11 ways to be a better roleplayer

Iosue

Community Supporter
Here's a recent article I was directed to.


What do you think? I like a lot of what he says, but I daresay some of it will seem controversial to others.
 

Herobizkit

Adventurer
I am in full support of this article. Being a veteran gamer and having fallen in with a group of relative n00bs to tabletop RPGs, all of whom want to both DM and play... yeah. This article rocks my [Eric's grandma] socks.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
A really good list! Basically, we're all there to have some fun together - so everyone involved should act like it.
 

Ahnehnois

Visitor
TWO. Realise that your character does not exist outside of the things you have said.
This one struck me as really interesting. As a DM, I realize that distinction. I know that plans I have are not "canon" until they are explicitly included in the game, and sometimes I make radical changes to offscreen elements that I had going in my head. As a player, people get very attached to their backgrounds and it's much harder to be flexible in that way. There is some merit to the notion of linearity and consistency, but nonetheless this is an interesting issue to raise.

TEN. Embrace failure.
Yep, that's a tough one for some people (probably most people). Important though.
 

arbados

Explorer
Found the article fantastic and I loved the way he expressed himself as it made it feel so "real"!!
 

TarionzCousin

Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
I believe we should round up all the PC's who want to steal from and/or assassinate their fellow PC's and only let them game with each other.

... and don't try to argue that my Lawful Good Paladin wouldn't instantly behead (or at least cut off a hand of) your lying, thieving character when caught red-handed. :rant:
 

Raduin711

Explorer
I believe we should round up all the PC's who want to steal from and/or assassinate their fellow PC's and only let them game with each other.

... and don't try to argue that my Lawful Good Paladin wouldn't instantly behead (or at least cut off a hand of) your lying, thieving character when caught red-handed. :rant:
Well, I know you asked not to argue against it but...

I think the inflexible, automatic Paladin can, at times, be just as disruptive to a game as the kleptomaniacal theif.

The Paladin, while he does have to be forthright and just and good and all that... it doesn't have to mean that he has to cut off the rogue's head, or hand, or finger, or anything.

This goes with the article's rule 3 (chopping off body parts is the severest form of negation) rule 4 (While the paladin's behavior is, to a degree, mandated, your hands aren't tied that tightly. What ELSE could your paladin do?) As well as rule 5.
 

Lwaxy

Cute but dangerous
I especially agree with #1 - Do Stuff!

I had campaigns die (online mostly) because the players were inactive and expected me to feed them every single move they were supposed to make.
 

Lord Mhoram

Explorer
The only small bit I have an issue with " Work out a level of agency with the GM so you can chip into wider descriptions, or just make assumptions and describe it and see if it sticks. " I don't want player agency in a game other than what the character does by her actions. I don't like player power outside of that. But that is a playstyle thing.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
... and don't try to argue that my Lawful Good Paladin wouldn't instantly behead (or at least cut off a hand of) your lying, thieving character when caught red-handed. :rant:
Oddly enough, one of my groups back in the early 1980s went through exactly that scenario. The party thief went über-klepto and eventually tried to steal from "Sir Old Testament"...who meted out swift, permanent justice.
 

TarionzCousin

Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
Well, I know you asked not to argue against it but...

I think the inflexible, automatic Paladin can, at times, be just as disruptive to a game as the kleptomaniacal theif.

The Paladin, while he does have to be forthright and just and good and all that... it doesn't have to mean that he has to cut off the rogue's head, or hand, or finger, or anything.

This goes with the article's rule 3 (chopping off body parts is the severest form of negation) rule 4 (While the paladin's behavior is, to a degree, mandated, your hands aren't tied that tightly. What ELSE could your paladin do?) As well as rule 5.
My point is that players who think it's fine for their character to steal from others should not be surprised when others think it's fine to punish them for their actions. More than once I've heard the "I didn't do much--only stole your favorite magic item. You killed my character. That's much worse!" argument and I don't buy it.

If you're not prepared to face the consequences, don't steal. When the time comes, don't whine about it being unfair.
 

Janx

Hero
I think the stealing treads into the "never take action against a party member" rule.

It's one thing to argue with another PC about a plan. It's another to get into a fight or stop the other PC. Or to steal from him.

That's what leads to the Paladin chopping off the thief's hand type moments of angry players.

some people don't get that you are only supposed to PRETEND that your PCs don't get along. In reality, they must act as a well oiled military machine that kills the GM's monsters.
 

Janx

Hero
The only small bit I have an issue with " Work out a level of agency with the GM so you can chip into wider descriptions, or just make assumptions and describe it and see if it sticks. " I don't want player agency in a game other than what the character does by her actions. I don't like player power outside of that. But that is a playstyle thing.
They can't all be winners... This tip is less applicable as it gets into "how the game is actually played." In general, as a GM, I don't trust players making stuff up. Many are bad at it and turn the setting into a joke so every town has a clothing shop called Fromage run by 2 flaming stereotypes.

I'd rather spend my time determining what happens next and what the players see that fits in my setting, than spend it negating silly stuff.
 

Dethklok

Visitor
THREE. Don’t try to stop things.
Negating another player’s actions is fairly useless play; it takes two possible story-changing elements and whacks them against each other so hard that neither of them works. For example, your fighter wants to punch some jerk, but your monk’s against it, so he grabs the fighter’s hand. In game terms, nothing’s happened. All you’ve done is waste time, and we don’t have infinite supplies of that.
No, something's happened. There's tension now. Will the fighter try to punch anyway? Will he strike the monk? I'm interested to see how it plays out.

FIVE. Don’t harm other players.
Remind me never to play Paranoia with this guy.

I'm also mildly concerned about point one - I've had players who just wouldn't shut up and let me tell them what happens when they do something, or about the noise one of them heard that just might (might) be a monster coming up behind. No, they had to do this, and that, and everything else, right away. There's such a thing as too active.

But these points aside, I do think he has a pretty good article.
 

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