I'm running games independently, not part of a gaming group. Someone messaged me and asked if I could add two players to one of the RPG games I'm running or if I can add a session. He asked nicely. So, amongst my questions are:
There is no rule saying you can't accept more players beyond your max, and they would obviously need to provide generic tickets (since everyone else paid to play).
The challenge with RPGs in particular, though, is that going from a 6-player game to an 8-player game (for example) can be a dramatic change to the actual nature of the game. Lots of people simply don't want to play in a game that large, so I strongly discourage it. Even asking the players at the table if they're OK with it is tough, because that puts everyone on the spot - no one wants to be that one player who has to dash some potential player's hopes.
Having walk-ups fill spots for players who didn't show up is great. Expanding your event beyond its listed parameters is almost always bad unless the game structure itself can totally handle it (and, again, that's probably not the case for a typical RPG).
If you are willing, the best thing to do would be to just submit an entirely new session of the event and run it again. There is no way to reserve tickets, however, so these interested players will just need to keep an eye out and grab the tickets when it's Active and available.
Does that make sense?
Gen Con LLC
Thanks. That makes sense. Didn't think about the "I don't want to be in a 9-player game" aspect, though in retrospect that would not be fair to those players.
It seems kind of cruel to create a new session, though, and then have it sold out before he can get to it (especially since I can't say, "look for it at this date" because I can't predict when it will be Active). Both my games sold out fairly quickly, though past performance is not an indicator of future results.
So, you're recommending that I just set max players to my expected limit and go from there? Not say, "Max players is X-2" and then put a note saying there may be a larger group of players?
I've been in one of those RPGs where it was supposed be 6 people and it ended up being 9 because the DM just said "sure! grab a seat!"
I ended up leaving that game. It's not fun.
I think setting a game for 5 people, though, and then adding your friend in as the 6th is probably a pretty reasonable thing to do. But setting a game for 6 people and adding in two more is probably not. It's definitely a judgement call thing. Kind of one of those "I'll know it's not okay when I see it" things. :-P
Events added at this point likely won't sell out immediately (unless they're in real high demand and are promoted before being available), so you'll probably be fine just adding another session & telling the player when it's Active and letting them know they need to go grab a ticket ASAP.
Thanks. Will probably add another session.
Uncool for anyone with genrics looking to play and waiting.
Definitely depends on the type of RPG. Many of my games can handle an extra player and I usually account for this by having an extra pregen ready to go, but when running a game like D&D 4E I am strict about numbers.
Me too -- if number of players is X, then I tend to have X+1 pregen characters available just to see what characters people don't choose. And I ran one game where someone played Slim and someone else played Slim, his twin brother. It worked, but I felt like I was shortchanging the players a bit. That's my main concern -- my attention gets divided too much and players don't get the spotlight, not that it's a cakewalk or the encounters get too unbalanced. Then again, my games lately have been very narrative.
Like the GM can say "Yeah, I know I can take one extra with generics and so and so reached out to me so they get to play." It doesn't really matter that so and so is his friend that he carpooled to the con with.
I have been playing the same game with same GM for about a decade now. I have little doubt that if I told that GM I didn't get a ticket but I really wanted to play he'd put me above some other rando who also didn't get a ticket and had generics.
It's a matter of scale & a sense of "fairness," which is nebulous and very different from person to person.
Basically, we all know it happens intermittently but it should be avoided at all cost to reduce the chance that players with tickets are made uncomfortable or that other players who were interested don't feel like someone "cut in line" or something.
The only official ways to play in an event are to get a ticket ahead of time or to show up with generics. Anything else is technically not allowed and should not occur on any level that brings it to a wider notice, requiring further action.
I agree with everything Derek stated and I've battled the number of players thing at registration versus at game time for years and here are some opinions: