On Questions Answered, What Kind of Player to Have?

What kind of player do I want at my table?

The good kind.

I want a player that sings a song of his tales.

I want a player that opens the door even after being told "You didn't check it for traps, are you sure you want to open it?"

I want a player that tries to bend the rules in his favor, but can accept the word of the DM ruling.

I want a player that when presented with a problem, looks to his mind instead of his sheet.

I want a player that doesn't forget the basic abilities of his race.

I want a schemer and a planner and builder and a thinker.

I want players without cell phones or tablets. I want players who are active with their own ideas. I want them to be engaged even while other people are playing.

I want a player who doesn't complain about the rules. I need one who's mature enough to play without stupid widgets like skills and feats.

I want someone that is gonna show up - and if they won't, they'll call or write or text the day before to let me know the score.

I want someone to have some goals, and bring them to my game. I want the game to be directed by the players, not the Dungeon Master.

I want someone that bucks the walls, tries to knock anything they perceive as a train off the rails and makes the game their own.

I need a player who acts like an adult. Grown up with a collegiate degree and children doesn't stop someone from acting like a child.


  1. Well, such players do exist, but it is in a far off land. You'll have to brave many dangers to get there.

  2. Should be the preamble to the OSR Constitution.

    1. Should be the preamble to any and every RPG system out there. For me especially the cell phone/tablet part. I loathe those at the table. I am guilty of checking the time on my phone but it's when people are watching YouTube or playing FarmVille that makes me want to hurl the device out the window.

  3. I agree with most of what you wrote here, but I disagree that skills and feats are a bad thing. Feats are simply selectable class abilities, and class abilities are as much a part of any old school game as they are more recent iterations of The World's Most Popular Roleplaying Game. My own issue isn't with feats or class abilities per se, but rather the absurd number of them that d20 and similar games ladled onto classes, resulting in a game where 'tactics' was defined by power combinations rather than actual player acumen.

    As far as skills go, there are plenty of old school games with skills, including 1e AD&D secondary skills, which are actually quite FATE-like in their potential breadth. I think the distinction is, do players figure out what they want to do, and then roll and appropriate skill check to resolve success or failure, or do they look at their character sheets to see if they have a skill and what to roll before thinking through the problem in front of them?

  4. When are you starting that Google+ game?


  5. I especially like the opening the door comment. Nothing frustrates me more than, "Oh, well I would have looked for traps!" or "Oh, my character would have thought of that!" Ugh.

    This, followed closely by looking to his mind over his sheet. Sometimes I just want to say, "Guys, you know your sheets haven't changed..."


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