Get it? “The Role of the Player”? Role-Player? Ahhhh… I kill me…Anyway, this blog is primarily aimed at GMs but they alone can not make a good game. On the contrary, a good GM can only do so much without the help and support of good Players. Hell, I’d go so far as to say that the Players’ attitudes and contributions probably make up the lion’s share of any given game. Mostly the GM is there simply to facilitate the Players experience. So what does a good Player do to help their GM? We’re going to come back around to this point again and again so we might as well throw it out there right at the beginning. A good player is open, honest, and involved with their GM on all aspects of the game. Point number one: tell your GM what your character is thinking and do it often. GM’s are not psychic. They can not read your mind nor can they read the mind of your Character. So you have to tell them what’s going on in there. Keeping secrets from your GM is never a good idea. GMs you’re going to have to accept that just because you thought something was the bee’s knees doesn’t mean it was what your players were hoping to spend their evening doing. Players it is up to you to keep your GM apprised of how the story is working on your Character so they know what is and isn’t working and are able to adjust the story accordingly. A good GM is trying to build their game toward your Characters, but they can’t tell you where they’re going with everything or what their NPCs are thinking because that would ruin the suspense and mystery of the game. You, on the other hand are perfectly able to tell the GM anything and everything about your end of things. You should jump at every opportunity to ramble about your Character’s point of view to your GM. Point number two: tell your GM what you (the Player, not the Character) thinks of the game. Just because you’re playing a fighter doesn’t make a game that is all combat enjoyable to you. Sure your Character is having a blast, but your enjoyment is the enjoyment that matters here. Your GM may not know this though unless you tell them. I know it is never fun telling your friend that their game is boring you to tears, but you have to tell the GM or you have no one but yourself to blame for the GM not knowing of your angst and/or boredom. Again, GM’s you’re going to have to be open to this kind of information as well. Getting offended that one of your Players isn’t enjoying themselves will not in any way improve the situation. If a Player has worked up the courage to tell you that your game is disappointing them for one reason or another, you owe it to them to be accepting of this information and to try and modify the game so that it works for them. Point number three: don’t cheat. I know. I know. This one should be obvious, but time and time again I find that it isn’t. Players, trust your GM and be honest with them. If they’re a good GM, you really have nothing to fear from missing this roll or that one. The game will unfold and failures can be just as entertaining as successes. Learn to be amused either way and try to think about how your Character would react to this set back rather than being pissed at your dice or lack of appropriate skill points, powers, or whatever. Point number four: play nice with your fellow Players. Yours is not the only Character in the game. You do not need to be involved in every single event that goes down nor do you have to be informed of all developments that come about. A role-playing game is all about point of view and if your Character isn’t present at something, don’t demand that the Characters that are call you or come get you or something like that. Do your thing and trust that the other Players will do theirs and that the GM will make sure that everyone is involved and has fun. Point number five: close that stinking book. Yes, role-playing games have rules. Yes, they are an important part of bringing the story to life. No, you shouldn’t spend all session pouring over the book and only participating when you find the loopholes that let you destroy the moon with a sling-shot. It’s role-playing, people. Put the book down and get into character. Have in-character conversations with the other Characters. Let the rules take care of themselves unless there is a serious question on the table. Then look up the rule, but get back to the role-playing as soon as you can.