I feel like there is a sideblock somewhere in one of the 5e books about a social contract of sorts.

Does anyone know the book and page number?


2 Answers 2


The Code of Conduct sidebar is on page 172 of XGtE.

There is a sidebar titled "Code of Conduct" at the start of Appendix A: Shared Campaigns (XGtE, p. 172). It specifically suggests agreeing on one for shared campaigns where the DM role is shared, but the same guidance could be applied to normal campaigns as well.

Other aspects like Table Talk and parts of the social contract can be found in the chapter 8 of the DMG: Running The Game (specifically DMG 235-236, 260).


Tasha's Cauldron of Everything has a dedicated "Social Contract" section beginning on page 140.

Tasha's Cauldron of Eveything released in November 2020 includes a section dedicated to the discussion of the Social Contract, as well as a helpful discussion on Hard and Soft Limits (pg. 141). This section gives a brief example of a "typical" social contract, and offers this concluding point:

This social contract covers the basics, but individual groups might require additional agreed-upon terms to guarantee a fun play experience for all. And a social contract typically evolves as a group’s members learn more about one another.

Tasha's then goes on to define the concept of "Hard and Soft Limits":

Once you and the players have acknowledged the terms of the game’s social contract and agreed to uphold them, the conversation can segue into a discussion about soft and hard limits. There are many ways to mediate this discussion, and you might want to do some research to find an approach that might work well for your group. For purposes of this explanation, these terms are described as follows:

A soft limit is a threshold that one should think twice about crossing, as it is likely to create genuine anxiety, fear, and discomfort.

A hard limit is a threshold that should never be crossed.

The section includes additional commentary and guidance on applying these ideas at the table of play.


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