Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Responsibility of a Player

I don't have any great quotes from Gygax for this one. With yesterday's blog focusing on the DM's responsibility I thought it was appropriate to consider the player's responsibilities.

First off, you are a guest in someone else's world. The DM has taken the time to create, plan, and supply almost everything for the game. Some players are determined to test the rules. This is fine in some cases, but the goal is not to continually test the rules of the game, but to test your character within the game. I used to work with school aged kids and I got a few of them interested in trying table top role-playing games. They were astonished that there was no controller or television involved. A problem I encountered was none of them wanted to start out at low level. They all wanted the most powerful stuff in the game given to them at the start. I explained to them the philosophy behind table top gaming, my version at least. Still they wanted it all and now.

So I said sure, you want all the money in the world. You got it. You want all the most power items in creation. You got it. You want to rule the world. It's yours. You want to kill someone. Poof, they're dust. Then I asked them how much fun that was. None of them liked that version.

Be respectful to your DM. Shut of those fricking cell phones and the other annoying devices that play music, ring, or vibrate. Luckily I've never had much problem with this one, but like when you're in a movie theatre and someone answers their cell phone I want to throttle them. Give the DM your attention even if the game is not focused on you at the time.

Do not use out of game knowledge in game. I know how hard it is not to ramble on about how your character did this or that. Everyone is around the table and hears everything. And unless you are super duper at whispering, everyone can hear you when you go into the other room to give information to another character secretly. I've discovered through the years gamers are lousy at whispering. When you get mad at your buddy because he just stole a +5 ring of protection and there is no way your character would know, don't make it personal. Go with it. If you have a good DM he'll make it interesting.

Work with the DM to develop the world. I am not saying you can't scorch and burn parts, but don't fight him on every turn. Cultures are established. They have rules and laws. They don't take kindly to random adventurers break the perfectly good fences and buildings they built. There are consequences to a player's actions if they defy the laws of the land. Don't play if you can't get your way you'll commit suicide by town guard.

Be prepared. Have your character sheet. Have your dice. Have your pencils. Bring your own food. Don't leave it up to your host to foot the munchy bill. Be on time. If you can't be on time call and let the DM know. And the most important rule is to have fun.