Phase I: Generating Your PC

Generate a PC using our rule set or select a pregen. There will be a table(s) set up for you to work on your character. The core books may be available, but do NOT take them from the table. If you are using something not in the core, you must have a copy of the book. Pregens are available our pregens are NOT chumps!

You may use Herolabs to generate your character. We plan on having some computers with Herolabs this year (there sill be a $1 printing donation request per character). If you have access to d20Pro and want to enter your PC into d20Pro and then export him, that is fine as well. Just make sure we have the .por file or the hand written one.

If you have created your PC ahead of time present it to the CA (Cheese Assistant, person running registration) your .por file and d20Pro export of your character.


Phase II: Entering the Grinder Queue

At the Cheese Grinder registration table sign into The Queue.  They will take your name, badge number, character name, character alignment, etc..  Once they put you on the list of players, stay nearby and wait for them to call your name. 

Cheese Points:
At The Cheese Grinder Registration table you can purchase cheese points.   You may have up to 3 per time you enter the tournament.  Cheese points cost $1.  You can trade the cheese points back if you die with some. 
Keep your CPs ON THE TABLE in PLAIN VIEW.  Any attempt to use more than 3 will get you DQ’d.
Example Cheese Points:

Cheese Point: Switch Location with another PC (Super Immediate action) Can be declared after damage is dealt: damage is taken off of you and set onto the other PC.

There are other Cheese Points but they are revealed only at the con.  The basic Cheese Point is the only that is known ahead of time.


Phase III: Entering the Grinder

When a PC dies at one of the tables the CA, at The Cheese Grinder Registration Table, will call out the next name in the queue.  If that person does not answer, the next name will be called.

Once your name has been called, you will go to the table and chair you are assigned. You will hand your Cheese Master (CM also known as DM) your entry ticket (DragonCon: 1 generic ticket, or $1; Pensacon No Entry fee), declare any cheese points you have. If you have an export already made of your character give it to the CM, or else the CM will ask for minimal information about your character to enter data into d20Pro.

Your character is given 1 round of prep before being sent into the tournament. You declare what you are currently wielding/wearing.  Example "I have my gear on, holding my two handed sword."  Or "I ready an action to magic missile the first creature I see."


Phase IV: In The Cheese Grinder

Starting a room: The following occurs when a room is started.

  1. The CM randomly determines the next room.(80+% combat)
  2. The CM reads the room details, this can take a couple minutes so that the CM understands the room.
  3. The CM describes the room to the players.
  4. The CM informs the players the 1st time limit for the room and starts the timer.
  5. Game play begins.

Room Difficulty: Majority of rooms use acceptable Pathfinder defined Encounter Levels.  Rooms have all been play tested and with the pregens can be completed within the 1st time limit.

Types of Rooms:  Majority of rooms are dungeon like places with defined size.  For instance 30x50x20.  Others are out door locations.  Some areas will appear larger than they are and the PCs will come upon an invisible 'wall' even though the scenery may continue onward.  

Time Limit: Rooms have a two stage time limit (e.g. 35 & 20 minutes or 5 & 1). When the first time runs out the CM will inform the players of the 2nd time limit and sets a new timer. When the second time runs out the room failed and PCs do not get credit for the room all beneficial effects are removed.  When the CM asks (not before) players roll 1d12. Each room has a failure number associated with it.  Players need to roll equal to or greater then the number or they are considered dead.

Planar Environment: The rooms are each their own plane or demi-plane.  Therefore gravity, time, magic, etc. may vary in each room.   One room may enhance evocation spells by 50%; another only divinations spells can be cast, etc.

Other Player’s Equipment: You can use other PCs equipment if the player allows you to use it, and they are still alive.

Breaking the Exit: If the PCs break the exit in some way shape or form which causes the room to not be solvable the room will be a TPK.

Unbreakable Items: Some walls, scenery, or items are indestructible.

Room effects: Some rooms will have effects that break the rules of Pathfinder game mechanics.  These breaks in the rules are meant to enhance the room and not to “hose the players”.  An example would be the classic Bridge of Death.  There is a “no save instant death” in that room.  No direct mechanic exists.  If the DM tells you it is a Room Effect just nod your head and deal with it.

Attacking other PCs: While not encouraged it is perfectly ok to attack and kill other PCs.  If someone is being a jack-tard feel free to kill his PC.

Dying: A PC is considered dead when any of the following conditions are met

  1. Hit points are less than 0 and unconscious.
  2. Any ability score <= 0  (no score is fine, for instance undead have no con score)
  3. Petrified, turned to stone, etc.
  4. The (body, spirit, soul, etc.) leave the current plane of existence for more than an instant.  (Teleport, Dimensional door are ok; plane shift, rope trick, blink, etc. are not)
  5. Any in-game item, effect, spell, etc. that states the creature is considered dead.

Death of Contestants: When a PC dies or a player has to leave a bell will be rung signifying the death of a PC. When a contestant officially dies his body vanishes, along with all his gear.

Pre-Gen Mercy: When playing a pregen and it dies in its first room it can get an auto respawn (50% hitpoints, no effects, no prep) in that room at the start of its next turn.  This can be only used once per player per day. 

New Contestant: When a PC dies and gets up from the table a new contestant will be seated in their place.

When another contestant is ready to join the game he will appear randomly in initiative order.  The CM may choose to wait till the room is complete before starting the new player.  Play continues while the contestant gets seated.  Some rooms break this rule, and if a player dies a new player is NOT brought into the room until the room is completed.

Resting in room: No Resting allowed, unless room breaks the rule.

Completing a room: To complete a Combat room, the players must kill all the monsters.  In Non-Combat rooms the players must discover how to solve the room.  This could be a series of traps, a riddle, etc. 

There are rooms that appear combat but can be solved without killing the monsters.  When the players solve a room all the players are instantly taken out of the room (If the room has a portal the PCs must pass through the portal before it closes).   All PCs present get credit for solving the room.

Game Time between Rooms: If the players complete the room within the 1st time limit each player may choose to be part of a one round of prep clustered together.  Completing a room in the 2nd time limit the players get no prep.

Phase V: Cheese Requiem

Clean up your trash and take anything you brought to the table with you as you leave the table.

When you are finished playing a character and do not plan to use that one any more, please turn in your character sheet.  This allows us to review the character for the finals if you make it to the finals.  You can get your sheet back at the finals.  If using a pregen or if you entered the character into Herolabs you do not need to turn in your character sheet.

See The Finals page for details on how to qualify for the finals.


Goto Phase I: Rinse and Repeat


Use of d20Pro

d20Pro will be used more as a map and monster tool.  Players who know the software are free to use it to it fullest to speedup game play.  Players will NOT be required to use it more than to move their character.  Players can roll all their own dice.  d20Pro is used to help everyone play faster. 


Stopping the timer: The timer does not stop due to rules disputes brought up by the players.  If you wish to discuss/argue a rule for 20 minutes the clock keeps going.

It is the CMs choice to pause the timer for the following things: The CM needs to look up something; The CM gets distracted by an outside the game issue; The CM needs a short break.

Players may request that the CM pause the time during one of the above actions.  Asking nicely is in the player’s best interest.