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Thread: Table House Rules

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

    Table House Rules

    Well, we got the cool thread on dice. Now how about general rules of the table -- do you guys ave any special table rules you use? Table quirks? Particular seating arrangements? Outright looney demands while rolling dice? Let us know you freaks!

    Here's my list of table rules for my current 3.5 D&D game. They're lifted straight out of my Borderlands Player's Handbook document each player received. Pretty standard stuff, I think. Nothing too wierd.


    These are the campaign’s table play rules:

    Rolling Dice: All dice must be rolled on the table within sight of the DM. On the other side of the screen, so to speak, the DM may roll in secret, in the open, or however he sees fit at the time. The DM may also fudge his die rolls as he sees fit. However, the DM will never do this to seriously jeopardize a player character. It’s for the drama, baby!

    Leaners: A die that lands on an edge, either against another object or by some miracle of physics on its own, is always re-rolled. If a die continually lands on edge all by itself, the DM will probably immediately switch campaigns and start running a Star Trek game since science has proved meaningless in this continuum.

    Jumpers: A die that rolls off the table is always re-rolled. You should probably choose a new die too, since the jumper is obviously suicidal and/or drunk.

    Mapping: Players are responsible for their own mapping. Typically one player is designated each session. Or if everyone is really happy with one person’s job at it, that person can be the permanent sucker … er, I mean mapper.

    Books in Play: The only D&D books players may reference at the table are the Player’s Handbook, the Borderlands Player’s Handbook, or any “splat” books (“class” books like Complete Divine, etc) with features used by the characters.

    Table Talk: Table talk is fine. This is a social game after all. Let’s just not get too yappy and off course—we can go the pub for that!

    Game Breaks: The DM will call as few breaks as possible, hopefully no more than one every two hours—but he’s a smoker so some are inevitable!

    Snacks: Snacks, drinks, and food are always available when playing at the DM’s place, but feel free to bring whatever you like. Just be sure to check with others about allergies and such. Or, arrangements can be made for take-out, beer runs, or whatever. As long as everyone is happy, the DM is happy!


  2. #2
    My group is less in the appointment of duties, and more about just having fun. Of course we don't use a table any gets a little too crowded with 5-7 players and the kids wanting to see what's going on.

    Gaming Table Rules:
    --This is a group game. The GM is a duty, not a right, and you are to create an environment in which everyone can play and have fun. If this means stifling a player whose getting unruly, then do it. It is hard to roll dice when someone is screaming.

    --Railroading will be done. You are a liar if you say otherwise. It is impossible not to railroad, simply because it is your duty to nudge players in the right direction.

    --Players are not to be catered to.

    --GM's are not to be catered to.

    --This is a cooperative game. The second someone begins to think you don't need to do anything to help the game along, they cease to respect any other participants in the game.

    --The GM should respect every player and every player should respect the GM. In this way, you can trust them and you should know you are being trusted.

    --The GM is a player. Citing their exclusion in the definition of 'player' doesn't make it any less true. They are allowed to enjoy the setting and they are taking up the duty of being responsible for it. Let them have their fun.

    --the player has a say in the setting. Just because they are not a GM does not mean they are not allowed to choose where they would like to play. If the GM's fun is not fun for the players, they have every right to point it out.

    --Simply harassing the GM about his world and adventure choice is not allowed.

    --Do not rejoice about the openness of your GM's game and then backhand him about your boredom. It is up to you, in this case, to get the adventures underway.

    --Communication is key. Hear me?

    "I'm not saying there should be capital punishment for stupidity,
    but maybe we should just remove all the safety lables and let nature take it's course"

    "A Place For Everything & Nothing In It's Place"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    at my Home By The Sea
    LQ, Your stuff sounds reasonable to me, most of it at least. As I had said over in said Dice thread, I will always reroll the whole set of dice if one is a leaner or a dropper. So that would put me in a tough spot at your table wouldn't it?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquidator Queeg
    Snacks: Snacks, drinks, and food are always available when playing at the DM’s place, but feel free to bring whatever you like. Just be sure to check with others about allergies and such. Or, arrangements can be made for take-out, beer runs, or whatever. As long as everyone is happy, the DM is happy!
    As I can understand this, I have sometimes issues with snacks at a gaming table. That is not only while playing any sort of RPG but counts for most board games or tabletop sessions.

    It is often me who brings his stuff (true for RPG as well as boardgames) and anything that comes in all fatty or soucy or sticky that could mess with my stuff is frowned upon at my table by me.

    I really hate people popping open a bag of chips when I bring a new game fresh from the store shelf, for example or an old classic like my set of HeroQuest which I want to preserve as well as possible. One week my friends completely understand me and 'behave' but some other week (we play thursday nights) the same people (mind you) can't stop eating everything at the table andspilling around like mad...

    Yes, to be honest I'm a real pain in the a** when it comes down to preserving the fine quality of my gaming products (or all my books for that matter).

    So I'd like to have some not messy snacks like chocolate covered hazelnuts, bretzels and stuff available that won't add new shiny layers over cards and game boards.

    Ah yes, and I tend to win most of the time, especially games involving huge amounts of needed luck

    Apart from that, I think I'm fun to play with...

