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Tips for Players
- Read about the genre and setting in which the campaign takes place. Find out what sort of races, classes, and concepts fit into the genre. Determine how gritty the setting is. Ask how mundane or extraordinary your character's background should be.
- Check the character creation guidelines presented by your GM. Make sure that you understand how many points you have to spend, and any house rules he may be using.
- Discuss your ideas for a character concept with the GM. You may not get as much time in the spotlight if your concept doesn't fit in well with the storyline. Avoid making "lone wolf", immoral, obtuse, or annoying characters.
- Avoid cliches when creating your character's personality and history. If you include one of these concepts, you may be cliche: orphan, amnesiac, assassin, dark and mysterious, panther pet, silent type, never retreats, cultural rebel, infamous, piercing blue eyes, very sexy, black leather clothes, black hair and pale skin, or very unusual name.
- Create a character with a good balance of mundane and adventuring skills. Every PC should have a useful role in the party. Talk about your choices with the other players, to make sure that the party has a good variety.
- Ask your GM before buying any unusual traits or skills. Your choices may have an impact on the story. No character is officially in the game until the GM approves it.
- Read the rules for your character's traits and special abilities. Make sure you understand how they work and when they come into play.
- Use the proper character sheet for the game. Double-check the math when you are done creating your character. Check the spelling and grammar in your background. Write legibly.
- When spending experience points, give the GM a list of attributes, skills, and traits that have changed. Keep your character sheet up to date. It's a good idea to give the GM an updated copy.
- Sometimes, villains tell the truth. They also mix fact with falsehood. Listen carefully. "Good guys" may lie or simply be mistaken. Don't believe every word they say.
- Take notes. Keep important facts together for easy reference. Learn more about the game world as you explore it.
- Don't hoard puzzle pieces. Some solutions are only obvious after every party member shares his clues. Facts that seem trivial to you may be important to another player.
- Don't assume that every challenge can be solved on the first encounter. It may be best to return later when you have more clues, power, or the proper equipment.
- There is always more than one solution to any problem. Don't be afraid to think outside the box. Never fail to follow obvious leads or ask basic questions.
- NPCs may leave a scene but they never leave the game. You can build an ongoing relationship with them, good or bad. Some NPCs can become patrons, teachers, or mentors.
- Be loyal to your companions. One day, they'll be the only thing standing between you and certain doom.
- At the end of an adventure, not all of the implications of an encounter may have been revealed. Review your notes. See if you may have overlooked something, or finally have all the pieces necessary to solve a mystery.
- Read the list of stereotypes to avoid.
Earning Experience Points
- Act true to your character. Have a distinct and interesting personality. Roleplaying your quirks, mental and social characteristics.
- Portray a difficult emotion well. Act embarrassed, awe-struck, terrified, and so forth at the appropriate times.
- Roleplay in a way that impresses or entertains the group more than usual.
- Enrich a sub-plot by improvising an element of the story. Make sure these elements do not directly affect the plot.
- Learn something significant about another player's character. Don't travel with strangers, or ignore another character's shtick.
- Teach a skill to another character, allowing them to spend experience points on something new.
- Uncover secrets about an NPC.
- Interact well with an NPC, whether he is friend or foe. Treat him like a real person.
- Perform a heroic act. If it is memorable or makes a good story, it's worth XP.
- Significantly help further the main plot, or resolve a sub-plot.
- Come up with a brilliant idea or plan to help your companions succeed.
- Discover an important clue and share it with your companions.
Being a Polite Player
- An enjoyable game is as much the responsibility of the players as it is of the GM. The purpose of roleplaying is to create an entertaining story. Participation is essential.
- Trust and respect the GM. He is not competing with, nor attempting to defeat, the players. He is the final authority at the gaming table. If you disagree with one of his decisions during game play, speak with him calmly after the session is over.
- Show up for the game on time. Call if you're going to be late. If you're going to miss a session, give as much advanced notice as possible.
- Ask the host ahead of time if you plan to bring guests. Pets and children can be very disruptive to a game session.
- Contribute to the game session by hosting the game, bringing snacks, helping set up, supplying game materials, running adventures, or cleaning up afterward.
- Learn the rules and setting. Keep a copy of commonly used reference information on hand.
- Participate in all aspects of the game. Everyone will have his turn in the spotlight. Don't fall asleep if you're not the main focus of the story. Do not force others to do all of the negotiating, monster slaying, tactical planning, or puzzle solving. Help out when you can.
- Remember that you, the player, know things that your character does not. Keep IC (in character) and OOC (out of character) information separate. Be careful not to let your character act on OOC information.
- While the game is in progress, keep the OOC talk at the table to a minimum. Off-topic chatter can be distracting and frustrating to those people who are enjoying the game. If you make a side comment, make it clear whether you are speaking as your character or as yourself.
- At the gaming table, keep laptop and cell phone use to a minimum. If you are not included in a scene and want to chat or play other games in the meantime, step away from the table.
- If you need to take a break from the game or stop for a meal, give the GM a little warning so that he can find a good stopping point in the action.
- If there is a particular subplot would you like to pursue, or a topic you wish to avoid, let the GM know. Give him constructive feedback about what you liked, or didn't like, in the adventure.