Online games / lodges excluding non-locals and limiting tables size


Organized Play General Discussion

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Dark Archive 4/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Turku

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Yes, but there's a difference between banning a particular person for good reasons, versus inviting only your friends and telling a random person you've never met that they can't join.

Nobody is saying that public games can't ban people, but it's not a public game if it is not open -to the public-.

But, the RSP/Public games is a bit tangential to the topic. It absolutely is relevant because it demonstrates that the Organized Play already has a system in place to encourage public games that are open for anyone (And, I'd personally recommend keeping games as public as is feasible for your venue because growing playerbase benefits the whole hobby), but -

- But it's important to understand that aside from the games which are, truly, public - all other games are varying degrees of private.
It's just up to the GM to decide how private they want the game to be, and on what basis they want to pick their players.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

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The local lodge membership is still "public." It might be less than the entirety of all the possible publics, but it is still public. Giving preferred status to local members given the parameters of maintaining the local lodge during covid-restricted access should be perfectly fine.

Not to mention we have a precedent for restricted access to signups. Leadership does it for most premier plus events when they give GMs early access to player signups before general, public access. If placing any restrictions on registrations is grounds for loosing rewards, then they should also lose them.

Grand Archive 4/5 ***

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Possibly a better example.

Our local grocery store is open to the public, but they still maintain early opening hours that are only available if you are elderly, disabled, or immune compromised.

Grand Archive 4/5 ***

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The RSP, like many other meta organization rules, are the Province of RVCs so that they can tailor them to the unique needs of their region.

As such it defeats the point to create a universal set of rules they all have to follow...

5/5 5/55/55/5

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Nefreet wrote:
Gas stations are open to the public, too, but the dude who's been thrown out five times for licking the Slurpee machine isn't allowed to come in anymore.

Oh please, wolf drool was the MOST sanitary thing on that machine.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 * Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

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Tommi Ketonen wrote:
Yes, but there's a difference between banning a particular person for good reasons, versus inviting only your friends and telling a random person you've never met that they can't join.

This is a straw man. No one is suggesting 'inviting only your friends' is a public game. There's a huge gap between that and free-for-all. We're inhabiting somewhere in between as a measure to maintain our community.

Dark Archive 4/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Turku

Dennis Muldoon wrote:
Tommi Ketonen wrote:
Yes, but there's a difference between banning a particular person for good reasons, versus inviting only your friends and telling a random person you've never met that they can't join.
This is a straw man. No one is suggesting 'inviting only your friends' is a public game. There's a huge gap between that and free-for-all. We're inhabiting somewhere in between as a measure to maintain our community.

No, but people seem to be suggesting that our lodge's regular game nights are somehow public games if they are announced in, say, warhorn.

They are not. Games are public if, and only if, they specifically want to be public games (= open to everyone) and tell that everyone is welcome. Other than that, they are some shade of private games. Whether I invite my friends, or our local whatsapp groups players, or make the announcement on facebook, or on our local (country-level) forums, or on our discord channel, or on warhorn - the game is a private game if I set restrictions on who can participate.

4/5 **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

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Context matters. RSP was not designed with a global pandemic in mind. Our local game store communities were not formed to serve a global online community.

If RSP were to dictate that we cannot tailor events to meet community needs (which it does not), then take away my area's RSP.

I will continue serving my community and doing what is best for them.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 * Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

Tommi Ketonen wrote:
Dennis Muldoon wrote:
Tommi Ketonen wrote:
Yes, but there's a difference between banning a particular person for good reasons, versus inviting only your friends and telling a random person you've never met that they can't join.
This is a straw man. No one is suggesting 'inviting only your friends' is a public game. There's a huge gap between that and free-for-all. We're inhabiting somewhere in between as a measure to maintain our community.

No, but people seem to be suggesting that our lodge's regular game nights are somehow public games if they are announced in, say, warhorn.

They are not. Games are public if, and only if, they specifically want to be public games (= open to everyone) and tell that everyone is welcome. Other than that, they are some shade of private games. Whether I invite my friends, or our local whatsapp groups players, or make the announcement on facebook, or on our local (country-level) forums, or on our discord channel, or on warhorn - the game is a private game if I set restrictions on who can participate.

