It isn’t too surprising that most gaming blogs deal with the subject of gamemastering. The role of GM is central to most RPGs — they’re the one that handles much of the world building, they present the scenarios and challenges for the players, adjudicate the rules. A lot of players don’t want the added “work” load of GMing; others thrive on it. So there’s a market for GM advice. But what about players? What kind of advice can an RPG player benefit from?

Let’s start with the basics — You are not the only player (unless you are.)

1) If you are playing in a group of people, all of the players are expecting to get some share of the “screen time.” This means you should avoid trying to hog the spotlight when another player is taking their turn during an action sequence, or is currently the focus of whatever the scene requires. This is especially important if your party is split, and those your character is not with are currently having their storyline addressed.

2)  Don’t be rude. Taking shots at other players for their sexuality, gender, color, whatever is not cricket. If you can’t behave like an adult, you should find something else to do with your time.

3) To that end, characters can (and probably should) have some level of conflict; players should not. Role playing games are more collaborative than competitive. Often the GM and group is relying on the characters working together toward a goal. So if you are the only one holding up the action (“My player wouldn’t want to [enter activity that the story requires here]!”) maybe you should consider the role you’ve taken and do up a new character. No one wants to spend a session trying to convince everyone to get on board, they want to get on with the story and action.

4) Do offer to help cover the cost of food/drinks, or gas if you are getting a ride with someone. Anything else is douchey.

5) Be on time. Yes, it’s a game. But, especially for students and working adults, the other players have had to block out time for play. If you have three hours a session, no one wants to be waiting for an hour to get started because you were late. If you can’t make it on time — or at all — give the group plenty of notice. It’s just basic consideration.

6) Dress appropriately. No, that doesn’t mean business casual or a tie. That means don’t show up in fetish gear unless everyone is on board with it. (Yes, this has happened in one of my games…) Don’t wear slogans to do the passive aggressive tweak of whatever group another player is part of — that just makes you a dick. Wash. With soap. (Yes, this has been an issue.)

In other words, exercise basic civilized behavior.

Next — Choosing what to play.