Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

Here you will find several of the Frequently Asked Questions that the administration for this group receives on a regular basis.
If there is anything not answered here please Contact us with your question.

Do I need to be in New Mexico to play in a game or host an event?

While New Mexico Gamers Society is largely made up of New Mexico residents, this is not a requirement as we have members from throughout the country and even abroad. We do encourage tips for GMs be sent as store credit to local New Mexico game stores and when in person gaming becomes viable once more we will likely only be organizing in person events in New Mexico but will continue organizing online events for everyone from anywhere.

Does New Mexico Gamers Society organize in person events?

At this time we are largely organizing only online events but when it is safe to congregate in public places again we would be happy to have IRL game sessions scheduled through NMGS. This will be a great way to facilitate scheduling and reserving a seat, especially once regular game nights with drop in play become available again at local game stores.
In the meantime we do encourage all players that are able to tip their DMs with store credit at the local New Mexico Game Store of the DM’s choice to help keep those small businesses running during this difficult time.

Why should I change my nickname on your discord server?

The naming conventions that we require per our code of conduct are in place so that we can hold all members of the New Mexico Gamers Society accountable for their behaviors by knowing who everyone actually is. This is not the place for anonymity and so we require all members to provide the administration team with their actual real-life name.This also entails discord display names to be standardized with the provided format that reflects the name you use in real life rather than a cunning screen name.
If there is a legitimate reason that you do not wish to have your IRL name displayed contact the admin team with pertinent details as listed in the code of conduct so that you may choose an alternate name. This will still need to appear as an actual name so as to not bring undo scrutiny to your exception.

Why should I tip my GM?

While events are conducted at no cost to the participants, please be aware that event hosts, admins & moderators are unpaid volunteers.
When possible, we encourage participants to tip their hosts using the tipping method listed for the events that they join.

Recommended tips are between $2-5 per session for each participant.

If you had a great time and can afford to do more it is always appreciated. While a few dollars may not seem like much, it adds up & helps cover any costs that event hosts might incur. When gratuities come in the form of store credit at a local New Mexico game store it works like a micro loan that can help that FLGS stay in business during this time of social distancing.

New Mexico Gamers Society provides scheduling services and event coordination at no charge but donations for administrative costs via the donate link on the top right corner of the website are also appreciated.

How do I run games for NMGS & what benefits are there for doing so?

To run games for New Mexico Gamers Society we ask that you register to Host on our website. As soon as you register to Host a game on NMGS.club a few things will happen as detailed below:
1. You'll be given the Event Host role in our discord which will allow you to join the DMs only text channel, post to the announcements channel about upcoming events that you're hosting, & be assigned a text and voice channel of your own on our server for when you're running your games. We also have a paid Zoom account that can be made available for use when you’re running upon request.

2. We'll create your event in our scheduler as an appointment type based on the responses given in the Host registration form. If the time and date(s) you plan to run were provided we'll schedule that appointment type as an event. Otherwise we'll leave the appointment type generated to be scheduled at a later point. We can always modify details of an appointment type if needed.

3. We'll set you up a login for our scheduler so that you can remove or modify listed players, reschedule your events, or duplicate the event to occur again at a new time for recurring appointments of the event you registered. You only need to register a new Host form if running a different game. A hardcover campaign would be one appointment type, while a home brew game or Adventurers League modules would be a different appointment type.

4. Upon request you'll be flagged as a GM in our Roll20 character maintenance games where we have shared the books we've purchased so that you can help players create characters in Roll20 using the charactermancer and our resources prior to them exporting to their character vaults.
We try to check the host registration form daily but if we haven’t scheduled it for you within 24 hours send a message to one of the administrators (Christof or Linda D) in the discord to let us know to check on it.

As an Event Host what should I use for a Virtual Tabletop?

There are many options for Virtual Table Tops. A few of these include Foundry, Astral, Fantasy Grounds, & Roll20. Which you chose to use is ultimately up to you. The admins for this group tend to use Roll20 when they run but we also have DMs that use many of the other options.

Here are some of the highlights & what we've found:
• Roll20: The most commonly used VTT, fairly well established with an online marketplace and a wealth of content available for it. It’s free for basic services but has paid options for premium features.

• Foundry: Looks great and is only a one time cost for the software. It is still in the early stages so it does not have a lot of content available for it and does require the host to be fairly tech savvy to configure.

