Content of the article: "List of Roleplaying Guidelines (how to avoid the most common roleplaying problems, become a better player, have more fun, and not be “that guy”)"
Hi! I'm making a list of roleplaying guidelines, basic roleplaying "etiquette", something I can show to the novice players to help them get better at roleplaying and avoid the most common mistakes.
Let me know in the comments if I've missed anything, if there are some other common "problem player" behaviors, or easy tips on improving RPG experience.
Be good to each other
Be nice, treat other players with respect. Make sure everyone feels comfortable, welcome, and enjoys the game.
Show up on time
Don't be late, make sure to notify everyone in advance if you're going to miss the session.
Avoid sensitive subjects
Unless you're reasonably sure that everyone is on board with this, try to keep things PG-13 and avoid bringing up subjects that make people uncomfortable (torture, sexual violence, politics, etc).
Don’t be shy
It’s okay to be weird. Assume that everyone is on your side and wants you to have fun. Get out of your comfort zone, try doing a silly voice, act things out.
Share the Spotlight
Don't talk over other players. Make sure everyone gets a chance to speak without being interrupted, make sure you're not dominating all of the conversation or action. Encourage everyone to participate in the story. Help quiet/shy players – ask their opinion or what they would like to do next. If you notice someone being interrupted – ask them what they were going to say.
Don't tell people what to do
Play your character, don't tell others how to play theirs. It often doesn't feel great, even if you have a good point. Suggesting ideas and arguing about the next course of action is fine, just make sure your advice isn't unwelcome.
Ask for consent
Don't attack other player's characters, steal their stuff, or force them to do anything against their will without asking first if it's okay.
It can be annoying to play with characters who keep killing everybody, constantly run off to do their own thing, keep undermining the party's goals, or regularly must be bailed out of trouble. If you're playing an evil character – be evil to NPCs, but find ways to get along with your party members.
Stay invested, pay attention
Listen to what other players and the GM are saying, pay attention to the story, don't get distracted and browse social media, don't check out when it's someone else's turn.
Be an active player
Don't wait for others to entertain you, assume the responsibility for making the story more fun for yourself and others, try to actively contribute, enhance everyone's experience. Positive energy and enthusiasm are always welcome. As a character – be proactive, form your own goals, don't wait for GM to provide every detail and tell you what to do.
Treat the ideas suggested by other players as awesome (even when they may seem silly). Go with it, encourage it, add your own ideas on top, and help them succeed. Optimize for storytelling and fun, not winning. Don't shut down people's ideas, don't stop other player's actions or plans, if they want to do something – let them.
Help other players be awesome
Let other player's characters to have their moment, actively help others to have cool moments and achieve their goals.
If your group gets stuck in an argument, unable to decide on the next course of action – just call for a vote (or flip a coin), and move on. It's better to go with a random plan than to be stuck arguing. Unless you have a very important in-character reason to disagree, use this as an opportunity to practice yes-and'ing.
Play to find out what happens
Don't get attached to an idea you wish to happen, and get upset when it doesn't. Things often don't go your way, so it's best to act in the moment.
Avoid Meta Gaming
Sometimes you as a player will know things your character doesn't. For example, if the GM describes things to other characters when your character isn't in the scene. Avoid using this information to make decisions your character otherwise wouldn't make.
Learn the rules
Know how the game works, and what powers your character has.
Resolve the conflict by having a conversation outside of the game
If someone keeps doing something that makes you upset or uncomfortable – have an open, honest conversation with them after the game.
Be nice to the GM
Don't argue with the GM, accept their decisions – protracted arguments only slow down the game. Give them feedback. If you dislike something GM does – tell them after the game. If you really like something they do – make sure to let them know as well.
Stay in character
Instead of discussing things with other players as yourself, try to immerse yourself in playing your character, play things out as a scene in the story. Make it clear when you're speaking as a player and when you're speaking in-character.
Add emotion, relationships, an opinion
How does your character feel about what’s going on? How do they feel about the NPCs and other party members? Do they have a strong opinion about what’s going on?
Think out of the box
Look for unexpected ideas and creative choices. Look for non-combat resolutions. See if there’s a way to sneak past the enemy or talk your way out of a sticky situation.
- How do I talk to my player about his upcoming edgelord?
- The Most Important Element in an Optimized Character
- “What will you do for your party?” – Session Zero Questions
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