I disagree with this binary definition you're forcing on the idea of 'public' here. Public does not have to mean 'free of any and all restrictions'. For instance, I got my Covid vaccine doses from a public vaccination event that was open to all residents of my city. IMO, that was still a 'public' event, even though it was limited to residents of my city. You are, of course, free to disagree, but your opinion does not define policy.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5 **

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Tommi Ketonen wrote:


No, but people seem to be suggesting that our lodge's regular game nights are somehow public games if they are announced in, say, warhorn.

They are not. Games are public if, and only if, they specifically want to be public games

I don't disagree with this.

But, if your game is intended to NOT be public, or to prioritize local players, or something of that ilk PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make that clear in warhorn. Preferably by a blurb copy and pasted into every game post (as that is what I find in a warhorn search) but, if nothing else, a blurb on your sites home page.

Right now it is often impossible to know if a game I find on a warhorn search is intended to be public or semi public.

Dark Archive 4/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Turku

pauljathome wrote:
Tommi Ketonen wrote:


No, but people seem to be suggesting that our lodge's regular game nights are somehow public games if they are announced in, say, warhorn.

They are not. Games are public if, and only if, they specifically want to be public games

I don't disagree with this.

But, if your game is intended to NOT be public, or to prioritize local players, or something of that ilk PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make that clear in warhorn. Preferably by a blurb copy and pasted into every game post (as that is what I find in a warhorn search) but, if nothing else, a blurb on your sites home page.

Right now it is often impossible to know if a game I find on a warhorn search is intended to be public or semi public.

Yup.

Or just stop using warhorn. Frankly, I don't get why so many lodges use it for games that aren't meant to be open for everyone.

Also, I'm not 100% sure if I'm reading the rest of you right here - are you arguing that you think it's okay to limit your event to a closed group, and still call it public? Because that seems to conflict -a lot- with the definition of public.

I'm not trying to define -how- you can advertise your event or how it should be advertised if it's public - that's up to the region - But if you are advertising it as public and then denying access from some of the people who have seen your advert and have come to your location (virtual or physical) then it does not meet the definition of public.

Using the townsquare example: If you advertise your game by going to your local townsquare and shouting into a megaphone that you're holding a public game in the evening, you can't then turn away people when the evening comes by claiming that "Oh, I meant it's public to just people from this one block, not everyone in the city." Same with warhorn - if you use that to advertise your game, and claim it's public, you have no basis to deny access to anyone who sees your advert - you already invited them in.

OR a more realistic and likely result: Claim your game is public, put a poster up to the local gamestore where you play, but then refuse to let the store customers play with you because you arbitrarily restrict players on some arbitrary condition, like "only those I know personally" or "only those who have been here for at least 2 years" or "Only those with level 4+ characters" or "only those who have joined the facebook group and discord". It's no longer a public game. You set the advert in a way to make it public - it's open for everyone - but then you restricted access afterwards - you might as well take down the advert.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5 **

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Tommi Ketonen wrote:
But if you are advertising it as public

I think in many cases the game is being "advertised" just by being listed on Warhorn.

As to why people do this, its a darn useful tool. Back when we had local in store games with our own google group we still used warhorn to organize the game. It provided all the functionality we wanted at no cost to ourselves and it was easy for us to provide the link to others (in, for example, a handout that we gave to new players or at local cons).

2/5 5/5 *

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I think this conversation is going off the rails.

Quote:
But if you are advertising it as public and then denying access from some of the people who have seen your advert and have come to your location (virtual or physical) then it does not meet the definition of public.

This statement lacks any nuance.

Using Warhorn to organize your local PFS is neither the same as using a bullhorn to advertise your game or advertising your game at all. Using a VTT to run your game doesn't automatically move you to the Online Region. There is also a difference between "public" and "global."

My meatspace--when it existed--scheduled our games on Warhorn. Because Warhorn is just a database, anyone searching for PFS 8-07 might find our venue when it was offering PFS 8-07. Should someone in Hawaii be able to sign up for the session that is being physically held in the middle of the USA without some good explanation? Or should the event organizer be able to refuse their registration?

My meatspace's venue is shut down to the public due to a burst pipe, so "Small Town's Game Store PFS," benefiting from RSP, moves their scheduled game to a VTT but keeps using Warhorn to schedule. Should the table be allowed to fill with random online people from all over, squeezing out the PFS players of Small Town just because their game is on a VTT?

The pandemic is just like a large scale, much longer term temporary closing of a given meatspace's venue. So if Small Town's Game Store PFS moved to a VTT and used Warhorn to schedule them, I don't think they're less public for not letting literally the whole world sign up for their tables. They are still the public of Small Town. Furthermore, if Small Town's Game Store PFS was benefiting from the RSP (Regional Support Program), then that support is for the people in the region of Small Town. It's not there for any random online person to get some extra AcP or an RSP boon box checked by signing up for a table that happens to be virtual run by people two time zones away. There is an Online Support Program and specific rules governing the online region for that sort of thing.

Even if Small Town's Game Store PFS only had 5 participants in their entire town and surrounding areas and they moved to a VTT, if they were qualifying for RSP, they still qualify for RSP on a VTT, even if they advertise on Warhorn and you happen to be able to find them.

TLDR; I believe that just because you were open to the public who could access the town's local public library and had to move your tables to VTT doesn't mean you have to open your tables to the entire planet, and not opening your tables to the entire planet doesn't make you any less public if you're still open to anyone from your local community joining.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden

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I agree with Blake's Tiger - "public" is not nuanced enough. "Open to the local public" is a legitimate thing and not the same as "open to the public from anywhere on the world". And RSP was designed mostly with "local public" in mind.

Silver Crusade 4/5 Venture-Captain, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh

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Specifically, the policy reads:

RSP policy wrote:
Qualifying Event: Any public event at a qualifying location.

To build on some of the things that have already been said, the word "public" in English is a very ambiguous one. When you say something is public you could mean:

  • Absolutely anyone could sign up
  • Any member of the community could sign up (but which community?)
  • The event is out in the open for anyone to watch

    ...among other things.

    My current public library lets anyone get a library card, but my last public library limited library cards to local residents. They're both considered public libraries, though.

    We often think that "anyone can run for public office" because it's "public" but in truth there are usually restrictions on who can run, like minimum ages or residency requirements.

    Even if we let anyone play from anywhere, there are still restrictions--having a character of the right level, sometimes. Being able to connect to the services we use to play. Even knowing the language the game is being run in.

    We can argue about whether the restrictions we have in place are the right restrictions, it's true. But using the word "public" does not automatically mean restriction-free.

  • Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

    Tommi Ketonen wrote:
    Or just stop using warhorn. Frankly, I don't get why so many lodges use it for games that aren't meant to be open for everyone.

    Because Warhorn is the perfect tool for organizing local lodge activities for numerous locations. No need to reinvent the wheel when there is already a perfectly functional one rolling down the road.

    Tommi Ketonen wrote:
    are you arguing that you think it's okay to limit your event to a closed group, and still call it public?

    Are you suggesting that an event only advertised to local players is NOT public? Because that is exactly what most lodges were doing before the world went viral.

    The community used to be largely self-limiting as travel distances where the limiting factor. If we are going to eliminate live org play and go strictly online, then there is certainly an argument not to limit access to "local" players since there wouldn't be a "local" environment. However, since we are expecting a return to live, local gaming, most lodges don't want to lose their constituency because a lot of eager global players gobbled up all the "local" online gaming until the locals stopped trying and moved on to other activities up to and including other game systems.

    Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden

    It sounds to me like what we really need is some warhorn features to make "locals first" work well in search.

    4/5 5/55/55/55/5

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    Still waiting to hear from all the GMs upset at being denied a spot running a game and being locked out by a 'locals only' ruling.

    Shadow Lodge 4/5

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    I suspect that will be a long wait.

    Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 **** Venture-Captain, Great Lakes

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    As far as all of this goes, my home lodge is instituting a "locals" first policy - which we put on our Warhorn - for digital games. We also put our requirements for being considered a local - play 5 games with our lodge. We also gave the role to a few non-locals who have been covering to help give our online GMs a break through this pandemic, and help prevent burnout. Is it perfect? No. But we want something for our people who were here before the pandemic, because it has gotten to the point they are getting shut out of the games. Like many have said before me, at a week out we unlock the game to allow anyone who wants to fill in the seats. Additionally, anyone who wants to GM we will work to find them space, but they do need to reach out to us first.

    Dark Archive 4/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Turku

    TwilightKnight wrote:


    Tommi Ketonen wrote:
    are you arguing that you think it's okay to limit your event to a closed group, and still call it public?

