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Player Roles: How to Be a Good Player | D&D | RPG | Web DM




Wanna be a really good D&D player? Watch this video! There are things amazing Dungeons and Dragons players do that no one tells you about: they draw maps, they keep track of treasure, they coordinate strategies. We’re talking Player Roles in D&D and TTRPGs!

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Written & Hosted by Jonathan Pruitt & Jim Davis
Produced, Directed & Edited by Travis Boles

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  • I love the effort you've put in with editing greenscreens and the classic foreground. It's a great way of dealing with the current situation.
    But it's a little creepy when the two of you are talking to eachother, while staring very much straight into my soul. I know you're both dealing with webcams and doing your best, but the table in front and the room in the back makes it look like my parents talking at me after I did something wrong.
    More or less to echo Jason Bryant's comment, we've reached uncanny valley levels.


  • At 12:36, Jim says "tangenITAl;" I'm fairly certain he means "tangenTIAl," meaning "on a tangent."


  • Because the green screen and light direction are improving so much, they now look like they've had an argument and refuse to look each other in the eye, but must continue to work together out of principle. 😆


  • "The point of an empty room is tension." love that


  • There is this newer role that I have seen (granted I am typing this about halfway through the video), but the Automator. This person is usually the most technically proficient in whatever online tool you are using (Avrae, Roll20, etc) and does all the automation with multiple attacks, rolls, abilities, etc.


  • ZYR47ZYR47

    Author Reply

    Now, just how do I get my players to watch this. I've tried to encourage things like these over the years but I find that players just…….won't.


  • Loved that Wu-Tang reference.


  • Fantasy Grounds track equipment and money individually as I (as DM) make sure everything is in the game and drop things on the sheets of the PCs when they say they carry or take it.


  • Props for bringing up the fact that there CAN be good Rules Lawyers. Granted, they're as rare as an honest lawyer in real life, but they DO exist and CAN be very helpful to a frazzled GM. Even more than them knowing all the little rules, the fact that they can instantly flip right to the reference you need in a given book can be a lifesaver.


  • I really like the upscaling of the adventuring party into a caravan scale expedition with carts, servants, guards and what not. That just seems like a natural progression for the professional mercenaries, kinda like the band of the hawk in Berserk.


  • Yup… treasurer here, and archivist/ note taker. I AM THE ARCHIVE!


  • Maybe it's just me, but I feel like almost everything noted can be handled by one player (namely, me). Note taking includes handling the accounting, the equipment management, the quest lists, tracking NPCs, mapping the world as it's explored, etc. Maybe it's because I'm new to the game? Am I being taken advantage of? lol


  • Don’t forget the player that brings snacks!


  • In my most recent group, the DM and I were the only ones who had played before, so I ended up being most of those roles at the same time (plus healer/tank because the other characters were a wizard, a sorcerer, and a rogue).


  • This is what I imagine the astral plane is like


  • At first I thought you guys were back to your regular shows. Then I took a closer look. Good job on the green screen effects. Had me fooled for a hot minute. Love you guys. Keep up the Great work.


  • Check out 'Band of Blades' for interesting game appointed player (and meta character) roles. Extremely well done.
    "Legion roles for all of the players: the Commander sets mission priorities, the Marshal directs the troupes, the Quartermaster manages precious resources, the Spymaster gathers intel in the field, and the Lorekeeper preserves the histories of the Legion."


  • I always make sure I have a rules lawyer and a chronicler to brief everyone on what happened each session. The last is by far the most important role


  • Head-canon: Jim is using Mage Hand to improve his Performance roll, lol.


  • I brought a journal to a new game session. 3 sessions later the DM asks the age old question "who remembers what happened last time" I piped up with "Uhh.. Let me check my notes…" our DM was so impressed because he hadn't noticed I was taking notes 'in character' for the last few sessions. We got a free level for it XD Long story short; I accidentally stepped into the chronicler role and I'm ok with it. I even bought a journal and writing supplies in character to make it more legit and immersive.


  • Random 3/3.5 jab… ouch! From a Pathfinder 1.0 player.


