Dungeons & Dragons Etiquettes And Rules For Players and Dungeon Masters

Dungeons and Dragons is a fun activity for everyone and to play it there are many etiquette rules you should follow to make sure the game runs smoothly as a Player and a Dungeon Master. Many of these etiquettes are created and accepted by the majority of the community. While the other gamemasters and players might not accept some of these, they are common courtesy to have them.


1. Don’t be an annoying, arrogant and obnoxious person.

As a seasoned Dungeon Master and a Player, I had my share of annoying, arrogant, and obnoxious players. D&D is just a game and a hobby, none of us is better than the other, and none of us is more important than the other. Just have fun and enjoy the game.

2. Playing the game to “Win”.

Dungeons and Dragons is an adventuring game and there are only accomplishments and having fun. Even if your character dies, it might be more satisfying than killing 10 Balors. And trust me, the times which you will remember the most are the ones where you royally screw up. I still remember some of the times when I screwed up badly in character and laugh about it.

3. Don’t forget this is a team game.

Many players focus on their characters and ignore the fact that Dungeons and Dragons is a team game. This is quite problematic for both other players and the Dungeon Master. Your character is not the main character in a Role-playing Computer game and the other players are not Non-player Characters.

4. Beware of Drama Queen/King characters.

Drama is always a part of Dungeons and Dragons and lots of fun is created due to that, but if a player is always there to create unnecessary drama, it is quite a big trouble for everyone in the game. They just love to create havoc for their fun and not allow anyone else to enjoy the game.

5. Don’t ignore the main story and ruin the game for the Dungeon Master.

Many Dungeon Masters spend hours sometimes days and rarely years to create their worlds and stories for you to play the game. Ignoring the main story and just wandering around aimlessly makes the game boring. While it is fun to have extra stops around, completely derailing the story and doing something completely irrelevant is not fun and it is disrespectful to the Dungeon Master.

6. Create Characters with a mind and soul.

If you are planning a long campaign with the team, creating a story-driven character will completely connect you to the game. If you create a character simply based on a character sheet and a little background, you will have a hard time connecting to the character and you most likely won’t have much fun from the game. This doesn’t mean you should write 90 page background for a one-shot game.

7. Writing a novel for a background.

Writing a good character is important for any tabletop roleplaying game, especially Dungeons and Dragons. But, don’t write a 900-page novel for a level 1 character. It is a waste of time to write and if your character is level 1, he isn’t supposed to have that much adventure to begin with. Remember when you start an MMORPG, you fight with low-level unimportant enemies? Sometimes crabs? Yeah. That is your character. Not the level 80 Death Knight, Slayer of Ork armies, Champion of the land.

8. Don’t be a Murderhobo.

Murderhobos are one of the worst types of characters in Dungeons and Dragons. Not only they are annoying, they just suck the fun from everything. They have no aim other than selfishly stealing all the time of others and suck the fun from the game. If you encounter one, calmly excuse yourself from the table, no need to engage them. They are not worth the effort or time.


9. Bring snacks for everyone!

If you are going to meet for the game, don’t be cheap on the snacks and buy just for yourself. Buy enough for everyone! Maybe arrange with others to buy many snacks. It is meant to be fun for everyone and you all share, the Dungeon Master should bring the story, and you bring the snacks.

10. The “Chaotic Neutral” player…

Chaotic Neutral is an alignment in the chart. Personally, it is meant to be the most freestyle character it should be, but that doesn’t mean it is a free ticket to commit war crimes that would make even Asmedeus ask “What the hell are they doing?” It is a very passionate alignment and self freedom is very important. Crossing the line and going completely bat-sh*t insane is not a good thing.


11. Don’t play an insane character.

In Dungeons and Dragons, you can play many different kinds of characters and many of them are lots of fun. But insane characters have no control over their emotions, movements, and actions. So, insane characters are meant to be non-player characters. Having a few quirks and personality problems is fine, but that doesn’t mean they should be completely insane.

