The Rules of Engagement - 2017
It's that time of the year again, where we set the ground rules for the coming year...
Times and dates I’m available:
'Internal' events: If you want me to run a game for you, you will need to give me two weeks notice before the actual date of the game, for games using the game room and the 48” x 48” table. Due to my work schedule, we will be open for guests only ‘on demand’ and only during the time between six p.m. on Fridays and six p.m. on Sundays. I would only be available outside these times with a month’s notice, as I have to get time off from work to be able to do this. I do not run games during any holiday weekends; this has proven to be spectacularly unsuccessful in the past. Due to my wife's health issues, we are not able to provide access to our house over and above access to the game room and related facilities. Due to my daughter moving in with us for her time at school, we are not able to provide overnight sleeping space here at the house.
'External' events: Larger table games (60" x 60", 60” x 90”, 60” x 120”, and floor games) will have to be run in an external venue, such as a convention, game shop, or other space. I have done an Events Guide For Events Organizers to help with this; please ask me for a copy. Larger events must be scheduled thirty to ninety days in advance, depending on table size and venue required. (If there is a cost to reserve external venues, you will be required to pay for this.) You will also need to discuss any logistical issues arising from the use of an external venue with me before you schedule the event; this last has been an issue since 2013. Many of these issues are addressed in the Events Guide.
I can run events at venues up to one hour's drive from my home in southeast Minneapolis with no problems. Events taking place at longer distances will require the event organizer to provide me with a sleeping room overnight for each day I am expected to be present and running games at the event. Due to my health issues, I am not able to run events that take place more then eight hours' drive away from my house, unless overnight sleeping rooms en route are provided. Due to the costs of my wife's health issues, I am not able to subsidize any 'external' events taking place more then an hour's drive away from our house. I will be happy to provide specific cost numbers for specific events on request.
What I Support In My Gaming:
I do not support any particular game system or particular set of rules. I do support several world-settings and historical periods:
Ancient Egypt, New Kingdom;
Naval Actions, 500 BCE to 1650 CE
Ancient Aegyptus, as seen in Hollywood epics;
Barsoom, by Edgar Rice Burroughs;
Tekumel, by M. A. R. Barker;
Swashbuckling, as per lots and lots of 1950s and 1960s Technicolor epics.
I usually run my games in the style of Maj. David Wesely’s original ‘Braunstein’ style of games. Likewise, I run my RPG games in the style of Dave Arneson, M. A. R. Barker, and Gary Gygax. I suggest having a look at my YouTube channel for a game that I ran for a sample of this. The lonk to this is on the main page of this blog.
If you are looking to have a game using a particular set of rules or a particular game system, please contact me and I will see if I have it in my collection. Otherwise, you will need to provide copies of the particular game or rules for your players and for myself.
I have, over the years, gotten complaints regarding a number of what people feel are serious issues. These include, but are not limited to, and in no particular order:
Nudity – Quite a few of the 1” tall miniatures are in historical and non-historical costumes. If you find this offensive, you probably don’t want to game here at the house. Likewise, we do display costumes on mannequins; while these costumes are all 'street legal', they may not be what you are used to. If you find a woman in a sari offensive, you will not be happy here. If you find the kind of clothes that they wore in Ancient Egypt offensive, you really don't want to game here. I don't want to offend your sensibilities, and I don't want to have to deal with your outrage.
Mature Themes – Because we deal with what many consider to be 'Mature Themes', I do not allow anyone under the age of 18 to game here at the house, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. Unaccompanied players will not be seated, unless they have a letter from their parent or guardian stating that the player has their permission to be present, and their parent or guardian has had a prior discussion with me as to what they feel is permissible for their minor child to experience in the course of a game. Again, I suggest watching my YouTube videos to get an idea of what kind of games I run.
Guest Game Masters - While I am more then happy to host guest GMs and referees for games using my miniatures, due to several unhappy incidents in 2015 and 2016 I am afraid that I must require that any scenarios to be run by the guest GM be submitted to me in writing no later then thirty days in advance of the proposed game. I will be happy to discuss with the author of the scenario any elements of the scenario that I find that I have difficulties with, and will help the author of the scenario deal with any such issues. If the author of guest GM does not engage with me on this, I will not allow the game to take place here in my house.
Guests In General - I do encourage guests to come and visit us; we like to have people over to have fun, using our collections and experience. However, after a number of very unpleasant and even unsavory incidents over the past five years, I now - very reluctantly! - ask that anyone asking to visit provide a reference; if you know or game with somebody who knows or games with me, have them let me know about you. I do not accept 'cold calls'; this has proven to be a very bad idea, and has cost me quite a lot of time, effort, and money spent on legal fees.
Guests In Specific - If you bring a guest or guests to visit, you will be held responsible for them. While I am a pretty open-and fair-minded person, I have some really bad ( and expensive!) experiences with some people's guests. You, as the patron / sponsor / chaperone of your guests will be expected by me to remain here while your guests are here; if you have to leave before they want to - and this is not uncommon, given the game room and game lounge - I will not be amused and will not look with favor on any future visits by either you or your guests. Arrange your personal plans for your guests' sake; it's more polite.
Providing Players – I do not do this anymore. Over the years 2013 through 2015, I expended considerable effort to make sure that there were enough players for any given game. This was usually quite unsuccessful, and I am not going to put further time and energy into this. If you want me to run a game, contact me, and we can discuss how many players I am willing to host. Usually, I suggest four to eight. After that, you'll have to be the one getting the players together and here. I do not have the stamina or the energy to do this for you.
Inclusiveness – I have been criticized for “not being inclusive enough’ in my game groups. Over the past four decades, my definition of ‘inclusiveness’ has been to include in my games anyone who wants to play. (Photo provided on request.) If you have issues with this, please feel free to recruit your own players, so as to include the kind of people that you want. I require that I be given the names and contact information of anyone gaming here at the house, prior to their arrival. You will be held responsible for them, as noted above. I am sorry to have to note that I have a (very, very short) list of people who my wife has banned from our house; I will advise you if any of your guests are on this list. I'd be surprised if they were, quite frankly.
Real-world politics - If you want to game here, please leave your politics at the door; this is a game room built for gamers, not a caucus meeting. I also do not, and will not, tolerate you and or your guests using me, my family, my house, and my gaming for your political ends. If you have a position that you want my comments or support for, we can talk about it outside the gaming environment. (You may very well be surprised at my views - quite a few people who have thought I was in opposition to their point of view have been startled to find out that I am not. Don't assume.)
Refreshments – I provide unlimited hot and cold water, and a restroom, as well as various teas, both hot and cold. Plates and glasses are also available for you. I regret being unable to provide more then this, but trying to get some idea of what people want has been almost impossible in the past.
And Finally, Much To My Sadness:
Loss Prevention Policies - It pains me, more then I can possibly tell you, that I have to have a 'loss prevention policy at all. However, I have had a number of figures, books, artifacts, and other objects go missing over the years; thus, I will not loan anything from the collections out to anyone unless I personally accompany the loaned items. Period. No exceptions. None.