I came across this fantastic article today, shared by a friend of mine.
The article and the tips in it are so good that I immediately shared it with everyone I know on Facebook (which means this article is a bit redundant but I go into more depth here.) I made a point to share the link with the boys (although I did warn that it uses lots of foul language.) And then I sent the link to my Denver DM with the comment that our group there is rarely guilty of the faults mentioned in the article.
But I feel the strong urge to write some of my own thoughts on the topic. So here you go.
- I have always mentioned that some of the best role playing feels like a great session of improv acting. And that is still true to some extent. Because when that is all working everyone is working together to create a story. Well you cannot have a great improv scene with half the actors sitting on their seats, or chatting with each other, or staring at their phones. So, just like the article says, if you are playing in the game, get involved with the game.
- Remember that even though it is game it is not about competition where someone wins and another loses. What one player does, does not mean another player lost as a result. This is one of the hardest parts with the kids, because Jimmy and one of his friends are both very competitive, and it can turn very quickly into a contest over who did the most damage etc. when the point is that they lived.
- It is all make believe, so do not get all put out if things seem to go bad for your character. That does not mean the DM hates you, or the other players wish you ill will. Just deal with it, try to come up with a solution, and have fun. Some of the best RPG stories I have are of colossal failures (the player who single handedly caused the Awakening on a critical failure tech roll, another time the same player killed another character trying to heal him.)
These are just a few thoughts that article spurred in me.