PDA

View Full Version : How to be a good player?



jjordan
2019-09-04, 03:58 PM
I've been noticing that even mediocre GMs can have stellar games if they've got good players at the table.

What attributes do you think a good player should have?

MrSandman
2019-09-04, 04:21 PM
Proactivity and ownership. They must have plans and goals and things their characters are striving to achieve and they must feel that they are co-owners of the gamr/story, rather than just spectators or followers.

To that, add respect for everyone else at the table and willingness to work together and compromise and you're set for a great start.

At least, that's my humble opinion.

Tvtyrant
2019-09-04, 04:24 PM
Interest in the game is a major component, and a willingness to compromise. The biggest issues I have faced are people who aren't tuned in, showing up just to hang out and treating the game as superfluous or people who use the game as a stage and expect everyone else to just pay attention to them.

Feddlefew
2019-09-04, 04:24 PM
-Talk with other players about what they're thinking of playing during character creation. Generally you do want to have an idea OOC what the rest of the party can do.

-Take notes.

-Write out a summary of your character's special abilities and spells on index cards, or type them up for quick reference.

-Bring snacks, and make sure that you know if anyone has food allergies ahead of time.

Mordar
2019-09-04, 04:40 PM
Interest in the game is a major component, and a willingness to compromise. The biggest issues I have faced are people who aren't tuned in, showing up just to hang out and treating the game as superfluous or people who use the game as a stage and expect everyone else to just pay attention to them.

Echoing buy-in. Want to play the game.

Echoing compromise. Don't make characters that are adversarial to the idea of a group game. Discuss any areas of real (and important) rigidity prior to the game, and be the one to figure out the compromises that will allow your character to fit. Lone wolves only work in fiction and solo games.

Along the lines of Feddlefew...know what you're doing, or make a real effort to learn what you are doing, from a game and mechanics stand point. You can be a complete novice coming in, but make a real effort to learn how the basics of the system work, and spend some time outside of the game to be sure you know how more advanced/non-basic parts of the system (that pertain to your character/schtick/abilities) so you minimize that kind of time spent at the table.

Be excited for other players' successes. Don't try to "win D&D". Read the mood of the table and the DM so you know when is, or isn't, a good time for that funny story about that one time that thing happened. Respect the game. Respect the time.

- M

zinycor
2019-09-04, 06:03 PM
In my opinion it comes down to the players understanding of the basics.
-Understanding the game as a set of rules and how these rules interact with each other.
-Understanding the role-playing, interacting with the world in interesting ways.
-Understanding the table, being this to know how to interact with the GM and the other players.

If you have these 3 basics covered, you will be at least a decent player. After that it comes down to style.

Tvtyrant
2019-09-04, 06:15 PM
Echoing buy-in. Want to play the game.

Echoing compromise. Don't make characters that are adversarial to the idea of a group game. Discuss any areas of real (and important) rigidity prior to the game, and be the one to figure out the compromises that will allow your character to fit. Lone wolves only work in fiction and solo games.

Along the lines of Feddlefew...know what you're doing, or make a real effort to learn what you are doing, from a game and mechanics stand point. You can be a complete novice coming in, but make a real effort to learn how the basics of the system work, and spend some time outside of the game to be sure you know how more advanced/non-basic parts of the system (that pertain to your character/schtick/abilities) so you minimize that kind of time spent at the table.

Be excited for other players' successes. Don't try to "win D&D". Read the mood of the table and the DM so you know when is, or isn't, a good time for that funny story about that one time that thing happened. Respect the game. Respect the time.

- M
Sharing the spotlight is a problem I have had as a player. I like optimizing my characters, and I love keeping track of minutiae so I end up with Wizard and Cleric controller types a lot. Nothing quite like using a sleep spell at low levels to instantly win an encounter, or have a book of binds and summons to deal with any little problem that comes up, for annoying the rest of the party.

Feddlefew
2019-09-04, 06:29 PM
Sharing the spotlight is a problem I have had as a player. I like optimizing my characters, and I love keeping track of minutiae so I end up with Wizard and Cleric controller types a lot. Nothing quite like using a sleep spell at low levels to instantly win an encounter, or have a book of binds and summons to deal with any little problem that comes up, for annoying the rest of the party.

The trick to being an optimizer in a mid or low op party is to play a support build- bards, debuff controllers (Remember: you divide, they conquer), buff clerics, and so on. Take grease instead of sleep at low levels, target annoying, hard to reach enemies with your save-or-suck spells instead of the boss, avoid using summons, that kind of thing.

