Tabletop Etiquette

Tabletop games are a collective effort. Groups that start because of one person’s vision can fall off quickly when the rest of the party’s creative energy is not engaged. The following are some rules to follow that will help create a comfortable atmosphere for all players at the table. 

  • If you are new to tabletop games then someone in your life is aiding in your journey. The first set of dice is a representation of the weapon handed from mentor to adventurer. As such, your first set should be a gift.
  • Asking for more details allows everyone to find more immersion into the game. As a DM, don’t fixate on an outcome, allow your players to move through your story and adapt. As a player, ask about the NPCs to see the creative engines at work under the hood. Be curious about the world, characters, and plot. 
  • The rules for tabletop games are often massive and overwhelming. As a DM, it’s helpful to point out the most important rules for a player to learn. As a player, learn about everything on your character sheet. A key to creative success is being prepared. 
  • Everyone needs fuel for creativity so everyone should bring some. As a DM, the content created will be devoured by your party. However, if there are no snacks, don’t expect to play beyond a couple hours. As a player, bring stuff you like that others will too. The healthier the snack, the more creative the adventure. Everyone should be clear about allergies. Bring snacks and theme them for bonus group spirit. 
  • You’re not in a video game anymore, there are no conversation logs to dig through so pay attention to what’s being said. As a DM, write down strange ideas your players come up with because they will fuel interesting plot points later. As a player, write down NPC and location names. Quick notes about why it might matter will help but also list questions you have about them. It can play easily into role play later. 
  • We are all here to play a game together. Don’t discourage each other from exploring interesting character ideas. As a DM, if you have to put an idea down, use, “no, but…” As a player, be open to your character's journey with “yes, and…” Hard stops break the creative flow, practice flexibility.