The short answer is that we’re an online gaming club. We focus on story, OSR, and indie tabletop rpgs.
We have a dedicated calendar app for sign-ups. As of this writing we have about 140 individual sessions posted for this month. You can view those by events, in a table, or as a calendar. Game facilitators post sessions between two months and one week ahead of time. Those event descriptions include the mandatory safety tools used for the session, plus content warnings, and other information.
Getting Into Sessions
You need to register on the Gauntlet Calendar site to sign up for games. We set the first 72 hours after an event’s posted as a priority RSVP period. During this window folks who back the Gauntlet Patreon at the $10 level or those enrolled in our free Gauntlet Gameway program can sign up. Gameway is a free initiative to support marginalized or financially challenged gamers.
After that period anyone can sign up for games. Sessions have a wait list—lots of players get into sessions from those. If you’re interested, you should sign up. When you get into a session, the calendar app will send you an email. So if you bump up from the waiting list, you will be alerted.
When you’re signed up for a session, the game facilitator will contact you via email before the first session. This email will usually point you to any online resources for the session (like the character keeper) and tell you what service the game will be using (Zoom, Streamyard, Roll20, etc). All of our games use free services for the online meeting.
Anyone who has played at least one session with us (on the Gauntlet Calendar, at one of our Gauntlet Community Open Gaming weekends, or with one of our GMs at an outside event) can join our Gauntlet Slack. It focuses on talking about the games we play on the calendar—ongoing and future. You can message us at firstname.lastname@example.org about that.
What Do You Need?
At minimum you need a microphone and a stable internet connection to play. A camera is optional and you can always choose not to appear on video. Some GMs record their sessions for later posting—but they will always check in on that. If you’re not comfortable being recorded or having a session posted, you can say no. You can also message them privately before or after a session.
Just as with any online meeting, you’ll want to make sure you have a reasonably quiet area to play in. You’ll want to mute yourself when you’re not the focus of a scene. You may have to have a couple of tabs open in your browser—usually for the character keeper and an online die roller.
All Gauntlet sessions use safety tools. We expect GMs to present and explain the tools they will be using—as well as checking in to confirm them after session one. Most sessions use several tools in combination, most commonly Lines & Veils, the X-Card, and a CATS set up. Additionally all games are to follow the Gauntlet Code of Conduct.
All our sessions are Open Table, meaning anyone can sign up as their schedule permits. This means games may have a slightly different line up of players from session to session. The GM will explain and teach any necessary rules. You don’t have to know the system or own the books to play. Sessions are Open Door as well—so if you try out a game and it isn’t a good fit, you can drop. We only ask that you alert the game facilitator and cancel your RSVP.
Most sessions run about three hours—that will be listed in the event description. GMs will offer one or two breaks and players can call for them as necessary. If you have issues with safety or conduct at your table, you can contact the Gauntlet Care Committee at email@example.com.
What If I Can’t Get Into a Game?
Our sessions often fill up quickly, but you have a couple of options. First, it’s always worth putting your name on the waitlist for a session. Many, if not most, of our series draw at least one person from the waitlist to play. Second, look out a month or two ahead. They may have open seats or short waitlists. Third, keep an eye out for “new player” sessions where the GM restricts sign up to folks new to the Gauntlet. Fourth, if you’re having trouble finding a session you can get into, post on The Gauntlet Forums—we’ll see if we can find something that works for you.
Another option is to sign up for one of our Gauntlet Community Open Gaming weekends. We did three of these in 2020. These are free online event intended to help new players get into games and introduce newcomers to online tabletop rpg play. Our next event will be Feb 25th-28th. You can find out more about that here.
I Want to Run
We ask that new game facilitators play with us a few times before setting up an event on the calendar. Ideally you’ll play with a couple of different GMs. We do this for several reasons. First, we want to make sure game facilitators know our play culture: how we manage sessions, how game facilitators handle safety, what we expect for player behavior. By playing you can figure out if the community’s a good fit. We focus on storygames, indie games, and OSR which can have a different play style from other games.
Second, it shows you can commit to a schedule and show up. That can be a challenge, especially if you have a fluid working schedule. But we want to make sure our game facilitators can set up sessions and follow through. Third, it’s a great way to show off who you are to the community. If you’re someone people enjoy playing with, they’re more likely to support you and sign up for sessions when you post them.
From time to time, we also have Gauntlet Facilitator Camps. These consist of an experienced Gauntlet GM and three folks new to running on the Gauntlet. The first session has the facilitator going over the basics and talking about at-table issues. Then in the following three sessions, each participant runs a one-shot with a debrief at the end to talk about issues and ways to develop.
How Can I Learn More?
A great way to see if our games are right for you is to check out some of our actual play recordings. You can find our YouTube collection here. If you prefer listening to sessions like a podcast, you can search for sessions here.
You can see our Code of Conduct here. Our website has links to other resources as well. Even if you don’t play with us, we’re just happy to support online play. We have a huge folder of free online play resources including safety tools, templates, and character keepers. Find that here.
If you want to ask questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to chat with someone one on one about the Gauntlet or online gaming, contact us and we’ll work to make that happen. If even if you don’t play with us, if you just want help getting set up to run or play online, reach out. We’re just glad to help out.
If you’re organizing an online gaming con or gathering and you want some advice, feel free to reach out. We’ve run a half-dozen events and learned some lessons we’d be glad to share.