What are things you see good players do?


#1

We all love being a part of a great session. Sometimes it’s the facilitator, but, for me, it’s often another player who isn’t the host or facilitator that really makes the session enjoyable. I fully believe being able to identify those things in others, will help us identify it in our selves, and help us improve. I want to be a better player.

Here are some things I’ve noticed. I love it when others:

  1. Ask interesting questions.
  2. Give non interruptive feedback (laughter, clapping, dancing, squeeing, turning the body and focusing, etc)
  3. Broadcast what you as the player want and what you want to do with the character
  4. Are willing and enthusiastic about the incorporating the ideas of others. Being flexible with concepts, but also advocating for themselves to get something that wouldn’t have happened without the different inputs.
  5. Identify and when another player hasn’t had spotlight in a while, and sets them up or somehow helps bring them back into focus. This could be stepping back, or getting them involved in the current thing, or setting up something the other character is uniquely qualified to do. It really helps if you know what the player and/or character wants. :wink:
  6. Are committed to the tone of the game. Whether it’s whimsical, serious, dark, emotional, or comedic, being on tone and helping others stay on tone, even if it’s just by leading through example.

Some of these I definitely got better at through being a GM, but whether I am a player or GM I really appreciate it when I see other players (including other GMs) do these things.

Full disclosure this was inspired by a conversation at a recent convention around there being awards for GMs, yet no awards for being a Player. I wanted to think of what noticeable things you could use to assign a player award.

What are some of the actions other players do that help make the session more enjoyable?


#2
  • take notes
  • suggest background music/scenery for another players scene
  • roleplay in character between sessions

#3

I don’t like the GM status distinction one bit. The best games I have ever been part of have ever been part of we’re as much the openness and skill of the players.

All of the above are great - willingly sharing the cognitive load and checking in the game facilities is having fun is also good.

I try to set a ‘social contract’ on expected behaviour between everyone and reinforce with end of game roses and thrones or stars and wishes. This tends to help in the feeling of shared ownership and community?

Now if anyone has tips for getting the peeps that break the contract without ruining friendships I am all hear!


#4

Our table has rotating GM/MC as a standard part.

That is; when the mood strikes, we all take turns as the MC. This has helped make us all fantastic players, because:

  • Each of us focuses on helping others shine
  • We can all frame a scene.
  • We all try to move ahead Plot in ways that lead to complications.

I’m so so pleased I get to be a part of this table.


#5

#6 is such a big one for me. Buying into the game and the GMs creative vision is so important.


#6

A thing I love is when I am MC-ing and players ask other players questions that might be classically seen as MC questions. Pretty much every time they are things I would not have asked but really add to the conversation.


#7

So true, I love it when someone has taken notes. Mostly because I fail at taking notes when I talk and I can’t remember what I just said. So I love it when someone else can give a recap of what happened last time and remind me of what I said.


#8

This is something that is really only relevant for a campaign but learning what your character can do is a big one for me. While teaching the game mechanics is something that often falls to the GM I really appreciate when a player takes some time between sessions to figure out and note down how their character works mechanically.

It can be as simple as jotting down their typical attack roll in a clear place or highlighting their favoured moves. Simple things like that take some of the weight off of the GM, especially in more traditional games.


#9

In an online game, I love it when players mute themselves when they are not in a scene. Aggressive muting goes a long way toward improving the experience in an online game.

I also like it when players show genuine concern about the stories of other player characters, as well as being open to feedback about the story of their own character. That is basic GGG gameplay, and I’m here for it.


#10

This is a big one in GM-less games, but I think it applies in other kinds of play too:

Take bold action. Interesting stories are made from bold actions and highly questionable decisions, not wimpily avoiding conflict for four hours.


#11

Players who help the GM explain away plot holes in the story


#12

When a player calls back, actively, to something I’ve created.

Or when a player helps me with the rules of the game and uses that knowledge to guide the other players in a kind and helpful manner. That’s a big burden off me, as GM.


#13

I’d add that I love it when players bring your character into their stories.

Asking for advice or help in character is a cool way to do that.


#14

Share

  • Listen actively
  • Incorporate and reincorporate others’ ideas. Reduce, reuse and recycle the fiction.
  • Offer ideas when necessary or appropriate
  • Grab the spotlight when appropriate, but shine it elsewhere more often

Restrain yourself

  • Only offer ideas when necessary and appropriate
  • Be patient and kind.
  • Listen more than you talk.

Be interesting

  • Make your character interesting to everyone.
  • Have strong, clear goals and motivations as a player and a character
  • Explicitly and implicitly tie your character to others.
  • Accept lower status.
  • Aim to delight.
  • Make trouble! Plot and scheme!
  • Give your character weaknesses and hooks.
  • Build, escalate and break patterns.

Play With Commitment

  • Be your guy
  • Play transparently and honestly.
  • Really sell character personality and emotion. Play a real character, according to the game’s fiction and theme.
  • Strongly advocate for your character and the elements you control.
  • Allow in-game events to change your character.
  • Absorb the rules and use them vigorously.
  • Lose enthusiastically and fail in interesting ways.

Observe

  • Shepherd the plot - keep an eye out for fictional loose ends and tie them together.
  • Identify and help to correct problems wherever they occur.
  • Be a fan of other players characters and contributions.
  • Respect cause and effect.
  • Help pace the game.

Respect others

  • Remember that people are more important than the game.
  • Use personal space and volume to communicate appropriately .
  • Giving other players the physical and temporal space they need.
  • Help others with rules and concepts.
  • Encourage occasional breaks.
  • Ask for feedback.

(Your mileage will vary! A lot of this was inspired by or stolen from John Stavropoulos.)


#15

Help to bring new players into an ongoing game by making them comfortable, answering questions, and drawing them into their scenes. Also avoiding info dumping them about previous events. Hold off rules corrections for other players (and even the GM) until it won’t break the flow of the moment. (There’s an exception for crucial bits here). Trusts that the other players have awesome ideas.


#16

Lots of great stuff already here!

Two things that I really appreciate when I see it

  1. Skate to where the puck is going. I.e. take actions that enable the story to move forwards, and engage with where it is already going. If it’s a horror story, go down the steps into the dark cellar etc.
  2. Ensuring that other players don’t get left on the sideline. Ensure that other people get a chance to shine as well.

#17

First of all, I love love love this question/discussion. LOVE. Recently, I’ve been bemoaning the fact that there’s so much GM-focused advice and guidance out there and comparatively little player-focused advice and guidance. Bookmarking this conversation for the future for sure.

Second, I wanted to add my emphasis to point 2 on non-interruptive engagement. I love that it serves the dual-purpose of not only encouraging the players that are involved in the scene that they’re doing something awesome (what a confidence booster!) but it also gives those who are not involved in the scene something to do that actually adds to the game rather than detracting from it (by zoning out, checking phones, having side conversations, etc.) Win-win. I always really appreciate when players do this for me, and try to return the favor.

Finally, to add my own two cents to the wealth of goodness already here, I think good players are players who recognize that playing RPGs is as much of a skill as GMing them. Yes, it’s a hobby, and yes, it’s fun, and yes, it can be used for escape and delight and all sorts of other good stuff, but the players who recognize that they can grow in this hobby, and put intentional thought and effort toward that growth, those are the ones I want to play with.

To put this into an action, since that’s the original question, I’ve heard some great players actually self-evaluate at the end of a session or goal-set at the beginning of one with many of the actions already discussed here. So in our pre-session chatter, they’ll say something like, “I really want to get better about asking other PCs good questions in-character.” Or at the end of a session, they’ll say, “I felt like I could’ve spotlighted Other PC a little better in that one scene we shared.” This kind of goal-setting and self-evaluating also encourages other players at the table to do the same, which is awesome.


#18

Yesssssss! I think this is super important. Trad games can really train players to be overly cautious imho.


#19

The non-interruptive feedback is something I think you get really good at when playing Gauntlet Hangouts games. You mute yourself all the time but also not being in the room with others means you can visibly clap, shake your fists, bring your hands to your mouth in shock, etc. All of that is super motivating for the people with the spotlight. You see it in the little squares in the corner and it just amps you up.


#20

I will also note that there is a ton of useful information in this thread too: