Table and house rules

15 09 2009

I promised myself when I started this blog that I’d keep each post as a new topic.  Fifteen days in and I’ve failed. 

The reason for the change is my imagination.  Having written yesterday’s blog about what I like about Pathfinder, I thought of a couple more things that really mattered to me.  So here’s an addendum.

Why I like Patherfinder v2.

This sounds so simple, but it works for me – the races and classes aren’t too fancy.  If I consider the D&D 4.0 player’s guide, the choice of races and classes are…well…too odd.  I like humans, dwarves and elves and I like fighters, barbarians, wizards, sorcerers and rogues.  Oh, rangers and paladins too.  A couple of extra races and classes are fine by me – but to make Dragonborn, Eladrin and Tiefling core?  That’s too wierd.  Warlords?  No bards or druids or barbarians?  That’s not right.  Pathfinder – you got the balance right. 

They can add extras later, but for now, give me the meat and veg before you worry about any of the fancy sauces.

And back to the subject of the blog proper…

Many new players won’t know what table and house rules are, so before I discuss mine, I’ll give an overview of what they mean.  And I’m sorry if you thought this was a blog about how I thought a certain medical drama was awesome (you can figure that one out).

Table rules tend to affect players and house rules largely impact characters.  Table rules include things like:

  • Eating and drinking at the table
  • Turning mobiles off

House rules could include things like:

  • Amendments to the formal rules
  • How much detail the GM should describe

There are few house rules I insist on – although there are many more that I’d like to enforce.  I’m sure that as I develop a relationship with the players, I’ll be able to add more rules to the list.

My first batch of rules ought to be common sense:

  • We start on time.  A tip here is to actually start on time.  Late arrivals will soon get the message.
  • Socialise before the game starts (if I know there will be a lot of chatting, I will delay the start to let the players get it out of their system).  One tip is to meet in a room other than the role-playing room.  Moving from this room is a subconscious tell to let the players know that they must switch to game mode.
  • No power gaming.
  • No meta-gaming.

 My house rules, to date, include:

  • My dice rolls are secret.
  • Only the core rulebook can be used for character creation, spells, equipment etc.
  • No magic items unless with my approval.
  • Common sense will prevail over the rulebook – but I will be consistent.



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