Skip to main content

Questions tagged [social-contract]

For questions about the "social contract"; in relation to RPGs, this refers to an informal 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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
21 votes
9 answers
6k views

One game's great GM is another game's problem player-- How to handle for a novice GM?

I am a player in a long-term Pathfinder campaign which I like very much. The players in that campaign are myself, my fiance, the GM's fiance, and the GM's co-worker. We're all in our twenties, and I ...
insouciant's user avatar
11 votes
7 answers
6k views

How to prevent a player from abandoning one PC in favor of a different one

Here's some background to the situation, which I believe may relate to the problem. It should help some people answer the question. I play a small game of DnD with some friends named Lorry, Kevin, and ...
Dopplegamer's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

What if one PC wants to do something without party?

As a player, how would you approach your DM about your character doing something out of session that neither the others players/party wouldn't witness.? (Example, asking to sneak away from the party) ...
user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
730 views

How can I, as a GM, make players with different playstyles be more moderate?

I'm a GM for this group of players playing Pathfinder 2e, and we're playing an adventure where they are supposed to be city guards. Now, one of the players is taking it to an extreme level of ...
Snakehelm's user avatar
  • 2,427
30 votes
5 answers
5k views

What to do as a DM if my players are in constant disagreement with each other?

I've facing an interesting issue as a DM and don't know what can I do from my position to solve the problem. My players always argue with each other and are always disappointed by the other side, up ...
Denis's user avatar
  • 1,015
14 votes
5 answers
4k views

I've felt "attacked" OOC because of IC character events. Did I deserve it? [closed]

When I was in college I had my first chance to play some TRPG. I played half-a-dozen one shot there but then I dropped out and when I enrolled again I couldn't find another group. Now, years after ...
Mateus Silva's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
3k views

What are the key features of Stars and Wishes?

Stars and Wishes are a system of positive critique that has been included in the TTRPG-Toolkit since around 2020 and got some references on the stack. It seems to be all about giving feedback to the ...
Trish's user avatar
  • 45.1k
2 votes
2 answers
318 views

To what extent is the DM responsible for resolving interpersonal conflict? [closed]

Interpersonal conflict can arise between any people. If a player has an issue with another player within a gaming group for a game that has a DM/GM/Keeper, what responsibility does a DM have to help ...
StuperUser's user avatar
  • 10.2k
11 votes
3 answers
5k views

How do I as GM handle PCs with "My Guy Syndrome"?

In my campaign I have several players that fall really heavily into "My Guy Syndrome" which is to say that they will excuse character actions that sabotage themselves and their teammates ...
Ara's user avatar
  • 291
51 votes
9 answers
6k views

How can I check if a new group is OK with a plotline from an ethical standpoint without spoiling the plot?

TL;DR: I am unsure if the plotline I planned is "too dark" for a new group, and would like to discuss the level of grit with them without spoiling the plotline. How can I do this? I am ...
FerventHippo's user avatar
  • 2,036
15 votes
2 answers
3k views

Where do the D&D 5e books talk about the social contract?

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?
Deus's user avatar
  • 3,409
8 votes
2 answers
757 views

Do consent forms genuinely contribute to safer playing environments in practice?

The new hype this year seems to be consent forms for RPG Sessions, especially in the contexts of horror games. There are many kinds of consent forms, but their function is in letting people provide a ...
Luiz Borges's user avatar
  • 1,392
33 votes
2 answers
1k views

Social contract for flirting at LARPs

I have been a participant but mostly organiser of a LARP in Switzerland for a number of years. This year I have for the first time participated in a large organised LARP in Germany (Conquest of ...
fgysin's user avatar
  • 10.3k
43 votes
7 answers
10k views

A player is constantly pestering me about rules, what do I do as a DM?

Okay I admit I'm new to D&D. I've been playing for 2 years now and only been playing 5e. I don't learn by reading the entire manual in one sitting, I have learnt everything from actually playing ...
randomgamer's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
456 views

Our game master loves running for a large group; we get much more enjoyment from a small group

A fellow player of two years has started to run a game for us. He's the best game master I've ever had the privilege of playing for, and we love our game. However our DM's ambition to run a large ...
Andrew Harvey's user avatar
53 votes
5 answers
15k views

How should I handle players who ignore the session zero agreement?

My D&D group is currently playing a campaign. It went smoothly for the first half. And then, by request, I allowed two of the current players' friends to join the campaign, all of whom have no ...
Yoko Msps's user avatar
  • 513
4 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Trish's user avatar
  • 45.1k
3 votes
3 answers
819 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 the ...
MrBeefCakes's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
461 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 ...
Trish's user avatar
  • 45.1k
5 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
George's user avatar
  • 51
54 votes
11 answers
15k 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 how ...
HellSaint's user avatar
  • 37.1k
5 votes
1 answer
585 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 ...
Mosaic's user avatar
  • 59
7 votes
2 answers
892 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 ...
Kommissar's user avatar
  • 4,115
9 votes
0 answers
742 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 ...
Shalvenay's user avatar
  • 11.1k
3 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Rachel's user avatar
  • 31
34 votes
2 answers
5k 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 ...
Selekate's user avatar
  • 1,702
18 votes
5 answers
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 ...
Andrew Savinykh's user avatar
25 votes
5 answers
18k 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 ...
Potato's user avatar
  • 271
47 votes
12 answers
20k views

Is the DM Always Right?

I recently got into a disagreement with my DM for a D&D 5E game regarding a use of Prestidigitation. The argument was that since it could create a Non-Magical Trinket, and Music Boxes are ...
Cody Beaner's user avatar
  • 1,438
8 votes
4 answers
410 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 - ...
eimyr's user avatar
  • 17.2k
26 votes
9 answers
16k 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 ...
Skeith's user avatar
  • 4,411
11 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
Shefik's user avatar
  • 111
17 votes
4 answers
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: ...
Grubermensch's user avatar
  • 4,758
1 vote
1 answer
437 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 ...
SolidusVerum's user avatar
  • 1,201
27 votes
4 answers
5k 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 ...
SolidusVerum's user avatar
  • 1,201
28 votes
12 answers
6k 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 ...
OnlyD20CanJudgeMe's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
416 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 ...
highbandwidth's user avatar
94 votes
12 answers
25k 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 ...
gareth the elf's user avatar
17 votes
6 answers
7k 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 ...
RobertF's user avatar
  • 5,093
115 votes
2 answers
86k 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 ...
GamerJosh's user avatar
  • 5,388
56 votes
9 answers
44k 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,...
Cat's user avatar
  • 3,862
54 votes
6 answers
6k 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 ...
Wibbs's user avatar
  • 17.8k
9 votes
5 answers
574 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 ...
BESW's user avatar
  • 53.4k
111 votes
12 answers
16k 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 being a GM and the last thing that any GM wants or deserves is to have his ...
ElenionAncalima's user avatar
26 votes
10 answers
8k 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 ...
Zach's user avatar
  • 8,442
57 votes
5 answers
10k 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 ...
SevenSidedDie's user avatar
37 votes
4 answers
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 ...
BESW's user avatar
  • 53.4k
17 votes
9 answers
14k 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, ...
Zach's user avatar
  • 8,442
7 votes
1 answer
1k 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'...
Bigeshu's user avatar
  • 1,543
36 votes
8 answers
20k 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 ...
GodEater's user avatar
  • 544