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Are you a “guest player” or a “host player” in your gaming?


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I mean, it depends? If I'm running a game I haul in all the stuff. I've played with groups where I brought extra minis &c. and we'd all bring food to share a meal. Most recently playing AL at a store I don't bring stuff to share because it's not a thing.

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For me, I'd argue I'm somewhere in the middle.  As someone who lives in a small one bedroom apartment, you can only cram in so much stuff before it becomes an issue.  I also rely on my two feet (and the bus, or Uber if I'm feeling fancy and am willing to spend $30-50 on transportation), which means anything I bring has to be of reasonable size, as well as weight. 

 

I don't host at my place despite technically having the space to play, simply because with thin walls and excitement it's hard to keep voices to a reasonable level, especially during heated or critical moments.  However, on the flipside, as Infinity is my main game and it has a huge dependency on terrain, I specifically went out of my way to acquire extra sets of the Salvora Governmental Complex because they're relatively lightweight, and don't take up too too much room.

 

Is it a good amount of scatter and terrain?  Not really, but even just two sets provides a decent amount of setup for a 150 point game, and a third or fourth et arguably will provide reasonable enough coverage for a 300 point game.  It won't be as varied or perfect, but it's a perfectly reasonable amount in my eyes. 

 

Ans then there's Conflict: The Last Argument of Kings which I'm starting to get into.  No idea about the local scene, as I haven't seen anyone else even in the province talking on their Discord, but I plan on bringing my hundred kingdoms as well as Spires along with me so others can either join in, or when I get a good enough grasp of the rules, look into hosting or teaching such. 

 

..But yeah, I'm I nthe middle, because it's a difficult path when you are literally limited by your own physical endurance. 

 

As for tabletop roleplaying, I've also been the one to do things like buy a second book I'm even slightly interested in so that the DM/GM has access to such, and same with the other players...  Although nowadays I tend to leave books at home, and bring PDFs, because ten PDFs weigh as much as one... 

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This is a complicated question.  I am a member of an active miniatures club which started in 1994, and has a couple of auxiliary RPGs going on. I personally have been more-or-less continuously active in the miniatures (and later the RPG) hobby since 1971. So I have a lot of stuff.

 

The social compact in our club is that nobody is asked to do anything they don’t want to do.  You can be a guest gamer for as long as you like.  If you choose to paint or build terrain, we will offer advice, lend tools, or otherwise help out.  Everybody is generally willing to share stuff around as needed; last week’s game involved a request for someone to provide a church for a St. Mere Eglise scenario, and I believe that several people provided the buuildings.  I don’t have any buildings in that scale and period, so I just came and played.  This week, I am hosting a 54mm medieval skirmish game, and I’m the only one in the club with the miniatures and scenery for that scale and period, so I will host the game myself.  Some other week it may be that there is a call for 25/28mm flat topped adobe buildings for a Star Wars game, and I would be able to contribute buildings but not figures.  I suppose that we figure that it all works out in the end, and there are enough host-capable club members that we have managed to make this work for 27 years of biweekly meetings without burnout.  

 

In addition to the club meetings, we also host games at conventions as a club.  You could probably argue that the genius of the club is that we ended forming a gamemaster guild by 1996, to increase our bargaining power with our local conventions.  We wanted our tables together (usually in a separate room) and we wanted control over the scheduling.  We quickly discovered that we were able to put on more games as a result of being able to predictably share troops and scenery. At one point, we noted that we had less that 1% of the membership of the historical Miniatures Gaming Society, but were putting on 10% of the games at the conventions, so there were certainly some efficiencies realized.  Did we find out that running games was fun because we banded together to do it, or did we band together because we thought running games was fun?  It’s hard to say, because each half reinforced the other.  New club members were (are) often inspired to go on and host games.

 

But, as mentioned, there’s no pressure.  

 

@Chris Palmer, am I missing any key points?

 

Here’s a picture from the HAWKs room at Cold Wars in Lancaster, PA, in April 2015. I think there were about nine tables in the room.  You can see that we have our club banner there so that everyone knows who we are. The game I was actually photographing is being run by my son, standing with has hand on his hip at the right side of the table.  As it happens, by the way, while he can host a game with minimal borrowing, he had an itch to see this particular 40mm French Revolution/Scarlet Pimpernel set up of mine on the table, so he borrowed the whole set up from me for the con.  (It looks, from my records, like I was running 25mm Dark Ages with Warhammer Ancient Battles that convention, so I was on a 5x6 ground cloth and could lend my 10x6 green one out.)

 

28965E59-FAC4-47F0-A2E1-FE530D499851.thumb.jpeg.3d6465dd4a75235992eeae2a6a80e428.jpeg

 

 

 

Edited by Rob Dean
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My lovely Lady C is not a RPG/Tabletop type player, so I do not as a rule have games at my house. However, I DO set up for games at a LGS, bringing everything needed for those games. Lady C has always been gracious on the occasions when we did take over the dining room for Battletech, usually feeding everyone as well.

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I would say that in most instances I fall in the Host role.  I host 95% of our games (all rollplaying, all wargaming and just about all board gaming).  I have the dedicated space, by design.  Even some of the games that belong to the other players are stored in my basement as we play there (well, in the Before Times, hopefully to resume soon...).  I provide the figures for our rollplaying games (Bones!!) and 3d print what is missing, regardless of who is DMing.  When we do play board games elsewhere, usually to accommodate someone, I more often than not bring at least one of the games to the session.  

 

I have zero interest is gaming with folks I don't know and being one of 2 of our group with kids, mine being the youngest, my house will remain the go-to spot for game-related shenanigans.  

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Again, it depends. My RPG groups tend to supply refreshments just for themselves, that way everyone has what they want. Most of the players are not painters and don’t bring anything beyond the necessary gaming materials. If miniatures are being used, the painters usually volunteer to paint character miniatures. The GM provides everything else.

