RPG TipsRole Playing games (RPGs) are our biggest group of games (over 160 Official Games altogether), incorporating storytelling, conflict, problem-solving, combat tactics, and/or interpersonal interaction. It’s a huge, complicated subgenre of table-top gaming, and it’s the biggest reason we are hosting our 47th convention over the course of six decades. So, how do you get the most out of RPGs in this convention?
Getting into games might seem complicated, but it’s not. You can register electronically for a chance to get into games that look exciting to you in each of nine sessions. Or you can get help at the Info Table during the convention if you’re not sure about the process. And there’s nothing wrong with trying to drop into any game to see if there are seats available. All of these approaches can be successful. We want all the games to be filled; our system is designed to get all games filled with players who want to be there, even if demand exceeds the supply of seats.
Here are some do’s and don’ts that can guide you:
- Do make sure you know where your chosen game is. Almost all RPGs are in break-out rooms (converted sleeping rooms) on the first and second floors of the hotel’s North Tower. Games with rooms numbered 132 through 149 are on the first floor; 231-243 are on the second floor. There is also a hybrid RPG/LARP on the fourteenth floor (Suite 1445). Back to the ground floor, there are two RPGs in the Monterey Room, and another hybrid game in Ponderosa. Signs taped to game room doors list the games that will take place there during the convention, so if you’re ten minutes early, you can be reassured that you are in the right place.
- Do show up on time at the room where the game is scheduled. Because foot traffic and elevator delays can get a little crazy at times, GMs will wait up to ten minutes before starting the game, though they’ll start immediately if they have a full roster of people present that signed up beforehand. If dropping in, getting there early may help you get that extra seat.
- Do respect the GM; they want everyone to have a good time, but they also have rules, and they are entitled to enforce those rules for the good of the game. Just because an RPG comes with printed rulebooks or the electronic equivalent, it doesn’t mean the GM will follow that rulebook absolutely. There’s a lot of home cooking as GMs conform the rules to their setting and story. he GM’s rulings are final, so take it with good grace and keep playing.
- Do respect all of your fellow players. Having a good time often entails recognizing that another player is doing something with that goal in mind, and if you can find a way to accommodate that, it’s all the better. Most players will want their cohorts to be as invested in the game as they are.
- Don’t put up with abusive behavior from anyone, although sometimes it’s an unintended slip of the tongue. Ask for a pause in the play, so you can discuss the issue with whoever needs to hear it. Or the GM might notice it and deal with it. In extreme cases, call it out, or leave the game, and if you feel unsafe, contact our staff (the folk in the green shirts), to help deal with the problem.
- Don’t stay in a game if you don’t want to. DunDraCon requires an Open Door Policy for all games—you may leave a game at any time for any reason or no reason. If you don’t intend to return within a few minutes, make sure the GM knows.
- Do know about safety tools the GM will employ, and if they don’t say anything at the start, ask them. There are some great tools that can stave off triggers and keep the game itself on track.
- Don’t get into a game that is likely to trigger you. You can’t always know the content of the game ahead of time, but if you are squeamish about spiders, you don’t want to sign up for ‘Onslaught of the Tarantulas’ without considering the trigger.
- Don’t leave right away if the GM doesn’t show. GMs are expected to be present when the game starts, but of course, they may also get caught up in foot traffic. Our duty person will come around to each game to give roster print-outs to the GMs, so we will know if they’re not there, and if the GM doesn’t show up fairly soon, the duty person will give Priority Slips to those who registered for the game, if they are still there.
- Do help get the room ready for the next game when yours is over. Trash goes into bags, everyone makes sure that all the useful bits (dice, figures, coolers, binders, backpacks, portable black holes) that everyone brought go home with the owner. The next game in that same room may follow very close behind yours, so the GM is powerfully motivated to get the game over with in time to clear the room. Help them out if you can.