There are few better feelings in the Multiverse than to have your mates all siting around a table and getting ready to play an RPG. It would be more than a little cliché to say that we are all different, have different ideas, different playing types, and an overall different way to look at any given game. That said, and in a bit of a tongue-in-cheek way, I’d like to share the 8 most common types of players you might come across.
1) THE OLD ONE – A member of the Old Guard. She was there before most players were even born. In a basement somewhere, playing the first editions of the games we all know and love, they were the trailblazers, back when rulebooks were 10 badly photocopied pages. She might be used to a completely different type of play, but she has survived a hundred adventures, across as many rule systems. This player is invaluable for the sheer weight of her knowledge.
2) THE DRAMA STUDENT – ‘Take 4 DMG’ ‘AH! Curses, foul beast! You’ve wounded me most dearly! Before Oblivion takes me, I swear by the Fates, I shall cut you down!!’ He might not understand the rules, he might need help with the dice, but when the game enters a role-play moment, sit back and enjoy, its priceless. He will not only drag you in, he will weave the universe around you. He will pick up any information and build a full motion picture for you. If your RP wasn’t up to spec before, by Cthulhu, it will be now!
3) THE RULES LAWYER – Ah yes. She Who Knows The Rulebook By Heart. SO much has been written about her, mostly focusing on the negative. Yes… I can agree with the fact that if someone answers back to the GM saying ‘You can’t do that!’ (NB: I assume that the GM is being fair. I welcome player feedback, but the GM is the Creator of that adventure. What he says IS reality.), they’re not being awfully nice, but having someone that knows by heart how much damage a pike does, saves a lot of time during a game. Take sparingly, and try to ignore the side effects.
4) THE SHY ONE – He won’t say much, but is a valuable member of the group. Able to surprise all with the sheer amount of information he has absorbed about the games’ world and always a helping hand in dangerous situations. This person usually ends up opening up later on. As always, it is up to the GM to make sure all are contributing equally and having fun.
5) THE OUT OF THE BOX ONE – She often is combined with the Shy One. They speaks only rarely, but then their character does says something so amazing and complex that it floors everyone. This is the person that would use Fireball to turn a pond into steam, so the lightening attack of the baddy spreads out and forks back and knocks said baddie out. Combined with a funny and flexible GM, this person is able to turn a game into something truly memorable.
6) THE FIRST PERSON SHOOTER/FIGHTER – One of a new breed of players that cut their teeth on computer games. They are really used to fighting, really inexperienced at roleplay. Often they are a great addition to the group, as they can use their fighting skills like no other. They might need some cajoling to join the role-playing part of things, and understanding that it’s also pretty epic to do so, but they will find every scrap of cover, snipe the baddies and laugh all the way home, after some epic headshots.
7) THE SOCIAL ONE – Joins the group for the social experience. They might not have a huge interest in the game or the combat, but they are excited to participate. Most will eventually blossom into other types of player. This player is a solid companion, a trusted element of the group.
8) THE DESCRIPTIVE ONE – Able to lose himself in the colours of a random robe some random NPC was wearing, this person is often combined with the Drama Student. If allowed to dip in and out of his minutiae-covered mental image, they are able to make the world much more interesting and rich.
What class of player have you come across? Anyone I missed?
Rui is a Portuguese scientist who, after a decade doing odd things in labs, became a teacher. Then, 18 months ago, RPG’ing came into his life and he is now happily juggling the two. In this list, he’s probably a Drama Student. He lives in England with his partner Joana, an ungodly number of potted plants and at least 3 to 4 Adventures across as many rule systems, at different levels of completion. He can be reached at @atomic_rpg
I am become death, destroyer of worlds.