What table rules do you have? The Social Contract

Li Shenron

Legend
I find that table rules are generally longer than any players want to sit through or read
Yeah, I generally look with a bit of suspicion at DMs who have pages of table rules. It usually makes me feel like they either:
  • have not really DMed much but have been spending ages reading online forums, and are now imagining that all the possible bad things will happen to them as soon as they try DMing
  • have indeed had all those bad things happened to them, which makes me question why exactly have they constantly ended up playing with terrible people
  • feel in great need of controlling anything

I only stick to 2 + 1 table rules before I start any game: no PvP, and no mention of specific violence against women and children. These can be elaborated further if anyone wants a rationale or don't think they understand what I mean.

The +1 table rule is not always necessary the case, I may use it or not depending on the table, but it's "permanent character death is always negotiable".
 

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AMP

Explorer
In my first campaign, I started with no rules (other than the system rules). When we felt we needed to make a rule, it would go on a poster named with the person who made the rule necessary. This, of course, is not recommended for most groups. But we were all old friends and it was meant in a spirit of giving-your-friends-s**t fun.

Regarding cycling characters, in my last campaign, all players had a stable of PCs back in their stronghold. They would always be kept two levels behind the party. But they could also swap characters at any time, even in the same session.
Lol that poster sounds like a lot of fun, actually. I'll use my name here but all I could think of is (and this happened) "No experiments with wands of fireball BECAUSE ANDREW DID"
 

I’ve been playing with the same group of friends basically weekly for 4-5 years now and we really don’t have any formal rules beyond me saying I don’t mind being the forever GM as long as I am happy with the game we’re running. If you’re not having fun, say something and I’m more than happy to change direction in the campaign or game system to something else we can all enjoy. If you really want to play something in particular that I don’t want to run, I am more than happy to be a player in whatever anyone wants to put together but they’ll need to GM it.

Edit: Probably should note I almost always offer up 3 or 4 options of what I’d like to run and that hasn’t been an issue. In theory, if none of what I offer gets picked, I’d dig deeper into my backlog of stuff I want to run until I find something we all like.
 
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AMP

Explorer
I’ve been playing with the same group of friends basically weekly for 4-5 years now and we really don’t have any formal rules beyond me saying I don’t mind being the forever GM as long as I am happy with the game we’re running. If you’re not having fun, say something and I’m more than happy to change direction in the campaign or game system to something else we can all enjoy. If you really want to play something in particular that I don’t want to run, I am more than happy to be a player in whatever anyone wants to put together but they’ll need to GM it.

Edit: Probably should note I almost always offer up 3 or 4 options of what I’d like to run and that hasn’t been an issue. In theory, if none of what I offer gets picked, I’d dig deeper into my backlog of stuff I want to run until I find something we all like.
I am a forever GM also, or I was until I moved a few years ago. I actually prefer it. I have the exact same kind of campaign idea backlog you refer to. If you GM that much it just kinda happens.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I’ve been playing with the same group of friends basically weekly for 4-5 years now and we really don’t have any formal rules beyond me saying I don’t mind being the forever GM as long as I am happy with the game we’re running. If you’re not having fun, say something and I’m more than happy to change direction in the campaign or game system to something else we can all enjoy. If you really want to play something in particular that I don’t want to run, I am more than happy to be a player in whatever anyone wants to put together but they’ll need to GM it.

Edit: Probably should note I almost always offer up 3 or 4 options of what I’d like to run and that hasn’t been an issue. In theory, if none of what I offer gets picked, I’d dig deeper into my backlog of stuff I want to run until I find something we all like.
Same. I'll start a discussion of what I'm thinking of running for the next campaign months before the current one ends and we discuss until we reach a consensus. But I'm not going to run something I don't enjoy running in a way I enjoy running it.
 

Clint_L

Hero
Let's see:

1. Consent first! You don't get to put other players in a position that makes them uncomfortable IRL.

2. No meta-gaming.

3. No telling other players how to play their character.

4. Take the game seriously. This doesn't mean that we have to be stone-faced and serious, it means that we all have to be engaged in the game and with each other. No wasting other people's time. No undermining the story.

5. If I've made a mistake, point it out. We'll have a quick discussion, I'll make a ruling, and we'll move on. If you want to discuss it more after the session, cool.

