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General Player Responsibilities

Reynard

Legend
This sort of came up in my mind in another thread and I did not want to derail any further.

What do you consider to be player responsibilities in actually sitting down and playing D&D as a group? I don't mean stuff like bringing snacks or not being abusive, etc... I mean as it relates directly to play.

My #1 is that players need to create a character that both WANTS to go on the adventure(s) at hand (roleplaying reluctance is fine as long as it doesn't lead to actual avoidance) and a character thatworks within the context of the PC party. That last bit is both a roleplaying consideration and a mechanical consideration.

Beyond that, all the players should form the party in a way that makes sense for whatever setting and scenario is presented, and allows for a relatively easy process of coming together and bonding. A group of lone wolves is just trouble waiting to happen.

What do you think players should be responsible for in terms of actual play?
 

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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I expect players to do the following:

1. Describe what they do including a goal and approach - what they want to do and how they set about doing it.

2. When deciding what to do, choose the thing that is fun for everyone and that contributes to an exciting, memorable story.

3. Pay attention and act immediately when they are in the spotlight.

4. Keep things moving by saying "Yes, and..." to their fellow players' ideas.

I lay this down in my table rules which all players are given before the game.
 


Sacrosanct

Legend
1. Visualize your archetype and work with me for a backstory. It helps me plan and incorporate those things into the campaign
2. I don't expect you to know all the rules, but I do expect you to know the rules for your character. With all the class/subclass combos, I can't memorize every ability or spell. You should know how that works (had one player of rogue who after 2 years still didn't know how sneak attack works)
3. Be involved. Participate. Pay attention. This is extra hard with virtual as it's easier for players to watch youtube on their screen while playing the game.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
My #1 is that players need to create a character that both WANTS to go on the adventure(s) at hand (roleplaying reluctance is fine as long as it doesn't lead to actual avoidance) and a character thatworks within the context of the PC party. That last bit is both a roleplaying consideration and a mechanical consideration.
Yeah, those are probably paramount considerations of mine as well. I don't even mind characters that are evil as long as they play well in the group with respect to the type of campaign we've chosen to play.
 

Having a character that will bite the hook of the game is so important. If my hooks aren't appealing, that's a different conversation, but if you're just going to try to walk away from the campaign (I had a player that would routinely need to be convinced by all the other players why he should want to Do The Thing. I no longer game with that person, but in hindsight, I should've just told him "okay, your character walks into the sunset; now make your new character that is motivated to be a part of this campaign.") or are going to hold the campaign hostage so that you can extort more imaginary gold pieces from the quest giver, that's going to make the game so much less fun for everyone.

My #1 is that players need to create a character that both WANTS to go on the adventure(s) at hand (roleplaying reluctance is fine as long as it doesn't lead to actual avoidance) and a character thatworks within the context of the PC party. That last bit is both a roleplaying consideration and a mechanical consideration.
Other than that, showing up is important. I get that life gets in the way sometimes, but don't show up every few months and act like I should thankful that you finally made it.

Knowing what you're going to do on your turn is another thing. It's fine if you have some questions, but few things kill momentum like that dead air as a player's gears grind.

Finally, players have a responsibility to other players. It just makes a game better when the PCs interact with each other, exalt each other, and work as a team.

As for the rules, I'm fine if a new person isn't sure on the rules. They have to start somewhere and I want them to have a fun time. Now, if a person has been playing a while and consistently gets it wrong, that's another problem. That means every time that PC does something, I have to stop to look it up to be sure that they're not way off-base. It's like if you've been playing for years and can't figure out what your spells do, maybe you shouldn't always play a spellcaster.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Knowing the rules is wonderful, but I play with a huge range of players, some very casual and some very new. The degree to which they are willing to learn the rules varies a lot.

I do insist that they play characters who want to go on adventures and are willing and able to function as part of a group.

I encourage back stories but often don't get them; I find that asking a player to come up with a reason their character needs 200 gold pieces is often an easier approach that helps players who are daunted by the prospect of creating a full backstory.
 

Reynard

Legend
I encourage back stories but often don't get them; I find that asking a player to come up with a reason their character needs 200 gold pieces is often an easier approach that helps players who are daunted by the prospect of creating a full backstory.
This is a very good idea.
 

DM Dave1

Adventurer
Finally, players have a responsibility to other players. It just makes a game better when the PCs interact with each other, exalt each other, and work as a team.
Yes x100!

In combat: Be ready when it is your turn. A big part of that is knowing when your turn is coming up.

