Gaming Articles

Role-Playing Game Playing Styles

As a heads up, I have borrowed heavily from Wizards of the Coast’s Dungeon Master’s Guide and tried to generalize for each role playing system.

There are seven styles of gaming that players fallen in. As a Dungeon Master, a Game Master, or as a player, knowing these styles so you know how you fit in within the group and can easily communicate your desires for the game are important to finding the right group.

Without further ado, here are the seven play styles! I hope that you will find the beneficial in finding a gaming group.

The Actor

Did you do your vocal warm-ups? You’re about to dive deep into your character and role-play the heck out of it! You like being engaged by NPCs and getting the chance to roleplay in combat, while exploring, while sleeping – any time, really!

People are in awe of your role-playing skills and your ability to stay in character. Keep up the great work!

The Actor is often full of charisma and enjoys putting themselves in the ego of their character. Roleplaying is its own reward for them and they greatly prefer talking to letting the dice do the talking for them.

Keeping roleplaying alive in combat will make longer combats more bearable for this type.

The Explorer

You’re drawn to knowing the details of your surroundings because it makes the area feel more complete and the story more real. Clues are like manna to you, and you enjoy picking them up and putting them together to learn more about the world around you.

Other players are drawn to your love the world and your pursuit to explore it. Great work!

I had thought about calling this the Lorekeeper as extreme explorers are not satiated by the lore they find at the table. They work with their game masters to explore the lore, learn more about the societies and cultures in the games, and use it to their advantage while roleplaying.

You may also find an explorer looking for details about their surroundings in hopes that they will notice a clue that others missed. Being able to keep knowledge and use it is important for a happy Explorer.

The Instigator

When the GM describes something that could be utterly wonderful or dangerous, you’re right there. Others turn to you for your fearlessness, and your ability to make things happen.

Someone has to touch that glowing orb. It may as well be the bravest one at the table. So what if happens to cause some complications for the group. Struggle makes the game fun!

Keep it up, Courageous One!

The Instigator is a similar to the trickster gods of ole. They want to keep things alive, moving, and interesting. For that reason, they are often the ones to set off traps, choose the paths down hallways quickly, and bravely create complications for their teammates.

While some types like the Actor and Problem Solver may dislike the impetuousness of the Instigator, game masters can trust that players will be kept on their toes and their story will keep on moving with less effort.

The Fighter

There are two things you came to do at this gaming session: chew some bubblegum, and slay some monsters – And you’re all out of bubblegum. Despite your ability to start at fight at the drop of the hat, you enjoy the havoc it creates.

Others marvel at your ability to understand combat mechanics and appreciate the help you provide. Keep up the good work, Fighter!

The prevalence of a true Fighter type is rare. While the Power Gamer does it to prove their mechanical might, a Fighter’s drive is the enjoyment of the combat system. As Actors enjoy social encounters and Thinkers enjoy puzzles, the Fighter enjoys combat.

Because of their love of combat, they are often fond of learning the combat rules first and needing support in other encounters. Their love of combat can be entertaining for all as they describe the chaos they are creating.

The Power Gamer

For you, a character is a fine-tuned machine that you’ve managed to optimize to its fullest extent. You know about action economy, the best combinations for a particular outcome or action, and you aim to help others find their character’s potential.

Other players enjoy your insight into the rules and you’ll give it for your choice of the loot.

The Power Gamer aims to learn the tricks and loopholes of a system to find powerful combinations. These combinations can be in social, puzzle, or combat encounters. Often the combination is decided when choosing a character as the powergaming planning often takes place at character conception.

At it’s extreme, the Power Gamer becomes a Munchkin – someone who tries to acquire power and resources at the expense of the other players. It takes a skilled communicator to work with the power gamer to ensure that other players are not negatively affected by someone who does not recognize the extent of persona in-game.

The Thinker

Forgetting to plan on planning is not something you worry about. You aim for deep, complex plans that will allow you the best chances at success. The reward of having a plan come together is wonderful sight to behold.

Other players turn to you for your ability to think out the best outcome in a tight pinch. It may take a bit longer, but you’re up for the challenge!

The Thinker is concerned with figuring things out. Whether it’s a good plan, an NPC’s motivations, or recognizing a villain’s handiwork, the Thinker treasurers the “A-HA!” moment.

Bringing in puzzles and other thought provoking clues will bring much enjoyment for your Thinker players.

The Storyteller

There’s nothing like a good story, and your character is wrapped up in a good stories. You have a finely tuned backstory, you enjoy the thrill of seeing your character bond with the world, and develop.

Others enjoy seeing your wonder in playing as your character works alongside others well to tell their story together. Play on, Storyteller!

The Storyteller is a GM’s best friend. They love that there is a story and they’re going to help you move it along, so long as their character can be involved. Their characters often come with detailed backstories that the GM can use to flush out their campaign and tie other character into it.

Unlike the Instigator, the Storyteller brings their character’s motivations into consideration when choosing a course. When choosing to reward your storyteller, be sure to just include them in the story. They’ll love you for it.

That’s it for now, folks! I hope you have found it interesting. If you’re curious what Play Style you are, please check out our quiz here:


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