Being in the Main the Mouth of Olde House Rules

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Five Things We've Learned by Being Humans Who Also Happen to Play Tabletop RPGs...

Earlier on, we posted an article about the role of the GM/referee, and it prompted some discussion (and questions) about what kind of GM I might be.  So instead of flogging a dead horse, here's five simple rules we try our best to live (and game) by:

Disclaimer:  The following is our opinion.  It might differ from yours, but that's not a high crime or misdemeanor, so take it with a grain of salt and humor us.  

(1) Games are great.  But actual people and relationships are (almost) always more important.  You can stop here if you want, cause' the rest is just fluffy window dressing...

(2) Hopefully, the people in your group are also your friends.  And if so, hopefully you value these relationships for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with your hobby.

(3) If one of your players offers to sacrifice their +2 plate mail to keep a cherished character alive, it's the a good-faith negotiation that's well worth honoring.  In these situations, just balance the fun everyone had when the character was alive against any reservations about propriety.  The integrity of the rules takes a back seat to these considerations, especially when a player is volunteering to lose something to keep something else.

Really, challenge is about risk and uncertainty.  But it's also about making sacrifices and understanding that everything costs, so don't turn away any paying customers!  

(4) Sometimes, the spouse or significant other of one of your players will join in just so they can feel part of what their loved one is doing.  Please understand that in these situations, the dynamic has clearly shifted, and the emphasis should change as well.  The goal now is to keep everyone involved, because the death of a newcomer's character immediately excludes them.  People before make-believe games.  Live it.  Love it, etc.
Going easy on a non-gaming guest isn't gonna break your game, and if they become a regular (always a good thing), they'll obviously need to adjust their expectations.    

(5) As long as games are played by people, said people will need to negotiate and resolve their differences in a way that scales to the setting and the things at stake.  I haven't seen a rulebook yet that can prevent bad behavior.  It all comes down to relationships, folks...

1 comment:

  1. Good post. I agree we have to adjust our games to the audience playing them (new players, spouses/kids, etc.).