Edit: But take my advice with a grain of salt, since I tend to play in groups with 5-6 other players.

Pauly
2019-09-04, 07:28 PM
- Donít be a d*ck.
Donít do things that upset the other players. Betraying the party, stealing items from other members, withholding vital information, micromanaging other playerís actions - just donít do it (unless that it is a game where everyone is doing it).
Donít tick off the GM. Donít argue their rulings unless you can quickly and clearly show the error, donít complain about meta-game issues whilst inside the game, donít get distracted and force the GM to constantly repeat themselves.

- Be prepared.
Have a good basic understanding of the mechanics and the game world. Know what your character can and canít do. Be aware of the general abilities of your other party members. Keep track of your items.

- Play quickly.
Taking forever to make decisions is wasting not your time, it is wasting the time of 4 or 5 other people who want to have fun but canít. Donít ask for re-dos. IRL people make suboptimal decisions because they donít have 10 minutes to plan what to do in the next 30 seconds, treat your characters the same way. A glorious cinematic failure is more fun for everyone than a tedious grind to a win.

- Collaborate.
Dominating face time is bad. Being a wallflower is bad. Find the middle path.
Let democracy take itís course - sometime you will be outvoted and the group will choose a plan you wouldnít. When that happens do your part in the plan enthusiastically, donít hang back complaining that it was a bad idea. The decision was made, accept it and move on.

- Be focussed on the game.
Put away your phone.
Donít bring real world issues in to the game - people are playing the game to escape from their jobs/politics/annoying family members/etc. If I wanted to hear someone complain about the current political issue du jour I would be doing that, not playing an RPG.

False God
2019-09-04, 10:28 PM
Be attentive. I'm less concerned with if you do or don't have your phone out and more concerned on if you know what's going on. The DM nor the other players are responsible for reminding you what you just missed because you were doing something else. I'm far more bothered by players putting their heads down to nap than players pulling out their phones.
***Notes: I use phones to send secret information, so I sort of rely on "people having their phones out" to cover when someone is or isn't getting secret info. Yes, obvs the DM pausing to text might be a give-away, but unless their buzzer is on you don't know who I texted! (sometimes I text myself just to mess with them)

Be respectful. Unless the group is otherwise ok with it: keep your hands to yourself. Don't swear. Don't be rude. Don't put yourself above others. If something reasonably bothers someone, stop doing it. If you're in a game where the DM is expected to be in charge, respect that leadership position.

Be timely. We all take time out of our schedules to prep for the game, to get out characters in order, to build the world, arriving unreasonably late or blowing off sessions without notice is rude. It's the same time every week, if you can make it to work every day, you can make it to the game once a week.

Keep it at the door. Sometimes D&D can involve serious issues. But that doesn't mean we need to deal with reality. Sometimes we may open up discussion to real-world issues because we're all adults; but otherwise I expect you to leave your issues at the door. This includes family/relationship/personal drama. We're your D&D group, not your therapy group.

Keep it clean. We're all adults here. But that doesn't mean we need or want detailed descriptions of sex, gore and what you would do with other NPCs various holes.
***Note: YES I have played with enough people who don't seem to grasp how inappropriate this is that this is something I cover in my Session Zero's with new people.

Practice good hygiene. Humans smell. Underarm, underboob, underwear, and more. Unless you're that group please avoid letting one rip, belching, touching yourself (no seriously I've had this issue). Please wash your hands when using the restroom or after handling food. Also please avoid particularly aromatic perfumes. A light, subtle scent is fine, you need not smell like a hair-salon.

Eldan
2019-09-05, 02:28 AM
A lot of good mentions already, but one that is important for me and maybe not other campaigns and DMs is:

Show Initiative. Know what your character wants to achieve and vocalize those goals. Occasionally go after them. Introduce your own plot hooks.

gooddragon1
2019-09-05, 06:23 AM
Collaborative role playing and compromise... I think those are learned skills.

Evil DM Mark3
2019-09-05, 07:03 AM
Operate on the assumption that things are going as intended. If the DM is presenting an NPC or nation you are familiar with differently they are doing so on purpose, not "getting it wrong". Likewise if something you were trying that you thought, by RAW, should have worked didn't, ask if you can work out why, don't assume the DM got the rules wrong. Its an attitude and politeness thing.

Don't expect the DM to remember the minutiae of your build and backstory, if you want to be a character that uses a certain strategy or style of combat that is unusual it isn't enough to have the abilities, tell the DM what you are trying to do.

