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FreakyCheeseMan
2014-01-14, 11:50 AM
I'm trying to start a new gamin group in my hometown - getting people together through Reddit. One common frustration I've had/heard (especially in this town - my last city was a lot better about it) is that a lot of the people who show up to these things are... well... unpleasant. I'm all for socially awkward people (am one myself) but a lot of what I've seen goes beyond that - the other day I heard a female friend of mine complain that she couldn't find a local game, because all of them refused to play with girls on the basis that they cause "drama."

Normally this is the point where I'd just try to assemble a group from among my own friends, but between the ones who are too busy and the ones who just moved away, that would be about 0 people, not counting me.

Obviously I don't want to offend anyone by excluding them after they show up, so I thought that I might have a quick list of guidelines for when I advertise the group on Reddit (or wherever) - I was wondering if anyone had advice on what I should put on it? I also expect to get mostly new/inexperienced people for this group, so a few pointers for new players to avoid accidentally being difficult would be good as well.

So... without being outright rude, what could I put that might get the genuinely unpleasant people to avoid showing up? What guidelines do you wish someone had told you before your first game? What common problem behaviors should I mention, just to nip stuff in the bud?

So far I've got:

*Good Hygiene (Shower, clean clothes, deoderant, brush your teeth, etc.)

*Don't hit on anyone, in-character or out. If you're unsure what this means, play it safe - no crude jokes, sexuality explicit language, physical contact, etc. (I really wish I had a better way to say this, or better yet didn't have to say it at all, but from what I've heard, it's a huge problem around here - and another part of the reason why there are so few female gamers.)

*Make sure your character is likeable and cooperative, at least within the party. (So, no "Token Evil Guy" that it doesn't make sense the party would work with, no axe-crazy character who's constantly putting everyone else at risk/breaking the plot by attacking allies, no Kender who steal from the party over and over, no backstabbing. I'd relax this if the group gets to know eachother and has a really good dynamic, but for a new group of inexperienced players, it seems not to go well.)

*If you're more experienced/playing a more powerful class, don't over-shadow the new players - consider playing a support character or something of the like, so they get their time in the sun.

*Be prepared to focus on the game. (Don't be texting constantly/messing with your laptop (except to look up rules), if you absolutely have to call someone wait for the group to take a break, etc.)

JeenLeen
2014-01-14, 11:58 AM
If I were looking for a game, guidelines like that would make me more likely to respond to your post.

With the "don't hit on anyone", perhaps add what you are going for in line of mature themes, sexuality or crude jokes (IC or OOC), cussing, violence, etc.

If 'focus on the game' means no texting/taking phone calls, it might be good to say that explicitly (perhaps with an 'outside of emergencies or the rare text'). I'm thinking of a discussion recently about that getting on people's nerves.

Maybe also add something about food. It might not be worth mentioning, but some groups do a 'bring your own', others 'bring snacks to share', and some expect the host/DM to provide soda. I guess if you have a particular preference you dislike (such as if meeting at your house and you don't want people snacking and thus potentially making a mess), it could be worth mentioning. On the other hand, you don't want to come off as too particular lest you turn off players.

Lord Torath
2014-01-14, 12:06 PM
Let me recommend this: Manifesto (http://home.earthlink.net/~duanevp/dnd/manifesto.htm). Read it yourself, change it as desired, and then make everyone playing agree to sign it.

FreakyCheeseMan
2014-01-14, 12:19 PM
If I were looking for a game, guidelines like that would make me more likely to respond to your post.

With the "don't hit on anyone", perhaps add what you are going for in line of mature themes, sexuality or crude jokes (IC or OOC), cussing, violence, etc.

If 'focus on the game' means no texting/taking phone calls, it might be good to say that explicitly (perhaps with an 'outside of emergencies or the rare text'). I'm thinking of a discussion recently about that getting on people's nerves.

Added some clarification, thanks.


Maybe also add something about food.

We're actuallly aiming to play at a local gaming store (I checked with them, anyone's welcome to come in and play), but I should check what their policy on food is.

Thanks!

Amphetryon
2014-01-14, 12:22 PM
Another part of "focus on the game" which you may want to spell out explicitly is how much computerized distraction you're willing to put up with during the game. In this era, it's entirely possible - even probable - that everyone's Characters are online, rather than written on paper. Decide, and make clear, whether that means you're okay with folks poking around online during the session, and whether you'd prefer any such online exploration to be limited to things pertaining to the game. I've known some tables who had a designated "internet rules guy" who had the responsibility to look stuff up when someone else at the table needed another quick reminder on how Grapple (for example) worked. I've known other tables where everyone was apparently fine with YouTube running funny videos whenever a person was not directly conversing with the DM.

Dawgmoah
2014-01-14, 12:28 PM
*Don't hit on anyone, in-character or out. If you're unsure what this means, play it safe - no crude jokes, sexuality explicit language, physical contact, etc. (I really wish I had a better way to say this, or better yet didn't have to say it at all, but from what I've heard, it's a huge problem around here - and another part of the reason why there are so few female gamers.)

Dang, that would have taken me out as I met my first longterm girlfriend at a game.

Could always rephrase a bit, "respect personal boundaries."

Might want to also decide how high tech you want to get, or not deal with. A table of people sitting around with tablets and notebook computers can lead folks to surfing the web, checking the SRD constantly, etc. I've no problem with it as long as it doesn't disrupt the game. Other folk prefer the old, "pen and paper only" approach.

Another thing to bring up may be temper: outbursts and temper tantrums will immediately revoke your seat at the table. (Except perhaps in character.)

Slipperychicken
2014-01-14, 12:32 PM
*Make sure your character is likeable and cooperative, at least within the party. (So, no "Token Evil Guy" that it doesn't make sense the party would work with, no axe-crazy character who's constantly putting everyone else at risk/breaking the plot by attacking allies, no Kender who steal from the party over and over, no backstabbing. I'd relax this if the group gets to know eachother and has a really good dynamic, but for a new group of inexperienced players, it seems not to go well.)


This makes sense, but "likable" isn't a huge issue for me, as long as the character isn't trolling or doing any of the stuff you mentioned here. It is possible to make characters who are unpleasant people, but excellent teammates.

FreakyCheeseMan
2014-01-14, 12:35 PM
Let me recommend this: Manifesto (http://home.earthlink.net/~duanevp/dnd/manifesto.htm). Read it yourself, change it as desired, and then make everyone playing agree to sign it.

Hmm... I can see how that would be useful, but it's not really the sort of problem I'm worried about. Usually I find that I don't have any of those sorts of problems (players getting upset at railroading, being killed, rules arguments, etc.) so long as I make it clear that I'm not claiming to be perfect - I'll usually open with something along the lines of "I know I'm gonna make a few wrong calls, but stopping to debate everything/look up the rules every time would mean we never actually got to play, so just bear with me - I'm trying to make this as fun as possible." That, and making sure that I make it up to them whenever I make a mistake that really screws over their character, seems to keep everyone friendly and cooperative. (e.g., killing the druid's animal companion cause I didn't realize a large creature could swallow one person at a time => home-brewing a "painted cat" that's slightly more powerful than average to be his next AC.)

FreakyCheeseMan
2014-01-14, 12:46 PM
Dang, that would have taken me out as I met my first longterm girlfriend at a game.

Yeah, it sucks, cause a gaming group might actually be a pretty good place to meet people, assuming everyone was a polite adult about it. But, you can't really say "No hitting on people in a skeevy way," because no one thinks *they're* being skeevy.

The tech rules are probably a good suggestion, but I doubt I'll enforce them - I and most of my friends are CS people, so we're used to having everyone permanently attached to a laptop.

Airk
2014-01-14, 01:12 PM
How about

"Be an adult. Treat other people with respect, give them the benefit of the doubt, and remember, we're all here to have fun, so do your best to encourage fun for everyone at the table."

It's a 'vague' sounding 'rule' and not one that you're likely to be able to 'call someone out' on, but it I think having something like that sets the tone for the sort of behavior you're looking for.

ElenionAncalima
2014-01-14, 01:30 PM
Hygiene -
Totally reasonable. However, keep in mind that people with bad hygiene don't always realize they have bad hygiene...and for most other people hygeine is common sense. Also, you may not want this to be your first point. I would put your highest priority first.

No hitting on people -
I am assuming it is not mutual flirting that you are worried about, so much as sexual harassment and behaviour that might make players, particularly female ones, uncomfortable. The way you worded it might make creepy Joe think its okay to joke about raping the barmaid, as long as he isn't hitting on Sarah or her character. You may want to be more direct in this matter.

No psycho pcs -
Very clear...and a good idea for a new group.