• Fantasy Grounds: This VTT has been around for a while and has a fair amount of content available for it, especially in terms of published adventure modules. It’s free but does have an older interface which is not as intuitive for all users.

• Astral: this free web based VTT is very pretty. It does not have any integrated character sheets or content and everything needs to be manually set up by the event host with the adventure content, stats, character sheets and so forth handled independently from the VTT. It seems like it would be a great VTT for in person gaming where you have the physical books, dice and sheets in hand.

As an Event Host what should I use for voice or video?

When running games you will need a way to communicate with your participants in real time.
Most VTT have integrated text chats and some also have voice & video built in. We advise against using the integrated voice and video options as it causes the VTT to run slower. Instead we advise using an external service of which there are many available. Out of game communications are typically handled with the discord channels that we set up for Event Hosts on our server while in game communications may also use Discord or another service of the Event Hosts choice. We have a paid Zoom account that does not have time limits that Event Hosts may use upon request.

Alternatively you could use Microsoft Teams, conference calls, Google Voice, Facebook messenger, or any other service you and your players agree on. Discord is likely the easiest option while Zoom may work better in some cases. Whether or not you use video is up to the event host. That said, we have found that the best course is to have Video as an option but not a requirement. Event hosts are not required to use the text or voice channels we provide in discord but may instead opt to use their own. That being the case, for games that are open invite, it is recommended to facilitate out of game discussions within the NMGS server.

Should I flag my game as containing Mature Content?

Because our community is open to minors we have to be mindful of the content that is made publicly available. Games that are flagged as Mature Content will not show on our regular schedule and will only be available through a link in the NSFW channel of our discord. It is important with Mature Content games that you and the games participants establish and respect boundaries of what is and is not acceptable early on.

Anything that could be considered rated R or higher should be flagged as mature content while games that would be rated PG-13 do not need to be. Most fantasy violence is usually rated pg-13 as long as you don't dwell overly much on the viscera. A beheading with a spray of blood is one thing, while a minute long description of every gory detail is another.

When there is a minor in a game it is also recommended to curtail excessive cursing and to steer away from abusing drugs/alcohol, intimate relations, etc. Someone slipping with an expletive is not a big deal, but continuous swearing should not be permitted. More details can be found in the Code of Conduct. If you prefer to limit your players to not include minors, this does not need to be flagged as mature content. Rather simply be clear in your event’s description that the game is only intended for players 18 and up.

Why should I schedule events once I have a full table of regular players & have no open spots?

Remember that if you’re running a game with a dedicated group of players, even if you’re not accepting new players at this time, we still want to have you register the event so that we can have it on our schedule and you can be added as an event host if you are not listed as one already.
The reasons we ask for this as follows:
• Your event will show on our calendar to illustrate how active our community is, even when there are no open games available.
• Allows other DMs to schedule their games at times when parts of our community are not already committed to your ongoing game.
• Ensure that DMs who have recurring games have the opportunity to join as a player when they are not running their own games.
• If you have cancellations or want to open up a guest spot you can easily do so on the fly.

What’s the difference between Adventurer’s League & Homebrew for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition?

Adventurers League is the organized play system for Dungeons & Dragons administered by the publishing company Wizards of the Coast.
Adventurer's League requires that you stick to Rules as written and adhere to the AL guidelines as determined by the publishing company. Game Masters also run published adventures from an approved list and agree to adhere to the Adventurers League guidelines. This is designed to facilitate a consistent experience no matter who is running the game and allows players to bring their AL legal characters from one DMs table to another and easily facilitates drop in drop out play. Signups on the event scheduler are very useful to help facilitate this style of play.

Home brew refers to any game that is not a part of an organized play system.
Homebrew games allow a lot more liberty with how a Game Master runs and allows them to use the Rule of cool, add or modify from published adventures as desired or create their own adventures & worlds from scratch. All aspects of game play and interpretation of the system, Character generation method, allowed races, classes, etc. are completely at the discretion of the GM.

Characters created for home brew games cannot be played in organized play games and generally would only be able to be played in that specific homebrew game. For the most part homebrew games tend to have a set group of players with a limited ability to take drop in players.

Can I run "Adventurers League Light"?

There is no such thing as "Adventurers League light", "Pseudo Adventurer's League", "Mostly Adventurers League Legal", etc.
Either a game is run fully under Adventurers League guidelines, or it is not considered AL legal.
GMs may elect to run a homebrew game that uses some or even most of the guidelines from AL - but it would still be considered a homebrew game.

