Twystoff's Catch-All Tips for Players!
This guide was written by a brilliant Redditor called Twystoff who has 20 year
experience as a GM. In fact we can consider Twystoff a 20th level Games Master! Here he give us the benefit of his
experience as a player.
1) Expand your niche. By
this, I mean don't be afraid to try something outside your comfort zone. This is more for experienced players than
new players. Always the combat monkey? Try being a talker. Always a good guy? Try being a bad guy. Be a woman, be a
man. Be sexy. Be something you've never tried before. I'm not just talking class. Take a look at all your past
characters and the traits they share. Mix it up, challenge yourself.
2) Don't be afraid to
interact. This is a common problem for new players and "loungers" (You know the ones. They show up,
sit on the couch, roll when prompted, have very little input.) This is a hard one for some people. There's this
whole world going on, people running around doing amazing things. You're not quite sure what your character is
capable of. Your character is not some serf (usually) just following the party around carrying equipment (most of
the time). It has opinions, goals, dreams (most likely). Speak up, even if it's just to agree or disagree. Go from
there. The party wants to defeat the evil wizard, but what does your character want from it? Maybe they're the one
saying it's too hard, go back. Maybe they're the one foolishly rushing into danger. Don't be afraid to act. Don't
be afraid to die. Ooooh...
3) Don't be afraid to die.
Just as a GM shouldn't be afraid to make their world lethal, players shouldn't be afraid to be adventurous. I'm not
saying run headlong into every cave/dungeon/starship without care. What I'm saying is don't be so concerned with
your character that your natural protective instinct is washing over their personality. You know every dungeon has
a trap or 20, but does your character? Do they even suspect that lone red button might be dangerous? Which brings
me to my next point...
4) Be your character, not
you. Roleplaying is playing a role. It's acting. I understand there are good actors and bad actors,
but unless you're playing a very meta game, your character is not you. My personal trick for this is to write out a
personality profile for my character along side their personal history. I know my character is more than a class
and stats. I don't even pick up a book unless I know a basis for what my character will behave like. Am I quirky?
Sneaky? Sultry? Do I work well with others or am I a pain in the ass?
5) Don't limit yourself to your character
sheet. This one comes from a friend of mine in a group I had a few years back. He didn't know the
system we were playing and honestly didn't let that stop him. He said, "I don't know what skills do what. So
instead I'll tell you what my character is trying to do, and you just
tell me what I need to roll if anything." There was no "I roll to hit" with this man. He'd pull out his lightsaber,
spin it with a flourish, then jump off the back wall into a suicidal spin-dive lightsaber first at the enemy.
Occasionally, his actions were too complex for a single round, and the GM would let him know. But he never once
glanced at his character sheet first to decide what he was going to do. He trusted what his character thought he
could do, whether or not he had the ability to back it up.
6) Let the GM be your guide, not the
books. Something I see happen all too often is players limiting themselves and their imagination.
Especially during character creation. Players pour through the books, and (in most systems) pick a race/class
combination then get to work rolling up a character. Very often I see a lot of internal deliberation going on as
the player can't quite find a fit for the idea they have in their head. Don't be afraid to go to the GM and say "I
have this idea for a character, but the books don't quite support it." If your GM is willing (and experienced), you
might be able to fudge some things around so that cookie cutter character becomes something uniquely
7) Treat your group as a
relationship. They say the key to any successful relationship is communication. That works very
well with any gaming group. Tell the GM what you like or don't like. Tell other players if you need help or if
they're pissing you off. Don't let a problem fester until it creates problems and drama. Remember, it's not the
GM's game, it's the groups game. Everyone is participating (hopefully)
and trying to have fun. So have fun, and don't be afraid to speak up. Just don't be an ass about it.
8) Still need help? Ask! I
like to think I'm experienced. I've been roleplaying for about 20 years. I've lost track of the number of systems
I've learned, the games I've run and played in. But even so, I'm still subbed to this subreddit primarily to learn.
I know I can be a better GM and a better player. Don't be afraid to ask for advice, either on here or with your
group. No one expects a perfect player (although some expect perfect GM's). Don't know a rule? Ask. Don't have an
idea for a character? Ask. There's no harm in admitting you don't know something (to you. Your character on the
9) Have fun. If you're not
having fun, someone is doing something wrong. It's not always your fault. It could be the GM is railroading and
killing off characters willy nilly. But it's a GAME. I've seen players who occasionally show up out of faithfulness
and loyalty and don't have fun. I've seen players who start getting pissed off because the game turned in a
direction they don't like. It's not just the GM's responsibility. YOU need to decide what you like, what you want,
and tell the GM and other players.