No spotlight hogs -
Also a good idea to mention. Although you may not want to tell them to take supporting characters, as you don't want them to feel unimportant...you just need to make sure they aren't going to hog all the attention.

Be prepared -
Always a good idea to mention.

An additional thing you might want to warn against is any players that are looking to break the game. Optimizing can be fun, if everyone is on board, but you don't want the person who is going to bog the game down in arguments over rules, because he is trying to exploit every loop hole in the game to one shot your ecounters. In addition to this, while derailing happens...and nobody likes to be railroaded...you may not want the player who is going to constantly and deliberatly derail the campaign, just to watch you squirm.

Mark Hall
2014-01-14, 02:21 PM
*Don't hit on anyone, in-character or out. If you're unsure what this means, play it safe - no crude jokes, sexuality explicit language, physical contact, etc. (I really wish I had a better way to say this, or better yet didn't have to say it at all, but from what I've heard, it's a huge problem around here - and another part of the reason why there are so few female gamers.)

I would change this to "respect other people's boundaries." For some games and some groups, a bit of romantic play is acceptable. Other groups aren't cool with it at all. If you respect others boundaries, then these problems disappear.

Airk
2014-01-14, 02:31 PM
I would change this to "respect other people's boundaries." For some games and some groups, a bit of romantic play is acceptable. Other groups aren't cool with it at all. If you respect others boundaries, then these problems disappear.

The problem with "respect others boundaries" is exactly the problem you are trying to solve with this change. Some people are more comfortable with certain things that others, and usually people don't find that out until after they've crossed a boundary.

Now if we're all being adult, we might be able to deal with that, but...

FreakyCheeseMan
2014-01-14, 02:54 PM
A few people have had a problem with the "No hitting on other players" part, since things like mutual flirting, etc, are fine - and yeah, it'd be nice to have a group where that could happen, if both players were into it.

The problem is that the people who'd be a problem don't know where the acceptable boundaries are - but, I honestly figure that once the group is established, these rules aren't likey to be strictly enforced or even remembered. In particular, I very much doubt that if there is any mutual attraction going on, my "Guidelines" are gonna put a stop to it.

Dawgmoah
2014-01-14, 03:01 PM
A few people have had a problem with the "No hitting on other players" part, since things like mutual flirting, etc, are fine - and yeah, it'd be nice to have a group where that could happen, if both players were into it.

The problem is that the people who'd be a problem don't know where the acceptable boundaries are - but, I honestly figure that once the group is established, these rules aren't likey to be strictly enforced or even remembered. In particular, I very much doubt that if there is any mutual attraction going on, my "Guidelines" are gonna put a stop to it.

How about taking a page, (pun intended) from school policy and stating that real world relationships should be kept from the gaming table as much as possible?

I've DM'ed for many married folks over the years and it never ceases to amaze me how they usually fall into two categories: 1) Their characters become an "item" or, 2) They backstab and do their best to trip up their partner. But it usually stays at and stops at the gaming table.

On the technology: it would be good to let them know so the "pen and paper" crowd don't get offended by dozens of screens and electronic noises. I personally use any time saving device I can think of to use. One nifty time saver was just to create a spreadsheet or web page linked to all of the pdf files on my drive; even bookmarking certain topics so they can be found quickly. Trump the rules lawyers at their own game!

Glimbur
2014-01-15, 10:06 PM
You might also consider meeting people one on one at a neutral location (coffee shop, for example) just to get to know them before you game with them. You can talk through what sorts of things they find fun, and also get a feel for them as a person before you make a larger commitment.

Broken Twin
2014-01-15, 11:09 PM
Maybe also add something about food. It might not be worth mentioning, but some groups do a 'bring your own', others 'bring snacks to share', and some expect the host/DM to provide soda.

Some groups expect the GM to provide the refreshments? The horror! :smalleek:

Seriously though, that sounds completely foreign to me. Around here the GM's snacks are comped by the group (within reason).


As to the OP, I would definitely be more interested in a group that posted these guidelines as part of their advertisement. Unfortunately, I also know that a lot of the people who have the issues being pointed out (hygiene, lack of respect for personal boundries) tend to be rather oblivious to that fact.

I would definitely stress the fact that you're advertising for a co-operative, newbie friendly 'hero' group. And you'll need to be tough enough to stick to your guns when the undesirables come, because unless you're supremely lucky, they will come. Your ability to attract and retain new players will be directly impacted by how well you can maintain a positive play atmosphere.

FreakyCheeseMan
2014-01-15, 11:11 PM
I would definitely stress the fact that you're advertising for a co-operative, newbie friendly 'hero' group. And you'll need to be tough enough to stick to your guns when the undesirables come, because unless you're supremely lucky, they will come. Your ability to attract and retain new players will be directly impacted by how well you can maintain a positive play atmosphere.

"Hero" group? Not familiar with the term (in this context.).

Broken Twin
2014-01-15, 11:22 PM
"Hero" group? Not familiar with the term (in this context.).

Heros. The Good Guys. The Nice Folk Who Help Each Other. The Ones That Save The Day. Those Who Are Not Morally Bankrupt. However you want to put it. :smalltongue:

Slipperychicken
2014-01-15, 11:28 PM
Heros. The Good Guys. The Nice Folk Who Help Each Other. The Ones That Save The Day. Those Who Are Not Morally Bankrupt. However you want to put it. :smalltongue:

The adventurers who aren't murderhobos?

FreakyCheeseMan
2014-01-15, 11:32 PM
Heros. The Good Guys. The Nice Folk Who Help Each Other. The Ones That Save The Day. Those Who Are Not Morally Bankrupt. However you want to put it. :smalltongue:

Ironically, the game I want to run is about murderhobos. (Not quite - resistance fighters & refugees, but it's more a case of them doing it for survival - and eventually revenge - than because they think they have any influence to defeat the empire in question.)

Knaight
2014-01-15, 11:49 PM
I recommend meeting people in a non-house location first. I also recommend being willing to give people the boot for douchebaggery, and being liberal in application. If you wouldn't put up with someone if you weren't gaming with them, don't game with them. Be willing to exclude, and if people get offended, well, that's their problem for being so personally offensive that you had to kick them out in the first place.

To be blunt: The single best way to keep good players away is to have unpleasant people in the group. Someone who hasn't showered in a week? Gone. Someone who makes other people in the group uncomfortable via sexual overtones? Very gone.

Astral Avenger
2014-01-15, 11:49 PM
The adventurers who aren't murderhobos?

Nah, the adventurers who only reveal that they're murderhobos after they see someone making a Dalmatian fur coat.

Broken Twin
2014-01-15, 11:53 PM
True, there's technically nothing wrong with a group that just wants to play murderhobos, but judging by the OP's post I'm guessing they want something a little closer to traditional fantasy, with the PCs playing the Good People.

FreakyCheeseMan
2014-01-16, 12:03 AM
True, there's technically nothing wrong with a group that just wants to play murderhobos, but judging by the OP's post I'm guessing they want something a little closer to traditional fantasy, with the PCs playing the Good People.

Not necessarily - I care about cohesion within the group, but I'd be fine with running an evil campaign, so long as they were "selfish, pragmatic evil" not "for the evulz."

The campaign I have in mind is somewhere in between - there's an evil empire, but the players 1: Aren't going to (be able to) smash it completely, or without there being broader forces at work, and 2: are going to be more about their own survival/protecting their own commuity, rather than saving the world from injustice. (Example - one challenge I plan to give them fairly early on is a dire shortage of food and supplies. Their basic options will be to attempt a raid on a nearby military base - which will be extremely risky, and probably get some friendly NPCs killed - or steal it from a nearby village - even though that villiage is more-or-less innocent and only slightly less oppressed by the evil empire than they are.

If they make it far enough, I also have fun/evil plans for after the war ends. The broak strokes involve the empire losing it's conquered territory, but digging in around its homeworld and colonies and suing for peace, which most of the newly independent systems accept, because they have their own problems to worry about. So, the players would be given the choice between trying to find a place in the new world, or trying to continue the war on their own as mercinaries/borderline terrorists.

Slipperychicken
2014-01-16, 12:07 AM
Nah, the adventurers who only reveal that they're murderhobos after they see someone making a Dalmatian fur coat.

This one went over my head, sorry.

Rosstin
2014-01-16, 12:47 AM
I think "no hitting on people" is an excellent rule. In the unlikely event that mutual attraction happens, I'm sure it will sort itself out without any hitting. But not at the table.

