Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Social Contract: Silly Romperoo

Kinda like teamwork, but
So, after a bit of self discovery through running my first online game with random(ish) people, I think I am now prepared to hash out a social contract, which is as follows:

If these questions seem useful to you, check out this post.


  • What game?
    • GURPS. That is the correct answer.
  • What version of the rules?
    • Fourth Edition of course, using most of the Dungeon Fantasy rules.
  • What house rules?
    • Currently, the only big house rule is that training is free, and I'm giving a lot more character points than normal. Might try to change this in the future.
  • Can House Rules be introduced after planning is completed?
    • Probably not unless people complain pretty loudly.
  • By what process?
    • I'll decide if I like an idea.


  • What is the game schedule?
    • The schedule changes on my whim but games happen once to thrice a week.
  • What are the exceptions to the schedule?
    • None really, the schedule is pretty fluid, so there is no schedule to except.
  • What is quorum?
    • Even one player showing up is enough.
  • What is the process for formally cancelling a game?
    • I'll use the discord channel to announce it ahead of time.
  • How should players notify if they cannot play?
    • Players should notify up to one hour if they can't play. Not saying anything is an assumed absence.
  • How should players notify if they can play?
    • Same as above. 
  • How long is a session?
    • Usually 4 hours.
  • Will sessions have overtime?
    • Sometimes, but not very often. It has happened once.
  • Is it absolutely necessary to stop at a certain time?
    • Not usually, but I prefer starting and stopping on time.
  • How long of a commitment is required?
    • No commitment is required at all, join when you want, leave when you want.
  • Is it ok to miss games?
    • Part of the idea of this campaign is helping myself get used to running games where attendance is never mandatory. Miss as many as you need. Quit whenever you need.
  • How often is it ok to miss games?
    • Attendance is always optional.


  • Where is the game hosted?
    • Online on Roll20. Ask me for the link in discord.
  • Are hosting duties shared?
    • No.
  • What is the address, URL, hangout of the game?
    • I'll let you know on Discord.
  • Special Rules for the meeting location?
    • Right now, the game is text only. It might change in the future, but not today, and not when you ask me.
  • What Paraphernalia should Players bring?
    • It's digital, everything you need is there, but your character sheet should be in GURPS Calculator.
  • Will we eat during the game?
    • Knock yourself out!


  • Who is invited to play?
    • Anyone who wants to join, but especially new players interested in learning about GURPS.
  • Who is excluded from play?
    • No one is excluded, happily, yet.
  • What is the process for inviting new members?
    • Bring them to the discord server, they need to read the pins in the channel, complete the character sheet (I can help) and have it uploaded. This must be done before the one hour window leading up to a game.
  • Can spectators, young pets, or children tag along?
    • Sure, ask for the invite link, and you can watch.
  • What is the process for correcting poor player behavior?
    • I will directly point the player to this document and to the pinned rules.
  • What is the process for having a player expelled?
    • If a player continues breaking rules, I will remove them from the game.


  • Why is the group playing?
    • I hope to learn more about playing online, I hope to teach curious new players how to play, and I hope to experiment with a few ideas to get games running fast and smoothly.
  • What is the general mood of play?
    • I want it to be friendly and safe for new players to make mistakes, without it feeling like I'm pulling punches. The game should be casual, but when playing, your head should be in the game.
  • What is the theme of play?
    • This is a dungeon romp, so beating things up and taking treasure are the two big points. Social skills and complex plots take a backseat. If that sounds trivial/juvenile/sophomoric, you are correct, and if you don't like it, that doesn't bother me!
  • Is competition allowed? What kind?
    • I don't want PVP, and I expect players to be egalitarian about things like loot and healing. The name of the game is cooperation.
  • Are there any limits about game content?
    • No limits yet.


  • How do players make characters?
    • If the player is brand new, I'll help them make a character from a template. If they are experienced, I may let them make a character by themselves. I am thinking I've come to the conclusion now that all players must be created with templates.
  • How do players advance characters?
    • Everyone gets character points when they participate in a session, unless specifically told otherwise. Character points can be spent on anything on template without a tuition fee. Anything else requires a fee of $100 per character point spent in "tuition."
  • How much role playing?
    • Role playing is optional, but encouraged. The point of the game is to learn the mechanical fundamentals of GURPS, but role playing is fun, so have fun.
  • How can characters die?
    • Characters can die in any variety of ways at any moment; dungeons are dangerous, and things are trying to kill them.
  • How does a player replace a character?
    • At any time, a player may create a new character (out of session, and at least an hour before the next session) if a character dies, and the party has the resources, someone might resurrect a character.
  • How do players integrate into the setting?
    • There's no real important setting details to integrate into, besides assuming that any options in most of the main Dungeon Fantasy books are true. If you have questions about them, ask me. If it isn't specified anywhere, and you tell me an interesting assumption, it might be canonized as fact.
  • How do characters integrate into the party?
    • Just pretend you've always known each other.
  • What kind of behavior is considered annoying?
    • Let me know if you are showing up, and then show up on time, or not at all. If you show up after the game has started, it is a big effort to readjust the dungeon on the fly for the party.
    • If the game is "too basic" for you, I'm not very interested in your opinion, and the game is probably a bad match for you.
    • Be ready for your turn when it comes up. It's ok to take time if needed but at least start asking questions when it is your turn so I know you aren't just browsing funny memes in another tab, ok? Anyone who does not even make a minimal reaction (such as asking a question, or saying, "I'm thinking") within 30 seconds of the start of the turn are assumed to be all-out defending. You will not get to redo your turn later out of cycle.
    • If one player wants to do something, please wait for me to finish with that one player. Don't roll dice suddenly announcing you are doing something. I am one person who can only answer one question at a time.
    • If a map loads up and all you see is an arrow... try... following the arrow.

Other Thoughts

The game is pretty good, and I'm starting to get the hang of sticking points now that I have been running it for about a month. I think a lot of players have learned GURPS well enough to strike out on their own, and I've started to get an idea of where my boundaries lie, and I'm getting better at knowing the answers to the questions that people forget to ask, and to which one assumes to know the only correct answers as a matter of fact.

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