Try and read the room and gel with the group. You needn't change who you are or how you play, but realising if you you are jokey one or if you are about as jokey as everyone else (for example) fore-warns you of what you might need to reign in.

If you are in a state or intend to put yourself in a state where you can't focus on the game, don't be there.

If the group has a long term goal or plan try and give it a think over between sessions, maybe while on the bus (or lavatory) so you can have something to discuss at the session, even if it is just "I am certain we aren't missing anything and am happy to go ahead."

Write rules you have trouble remembering down. No one is going to blame you for not being a rules laywer, but asking for the calculation for your attack more than once is a sign you don't care to be in the session.

Zakhara
2019-09-05, 09:01 AM
In no special order...

1.) Be curious.
1a.) Be enthusiastic.
2.) Be patient.
2a.) Can't think on it? Commit.
3.) Be excellent to other players.
3a.) Be excellent to the DM IRL.
4.) Know when to hold 'em.
4a.) Know when to fold 'em.
4b.) Know when to walk away.

Koo Rehtorb
2019-09-05, 10:45 AM
Learn the rules.

gooddragon1
2019-09-05, 12:01 PM
In no special order...

1.) Be curious.
1a.) Be enthusiastic.
2.) Be patient.
2a.) Can't think on it? Commit.
3.) Be excellent to other players.
3a.) Be excellent to the DM IRL.
4.) Know when to hold 'em.
4a.) Know when to fold 'em.
4b.) Know when to walk away.

Know when to run.
You never count your coinage when you movin' through the dungeon, there'll be time enough for countin' when the questin's done...

I'm wondering how people really get into the role at a table and even more so over pbp. People come up with these super eloquent descriptive posts and I have to wonder if that starts to wear thin.

Maybe play a mute character...

King of Nowhere
2019-09-05, 12:13 PM
A lot of good mentions already, but one that is important for me and maybe not other campaigns and DMs is:

Show Initiative. Know what your character wants to achieve and vocalize those goals. Occasionally go after them. Introduce your own plot hooks.

that's only good in moderation. if every player at the table shows initiative, the game risks boggging down to follow each individual sidequests. especially in a group with 6 pcs like mine. I'd say that you should show initiative if initiative is lacking, if the party is sitting down wallowing in uncertainty. if the party is already pointed towards a goal, having initiative may result in fighting for leadership.

I'd say cooperation above all. you want to make this game work for everyone, and you act accordingly.
the dm is trying to nudge you in a certain direction? he probably has something cool planned; unless you have very strong reasons to go against it, play along.
the party has made a plan that you disagreed with? once you are outvoted, support them.
discuss things out of character before doing stuff that may impact other characters, including wreaking a plan.
if there is a moral choice to be made, be willing to compromise
all those sort of things where you try to build up something with the other players, and not by yourself.

of course, this requires that other players are also good. if you are the only one compromising all the times, it's not fair.

Pex
2019-09-05, 12:55 PM
Play with your fellow gamers, not against them nor in spite of them.

Know the rules. Don't know something? Learn it.

Real life happens. Once in a while missing a game because of it is fine. If it's consistent officially leave the group. When a group is forming and deciding when to play, if you KNOW real life events will mean you can't play a certain day and time, DO NOT agree with the group to schedule for that day and time only to say a day or two later you can't come because of said real life commitment you knew about months ago wanting to reschedule or cancel the game.

Quertus
2019-09-05, 12:56 PM
So, it's pretty much basic social skills, but let's see if I can describe it from a different angle.

Care

Take responsibility; own the game.

Know the group. Learn the rules. Play to your strengths.

Be responsive, take your turns quickly.

Have fun.

Adapt

Build (and rebuild as necessary) with the group's balance range.

Roleplay within the group's roleplay range.

Strategize within the group's strategy range (see also CaW vs CaS).

Take / share the spotlight within the group's spotlight taking / sharing range.

Rules lawyer within the group's rules lawyering range.

(noticing a pattern yet? Copy this pattern for everything else you could discuss)

If you would have more fun outside the group's range, communicate this, and help build the game in that direction.

If someone would have more fun outside your range, see what you can do to grow in that direction.

Strive to have the broadest range you can have.

Be willing to try things.

Be clear at explaining what did/does and does not work.

If something annoys someone, don't do that.

Temet Nosce

Know what you enjoy; communicate that.

Know what you cannot work with; communicate that.

If you and they cannot adapt far enough to reach a compromise that you will both enjoy, part ways.

Cluedrew
2019-09-06, 08:50 PM
Being a good player is a lot like being a good GM. Except you act through one particular character instead of the setting.