Daer
2014-01-16, 01:16 AM
I kinda think that stuff under "don't hit" would need some counterbalance like "Don't be oversensitive " (and with this i mean IC stuff .. OC yeah best leave that stuff outside game. )

I think it is part of mutual respecting.. so if someone tells one sexual joke or other thing on the list , don't overreact.
of course if it happens more often then it should be talked.

overall avoid OC drama unless there really is problem. It is real problem that happens on both genders.
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and then for making character likeable. I don't think that is necessary, but make character so that it doesn't ruin others fun Though good idea to soften jerk characters behavior toward party members.
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Hygienia is common thing, don't go over with deaderant.
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And agree with preparing, take only emergency calls unless game situation allows it.
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and remember bribe your dm with pizza :)

AMFV
2014-01-16, 01:19 AM
*Good Hygiene (Shower, clean clothes, deoderant, brush your teeth, etc.)


This is a good general social rule, although it's important to remember that not everybody will have the same standards of hygiene as everybody else. I wouldn't arbitrate it as a general rule, it's more likely an assumed rule in any social setting.



*Don't hit on anyone, in-character or out. If you're unsure what this means, play it safe - no crude jokes, sexuality explicit language, physical contact, etc. (I really wish I had a better way to say this, or better yet didn't have to say it at all, but from what I've heard, it's a huge problem around here - and another part of the reason why there are so few female gamers.)

I disagree with this pretty completely at least as far as the in-character bit goes. If I'm playing Jymes Bondyl, the rakish spy character then I want to be able to roleplay him as a rakish spy. If it bothers people we can relegate it to the background, but no flirtation at all is a pretty heavy thing.

As for the hitting on everybody in general, that's more of a comfort zone thing in different groups. I've never heard of this directly being a problem, but if it is then people should articulate it to the person in question, if the person continues after people have informed them that the advances are not welcome, then kicking becomes an option.



*Make sure your character is likeable and cooperative, at least within the party. (So, no "Token Evil Guy" that it doesn't make sense the party would work with, no axe-crazy character who's constantly putting everyone else at risk/breaking the plot by attacking allies, no Kender who steal from the party over and over, no backstabbing. I'd relax this if the group gets to know eachother and has a really good dynamic, but for a new group of inexperienced players, it seems not to go well.)

Well this really has to do with game dynamics and tone more than player experience, there are systems where this sort of thing is accepted, even encouraged. I would just discuss it before you do that.



*If you're more experienced/playing a more powerful class, don't over-shadow the new players - consider playing a support character or something of the like, so they get their time in the sun.

But what if I don't enjoy playing support characters, couldn't I fill a different niche? Why is that if I'm more experienced I don't deserve any time in the sun, that's kind of bull, to my thinking anyways.



*Be prepared to focus on the game. (Don't be texting constantly/messing with your laptop (except to look up rules), if you absolutely have to call someone wait for the group to take a break, etc.)

This really depends on group tolerance to be honest, different groups will have different types of stances on this. Personally I don't care if characters are distracted during combat, since it stops them from being bored, really it's a matter of preference.

A lot of these rules are fine for you to outline, but not everybody is going to be all for them. So just be aware of that.

FreakyCheeseMan
2014-01-16, 01:30 AM
This is a good general social rule, although it's important to remember that not everybody will have the same standards of hygiene as everybody else. I wouldn't arbitrate it as a general rule, it's more likely an assumed rule in any social setting.

The problem is that, based on what I've seen and heard... we can't really rely on people assuming it, or being used to behaving themselves in a social setting.


I disagree with this pretty completely at least as far as the in-character bit goes. If I'm playing Jymes Bondyl, the rakish spy character then I want to be able to roleplay him as a rakish spy. If it bothers people we can relegate it to the background, but no flirtation at all is a pretty heavy thing.

I've heard too many stories of guys making girls uncomfortable with this, especially by doing so in a creepy/aggressive way. The fact is, there are thousands of types of characters you can roleplay - you still have plenty of freedom with this rule in place, especially as it would probably only need to remain in effect for a few games, until people got to know eachother.


As for the hitting on everybody in general, that's more of a comfort zone thing in different groups. I've never heard of this directly being a problem, but if it is then people should articulate it to the person in question, if the person continues after people have informed them that the advances are not welcome, then kicking becomes an option. Problem is, articulating it to the person can be awkward and uncomfortable in and of itself, and end up driving one or both of the players involved away, or creating some bitter feelings and recrimination.


Well this really has to do with game dynamics and tone more than player experience, there are systems where this sort of thing is accepted, even encouraged. I would just discuss it before you do that.

Big one there is that I've seen a lot of new players (myself included) set out to make a character who was rather excessively... colorful, and ended up making it so no one else could play realistically without being an ******* to that person personally, because the realistic thing to do would be to shun/kill their character. Again, it's not like there's any shortage of options, the these restrictions could be eased/lifted once the group got to know eachother.


But what if I don't enjoy playing support characters, couldn't I fill a different niche? Why is that if I'm more experienced I don't deserve any time in the sun, that's kind of bull, to my thinking anyways.
Well, I figure that even as a support character, a more experienced player will still end up getting more than his share of the glory, among new players - whereas another "niche", depending on what it is, might end up hogging the spotlight, even without realizing it.

BMXSummoner
2014-01-16, 02:06 AM
How bout:
...
1. Follow basic standards of hygiene
Have you not showered in several days? Shower before the game. Please.
Do your clothes smell foul? Put on new ones. Out of new ones? Wash them.
Failure to follow these, or understand them will get you booted from the game.

2. Don't make people uncomfortable
Are you the type of person who feels that people just can't handle you because you're too real? Then we can't handle you. Sorry.
Unwanted passes, overtly sexual language, racy jokes, and generally any behavior that makes people uncomfortable will not be tolerated. If it's not something you'd say to complete strangers, don't say it to us.
Consider this 'polite company', not doing so will get you booted.

3. Don't play a jerk PC.
Killing, stealing from, or generally harassing other characters will not be tolerated. If you can only make jerk PCs than do so elsewhere.

4. Don't steal other people's fun.
Spotlight hogging, overtly overshadowing other people's characters, and general campaign killing power gaming will not to be tolerated. There will likely to be new players, so if you have experience please try to help them along instead of reducing them to your supporting cast.

5. Stay in the game.
Overusing phones, lap-tops, or other distractions is prohibited. Failure to pay attention to the game will have harsh consequences.

6. Show up. (I added this one. Seems relevant.)
If you don't think you have the time/energy/whatever to show up (however much you game) at least most of the time then do yourself a favor and don't show up the first time either.

Failure to follow these guidelines, will likely get you booted. So if you can't follow these save yourself, and everyone else, some time and don't come. Thank you.
...
You might to want throw positive stuff in there at the end like "If this kind of basic social conduct isn't too difficult for you then..." something something about how cool the game you're planning would be.

At least, that's my two cents. Basically I would be as precise as possible about the kind of player I wanted, and write as lengthy an explanation as needed to get the point across. If the code of conduct is too long for them to read, then they are unlikely to show up anyway.

The other option is to give them a test like:
1. How many times have you showered this week?

2. Raping another PC is...
a. Completely inappropriate.
b. Not that bad.
c. Funny.

3. Making a joke about raping someone in the game is...
a. Completely inappropriate.
b. Not that bad.
c. Funny.

...and it could just go on.

Airk
2014-01-16, 10:14 AM
This really depends on group tolerance to be honest, different groups will have different types of stances on this. Personally I don't care if characters are distracted during combat, since it stops them from being bored, really it's a matter of preference.

A lot of these rules are fine for you to outline, but not everybody is going to be all for them. So just be aware of that.

Dude. No kidding that 'not everybody is going to be all for them'. The whole point of rules is to EXCLUDE the people he doesn't want. His game, his rules. He isn't interested in what "you" think you should be "allowed" to do at his table. He's interested in the rules that will get him the type of group he wants to play with. And the whole point of having rules is that you CAN'T count on "assumed social norms" to take care of this stuff. You really can't. Trying to do so is a large part of why so many gaming groups are dysfunctional - because everyone has different expectations of what's 'okay'.

With that out of the way, I totally agree with the people who suggested interviewing people at a 'neutral' location BEFORE the game. Act like you have more potential than you can possibly take on. This will give you a good chance to get a read on people beforehand, and it's much easier to say "Sorry, as it turns out, we don't have room for you." a while after an 'interview' than it is to boot someone three sessions down the road for whatever reason.

Rosstin
2014-01-16, 11:05 AM
BMX speaks the wisdom. Good list.

TriForce
2014-01-16, 11:11 AM
how about this one:

be sporting.

characters die, bad rolls happen, miscommunications happen. none of them is a reason to get angry and/or lash out towards people. agression belongs ingame, and any form of it out of the game is reason enough to remove someone

AMFV
2014-01-16, 01:25 PM
The problem is that, based on what I've seen and heard... we can't really rely on people assuming it, or being used to behaving themselves in a social setting.

