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Resources for Store and Convention GMs


First Post
I'm looking for resources for GMs at con or store games, who want to keep their games inclusive, and particularly who want pointers on (a) spotting misogynists and bigots early, when they're "testing the waters" and (b) deterring them or nipping them in the bud, before they start overtly bothering their targets. Any leads? Or links?

My experience in previous threads indicates that a few people* are going to jump in, and declare that such a resource is unpossible, because there is no problem, because no one has ever made anyone unwelcome on the basis of gender, sexuality, race or any similar difference among humans. I will not find those responses helpful. This is a resource I want. If you have a problem with my interest in such a resource, then I recommend and request that you block me, and move on to some other thread.

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40th lv DM
I think you'll need one of these:
Maybe this will work?:

Otherwise I'm afraid you'll just have to rely on your own XP in reading people....


First Post
I think you'll need one of these:
A method which predicts people's behavior... particularly, their unwanted behavior? Dude, you've just demonstrated that *I already have one*, because you have responded exactly as I predicted: "a few people* are going to jump in, and declare that such a resource is unpossible..."

I did not articulate the *, which stands for my guess about which people would be first to jump in with that declaration, but suffice to say, I just won a bet with myself. (I would not be surprised if Umbran also made accurate guesses.)

I have asked the same question in a few other venues, and received helpful, specific, actionable responses. Your declaration, and Ralph Wiggum's declaration of "that's unpossible", are equally factual, where 0=0.
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Whatever you find - or create - will have to be compliant with the host store's policy on being a good guest (or customer). It's tough to provide helpful suggestions without knowing more about the parameters of the problem. If the FLGS (or 'Con) in question is already a welcoming establishment, they have done the work of screening for you.
If you haven't done so already, speak with the store staff and/or manager so you understand their groundwork clearly, and can build on it.

Of course for 'Cons you have a problem with time: you don't have several sessions to get a feel for people and weed out the ones who are going to make other players unhappy. You have to work with whoever shows up. When you arrive at the venue, introduce yourself at the Security Desk and ask where their people can be found in event of need. If something goes badly, you know where to send a messenger to call for their help.


I don't have much experience running store or con games, though I have played in both. I do run a middle-school RPG club where we work hard to be inclusive. Here are a few thoughts in no particular order:

  • Include an inclusivity statement in your blurb. This may be especially inviting to those who have had bad experiences and would be fair warning to those who see such statements as a sign of the End Times.
  • When I build pregen characters for games, I work hard to have all sorts of examples that break stereotypes. Players looking through the pile can see plenty of examples of the sorts of characters that are welcome in the game world.
  • Similarly, I try to avoid modern stereotypes in my NPCs. (There may be game-world stereotypes, obviously.) This only acts as a troll detection system in the sense that it sets the tone of the campaign world right off the bat and gives you an early opportunity to invite someone to leave if they start making wisecracks about the gay dwarf martial artist (but have the dwarf break a few of their ribs first).
  • Zero tolerance for "But I'm role-playing a bigot!" as an excuse for bad behavior at the table.
  • Require the PCs to be a team. I don't know what game system you're going to use, but with the GURPS variants that I use, I require that each PC have a disadvantage called Sense of Duty (Adventuring Companions). This means it's automatically bad role-playing to go PVP or things like that. In a game without disads, this could just be a baseline expectation or it could be built into character backstories. Maybe spend a few minutes at the beginning deciding why the group already knows each other and is bonded together. It is harder for rape-joke-dude to do this thing if the women PCs are his character's sisters.
That's a start. I'm curious to see what others suggest. At some point, I would also be interested in seeing what kinds of productive suggestions you've gotten on other forums.

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