6. Check if you want to use an optional rule or a playtest.

7. BYOB (though I usually have extra and will offer, showing up expecting it is uncool, IMO).

I feel like mostly it comes down to "treat each other kindly and don't meta-game." Also, we run a pretty loose table in which I encourage players to contribute non-vital story elements as they improv and go with the story flow.
 

AMP

Explorer
Let's see:

1. Consent first! You don't get to put other players in a position that makes them uncomfortable IRL.

2. No meta-gaming.

3. No telling other players how to play their character.

4. Take the game seriously. This doesn't mean that we have to be stone-faced and serious, it means that we all have to be engaged in the game and with each other. No wasting other people's time. No undermining the story.

5. If I've made a mistake, point it out. We'll have a quick discussion, I'll make a ruling, and we'll move on. If you want to discuss it more after the session, cool.

6. Check if you want to use an optional rule or a playtest.

7. BYOB (though I usually have extra and will offer, showing up expecting it is uncool, IMO).

I feel like mostly it comes down to "treat each other kindly and don't meta-game." Also, we run a pretty loose table in which I encourage players to contribute non-vital story elements as they improv and go with the story flow.
All good ones! I've really enjoyed seeing what stuff people are doing at theur respective tables throughout these posts.
 

damiller

Adventurer
I play exclusively online, and so I have had A LOT of players. I have gone from writing essay length "here's what we do at the table" to "sink or swim". I finally settled on writing my game pitches like "looking for ads" in newpapers long ago.

So I will write something like this in my initial pitch:

Here is what I’m looking for in a player:
  • Focus on the game at game time (even when not your turn)
  • Know the basic rules of game
  • Rarely misses a session
  • Tell us when unable to play
  • Create a character invested in the Campaign

I've found two things have happened:
I have less players
They stay longer
They are more invested in the game
 

AMP

Explorer
Yeah, I generally look with a bit of suspicion at DMs who have pages of table rules. It usually makes me feel like they either:
  • have not really DMed much but have been spending ages reading online forums, and are now imagining that all the possible bad things will happen to them as soon as they try DMing
  • have indeed had all those bad things happened to them, which makes me question why exactly have they constantly ended up playing with terrible people
  • feel in great need of controlling anything

I only stick to 2 + 1 table rules before I start any game: no PvP, and no mention of specific violence against women and children. These can be elaborated further if anyone wants a rationale or don't think they understand what I mean.

The +1 table rule is not always necessary the case, I may use it or not depending on the table, but it's "permanent character death is always negotiable".
Suspicion? That's strong. Mine come from DMing for 30+ years and are simply meant to outline for players how a campaign with me as DM works.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
1: Be consistent. If you take rolls that fall off the table, you take all of them. If you don't, you never do.

2: If you think a ruling of mine is wrong, you can make a brief case, if I still don't agree then my ruling goes into effect and we can discuss it further after the game. Unless your character will die as a result of the ruling, then we hash it out in detail now. However, my ruling is ultimately final.

3: Don't be a douche.

4: CvC is fine if your character would do it, but if it doesn't leave the game. PvP is not fine.

5: Everyone rolls stats(by the method I came up with) and hit points.

6: We are all here to have fun. If anyone, including the DM is not having fun, we discuss as a group what we can do to fix it.

7: A roll of 1(does not apply to initiative) means a draw from the fate deck(MtG cards). The draw will be interpreted by me according to the current circumstances and can be good, bad or neutral in effect. Fate isn't always bad or good. If the card just plain doesn't apply, I can swap it from a small pool of cards I draw at the beginning of the game and keep behind the screen.

8: Initiative is rolled each round.

9: If you roll a critical hit, any die you roll that shows maximum on the die gets to be re-rolled and added to the total damage. This continues as long as you keep rolling maximum.

10: Any spell or item designed to simply remove a significant portion of one of the pillars of play is banned. For example, Rope Trick and Tiny Hut are not available.

11: Hit points assume that you are trying to stay alive. If you walk off of a 100 foot cliff because you had 100 hit points, you are going to hit the ground with only your con score in hit points(assuming you've gained enough to pass your con score), because those are the purely physical ones. You've voluntarily given up the ones based on luck, skill, etc. gained via leveling.

12+ I'm sure there are more that I'm not thinking of, and I tend to experiment with new ones from campaign to campaign to see if one will stick or if it's going to be jettisoned when the campaign ends.
 

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