The problem that I see with this is that demanding good hygiene is damn condescending. If somebody explicitly laid out those rules to me, I would definitely feel like they were talking down to me, and correctly at that, and I don't hang out with people who are condescending to me. So you should be aware that it will come across as condescending.



I've heard too many stories of guys making girls uncomfortable with this, especially by doing so in a creepy/aggressive way. The fact is, there are thousands of types of characters you can roleplay - you still have plenty of freedom with this rule in place, especially as it would probably only need to remain in effect for a few games, until people got to know eachother.


Does it bother YOU specifically because otherwise you should not be assuming that somebody can't handle it, that is again, condescending, and in fact stereotyping and condescending. So you are saying that women simply can't handle that sort of thing, based on an assumption you've made, you shouldn't be choosing for them, unless it bothers you, in which case it's an okay thing to ask for.



Problem is, articulating it to the person can be awkward and uncomfortable in and of itself, and end up driving one or both of the players involved away, or creating some bitter feelings and recrimination.


If you are incapable of telling somebody that they are violating your boundaries you have more problems than simply being uncomfortable once a week or so in a roleplaying game. Furthermore if somebody is driven away because someone articulates their boundaries, good riddance, this should be more reactive than proactive to my opinion.



Big one there is that I've seen a lot of new players (myself included) set out to make a character who was rather excessively... colorful, and ended up making it so no one else could play realistically without being an ******* to that person personally, because the realistic thing to do would be to shun/kill their character. Again, it's not like there's any shortage of options, the these restrictions could be eased/lifted once the group got to know eachother.


It is good roleplaying to play somebody that works well with a group, but what you're suggesting is bland, you are saying that there can't be kinder who would steal, and that people cannot have any reason to betray the group ever, I always define my characters by their breaking points, so not having them results in undefined characters. I would just have everybody meet and see what their expectations are, rather than handing down heavy handed and possibly overwrought rules.



Well, I figure that even as a support character, a more experienced player will still end up getting more than his share of the glory, among new players - whereas another "niche", depending on what it is, might end up hogging the spotlight, even without realizing it.

Support characters tend to hog more glory than anybody else, and you're still punishing them for being experienced, what if I don't like to play support and I'm experienced. I mean it's a taste issue, and you're forcing experienced players into one niche, out of dozens, many of which overlap far less than "support", because they're more experienced, that's not really very sporting or fair to them.

Airk
2014-01-16, 01:46 PM
The problem that I see with this is that demanding good hygiene is damn condescending. If somebody explicitly laid out those rules to me, I would definitely feel like they were talking down to me, and correctly at that, and I don't hang out with people who are condescending to me. So you should be aware that it will come across as condescending.

Bull****; Saying "I demand good hygiene at my game" is basically the same as saying "If you're going to show up looking like you slept under a bridge, I don't want to game with you." And you know, you can CHOOSE to be offended and THINK he's implying that YOU in particular are likely to do that, but that would be kinda dumb considering that these rules are for everyone, to head off problems. Do you feel insulted when work tells you to dress "business casual" too?



Does it bother YOU specifically because otherwise you should not be assuming that somebody can't handle it, that is again, condescending, and in fact stereotyping and condescending. So you are saying that women simply can't handle that sort of thing, based on an assumption you've made, you shouldn't be choosing for them, unless it bothers you, in which case it's an okay thing to ask for.

WTF is your problem? YES, it bothers ME (I know you're not talking to me, but c'mon) if someone else at the table is uncomfortable, which is what he was talking about. Does it not bother YOU when other people at the table are uncomfortable?


If you are incapable of telling somebody that they are violating your boundaries you have more problems than simply being uncomfortable once a week or so in a roleplaying game. Furthermore if somebody is driven away because someone articulates their boundaries, good riddance, this should be more reactive than proactive to my opinion.

More to the point, you shouldn't NEED to do this at a GAME. Which is why RULES. I don't know why you seem to be struggling so HARD against this idea.

Let me boil it down for you:

There are things FreakyCheeseMan doesn't want to deal with at his table. He is making rules so he doesn't have to deal with them. YOU DON'T GET TO TELL HIM "Hey, you should be dealing with those things at your table." That is NOT legit. Give it up.

AMFV
2014-01-16, 01:59 PM
Bull****; Saying "I demand good hygiene at my game" is basically the same as saying "If you're going to show up looking like you slept under a bridge, I don't want to game with you." And you know, you can CHOOSE to be offended and THINK he's implying that YOU in particular are likely to do that, but that would be kinda dumb considering that these rules are for everyone, to head off problems. Do you feel insulted when work tells you to dress "business casual" too?

They pay me to dress a certain way... My friends don't tell me that I need to shower BEFORE it's become a problem. That's implying that I don't know better myself, and that is condescending. Just like most offices don't necessarily need to tell you to dress professionally because it's something that an adult expects.



WTF is your problem? YES, it bothers ME (I know you're not talking to me, but c'mon) if someone else at the table is uncomfortable, which is what he was talking about. Does it not bother YOU when other people at the table are uncomfortable?

You don't have the right to decide when somebody else is going to become uncomfortable, and treating them like they're made of glass because something might and I say again, might bother them is ridiculous, they should get the right to voice what bothers them and what doesn't. Not all women dislike James Bond, or flirting, and making that choice for them is stereotyping and almost (in fact much worse in my opinion) than accidentally offending them in the first place. You are basically saying that you have the right to decide what their limits are, and if they can be violated.



More to the point, you shouldn't NEED to do this at a GAME. Which is why RULES. I don't know why you seem to be struggling so HARD against this idea.

You NEED to do this, anywhere that it becomes a problem, a game is certainly one venue, for example if I have a fear of spiders or heights and it comes up in a game and its triggering for me, then I should be able to articulate that.



Let me boil it down for you:

There are things FreakyCheeseMan doesn't want to deal with at his table. He is making rules so he doesn't have to deal with them. YOU DON'T GET TO TELL HIM "Hey, you should be dealing with those things at your table." That is NOT legit. Give it up.

Because he asked for our opinion, and I answered, I told him that to my thinking the rules he set down are unnecessarily heavy-handed, overwrought, and condescending, I would have a problem with somebody that needed to voice those kind of rules to me, because I am a grown-ass man. If somebody assumes I'm going to need to be treated like anything else than a grown-ass man who has been in charge of people, who has been to war, then I would not hang out with them, since he asked for input I gave him mine, what's the problem with that? Am I not allowed to disagree with the particular set of rules and their presentation, I mean, to my reading they are condescending for the reasons I stated, and they are condescending to women, implying that they can't handle certain aspects of the game, and then CHOOSING FOR THEM, those aspects that are believed to be beyond their capacity to handle, that is a serious problem to my mind.

Airk
2014-01-16, 02:19 PM
They pay me to dress a certain way... My friends don't tell me that I need to shower BEFORE it's become a problem. That's implying that I don't know better myself, and that is condescending. Just like most offices don't necessarily need to tell you to dress professionally because it's something that an adult expects.

And this game ISN'T you and your friends. This is Cheeseman and COMPLETELY STRANGERS. And if you think that most people will dress well at the office without being told, you are sadly mistaken. :P


You don't have the right to decide when somebody else is going to become uncomfortable, and treating them like they're made of glass because something might and I say again, might bother them is ridiculous, they should get the right to voice what bothers them and what doesn't. Not all women dislike James Bond, or flirting, and making that choice for them is stereotyping and almost (in fact much worse in my opinion) than accidentally offending them in the first place. You are basically saying that you have the right to decide what their limits are, and if they can be violated.

If you are making someone uncomfortable, you have to stop, period. Everything else is semantics.



You NEED to do this, anywhere that it becomes a problem, a game is certainly one venue, for example if I have a fear of spiders or heights and it comes up in a game and its triggering for me, then I should be able to articulate that.

Speaking of semantics. Look. If I walk up to you and start punching you in the face, yeah, you need to defend yourself. Does this mean we shouldn't have laws against assault? Why are you being so deliberately difficult about trying to set ground rules for a gathering of complete strangers?



Because he asked for our opinion, and I answered, I told him that to my thinking the rules he set down are unnecessarily heavy-handed, overwrought, and condescending, I would have a problem with somebody that needed to voice those kind of rules to me, because I am a grown-ass man. If somebody assumes I'm going to need to be treated like anything else than a grown-ass man who has been in charge of people, who has been to war, then I would not hang out with them, since he asked for input I gave him mine, what's the problem with that? Am I not allowed to disagree with the particular set of rules and their presentation, I mean, to my reading they are condescending for the reasons I stated, and they are condescending to women, implying that they can't handle certain aspects of the game, and then CHOOSING FOR THEM, those aspects that are believed to be beyond their capacity to handle, that is a serious problem to my mind.

