This month, February 2016, the RPG Blog Carnival rolls into its home base at Roleplaying Tips. The topic for the month is “Inspiring Your Players.” As someone who primarily is a player and not a gamemaster, I want to put a twist on the topic though and turn it back around to the players.
How can players inspire their gamemasters and other players at the roleplaying table?
I think there is a huge focus in the roleplaying sphere on making gamemasters better. The majority of blog articles, roleplaying books and other resources focus on making the gamemaster as good as he or she can be. I think that does make sense in a way since for many gaming groups the gamemaster does much of the heavy lifting.
However, if you really look at the composition of a gaming group, the majority of the people at the table are players! Where are the resources and suggestions for being a better player?
If you are someone who primarily spends his time as a player, there are definitely things that you can do to inspire your gamemaster. The best way to start is by respecting your gamemaster and the time they put into the game. Show up on time for games and come ready to play. Bring a positive attitude to the table and work with what the gamemaster gives you. It is the simple “Golden Rule” approach of treating others like you’d want to be treated.
If you have the type of relationship where you are able to talk with your gamemaster outside of your normal gaming days, talk with them about the game! Tell them what you liked about the last gaming session. Brainstorm some ideas with them about your character and what you’d like to see the next time you play. I guarantee this will get your gamemaster excited for the next adventure they run for you.
Also, be the type of player that inspires other players. Applaud them for cool actions or ideas at the gaming table. Be positive, happy, funny and creative. Be the type of player that other players want to play with. Again, it’s the Golden Rule approach to life applied to gaming.
One of my favorite ways to really inspire another player is to give them a nudge in-game to pursue their character goals. If their character has a goal to find a really powerful magical weapon, then tell them to do it and say you’ll go with them! Help make part of the adventure about them and apply that attitude to every other player at the table. Everyone needs their own time in the spotlight at some point during the game.
I would argue that the hallmark of a good roleplayer is someone that inspires their gamemaster and the other players at the table. Don’t sit down at the table with the idea of, “I hope the gamemaster planned something good for this week.” Help them make it good by being an enthusiastic player that comes to game. Bring a great attitude, leave the drama at home, and come to game.