    Are you suggesting that an event only advertised to local players is NOT public? Because that is exactly what most lodges were doing before the world went viral.

    Yes and no.

    No: You can advertise your event to 'locals' - what constitutes as public event depends on the location and region. As I described, advertising your game at the local townsquare is public.
    Advertising it on the wall of a local gamestore is public.
    Discuss with your VC/RVC what requirements you need to fulfill to count as "public".
    However, after you've decided to advertise your game to whatever definition of public you are using, I -do not- agree that you should be allowed to then pick and choose your players from the demographic while still calling it public.

    You can't advertise to a large audience but only provide for your small circle and still call it public, because that's a private game, not a public one, with only your friends being invited.

    If you invite the whole world by advertising to the whole world, be prepared to accept anyone who signs up.

    BUT, I feel like we're probably talking past each other here. I think it's perfectly fine to advertise your game on the global warhorn and restrict players to locals only - I think this is perfectly valid and reasonable and even sensible given our need to protect and sustain our local communities during the pandemic. I just don't agree that one should be able to advertise their games to global community while not accepting people from the global community and still call it public.

    Really, it's no different than if my VA advertised a game as public but then told those who tried to sign up that the slots were reserved for his/her friends. Not only is that a jerk move, it also very clearly defies the common interpretation of "open to public" (= "Invite only").

    Quote:
    Because Warhorn is the perfect tool for organizing local lodge activities for numerous locations.

    I think this thread demonstrates that using a global tool to arrange games for your group of friends isn't exactly a good tool, if it leads to people who are actually trying to find open games in warhorn to get frustrated by the fact that the games they find, don't really have open slots even when they appear so.

    Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 **** Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

    Shifty wrote:
    Still waiting to hear from all the GMs upset at being denied a spot running a game and being locked out by a 'locals only' ruling.

    In theory that could happen if they want to GM at an event that gives them more ACP for their time irrespective of the event owner's schedule. But that should still be incredibly rare.

    Scarab Sages 4/5

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    Facebook is a global site. The entire internet is global. I don't think being accessible from anywhere really matters. It sounds like the issue is with Warhorn not providing the ability to filter out games that are restricted to locals, which is an issue to take to Warhorn, not an RSP issue. The functionality Warhorn does provide is to restrict registration by role, so if someone is doing that, then you shouldn't be able to sign up, and you're only being inconvenienced by seeing the game in your search results.

    I know that locally games started to be restricted to locals, because players from the global community were registering on Warhorn before the event organizers even had a chance to post the link on our local discord. I don't know if those players had automated alerts set up watching Warhorn, or if they just happened to be searching at the same time the organizers were creating events, but multiple seats filled in the time between hitting submit for the event on Warhorn and writing the post to announce the game on Discord.

    I'm not handling scheduling anymore. I believe games are being opened up a day or two before the event if more players are needed and then advertised on the OPO discord. But games are also generally not even scheduled until a week or so beforehand. There's an awareness of which days a game will be run, but the actual Warhorn hasn't been going up until the week of in most cases. But I see no reason why they ever have to open the game up. We've lost a lot of players from the lodge due to not wanting to play online. If we can make sure that the players who have stayed involved don't get pushed out of games by people who won't be part of the local community once in-person gaming resumes, I don't see a problem with restricting the signups.

    Note that the location is not receiving RSP. Is anyone receiving RSP right now? But even if it was, I don't think there would be an issue with making sure that the regional support is going to people in the region.

    The original concern of this thread was whether or not there will be a lack of online games after locations return to in-person gaming. It's been pointed out by the online VOs that there are several online-only lodges. More now than there were pre-pandemic. I expect that, like me when I first discovered I could play PFS online, that many of the GMs and players who also play at their local lodges will continue to offer and play games online. Nothing stops someone who GMs at their local lodge one weekend day a month from offering a game online if they want on a different day. You aren't required to go through your local lodge to do so. You're not even required to go through one of the online lodges to do so. If you want to GM a game online, you can list it on Warhorn or wherever you would like to try to attract players, set up your own event for reporting, and run as often and whatever adventure you want.

