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I am in a group of friends who meet to play dungeons and dragons. The person whose house we go to often cancels because their partner can't make it. So as we are all adults we don't meet up very often at all.

Last night was the final straw. They cancelled late, so I didn't get the email before rushing around after work to arrive on time, to find it cancelled.

So as our house has 3 people to play we have decided to run our own game and they can all come whenever they can make it. I am having trouble because I am generally blunt and know this isn't what is needed. I want to let them know I will no longer be coming, and invite then to join us whilst letting them know it will running if they aren't there. I'm worried this friend might feel offended that we're hosting the same game elsewhere. I want them to feel welcome to join us when they can, while asserting that the games will proceed with or without them.

How can I tactfully inform our friend that they will no longer host our game without offending them?

Update: It has been silence since I sent the email, not a single word from anybody, so that didn't go well at all.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – John Mar 16 '18 at 2:37
  • Think of playing d&d as watching a long running TV drama, some weeks the station cancels it as some sport is being shown instead, but everyone understands it will carry on next week, same program same time. But you get sick of the program being cancelled so say "I am going to stop watching this program and start watching a different program instead". This is what i have done. I have told everyone I am no longer watching buffy, but you are free to join us watching Dr who on DVD, we will be watching Dr who even when you are busy watching sport. if this analogy hasn't helped please ignore it. – WendyG Mar 22 '18 at 12:01
  • @AllTheKingsHorses I was expecting a response saying, yes we will join you, or no this doesn't work for us. – WendyG Mar 22 '18 at 12:02
  • @WendyG But your comments (in contrast to your question) make it sound like you unilaterally decided, without consulting with the others first. You can do that - but you have to be willing to go ahead without them if they decide to stick to the old routine. It's not quite clear to me from what you write but I suspect the crux may be the communication about the change with the other group members. – AllTheKingsHorses Mar 22 '18 at 14:11
  • @AllTheKingsHorses. I read these threads and often wonder how the action went, so i was just updating with the result. The question is now closed, as no longer relevant – WendyG Mar 22 '18 at 14:21
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I think that people get too focused on giving reasons when those aren't always required.

I like keeping things simple. I'd suggest starting the overall conversation with,

I've enjoyed getting together but I'm backing out. I am hosting my own game and you're welcome to join if you'd like."

I think that generally people won't ask for reasons.

If that happens, though, don't blame anyone. Give facts.

It was fun, but the last-minute cancellations got to be too much for me.

And leave it at that. If you're concerned about offending someone, I'd suggest waiting a month and then letting your friends know part 2:

I've started hosting a game at my place. It's pretty casual; we play with whoever is there at the time. I'd love to have you join if you want to.

Keep this in mind: D&D games come and go. Players change. People drop in and out all the time. Anyone who has played D&D for more than 6 months knows that - at least every game I was ever in had a pretty fluid membership!

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You do not need an excuse for it per say. You agreed to meet up to play a game, you can stop doing that whenever you want to.

However, try wording it something like this perhaps:

Hey x, I just want to let you know that I won't be attending your games anymore. This is supposed to be entertainment and stress relief for me, something I can look forwards too during the week. But lately the games you host have been unreliable and it has happened often that the game was cancelled at a very late notice. This turns something that should be fun into another source of stress for me, and I no longer like that.

For that reason, I will be hosting my own games in the future. You are of course welcome to attend whenever you can, but the games will be held and continue regardless of wether or not you can be there.

I think this is a way to communicate how you feel in a nice and adult manner and will give them an idea of what and why.

  • 5
    While your message is to the point, it's not particularly tactful. You don't need to include all those details. Instead, it's best to simply describe the situation going forward. @baldPrussian uses a subtler, and more diplomatic approach. – AndreiROM Mar 14 '18 at 19:24
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Since no one else has suggested it, I'm going to say you should phrase it as "Since you've been unavailable a bunch of the last times, I'd like to take over hosting the game at my place."

If your friend is reasonable, they should acknowledge the reality of the fact that their schedule (or their partners, without whom they can't play?) is preventing everyone from playing, and they should accede without a problem.

  • This would sound most like it came from me. – WendyG Mar 14 '18 at 22:12
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I read all of your answers and liked all of them, so this is what i came up with.

We have discussed this and we think running something from here fortnightly is a good solution for us. We would love it if you 3 will join us whenever you are free.

It's going to be pretty casual; we will play with whoever is there at the time. I'd love to have you join if you want to.

But 4,5 and six are more fun than 3 so I hope you make it more often than you don't.

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