Luke Hopkins


Every Monday night I play a role-play game of Dungeons & Dragons with friends. A little while back I wrote a post about the worst insults in role-play. Today I’ll be explaining a bit more about role-playing and what people see in it.

an intro

Modern tabletop role-playing has a simple premise. The game master (GM) creates a world and the players create characters and decide what their characters do in the world. The GM then narrates the results of their actions. Some role-playing games have complex rules that cover all sorts of situations and some have very sparse rules that only cover a few but in all games the ultimate rule, is that whatever the GM says is the final say. So what attracts people to role-playing? There are many reasons but I’ll run through a few.

the watcher

This player is there to see the story that the GM has created unfold. They are happy to follow the path provided and enjoy the show as it happens. They can be a bit passive in play-style at times as they prefer to see what happens rather than drive the action.

the actor

This player loves to really get into their character. They enjoy the social situations in the game and really get into how they would think and act in all different situations.

the character creator

This player loves to create new characters. They love coming up with backstories and trying out different races and classes. They might have issues with getting bored of their current character so the GM needs to ensure they have lots of backstory they can explore.

the min-maxer

This player is all about making the most powerful character possible within the rules. They like to find the specific combination of feats, spells and gear that makes their character ten times more powerful than any other character. They learn the rules and research every possible combination. They can be a bit difficult to deal with if the game isn’t very balanced.

the story-driver

This player wants to direct the story. They like to take the lead and create as much of the story as they can. A good GM learns to see where they want to go and accommodate them.

the fighter

This player loves combat. They enjoy the tactical elements of the game. They are there for the combat in game but sometimes can get a bit bored with the rest of the game.

the jester

This player is here for a laugh. They make ridiculous characters and always try and make things into a joke. They can be fun to have around or a bit of a nightmare.

a mixed bag

There are many reasons to role-play and as a GM it’s important to figure out what your players are there for so you can make sure you provide a bit of what’s needed for each player.

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