What do YOU mean by "Good Table Etiquette"?


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The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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So, we have an influx of cool new PFS players in town, and some of us were thinking about tossing up a list of courtesy reminders.

Does your local store / PFS group have anything like this? Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

1. Watch your footprint. This involves spreading things all over the space around you, voice volume, food in the map, all that stuff.

2. Don't cheat.

2a. This includes: if you're honestly not sure how something works, ask or look it up. Don't presume that it works the way that's most advantageous to you.

2b. This includes dice. Listen to the GM about his or her rules for when to roll dice and how long to leave them on the table. If you need to pick up your dice to read them, get new dice.

3. Dont over-metagame. Distinguish between player knowledge and character information.

4. We're all friends, and every meet-up is a reunion. Nevertheless, don't take over the table with tangents and out-of-character tales of previous sessions.


5. Don't bring your phone to the table, and especially don't text people in the middle of the game.

***** Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa aka Mistwalker

6 let everyone have their moment to shine

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Eastern Eurasia-Africa

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7. Don't talk about your other characters.

***

2c. That includes the GM. If a monster has some cool ability do not cheat to show it off.

***** ⦵⦵⦵

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The table doesn't ignore me when i talk to it.

FIND GARY BUCCI

Dark Archive *****

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8. Let the gm be the gm.

Dont go spouting off the rules everytime a pc does something. If the gm does not know or is unclear, allow him/her to ask.

The gm is the final decision.

*

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9. Bathe before you sit. Use deodorant. Brush your teeth. Hygiene folks!

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent, Colorado—Denver aka roll4initiative

Show up 10 mins before game starts or call the GM or a friend who will be at the table, to let the others know you're running late.


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Make sure you've bathed or showered in the 24 hours before a session starts.

Shadow Lodge ***

Dragoncat wrote:
5. Don't bring your phone to the table, and especially don't text people in the middle of the game.

This doesn't apply if you're using it for PDFs - rulebooks, character sheets, or emergencies are fine. Just don't be using it to check Facebook.

Shadow Lodge *****

I think some of this could be summed up with:

Pay attention! Plan out your turn while other people are acting, and don't expect the GM to repeat anything if you find yourself distracted.

Liberty's Edge

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9. Feel free to roleplay! Immerse your self in your character. Just remember, don't make others feel uncomfortable, even if your character has a crush on another character (per say), if they seem to be unappreciative, lay off.

No, that's not a personal experience, I just really hate when people aren't roleplaying. If your new and playing a pregen, then it make sense, but if not, get into it, you know?!

****

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10? 11? Listen.

Listen to the GM when she's talking. The reading of the box text is not the time to start talking to the player next to you.

Listen to your fellow players when they're taking their turns and when they're interacting with the GM. It's good to know when someone is looking for a flank, or hoping for an assist with his Diplomacy check. You also don't want two PCs telling the NPC different and conflicting lies.

You and your character do not exist in a vacuum.

Listen.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

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9a) Do not force anyone else to roleplay. If someone is just there to kill goblins, let them. Some of us aren't deep into RP, and play to let off steam...

9b) Let others roleplay, even if it isn't what you want to do.


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Dragoncat wrote:
5. Don't bring your phone to the table, and especially don't text people in the middle of the game.

I'm guilty of this and don't particularly feel bad about it, I bring my phone because although gaming is my hobbie and interest I have a life outside of it. I don't mean that "hey I'm so cool I need to be on twitter and facebook with an update every five minutes", what I do mean is that if my Wife needs to know where I hid the TV remote this time or my Mam and Dad need help with something or Work rings asking about the latest project, then I will text them back, if needed I will even apologise and step away from the table to take a call.

It's not ideal, but I try keep it to a minimum, I don't do it just because I am bored with the current box text, and if I feel I am being disruptive I always apologise.

Grand Lodge

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Let other players play their characters. Unless they ask for advice, don't try to tell them what to do.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Chester aka Paz

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When the GM is giving information or explaining something to the whole table, listen, rather than having a side conversation with another player.

Silver Crusade **

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragoncat wrote:
5. Don't bring your phone to the table, and especially don't text people in the middle of the game.

Not sure about this one. Some people (myself included) have their books on pdf's and use their phone or tablet to look at them.

Also some gamers I know are on call or need to have their phone at the table for family or work related reasons.

Heck, I don't want to miss an important emergency call and have to explain that the reason that I couldn't take that call is because I was gaming. That's not a legitimate excuse.

So yeah, I disagree here.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Cathal, and FoC, the issue isn't the technology, but rather the uses to which you put it.

