21 Things Wise DMs Want From Their Best RPG Players


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By The 3 Wise DMs. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

It takes more than just a Wise DM to make a great roleplaying game campaign. No matter how thoroughly you plan or brilliantly you improv, the DM (or GM, judge, storyteller, or whatever the system you’re playing calls it) is only one person in a group of 2 to 10 or more people making this thing happen. When push comes to shove, the players are the ones who really make the game what it becomes — whether that’s an epic cooperative tale imaginative high adventure or a series of glorified minis skirmishes.

What can players do to make a better game? It comes down to investment in the game, engagement with the world, attitude, helping bring out the best in the other players, and learning to play the game beyond your character sheet — all while not hogging the spotlight! On our website, DM Tony posted a great article on The 6 Habits of Highly Successful RPG Players, and that’s a great place to start.

In this episode, The 3 Wise DMs discuss those tips and much more as Thorin, Tony and Dave delve into what makes a great RPG player (regardless of system), we want they see from the players at their tables, and what they try to do when playing for other DMs (wise or otherwise).

1:00 How “The 6 Habits of Highly Successful Players” blew up

2:00 What makes a good character from the DM’s point of view?

  • “They can take the football and run with it.” I.e., they can devise a plan and make it happen
  • They can get involved with their fellow players and “really make some magic work”
  • You can be a very powerful character and still basically suck to play with
  • A great character helps the whole party feel like they’ve accomplished something after the session

5:00 Player investment in the game, not just their character

9:00 Good players look for ways for their characters and the party to impact the game world — they don’t wait for (or beg) the DM to solve their problems

13:00 The 3rd level of freedom: Taking the game to that place only tabletop RPGs can go

16:00 How do you kill a vampire? A test for the degrees of freedom in your game

20:00 Good play goes beyond your character sheet and mechanics

26:00 The way the player characters talk and have fun with each other makes the game

28:00 Trust you DM: Have a good attitude and know how to “Yes, and …” with everyone at the table

35:00 Engage with the story as it happens and accept how the other players engage (even if your character hates it)

40:00 Metagaming ruins everything we’re talking about

47:00 Describe what your character is trying to do, not the roll they’re trying to make

49:00 How to be an inspiring player

52:00 How we build characters and what we try to do when we’re players in someone else’s game (plus: Tony’s research into Hulk Hogan)

59:00 Build the coolest character that you can still stand to see change or die during the game

69:00 How to build power-gaming characters that are still interesting and character-driven

72:00 Final Thoughts

99 episodes