As one of the purposes of this blog is for clear communication in the game groups, in regards to the sessions that I run, please take the following into account:
A) Please do not bring someone to play in a session I (Blair) am DMing without clearing it with me first.
B) Please do not invite someone to play in a session I (Blair) am DMing without clearing it with me first.
C) Please do not imply to someone that they can play in a session I (Blair) am DMing without clearing it with me first.
D) A, B & C explicitly do not apply to the Thursday Red Box Vancouver games that I DM, as they are an "Open Game." Regardless, if you end up being responsible for Mark, or someone like him, showing up at the Red Box games I will hate you forever.
E) Please have the courtesy to also ask Sean and Pete before bringing strangers into their house, it is their private residence after all. And we should be considerate of Sean's privacy before bringing strangers into his house as well, that should be common sense for anyone.
F) You should also probably talk about bringing someone new with the other players, as for all you know perhaps one of us may not enjoy their company
G) Regardless of how cool this person is; how much D&D they have played; how much they would like to play D&D; or how drunk you were when you told someone that they could play in my game, that does not justify disregarding the above requests.
H) I would also suggest that it would be courteous asking Sean before inviting anyone to play in his game as well.
I) Most of us aren't enthusiastic about someone hanging around our sessions "just to watch;" it has always sucked, every time they ask too many questions or make too many exclamations and every time it drains the energy right out of the game. Please don't tell someone they can watch, no matter how fascinated they are.
Most likely, there won't be a problem. But there's more likely to be a problem if the new player arrives as a "surprise", and whatever problems there are will be more awkward, disrupting, and/or hurtful.
If this seems out of line, I suggest that you talk to Sean, Pete or Doug regarding their experiences with Mark in the past. We are all still traumatized from that experience.
Please note that this has not been discussed by the group and no consensus has been reached regarding the above, these are suggestions from me and not SASS rules; regardless I think it's reasonable for the person who is running a session to have some say in who is playing in that session.
As always, feel free to communicate your feeling regarding these thoughts and suggestions.
ADDENDUM: Before drafting this policy I took the time to discuss this issue with several other gamemasters from other groups. What I found fascinating, although unsurprising, was that wide range of opinions regarding this issue, pretty much evenly spaced along the spectrum.
So in regards to my above requests, if they seem uptight or ogrish, please understand that they are only my own personal opinion, although I would love for you to keep my requests in mind in regards to the games that I run.
Thank you & I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!