I think you are the exact sort of person he doesn't want in his game. ^_^

Rosstin
2014-01-16, 02:21 PM
They pay me to dress a certain way... My friends don't tell me that I need to shower BEFORE it's become a problem. That's implying that I don't know better myself, and that is condescending. Just like most offices don't necessarily need to tell you to dress professionally because it's something that an adult expects.


I wouldn't play with you if all I knew about you was that you objected to those rules. The fact that you find them condescending is a red flag.

A better attitude would be to recognize that the rules were laid out to PREVENT OTHER PEOPLE not as cool as you from joining, not to immediately assume that they are there to make you feel condescended to.

AMFV
2014-01-16, 02:26 PM
And this game ISN'T you and your friends. This is Cheeseman and COMPLETELY STRANGERS. And if you think that most people will dress well at the office without being told, you are sadly mistaken. :P


I did say adults, and I'm fairly sure that adults can manage that sort of thing.

Edit: It would be less condescending if they were his friends, and he knew that so-and-so might have problems with hygiene, or that so-and-so wasn't interested in any games with sexual content, this is him making presuppositions about strangers, which are frankly offensive.



If you are making someone uncomfortable, you have to stop, period. Everything else is semantics.

Yes and I do, but you do not get to preemptively decide what makes another person uncomfortable, that's condescending and in this case sexist. For example I'm a veteran, if somebody decided to remove certain ambush based elements from a game, because they "might trigger me" or whatnot, I'd walk out. Period.

The problem is not that he's setting guidelines based on people's comfort zones, the problem is that he's making preemptive assumptions about their comfort zones, without even having met them before. That's a serious serious issue, it's not only condescending, but it's taking your own opinion about somebody and putting it over their opinion about themselves.

I'm not advocating that people should be allowed to make others uncomfortable, just saying that you don't get to decide that for other people.



Speaking of semantics. Look. If I walk up to you and start punching you in the face, yeah, you need to defend yourself. Does this mean we shouldn't have laws against assault? Why are you being so deliberately difficult about trying to set ground rules for a gathering of complete strangers?

Because those ground rules presume certain things about other people, particularly those of a different gender, because they are generally condescending, because they are not well written. I think I've been over this before, I had a set of specific objections, none of which you even addressed outside of reacting angrily to my objecting at all. Do you have a problem with any of my specific objections, rules are fine, but there are specific objections to many of these.



I think you are the exact sort of person he doesn't want in his game. ^_^

Well I can behave myself, I have good hygiene, I never hit anybody, or hit on people for the most part, and I can follow the rules. I just don't need to be treated like a five year old, period. That would bother be.


I wouldn't play with you if all I knew about you was that you objected to those rules. The fact that you find them condescending is a red flag.

A better attitude would be to recognize that the rules were laid out to PREVENT OTHER PEOPLE not as cool as you from joining, not to immediately assume that they are there to make you feel condescended to.

I disagree, very strongly, I've been treated like an adult, and not like an adult, and I don't hang out with people to be treated like anything other than an adult. Furthermore we still haven't touched on the fact that the rules presume that any sexual content will make women uncomfortable, which is a serious problem, even more so than condescension.

Why would it bother you that I find the idea of being told to shower by a complete stranger condescending. You should probably shower more, I bet you stink... That's condescending, especially if I've not shown any sign of being unable to handle that sort of thing. That's treating me like I'm not a mature adult, and frankly I wouldn't want to be in a game that assumed any less of me than that, or hang out with people that did.

Rosstin
2014-01-16, 02:36 PM
The rules don't exist to make you feel like a 5-year-old. They exist to prevent 5-year-olds from joining.

The fact that most countries have laws against murder doesn't imply that you're a murderer, does it?

I've lived in a number of what I personally consider to be "small" cities over the last 5 years. At least, small in terms of nerd population. Baton Rouge, Pittsburgh (okay they have CMU but you would be surprised how hard it is to find DnD), Guiyang. One pattern I've noticed is that the best way to find a game is to join the local RP Meetup, and look for the group that has the most rules. That's usually the group that has accumulated a small core of decent players who show up and have fun and aren't disruptive. If you're patient and can get into that group, that's the group that is going to show you a good time.

AMFV
2014-01-16, 03:03 PM
The rules don't exist to make you feel like a 5-year-old. They exist to prevent 5-year-olds from joining.

The fact that most countries have laws against murder doesn't imply that you're a murderer, does it?

I've lived in a number of what I personally consider to be "small" cities over the last 5 years. At least, small in terms of nerd population. Baton Rouge, Pittsburgh (okay they have CMU but you would be surprised how hard it is to find DnD), Guiyang. One pattern I've noticed is that the best way to find a game is to join the local RP Meetup, and look for the group that has the most rules. That's usually the group that has accumulated a small core of decent players who show up and have fun and aren't disruptive. If you're patient and can get into that group, that's the group that is going to show you a good time.

Countries have laws for a very different reason than the DM should have rules. They aren't exactly compatible, I don't want to be treated by my friends as I'm treated by my government.

FreakyCheeseMan
2014-01-16, 03:07 PM
So, a few notes, to clear things up.

First, on the hygiene rule... yes, it is something I should be able to assume about any set of adult strangers, but that doesn't happen to be true in this case. Both from my own experience and that of people I've talked to, it's a major problem, especially in the "Open" gaming groups. So, no, I really can't assume that people will do so without being told - my option is "Tell everyone in advance" or "Expect to have to single people out personally," and as my whole goal is to create a friendly, casual setting, I'm gonna go with the one that avoids needless confrontation.

On the whole sexual-content-making-people-uncomfortable front - no, this isn't something that bothers me, but it's a complaint I've heard over and over from female games, and I can certainly see where they're coming from.

Insisting that your characters be friendly and cooperative within the party is just not that big a limitation - if you think the only way you can make an interesting character is to make a difficult, unpleasant character, then I hate to say it, but you're probably exactly the sort of person for whom these rules are written. There are still all manner of traits, motivations, backgrounds, quirks, etc, that don't interfere with this.

Rosstin
2014-01-16, 03:14 PM
Basically, AMFV, you've determined that you and the DM are incompatible and you should join a different game. This means the rules list has done its job, by indicating to you that this game is just way too uptight for you.

veti
2014-01-16, 04:03 PM
"Hygiene" is, believe it or not, incredibly vague. To some people "yeah, sure I showered last night and I've only worn this shirt a couple of days" is fine. To others, "you're not wearing deodorant and you didn't shave this morning" is unacceptable. By even using the word, you're introducing a huge cloud of uncertainty. I would replace it with something like "dress code: smart cafe".

AMFV
2014-01-16, 04:31 PM
So, a few notes, to clear things up.

First, on the hygiene rule... yes, it is something I should be able to assume about any set of adult strangers, but that doesn't happen to be true in this case. Both from my own experience and that of people I've talked to, it's a major problem, especially in the "Open" gaming groups. So, no, I really can't assume that people will do so without being told - my option is "Tell everyone in advance" or "Expect to have to single people out personally," and as my whole goal is to create a friendly, casual setting, I'm gonna go with the one that avoids needless confrontation.


The problem is that the people who would have a problem with this are absolutely not going to abide by the rules and won't even be aware that there is a problem, I've dealt with hygiene stunted individuals, and they are not aware that they have this issue by and large. so I'm imagining that your rules won't do any good to discourage them, and will only be condescending to those that don't. Also if you have a "no singling people out" policy, how are you going to enforce the rules, rules don't mean anything if they aren't enforceable.



On the whole sexual-content-making-people-uncomfortable front - no, this isn't something that bothers me, but it's a complaint I've heard over and over from female games, and I can certainly see where they're coming from.


But NOT from the Female gamers who may be involved in this game, again unless you are a female gamer and this bothers you, or a male gamer who is bothered by this (it doesn't really matter) you don't get to decide other people's comfort levels, and preempting that, particularly preempting that based on gender is a serious problem, I would probably have a serious issue with that.



Insisting that your characters be friendly and cooperative within the party is just not that big a limitation - if you think the only way you can make an interesting character is to make a difficult, unpleasant character, then I hate to say it, but you're probably exactly the sort of person for whom these rules are written. There are still all manner of traits, motivations, backgrounds, quirks, etc, that don't interfere with this.

