Thursday, January 22, 2009

5 Things All Gamers Should Try

1. Talk with a funny voice. And by that I mean just play a character who's not you with a sword in your hands or with pointy teeth. Your gaming group is not a theatrical audience. It doesn't matter if you can't really act. If you're only playing yourself then you're missing out on a big part of the roleplay game.

2. Power game. Build that character who's tricked out and can one shot an enemy 3 levels higher than him. Playing with the system and figuring out its loopholes and limits will give you a deeper appreciation for everything mechanical that you can do with your game. 

3. Play an indie game. There's a large number of games out there that stretch our imaginations as well as our definition of "roleplay game". Maybe you've always wanted to play something that doesn't require lots of DM prep time to build encounters. Might I recommend Don't Rest Your Head? How about a character growth intensive game? Primetime Adventures could be for you. 

4. Game Master. At worst, doing this once might make you more empathetic the next time your GM doesn't recall a rule or forgets an NPC's name, and at best you might find that you love crafting stories, world building, and playing 50 characters instead of just one. 

5. Play your weakness. Build a character with a significant weakness or phobia, and play it up. Maybe your character is low in charisma or manipulation on the character sheet. That doesn't mean he'd never try to tell a lie. Play it up, but rp how horrible he might be at it. This can be fun, and get you to care less about failing rolls. 


Bonemaster said...

I'm not sure if I'm on board with #2,but I have to say that #1,4,5 are essential. As I am commonly a GM, I think everyone should GM at least once to understand what a GM has to do,not to mention they might find that they like to do it. Even after all the heartache that GMing can offer, I still find it the most rewarding part of gaming. There's nothing like people who can't wait till next week.

Typhinius said...

I really agree with all of these. They all can expand how you look at the game. I think #1 could easily be expanded though. Don't /just/ talk in a funny voice; try playing a character that is as far away from your RL personality as you can possibly get.

One I would add, I think is #6, experiment playing different roles in a group. Playing the up front fighter with little to say is vastly different than playing the socialite, or the intelligent guy who isn't very quick on his feet, but might just have a trick up his sleeve.

I totally think everyone should Munchkin up a character at least once. It teaches all sorts of things about the mechanics of the games.

Anonymous said...

I never would have learned anything about game design and more importantly homebrewing without having studied and performed every sundry way of ruining D&D 3.5 to the detriment of my fellows. I consider their sacrifices noble and necessary, plus I didn't like them much anyway.

Bonemaster said...

I think I understand where people are coming from on #2.

I also forgot, I think #3 should not just be indie games. I've played many games in my lifetime not all of the are Indie (Honestly, what does that mean in the RPG collective?). I think playing as many games systems as possible is the key. Note I said systems. Playing several games all based on D20 doesn't count.

Jack Phillips said...

Yeah, in a niche market like this labeling - what is likely the majority - "indie" is probably unhelpful. Really just playing as many game systems as possible is better all around advice.

I agree with your addition entirely. More because of my experience in WoW - I used to hate Rogues because of the experience I had with them as a healer so I never played one. Once I did though, I found I loved it.

Thanks for the comments guys.

Tony Law said...

Great list! I agree with every single thing and have done every single thing. I posted a similar list a while ago. :)

Vampir said...

I have to agree with all of those. I'm just now getting out of the White-Wolf-only-zone and I only understood how much I despise Powergaming when I actually tries it...

Perrin Rynning said...

I might suggest combining #2 with #5 in different ways, with #1 in for flavor. Start with a review of as many of your previous characters as you can recall (bonus points if you keep archives of all the character sheets), then see if there's an obvious gap. All your characters are thieves? Try playing a priest. All your characters are mages? Try your hand at being a fighter. Next, build a character that's unbeatable in that particular specialization. Top it off with a funny accent and/or other speech alteration (significantly higher/lower than your normal speaking voice) and you've got your challenge. Make sure to take notes on situations where such a character faces challenges in which their specializations can't help, and how they dealt with them. As the saying goes, "If you're not careful, you may learn something before you're done..."

Samuel Van Der Wall said...

Nice list. I especially agree with #3, just because I think a lot of gamers don't venture outside the really mainstream games into something less popular.