How do I become a better player

Ten tips to become a better role player

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

This is my contribution to this month's RPG Carnival and the topic “10 things”. In doing so, I am daring a big chunk and a question that has not let go of me since a convention last year. A young player there asked me late in the evening after a beginner's round "Do you have any tips on how to become a better role-player?" have given. That's not wrong, but I could see that you were hoping for more. Well, here is my detailed answer that was so long in coming.

Table of Contents

1. Don't play with the brakes on fun

As a hobby, role play should be fun for everyone involved. Sure, "fun" is a matter of interpretation, but one thing is clear: if one player spoils the role-playing game for another, the fun stops. And yes, they do exist, those brakes on fun that behave like an elephant in a china shop at the gaming table, cheat, regularly mess up the plot or just always spread a bad mood. In my experience, it just doesn't work well in the long run. Sure everyone has a bad day. But if you can't convince such players to let their behavior and you notice that you are losing the fun of the game (or worse, the hobby!), You should pull the emergency brake - even if it may be your friends. You don't have to play with every role play. Real friends understand that.

2. Find an RPG that you enjoy

Role playing games are made for everyone. Of course there are so-called universal systems, but you will only find “your” favorite role-playing game and your playing style if you try new things. Never settle for a role-play game that you only have halfway (“somehow, okay”) fun just because you don't know anything else. Be open to new systems, worlds and play styles and try them out. You can get a good idea of ​​the bigger picture on the Internet and at conventions. Or grab some friends and just go ahead. Your "favorite role-playing game" is sure to be waiting for you somewhere out there.

3. Get involved in the game evening

You forgot the character sheet, didn't bring any dice or nibbles with you? It's not the best way, but it's okay if you really want to play. What has nothing to do with the gaming table, on the other hand, is the stress of everyday life. Did someone give you their opinion today? Don't take it out on your fellow players - get involved in the evening of the game, forget the rest. This also applies to things that remind you of the "rest" and ensure that you do not find your way into the game. Cell phone rings at the gaming table? Just check Facebook once for a moment? Please do not.

4. Know the system

You are in the middle of an exciting scene, the dice roll and then someone asks: "How does my spell work again?" Often you have to look it up. That takes time and slows down everyone else. In the worst case, this leads to a discussion of the rules and the tension that has built up is gone. Don't be that someone. Know the system and make sure that the game goes as smoothly as possible. You can better discuss questions, comments or suggestions for improvement before or after the game evening.

5. Don't get showered, get involved

In RPG, something only happens when the game round lets it happen. So get involved, no matter what role you play! With a little imagination, you can help make any scene better. Do you have any idea? Throw them in the room. Is a player at a loss as to what to do or what to say? Give him a few tips. Or think about what your character is up to next. Anything is better than staring at your character sheet and waiting for your next die roll to be asked of you.

6. Be considerate of your fellow players

Role play is a group activity. So don't forget that there are other players besides you. Maybe one of your teammates is shy or just in a bad mood and that's why they're quiet. So don't just do “your thing”, but always try to involve the others at the gaming table and let their characters have their say. Allow everyone their own "great moment" and pay attention to the limits and wishes of the others. It was only a really good night of play if all the players had fun.

7. Play with the group, not against them

The plot in the role-playing game only moves with the player characters. Therefore always try to develop the story together with the other players. Don't let your character just run away or sulk in the corner. This only forces the game round to give you a reason to continue participating - but you can also think of it yourself. Also, don't try to annoy the GM at any cost. He's also a teammate and not your enemy. Wait a minute, your character “is just like that” and you can't help it? Not quite. You create the character and if it doesn't fit the group, then you designed it that way and you are responsible for it.

8. Have the courage to be a game master too

The game master often has more work to do on a game night. It's great when you have a friend who likes to do this. But without a game master, there is usually no role-playing game. And here comes your part: dare! It's not that difficult at all and the others will surely help you with it. Maybe you even enjoy guiding the game? If you listen to suggestions for improvement and are open to criticism, you are sure to become a great game master over time. What if you don't like it? Then at least you tried. Pass the game master position on to someone else and be richer by an experience.

9. Respect other rounds of the game

Not all role-play games are created equal. Some rounds roll the dice all the time, others only a few times per night of the game. Some players like rules and tables, others find a system on five pages too many. Some like horror and serious drama, others prefer fun pirate adventures and exciting dungeons. It's all role play and a matter of taste. Don't like a certain style of play? Don't worry, you don't have to play with their fans. But don't try to spoil their fun by spoiling their way of playing. If you want to convince them of your playing style, use polite arguments. This is especially true for role-playing forums on the Internet.

10. Teach others to role-play when you have the opportunity

RPG cannot be read or downloaded. You have to try it out. Every role player was given a helping hand at some point. You too. To make our hobby even bigger, you should try to teach other role-play games whenever the opportunity arises. Think about your first night of play and what fascinates you about role play. At the beginning, try a simple story, explain a lot and be especially considerate. If you have another seasoned player with you who can show you how, all the better. And make an effort! Because the first evening of play often decides whether someone likes role play or not.

I hope these ten tips save you - and maybe one or the other reader - a few moments of frustration and ensure that the game round is more fun together. In the next few months we will publish more articles and tips for part-time heroes for beginners in our favorite hobby. Do you have any further questions or would you like a special topic that we should shed light on particularly intensively? Just write it to us as a comment; we are happy about it.

We have already dealt with the topic elsewhere:

Article image: kaeska on

This article was written as part of the carnival of the role-playing blogs and websites "10 Things", which is organized by Greifenklaue. The coordination takes place from the RSP blogs forum.


Dirk Walbrühl is a game master out of passion. Having fun in the common story is particularly important to him. He firmly believes that table roleplaying can do more than just a few dice and values. He regularly expands his hobby horizons and collection, especially with wacky independent role-playing games. Dirk Walbrühl left the team in winter 2018 and is only sporadically active as an author.