I can create characters that work with others, but the problem here is that you are presuming guilt, again making presumptions on the part of others, that's not the sort of thing that encourages the casual gaming atmosphere you're imagining, it causes people to be on edge because they are concerned they may be violating your rules, which in this case are fairly arbitrary and very very very open to interpretation. For example if I made a lawful character and did not want to become involved in a heist with other group members, that would violate your rules. If I made a chaotic character and wanted to steal, while it was against two lawful characters codes of conscience, that would violate these rules. You can't have written rules that are so interpretively challenged without having issues.


Basically, AMFV, you've determined that you and the DM are incompatible and you should join a different game. This means the rules list has done its job, by indicating to you that this game is just way too uptight for you.

I can hygiene as I've said, I would naturally abide by the rules as written here, but outlining them to me is condescending and more than a little bit offensive. I'm an adult, and telling me to shower is treating me as though I'm not.

TheThan
2014-01-16, 04:49 PM
Some groups expect the GM to provide the refreshments? The horror! :smalleek:

Seriously though, that sounds completely foreign to me. Around here the GM's snacks are comped by the group (within reason).




haha, i give out XP for bribes of snack food.

besides that, we generally all do our part and chip in for snacks.

Mr Beer
2014-01-16, 05:06 PM
AMFV, if you insist on being personally offended by rules directed at the general public as opposed to you in particular, that would be your issue.

As someone stated above, this merely establishes that these rules are serving their purpose, i.e. steering you away from a game you are not suited to (and vice versa).

AMFV
2014-01-16, 05:20 PM
AMFV, if you insist on being personally offended by rules directed at the general public as opposed to you in particular, that would be your issue.

As someone stated above, this merely establishes that these rules are serving their purpose, i.e. steering you away from a game you are not suited to (and vice versa).

I disagree in this case, I am not personally offended, since I have good hygiene and am not a woman who is not offended by sexual comments. I am however suggesting that the tone of the rules is rather heavy handed and that the implication that the DM is the one that gets a choice in the point where somebody is offended is a little sketchy at best.

I'm not sure why people continue to attempt to accuse me of being personally offended by the rules. I am merely stating that they are fairly draconian, when those things are generally expected in any social environment, and that the DM should not get to decide at what level people will be bothered.

IF and ONLY IF the DM is bothered by something personally (or somebody else has voiced that they are) should he rule against something, he shouldn't get to decide what should be triggering for other people that is ridiculously condescending and patronizing, suggesting that they are unable to decide for themselves or articulate their position is still patronizing in many ways.

Knaight
2014-01-16, 06:14 PM
I disagree, very strongly, I've been treated like an adult, and not like an adult, and I don't hang out with people to be treated like anything other than an adult. Furthermore we still haven't touched on the fact that the rules presume that any sexual content will make women uncomfortable, which is a serious problem, even more so than condescension.

I'm going to be blunt here. I'm not that big on having these rules precisely because I'm more than willing to give people the boot. With that said, I'm warming up to them precisely because they would filter you out. You read like someone looking for a fight, who went over a set of general rules, decided that it was somehow an insult*, and picked a fight over it. That is exactly the sort of behavior that I'd kick someone out over, and a pre-filtering process is looking pretty nice at this point.

As for your "the rules presume that any sexual content will make women uncomfortable", that's just plain spin. We explicitly know that the local gaming culture includes several tools who use sexual content to be an abrasive jerk. This is a filter to get rid of that particular group. At most it makes the assumption that most women don't having sexual matters waved at them by social troglodytes, which is really more a subset of most people not liking that that acknowledges that within the local population the social troglodytes who feel comfortable doing that tend to do so to women.

*The exact words were "outlining them to me is condescending and more than a little bit offensive".

AMFV
2014-01-16, 06:49 PM
I'm going to be blunt here. I'm not that big on having these rules precisely because I'm more than willing to give people the boot. With that said, I'm warming up to them precisely because they would filter you out. You read like someone looking for a fight, who went over a set of general rules, decided that it was somehow an insult*, and picked a fight over it. That is exactly the sort of behavior that I'd kick someone out over, and a pre-filtering process is looking pretty nice at this point.

Most of the general rules are in fact insulting, or at least condescending to me. I've spent years and years of my life being told how to shave, how to cut my hair, I don't need somebody I don't even know telling me those same things. Because I know them, and opining or suggesting that I don't is insulting.



As for your "the rules presume that any sexual content will make women uncomfortable", that's just plain spin. We explicitly know that the local gaming culture includes several tools who use sexual content to be an abrasive jerk. This is a filter to get rid of that particular group. At most it makes the assumption that most women don't having sexual matters waved at them by social troglodytes, which is really more a subset of most people not liking that that acknowledges that within the local population the social troglodytes who feel comfortable doing that tend to do so to women.


The problem is that there are many women who are completely comfortable with sexual humor, or romance in roleplaying games in fact, more woman than men are comfortable with these things. This is like stating that as a PTSD veteran I shouldn't have to be exposed to anything that could be triggering to me, it's treating a woman like they are a child... And that's damn irresponsible. I'm 100% fine with the DM having a no-flirting rule if it's him that has the problem with it. But I'm not fine with him telling other people that they should or do have a problem with it.


Edit: And it's fine, furthermore, to be a woman that has a problem with that sort of thing... or anybody for that matter, but I don't think it's fine for somebody else to tell another person that something is being banned because they might have a problem with it, that is patronizing and condescending.


*The exact words were "outlining them to me is condescending and more than a little bit offensive".

Indeed it is offensive, I'm a grown man. I can shower and shave, and get my haircut regularly, and to imply that I need to be told these things is pretty offensive to me. Unless there is some special thing that I need to do that I would not normally do, for example shave if I'm going inside a nuclear power plant, or whatnot, that would be fine, but this is implying that I don't know or need to be told things that everybody should know.

Rosstin
2014-01-16, 07:31 PM
Dude, man, stand down! The rules have nothing to do with you personally. They're just a set of hypothetical rules on a forum board that were posted as a proposal to someone else's game who probably doesn't even live in the same city as you. They're totally irrelevant to you.

AMFV
2014-01-16, 07:56 PM
Dude, man, stand down! The rules have nothing to do with you personally. They're just a set of hypothetical rules on a forum board that were posted as a proposal to someone else's game who probably doesn't even live in the same city as you. They're totally irrelevant to you.

Well until it was implied that I was either offensive to women, or poor at hygiene and that would be the only reason I might object to those rules. The other problem is that people have claimed that I was the sort of person that would be filtered out by the rules even though I had legitimate objections that were patently not addressed.

Zharradan Marr
2014-01-16, 08:05 PM
AMVF,

The DM makes the rules to preemptively filter out the people incompatible with his gaming table. If the rules indeed filter out people incompatible with his gaming table, the rules are good. Now, if the rules would also accidentally filter out people who are, in fact, compatible with the DM's style, they'd be bad. It seems you feel the rules are filtering you out. So let me ask you this: do you believe you are - despite being filtered - a good fit with that particular DM?

AMFV
2014-01-16, 08:07 PM
AMVF,

The DM makes the rules to preemptively filter out the people incompatible with his gaming table. If the rules indeed filter out people incompatible with his gaming table, the rules are good. Now, if the rules would also accidentally filter out people who are, in fact, compatible with the DM's style, they'd be bad. It seems you feel the rules are filtering you out. So let me ask you this: do you believe you are - despite being filtered - a good fit with that particular DM?

I'M NOT BEING FILTERED OUT, ALL OF HIS RULES I COMPLY WITH AS A PART OF BEING A REASONABLE ADULT. I'm not sure why people continue to assume that because I have an objection to his rules I'm somehow violating them. I have legitimate objections to the rules based on their reasoning, wording, and their root causes. I'm frankly becoming sick of having my personal character repeatedly attacked because I'm claiming that there are issues with the rules.

Zharradan Marr
2014-01-16, 08:10 PM
I'M NOT BEING FILTERED OUT, ALL OF HIS RULES I COMPLY WITH AS A PART OF BEING A REASONABLE ADULT. I'm not sure why people continue to assume that because I have an objection to his rules I'm somehow violating them. I have legitimate objections to the rules based on their reasoning, wording, and their root causes. I'm frankly becoming sick of having my personal character repeatedly attacked because I'm claiming that there are issues with the rules.
Let me clarify - I wasn't discussing your character, only the fact that the existence of such rules would cause you to not play in the game, as you yourself said. The point is not whether you "violate" the rules or merely "object" to them, the point is that with the rules in place, you are less likely to play in that game.

That's what I meant by "the rules are filtering you out".

AMFV
2014-01-16, 08:16 PM
Let me clarify - I wasn't discussing your character, only the fact that the existence of such rules would cause you to not play in the game, as you yourself said. The point is not whether you "violate" the rules or merely "object" to them, the point is that with the rules in place, you are less likely to play in that game.

That's what I meant by "the rules are filtering you out".

