Dungeons and Dragons comes with a lot of rules–it is great there is a book for it, otherwise we would never be able to keep track. But there’s no book on how to be a good player. There is often room for debate, conversation, and creativity. While you sometimes may argue with the party or the DM, and sometimes have tension in character, there are very specific ways to make sure the party dynamic stays healthy.
- To begin with, if you’re going to argue, argue appropriately. This means not getting fired up and yelling. Try to keep your emotions cool and calm and collect your thoughts. Some people who DM have an after-session conversation where they ask you to give feedback and discuss the session. This is a great time to get out your feelings and double check the rules. Sometimes getting upset is inevitable, but you want to try to keep yourself calm and figure out the best options.
- This is a game of strategy and role playing. You may be good at one or not the other, but what better way to practice than to try both. You may be good at strategizing, but you cannot convey info to the party outside character.
- If the DM makes special requests like “please have a paper character sheet” it is your responsibility to ensure you do so. Some DMs ask for these things in advance, or a drafted backstory so they can play the game around it and give you suggestions for things that may come up later. My DM asked for a paper character sheet so that no one was cruising the internet and missing parts of the plot, and so that there was no typing in the background. He also asked for a backstory and a wishlist so he could appease the players.
- Keep your dice close. This means not in a bag or something where you have to dig to find them. You should also keep them close when rolling – not throwing them on the floor or across the table. Sometimes it does happen but if you’re an excited roller, maybe getting a dice rolling tray is a good choice for you.
- If you keep rolling poorly, exchange that dice for another. If your D20 just isn’t giving you results, you’ll want to use a different dice.
- Keep yourself organized. If you’ve played even one session of DnD, you will learn quickly that you probably have at least two pages of character sheet info, a notebook, some dice, and a book. You may also have cards for spells and a map. You will want to keep these things organized in and out of game. I keep my stuff together in a small shelf and when we play I organize by: dice tray with at least two of each dice I use, my notes and character sheet, and my spell cards.
- Make sure to do your research. This means reading through the race and class of your character thoroughly so you know what types of rolls you’re going to do, and which spells or attacks you have that will make you stronger. You’ll also want to focus time on your stats and learning how to role play your character with others.
- This should be a given: be patient and accommodating to new players in your party. If you have a new player, you should embrace their willingness to learn and offer them the opportunity to role play and get creative with their character while being a gentle guide through things that confuse them.