A couple weeks ago, I walked past a PFS table where one person was playing a video game during a game. I passed by again an hour later and he was cruising sexy pictures on the internet, during combat. That's well and different from taking a call from your family.

The next morning, he was hoping to stop by and play at my table. (I was full-up, but he was hoping there's be a no-show.) If you were in my place, how would you feel?

Now, he could just as well have pulled out a deck of cards and played Solitaire, or opened a copy of Maxim at the table, and it would have been just as rude. It's not the technology that's at the heart of the objection; it's the sort of use.


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Chris Mortika wrote:

Cathal, and FoC, the issue isn't the technology, but rather the uses to which you put it.

A couple weeks ago, I walked past a PFS table where one person was playing a video game during a game. I passed by again an hour later and he was cruising sexy pictures on the internet, during combat. That's well and different from taking a call from your family.

The next morning, he was hoping to stop by and play at my table. (I was full-up, but he was hoping there's be a no-show.) If you were in my place, how would you feel?

Now, he could just as well have pulled out a deck of cards and played Solitaire, or opened a copy of Maxim at the table, and it would have been just as rude. It's not the technology that's at the heart of the objection; it's the sort of use.

Which is why both of us quoted DragonCats rule which singles out phones as something which should be banned at the table. I think I (might be possibly able to?) speak for FoC when I say that the rule should be more along the lines of:

"You are there to play PFS, you should not be entertaining yourself in other ways like checking facebook on your phone or reading that book you can't out down"

***** ⦵⦵⦵

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Cathal FM wrote:
"You are there to play PFS, you should not be entertaining yourself in other ways like checking facebook on your phone or reading that book you can't out down"

Advanced dungeons and dragons is not the only ADD in many gamers lives.

*** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

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12. If you're going to eat a snack, don't eat something that's going to gross out the other people at the table (Once I played a game at a con next to a kid who was eating some kind of seaweed chip that smelled like dead fish).

13. Basic hygeine means more than just bathing. If something on your face starts bleeding (like because you were picking at it, or you just got a nosebleed), go get a tissue. Don't just lick the blood from your hand like a cat.


RainyDayNinja wrote:

12. If you're going to eat a snack, don't eat something that's going to gross out the other people at the table (Once I played a game at a con next to a kid who was eating some kind of seaweed chip that smelled like dead fish).

13. Basic hygeine means more than just bathing. If something on your face starts bleeding (like because you were picking at it, or you just got a nosebleed), go get a tissue. Don't just lick the blood from your hand like a cat.

12: Unfortunately this will be hard, I mean don't get me wrong I of all people would love this rule, but what grosses out one person will have another asking for the recipe. I am a horrible eater who is grossed out by the smells of among other things, tomatoes, onions, garlic, chip dips, nachos.... So basically anyone playing by that rule at my table could have, eh, crackers? ;)

13: Just ewwww, to the cat licking example. *shudders*

Sovereign Court *****

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

14. As a GM, you are there to facilitate a fun game for the players and yourself. If there's a gray area of rules, rule in favor of the players. ALWAYS. You are not the opponent.

Scarab Sages *****

Chris Mortika wrote:

Cathal, and FoC, the issue isn't the technology, but rather the uses to which you put it.

A couple weeks ago, I walked past a PFS table where one person was playing a video game during a game. I passed by again an hour later and he was cruising sexy pictures on the internet, during combat. That's well and different from taking a call from your family.

The next morning, he was hoping to stop by and play at my table. (I was full-up, but he was hoping there's be a no-show.) If you were in my place, how would you feel?

Now, he could just as well have pulled out a deck of cards and played Solitaire, or opened a copy of Maxim at the table, and it would have been just as rude. It's not the technology that's at the heart of the objection; it's the sort of use.

And there are times when it is not rude, because the person has nothing to contribute to the event (I had one of those where I spent a chunk of a game bound, gagged, blindfolded [witch]- because my character got dominated (days duration). My GM at that time let me play my familar but truth is my dominated self should have commanded it to attack too.

Likewise I would not be offended as a GM if the player's character was unconscious for most of the fight (a lot of games the only healing is after the fight with a wand).

Sczarni ***

Auke Teeninga wrote:
7. Don't talk about your other characters.

^Guilty! Sometimes it's really hard to keep your attention with the RP of the character you're actually playing when everyone else is there to either murder themselves to victory or mistake your character for one of your other ones (they have a reputation), especially if you're a buffer / face / skill monkey, in a dungeon crawl scenario.

