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Author Topic: Roles and Advice for Players  (Read 1294 times)

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Offline MyrleenaTopic starter

Roles and Advice for Players
« on: January 07, 2010, 10:39:47 PM »
I'm turning this into a blog, at the opinion of one of our resident Goddesses. *Bows to Caeli*

This is the twin to my previous post, on Game Mastering.  However, unlike the other post, this one is focused on players.  Iím not going to go into my gaming history, because I donít think it necessary for being a player.  What is important is that this is my view of what makes a good player, and a good character.  Of course, Iíll say that all of this is my opinion, and there are no wrong approaches to making a character.  Iím leaving out ĎHave Funí because itís supposed to be the point of the game, in my opinion.

1)   My most important view.  Itís your character, not one of someone else.  If you let someone else dictate your actions, thatís your fault, not theirs.  Build your character.  Play your character how you want to play them.  Otherwise you have no license to complain.
2)   Write up a history for your character, or at least consider it.  How did they get to this point?  What do they like to do in their spare time?  What goals do they have?  Do they have family out there?  These are all questions that can give a character life, and gives the GM something to work with to tie a character into the game better.
3)   Respect the GM.  They spend the hours of preparation to get the game going, and they have a job that can be described as Ďherding catsí.  All too often players get sidetracked, and you should at least try to keep things moving.
4)   Donít let yourself be abused.  If someone is being a jerk, whether another player or the GM, donít let them get away with it.  Talk to them, but you donít have to put up with it.  It isnít fair to anyone.  Hopefully you can work something out.  As a GM, I hate nothing more than someone having a problem and not telling me.
5)   Be a good sport.  Shit happens to everyone, and donít take it out on everyone else.  Likely as not theyíll understand why youíre upset, but it isnít polite to make everyone else suffer for it.
6)   Make certain your expectations are in order.  Find out what the game is going to be like, and then build your character based on that.  If you build a character that wonít fit due to the GM not telling you what type of game it will be, thatís his fault.  But if you build an incompatible character when you knew what type of game it was, donít be surprised if the GM asks you to build a new one.
7)   Pay attention.  If youíre goofing off and donít notice something, it isnít the GMís fault.  As long as you donít make a big deal about it, they probably will understand.
8)   Know your character.  Donít rely on someone else to know the character for you.  Your character, your responsibility.
9)   Donít be a jerk.  If your character is a jerk, make certain your group can deal with it.  And never, ever be a jerk otherwise.  It isnít fair to other players, and itís the fastest way to lose friends.
10)   Finally, and I cannot reiterate this enough: Play what you want to play.  Donít let people force you into something you donít want to play.  Itís quite possibly the worst thing they can do, so Iíll say it again.  Play what you want to play.  If the GM wonít let you, itís a good time to find a new GM.

Iím certain this came across somewhat strongly, but it is important, in my opinion.  A GM is responsible for the game world.  The player is responsible for his behavior and his character.  Iím going to leave it at that.

Offline Jude

Re: Roles and Advice for Players
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2010, 06:18:16 AM »
Not a bad list, but I think the biggest mistake people make in both games with GMs and without is that they have a difficult time not holding the player responsible for what their character does.

In theory your character shouldn't be doing what you want them to do, they should be doing whatever makes sense given their internal psychology so the player is simply channeling the actions which are pre-determined by the character's given personality.  For that reason I'd say character creation is an important thing discuss with your GM and other players if you're making something controversial.

Nothing is more irritating than a character that deviates from their personality because their player wants that character to do something different for their own reasons.  It's difficult to approach people about playing their characters incorrectly because it's hard to say what is or isn't 'realistic' unless you know the character well.

Offline MyrleenaTopic starter

Re: Roles and Advice for Players
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2010, 06:26:20 AM »
I see those as part of 1, 2, 6, 8, and 9, honestly.  I try not to judge people on their decisions, at least if they're bad ones.  I've seen both extremes of players.  Those who will do anything if the character dictates it, and those who are just jerks in RL and choose to do what they want.  The latter are the most memorable to me, but either extreme can be bad.  And I'm not one to punish players for such.  But they do get logical consequences from me.  In other words, the player who had his character steal the party's pay chest for the next three months is going to get a nasty surprise when the nation in charge sends wizards to scry for the thief...

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Roles and Advice for Players
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2010, 05:04:51 PM »
Great list, Myrleena.  I believe a lot of things you touched on can be boiled down to "Respect everyone at the table, including yourself."

Personally, I would like to see more players take on some responsibility to make the game fun for everyone.  As I mentioned in your GM thread, I believe this is overlooked as most people I have talked with seem to assume all the fun should lie on the GM's shoulders.

I believe this is implied through the unique position of the GM.  I think if more players shouldered some of the responsibility, though, there would be less GM burnout and everyone would have more fun.

What can a player do to help others have more fun?  Make sure you make a character that is appropriate for the GM's setting.  Ask lots of questions to get an idea of what the GM envisions and then create a character that plays to that.  Trust me, GMs will appreciate you taking an active interest in their worlds.  For your fellow players, don't wait for the GM to turn the spot light on them.  Set them up yourself.  This does not mean your character has to kiss another character's ass.  In fact, it may mean the very opposite.  Take the same interest in other player's characters as you did to the GM's world.  Respond to their actions.  Take notice when they are trying to set up a 'cool' moment for their character and then help them.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: Roles and Advice for Players
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2010, 06:37:33 PM »
Interesting, I have that bookmarked, but haven't commented on it.
Well, having GMed for some 10 years now, I can't agree more, except I'd take a harder stance on some points.
And since we already have the Oath of Drake, why don't you start the Vow of Myrleena for GMing games >:)?

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: Roles and Advice for Players
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2010, 06:46:52 PM »
Interesting, I have that bookmarked, but haven't commented on it.
Well, having GMed for some 10 years now, I can't agree more, except I'd take a harder stance on some points.
And since we already have the Oath of Drake, why don't you start the Vow of Myrleena for GMing games >:)?
Fine, I admit screwed this and posted the comment for The Role of a GM in the wrong tab ;).
Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!
Well, this is also from Myrleena, and also well-written, but to me, it boils down to three rules.

Respect everyone, and don't play with people you don't respect at least a bit!
Allow nobody to disrespect you, or to impose their will on you!
Communicate, and if you don't reach a compromise, find another game!

Offline MyrleenaTopic starter

Re: Roles and Advice for Players
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2010, 06:50:29 PM »
*nods* True enough.  And I actually had a moment not long ago where I realized I was starting to become a GM that I wouldn't want to play under, due to some drift.  Needless to say, I did my best to shape up. >.>

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: Roles and Advice for Players
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2010, 07:02:15 PM »
*nods* True enough.  And I actually had a moment not long ago where I realized I was starting to become a GM that I wouldn't want to play under, due to some drift.  Needless to say, I did my best to shape up. >.>
Self-observation is crucial in GMing indeed.
Glad you practise it diligently >:)!

Also, I changed my style of GMing when I realized I can no longer stand the style of GMing I was practising at the time, but that wasn't the style you outlined in your other post :P!