 

My wargaming groups tend to bring drinks and snacks for everyone since we are often playing anywhere from 6-10 hours at a crack. Again they will bring anything requested by the host, since a host may not own the entire Union V Corps when refighting  the second day of Gettysburg.

 

Food and drink are typically forbidden at the table for board games so that group is all over the place. I do not feel any kind of social contract to provide food and drinks when hosting. People are free to provide or not provide as they desire. Common courtesy prevales. As I said, different mind sets for different groups.

Edited by Heisler
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I'm both. I'm a player in Weds night AL at the FLGS & I'm a DM on Saturdays. I only bring for myself, but the store provides if purchased.

 

I'll provide bottle water for my players & occasionally I'll order pizza but for the most part, my player provide their own refreshments. A couple players bring enough to share with the table as well. One player provides his own & really doesn't partake in the snacks. Tbh, I don't think my players expect me to provide refreshments,

 

When I ran games at the FLGS, I didn't provide refreshments but the store did, if you bought them yourself.

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Common courtesy is an interesting turn of phrase because there are expectations attached but rarely codified in any tangible way.

 

I guess one way to phrase what I am skiing in this thread is that do you feel it is common courtesy to help create what someone in another forum called often neglected “the third army” of terrain even when you are not the GM/DM or Club/Shop?

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1 hour ago, Grumpy Gnome said:

I guess one way to phrase what I am asking in this thread is that do you feel it is common courtesy to help create what someone in another forum called often neglected “the third army” of terrain even when you are not the GM/DM or Club/Shop?

 

In my case, the answer to that is “no”.  As noted above, I do recognize that my club situation is somewhat unusual, but with a sequence that might be  (over several meetings) 10mm ancient Romans/Carthaginians, 25mm fantasy/medieval, 40mm 18th century, 20mm WWII, 28mm WWI, 10mm Napoleonics, followed by 54mm Buck Rogers, not even the trees are universal, let along buildings etc.  Having a group social compact of contributing terrain would probably need to start with a de facto group social compact on the period/scale.  Where there is overlap in the group, there is some collaboration going on, in troops as well as terrain.  But I think that I would characterize that as uncommon courtesy.  If any new guy did want to do something, after playing, say, a Buck Rogers game, we would feel compelled to warn him that it might be a year or three before that particular topic (scale, period) came around again.    

 

(While the Buck Rogers figures are used reasonably often…

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…our group collection of Buck Rogers spaceships …

7813F008-8B56-4CE2-9ADD-7D5B5697CEDF.jpeg.f73fd3581aaecb173b1e42f5acdaa270.jpeg

 

…hasn’t been on the table in 20 years or so. )

 

Even witin one project, I use different building sets with the same figures.

 

In a battle game with the 40mm 18th century guys, I might use the subscale 25mm cardstock buildings to represent a town …

 

FC1EEE7C-4E82-413A-BB6E-4488FAFDFB57.jpeg.c75f210babdeda61def91c495a9eb122.jpeg

 

…or a reasonably to-scale scratchbuilt building in a smaller game …

 

6917F44F-1CA1-4E15-AB36-4D75AB918F6A.jpeg.6173e60937031301eb1ae590852945a7.jpeg

 

…so it would be hard for a potential contributor to know what to build when I don’t even know what I’m going to put on the table next time.

 

All of this brings us back around to what to do to encourage a new person.  I feel that, in my experience, the best encouragement is to be having fun hosting, and to encourage them to start working toward the ability to host in whatever period/scale/genre they are most interested in.  If that does overlap with something one of us is doing, a game can be on the table all the sooner, but, if it doesn’t, there are games to play in the meantime, and they are, at least, working on something that interests them rather than something that interests me.

 

 

We have a club meeting tonight, though, so I’ll throw the topic out for conversation and see what the others think. @Chris Palmer is a club member, and @Crowley was with us for a Frostgrave campaign, which did have quite a bit of voluntary cooperation.

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Encouraging voluntary cooperation is what I am thinking.

 

Guiding players into initial purchases…. be they minis, terrain, book, props, tools, whatever …. that are sound investments for long term use, ie things commonly used, replayability, modular, etc.

 

Encouraging new folks to get some simple, generic terrain early on helps foster a sense of responsibility for that “third army” so often overlooked in the rush to get fancy minis.

 

It is a lot like encouraging new larpers to buy a decent quality, simple earth tone wool cloak and basic sword instead of that fancy two handed sword with flaming skull hilt and bright red cotton cape.

 

 

Edited by Grumpy Gnome
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Food and snacks are highly dependent on the group and location.  As noted above in some locations you can't have outside food or drink.  I used to provide dinner when we gamed during the evenings at my house, but it was never reciprocated with an offer to bring pizza or snacks and I got real tired of it.  Some people just don't get the hint.   My current group is awesome and brings all kinds of stuff to the party, but it's entirely voluntary.  Nobody is given a duty or responsibility to bring anything.

 

I do encourage the new folks and share sources of miniatures, paint, game books, etc. but I also recognize that they may not be interested in or have time (or money) to spend on the hobby like I do.  

 

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I thought we weren't going to have a game tomorrow on the account of one player having car problems (he picks up anther player). The player that lives an hour north of here, said he would go pick both guys up, but he had a stipulation in that one of the players actually stays the entire game this time. Last time we played, one of those player (not the car trouble guy) was too tired & almost fell asleep during the game. Kinda had problems with this player in regards of focus, the last few weeks. (this is not the player I'm had arguments with in the past over game situations/rules - that guy is the guy that lives an hour away, so I don't blame him for adding in the stipulation)

 

They agreed with the stipulation & the game is on for tomorrow.

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