The social aspects of role-playing games.

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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 ...
25
votes
8answers
1k views

Bad group, how to leave?

I have sometimes joined groups whose play style didn't work for me. At some point it became clear that as much as I wanted to enjoy the game I couldn't. And I was probably undermining the fun at the ...
8
votes
3answers
975 views

How do I, a novice GM, deal with a PC who is constantly difficult?

I have a good friend playing in my game, but he's done things like: Killing NPCs which direct the story, effectively ruining the rest of the group's chances. Spending all of his money on inane items ...
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 ...
29
votes
12answers
1k views

How do you compensate your game master?

It's fairly common to see games (especially D&D) choose someone as the bullet-swallower - one player becomes the emulation engine on which the game runs. The bait is the ability to take charge of ...
93
votes
10answers
8k views

How does a player correct a GM mistake without being a rules lawyer or pushover?

You are playing in a game. The GM says that you need to roll a given roll. The rules clearly state something different. I realize one solution is to go along to get along, then tell the GM after ...
11
votes
10answers
2k views

Looking for Role playing games with interesting social mechanics

Hopefully this produces some interesting sources for inspiration for my own designs: does anyone know of a system with an interesting take on handling social and similar situations, such as a debate ...
1
vote
0answers
91 views

Tavern Games for DnD [duplicate]

Does anyone know any fun dice/card/gambling games that i can throw into my campaign for some good flavor? Here are a few links to a Reddit post that I posted and a WOTC list of dice games. If you've ...
18
votes
9answers
4k views

What is a good way to get regular people interested in D&D? [closed]

How do I get regular people, non-gamers, into playing D&D? Anybody have any useful ideas?
13
votes
2answers
699 views

How to cut back on pre-game joking?

When preparing for a new game (be it a one shot or a campaign) our party, yours truly included, often slips into a humorous mode. It's usually light-hearted fun, and most of us like it, but some, ...
28
votes
5answers
2k views

How to deal with players not taking things seriously?

As both a player and GM I play with my group of players (and close friends) on multiple occasions and they will often make fun of either my characters, NPC or a specific situation and won't stop ...
33
votes
11answers
3k views

Is it practical to run a weekly lunch-hour game of D&D with my coworkers?

I'm looking to get some of my coworkers together and start a lunch time, casual, D&D game. Has anyone done this - is there a practical way to do this? Our lunch breaks run for about 1 hour, but I ...
5
votes
1answer
281 views

Powergamer to Roleplayer [closed]

I would classify myself as a powergamer. Most of the characters that I make are carefully optimized and crafted. However, the most "Fun" I ever had in a game was when my character was not optimized ...
20
votes
6answers
543 views

How to encourage new GMs (in a club environment)

I am part of a games club that has been running for years. Our size varies but we usually have around 10-15 members and run 2-3 games at a time. We change games every 6 months (this also varies ...
31
votes
3answers
1k views

How to handle a 'power-GM'?

My rpg group is generally very good about 'playing well with others' and most of us lean towards story-gaming more than anything else. We have one member, though, who tends to be a pretty prototypical ...
32
votes
3answers
775 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
485 views

How can I create a more serious atmosphere when playing with siblings?

At our gaming table the players are always making jokes, and some make nonsense noises for some strange reason. My players generally act like hooligans. Getting a new group is not an option – they're ...
26
votes
7answers
3k views

My children want to start playing RPGs; at what age should I allow them to participate unsupervised?

Some games, such as Dungeons and Dragons, come with ratings/recommended ages before they can be played. Are those accurate? Beyond the ratings, are there any general guidelines I should follow when ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

Group social issues when roleplaying as the opposite gender

Some time ago I was thinking of a character for a system (which I won't mention, to avoid any bias) who was of the opposite gender. I'm fairly convinced that it's because of the characters background, ...
26
votes
16answers
2k views

How to design game elements other than combat?

