Ability scores generation method?
4d6, six times, arrange how you like. If they really suck then roll again.
How are death and dying handled?
0 you're taking a nap, -10 your taking a dirt nap.
What about raising the dead?
Rare. In cities the players must have a lot of money or pull. But after a random number of days the spirit has completely detached from the body.
How are replacement PCs handled?
Each case is different. Just depends where the players are and what they are doing.
Initiative: individual, group, or something else?
Group. One person rolls, but each person gets their dex initiative added.
Are there critical hits and fumbles? How do they work?
Yup. For each of them I have homemade tables.
Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet?
Adds +1 to AC.
Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee or do something similarly silly?
Only on a critical failure.
Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything?
Oh Shit Run
Level-draining monsters: yes or no?
Yes. But not levels, but experience points.
Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death?
Well yeah, if a dragon breathes fire and they only have 10 hit points left and fail their save, they will be dead dead. But in general yep.
How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked?
Not so much. Maybe a little with rations, but not too much.
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?
Usually just have them gain a level. Mages will sometimes need to learn spells, but that's it.
What do I get experience for?
Resolving situations, whether its killing or debating or tricking. Exploration. Magic items they use. Role playing. And making me laugh is a great way to get xp.
How are traps located? Description, dice rolling, or some combination?
Combination. Players needs to tell me how or what they are searching and then roll.
Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work?
Retainers are often not used. If they are they are usually off the screen help.
How do I identify magic items?
Taking it to a mage or aim and shoot.
Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions?
Yep. And of course you can.
Can I create magic items? When and how?
Sure why not. We'll figure it out.
What about splitting the party?
Sure. All the time it happens. Although I don't like it to split more than two otherwise one group is waiting too long.