    A good rule of thumb that I try to follow is that if the game was not advertised on one of the online lodges, and I've never played a game from that Warhorn before, then I'll post a message in the discussion after I sign up letting them know I'm not local and asking if it's ok for me to join the game. Because I'm the one crashing their game. Most of the time I'm told that I'm welcome, and I've gotten to play a lot more games with a lot more people than I would have otherwise as a result. But if someone says they'd rather keep the seat for a local, I'm not going to feel like I'm being excluded from a seat that I somehow have a right to.

    Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

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    Tommi Ketonen wrote:
    If you invite the whole world by advertising to the whole world, be prepared to accept anyone who signs up.

    Warhorn is far and away the most common method to advertise and manage registrations that we have and it is used by a huge portion of the community. As soon as that tool has functionality that supports the geographic limitations you suggest, then I'm all for it. Until then, we will continue to follow the "best practices" that currently exist. If there is another online platform with Warhorn's usability that allows an organizer to only advertise to their local constituents and not globally, I'd love to hear about it.

    Part of the problem of this topic is the perceived definition of "public" and how public, public has to be to be considered public/not private. Clearly there are differing opinions on where that line of demarcation exists. It appears org play leadership is leaving it to the RVCs to decide for themselves which is a good thing since we have proven time and time again that each of the regions has nuanced differences that require different approaches to resolve. So unless/until the RVC expresses their opposition to a lodge's activities, there is no need to upset the apple cart.

    I can see a need for better communication by some. The other thread about sharing expectations shows a variety of opinions on that subject. I would agree that an event that is restricted in some way should include language indicating as much. Though, it is also true that A LOT of people simply don't read the instructions and then blame someone else for their own lack of diligence.

    Shadow Lodge 4/5

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    Tommi Ketonen wrote:
    If you invite the whole world by advertising to the whole world, be prepared to accept anyone who signs up.

    So GenCon has to accept all sign ups? They can't put any limits on things?

    Stop being absurd.

    Dark Archive 4/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Turku

    TOZ wrote:
    Tommi Ketonen wrote:
    If you invite the whole world by advertising to the whole world, be prepared to accept anyone who signs up.

    So GenCon has to accept all sign ups? They can't put any limits on things?

    Stop being absurd.

    Are you saying gencon would prohibit me from attending because I don't live in the states? Because I vividly remember attending Gencon without living in the states. So stop being absurd.

    Also, I don't recall Gencon having any limits on who could attend, can you explain what limits there were? (While keeping in mind that banning individual people for their behavior is different than banning a population based on their location or accent)

    Likewise, Facebook is global, sure. Are you people saying that if I saw your facebook post, signed up, and showed up at your local gamestore, you'd turn me away simply because "I'm not from the area?"
    Don't be absurd. You can't possibly know if I am or If I am not from the area, maybe I just moved in, or maybe I'm just visiting relatives.

    And if your answer is "Well, I'd just ask if you're local and then ban you when you say you're just on vacation", then your event is just for your friends and it is not public and should not benefit from RSP.

    Scarab Sages 4/5

    If all you are concerned with is RSP, then the problem does not exist. It’s already been said many times that exceptions are being made during the pandemic to even allow RSP for online games at all. Post-pandemic (whenever that is), the only games that should be run online and receive RSP are games in the online region that are in the RSP based on decisions by the online RVC. Local lodges should not be reporting games run online for their RSP events post-pandemic.

    Right now, though, we’re still in that exception period. There’s pandemic fatigue, and people want it to be over, but it’s not. Local lodges need to be able to restrict their games to the players from their area, or many of them will lose those players.

    Shadow Lodge 4/5

    Tommi Ketonen wrote:
    Also, I don't recall Gencon having any limits on who could attend, can you explain what limits there were?

    Attendance caps, which thankfully haven't been reached as far as I know.

    **

    Dennis Muldoon wrote:
    Watery Soup wrote:
    My concern is very specifically about the word "local".
    I think, as Blake said, you're overthinking the term.

    Fair enough. I disagree, but you're in charge.

    Dennis Muldoon wrote:
    I've enjoyed our expanded community in these virtual times, and I hope we are able to continue it in some capacity, but we aren't the online lodge. That can't be the focus of our decision-making.

    My disagreement is probably rooted in this: I think the line between "local Lodge" and "online Lodge" are blurred and will continue to be for some time.

    Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Captain, Online—VTT

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    Watery Soup wrote:


    My disagreement is probably rooted in this: I think the line between "local Lodge" and "online Lodge" are blurred and will continue to be for some time.