The trick here is to stay in-character while at a table like this and find ways to extrapolate an in-game response instead of a 'meta' one.

Dark Archive

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One thing to consider is what the rules of the location you are playing are. One thing I think is rude and disrespectful to stores is when players get up and look up things in books they do not own, that are one display to be sold. This might be ok in some stores, and some might be ok with someone thumbing through it to get a glimpse of what the game is about, but to use it as a reference is a bit rude.

Silver Crusade **

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
CathalFM wrote:

Which is why both of us quoted DragonCats rule which singles out phones as something which should be banned at the table. I think I (might be possibly able to?) speak for FoC when I say that the rule should be more along the lines of:

"You are there to play PFS, you should not be entertaining yourself in other ways like checking facebook on your phone or reading that book you can't out down"

Yup that's fine :)


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Avatar-1 wrote:
Dragoncat wrote:
5. Don't bring your phone to the table, and especially don't text people in the middle of the game.
This doesn't apply if you're using it for PDFs - rulebooks, character sheets, or emergencies are fine. Just don't be using it to check Facebook.

If you are using a phone for PDF's and such, please turn it to silent. Nothing worse than hearing beepBOOPboopbeepBEEPboopboopboopBEEPBEEP all day...

Shadow Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Southwest

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Share the spotlight. Everyone should get their center stage moment. If you find that you have been in the spotlight for a while, step out of it so that others can get their chance in the limelight.

This also means do not be the center of attention all the time,share, and play well with others.

Sometimes it can be just as fun to bump set someone else as it can be to be the spiker.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Eastern Eurasia-Africa

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Carla the Profane wrote:
Auke Teeninga wrote:
7. Don't talk about your other characters.

^Guilty! Sometimes it's really hard to keep your attention with the RP of the character you're actually playing when everyone else is there to either murder themselves to victory or mistake your character for one of your other ones (they have a reputation), especially if you're a buffer / face / skill monkey, in a dungeon crawl scenario.

The trick here is to stay in-character while at a table like this and find ways to extrapolate an in-game response instead of a 'meta' one.

A nice tabletent also helps! :-)

*****

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Mike Bohlmann wrote:
14. As a GM, you are there to facilitate a fun game for the players and yourself. If there's a gray area of rules, rule in favor of the players. ALWAYS. You are not the opponent.

I would argue that the ruling should me made objectively and error on the side of what is fun for that table. That may not always be in "favor" of the players.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Eastern Eurasia-Africa

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Kyle Baird wrote:
Mike Bohlmann wrote:
14. As a GM, you are there to facilitate a fun game for the players and yourself. If there's a gray area of rules, rule in favor of the players. ALWAYS. You are not the opponent.
I would argue that the ruling should me made objectively and error on the side of what is fun for that table. That may not always be in "favor" of the players.

16. Stay clear of grey areas. If the rules are unclear just avoid them instead of having arguments everytime you play.

Grand Lodge *****

BigNorseWolf wrote:

The table doesn't ignore me when i talk to it.

FIND GARY BUCCI

I loathe that commercial.

15. Dont interrupt another table to ask someone else's opinion on a rule, cause you dont like how your own GM is handling something.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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If you're a player, know your character. Have your commonly-used numbers (attack and damage, save DCs, etc) already calculated, know your own buffs inside and out (even if that means bringing flashcards), know ahead of time whether an element of your character is a gray area or is affected by an official FAQ and bring all relevant FAQs with you, especially if they're obscure ones.

It's okay to not be familiar with the buffs or effects that other people are throwing onto you, but if you're finding yourself asking people what the formula is to calculate something that you could have written down ahead of time (DC, attack bonus, concentration bonus, etc) or having to ask other people how your feats or spells work, you're doing something wrong.

If you're the GM, trust your players to know their characters. As you so often remind us when you make a mistake, there are too many rules/options for you to know them all. So unless someone is doing something a LOT more suspicious than "KO the baddy in one round", you should be trusting that the guy who built this machine from the ground up has come to a much better understanding of its legality than you will in 90 seconds of reviewing unfamiliar abilities.

Grand Lodge *****

N+1)Bring your own method of healing.

N= last number used, whatever it would be.

The Exchange **** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka jalroy

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If something bad happens to your character, fail a save or get knocked below zeo HP etc, don't spend the rest of the session b@*~$ing about it OOC.

***

basically, I consider having good table etiquette can be summed up by what the internet refers to as Wheaton's law (I like to think of it as Wheaton's Directive, but W/E works for you), which is "dude, don't be a (d-word that is the slang for a male reproductive organ)", or as Jesus put it "do unto others as you'd have done to you".

