What to do with a disruptive player
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Posted by kidlidar

Just a question for the Gen Con staff:

I ran a LARP on Friday night at Union Station, which has access to a bar.  Several of my players were drinking (legally) and there were a few that drank too much to the point of it effecting my other players.  This is a 35 person LARP.  The problem I had was that when I sent one of my GM's to GM HQ for staff assistance (I was going to ask them to leave my game but I wanted support from the staff)  They were closed.  I was able to call upon my 24 years of experience as a police officer and politely tell them that they were interfering with the other player's good time.  The situation resolved without incident and our game continued when I gave them 1 last chance and they were told to "tone it down."

I have Derek's cell number but since the situation resolved, I didn't want to call him at 2230 hrs.  What I'd like to here from some of the Gen Con staff as to what was the proper response, as I didn't want them complaining on me and getting me thrown out.

I know that Gen Con can't post a no drinking policy because of the hotels and most of the participants being of legal drinking age, but is there a policy about players that are intoxicated?  These two players were so intoxicated that, based on my experience they wouldn't be able to drive a vehicle safely. (they were slurring their words and one had trouble standing up for long periods of time. 

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Posted by garhkal

I'd have tried to explain to everyone at the Start of the event "Yes, the bar's here, but please don't drink too much you can potentially become an issue, being loud and boisterous, and impact everyone else's enjoyment of the game"..

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Posted by kidlidar

Thanks.

Any word from the Staff?  Just curious

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Posted by roderick

The entire staff takes a week's vacation to wind down, get over concrud, and generally recover from the con. 

As far as I'm concerned (and I'm the Union Station Event Team leader, but not a member of staff), you did just right. I left the desk about 11:00 so had it been half an hour earlier, I would have backed you up/dealt with them. 

Roderick Robertson
Union Station Lead

 

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Posted by kidlidar

Thanks Roderick.  I actually spoke to you when we started.  I enjoyed our brief conversation and thanks for the advice, both now about the players and the food advice that night.

Marshall Grunwell
Head GM
GMN Productions

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Posted by derekguder

If players are being disruptive and do not respond appropriately to a warning about such, event organizers are welcome to ask them to leave and to return their ticket to them for a refund (if they haven't used any supplies or whatnot).

Same goes for the players, honestly. If the event ends up just not being what was advertised, they can ask for their ticket back to get a refund, when appropriate.

We expect players to engage with an event in good faith, and we expect gamemasters to engage with players in good faith, as well. If either side of that equation breaks down, it's usually best to just part ways and move on with the convention.

Please do let Gen Con know either way, though, either stopping by the HQ or sending an email after the fact to leave feedback, etc.

In this particular case, if the local HQ is closed and you need assistance, the next "line of defense" would be the facility itself, so the hotel front desk. Though you are welcome to call me directly, if need be. I'm almost guaranteed to be up at that time.

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Derek Guder
Event Manager
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by kidlidar

Thanks Derek.  I appreciate the response.  If you need more details I can email them to you.  Unfortunately I don't remember their names. 

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Posted by sirjohn

I had a gm that had a player that got kinda abusive verbally and they felt it was getting to the point of possibly being violent. Now the GM while we are Facebook friends and she has my number also said that she looked at our groups HQ which was right behind her and no one was there to ask about this. We are looking at implementing a Facebook messenger post that has a few of our members on it so they can message it and then we can have a few people respond to said table. That being said I am going to be asking that I can get someone form the HQ of the area as well on there so that they can be keyed into the issue as well at the same time and then call for backup as well to the area. The situation did not escalate into violence but it could have. I hope this helps some and hopefully Gen Con Staff can help with suggestions on this as well.  

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Posted by derekguder

We will not be able to post staff near every table, nor is it really feasible to connect all of them to a public chat of some kind. That wouldn't be a timely way to call for help, anyway.

When a player is becoming an issue, attempt to resolve the situation at the table, if at all possible. If that doesn't work or the GM is not comfortable with the situation, they can step away for a moment and go to either their own HQ or the local event HQ. If neither of those are available, the facility staff/security should be visible or they can call one of the Event team directly (contact information is listed in the Event Host Policy).

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Derek Guder
Event Manager
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by kidlidar

Hey Derek,

Is there a policy about players that are intoxicated?  I was curious...

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Posted by derekguder

"Disruptive player" is an intentionally vague term. There are some (not many) events where that might not be an issue, and others where it will, so it's pretty context-based.

If a player is disrupting an event for the other players and it can't be easily resolved at the table, call in staff to deal with it as needed.

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Derek Guder
Event Manager
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by kidlidar

I got that, and thanks for responding.  Yes I was vague on purpose.  What about intoxication?  If a player is obviously intoxicated can we as GM's ask them to leave?  Or do they have to be causing problems?

For the record, I started this thread to have GenCon staff answer my questions, which they did, and I'm thankful that they thought I handled the situation appropriately.  I have ran LARPS at Gen Con for 3 years and I used to run LARPS for Mind's eye theatre back in the day.  I've never had a problem with a player at Gen Con before.

Thanks for answering my questions once you guys took your (well deserved) break.

Marshall Grunwell
Head GM
GMN productions.

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Posted by derekguder

Yes.

Is they are disrupting the event and there is not a simple solution at the table, you can ask them to leave so they event can be salvaged for the remaining players.

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Derek Guder
Event Manager
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by kidlidar

Thanks again Derek. :)
 

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Posted by gib_rebeg derekguder

derekguder wrote:
If players are being disruptive and do not respond appropriately to a warning about such, event organizers are welcome to ask them to leave and to return their ticket to them for a refund (if they haven't used any supplies or whatnot).

Same goes for the players, honestly. If the event ends up just not being what was advertised, they can ask for their ticket back to get a refund, when appropriate.

Derek Guder
Event Manager
Gen Con LLC

The problem I see with what you said here Derek is in the refund policy of Gencon.

"Event-specific ticket refunds must be requested at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the event."

In the event of a disruptive player being asked to leave, and giving them their ticket back. Under Gencon's own policy, they must have requested a refund 30 min. before the event. Any GM wont know of a disruptive player until the event starts. Which means said player can't get a refund unless there is an exception clause not mentioned in the policy.

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Posted by derekguder

That timeline is for an attendee who just changes their mind on an event that they don't want to attend anymore.

It does not apply to situations like canceled events, not having enough players showing up, or there being an Incident of some kind, whether that's a problematic players or an event that is not run as advertised.

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Derek Guder
Event Manager
Gen Con LLC

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