    I'd disagree, it's very clear. The only actual online lodges are those belonging to the Online region. Everyone else is an irl lodge that is using online components to help with keeping their community together and offering a way that those locals who can't make it to their irl games can be a part of it, whilst possibly offering outreach to the wider community if they feel it can help them.

    Silver Crusade 4/5 Venture-Captain, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh

    Tommi Ketonen wrote:

    [...]You can advertise your event to 'locals' - what constitutes as public event depends on the location and region. As I described, advertising your game at the local townsquare is public.

    Advertising it on the wall of a local gamestore is public.
    Discuss with your VC/RVC what requirements you need to fulfill to count as "public".
    However, after you've decided to advertise your game to whatever definition of public you are using, I -do not- agree that you should be allowed to then pick and choose your players from the demographic while still calling it public.

    I think your desire to make your point is twisting up your logic here. You're using two different definitions of the word "public," and only because you change the definition mid-stream is your argument coherent. If advertising to a small group is advertising to the public, why would the definition of public change to be broader when determining who is then allowed to sign up?

    It doesn't sound like it's the public part or the RSP part that sucks for you. Rather, it's a terrible experience using the Warhorn search and finding games you like that aren't open to you?

    2/5 5/5 *

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
    Richard Lowe wrote:
    Watery Soup wrote:


    My disagreement is probably rooted in this: I think the line between "local Lodge" and "online Lodge" are blurred and will continue to be for some time.
    I'd disagree, it's very clear. The only actual online lodges are those belonging to the Online region. Everyone else is an irl lodge that is using online components to help with keeping their community together and offering a way that those locals who can't make it to their irl games can be a part of it, whilst possibly offering outreach to the wider community if they feel it can help them.

    I see the situation like this, personally: Game Store PFS Group, Small Town, USA used Warhorn to organize their PFS games. They have enough players and GMs to run 2 tables per week at Game Store. Anyone in Small Town might come to Game Store and play at a table, if there was an open seat, or sign up on Warhorn in advance and come to the table. Sometimes travelers might walk-in and sign up, and they were welcome.

    The pandemic necessitated socially distancing. Game Store PFS Group decided to socially distance by staying in their homes and using a VTT to gather. They continued using their Warhorn to schedule their tables.

    Not that they moved to the Online Lodge.

    Grand Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *

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    Richard Lowe wrote:
    Watery Soup wrote:


    My disagreement is probably rooted in this: I think the line between "local Lodge" and "online Lodge" are blurred and will continue to be for some time.
    I'd disagree, it's very clear. The only actual online lodges are those belonging to the Online region. Everyone else is an irl lodge that is using online components to help with keeping their community together and offering a way that those locals who can't make it to their irl games can be a part of it, whilst possibly offering outreach to the wider community if they feel it can help them.

    I think Richard is spot on with the key to this whole 'public' thing. The specific 'public' to a given RSP game is based on their lodge, it is not arbitrary. That they use warhorn is irrelevant. There is an entire volunteer organization structure based on the lodges.

    Do you want to play a game where 'online' = 'public' ? There are online lodges.

    If you disagree with any of the ways that a particular lodge does things, you should contact the venture lieutenant that oversees that particular lodge. If you disagree with any of the ways that lieutenant addresses your concern, contact the venture captain that oversees that lodge. If you disagree with any of the ways that captain addresses your concern, contact the regional venture captain that oversees that lodge.

    **

    Richard Lowe wrote:
    Watery Soup wrote:
    My disagreement is probably rooted in this: I think the line between "local Lodge" and "online Lodge" are blurred and will continue to be for some time.
    I'd disagree, it's very clear. The only actual online lodges are those belonging to the Online region. Everyone else is an irl lodge that is using online components to help with keeping their community together and offering a way that those locals who can't make it to their irl games can be a part of it, whilst possibly offering outreach to the wider community if they feel it can help them.

    There are the Online Lodges (uppercase O), and there are online Lodges (lowercase o).

    Pre-pandemic, people neatly fit into those who preferred to play F2F (and were part of a local Lodge), and those who preferred to play online (and were part of Online Lodges). During the pandemic, local Lodges moved online (but not Online) and now more PFS2 has been played online (through local and Online Lodges) than F2F.

