What advice would you give a first time d&d player? My brother is running a one-shot for me, my friend, our mom, and our cousin and it's my first time ever, though I do listen to Campaign and I've helped him make decisions both as a player and a DM in the past
:) awesome!! I’m glad you’re getting to play! I obviously think the world of these games, and hope you have a wonderful time playing them.
the best pieces of advice I think I can give to players are the ones I wish I’d had myself going in so sorry in advance if they’re sloppy and not useful for you.
1. Put your stuff on the table. I tend to construct rapidly and elaborately in my head. I can be content doing that pretty much entirely. But the point of play is collaborative storytelling. No one will know the cool thing you thought up for your character or for the scene unless you say it. Take the risk. You won’t be thought of as silly. I promise. The GM wants your engagement. It’s, most likely, how they figure out how to mold their game to your/others’ liking. And a large portion of other players’ fun is getting to see you shine. Don’t hold stuff in. Be awesome.
2. It’s ok to focus on the bits that interest you. Does your character’s clothing interest you? Indulge that. The spell list? Spend time there. Whatever’s fun for you should be allowed to be fun. Don’t monopolize things entirely so things aren’t fun for other players, but don’t deny yourself your own fun. Collaboration means you’re all doing something together. Let yourself figure out what your part of that means.
3. You are allowed to call for time outs, out of character clarifications, or set ANY necessary boundaries along the way as you go. You’re also allowed to ask for trigger warnings going into things. That might seem daunting, so here’s an application that doesn’t press on things we traditionally think of as a boundary-breaching. Your character is playing quid-pro-quo with the needle-toothed mage. You’ve been at it for around 10 minutes, and she has been handily sidestepping the information that you want to get from her. You also suspect she is feeding you some misinformation. Nothing is happening outside of the rules. This is frustrating. You’re starting to get frustrated. You call for a time out, and check in with the GM, “Both my character and I are getting frustrated.” The break enables the GM, who had previously been acting as a character meant to frustrate your character to be able to step back enough to see the bleed taking place and alleviate your concerns. “Ah. Your character is DEFINITELY allowed to be frustrated right now. They are being fucked over. But I don’t want you to be. You also have a chance to turn this around through cunning or a good roll. Are we good to continue?” If you are, the scene is reframed as a collaborative effort again where you’re both on the same side, the side of the story. Asking for breaks to sort through stuff that’s more complex than what’s on the table is ALWAYS OK. It helps everyone.
4. Bring a water bottle. Drink water.
5. This isn’t one I ever needed, but it’s one I’ve seen lots of folks be shy about so I guess this is the place for it. Unless you’re playing a game that’s just you and the GM, games are, in my experience, at their best when the party loves each other unrepentantly. Not everyone is good about speaking up for themselves, or finding room to showcase their own special talents, so help them do that. Love each other by helping each other be awesome. “Lidda, you’d be great at that!” Is a * 0 * moment for a shy player. If your game is more rp focused, asking folks questions about themselves is going to get you cool answers, and forge neat bonds for your GM to mess with down the line. Play with each other. It is your GM’s responsibility to introduce villains and other relevant NPCs early enough to make you give a damn about them. They have to earn each important conversation you have with an npc. Not so with the party. You kids have fun and indulge each other. It’s the good stuff.
Errr that’s all for now I think. Have fun! Oh! And you are 1000% allowed to make your first character a self insert. ALL of your characters can be that. Don’t let anyone give you ANY flack for that. And smooch that cute Jaebrin. Honestly.