This week on the Dungeon Master’s Block, DM Mitch, DM Chris, and I take a break from game mastering to chat about why we love being players, not only in the world’s first roleplaying game, but in every roleplaying game. The guys were kind enough to indulge me in a very special Storytime honoring my dearest friend. Plus we offer 20 of our favorite character ideas and hours of advice on not only making your own character’s arc more intriguing, but ways to support all the other players at your table, including your DM.

EDIT (4/27/15): Doug Easterly has been looking in to where he found that 3×5 idea and this is what has come back: “So far as I can tell after some digging is that Kevin Perrine of Seattle first wrote about the method on rpg.net and some other sites, and then some people began blogging about it.”

Make sure to check out other Player-Related Tribality articles:

Because this is the longest DM’s Block to date, I’ve included a breakdown of some of the highlights, including many of my favorite quotes.

  • 6:10: “Storytime”: The Adventures of Jackson and Toby
  • 14:00: Drizzt Do’urden: The Hero who almost wasn’t.
  • 20:00: “The Meat” Segment
  • 25:30: Why do we love to DM?
  • 33:45: Why do we love to Play?
  • 41:00: Who taught us the difference between roleplaying and boardgames?
  • 45:30: “Walking a poodle, wearing a Hawaiian shirt, and eating an ice cream cone.”
  • 51:00: “Yes, and…”, or “Remember that time in Southern Magrithen?”
  • 57:00: The Mystical Myr of Magic: the Gathering
  • 58:30: “Hellion I be. Hellion I stay!”
  • 60:00: Character Generation
  • 1:06:30: “3 x 5” Background Generation (Places, Events, Allies, Rivals, Enemies)
  • 1:12:00: Always Listen to Lou: Villains vs Antagonists
  • 1:15:30: “3 x 5” Places (The Poem of Thesia)
  • 1:21:00: “3 x 5” Events (Bugbear Betrayal)
  • 1:23:30: “Tragedy is one of the greatest aspects of playing a D&D campaign.”
  • 1:27:20: “My character would never do that”: The Burden of Character Development
  • 1:31:20: Epilogue Nights
  • 1:33:00: What kind of players are we? How do we encourage others?
  • 1:35:10: Actors (“It wasn’t technically a mullet.”)
  • 1:37:50: Explorers (“The one eared, tattooed elves of the forest of Goomba.”)
  • 1:41:20: Instigators (“I’m the guy who sees a small town and the DM says, ‘There’s nothing here’, and I say ‘Yes there is! There’s a story here somewhere.’”)
  • 1:46:20: Fighter/War-gamer (“Let me tell you about this time he did 120hp in one round!”)
  • 1:49:10: Optimizer/Min-Maxer (“How can you make the game a better experience for everyone at the table? Including yourself.”)
  • 1:55:30: Problem Solver (“She would make leaps of logic about things I hadn’t even revealed yet, three games away!”)
  • 1:59:00: J.M. Perkins and The Adequate Commoner
  • 2:00:30: Storyteller (“What do you think is happening?”)
  • 2:03:30: The Wonders of Playing Second Fiddle (“Everybody LOVES Chewbacca!”)
  • 2:06:00: Dungeon Mastering is for Everyone! (“You can gain an understanding of that side of the screen that you didn’t have before.”)
  • 2:11:00: “Lightbulb”: 20 of our Favorite Character Ideas!