What are your player behavior rules in F2F games?

I'm a little surprised that people have to specify no smoking. Like, do people just light up in someone else's house? Or are we talking "smoking?"
Well, among people you already know it's not necessary. If you're looking at gaming with strangers, yes. Sad as it is, too many people have no concept of manners, etiquette, appropriate behavior, etc. and that's BEFORE you factor in geek social fallacies.
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
:unsure: You never rough-house with your friends? Play contact sports?

Not inside the house, in my adult life, no.

I honestly haven't had to explicitly set behavior rules. I expect folks to behave like (mostly) mature adults and obey Wheaton's Law.

Nobody has ever tried or asked, but I would not allow smoking in my home. I don't serve alcohol, but if someone wanted a beer at the table, and brought it along, I'd be fine with that. Stronger intoxicants or being drunk, however, are not for game-time.

There's no rules on character gender or sexuality at my table, but the group prefers that romance be kept to "Victorian sensibilities" - or "torrid hand-holding" as one player put it.
 


RogueRonin

Explorer
No rules except the regular social norms that apply to hanging out with friends. Basically don't be a jerk. But my group has been the same six people for years and we're all friends outside of gaming anyway, so there really isn't much difference between game night and any other get together, except of course for D&D. We do break a lot of the rules I see in this thread though 😅
 

MGibster

Legend
I really only have two formal rules for people I game with.
  • Show up regularly.
  • Show up on time.
The rest of the rules are just general rules I expect at any social gathering. The folks who host our weekly games occasionally like to have a glass of wine, beer, or the occasional scotch, bourbon, or whiskey but there is no smoking allowed in the house.
 

TheSword

Legend
I don’t know, a gin and tonic, whisky and coke or nice glass of red feel like a nice addition to a nights gaming with friends. I’m surprised at the dislike of people having a drink, though getting drunk is of course a very different thing.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
I don’t know, a gin and tonic, whisky and coke or nice glass of red feel like a nice addition to a nights gaming with friends. I’m surprised at the dislike of people having a drink, though getting drunk is of course a very different thing.
I'm no longer surprised by how widespread it is - over the years, there have been a lot of posters here who have said alcohol is banned at the gaming table.
I can't relate to it (I am from Wisconsin, after all).
But I'm no longer surprised.
 

cmad1977

Hero
I mean... if I have to police the behavior of my friends...

They’re not reaaaallly my friends.

So... basic rules of decency are required.
 

MGibster

Legend
I'm no longer surprised by how widespread it is - over the years, there have been a lot of posters here who have said alcohol is banned at the gaming table.
I can't relate to it (I am from Wisconsin, after all).
But I'm no longer surprised.

I had a player show up drunk and/or high to a game once and it totally pissed me off. There were some other issues, he didn't tend to show up and when he did he wasn't on time, but that was the final straw that broke my back.
 


MGibster

Legend
Hear that whizzing sound? That's the sound of this going right over my head.

It's from Airplane (1980). They let a kid visit the cockpit of an airplane and Captain Oveur starts asking him weird questions that culminates with "Do you like movies about gladiators?" God help me, it's the first thing I thought when I saw a post asking "You never rough-house with your friends?"

Scene from Airplane on Youtube

Edit: Man, I am old! I never imagined a time when someone wouldn't get an Airplane reference. I'm going to go shake my fists at some kids now. Maybe yell at a cloud.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Rule Zero - in-person or VTT: NO POLITICS

When I started my first campaign after getting back into TTRPGs with 5e, I started with two friends who I had played with during high school in the 80s. One is very conservative and one is very liberal. They remain good friends, so they can get along well despite vast political differences. But once they get started, they.just.can.not.stop. I've been embarrassed being with them in public places when they go at it. And the chance to discuss anything else goes out the window once they get going on politics. So I made it clear that any discussion of politics was not allowed in my home on game day. All new players have had to agree to the same rule and I am not shy in enforcing it.

