Saturday, June 25, 2011

Be A Better Player part 6: Be prepared to play.

GM – Alright folks lets get this rolling tonight got a lot of loose ends left over from the last session that you are probably dying to tie up.

Player 1 – Damn straight. Gonna go shakedown that shopkeeper for my money back.

Player 2 – Yeah I think there was a reason he sold us that fake map. Somebody wanted us to go there.

Player 3 – Man I forgot my notebook, ah well I think I can remember everything.

GM – I hope so. Alright who was...

Player 3 – Hey anybody got a spare set of dice? I think mine are on the fridge back at the apartment. Keep forgetting them up there.

Player 2 – Again?

Player 4 – Here I got you covered just remember to give them back okay?

Player 3 – Oh and I need a pencil also.

Player 1 – Groan.

GM – Did you remember to bring anything?

Player 3- Um... well... actually can I get a soda from you?

There are certain things that are needed for play. Now even though it may vary from game to game or even from group to group there is still stuff you should remember. Having to borrow your way through a session really pulls any sort of immersion that the other players are having and tends to slow things down as well. Now if you are new to playing RPGs then sometimes this can be overlooked. But when you been at it for years there is no excuse. So let's cover some basics shall we?

Dice. Most games require you to have some dice. Some, like D&D, require a full set while others like World of Darkness stuff require just a lot of one type. But they still need them. Any gamer who has been at the hobby for a while should have his own set. Most have several of different colors and styles. Hell I have a box of sets and an extra box of oddities. So it shouldn't be hard to show up with what you need. Find out before hand what is being played and put the needed few aside for the game.

Pencil. Let me make that a bit clearer, pencil with an eraser. You have a character sheet, you will most likely be writing on that character sheet. Then throughout the game things on that character sheet may change or you will have to adjust something else. For this you will need the ever so handy pencil and eraser. So pick up one, or better yet pick up a cheap pack, and put them right next to your dice and bring them along.

Notebook. Not nearly as needed as the previous two items but damn it comes in real handy. Keeping track of npc names, places and various happenings in the game. Hell I used to keep a drawing of the game table with each player marked with their character names so I could refer to them in character while we were playing. So grab a cheap Wal-Mart special out of the notebook isle and put your pencil in the spiral and put your dice on top and you are set.

Now other games and other gamemasters may require more. Plenty of games out there require tokens, cards or some other item. Just check beforehand and find out what you are expected to bring to play. Get it all together in one place and make sure to take it with you. For bonus points bring along that extra dice set in case somebody forgets theirs.


  1. My players never level up between sessions. Or at least, I'll never get the full set to do so. There'll at least be one or two players who need to spend the first hour or so levelling. It's why I put them on the Slow XP Track.