- Avoid Disrupting the Game Flow
Dungeon Masters and Game Masters appreciate nothing less than having the flow of their game derailed. They’ve worked numerous hours writing the adventure and tweaking small details so that their players can both be challenged and have the most fun possible. If the game flow is disrupted, players can lose interest very quickly and become disengaged. It is a DM/GM/s worst nightmare. Here are some ways you can play a part in ensuring that doesn’t happen at your table.
Know Your Character
This was touched on in Simple Tips 1, but it’s important enough to mention again in a little more detail. Knowing your character goes a long way in keeping the game flow moving. The first time you’re looking at your spells should not be while sitting down at the table to play. Have your spells ready to rock and roll. Know what they do, and which ones require concentration or various components to be able to cast them. The last thing the DM/GM will want to do in the midst of a heated battle is help you with that.
Playing a tank? Know what weapons you are using and the bonuses those weapons require, as well as the type of damage your weapons inflict. Some creatures may be resistant or immune to that type of damage, and it’s important for the DM/GM to know this information to maintain in-game fidelity.
At first, I took a bit of an extreme measure, but it really helped me know my first character like the back of my hand. I just rewrote my character sheet a couple times. The repetition helped me memorize certain important character features and I eventually became automatic as far as spells and attacks went. If you’re struggling with keeping your character straight, this might be something to ty.
Do Not Argue with the DM or GM
Again, the men and women who write the adventures are in control. Sometimes, discrepancies within the rules can result in arguments over technicalities. In the end, these situations should end with the DM/GM’s judgement. The time for in-depth debate over rules or other semantics would be post-game. Yes, for you as a player it might suck. But sitting around for a half hour listening to two people argue about a fictional spell or new character feat sucks even worse for the players who have given up their night to let loose and have fun.
You might have had something in mind that you really wanted to do that gets shot down because of some gray area in the rules that neither you nor your DM/GM fully understands. In the end, it’s DM/GM discretion. After the game, or at a later time, strike up a conversation with them and share your thoughts on the specific rule, spell, or whatever controversial topic came up and try to reach an understanding together. Explain how you understood it, try and see how they understand it, research any information you can find online, and try to come to an agreement so that when the same situation arises in the future, you are both better prepared.
Seriously. Stay off your phone, unless for obvious reasons. In moments where your party is all together searching a dungeon room or doing some other sort of communal activity, try not to leave for refills or bathroom (unless it’s an emergency, of course). This will avoid people having to catch you up on situations, and hence through a lull into an adventure.
Keep the television off, for obvious reasons. During one of my first adventures, a good buddy of mine and me (both huge New York Yankees fans), had the Yankees playoff game on in the background (on mute, but still), and had our allegiance divided between the adventure and the television. Our DM was less than pleased with us, and let us know afterward. It wasn’t fair to him or the other players. Now I know better! And somehow, he allowed our characters to live…