Campaign V - The Game of Divinity - 2016
How to be a better roleplayer
ONE. Do stuff.
Be active, not passive. If you learn nothing else from this article, bloody learn this. You won’t be punished for trying to accomplish something.
TWO. Your character does not exist outside of the things you have said.
Backstory is meaningless unless you use it. You only exist through your actions. It is not the responsibility of other players to read your backstory, and their characters cannot read minds. So display your talents, your traits, your weaknesses, your connections.
THREE. Don’t try to stop things.
Negating another player’s actions is fairly useless play. Instead, go with the flow. Build. Enhance.
FOUR. Take full control of your character.
Instead of being bound by pre-conceived notions of what your character would and would not do, embrace complications and do it, but try to work out why. Characters in uncomfortable situations are the meat and drink of drama. Your character is part of the story; this is not your character’s story.
FIVE. Don’t harm other players.
Fuck that guy. No-one likes that guy. If you steal from other players, you are exerting power over them in a really messy, underhanded sort of way. Similarly, attacking other players is awful, too. This never improves the game.
SIX. Know the game, but don’t be a dick about it.
For the love of God, don’t rules-lawyer. Do not do that. It is not hard to work out, because here is a simple guide – if you are arguing over a rule for more than twenty seconds, you are a rules lawyer. Stop talking, because you are sucking the fun out of the game.
SEVEN. Give the game your attention.
We aren’t playing Candy Crush Saga we are playing Dungeons and Fucking Dragons. If you find yourself getting so bored by what’s going on you’re resorting to playing a game on your phone, or reading a book, or checking Facebook, then step away from the game.
EIGHT. If you make someone uncomfortable, apologize and talk to them about it.
Nothing has sex with anything else on-screen. If you think you might have upset someone, then ask ’em, quietly. And if you have, apologize, and stop talking about that particular thing. Just be nice.
NINE. Be a Storyteller.
Say some words. Develop a character voice and stance. Describe your actions. A good GM should go with what you’re saying, anyway, unless it really goes against their plan. Also know when to shut up. Short and punchy is always better than long and flowery.
TEN. Embrace failure.
Treat failure as a story branch, not a block. Why did you fail? What other options can you explore?
ELEVEN. Play the game.
This is a game. We have signed up to play a game together. We are all telling a story with each other, to each other, and the story comes first. Step back from the heat of combat; step back from your character’s difficulties. Respect the other players. Do what is best for the game. Be active! Be positive! Be interesting!