created at a higher level.
- Resurrection is possible in this universe.
- If a character is not resurrected: The body stays where it died, and belongs to the universe now.
- Certain spells are banned/restricted/changed to avoid setting-breaking events. Currently this is applies to clone, teleport, teleportation circle, magic jar, plane shift which are not allowed in the east marches. Others are under review.
- If you suspect spells might provide problems in EM (ie. Long range teleportation, long term planar travel) check with the DM. DMs can let you know before the session if the spell works as RAW or are changed. Keep in mind the DM at the table is always right and they may have varying interpretations.
- If you have a spellbook, access to a spell up to 3rd level can be bought at the brighthaven library at 50gp per spell level. This comes on top of the cost of learning the spell. So for a wizard it is a 100gp per spell level to learn a new spell, or 75gp per spell level if it is in your school.
- Most things in the PHB are for sale in Brighthaven, excluding spell components. An often used example for this are diamonds for revivify. These are only available from adventure rewards.
- Magic items sales are limited. Magic items in general are not commonly available for purchase. There are 3 exceptions.
- There is an experimental potion shop (The Friendly Fiend's Fine Potions and Elixirs) in Brighthaven that you can ask your DM about.
- The copper dragon Aurathakaranatharan from whom you can buy a lead to find a magic item for substantial amounts of gold which will require a one-shot adventure to contact.
- Newly arrived to Brighthaven; Iezor, The Soul Forger who will craft or sell magical items within certain boundaries and only when slots are available!
- You are allowed to use tool proficiencies to make items according to Xanathars Guide to Everything. However, as there are no downtime activities, it needs to be "during" a session and it is seen as polite to tell the DM before the session.
Again, please note that the rules here are largely player-edited and maintained, the rules on the official site are, of course, leading!