The Saving Throw
Guides for Players Dec. 22, 2005
Some advice from one player to another.

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Twelve Principles of Good Roleplaying
contributed by Andrew M. Moravec (aka Beowulf_VII)

This little guide is a simple attempt to improve the quality of your sessions. I have not included things that are obvious or well-known, or included in every Player's Guide on the market. If you feel that something worth saying has been left out, or if you disagree with something I say, feel free to drop any comments at

  1. Get in character.
    Write your background in first-person and include at least one anecdote from your character's perspective. Come up with a list of things you can use to get into character before a session, such as music from a certain artist, or doing activities they would enjoy.

  2. Be at home in the game world.
    Study as much material as your gamemaster will give you access to. Know the cities, the climate, politics, and legends. And know where your character fits into it all.

  3. Dare to be weak.
    Strong characters are boring and exploiting the system will earn you the scorn of your fellow players. Build for personality, instead of power.

  4. Know your abilities.
    Study your skills, traits, and spells. Develop strategies for when to use what and in conjunction with what else.

  5. Know your party's abilities.
    Likewise, know what your fellows can and cannot do and figure out how you can work together for greater effect.

  6. Play to the mood of the group.
    If your party is bored, liven things up right away. This is especially needed in long battles.

  7. Plan ahead.
    When it's not your turn to act, be thinking about what you will do next. Ask your gamemaster if you are allowed to roll your dice ahead of time.

  8. Come prepared.
    Encourage your gamemaster to do the same. Spending time out of game to create a quick-reference sheet is better than hunting down information in-game, especially for mages.

  9. Keep notes. Lots of them.
    Jot things down whenever possible. Let your notebook be your character's memory, because your brain won't always be there for you.

  10. Bring your own food.
    Some gamemasters provide for their players, and some don't. Be courtious and bring your own food and beverages. You can even share, if you like. No alcohol, though. Drunks make bad roleplayers.

  11. In early, out late.
    Show up five minutes early and help with clean-up before you leave. Also, never leave without giving the gamemaster feedback, positive or negative. They need your input if they are to make the game worth playing.

  12. Please don't cheat.

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