Dungeons and Dragons has experienced a huge resurgence in popularity in recent years, with more people getting into the game than ever before. If you’re lucky enough to find a great gaming group that actually meets regularly, you’d better not squander it! The best groups function when everyone does their part to make the game more enjoyable, so here are some tips to help you become a better player.
Study Your Class
Don’t be the guy that takes ten minutes to complete a turn. It’s stressful for you, and irritating for everyone else. You don’t need to know the rulebook by heart, and you don’t even have to memorize all your spells, but take some time between sessions to study your basic class abilities for your given level. This way, even when you’re not sure how to best proceed, you can always pull from your basic knowledge when preparing for your turn during combat. It’s frustrating to forget about cool abilities, only to remember after the combat has completed.
Help the DM
The Dungeon Master has a lot to handle. Planning a session can take hours, and editing the content and preparing for combat takes even more time. To help offset some of the pressure, you can offer to host or bring snacks. Having someone else take responsibility for scheduling is a huge weight lifted. If you’re really dedicated, you can also check out auto loan rates so you can help pick up and drop off players on game days.
Create a Detailed Backstory
It can get boring playing your typical hack-and-slash-style campaign, especially if you’re playing with a bunch of murder hobos. Throw your DM a bone and flesh out your backstory to give them more content to play with. The amount you should write will vary by table. Some DMs don’t want more than a page or so, especially at a table with a lot of players. Others will happily take a full novel of your character’s exploits. Give your character room to grow, and give your DM the tools to facilitate the character arc. Work with them to create a more satisfying story, including surprises for you to experience at the table.
Collaborate With Other Players
There are many ways you can collaborate with other players to create a better gaming experience both at the table and outside of game time. Collaborating with other players on backstory can help you create a richer story and create deeper connections for your party, especially if you need to find reasons for your group to stick together. You can even collaborate with them to create better combat techniques or planning approaches for different problems in character. You should feel comfortable communicating with your fellow players to mitigate conflict and make sure everyone is enjoying the game.
Don’t Be a Rules Lawyer
The most important thing to remember about the handbook is that all rules are more for guidance than actual necessities. Yes, there is an agreed-upon framework to help keep everything fair, but don’t forget the Rule of Cool. Sometimes it’s more fun if you’re a little lax with the rules. Plus, when you try to argue every ruling, the game becomes more exhausting than fun for everyone at the table.
Watch Actual Play Content
If you want to improve as a player, try watching some DnD actual plays. It’s important to note that these are often played by actors and improv professionals, but you can learn a lot about how to tell a better story at your own table. Watch how the actors play off of each other and use their abilities in creative new ways. You may even learn something new about the mechanics of the game.
Playing DnD can be a rich and fulfilling hobby for people who love collaborative storytelling, but it can be difficult to improve if you don’t know how to proceed. Consider what elements of the game are important to your table, support your DM and fellow players, and together you can tell a story you’ll be discussing for years to come.