Monday, September 12, 2011

RPG tips from the player perspective

In an attempt to kick your role-playing experience up a notch*, I figured I should post a few tips on my views on being a good and fun roleplayer. My goal is to improve your fun in playing and hopefully the fun of the rest of the people in your role-playing group. Whether you play Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, Storyteller, or Savage worlds, I hope you can find useful information here.

First a few observations on my my playstyle.

1. When it comes to playing, I like powergaming. Yes, really. I like having the powerful character who can do cool things like blasting bad guys with a single thought while they attempt to beat my character to death with mithral coated rattlesnakes that end up doing no real damage. I'm not necessarily great at it, but I like having a character that are uber when I'm on my toes . Interestingly, no one has accused me of powergaming, probably because it takes me a lot of research and more thought than I usually give to do it. Furthermore, I try to put a LOT of story into my chars and give them motivation.

2. I *LOVE* combat in my RPGs. I want my character to be swinging a sword** and blasting away with guns to take down baddies. If they can be doing backflips, round house kicks, and casting fireballs even better!

So here are some tips and tricks I've found that you can put into making your games more fun AS A PLAYER!.

Now for tip number the first: Write a backstory with tons of hooks for your GM to write about.

Now, immediately, I can hear readers saying, "What? Are you crazy***? Why would I give my Game Master a loaded gun to mess with my character?"

Because, lets face it, you want the GM to shoot it at your character.

Yes, I said it. Bare with me and I will explain.

If you are like me, and I know I am, I want to wade into heavy combat with my character and be the one to kill the big bad Vampiric Draco-Lich Fiend. If you want to do that, you need to come up with a reason for your character to find the draco lich.

Think of it this way. In games that provide a disadvantage system, you probably look at items like "Hunted" and "Enemy" and "Bronie" and avoided them like the plague! Remember how I like combat in my games? I always take "Hunted" and "Enemy" and provide enough details and make a point to draw my GM's attention to it. Then I can be guaranteed of the following facts

1. I will have combat centered on me.

2. I will have a plot line that is centered around me.

3. My GM will happily give me that spotlight because I've made his/her job easier - yay, more killing!

What about parents, siblings, children? Yeah, my character probably has them. I don't deny it. I just make it more useful by saying "I don't know who that person is."

Now, my GM can say "Why yes, you have a son - his name is Modred, he is you and your half-sister's son (ewww) and they both want to kill you." This messed up story is one of the reasons King Arthur is such a cool legend. AND NOW, my character has that cool back story and 10 more building points to give me a bonus to round house kicks.

If your game DOESN'T have those building points, you will still have those wonderful things, "Combat" and "Spotlight".

I'll be writing up more tips in future as I identify them!

* BAM!
** Preferably a lightsaber
*** Yes, but that doesn't matter here.

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