New PCs start at 1st level. You can take a Pregenerated character or create your own 1st level PC.
There is a single 'party XP' tally maintained by the GM. If a new or returning PC is below the level of the other PCs, if they then start or resume adventuring they normally advance 1 level per session until they reach the standard party level, at which time they are assumed to have the same 'party XP' total as everyone else.
You may use any non-setting specific materials: no Themes, no Forgotten Realms/Dark Sun/Eberron.
Player Character House Rules:
The Cleric Daily power Moment of Glory has its Damage Reduction reduced from 5 to 2.
The Martial Power Beast master Ranger's Beast adds +1/2 level to damage with its attacks.
We reserve the right to adjust or even ban Powers, Feats etc - if this happens you may retrain them for free.
If you are making your own PC and not using any Essentials+ material then you may start your PC with a single level 1 magic item. If it is a weapon/armour/implement, buy a non-magical one then convert it to +1 for free. If you take +1 amulet you get it for free. This is to compensate for the Essentials Feats being more powerful than pre-Essentials. Essentials classes are also slightly more powerful at low level. The pregens are created using the offline character builder which does not include Essentials material, and each has been given a +1 level 1 item as per this rule. If you are building a PC with the online character builder then it incorporates Essentials material so this rule does not apply (unless you were to carefully monitor sources).
eg: You are making a PC with PHB only, or with the offline character builder (materials to mid 2010) only - you can have a level 1 item.
eg: You are making a PC with Essentials - Heroes of the Fallen Lands, or with the online character builder - no level 1 item for you.
4e D&D Rules
If you have no 4e D&D rulebooks you might like to take a look at this Quickstart pdf, which explains the basic rules quite comprehensively: http://www.wizards.co...The main complexity is the combat rules: 1) each round, on your turn, you get up to 3 actions:
a standard action (eg an attack, but you can take a move action instead),
a move action (movement, but you can take a minor action instead)
a minor action (eg draw a weapon; draw and drink a potion is two minor actions)2) When you take damage you lose hit points. If hit points reach 0 you are unconscious and dying, and have to make death saves (d20, 10+ to pass), 3 failed saves = death. You also die if your hp reach a negative total equal to half your max hp.
3) After resting about 5 minutes you can spend your 'healing surges' to restore hit points. A surge restores 1/4 your maximum hp, starting from 0. Some spells and powers let you spend healing surges in combat, eg 'second wind' is a standard action power all PCs have that lets you spend a healing surge once per encounter. An extended rest (6 hour rest, 1/day - usually overnight) usually restores all hp and healing surges.
House rule - monster hit points
Either monster hp are halved, or monster XP value is increased +50%.