Brendan asked 20 quick rules questions. These answers are for when I’m running my google+ game. Things are obviously different for my 4e game.
1. Ability scores generation method?
3d6 in order, as St. Gaxgy intended.
2. How are death and dying handled?
Unconscious at 0, but relivable. -1 is dead.
3. What about raising the dead?
It hasn’t come up yet, but I’m inclined to allow it, but it wont be cheap or easy.
4. How are replacement PCs handled?
Either take over an NPC or 3d6 in order. Given the nature of G+ games, working them in isn’t too hard.
5. Initiative: individual, group, or something else?
Group initiative - it’s just easier, but rerolled every round. Ties go to whoever lost last round.
6. Are there critical hits and fumbles? How do they work? Crits do maximum damage, and may have a special effect, depending on the circumstances. Fumbles miss. I’m working on a fumble chart.
7. Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet?
I presume that helmets come with the armor, and that they’re worn.
8. Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee or do something similarly silly?
9. Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything?
My game is an OSR game - “Oh Shit! RUN!”
10. Level-draining monsters: yes or no?
I’ve been waffling on this. I’m inclined to house-rule ability score drain, rather than level drain. I think it works better for a number of reasons.
11. Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death?
12. How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked?
Not very. Don’t be crazy ridiculous about it though.
13. 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?
The usual stuff. No training. No new automatic spells - research or find. You have to have some downtime, usually back in town.
14. What do I get experience for?
Killing monsters, taking their stuff! Carousing also.
15. How are traps located? Description, dice rolling, or some combination?
A combination of those, plus setting them off.
16. Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work?
Encouraged? Not exactly.
17. How do I identify magic items?
Trial and error is the cheapest. Magic-users and clerics can research it. Sages/Mages can also be hired, but their availability is iffy, and their cost high.
18. Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions?
Some minor magics are probably available for purchase, but more often for a price other than gold.
19. Can I create magic items? When and how?
Starting at level 5 you can start making minor things - scrolls, potions, and other little expendable magics. I’m really liking the rules from AKC...
20. What about splitting the party?
Go for it! I hope you have a plan...