Is Adventurers League or Homebrew better?

This truly depends on the type of gaming experience preferred so the answer varies.
Generally AL is better suited for public play with relative strangers while homebrew is better suited for set groups with close friends.
Below are some Pros and Cons of each play style.

Pros

Homebrew
• Allows more freedom for the GM in terms of the content run as well as how it is run.
• Allows players to create characters with the guidelines established by the GM including choices in races, classes, spells & attribute generation.
• GM sets how far established rules can be bent or broken for the sake of added amusement.
• Potential for immersive game play with tracking of encumbrance & other optional or variant rules.
• Any alignment can be allowed and infighting between a group or PvP may be permitted.

Adventurers League
• Adventures & rulings are pre-established so there is no need to create a world, or adventures from scratch, rulings are already established.
• Character creation guidelines ensure characters are balanced rather than under or over powered.
• Rules are run as they are written and there are a number of resources from the organized play admins that can help to clarify anything that might be unclear. Something that might seem a fun bending of the rules for the GM may be problematic for one of the players, this eliminates that potential.
• There is no need to worry about the minutiae of tracking encumbrance, experience points, or every single coin spent on living expenses or found along the way.
• No need to worry about PvP or a player using an evilly aligned character as an excuse to be a jerk.

Cons

Homebrew
• Lack of portability of characters. If you can’t continue with the same game runner, for the most part your character is no longer playable.
• Potentially unbalanced characters. When options open up so does the potential for overpowered characters.
• Expectations on rulings is not as well established as it is wholly up to the GM.
• Potentially having to track added minutia such as encumbrance & lifestyle expenses.
• Potentially having conflicting aligned characters or focus from the game shifting to infighting & PvP

Adventurers League
• Limitations on character generation in terms of race, class, stat generation, alignments, etc.
• Advancement is determined by the players so they may advance faster than a DM would like when running an ongoing campaign.
• Rulings must be as written so there is not the freedom to do “Rule of Cool”
• Not as immersive due to some metagame tracking requirements.
• Extra paperwork tracking each session with some form of log sheet.

Where can I find the most up to date documentation for details on how Adventurers League works?

When running or playing Adventurers League games it is always recommended to be familiar with the current guidelines provided by Wizards of The Coast.

There are currently four active Adventurers League campaigns, Eberron Oracle of War, the Masters Campaign, the current Seasonal Campaign, and the Historic Campaign. The Masters campaign is set in the Forgotten Realms and includes the Red war with the Wizards of Thay as well as anthologies like the Candlekeep Mysteries. The current Seasonal campaign is Icewind Dale (the seasonal campaign is anticipated to change out each year in the Fall sometime) Finally the Historic campaign includes all Forgotten Realms content from prior seasons; the current Seasonal Campign willl become Historic when the new Season is introduced. These each have their own players & dungeon master guides. There is also a Content catalog, a FAQ, and log sheets for both DMs & Players.

These documents are updated on a regular basis and any major changes will happen when the new season begins. Adventure League seasons generally coincide with the release of a new hardcover campaign and recently this has been roughly once a year around September.

These documents can all be found in our Discord under the text channel labeled "AL Docs" or at the Adventurers League official website.

Why do I need to keep log sheets or adventure records when playing Adventurer’s League games?

The log sheet catalogs your character’s progression throughout their adventuring career.
While the format of your log sheet is up to you, players and DMs are required to maintain one.
We do have form fillable PDFs for the more official log sheets available in the AL Docs text channel on our discord but you may wish to use a site like www.adventurersleaguelog.com or even an excel spreadsheet or some other format.
You should create a log sheet entry for any of your character’s noteworthy events, such as playing an adventure, trading a magic item, copying spells in your spellbook, performing a downtime activity, etc.

Beyond allowing yourself to review your character’s journey, keeping your Adventure Log current and complete will show a record of where your advancement and Magic Items came from. These logs are part of what proves that your character is AL Legal.

Adventurers League DMs are allowed to audit Adventure Logs and can disallow the use of items or characters that haven’t been properly accounted for. Most of the time your log sheets won’t be checked by your DM, but just like a carrying your license, registration & insurance when driving a car, you should have them readily availble. While Adventurers League is largely an honor system it is best to have the proper documentation in place should it be needed.