Most RPGs I know about and have played are fighting-centered. That doesn't mean that all gaming is only about fighting, but that most of the rules and character abilities are primarily useful in ...
19
votes
1answer
478 views

How to play a character that has an alien mindset and thought process?

I have a character that I am currently portraying who is not human, and I would like to increase the obviousness of his non-humanity ( mainly through dialog and actions ). The character is a ...
27
votes
20answers
1k views

How do you deal with missing players?

If you know ahead of time that you're going to be missing a player, do you reschedule? Or just play them as an NPC or as a group puppet?
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 ...
14
votes
0answers
187 views

How can a GM calm down the group when they're chatty? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When and how should I get the players to cut back on their out of character chatter? Now and then the groups I play in or GM can get rather chatty. They're talking and ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

How can I deal with a “goof-ball” player in my WoD group?

I am a storyteller in a World of Darkness group, and I'm about to start designing a new scenario. However one of my players (let's call him Eric) is worrying me. Eric usually goes the goofball route ...
21
votes
6answers
892 views

How can I treat old and new players fairly, without upsetting anyone?

The last time I ran a game of D&D there was a lot of tension between new players (both to the group, and D&D) and old players. It stemmed partly from oldbies not wanting their ball taken away, ...
17
votes
9answers
1k views

What real world skills can RPGs improve?

What real world skills can be improved by playing Role-playing games? What skills have you or others in your experience improved through gaming?
15
votes
3answers
196 views

Remind players of critical information that would be obvious to the characters?

To make a long story short, a campaign I was playing in [as play-per-mail] has come to a standstill. The cause of this is the following: My character dove into the river, to retrieve something that ...
32
votes
17answers
1k views

How do you reassure a parent who is worried about RPGs being unhealthy for their children?

Are there any constructive steps fellow players and GMs can take when a high-school age player's parents express concern at their roleplaying game hobby? Assume the player is a healthy creative ...
13
votes
6answers
439 views

Finding time to play

How do people find time to play an RPG with friends, around work, study and partners? I've a preference for weekly play but I just can't find the time to dedicate to roleplaying anymore. And when I ...
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 ...
8
votes
11answers
360 views

How do I catch a Player Character up to the rest of the group after returning from an extended hiatus?

This is somewhat similar to "How do you deal with missing players?", but I'm looking to address slightly different issues. Also, this query is about longer breaks than the one or two sessions ...
9
votes
5answers
396 views

How can I encourage my group to seek success, rather than entertaining failure?

Our weekly group has a tendency toward playing into escalating spirals of self destruction, regardless of the system or genre. Players will look for opportunities to fail, or to set up other player's ...
5
votes
9answers
446 views

What is best practice for auditioning a prospective new player?

Continuing on this question how is the best way to set up an auditioning session? What gamewise should you do differently? What are the expectations on the group and the potential new person? What is ...
17
votes
5answers
709 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
422 views

Eye Contact as a Game Master's tool

Do you consciously use eye contact to help control or encourage players? When an extroverted or otherwise dominant player adversely affects the group experience, do you use eye contact to seize ...
7
votes
3answers
285 views

How to gather a group of players in a foreign country?

I am a person who has to relocate a lot due to employment reasons. I tried to build English-playing groups with little or no success. In some cases, I was able to gather only one person or two. Only ...
33
votes
7answers
555 views

What can I do to keep my cool at the table?

I've had some problems in the last couple of weeks with getting on tilt when things start to go a bit downhill in the game. In the first game, random effects converged in just such a fashion as to ...
11
votes
4answers
272 views

Player Agenda - how to keep people happy at the table

There have been many attempts to classify player types and what they seek to get from play sessions. For instance this WotC marketing survery and this article on the RPGNET wiki on Creative Agenda. ...
7
votes
5answers
198 views

What techniques do you use for integrating new players into your campaign?

So, you've found a new player, someone you don't know well or perhaps don't know at all. You have a slot in your ongoing campaign. How do you do it? Do you make sure she's a good fit before inviting ...