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5 Tips for Beginner RPG Players

5 Tips for Beginner RPG Players

If you’re anything like me, chances are you’re excited to participate in an RPG group with your friends. Maybe, like me, you haven’t actually done it yet, which is why I’ve scoured the Internet to bring you these tips that will help us know what to expect when the time comes to roll the dice.

Tip #1: Ask questions

Your gamemaster (or dungeon master, if you’re playing D&D) is there to help guide you through the game. If you get to anything you’re confused about or just don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask your GM to explain something or talk you through it. 


Tip #2: Be prepared to improvise

While role-playing is different from the games you see at a live improv show or on Whose Line is it, Anyway?, you still need to learn to think on your feet. It’s important because you won’t know the plot of the situation you’re playing through until it comes time to play the game. This skill probably isn’t going to come quickly at first, and that’s okay. Chances are, your gaming group will understand, especially if they know you’re new at this.


Tip #3: Remember that it takes time to get used to new characters/plots

If you’re feeling like you aren’t comfortable with playing as your character, or even with the campaign in general, but it’s only been a few sessions, that’s normal. It’s going to take some time to get settled. (My research showed me that even seasoned RPG players run into this issue when they start a new campaign/character, and I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel a lot more confident, knowing everyone goes through this.)


Tip #4: Don’t worry about messing up

There are viewers of series such as Critical Role who are just getting into tabletop gaming for the first time, and think every game is as polished as a professional production. This adds to the pressure to play perfectly, and if it’s your first time playing or you’re still getting used to how it all works, it could be intimidating. It’s okay to make mistakes during the game. Your GM, as mentioned before, is there to guide you through the story. As we discussed in tip #1, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you need to.


Tip #5: Figure out if you’re a roleplayer or a “roll player”
There seem to be two types of RPG players: roleplayers, who are dedicated to getting into character’s head and thinking quickly about what they will do; and “roll players,” who depend more on the rolls of the dice to help decide for them what they’ll be doing next. Figure out which way to play suits you, and try to find a group that works well with your playing style.


And finally, perhaps the most important tip… 


Tip #6: Have fun!

You and your friends should be playing RPGs because they’re fun for you. If none of you are into the fantasy genre, maybe D&D isn’t the way to go, and you’d do better with a game that has a different theme. Find a game that’s right for your group, and remember to have a good time.



Annie Coben is a writer, singer, cosplayer, and all-around geek girl from New Jersey. When she isn’t at a comic con, you can find her playing guitar, working on her manuscript, or watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. Her all-time favorite genre is sci-fi. As a self-described “part-time space princess,” she is a member of the Star Wars costuming group, the Rebel Legion, where she dresses up as Princess Leia. For more from Annie, check out her cosplay-themed Instagram account, @anniedroid_cosplay

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