Being a Good Player

I have often found myself telling my players that, in spite of being games of chance, rpgs are things you can get better at.  Especially with regard to Old School games, there are certain skills which you can improve to be better at the game.  However, there is also an etiquette to play that is equally important.  Here are my rules for being a good player!

This is not your story: You are not the only person in this group and this is not your game.  Share the spotlight, loot, and do whatever you can to involve players that have fallen silent.  This includes not taking loot from fellow players and not killing fellow players unless they give you a really, REALLY good reason.

Be realistic: As crazy as you might think your character is, keep it within the bounds of reason.  Don't test your DMs.  They don't want to kill you more often than not, but you should not take advantage of their mercy to pull ridiculous stunts and expect no consequences.  DMs should not be afraid to kill you and make you feel the weight of your actions, but they are sometimes not prepared to do so.  Don't push your DMs or you will make them cruel.

Propel the story forward: Silly antics are great, and you should always do your best to gauge what the party wants to do, but it is often best to not let your antics take too long.  Players that would like to make effective use of your time at the table or get bored without conflict, ought not to have to wait too long for you to finish up with your in-character conversations.  In addition, all actions, whether they be aligned with what your character would do, should not be purposefully aimed at derailing the story unless you have a DM and a party that you are absolutely sure are ok with totally going off course.  Derailing the story can often mean doing anything that you know will take you off the path in a major way.  Killing player characters or important NPCs for no reason will be the kind of actions that will inevitably throw things off the rails.

Be patient: Your fellow PCs should do their best to do what is best for the group and maintain proper etiquette.  You should bear with them when they agitate you.  Very gentle reminders to move things along should be the very limit of what you ought to do in game.  If something is really going wrong, ask for a quick break and tell your GM about your problem away from the other members of the group.  They can sit down with troublesome players and try to resolve issues.

Comment if you would like to see a post about the skills players develop in Old School games.


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