Expounding on the "know your character" theme, one thing that also really slows things down is not knowing spells. I certainly don't expect everyone to know all their spells by heart, but creating a little cheat sheet can save a lot of time at the table. Roll20 has a great spell interface so everyone can see the spell description in the chat. I'm partial to having actual printouts nearby and have used this site a lot - both as a DM and a player - to customize a spell list: Spell cards, PDF. Spells index and Spellbooks for D&D | DND-Spells, The tool for Dungeons and Dragons 5e
 

aco175

Hero
I find that when I get to play, I like to help others get spotlight time over myself. I mostly DM so I know that most people like to get to do cool things with their PC and I like to help other get some of that- especially younger/newer players. I no longer make the PC that does the best at things, but the one that helps you do it better.
 

DMMike

Guide of Modos
"As it relates directly to play" = "how to play the character?"

It's hard to make a rule on this, because that's like telling a PC who the character can and cannot be. I'm inclined to just say, "don't step on the other PC's toes."

At character generation, a bond with one or more PCs is highly encouraged.

My #1 is that players need to create a character that both WANTS to go on the adventure(s) at hand (roleplaying reluctance is fine as long as it doesn't lead to actual avoidance) and a character thatworks within the context of the PC party. That last bit is both a roleplaying consideration and a mechanical consideration.

Beyond that, all the players should form the party in a way that makes sense for whatever setting and scenario is presented, and allows for a relatively easy process of coming together and bonding. A group of lone wolves is just trouble waiting to happen.
I seem to recall that Bilbo Baggins didn't want to adventure with a bunch of obnoxious dwarves. But anyway, if the PC doesn't have a reason to stick with the party, the GM should assist by providing an incentive for that PC to participate. It takes two to tango.

If "works within the context of the PC party" means that someone is going to be required to play a healer, I might be disagreeing with you there.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
In my session 0 I spell out a few expectations for players and their PCs, I have two basic rules
  • No evil PCs. No CN PCs that are really evil or insane. Personally I want to run a game for heroes, not mobsters.
  • Don't play a jerk, a loner who doesn't get along with anyone or a PC that demands that everyone adhere to their moral code. This is a team game, let's work together to come up with a team that makes sense.
I also expect people to at least try to play along with the plot and rest of the group. I run a very open sand-box-style campaign, and will do my best to give plenty of options for direction (and I'm open to suggestion) for the campaign. But ... I had a guy once who took great joy in "breaking" the campaign. Dangle a plot hook specific to their PC? They'd ignore it. Have clear indication they should go left at the intersection? He'd go right. I think it bugged him that he could never catch me flat-footed because I'm good at improv, but it just got old.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
1. Play an effective adventurer. What I mean by this is that your character must be someone who is willing to work with the rest of the party towards a common goal, and to take on the risks and challenges of adventuring. Playing a reluctant hero is fine, so long as your roleplayed reluctance doesn’t actually impede the game or become a distraction.

2. Be familiar with your own character and their capabilities. I won’t remember what spells you chose or what they do, it is your responsibility to know that without having to interrupt the game to look it up. Use reference cards if you need them.

3. Participate in the core gameplay loop. When it is your turn to act, describe what you wish to accomplish and how your character goes about trying to accomplish it.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
What do you think players should be responsible for in terms of actual play?
1. Have a reason why your character is an adventurer.
2. Know what your character can and can't do. You don't have to know all the rules, but what you're responsible for it yours to know.
3. Have your numbers prepared and where you can find them. I don't want to waste time figuring out what your attack modifier is again and again.
4. Keep track of your resources and be honest about them. If you run out of spell components, food, or whatever--own it.
5. Finally, and perhaps most important--PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY AND PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT IS GOING ON.
 


Here's is what I look for in a player:

Is this the type of person who would make my game better as opposed to worse (as defined by my incredibly subject brain*)?

If yes, you're in.
If no, you're out.

*which may or may not have been rattled by mind flayers in my childhood.
 

Reynard

Legend
Here's is what I look for in a player:

Is this the type of person who would make my game better as opposed to worse (as defined by my incredibly subject brain*)?

If yes, you're in.
If no, you're out.

*which may or may not have been rattled by mind flayers in my childhood.
That's not the same things as your expectations for them.
 

That's not the same things as your expectations for them.
It is. But from the perspective virtue ethics compared to duty-based or situational ethics. I believe that proposing a list of specific dos and don'ts is ineffective. Instead, I look for players who naturally exhibit the virtues that contribute to my subjective definition of good gameplay (intelligence, humor, creativity, individualism, confidence, well-spokeness (get the joke?), reliability, honesty, etc.)
 

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