West Marches UCSC
There's a few things you need to know if you're going to play in this campaign. Let's start with some basics:
We will be using the rules for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition.
We will play using the official rules for D&D 5e. Character creation, basic items, combat rules, etc, will all be determined by using the official core books. As far as the player is concerned, during character creation the only available races/classes are available in the Player's Handbook and Volo's Guide. The DMs are at liberty to create monsters/magic items, but it is suggested that they, for the most part, stick to official books like the Dungeon Master's Guide, Monster Manual, and the unofficial Tome of Beasts.
The DMs are going to be hands off in terms of logistics.
This statement has two parts. The DMs are going to be hands off in both real world logistics, as well as game world logistics. West Marches is a campaign that consists of many one-off adventures, and not all of the players in the campaign are present for every session (in fact, they are not supposed to be).
As for the real world, it is the player's responsibility to coordinate a session with other players, and the DM. The player should contact everyone involved in the campaign saying something along the lines of, "Hello, I'd like to go explore _________ Wednesday night, is anyone interested?" Ideally the DMs will have posted their schedules in advance, so the players can know when the DMs are available for planning. After the players have assembled a group and decided on a time, the DM can then confirm the session, and the group can meet up in person.
In game, the setting in West Marches is the unexplored wilderness to the west of civilization. These lands are filled to the brim with monsters, ruins, and treasure. Hardly anybody has set foot outside of the civilization to the east. The DMs will know where things are located in the world, but it is the players job to keep an account of what they have discovered. Players are in charge of writing adventure logs of what has happened during a session, keeping a (mostly accurate) map of the west, as well as other duties in keeping players informed. It is required that each session is recorded in the adventure logs. There is no required length for the logs, as long as the players state who went where. As will be described on the character creation page, all characters must be good or neutral, so it would not be in character to lie about what has happened or sabotage the group map. That being said, bending the truth is not out of the question. The adventure logs are a good place to gloat about the success of your party or warn others about perilous dangers found in certain regions. West Marches is a campaign about friendly competition and one-upsmanship.