An agreement among players about the framework for gameplay, primarily covering social factors such as what to do when a player can't attend a session, how to vet potential new players, what sorts of behavior are unacceptable at the game table, and so on.

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17
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6answers
2k views

Mind Control: What's a Dominate Person between allies?

In a recent game of 10th level characters, we had a small issue in the group. To set the scene, my character was a serpentfolk witch, specializing in enchantment and specifically mind-magic. We had a ...
20
votes
12answers
2k views

One of my players is too passive and uninterested

Game is DnD 3.5, not that it matters. So, yeah, she is playing an Elf Rogue and she is like a ghost during the game. In the last session, the party was searching for a guy and some Halfling told ...
5
votes
4answers
517 views

Are there any major faux pas one should avoid in an established group when new to RPGs? [closed]

Are there any major faux pas one should avoid when joining an existing RP game? In my last game I lied about a die roll result for what seemed like good reasons, but I still feel bad about it. I'm ...
8
votes
2answers
433 views

One party member constantly keeps stuff to himself

We have a party of several players and there are some things that are not clear from rules. Can you guys help? Do other party members always know if one of them steals an object from an NPC? Or does ...
16
votes
4answers
555 views

What describes the portion of the social contract that describes explicitly-permitted controversial themes?

I am working on drafting the table culture guidelines for an upcoming game, and I plan to use the lines and veils methodology to lay out content boundaries. Lines and veils are a subtractive element: ...
33
votes
8answers
5k views

What are the essential features of a successful evil campaign?

Until this point, I have demanded that my players not build characters with evil alignments, as I am familiar with how to design campaigns and adventures around "good" or "redemption" themes. ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

What etiquette should a new player observe at the gaming table?

I have never played an RPG and I'm not sure if I'm supposed to do anything special or not when playing. This post tells me what I should bring but what on earth do I do when I get there? I'm that ...
2
votes
0answers
189 views

How to become a good RPG player [closed]

I have never played a pen and paper RPG before due to social pressures, and none of my friends have ever voiced interest in doing so until recently. Usually most people I know look down on RPG playing ...
1
vote
1answer
113 views

How to make the GMs job easier? [closed]

As a player how can I make things easier for the GM? I ask because I've never actually played before. e.g. How much research should I do on the specific game we'll be playing, is there a point where ...
46
votes
7answers
1k views

As an unreliable player, how can I lessen the burden on my group?

I'm often unreliable, in the sense that something always seems to turn up at the last minute that draws me away from our current regular game. (It's happened before as well.) Given that the reasons ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

How do I handle a player who plays his character far differently than the character was originally presented?

I'm not asking how to make every character be played as I would play them. I'm asking how to handle a situation in which the character that the player presents to me as a GM (with complete back-story, ...
30
votes
2answers
1k views

What do the terms “lines” and “veils” mean?

I have seen the terms "lines" and "veils" used on this SE (including on the chat) a number of times, especially in terms of social contracts between players. What do these terms mean? What is ...
8
votes
1answer
108 views

Recommended protocol for effective communication using a Virtual Table Top (VTT)

I'm a player in a group that meets weekly. We use FantasyGround+Teamspeak combo and it seems to work for the most part. Or, should I say, it's better than not meeting at all. ;-) One consistent ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Can a PC use his Charisma to influence other PCs in D&D 3.5?

Checking the D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook rules, the rules are explicit that the Diplomacy skill cannot be used to influence other PCs, only NPCs. But I see no such restrictions for Intimidate or ...
26
votes
8answers
597 views

How can I encourage a style of play where enhancing others' fun is the most important goal?

Let's assume that we can break play styles into two categories: "selfish play," where you want to have fun, and "less-selfish play," where you want to have fun but you want everyone else at the table ...
40
votes
11answers
3k views

Is there a limit to Rule 0?

Rule Zero: All other rules can be changed by the GM. I appreciate that there is a massive amount of work that goes into be a GM and the last thing that any GM wants or deserves is to have his ...
25
votes
4answers
1k views

What is a social contract?

The concept of "social contract" comes up in discussions of group dynamics and RPG theory. We even have a tag for social-contract. But there is no good, easily-found definition online anywhere. Our ...
33
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I check whether an extremely adult/mature plot idea would be accepted by players without revealing any details of the idea itself?

I am running a post-apocalyptic zombie game with a dark and mature story, exploring a number of adult themes. I have complete buy-in from the players; some of them have stated it is their favourite ...
9
votes
5answers
376 views

Resolving confusion & conflict re: group's relationship with system rules

RPG groups have a unique relationship to rules: we have total control over them. Sure, we choose a ruleset and study it, but it's up to us how much of the rules we ignore or modify, and we can add ...
32
votes
3answers
714 views

What policies should be made at the start of a campaign, to define the desired game experience and avoid bad feelings later?

My group and I work on the assumption that a game system's default assumptions are its manifesto, and that by choosing a system we are choosing to let its assumptions stand except where we institute ...
5
votes
1answer
344 views

How do I handle a PC - NPC?

In my online game, it's often hard for me to handle NPCs with the loads of characters we have so sometimes I ask or a player volunteers to play some of them. The issue is though, that one player ...
36
votes
14answers
1k views

When and how should I get the players to cut back on their out of character chatter?

I like that my players have all become such good friends. But they're all louder than me. We end up just chatting and hanging out more than gaming because I can't get them to stop having out of ...
28
votes
15answers
737 views

Where's my share of the loot?

How do you handle loot disputes as a DM? Say we are doing a random loot drop from a felled enemy, and there happens to be one thing that two players really want. Do you make an initiative roll to see ...
30
votes
7answers
10k views

Is my DM a killjoy, or am I just a whining player?

I've been playing D&D 4E with a group of colleagues from work for about a year or so now. Whilst some of us were seasoned role players, and others had never played before at all - none of us had ...
6
votes
4answers
518 views

Bringing a pre-made character to the table or not; pros and cons?

Sometimes a player will have a pre-made character and bring it along to the first gaming session. Other times they will make the character at the table. Sometimes you get a mixed bag. As both a player ...
15
votes
8answers
419 views

Can rules changes fix interpersonal problems at the table?

Can rules tweaks help deal with some of the common interpersonal problems at the gaming table? For example: Someone is not really interested in the game, and reads and ignores play until they ...
12
votes
8answers
356 views

How do you plan a character's actions when the player is absent?

How do you handle being absent a session when you have specific actions in mind for your character? Leave notes for the person playing your character, even a script? Describe the character's ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

What about character death should be included in a social contract?

For a D&D (4e, primarily) game what about player-character death should be included in a group's social contract? What are some options for best reaching consensus about the possibility of death ...
16
votes
5answers
602 views

Specific Items In A Group Social Contract?

Some gaming groups actually do a formal social contract, wherein they explicitly set some of the expectations and rules for the gaming group. What items should a group considering doing a social ...