Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [social-contract]

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.

2
votes
1answer
115 views

What type of rule is the Red Rule, and where does it come from?

Exalted has, in its third iteration, "the Red Rule". The Red Rule In almost all aspects, Exalted doesn’t mechanically distinguish between Storyteller characters and those the players ...
3
votes
2answers
388 views

When a player has drama and won't communicate

Right now, a player seems to be upset with events of a session he missed and hasn't responded to my messages. Background About a month or two ago, a player began to be dissatisfied with how I ran ...
11
votes
1answer
213 views

Where was the first Social Contract proposed in a rule book?

We have questions delving on the social contract themselves and what it is (like What is a social contract?), and there is also explained where the word comes from. We know very well that most RPGs ...
5
votes
1answer
663 views

Should I tell this player her character cannot be resurrected? [closed]

I'm in a bit of a quandary as to what to do with a player. We're going through Curse of Strahd and I am DMing. Her Cleric got killed towards the beginning of the game and cannot be resurrected as ...
47
votes
11answers
9k views

How to handle loot disputes as the DM?

Context Most of the time, Loot distribution is Players' and PCs' problem. From my point of view, I'm responsible for putting the chest with X loot in the dungeon. The PCs being able to find it and ...
4
votes
1answer
401 views

What to do with a fellow player who tries to control NPCs I introduce?

I'm doing a text-based freeform roleplay with just one other person right now and there's couple of things that they do that bothers me. They started controlling an NPC I introduced without even ...
5
votes
2answers
420 views

Player having their decisions called out as bad ideas too frequently for their liking

In our group, there is a player whose decisions are more frequently called out as bad ideas compared to the others. Objectively speaking, by consensus with the GM and other players, these particular ...
7
votes
0answers
576 views

I miss social cues when roleplaying. How can I get better at not missing them? [closed]

I know, and have been told, that I miss social cues when roleplaying. This isn't a terribly huge deal when the social contract is well-set and explicitly communicated or the gameplay doesn't rely ...
2
votes
1answer
497 views

Problem with DM and bodyswitching death [closed]

While the party's cleric and I were mid-bodyswap my level 3 warlock got killed by a green gelatinous cube. The player and I are not on very good terms (he hates me) and my character died because of ...
31
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I find a friendly, inclusive roleplay group online?

One of my queer friends is interested in joining a campaign online, and is looking for an inclusive, friendly group of players. She asked me how she'd find such a group. I'd love to answer her, but ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

My players insist that I use “rule zero” for their benefit. How do I get them to accept that I don't want easier house rules?

I would like to know, why it makes practical sense to have rule zero. I'm not an experienced RPG player, but we play a lot of board games with friends, and what I noticed, is that players often want ...
21
votes
5answers
11k views

How do I deal with a member of my party who attacks me whenever I cast a spell?

I'm new to D&D and so are the friends I play it with. My character is a Chaotic Evil Pact of the Tome Warlock. One of my party members is a Lawful Neutral Warrior, and in his backstory he ...
1
vote
0answers
1k views

What do you call yourself if you run a game? [closed]

I would be very interested in what term people who run a game like to use for themselves when describing what they do, since that title may set the tone for the game at the outset on a given table. ...
39
votes
11answers
10k views

Is the DM Always Right?

I recently got into a disagreement with my DM for a DND 5E game regarding a use of Prestidigitation. The argument was that since it could create a Non-Magical Trinket, and Music Boxes are ...
8
votes
4answers
325 views

How to assign PCs differing goals without breaking up the group?

In this question I describe my intention of running a courtly intrigue game where player characters have different goals: To keep the group coherent, I would like to give them two sets of goals - ...
25
votes
9answers
12k views

How to kill a PC without hard feelings?

Reading this question, the accepted advice for killing a player is to talk to them first. My campaign is run in a Game of Thrones style setting; the good and honorable die doing what is right, and ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

How to handle skill checks between players?

We have a party of several players and there are some things that are not clear from the rules. Can you guys help? Do other party members always know if one of them steals an object from an NPC, or ...
17
votes
4answers
1k 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: ...
1
vote
1answer
373 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 ...
27
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
26
votes
12answers
5k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
334 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 ...
75
votes
12answers
20k views

Did I overstep my power as DM?

While playing a game with a previous group, in the middle of a combat, I had an enemy caster hidden from general combat, but still casting different spells like heal and other non-damage spells to ...
17
votes
6answers
6k views

Can a PC use his Charisma to influence other PCs?

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 ...
69
votes
2answers
13k 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 ...
53
votes
9answers
35k 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. However,...
44
votes
6answers
5k 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
465 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 ...
82
votes
11answers
11k 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 players ...
24
votes
10answers
6k views

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 ...
51
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
37
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
17
votes
9answers
12k 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
936 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 (let'...
55
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
35
votes
8answers
18k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
37
votes
14answers
2k 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
31
votes
8answers
979 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 ...
15
votes
8answers
584 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 ...
25
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
32
votes
15answers
2k 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 ...