Player Basics – Table Manners

Many of us were taught basic manners growing up, such as chew with your mouth closed, don’t put your elbows on the table, and always wear clean underwear when you go out. Well, maybe that was in case of getting hit by a bus and not good manners. Growing up my grandma was convinced if you didn’t wear clean underwear, the hospital cared if you got hit and had on dirty underwear. But that’s not actually the point of this blog. The point of this blog is gaming table manners.

Tabletop gaming has changed over the years, from friends sitting around a card table in the basement or at a dining room table. These days you still find some of those groups going on. But you can also find games going on in game shops around the world, as well as games being streamed online. No matter where you are gaming from though, there are some basic common courtesy and manners that are common to all.  So, for those of you who have never had the fun of joining a group in one way or another, we thought we would give you a little guide of do’s and don’ts of gaming etiquette.

Do

  • Show up on time and ready to play. Whether you’re sitting at a table or at your computer, be sure everyone isn’t waiting for you to get it together. Life happens and sometimes we run a little late, but someone who never shows up on time can hold back the whole group.
  • Stay focused on the game. Game time is the perfect time to relax, enjoy yourself and immerse yourself in another world. It isn’t time for stories about your week, the latest video game you bought, or what you had for dinner. While side talk can happen from time to time, game time is just that – time to game.
  • Be respectful. If you don’t agree with something, it’s okay to say something about it. But yelling at someone or interrupting them during their turn is not cool.
  • Be a team player. While your character may not be the friendliest, may be sneaky, maybe even nasty, that doesn’t mean you have to be the same with the people you are gaming with.

Don’t

  • Show up two minutes before the game and ask the DM to completely change your character, or ask in-depth questions about a new idea you have. If you want to make changes, ask questions, adjust your character or something along those lines, make time before game time to talk to your DM and clear things up so the rest of the players aren’t sitting waiting to play while you handle it.
  • Interrupt other players during their turn. Whether it’s questions, disagreements with what they are doing, or something you want to do – wait your turn. You have no control over what other people do with their characters or how they play. Everybody gets their chance to play and decide how they want to play.
  • Talk over people. Just like interrupting people, talking over them is just as bad. During another person’s turn is not the time to talk to the person next to you, talk to someone outside the game, or talk on your phone.
  • Sit on your phone. Cell phones are an everyday part of many people’s lives these days. However, during game time, put the phone down. After your turn, stay focused on the game and listen. Don’t take your turn then pick up your phone and play on it while others take their turns.

Gaming is a great way to have fun, share time with others, and relax. By using basic manners is a good way to make sure that everyone has a good time. Nobody wants a person in the group that ruins it for everyone. Following these basic guidelines can go a long way towards ensuring that everyone enjoys the game time.

If you would like to see some gaming in action, you can watch Zerthspirit’s live stream on Twitch. You can also get more game talk in our chat room. Join us as we talk about everything gaming and a lot more.

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