12. Learn the damn abilities and spells!

We all love spells and abilities to do when we are playing Dungeons and Dragons, but how many of us pay attention to them? There are long lists of spells and abilities, but if you have chosen those spells or abilities, please read them before it is your turn so you won’t stall the game too much. I understand it takes time to check them each time, so do that while you wait for your turn.


13. Teach newbies and be newbie-friendly.

We all started this hobby from somewhere when we heard it from a friend or just saw it at a convention. Newbies need to learn, be patient, be nice and welcoming. Hey, you might be welcoming your next Dungeon Master.


14. Making ridiculously named characters.

Having funny-named characters might be a bonus for some time, but if you seriously cross the line, it gets boring. Seriously, stop, just stop. If the game is serious, don’t create an absurd character.


15. Accept that Dungeon Masters are not Gods, Gods are just Non-player Characters.

The Dungeon Master is the ruler and arbiter of the game. Don’t fight with the Dungeon Master, especially over game rules. The Dungeon Master is the one who decides as final. If you just bother the Dungeon Master, it might unlock things you may never want in the first place. Like a Dragon coming out of nowhere to wipe your character specifically.


16. Don’t abuse the Rule of Cool.

The Rule of Cool is quite an entertaining thing. Not everything written in the rulebooks is what you can do. The game system doesn’t tell you how much damage you can inflict on a dragon if you toss the barbarian with a catapult to it. It needs to be done for special occasions, if it is done too regularly, it becomes something boring.

17. Don’t be a Rules Lawyer.

Seriously nobody likes the Rules Lawyers, they are great if they are helping with the game but most of the time they just ruin the game with unnecessary elements. Sometimes things happen in games with narrative and a White Dragon can be immune to fire. Just move on with the play and learn the secrets of it!


18. Put the damn phone down unless your sheet is on it.

We all use our phones one way or another but if you are constantly on the phone when there is a game, it is considered extremely rude. Pay attention to the game, the social media and other stuff can wait for a few hours. You can survive without it, don’t worry. I believe in you.

19. Don’t take the things that happen to your character as a personal attack.

Character deaths are very common in Dungeons and Dragons and they are mostly due to consequences of your actions. Therefore, you will have lots of problems if you take things too seriously. That doesn’t mean your character is a suicidal maniac who wants to do war crimes. Both are bad.

20. Haggle!

Haggling is a good thing in Dungeons and Dragons but using intimidation for haggling might end up bad. Not many people want to handle you and they might give you a small discount if you are a smooth talker. But if you threaten them, they might just call the guards. And guards are not there to be nice.


21. Give feedback.

Feedback is an important concept in any tabletop gaming, good and bad criticism should be welcome to everyone. If they are newbie players, it is important to assist them with this. Let them know their mistakes and help them evolve.

22. Don’t fight over loot.

Unless you are playing an evil campaign, this is a seriously screwed-up concept. Lots of people fight over items that they get and it is getting boring. Did you get 5 gold more? Congrats! Greed is part of adventuring but if your character is extremely greedy, yeah he might get a lot of trouble with the team.

23. Know the rules, and abide by the rules, but that is not all about Roleplaying.

Rules in Dungeons and Dragons don’t tell you how to roleplay your character. So, you can create a completely random character by just making things up from one place and another, but does that make sense? Most likely not. Especially to the Dungeon Master, it is quite bothersome. Lots of channels on YouTube mock characters like this. Learn about the world you are playing and how the characters will be in interaction with others. How are nobles seen? What is the economy? What races seem evil or good?

24. Don’t be “That guy”.

Many of us love telling stories about our past characters but don’t do that while in the middle of the game. It just slows the game and it gets boring after some time. Everyone is there to play that campaign and their characters, enough is enough.

25. Metagaming.

Metagaming is using a player's information within your character. Unless they are common knowledge or common sense, it is metagaming. Unless you decide to play yourself as a character (Some Dungeon Masters allow this) they are not supposed to know what you know. Especially if you created a character with almost no knowledge about certain topics. You created a barbarian with no knowledge of how to behave in a city? Sure, But why is he the best option to negotiate with the King? Don’t steal other player’s spotlight. Metagaming is also using stats and defenses of enemies against them. Just because you see a Troll doesn’t mean you know it is weak to fire or acid.


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