When I first started roleplaying, the rule book showed me all about using the game mechanics. I learned how to create incredible characters, balance challenging encounters, and put together fantastic adventures. In spite of the fact that roleplaying is social in nature, it didn’t tell me how to organize a game group. There was no information on how to deal with interpersonal conflicts, or manage the logistical demands of keeping a group of people focused and working together.
You can argue that that’s not the role of the game, and I’d be inclined to agree with you. These are skills that we can, and should, learn in other places. Most of us already know how to play well with others. Unfortunately, there are still situations that require a bit of structure, some intervention, and the establishment of basic ground rules. This isn’t always comfortable. For a lot of us, that sort of thing isn’t one of our strengths.
This book offers some advice on common issues roleplayers have to deal with that go beyond the scope of the rules. All groups are different, and all people are different, so this isn’t intended to be the final word on how to handle every possible situation. What it does address are the types of problems we have seen again and again, across many years and several different game systems.
The Mayday Manual series is for people who need extra help with topics most game books don’t cover. If they do, they gloss over a few basic concepts and leave you to figure out the rest on your own. Whether you’re new to the roleplaying hobby or have years of experience, these books are an attempt to provide some aid. Our hope is to start conversations around subjects we all struggle with, but many of us never talk about.
This book contains the following sections:
- Four Guiding Principles – These are the core principles that should guide your group. Everything else will be built upon this foundation.
- Addressing Player Needs – How to identify and address what the players require, from the game and from the group. The goal is to keep them engaged and happy.
- Managing Group Logistics – These are elements and action items that absolutely need to be determined and agreed upon in order for your group to run smoothly.
- Handling Table Talk – Getting everyone on the same page is essential. This section deals with ensuring all members of the group are heard, and each issue is addressed.
- Using House Rules – Every group approaches problems differently. In this section, you’ll learn how to customize rules to create the best experience for everyone.
- Dealing with Difficult Players – Dealing with difficult players is part of belonging to a group. This section identifies common problem behaviors, and offers strategies to deal with them.