    Looking forward, some people may now prefer to play online, even if there is a local Lodge offering games geographically close to them. Maybe it's too small a group to affect policy. Maybe they'll find a home in the Online Lodges. That's the discussion I think is warranted. This also gets complicated if different geographical areas go back to F2F at different time scales.

    2/5 5/5 *

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
    Quote:
    That's the discussion I think is warranted.

    What aspects need discussing?

    You (edit: you = an individual person) can belong to a local lodge and the Online Region simultaneously. I did when I still had a local lodge.

    **

    If I haven't succeeded at conveying it already, it's probably easier to let the issue come up organically so it's more concrete.

    Shadow Lodge 4/5

    So the issue hasn't occurred yet?

    5/5 5/55/55/5

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Watery Soup wrote:


    Pre-pandemic, people neatly fit into those who preferred to play F2F (and were part of a local Lodge), and those who preferred to play online (and were part of Online Lodges)

    We've always had gamers who did both. The online lodge is and always has been known for a place for forever dms to have a chance to play, or at least take the ratio from 10: 1 to 1:1. So there really isn't a concept of an online gamer as opposed to a meatspace gamer.

    Quote:
    Maybe they'll find a home in the Online Lodges. That's the discussion I think is warranted.

    Someone living locally regularly playing online at their local lodge is still part of the local lodge community. It also doesn't stress the DM capacity the way opening the door to the stampede of bored online gamers looking for something to do.

    2/5 5/5 ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Massachusetts—Boston

    We (boston area) are planning to continue offering online alongside our f2f as f2f re-emerges. However we've never had to go to a local's first policy for our online offerings, and I doubt we would do so in the hybrid model. (We always said we'd monitor it, and if it became a problem we'd consider it, but also only if there was evidence that it wasn't locals procrastinating until the last minute.... which knowing the region's like of last minute sign-ups is all too likely, and not something a locals first helps with at all anyways)

    Dark Archive 4/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Turku

    Alex Wreschnig wrote:
    Tommi Ketonen wrote:

    [...]You can advertise your event to 'locals' - what constitutes as public event depends on the location and region. As I described, advertising your game at the local townsquare is public.

    Advertising it on the wall of a local gamestore is public.
    Discuss with your VC/RVC what requirements you need to fulfill to count as "public".
    However, after you've decided to advertise your game to whatever definition of public you are using, I -do not- agree that you should be allowed to then pick and choose your players from the demographic while still calling it public.
    I think your desire to make your point is twisting up your logic here. You're using two different definitions of the word "public," and only because you change the definition mid-stream is your argument coherent. If advertising to a small group is advertising to the public, why would the definition of public change to be broader when determining who is then allowed to sign up?

    "Is advertising to a small group, public?"

    Yes, depending on how you do it, and what's the local/regional rules on RSP - that is, "how you need to advertise your game to be eligible for RSP". My issue here is that you can't first fulfill that requirement -and then- retroactively restrict participation.

    Quote:
    It doesn't sound like it's the public part or the RSP part that sucks for you. Rather, it's a terrible experience using the Warhorn search and finding games you like that aren't open to you?

    See, I think this discussion steered off into a weird direction.

    The OP of this thread asked if it's okay and legal for lodges to restrict participation to local players. My original response is basically "Yes, this is explicitly legal, and there's no way to prevent GM's from choosing who they run games for." The RSP is on the table because that is, quite literally, the only situation where you can't restrict participants because RSP requires games to be public.
    None of this actually sucks for me - Whether an event has RSP or not has literally no influence on my choice of game, I have enough AcP already, and I don't actually use warhorn to search for games like, ever.
    I play in the local lodges meatspace or VTT, and sometimes, very rarely though, I jump to sign up into one of the online lodges games (OPO, usually, just by browsing the sign-up-links-vtt-pfs2 thread in the discord.)

    All of my posts could have been condensed into:
    "As the GM, you can choose who you run your games for, nobody can force you to accept them as your players. However, if you want to benefit from RSP; your game needs to be public, and my opinion is that if you advertise your game to an audience, whether through warhorn, facebook, or local forums/discord -and- that counts as "public" for you, you don't get to retroactively shut a portion of your audience out and still call it public."