No, I said that if I was a woman it would probably inspire me not to play, although the hygiene thing probably would come very close to inspiring me not to play, the problem with this sort of rules is that by stating them you are implying that the players cannot handle them on their own, and that is going to filter out good players.

Zharradan Marr
2014-01-16, 08:21 PM
the hygiene thing probably would come very close to inspiring me not to playFair enough. So we've established these rules would come close to keeping you out.


the problem with this sort of rules is that by stating them you are implying that the players cannot handle them on their ownWell, definitely, and I don't think it needs to be hinted, might as well just go and say it loud and clear: Some People Don't Have a Good Grasp of Basic Hygiene. It's a fact.


and that is going to filter out good players.See, that's where I disagree. I think that a lot of good players will look at the rules and say "well, maybe he had a lot of bad experiences with antisocial people and is trying to defend himself. In fact, if it's a group where antisocial people can't enter, I think I'm going to go ahead and join!"

AMFV
2014-01-16, 08:36 PM
Fair enough. So we've established these rules would come close to keeping you out.

Well, definitely, and I don't think it needs to be hinted, might as well just go and say it loud and clear: Some People Don't Have a Good Grasp of Basic Hygiene. It's a fact.

That's true, but that should be dealt with on a case by case basis, not by insulting everybody in general. We still haven't even looked at the whole women's issues bit.



See, that's where I disagree. I think that a lot of good players will look at the rules and say "well, maybe he had a lot of bad experiences with antisocial people and is trying to defend himself. In fact, if it's a group where antisocial people can't enter, I think I'm going to go ahead and join!"

Well but the problem is that this is a serious issue as I see it, or at least could very clearly be a problem, if you need to articulate those rules it might indicate either that you have a very low opinion of people, or that you game with a lot of poor character folks, all of which might incline a person not to play with you.

Gavran
2014-01-16, 08:38 PM
I too am put off by the tone of a lot of these rules. I bear no ill will toward anyone who uses them, but it is the sort of thing that could make me go "Nah, I'll keep looking." Mind - I have absolutely no interest in starting a RL game where everyone is a complete stranger in the first place - but like AMFV, I have no problem following those rules but am put off by being told to. I've seen no reason to think I would be incompatible with the DM (in fact, some of his posts have made me think I'd enjoy playing with him.)

My suggestion would be to drop the idea of rules about basic human interaction and just interview people. You can start with game stuff (Airk, shouldn't you have linked that same page or whatever it's called tool by now? :P) in emails, and then progress to face to face interviews from there: providing the opportunity to allay your concerns about hygiene and such in a tactful way.

Rosstin
2014-01-16, 09:00 PM
Clearly stating the rules has multiple benefits.

You can tell people straight up that by joining the game they are agreeing to adhere to the rules. If they break them, ignorance won't be an excuse.

They also weed out people who are easily offended or rankled by authority.

TriForce
2014-01-16, 09:00 PM
im having a hard time of understanding why someone would see these rules as insulting. have you SEEN some of the posts on this forum? im not talking about this topic, but topics other people have created, complaining about a certain player who did exactly the thing(s) you stated shouldnt need to be any rules about.

yes people like that are incedibly rare (fortunatly) but they DO exist, and its perfectly reasonable not to want people like that in your game. rules like that are exactly what you need to prevent that.

honestly, im trying to wrap my head around why anyone would even care about these rules if they obviously do not apply to them, how can something not even remotely applyable to you be considered insulting? the people who its targeted at might feel insulted, but thats not exactly a problem, since they prove the need for the rules in the first place :P

Amphetryon
2014-01-16, 09:03 PM
Countries have laws for a very different reason than the DM should have rules. They aren't exactly compatible, I don't want to be treated by my friends as I'm treated by my government.

I've been in situations as a DM on more than one occasion where I've never met any of the Players before the first session. Calling such people 'my friends' sight unseen distorts the meaning of that term further than I'm comfortable with, and the rules as presented here are eminently reasonable in the circumstance where those joining the game are not already best buddies with each other or the DM.

AMFV
2014-01-16, 09:25 PM
I've been in situations as a DM on more than one occasion where I've never met any of the Players before the first session. Calling such people 'my friends' sight unseen distorts the meaning of that term further than I'm comfortable with, and the rules as presented here are eminently reasonable in the circumstance where those joining the game are not already best buddies with each other or the DM.

I disagree, those rules are as I said, heavy handed and insulting, I would be insulted by a stranger presuming to judge my hygiene or moral temperament.


im having a hard time of understanding why someone would see these rules as insulting. have you SEEN some of the posts on this forum? im not talking about this topic, but topics other people have created, complaining about a certain player who did exactly the thing(s) you stated shouldnt need to be any rules about.

yes people like that are incedibly rare (fortunatly) but they DO exist, and its perfectly reasonable not to want people like that in your game. rules like that are exactly what you need to prevent that.

honestly, im trying to wrap my head around why anyone would even care about these rules if they obviously do not apply to them, how can something not even remotely applyable to you be considered insulting? the people who its targeted at might feel insulted, but thats not exactly a problem, since they prove the need for the rules in the first place :P

Because I care about whether rules are condescending to people. It is a serious problem, and banning people is something that is easily done. Judging character is important and highly arbitrary rules hurt that, they don't help.


Clearly stating the rules has multiple benefits.

You can tell people straight up that by joining the game they are agreeing to adhere to the rules. If they break them, ignorance won't be an excuse.

They also weed out people who are easily offended or rankled by authority.

The problem is that those rules are difficult to enforce, widely open to interpretation and any enforcement violates the DM's "No singling out" clause, that's the problem, they're not only heavy handed, they're poorly written.

Also what kind of authority is present in a game? The DM isn't my boss, nor is he my Sergeant, I don't have to obey his every whim. I participate in games, and I don't cause issues, but the second it stretches outside of the game, to my personal life in any way, then it's an issue.

Rosstin
2014-01-16, 09:30 PM
The DM is the boss.

When you play at the DM's table, you live by the DM's rules. If you can't handle that, you find another table.

Mr Beer
2014-01-16, 09:31 PM
I disagree in this case, I am not personally offended, since I have good hygiene and am not a woman who is not offended by sexual comments.

You are successfully creating a strong impression that you would be personally offended at seeing these rules.

Anyway, I think you might be taking a worst case scenario and reacting to that.

For example, say I saw an ad for for a game and I was interested. I meet the GM pre-game, we have a nice chat and then he says, "BTW make sure your wash properly and use deoderant before turning up, also, don't grab my sister's tits or you'll be kicked out", yeah I would be annoyed.

If on the other hand, the ad has a link with "Read Our Rules First!" and one of those rules says "Please be recently showered and teeth brushed - hard to believe but we've had a couple of bad experiences and had to turn people away!", that would be fine with me.

AMFV
2014-01-16, 09:33 PM
The DM is the boss.

When you play at the DM's table, you live by the DM's rules. If you can't handle that, you find another table.

Frankly that's not the case in any game I've ever been in. I've organized games where I was the DM and I was mostly in charge, but there is still a more complex social system at work. If a DM tells me that I should alter my personal life, then they really are abusing that power, if my hygiene isn't an issue and the DM is insulting me about it, then that's an abuse of that power. If the DM is implying that because of some condition (being a woman, for example) I am unable to handle certain aspects of the game, well that's right-out. Agency is important and you don't sacrifice that by becoming a player.

Gavran
2014-01-16, 09:56 PM
The DM is the boss.

When you play at the DM's table, you live by the DM's rules. If you can't handle that, you find another table.

That is in fact, an opinion, and one that seems to be fading from popularity by my perception. The DM is an arbitrator of the game rules, not the de facto king of the group.

Edit: Not to be rude, but I would suggest you consider some of your own advice and step back from this. Your posts are getting increasingly more personal. Likewise, AMFV, you've made your point I think. This isn't very useful to the thread's purpose anymore. I understand your desire to defend it, and the sole reason I joined this discussion was to dispel the illusion that you were alone in your beliefs, but those beliefs have now been stated, re-stated, and re-stated some more.

Slipperychicken
2014-01-16, 10:15 PM
The DM is the boss.


Talk to players (like a boss)
Approve concepts (like a boss)
Remember NPCs (like a boss)
Direct plot-lines (like a boss)
My own DM screen (like a boss)
Micro-manage (like a boss)
Fail at synergy (like a boss)

Hit on players (like a boss)
Get rejected (like a boss)
Swallow sadness (like a boss)
Cause a TPK (like a boss)
Paint some minis (like a boss)
Cry deeply (like a boss)
Demand a refund (like a boss)
Eat a pizza (like a boss)

Harassment Lawsuit (like a boss)
No more players (like a boss)
5th of vodka (like a boss)
Burn the players sheets (like a boss)
Buy a shredder (like a boss)

[That was as much of the song as I was able to easily convert into a D&D theme. Obviously inspired by the song "Like a Boss" by Lonely Island. Original lyrics are here (http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/lonelyisland/likeaboss.html).]