What this means in practice: If you're doing something repeatedly and people aren't happy about it, stop and ask yourself if someone did (insert behavior here) to you if the roles were reversed, whether you'd appreciate/hate that behavior or not. If the answer is yes, then you might ask what the rest of the group thinks. If the answer is no, STOP. IT. IMMEDIATELY. (hope that my opinion is clear enough for you).

*** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

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Vrog Skyreaver wrote:
...or as Jesus put it "do unto others as you'd have done to you".

I don't think Jesus is the right person to look to for table etiquette. He has a history of flipping tables over when he gets upset.

Shadow Lodge *

Nimon wrote:


One thing to consider is what the rules of the location you are playing are. One thing I think is rude and disrespectful to stores is when players get up and look up things in books they do not own, that are one display to be sold. This might be ok in some stores, and some might be ok with someone thumbing through it to get a glimpse of what the game is about, but to use it as a reference is a bit rude.

One of the stores I gm at has 3 and as half hour slots. As a result the regulars are organized and have many good habits. But we have to watch the time and players keep this in mind.

Sczarni ***

Sometimes i'm amazed at how much emotion this game provokes from people :-)

***

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Carla the Profane wrote:
Sometimes i'm amazed at how much emotion this game provokes from people :-)

I love this game(D&D and it's clones). It is by far my favorite hobby. I spend a lot of time and resources. All of that has value to me.

Sczarni ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Pullman aka Coraith

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Hmmm... Hey Walter what do YOU mean by good Table Etiquette? Please provide examples.

Shadow Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

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I don't know Steve, not being a jerk?

Basically Wheaton's Law.

Examples? Ok, well this one time someone was being a jerk, and I privately explained what they were doing that was creating an un-fun table experience for everyone else. They didn't realize it, but once they were informed the stopped acting like a jerk at once.

Sczarni ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Pullman aka Coraith

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Well that was super of them... You mean they acted like a decent human being instead of selfish? Interesting... I may have to Google this phenomenon.


Walter Sheppard wrote:

I don't know Steve, not being a jerk?

Basically Wheaton's Law.

Examples? Ok, well this one time someone was being a jerk, and I privately explained what they were doing that was creating an un-fun table experience for everyone else. They didn't realize it, but once they were informed the stopped acting like a jerk at once.

Can I just say, and this isn't aimed at your quote in particular Walt, it's just yours was the latest. Why the hell is it "Wheatons Law", christ don't be a Dick has been around as long as, as, as, well christ!

Sorry, small off-topic veering over :)


CathalFM wrote:
Walter Sheppard wrote:

I don't know Steve, not being a jerk?

Basically Wheaton's Law.

Examples? Ok, well this one time someone was being a jerk, and I privately explained what they were doing that was creating an un-fun table experience for everyone else. They didn't realize it, but once they were informed the stopped acting like a jerk at once.

Can I just say, and this isn't aimed at your quote in particular Walt, it's just yours was the latest. Why the hell is it "Wheatons Law", christ don't be a Dick has been around as long as, as, as, well christ!

Sorry, small off-topic veering over :)

Part of the reason is because of the context in which he said it, and how it applies to gaming. He said "Don't be a **** when you pwn them!" meaning pretty much telling GAMERS who can be the biggest ****s in the world sometimes (just play Call of Duty for 5 minutes and you'll quickly see), so while the saying might be older, it's relevant as "Wheaton's Law" because it's really the first time a high-profile gamer celebrity said "We are all gamers, we should all be friends, so don't be a ****" essentially.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

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/me gives a thumbs-up to all of the above.

It's not exactly the players' fault that they are inconsiderate sods. And to be realistic, it's not that many that are. It's just that if you have one such player at a table of 7 (including GM) that player is who you're going to remember.

The reality is it's the fault of ones who have taught these inconsiderate folks that they are the center of the universe, and need not concern themselves with the petty and insignificant needs and desires of others ...

    ♪♫ ... we know exactly who's ... to ... blame!
    The mother and the father!
    ♫♫♫♪

Willy Wonka. Timeless :)

(of course, now I'll have the damn Oompa Loompa song stuck in my head all day long. Coding to Oompa Loompas. Seems kind of fitting, actually)

Seriously though, call it Wheaton's Law or simple common courtesy, virtually all of this stuff is obvious to anyone who bothers to think of other people.

Of course, we're all preaching to the choir here, I think ....

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