Thursday, May 15, 2008

Do You Have Mad Skills?

Are you a skilled RPG player? What is a skilled RPG player?

Wooly Rupert posted a few things about skilled D&D players over at RPG.net:

Player skill is a real. It exists and it can be honed with practice. Just like there are more and less skilled players of baseball, Monopoly, and chess, there are more and less skilled D&D players. Skill is measured by how well your character can stick to the old Vulcan maxim of "Live long and prosper." For example:

Skilled players have specific plans and goals when exploring and stick to them. Examples would be "scout the western wing of the fourth dungeon level, identify areas that seem particularly rich in treasure and clean them out if possible, otherwise gather intelligence on the layout and inhabitants and return later" as opposed to "Go down the steps of the dungeon and wander aimlessly until we kill everything or die."

Skilled players know what resources they're likely to need on an expedition, when and how to use them and when and how to conserve them.

Skilled players have a good grasp of basic tactics and strategy in a fight. They know how to turn a battle to their advantage using such factors as superior range, cover, surprise, flanking, ambushes, etc.

Skilled players know when it's probably better to try talking, sneaking, or just keeping a low profile instead of fighting.

Skilled players make notes as to the capabilities and weaknesses of monsters, so as to never be taken off guard in the same way twice.

Skilled players know when it's probably better to try talking, sneaking, or just keeping a low profile instead of fighting.

Skilled players, like Kenny Rogers, know when to walk away and know when to run.

And so on. I don't find any of this to be rude, elitist or controversial. Not anymore than acknowledging that every game has players of varying skill levels.

2 comments:

thanuir said...

There's also skills roleplayers use when playing in an entertaining way, like noticing and grabbing plot hooks, acting and generally describing the character's actions well, reading other people and not being jerk, and others.

There's a pretty extensive list on Joshua Bishop-Roby's blog: http://kallistipress.com/blog/2006-05-11/player-skills/

trollsmyth said...

That's a great list. Thanks for the link!

- Brian