    (don't mock me, please )
    Last edited by Cut; 07-17-2006 at 01:12 AM.

  4. #4
    The GM is always Right.

    Copy down the scenario description on the blackboard as soon as you arrive, since the GM will erase it 2 minutes after arrival, and you will be tested.

    The only rules lawyer allowed in the group is the GM.

    If you can't immediately answer up, when asked "What are you doing!?", you will be directed to solve the problem on the blackboard.

    If you don't like the GM's rulings, shut yer hole, and quit with honor.

    No talking during the GM's mouthpiece's monologue.

    If you don't like your character getting killed, generate a pile of them.

    No passing notes, unless you are the GM, and it is an intrigue or espionage scenario, and one of the characters is a double agent.

    If you are too lazy to generate a pile of characters, take one from the GM's pre-gens, and sit down and keep quiet, and no looking on your neighbor's sheet.

    No looking out the window, while the GM is talking.

    No talking except for asking permission for a hall pass to go to the bathroom.

    No licking each other, unless one of you is a dog.

    Keep all gunfire at the table to a minimum.

    No kissing each other, unless one of you is a fish.

    No recommendations of "Let's play a d20 Game" shall be tolerated.

    The Vulcan salute shall be given, and all shall stand when the TOS theme is played.

    Do not suggest that a pizza be ordered if you are broke, and can't chip in.

    All irreconcilable arguments about what pizza toppings should be ordered shall be resolved by a 2 minute duel, while the remainder of the Sibko stands clear of the circle of equals.

    Anyone to be found in possession of a MtG card shall be ejected from the group.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.
    He he he

    And the players don't get any pudding if they don't eat their meat, right? LUGTrekGM's boarding school table rules. Do you keep a ruler ... er, player encouraging device behind the screen too?


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Jacksonville, Arkansas, USA
    Anytime somebody mentions a character who died (Rob, for instance), someone else says, "Rob is dead." Then everyone says, "Long live Rob."
    + &lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;<

    Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. Psalm 144:1

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Albuquerque, NM
    Only have a few:

    1) If you're not showing up, call me an hour or so early (preferably as soon as you know) so I can either cancel with the other players, or prep for doing something else.

    2) No cell phones unless there's something serious going on. It's rude and breaks the mood.

    3) Have fun. If you're not, probably should go do something else.

  8. #8
    Behind the screen I keep a blank sheet of paper, to write down hit points for NPCs or names I made up pn the fly to add to campaign notes later.

    Really, of course, I was joking earlier. I usually just ignore any and all rules (unless it is LUG Trek, I like those rules a lot) and roll %. if it's near 100, good for the players, if its near 0, bad for the players. If the players screw up, bad for the players. If people are yawnining, or looking bored, an action or challenge appears, usually pretty tough.

    I also write a sketch of a plot on a plot sheet, using all the notes from LUG books on how to plot, and the Coda Narrator's guide:

    Admiral's briefing, and mission orders.

    Determine warp speed (if it matters, as in a timed rescue scenario), Go to planet X. Investigate science outpost no longer in contact.

    Comms officer's contact attempts, very difficult, might pick up a low pwered emergency warn off beacon, which goes static-y, then fades.

    Arrival in system, and prelimscans Long range scans diff 9 to detect epsilon rays from the local sun, which has a close asteroid field.

    DATA: Epsilon rays: Long theorized by the Federation, believed to enhance plant growth.

    Orbit: "The planet is ringed by a 200 mile wide band of jungle, at the equator. No axial tilt, thus no seasons. Equator is 95 degrees, year round. Animal and plant life signs off the scale. No human life signs.

    Over the outpost: "The outpost is covered in jungle vines and overgrowth, of a few months. Underbrush is now choking the cleared landing zone."

    Landing at the outpost: "The shuttle can land, all beacons are non powered. Low powered emergency warning beacon if missed before. outpost power plant is shut down."

    Beaming down: "Good coordinates are Landing field, Sciences HQ, Power station.

    ACTION ON ARRIVAL: Giant animated vines slither towards the party. Moderate perception roll, unless actively looking, then they will be spotted automatically.

    If the crew does not fire immediately a security ensign female is dragged off by vines. vines are affected by phasers, cutting, and regular flames / fire. She is dead in 3 minutes, unless the landing party takes decisive action.

    ...and so on.

    For real the only house rules we have:

    Don't play drunk. Don't play tired. (This comes from long experience with such players on active duty, which always ended in problems).

    No drug use. I have zero tolerance for any of that.

    Smoke outside on the balcony, if you need to smoke cigs.

    Respect each other

    If you can't make it, need to skip, or are gonna be late, call, so that we don't sit, waiting on you to start.

    Keep personal conflicts out of the gaming environment.

    The GM runs the show, let him do it.

    People that argue over rules to EXCESS don't get invited back. Rules questions and clarifications are okay, but keep it brief.

    The story is king, no matter what the rules say.

    Give your best effort as a player, as the GM does.

    The cocked dice thing, just reroll the whole pile. We have a dice box (an Axis & allies box for a large combat, so that minis don't go flying.

    I've been doing this gaming thing nearly 30 years, as have most of the players, so we have few problems, usually.

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