Our friend over at Fauntrodden did a great piece on social contracts and finding players for online games (see the piece at https://thepurginglenses.wordpress.com/2015/09/13/life-is-not-fair-and-neither-are-gamers-the-secret-to-getting-a-playergm-base-online). It got us here at Legacy thinking about it, what is the social contract at the table? I am going to give you five simple parts:
- Game table etiquette: You have to have the proper etiquette at the game table. This means no fighting with the GM, no fighting with the other players, no disrupting the table, ect. Most of this is simple, if you like to follow Wheaton’s law. The long and short of it is that you should always show RESPECT to the others at the table.
- Communication at the table: You should clearly communicate with your table, if you the DM or the player. Proper communication is key to being able to solve problems at the table, no matter how much you may not feel this is true. You should always feel FREE to voice concerns.
- Don’t feel entitled: You ARE NOT entitled to anything at a table. If you can’t grasp this then you are clearly not able to play at many tables. No one owes you a particular game or game type. Anything others do for you is out of their own heart. The others are EXPECTED to run their games, their way, not to your liking.
- Don’t feel pressured: You should never feel like you are being pressured into doing something that you are not comfortable with. This is as wrong as #3, and you should be aware when it is happening. You are ENTITLED to not feel uncomfortable with the game.
- Know when it is time to separate: It is incumbent on you to know when to walk away from a table for any type of violation of the contract. You shouldn’t stay (or feel you have to stay) at a table that is violating your comfort level. I have done it and I know many others who have. You are ABLE to leave and not cause problems.
In short you should respect your fellows, feel the freedom to voice concerns, be expected to run games your way, you are entitled to not feel uncomfortable and you are able to leave at any time.
What do you think? As always, follow Wheaton’s law.