First off, this is a list of a few people who are usually present at every gaming table. It isn’t the end of the world if your table has a couple of these characters, just know that some of your friends have probably noticed it, and aren’t thrilled. Anyway, here goes:
1) Warning Signs:
Do your friends turn away or change the subject when you start to talk about your character?
Do you tell a lot of stories about what happened “one time” in a game?
Do you repeat those stories? Several times?
Did you write a backstory more than 1 page long?
The Braggart isn’t really that bad. He’s a passionate gamer, and generally stays in character. He’s metagamed a bit or rolled well, and he plays the game well besides, so he’s a pretty effective asset to the party. The problem with the Braggart is fairly self explanatory. He goes on about his different abilities, synergies, and backstory, long after his audience has lost interest.
2,3) Warning Signs:
Does the party sigh and roll their eyes when you throw the foreign wizard out the window in frustration, or laugh along with you?
Have you ever opened a door with another party member’s face?
Have you ever squelched a friend’s action to do something stupid?
The Monkey and Berzerker are two very similar players. They are both based on very basic character ideas. The monkey is effectively insane. Her zany antics are intentionally chaotic. She might roll dice to determine her actions once a day, or make saving throws against bad decisions. Where the Monkey has no common sense, the Berzerker has no higher brain functions. Usually a barbarian, she plays axe-to-face, solving every problem with “I break it in half”. In the right circumstances, these characters can work well and be fun. In the wrong party though, they reduce the plotline to a slapstick comedy.
4) Warning Signs:
Have you missed one of the last 4 gaming sessions?
How do you react to a phone call at the gaming table? What about your friends?
Are you a gamer, or are your friends gamers?
The Halfling isn’t committed to the game. He’s the guy who answers his texts, replies to them, makes a quick phone call, and then takes his turn. He isn’t clear on how to play, and will jokingly call the rest of the group his “nerd friends”. The flakiest member of the gaming group, the Halfling will frequently cancel at the last minute when other plans come up. Dungeons and Dragons is about having fun, and there is plenty of room around the table for gamers of all social circles and walks of life, but the Halfling can easily alienate his friends and detracts from the game with his absence. He isn’t to be confused with the Halfling.
5,6) Warning Signs:
Have you read the DnD rulebook cover to cover?
Do you check the book more than once a session?
Do you know the strength of tempered steel?
The Lawyer and Expert are both authorities in their own right. The Lawyer has studied up on every rule of the game, and she knows exactly how to resolve every action. She overrules the DM to help resolve things, effectively backseat gaming. The Expert does the same thing, but from the perspective of real life. The Expert practices swordplay in real life, is an amateur blacksmith, reads about occult wizardry, or is a general fantasy buff. Both of these players bring a unique knowledge base to the game, but if they aren’t careful, they can annoy their friends and slow the game down.
These players aren’t bad people, and they can still be a pleasure to game with. They just need to be conscious of the way the effect they have on the party. As always, game on.
If you liked this, there’s a lot more on the Dungeon Map!