    I mean, the line is going to be a gray one anyway, but imagine if you post a sign up thread on paizo's forums: "I'm running game X, this is public, RSP applies, please sign up in this thread." and then added "Oh, but only Jack, Jill, John, Jason, and Jane can sign up" to the bottom, that clearly wouldn't be public anymore, right?
    Advertising your game globally on warhorn and then restricting it to a subset of players is the same - the scale is just different.

    Scarab Sages 4/5

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    Tommi: Except that there are exceptions in place right now to allow it, due to the pandemic. RSP games are only able to be run online at all because of those exceptions. I’m certain if an RVC sees an issue with how a location is handling the RSP, they’ll take it up with them.

    The RSP is tied to a physical venue (or maybe group of venues, or if online has the RSP, to an online lodge). The difference when games are in person and you travel to an area and sign up and attend is that you are still helping to promote Pathfinder Society at that venue just by being physically present there and showing other people at the shop, school, library, etc. that people like playing PFS. You are, for that 4-5 hours, part of the community at that store.

    Now, during the pandemic exception, if players are jumping in from around the world who might not even know or care where the community running the game is located, and the actual players in that community are getting pushed out as a result, then that is counter to the entire purpose of having the RSP in the first place.

    Dark Archive 4/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Turku

    Quote:
    Tommi: Except that there are exceptions in place right now to allow it, due to the pandemic.

    I'm sorry, I seem to have missed this memo. Do you maybe have a link for it? Because none of the blog posts from the past 1,5 years mention anything about changing the [only] requirement for RSP - that the event should be public.

    Likewise, nobody is saying you can't run your RSP events online. You obviously can. I'm just saying you can't run your games in private with limited selected audience, and claim they were public.

    Scarab Sages 4/5

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    It’s up to the RVCs to determine, not for a player to demand. I’m sure they can define public for themselves.

    Grand Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    While you may be technically correct, it would seem that many folks are not as concerned and don't feel the same way.

    So, again, if you have an issue with how a lodge is running things, there is a chain of people to contact.

    Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

    Tommi Ketonen wrote:
    I'm just saying you can't run your games in private with limited selected audience, and claim they were public.

    Maybe we can approach this from a different perspective. YOU do not get to decide what people can/not do outside of your area of direct influence. So, technically [WE] CAN do what you are suggesting we cannot do as long as our VO leadership approves it. YOU are welcome to claim the event is not public, but that has no effect on the end result.

    Paizo Employee 3/5 * Organized Play Manager

    6 people marked this as a favorite.
    Tommi Ketonen wrote:
    Quote:
    Tommi: Except that there are exceptions in place right now to allow it, due to the pandemic.

    I'm sorry, I seem to have missed this memo. Do you maybe have a link for it? Because none of the blog posts from the past 1,5 years mention anything about changing the [only] requirement for RSP - that the event should be public.

    Likewise, nobody is saying you can't run your RSP events online. You obviously can. I'm just saying you can't run your games in private with limited selected audience, and claim they were public.

    OP leadership and RVCs have a quarterly meeting where we discuss operational business. When pandemic hit, we used the meeting to discuss our responses and how to keep the community together. RVCs then take that information and use it to inform their regional policies. So it did not come out in a specific blog, but was rather put in place as we discussed the pandemic's effects on our programs.

    From the perspective of the leaders who created the program. Whether something should have RSP or not is a matter of opportunity and community. If you have a game and it is advertised to any portion of the Org Play/gamer community, and anyone in that community has the opportunity to register, it is public. Locals, non-locals, online, offline, it doesn't matter. There are open seats that anyone who meets the advertised criteria may register for. If you have a game whose seats are pre-determined, or whose advertised criteria are so limiting only 6 specific people can register, there is neither opportunity or community and it is a private game. Even if it is advertised on Warhorn or at a venue.
    For example-POPLodge advertises PFS 3-01 on Warhorn. Linda, Jenny, MikeK, Alex, Thurston and I sign up. There was an opportunity for others to register and it supported the POPLodge community. This is a public game. We just happened to be the ones who grabbed seats.
    The next week, OPMLodge posts SFS 4-04 on Warhorn, limiting signups to Paizo Digital Staff. It is now a private game because only the 6 of us qualify for seats. There is no opportunity for others to join in and there is no community benefit outside the OPTeam.
    As is so often the case, it comes down to intent. The intent of the program is to support community growth.

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