Puzzled Pint Charter

This document acts as a constitution for Puzzled Pint event-runners, aka Game Control (GC). It defines our core values, our responsibilities, and the events that can be run under the Puzzled Pint name and brand.  

Core Philosophy

These are the non-negotiable essence of Puzzled Pint.  We uphold them at all times.

  • Nonprofit, volunteer events
  • Free to attend and play
  • Open to the public
  • Newbie-friendly and non-competitive (no prizes, no scoring)
  • In a bar or other place that serves pints
  • The 2nd Tuesday of the month, in the evening, scheduled for around 3 hours
  • Using the same puzzles as the other cities
  • For the benefit of the puzzling community:
    • Content is shared under a Creative Commons Noncommercial Attribution license
    • Private noncommercial events using our archive of puzzles are encouraged–we call them “Puzzled Pint Parties.”

Core Responsibilities

GC in any given city is responsible for these tasks:

  • Secure a location each month
  • Solve or otherwise become familiar with the month’s puzzles
  • Print event materials, including puzzles, answer sheets, code sheets, etc.
  • Staff the event
    • Help players locate GC
    • Distribute packets to teams and record start and end times
    • Help match singleton players to one another or existing teams
    • Happily give out hints, confirm answers, and assist players as requested
    • Collect answer sheets
  • Record answer sheet information

Headquarters (HQ) is responsible for these tasks:

  • Making puzzles available before monthly events
  • Creating and updating Puzzled Pint documentation, including this Charter
  • Maintaining the website, archived content, and storage media
  • Answering questions from city GCs and the public

Puzzled Pint is Noncommercial

There must be no commercial affiliation for a given city or event.  That said, GC is welcome to accept occasional printing services or promotional materials for distribution to the players. To avoid the appearance of a commercial affiliation, and to prevent a conflict of interest, limit the frequency of printing or promos from any given provider to a few times per year. Address any “sponsorship” related questions to HQ.

Puzzled Pint Regional Variations

While the Puzzled Pint Charter acts as a core constitution, this document acts as a set of amendments that individual cities may use to customize the event for local culture, geography, and other factors.

Please contact HQ for ideas outside this list.  It’s good to have a second set of eyes to confirm the idea fits our philosophy–plus we’ll know to add the idea to this list for other cities to try.


  • May request voluntary donations for printing and material expenses.  A few notes:
    • Check with host bar for their policy.  They may want a share.
    • Be careful to ensure that attendees who do not donate are just as welcome as attendees who do
  • Physical location options
    • Rotate to a new bar/restaurant every month
    • Rotate among a few core bars/restaurants
    • Use a single home bar/restaurant
  • Event promotion options
    • May operate a social media account for your area (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, etc).
    • May promote a rough regional location ahead of time (e.g. “it’s in SE Portland” or “it’s downtown”)
    • May promote the actual location ahead of time (e.g. “it’s in The Foo Bar”)
  • Puzzle options
    • May help us write puzzles
    • May help us playtest puzzles
  • May rotate GC members so that folks can run the event one month and attend as a player another month.
  • May split into multiple events in a single city, especially when the event is large
  • May wear a button, t-shirt, hat or other item to identify you as GC
  • May produce “frequent puzzler” cards, stickers, or other swag, but must not discriminate — all attending players should be offered the materials. Local GC is responsible for funding these sorts of projects. Example: Portland GC pooled personal funds and gifted all attending players screen-printed pint glasses on our anniversary month.
  • May use extra physical elements in the puzzles for your city (things that are perhaps not feasible to manufacture & send to other cities e.g. laser-cut, 3D printed, the “football” briefcase combination, electronic gadgets, and so on)
    • If used, this MUST be an optional extra or augmentation, never a replacement for the month’s puzzles
  • May offer flyers or swag provided by local businesses or events of interest to puzzlers (examples: a flyer for an upcoming DASH or puzzly convention; coupons for escape rooms, a call for playtesters, etc.)
  • May offer free-to-enter drawings for door prizes provided by local businesses, or provide small celebratory gifts to players so long as they are not rewards for “winning” Puzzled Pint.
  • May utilize puzzles from the archive to offer one-off Puzzled Pint branded events sponsored by the city GC.  Such one-off Puzzled Pint events must be:
    • Part of a local festival, convention, or other nonprofit event of interest to puzzlers.
    • Volunteer-run, public, newbie-friendly, and free to play (while it is acceptable for attendees to pay to attend the overarching event, the Puzzled Pint portion itself must be free to play).
  • Duration:
    • May stay longer than 3 hours, if desired
    • May set a “closing” time for a city GC and tell teams beforehand
    • May wander around and warn remaining teams that GC will be leaving in 10-15minutes, if desired

Policy on GC accepting comps/freebies

(TL;DR: it’s OK to accept occasional freebies, but do NOT ask for comps when booking)

  • GC should NOT request any compensation in exchange for hosting PP at a specific bar
  • it’s OK if bars offer freebies, but do NOT solicit comps and do NOT make it a requirement for hosting PP
  • i.e., do NOT say anything like “we’ll only bring PP to your bar if you give us free drinks/food” (repeat: this is NOT OK)
  • negotiating discounts, like extended happy hour pricing or drink specials, is OK (as long as it’s for ALL attendees)
  • it’s also OK to accept if a player offers to buy you a drink at some point 🙂
  • GC should NOT accept any cash, except for donations from players specifically to cover printing/production costs
  • occasional “sponsorships” for printing/production are OK, but only accept goods or services from vendors, NOT money
  • in legal/tax terms, nothing required by PP should “inure to the benefit” of GC, especially not money!

Bottom line: Puzzled Pint is non-profit and volunteer-run.