One player, a couple of months ago, had a problem about a ruling I made in a tier 1 game. It was a minor ruling in which I gave an npc wizard in a carriage a +2 AC bonus for 1/2 cover. She argued with me, I maintained the ruling, she continued to argue, I tried to move on, and I eventually said "The wizard is dead," I removed the wizard from the game map, and went on to the next player in initiative order. This resulted in the player leaving, and contacting Adventurers League managers at WotC.

She added an additional complaint that I was not calling her by the correct pronoun, as she is transgender. Having had transgender friends in the past, I am used to such people telling me the pronoun they prefer. She never told me, however, and as I recall I called her 'she' consistently.

It was later determined not only that I have control over rules at my table, but also that my ruling was fair and accurate to the module. Additionally, it was determined there was no malice in my pronoun usage, and any mistake was accidental.

However the fallout resulted in a mutual decision we would not play at the same table anymore. This is completely fine with me: the way I look at it, I am not going to play with a DM I don't want to play with either, no big deal. There are other tables, and other DM's. It seemed this was the agreed resolution between me, her, and the coordinator.

However, I just tried to run a tier 3 game. This individual signed up. Rather then apologizing, she said "I talked to some people, and I can play at your table if I have another DM playing with me to contest your rulings." At first, I thought she was apologizing; now I realize she was strengthening her bullying position. As it turns out, the rest of the people who signed up decided to play other games, because they didn't want to play at the same table with her. She has a reputation as a cheater and a bully. I got text messages from players later indicating this is what happened. So the module I had prepared was wasted, as was my time, as we did not have enough players.

As a DM in Adventurers League, can I forbid a player from playing at my table, or is this up to the public venue in which the event is held, or something else?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Potential answers should consider the question here; the querent is not asking for solutions to dealing with the social problem, as it seems apparent that is unlikely to be resolved. The question is strictly about the rules regarding whether a DM can disallow players in Adventurer's League organized play. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 26, 2017 at 18:38

3 Answers 3


You certainly have the authority to "boot" this player from a table.

In addition to the usual "DM makes decisions for the fun of everyone" boilerplate language that is found in adventures, take note of the following lines from the Adventurer's League Code of Conduct (found at the end of both AL Player's Guides and AL DMGs):

Participants must conduct themselves in a manner that is conducive to the enjoyment and safety of others at the event.

Follow the DMs lead, avoid arguing with the DM or other players over rules.

The Dungeon Master has the right to ask a disruptive player to leave the table and speak with the organizer.

So if the player is being disruptive--including pushing back "too much" against rulings--you can boot them.

Preemptively booting the player isn't really in your wheelhouse.

This is a coordinator-level problem. I see you've involved the coordinator in earlier conflicts, so hopefully you find them a useful resource. Go ahead and use them.

You have the authority to boot a player from the table when things happen. The situation you described isn't one of the player doing something during play to disrupt the table; it's not really in your purview to fix problems before they happen at your table.

But the coordinator has the authority to boot the player from the event/location. You've got experience and evidence that the player is causing problems with organized play at this location.

You really don't want to turn this into an ongoing one-on-one conflict: involve your supervisor, and let them handle it. Remember: you signed up to run games, they signed up to run a League site. Lean on them to do their part so that you can focus on doing yours.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The fact that I didn't realize I could ask her to leave the table (I was a new DM there at the time), led to the passive-aggressive action of "the wizard is dead, Next!" This may have been avoided had I booted her before that point. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 27, 2017 at 4:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ One other thing I found in the AL FAQ: "As a D&D Adventurers League Dungeon Master, you are empowered to adjudicate the rules as presented by the official materials (PHB, DMG, MM, etc.). Run the game according to those rules, but you are the final arbiter of any questions that might arise in doing so." Again, bringing another DM to back her up shouldn't help her. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 27, 2017 at 17:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ Absolutely, @Ἄρτεμις . The other DM should automatically defer to you no differently than you would defer to them at their table. I have run and organized for the stores in my hometown (during the first year of 5e) and only had a couple issues. Most issues are able to be dealt with quickly, but occasionally a truly disruptive player will cause consistent issues that have to be dealt with. The store owners can help if the store's organizer needs backup. This answer covers all the right details, but the comments above by Ἄρτεμις would improve this answer even more. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aviose
    Apr 27, 2017 at 18:40

The D&D Adventurers League does not dictate who can and who cannot sit at your table. All games are organized by the owner/operator of the location. In a home game, that's the home owner. In a store or convention setting, that's the store/con owner or organizer as dictated by the owner. Most stores or conventions have a desire to sit everyone and take care of the community, but at the same time they should also take care of their DMs and arbitrate disputes.

In the above situation, the store owner/organizer should decide how they want the situation handled and inform all parties of the decision since it seems the original agreement to not game together has been ignored.

Source: I am the D&D Adventurers League Community Manager, Robert Adducci - [email protected]

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi Robert. Thanks for helping improve the quality of answers we have on the site--firsthand knowledge like yours is invaluable! \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Apr 27, 2017 at 15:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 Personally, I don't think this answers the question. It seems wishy-washy on the rules side, and offers little to the chosen answer. It is difficult to tell if the use of the word "should" refers to Adventurer's League policy, or just an aside hoping people would behave rationally-- could this have sufficed as a comment on the accepted answer? This lack of clarity in policy seems familiar to what I experienced attempting to solve the original problem. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 28, 2017 at 21:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ To clarify, the accepted answer and FAQ already indicated this was a coordinator level problem. My resolution to the issue was simple: As the coordinator seems unwilling or unable to do his job, I don't go to that location anymore. The other players and I did recently successfully play the module at another location, which the person in question doesn't go to, and where the coordinator role functions. Agreed, according to the FAQ this isn't Adventurer's League' (or your) problem. Also, (on page 3 times): DM is final arbiter of rules, one of coordinator's jobs was to affirm that. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 28, 2017 at 22:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ἄρτεμις I'm glad you've found a better solution--I'm jealous that you have two locations to choose from! The thing I see this answer adding is "AL won't handle this," where I basically said "the site coordinator should be handling this." I think that's a useful bit of clarification to have out there, and am always glad to see principals involved on the site. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Apr 29, 2017 at 13:02

The GM is a volunteer who is there to have fun too, someone who gives up his time for the enjoyment of others. A GM who has a problem with a player can always up and leave. Which is worse? Having one unhappy player or six players without a GM? Forcing a GM to run results in the worse of all outcome.

It is my experience that the AL does a great job of supporting its GMs. Another major campaign does the exact opposite.

Players, support and be thankful of your GMs and avoid creating conflict with them to the point they do not want to run for you.

GMs, don't be jerks to players, and keep an open mind on rulings.

Organizers, well... thanks for putting up with us and the many petty conflicts we get into.


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