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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26
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4answers
2k 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 ...
32
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
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 ...
22
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 ...
41
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 ...
17
votes
5answers
704 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 ...
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 ...
24
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 ...
35
votes
8answers
7k 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. ...
48
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 ...
28
votes
15answers
770 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 ...
34
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 ...
32
votes
3answers
774 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
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 ...
15
votes
8answers
431 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
380 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
376 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
144 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 ...