I'm glad that in a very divided time that I have players from a wide spectrum of political and religious beliefs, and lifestyles, that can get together for 8-hours or more once a month and treat each other as humans.

PRE-COVID (In-person, at my home)

1. FOOD: Bring snacks to share. Occasionally we do full-meal potluck for lunch, when we do, everyone cooks something or at least buys a something pre-made other than a snack.

2. Alcohol: I'm the DM and it is my house and I'm the only one who ever drinks. Usually a beer or two.

3. Smoking: outside

4. Electronic devices: we use DnD Beyond, though some players perfer to work off the printed sheets. Our sessions are at least 8 hours. Occasionally an important call has to be taken. It really hasn't been an issue. What has been an issue is player who play games on their phones during the game. There is a zero tolerance rule for that. For non-DnD one-shots, I usually ban electronic devices at the table.

5. Be ready on your turn. Some flexibility is warranted but if you slow the game too much we just skip your turn and come back to you at the end of the round.

POST-COVID (VTT)

Of the in-person rules, only 5 really applies. I have no idea what other software may be running on player's computers. So long as they are ready and engaged, I suppose it doesn't matter. I guess I could say that for in person games, but having people's eyes constantly on their devices during an in-person game is more annoying.

I don't really have any additional rules for VTT games other than having a back up method to participate if your internet has issues. I use Google Hangouts that has dial-in numbers, so player can still participate by phone in a pinch. It only happened once and worked out okay.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I'm no longer surprised by how widespread it is - over the years, there have been a lot of posters here who have said alcohol is banned at the gaming table.
I can't relate to it (I am from Wisconsin, after all).
But I'm no longer surprised.
I'm still surprised every time I see it. And saddened.

Our games are rarely sober, except for whoever has to drive (in normal times, of my four players one lives here, another lives in our building, and two others are a couple who drive together - meaning only one of five of us has to stay somewhat sober). I firmly believe it makes for a better and more enjoyable game - people don't take it as seriously, are more willing to laugh at their own foolishness, and are more willing to put their characters into ridiculous situations. :) (edit to add: that doesn't mean we get falling-down drunk)

The flip side is that as DM I might not play the monsters to their full capabilities; this tends to cancel out somewhat any tactical mistakes made by the players. :)
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
In face to face games, what are your rules regarding player behavior?

Mine, currently are:
2) No drinking.
3) No attacking other players.
6) Play your own gender.
The very existence of 2 and 6 on this list means I'd probably never want to play at your table.

That 3 exists makes me wonder. The closest thing I've ever seen to actual inter-player violence has been, very infrequently, someone throwing a d6 at someone else.
 

The very existence of 2 and 6 on this list means I'd probably never want to play at your table.

That 3 exists makes me wonder. The closest thing I've ever seen to actual inter-player violence has been, very infrequently, someone throwing a d6 at someone else.

You wouldn't be invited.

It was mostly just ear flicking, blow-gun usage, occasionally a slap fight, all in good humor, but I got tired of it disrupting the game.
 


S'mon

Legend
I just expect people to conform to the normal social rules for the venue. If playing at a London pub, my normal venue until Covid, behaviour must be acceptable London pub behaviour. If playing at a private home, behaviour must be within acceptable norms for someone else's home. If playing online I expect people to conform to normal online standards of behaviour.

If you have no idea what these standards are, you're probably not going to be a great fit. :D

Examples: Alcohol is fine, tipsy is fine, if you get drunk well you better not be aggressive/rude/lecherous, and you can expect some teasing next time. Smoking is frowned on - better be outside, during breaks, and pick up your butts. Language should be appropriate to the company, eg with younger players (or Puritan landlord) avoid swearing at all, and in general there shouldn't be a lot of swearing, but it can be forgiven if your PC just died or you rolled 1 1 on 2d20. :) If playing online, don't send unsolicited porn to your GM or be creepy around the female players.
 


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