So I’ve already made a post on different kinds of RPG characters. Here’s a reference for different kinds of RPG players!
Actors: Actors get really into the RP part of RPGs. They tend to have detailed backstories, thoroughly analyzed motivations, and a unique set of mannerisms for each character they portray. They seek out interactions with NPCs or other party members and tend to stay in character a lot.
On the Dark Side, Actors can become Attention Whores. Attention Whores are scene stealers who tend to lack patience when the spotlight isn’t on them. They tend to talk over players and often instigate problems, often with the excuse of “What? I’m just staying true to my character!”
Power Gamers: These players love optimizing their characters, usually for combat. They tend to be minmaxers and metagamers who play RPGs like something you can win just as much as a story you can experience. Powergamers do often possess a great zeal for the tactics and mechanics of the game, and live for the moments they can face overwhelming odds and turn challenge into victory.
On the Dark Side, Power Gamers can turn into Munchkins. Munchkins couldn’t care less about the story, the roleplaying or the feelings of their teammates. They want to win, and win harder then everyone else so they can get as much kills, loot, and XP as possible. Many munchkins cross the line into cheating, by fudging rolls and trying to use exploits in the mechanics.
Lorers and Explorers: These players are in it for the story, world building and environment. They will challenge DMs to come up with richly detailed worlds with lots of in depth history and atmosphere. They also tend to be note takers and cartographers, keeping close track of every bit of information they believe might be valuable. Most likely member of the group to be “writing a book”.
This kind of attention to detail can be great, but is also shared by Rules Lawyers. The rules lawyer has memorized the game’s handbook and will generally interject whenever they see something that contradicts it. Rules Lawyers can be useful as references for how to handle less common situations in RPGs. But they also tend to argue with the DMs when they disagree with their decisions, even when the DM is motivated to “break” the rules in order to make the game a better experience for the players.
Deliberators are motivated to come up with creative or well thought out solutions to problems. They are often fun and well intentioned, but they do sometimes drag out decisions for too long, agonizing over the pros and cons of each choice.
On the flip side, Firestarters tend to have very little patience for deliberation and are always looking for the action. Firestarters have a lot of enthusiasm for RPGs, but tend to cause problems or derail stories when they get bored.
Party Moms: Thus called because they go out of their way to take care of and help their party members, Party Moms are a valuable part of any gaming team. Whether it’s making sure there’s always snacks for everyone to enjoy, helping others level their characters or smoothing out player conflicts, Party Moms can be relied on to get it done.
Party Gamers: Thus called because they’re there to party. These players may be interested in the game, but they’re just as, if not more interested in hanging out with their friends and/or getting wasted. Fun to have around, but it may not be a good idea to rely on their character in game too much.
Bored Gamers: For whatever reason, these players just aren’t really into your game. Maybe they’re just there for a significant other, maybe they don’t like the system. It’s not always easy to say. Can often be found using their personal electronic devices and not really paying attention.
Newbies: Newbies have little experience with RPGs and sometimes lack confidence. Their unfamiliarity with the rules is often more than balanced out by their enthusiasm and delight in discovering the joys of the game.
n00bs, on the other hand, talk a lot of trash, but are generally less experienced and skilled then they claim to be. These players tend to whine a lot when things don’t go their way.
Finally, a type the tumblr crowd should be familiar with, the Shippers. A shipper is often in it for the role-playing, but mostly when the roleplaying leads to romance. Table Top RPGs can be a great outlet for those thus inclined, just make sure the other player is okay with it. :)
Please note that these are my interpretations on these types, and that it’s possible to be multiple or none of them. What other player types have you encountered?