This is a list of tips and advice for the new players. Follow them to get the most out of roleplaying, avoid the most common roleplaying problems and be the kind of person people like playing with.
Be good to other players
Be nice, treat other players with respect. Make sure everyone feels comfortable, welcome, and enjoys the game.
Show up on time
Don’t be late, make sure to notify everyone in advance if you’re going to miss the session.
Avoid sensitive subjects
Unless you’re reasonably sure that everyone is on board with this, try to keep things PG-13 and avoid bringing up subjects that make people uncomfortable (torture, excessive violence, sex, real-world politics, religion, etc).
Don’t be shy
It’s okay to be weird =) Assume that everyone is on your side and wants you to have fun. Speak up, share your opinion, get out of your comfort zone, try doing a silly voice, act things out.
Share the Spotlight
Don’t talk over other players. Make sure everyone gets a chance to speak without being interrupted, make sure you’re not dominating all of the conversation or action. Let other players to have their moment. Encourage everyone to participate in the story. Help quiet/shy players - ask their opinion or what they would like to do next. If you notice someone being interrupted - ask them what they were going to say.
Don’t tell people what to do
Play your character, don’t tell others how to play theirs. It often doesn’t feel great, even if you have a good point. Suggesting ideas and arguing about the next course of action is fine, just make sure your advice isn’t unwelcome.
Ask for consent
Don’t attack other player’s characters, steal their stuff, or force them to do anything against their will without asking first if it’s okay.
It can be annoying to play with characters who keep killing everybody, constantly run off to do their own thing, keep undermining the party’s goals, or regularly must be bailed out of trouble. If you’re playing an evil character - be evil to NPCs, but find ways to get along with your party members.
Stay invested, pay attention
Listen to what other players and the GM are saying, pay attention to the story, don’t get distracted and browse social media, don’t check out when it’s someone else’s turn.
Sometimes you as a player will know things your character doesn’t. For example, if the GM describes things to other characters when your character isn’t in the scene. Avoid using this information to make decisions your character otherwise wouldn’t make.
Play to find out what happens
Don’t get attached to an idea you wish to happen, and get upset when it doesn’t. Things often don’t go your way, so it’s best to act in the moment.
If your group gets stuck in an argument, unable to decide on the next course of action - just call for a vote (or flip a coin), and move on. It’s better to go with a random plan than to be stuck arguing. Unless you have a very important in-character reason to disagree, use this as an opportunity to practice yes-and’ing.
Learn the rules
Know how the game works, and what powers your character has.
Resolve the conflict by having a conversation outside of the game
If someone keeps doing something that makes you upset or uncomfortable - have an open, honest conversation with them after the game.
Be nice to the GM
Don’t argue with the GM, accept their decisions - protracted arguments only slow down the game. Give them feedback. If you dislike something GM does - tell them after the game. If you really like something they do - make sure to let them know as well.
Treat the ideas suggested by other players as awesome (even when they may seem silly). Go with it, encourage it, add your own ideas on top, and help them succeed. Optimize for storytelling and fun, not winning. Don’t shut down people’s ideas, don’t stop other player’s actions or plans, if they want to do something - let them.
Help other players be awesome
Actively help others to have cool moments and achieve their goals. Provide opportunities for other characters to shine.
Be an active player
Don’t wait for others to entertain you, assume the responsibility for making the story more fun for yourself and others, try to actively contribute, enhance everyone’s experience. Positive energy and enthusiasm are always welcome. As a character - be proactive, form your own goals, don’t wait for the GM to provide every detail and tell you what to do.
Think out of the box
Look for unexpected ideas and creative choices. Look for non-combat resolutions. See if there’s a way to sneak past the enemy or talk your way out of a sticky situation.
Do the obvious thing
This game is meant to encourage you to be inventive, creative, goofy. But if you’re feeling stuck, if you have trouble coming up with something crazy or awesome - just do the simple, obvious thing, move the story along. Nothing is wrong with that. Besides, what seems obvious to you can be new and exciting to other players.
Stay in character
Instead of discussing things with other players as yourself, try to immerse yourself in playing your character, be an actor, play things out as a scene in a movie.
Don’t stop roleplaying during combat
Don’t just name the spells you want to use. Imagine you’re writing an awesome action scene for a movie - describe what you do vividly, make surprising choices, exchange banter with NPCs and other players.
Add emotion, relationships, an opinion
How does your character feel about what’s going on? How do they feel about the NPCs and other party members? Do they have a strong opinion about what’s going on?
Try playing grounded characters
It’s natural for new players to have fun with doing all sorts of crazy/wacky things, to do something just because it’s funny, to go for an easy gag. That’s perfectly fine, but if you want to take your game to the next level - try playing more “grounded” characters, with real feelings and believable motivations. Try to make other people love and care about your character.
Allow yourself to feel
This game can get really amazing when you allow yourself to really feel what your character feels in the moment. Being excited, scared, even crying. When you feel safe to express emotions around your friends, and really care about your character and theirs, you will have some amazing and unforgettable moments.
Focus on one thing at a time
Every session, pick one of these tips and make it your goal to practice it.
Take an improv class
Improv is incredibly helpful for getting better at roleplaying. We have an Discord Community where we do improv over voice chat. We have a few experienced improvisers running sessions and sharing their experience, and a bunch of novice people eager to learn and to play some games. We practice playing characters, coming up with things on the fly, storytelling, making jokes. Come join us, it’s really fun! No experience necessary, if you want to learn and play some games - you’re welcome!