Things We Hand Wave
What's Your Alignment? In most of our campaigns, player characters do not need have an alignment selected. There is still a general sense of good and evil--and also selfish apathy--but no alignment (unless the GM specifically declares we are using alignment rules).
Where Were You? If a player is absent, so is that player's character. If the player returns for the next session, the character returns as if he or she had not been absent. Usually there is some sort of side comment about long bowel movements, but that is just because we are not wholesome people.
Who's the GM? Over the course of any given year, most of the group will have a turn at running some sessions. Right now, we have the Montporte Dungeon campaign going as the long-term game, +Chris C.'s (The Clash of Spear on Shield) Ephemera campaign as the every-once-and-a-while backup, and then +Rob Conley will step in to run some sessions. Eventually this will shift with another GM and campaign being the long-term focus.
How Will It End? While a campaign setting can be used over and over, the long-term campaign will end somehow, with the player characters and GM collaboratively latching onto a final big-ending story arc. Not my particularly strength as a GM.
Do You Like Me? Our group is committed to the time we have carved out for gaming, but we are also friends. We B.S. before and after sessions about gaming, but also about life. We also have plenty of cameo appearances by spouses, children, dogs, cats, and Ivy's middle finger. I think we have managed to pull together a good group of folks who love gaming, but also value the people they game with.
What Should I Say? Nothing. Our group has no safe word.
Can I Go There? No. We tread lightly in areas involving child abuse and sexual violence. For me personally, I would not go there. My wife works in the field of child abuse investigation and I have no desire to include it in my RPGs.
How does your gaming group function? What would be your ideal group?