I’ve only been role playing steadily for about 3 years, and only DMing for about 18 months.

I’ve only been role playing steadily for about 3 years, and only DMing for about 18 months.

I’ve only been role playing steadily for about 3 years, and only DMing for about 18 months. I’m not great at either, so I watch a bunch of videos and read a lot about such things. I watched something today and although I’ve heard this before, something about the way it was presented really resonated with me and made me realize why I’m not such a good player:

“You’re not playing a game and you’re not playing a ranger. You’re playing Aragorn, who in this case happens to be a ranger.”

I spend too much time “playing the ranger” and not enough time “playing Aragorn”.

What is some advice you all have to help make a player better?

11 thoughts on “I’ve only been role playing steadily for about 3 years, and only DMing for about 18 months.”

  1. My advice is to make the concept of your character and some of their history before deciding on the class you are going to play. Think of what you would like to do and find the class that best represents your idea. Then play them as a person, not a figure in a game of trying to beat the coins out of monsters. It makes for better story and immersion.

  2. Well. I do think it’s a good thing to try and portray your character as if they were a real person. Try to put yourself into their shoes and make decisions they would make.

    That being said, this is a game. While playing RPGs, we are both the audience and the participants. It’s fine to make decisions for your character because you, the player, want to see something happen.

    I say aim for a balance. There’s no wrong way to play, other than one that you don’t enjoy.

  3. Have goals that you keep to yourself. Dumb little goals like real people would have.

    Also, be obvious. Don’t try to be super creative all the time. The obvious thing to you might be groundbreaking to others.

  4. Ask loaded question about the character that help to make them a more rounded person.

    Warrior, who do you usually think about before going to sleep?

    Wizard, how did you cope with the stress of being in a really competitive mage academy?

    Druid, cleric, yesterday you had a long and bizarre discussion about life, the universe and such. Whedlre do.you see the other character having a point? Why?

  5. I’m not sure about having the concept before making the character – in powered by apocalypse specifically.

    Powered by the apocalypse games usually works like tv shows: first you introduce the character in broad strokes, using a couple different stereotypes. That is the reason why there are booklets.

    Then, you slowly dig and refine the character.

    Think about Buffy, for example: in the first episodes you have Buffy as a monster hunter, willow as a bookish nerd and Cordelia as a prom queen. Slowly you get to know more about them and they become a 3d character.

  6. Make a point of coming up with the occasional non-optimized concept. I’ve done that on several occasions and found it vastly more entertaining to play a concept than a bucket of stats. An example would be back in the d20 days of playing a dwarf sorceress. At the time, they had a Cha penalty (their casting attribute), and I made a point of rocking my GM’s expectations from the Discworld series that dwarves all have beards.

  7. Andrea Serafini makes a good point – PbtA games seem to be mostly about discovering your character in play. Compare this to something like Burning Wheel where you map out everything your character has done since childhood before play.

  8. I’m going to break with the crowd here a little. It’s ok not to be a “spectacular” player, whatever that might mean to you. It’s okay just playing the ranger. In the end, seek the fun you like and support others having the fun they like.

  9. Ok. First of all: Don’t let someone tell you how you should have fun. It is your time and your friends. If you enjoy playing a ranger, keep playing a Ranger.

    If you want to play aragorn, you should work with your gm. Let him ask you Questions, while you tell him your Story, so he can use in game what you give him. Like this the GM will, if he is halfway decent build that in and you can Show instead of tell Who your character is. You can even continue your Story, by keep asking Questions.

  10. Excellent posts here, I collected a short summary for my group!

    While I normally think making concept before looking at mechanics makes better characters, I agree with Andrea Serafini​ that pbta/playbooks make it a bit problematic. It could work well for Uncharted Worlds that has no playbooks.

  11. this is not a solo movie, this isnt your origins, its a the sequal to your wildly successful team movie, the fans want to see you work together, fight with each other, need each other, share moments and kick some ass as a team

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