  • If you guys are taking suggestions you should do a video on the Golgari!!!!! ^-^


  • Am I the only one that has never seen a player take notes? I have never done it as a player either so I never expected it lol


  • In person is definitely my favorite way to play, for sure. That being said, VTTs do offer some advantages in having the detailed maps that may be out of reach (for various reasons) at an in person session. You'll also never lack for accurate tokens for what your party is encountering.

    Still, you don't get the same energy (typically) in a virtual session as you do in person.


  • I would have to add that rule lawyers are truly something of the past. From my experience I could see this being necessary when a dungeon master is new. However a not taker is absolutely valuable at the table. Best practice for questioning the dungeon master is discuss it later after the game. But description of actions and what they want to do should be explained by the player. Not a designated person.
    The rules start and end with the dm. Players drive the story. Love this though guys. Great input. #d20tavernaz


  • dolla dolla bill yaaaaaaaaaall (also please be safe, ty for doing this virtually with each other)


  • Well done. Seriously, on every level. The advice and editing are top notch


  • So I'm the mathematician and the call out guy with light rules lawyering.


  • It's interesting how many parallels there are between videos that teach how to play DnD like this, and videos that try to teach people social skills. I don't mean that in a "haha nerds are awkward" way, I mean it's really cool that people might watch stuff like this, motivated purely by a desire to play games, and end up indirectly learning skills that might be super useful to them in other areas of life.

    Also, it took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize this was two green screens over your normal background lol. If you guys could sneak in something like casually passing a drink across screens or something, that'd be awesome :p


  • and a big important part of this
    Never ever put all the roles on one player
    Signed the quarterlorecallerkeeperleadermasterchronicler


  • BarazBaraz

    Author Reply

    I have to interject : do away with XP ! Not a good system : let the DM decide the coolest moments to level the characters (based on story/"cinematic" and feeling of accomplishment).
    – The DM can do some math under-the-hood as desired.


  • BarazBaraz

    Author Reply

    Common problem for me : if it is always the same person who does the main interactions, I rarely get to ever role-play, except to blurb over, interrupt, say a joke… There is an issue of real charisma so-to-speak or rather real social status, where your style of communication and character is not liked by your buddies. SUGGESTION: rotate the said "caller" once in a while and accept that the other character, with a different alignment and personality, will give different approaches and results. ERRATUM: listening here, I realized I misunderstood what is a "caller". That said, I really disagree with a Caller as you explain it. My DMs just call-out turns around the table at some point if we do not have a unified move. It is not great for a third-party to describe what another player-character is doing.


  • I meet a guy at a dispensary wearing a web dm shirt . He said he never played d&d . He just likes getting high and listening to them talk .


  • I really enjoy how cerebral these discussions are. They have been a big help in my home games.


  • Someone get rid of the green screen from these guys. 😋


  • We effectively have a chronicler, a treasurer and a scheduler in our group. Especially the scheduler and the chronicler takes a big load off my back.
    Someone taking the reigns on scheduling the next session if we forgot to confirm next playdate at the end of the night, is a big relief.
    Not only because it's one less thread for me to keep track on, but also because it takes so much insecurity away from me as a DM for some reason. If your players are the ones taking initiative to keep the game going it's easier to trust that they have fun in your game, for some reason.
    That was a big discovery for me, personally. I was not aware that that little insecurity was taking up that much headspace for me before one of the players took up the scheduler mantle.


  • I don't even play dnd, not cuz I don't want to I just don't have a group. but this makes me wanna play a character who's like, a wizard's apprentice or something who gets sent out to learn and instead of throwing fireballs you just start writing everything down, making maps, keeping track of the money and inventory. occasionally using magic to solve a problem, but mostly just takin notes and shit. or a rogue who doesn't fight for shit you just sneak around and scout, map things out, search for traps and treasures,


  • Petition to rename the awesome rules lawyers to rules cyclopediae 😀


  • Honestly must have been a lot of work to get this set green screen going. Actually really like it, made it feel more like a regular episode. Nicely done brother, and thanks for all your hard work!!