It got me thinking about responsibilities. I've written about my DMing philosophy before, such as it is, and one of the things I emphasised was that one of the most important responsibilities of the DM is setting the tone. The energy flows from you, to a large extent. And if you feel flat, it's likely the game will feel a bit flat too. I think that's what happened tonight.
But that got me thinking: what are the responsibilities of players when they come to the table?
There's the obvious stuff:
- Don't hog the limelight.
- Don't try to browbeat or fast-talk the GM into changing every single piddling little decision.
- Don't cheat.
- Don't drink a lot if nobody else at the table is.
But this really mostly boils down to "don't be a dickhead", and it sounds more like a set of rules or guidelines than responsibilities. So I guess I'd start off with:
- Take agency. Be an actor and not a reactor. You're the engine of the game, not the GM, and he's not your own personal dancing monkey.
- Try to buy into what the game is about. It's fine not to take everything 100% seriously, but try to judge the mood and help build it.
- Take everything that happens in the game with good grace, unless it's conspicuously a case of the GM being unfair or stupid.
Not particularly pithy or interesting, but it'll do for starters.