Almost anyone can play a role-playing game, but some gamers are far superior to their fellows. Great players share certain characteristics that make them welcomed at almost any gaming table…
Yesterday, I blogged about the 8 characteristics of great GMs. Today it’s the players’ turn!
Good players have many characteristics. A list of such could be long and exhaustive (and boring). Instead of listing dozens of such characteristics, I’ve listed the ones below I view as the most crucial for success. Do you have them all?
- Attentive: A good gamer listens to what is going on even when he is not in the spotlight. Knowing what your companions are doing means you can be more effective. Similarly, asking for the third time how high the ceiling is or what weapon the enemy is using is going to cause the GM to repeatedly head butt the table in frustration. It’s also rude to not pay attention to your friends.
- Creative: Role-playing is an incredibly creative hobby. Before the game, you design a character including his background, personality motivations and so on. During the game, you must defeat a range of opponents and situations. To do so, you can employ literally any strategy you can imagine. You’ve got to do this week in and week out. As a great player, you are also contributing to a group story – your actions and reactions shape it as surely as do the GM’s machinations.
- Cooperative: At its heart, role-playing is a cooperative game. The best players work together to win. If you like to “win” a session at the expense of your fellow gamers you should consider switching to wargaming as a hobby where that kind of behaviour is a virtue.
- Good At Maths: Being good at maths is crucial. During a game, the average player must make dozens – if not hundreds – of calculations quickly and accurately. Being bad at maths slows the game down, which means everyone has less fun.
- Organised: Gaming is a complicated hobby. You need to remember to bring loads of stuff with you to the game and you need to know your character inside and out (as well as the rules). Turning up without your character sheet, or not knowing your character’s abilities slows down play and negatively impacts others’ enjoyment. Consider setting up a gaming kit so you never forget vital supplies.
- System Mastery: Knowing the game you are playing is rather handy. A lack of game knowledge causes the game to grind to a halt and frustration among your fellow players. Know the game you are playing.
- Honest: I’ve saved the biggie for last. If you are going to cheat, I don’t want you at my table. It’s that simple. Sure, everyone makes mistakes but deliberate cheating is bang out of order.
Help Fellow Players!
In your opinion, do great players have other characteristics I’ve missed? Share your thoughts in the comments below and help your fellow players game better today!