Knaight
2014-01-17, 01:21 AM
If a DM tells me that I should alter my personal life, then they really are abusing that power, if my hygiene isn't an issue and the DM is insulting me about it, then that's an abuse of that power. If the DM is implying that because of some condition (being a woman, for example) I am unable to handle certain aspects of the game, well that's right-out. Agency is important and you don't sacrifice that by becoming a player.

They aren't telling someone to alter their personal life. They're telling someone that they can get the heck out of their house and away from their gaming table because they stink like a horse. Similarly, they're saying that if you are going to be an obnoxious troll at their house by persistently hitting on people, you have no business being there. Also, I still don't see how you're someone reading a rule that basically comes down to "these things are gone because douche bags use them as cover for harassment" as "women can't handle certain aspects of the game". We know that most people can handle being harassed. That doesn't mean they should have to.

AMFV
2014-01-17, 01:29 AM
They aren't telling someone to alter their personal life. They're telling someone that they can get the heck out of their house and away from their gaming table because they stink like a horse. Similarly, they're saying that if you are going to be an obnoxious troll at their house by persistently hitting on people, you have no business being there. Also, I still don't see how you're someone reading a rule that basically comes down to "these things are gone because douche bags use them as cover for harassment" as "women can't handle certain aspects of the game". We know that most people can handle being harassed. That doesn't mean they should have to.

But they are telling people that they can't hit on people who have not yet objected... and that's a problem. They are telling people that they think they're going to at some point stink like a horse without some friendly direction. Do you see the problem here?

Knaight
2014-01-17, 01:40 AM
But they are telling people that they can't hit on people who have not yet objected... and that's a problem. They are telling people that they think they're going to at some point stink like a horse without some friendly direction. Do you see the problem here?

That's not what's being said. What's being said is that people who stink like a horse are not welcome, and neither are people who use hitting on or sexual jokes or whatever as a cover for harassment. The rules are basically a way of telling potential players "we both know that the local gaming scene is a cesspool, my game isn't going to include the people who make it that way". It just also includes some amount of barring the innocuous to ensure that cesspool elements don't slip through.

TuggyNE
2014-01-17, 02:13 AM
It just also includes some amount of barring the innocuous to ensure that cesspool elements don't slip through.

Basically, straightforward Lawful philosophy right there. :smallamused:

Ah well, some people are just Chaotic, and the juxtaposition can often lead to these sorts of conflicts, through no fault of anyone in particular. And when you come down to it, if the rule provokes disagreement beforehand, then it's arguably done its job by preventing disagreement 14 sessions in.

Broken Twin
2014-01-17, 02:26 AM
Personally, the "No Hitting On" rule is the only one I'm really iffy about. It seems like a rule that would be difficult to enforce. "Respect Each Other's Boundaries" seems like a more realistic idea. It's impossible to know what people will be comfortable with until you meet them, so what may seem inadequate to some may seem overbearing to others. You know what you're comfortable with, so try to find players that are in that range, and be prepared to handle differences as they come up. I'd be more focused on trying to find mature players rather than making sure none of them will offend each other.

If I hit on you and you tell me to stop, then I should be booted if I don't stop. But "Being Hit On" is such a vague target that it just seems useless. Am I hitting on someone if I compliment them on their shirt? Some people would say yes, others would say no. You shouldn't be booted for making someone uncomfortable. You should be booted for knowingly making someone uncomfortable. Or, alternatively, you should be asked to leave if your standards of comfort are at unchangable odds with the rest of the group.


As to the hygiene one? If a general guideline asking that you maintain a certain level of cleanliness offends you, then I'd say you're looking to be offended. Most of us in this hobby understand that some of us aren't exactly strong on hygiene, and would accept this type of request as a necessary evil. Especially since it's coming from a stranger, who has no idea who I am.

AMFV
2014-01-17, 02:33 AM
That's not what's being said. What's being said is that people who stink like a horse are not welcome, and neither are people who use hitting on or sexual jokes or whatever as a cover for harassment. The rules are basically a way of telling potential players "we both know that the local gaming scene is a cesspool, my game isn't going to include the people who make it that way". It just also includes some amount of barring the innocuous to ensure that cesspool elements don't slip through.

The problem is that you are implying (now outright stating) that you believe that they are a part of a cesspool. Furthermore one which they have voluntarily agreed to be a part of. That's pretty ridiculous. First off, what sets YOU, the lawbringer above this cesspool, yes you can dictate who can participate in your games, but common courtesy would have such a dictation be more individually oriented, rather than an unenforceable set of vagaries that fall apart under scrutiny.


Basically, straightforward Lawful philosophy right there. :smallamused:

Ah well, some people are just Chaotic, and the juxtaposition can often lead to these sorts of conflicts, through no fault of anyone in particular. And when you come down to it, if the rule provokes disagreement beforehand, then it's arguably done its job by preventing disagreement 14 sessions in.

Actually I would make an argument that my philosophy is at least more lawful in some respects, since mine is based on respect of a person who has achieved a certain position, and there's is based more on a gut ruling concerning things that they feel may be a problem, that's definitely a more chaotic stance.


Personally, the "No Hitting On" rule is the only one I'm really iffy about. It seems like a rule that would be difficult to enforce. "Respect Each Other's Boundaries" seems like a more realistic idea. It's impossible to know what people will be comfortable with until you meet them, so what may seem inadequate to some may seem overbearing to others. You know what you're comfortable with, so try to find players that are in that range, and be prepared to handle differences as they come up. I'd be more focused on trying to find mature players rather than making sure none of them will offend each other.

If I hit on you and you tell me to stop, then I should be booted if I don't stop. But "Being Hit On" is such a vague target that it just seems useless. Am I hitting on someone if I compliment them on their shirt? Some people would say yes, others would say no. You shouldn't be booted for making someone uncomfortable. You should be booted for knowingly making someone uncomfortable. Or, alternatively, you should be asked to leave if your standards of comfort are at unchangable odds with the rest of the group.


As to the hygiene one? If a general guideline asking that you maintain a certain level of cleanliness offends you, then I'd say you're looking to be offended. Most of us in this hobby understand that some of us aren't exactly strong on hygiene, and would accept this type of request as a necessary evil. Especially since it's coming from a stranger, who has no idea who I am.

What is a general guideline regarding cleanliness? What kind of common sense standard are you implying? There is no such agreed on standard, and enforcing something with zero real standards is ridiculous to impossible. Hell enforcing hygiene standards that are fairly rigorous is very difficult, I know, I've had to enforce hygiene regulations, and I can tell you that vague ones are just going to cause argument, not better hygiene.

Knaight
2014-01-17, 02:42 AM
The problem is that you are implying (now outright stating) that you believe that they are a part of a cesspool. Furthermore one which they have voluntarily agreed to be a part of. That's pretty ridiculous. First off, what sets YOU, the lawbringer above this cesspool, yes you can dictate who can participate in your games, but common courtesy would have such a dictation be more individually oriented, rather than an unenforceable set of vagaries that fall apart under scrutiny.

The law-bringer isn't above the cesspool. They live in the local area and play RPGs there - moreover, they do so by pulling in from the general pool, rather than their group of friends. That's being right in the middle of the cesspool. The cesspool is the best option for everyone involved. It's just best to take the water out of it, and not the nasty sludge. Similarly, if they're starting a game you are in the cesspool that they are drawing from, and it's entirely reasonable for them to institute filters to separate you from the people who make the pool a cesspool.

Broken Twin
2014-01-17, 02:48 AM
What is a general guideline regarding cleanliness? What kind of common sense standard are you implying? There is no such agreed on standard, and enforcing something with zero real standards is ridiculous to impossible. Hell enforcing hygiene standards that are fairly rigorous is very difficult, I know, I've had to enforce hygiene regulations, and I can tell you that vague ones are just going to cause argument, not better hygiene.

Presumably that would be spelled out in said posted guideline. Maybe something along the lines of what the OP said in the original post "*Good Hygiene (Shower, clean clothes, deoderant, brush your teeth, etc.)" Take the etc out, and that seems like a fairly straightforward list.

Granted, I think a short mission statement followed by short individual interviews would probably be the best setup in OP's situation. Something along the lines of "Looking to recruit new and old gamers to play in a clean, comfortable environment with an emphasis on fun and co-operation." Then go over the details as needed while talking to the potential players.