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View Full Version : When does a player become a "veteran?" OR how long have you been gaming?



Odessa333
2014-06-05, 06:59 PM
Topic. I'm in a wonderful new group online, playing pathfinder and learning a new system in I can't remember how long. The one thing that confuses me most? How I'm considered a "Veteran" player.

I'm 32 years old, and I have been playing role playing games of the D&D variety since I was 12 (video game RPG's even longer). For those who dumped their intelligence, that's 20 years I've been doing this. I jokingly call myself a veteran (even do so in my roll20 profile) but it interests me how groups determine who a veteran is, what qualifies a person to be a veteran. In the last session I had, we faced one of the best riddle traps I've seen in a while, having to answer a series of riddles while figuring out a guardian's code of how to answer the riddles. I took great pleasure in cracking it's code... yet no one was surprised that I was able to best the trap as I'm the 'veteran.'

So long story short, I was wondering what makes a veteran in your opinion? Knowledge of a system? Length of playing games? I'm curious to your thoughts :)

Erik Vale
2014-06-05, 07:24 PM
A combination of confidence while playing, ability to maintain various social contracts between players/dm, time played [actually least important], and skill at playing the particular system/playing in general. [The last doesn't refer to op-fu :smallannoyed:.]

... Yea, I think that's it.

Madeiner
2014-06-05, 07:48 PM
Hard question... you are probably a veteran when you are no longer blinded by what's happening behind the DM screen.

I played D&D for less than a year. Then i DMed for about 10 years straight, playing maybe one or two sessions.
Last time i played, i just couldn't enjoy the game much because it was like i could "read" what the DM was thinking or doing. I couldn't focus on the game because i was too busy trying to recognize what was an "hint" and what wasn't, what the DM was thinking we'd do, or how he expected the resolution to go. I'm pretty sure i caught him fudging just by looking at him and analyzing the situation.

It was like being in the matrix, i could see what the game was made of at a "molecular" level. And i didn't enjoy it unfortunately :/

veti
2014-06-05, 09:34 PM
You're a Veteran Player when:

you don't like to write on your character sheet, because photocopying is such a hassle (and expense)
every time someone questions a rule, you can recount what happened last time you had this argument
you think 10 p.m. is "quite late enough" for a game session to run
you have character sheets that are older than some of your fellow players
you think every new edition/supplement you see reminds you of some homebrew you came up with years ago
the numbers have worn off your dice, but it's OK because you remember where they were

jaydubs
2014-06-05, 09:36 PM
Hey, I vaguely recall your thread from awhile back. Glad to hear roll20 worked out for you (at least that's what it sounds like).

As far as being a veteran, I think it's a combination of the two Cs. Competence and confidence.

1) Being competent enough with a game to not trip over the rules, and generally being a useful contributor to your team.

2) Being confident enough in your own abilities to relax and be comfortable as a player.

Players with those two attributes tend to be more willing and able to interact with both other players and the game world. And it shows.

Hyena
2014-06-06, 12:56 AM
You're a veteran player when you can stat your character in your head.
You're a veteran player when you can predict what plot twist your DM is about to make judgind by the size of his grin.

sktarq
2014-06-06, 02:44 AM
A veteran I would generally say is someone who has internalized the RPG's secondary skills of learning systems, being able to handle when things go wrong, and can teach people how to play RPG's (and not just the system) etc...usually a minimum of 3 years of very actively play or 5-10 years normally.

oh myself it took 15 year for me to think of myself in anything like that term.

BWR
2014-06-06, 05:37 AM
You're a Veteran Player when:

you don't like to write on your character sheet, because photocopying is such a hassle (and expense)
every time someone questions a rule, you can recount what happened last time you had this argument
you think 10 p.m. is "quite late enough" for a game session to run
you have character sheets that are older than some of your fellow players
you think every new edition/supplement you see reminds you of some homebrew you came up with years ago
the numbers have worn off your dice, but it's OK because you remember where they were


Ouch.
All except the first.

Kane0
2014-06-06, 07:14 AM
You know youre a veteran player when:

- You can build a new character by the time the current encounter ends
- You remember what that rule used to be like, or why it's worded so stupidly
- Your character has existed in multiple editions of a game
- You are the last surviving player/character from the orginal group
- You have both played and run in the same group/campaign
- you have seen it before, or seen better/wierder/worse
- You cant remember the last time you had no idea about a rule or decision
- You know all the tropes
- You know all the memes
- You know all the in-jokes
- You always have a story for the group
- You can call shenanigans from experience
- you can pull shenanigans from experience
- you can take a level in veteran from all that experience
- you did anything other than roll your eyes at that last one

Hyena
2014-06-06, 07:44 AM
you did anything other than roll your eyes at that last one
I roll my saving throw against painful puns. Does 13 save?

HighWater
2014-06-06, 08:21 AM
So long story short, I was wondering what makes a veteran in your opinion? Knowledge of a system? Length of playing games? I'm curious to your thoughts :)

"Veteran" is a relative term, not necessarely an absolute one. A veteran is someone with more (useful) experience. A group of veterans is called such due to comparison to non-group members.

Veterans tend to be better at games because they've seen much more than their less-experienced companions, which gives them much better intuition and planning options. One of the dangers of rewarding individual players (with XP or other benefits) for "insightful comments" and "solutions", as Veterans tend to come up with them much faster...

As experience tends to correlate with time spent, "time spent in the game" is often used as an adequate measure of what makes a veteran. It's still a relative term though, a player with 6 months experience is definitely somewhat of a veteran compared with someone playing their first session.

nedz
2014-06-06, 08:36 AM
Veteran status is easy to achieve. Dangerous or Elite take a lot longer.

Mark Hall
2014-06-06, 09:21 AM
You're a Veteran Player when:

you don't like to write on your character sheet, because photocopying is such a hassle (and expense)
every time someone questions a rule, you can recount what happened last time you had this argument
you think 10 p.m. is "quite late enough" for a game session to run
you have character sheets that are older than some of your fellow players
you think every new edition/supplement you see reminds you of some homebrew you came up with years ago
the numbers have worn off your dice, but it's OK because you remember where they were


Oh, well said. ;-)

I've been playing about 25 years now, ever since Andy Nuxoll (my Senior Patrol Leader) had me in a game in his living room.

I'd say veteran is a nebulous term that implies experience with the game and, generally, a desire for it to go smoothly and for everyone to have fun.

Jay R
2014-06-06, 09:31 AM
A veteran player is somebody with more experience, comfort, and confidence than the rest of the table, even if the veteran is playing her third game and has to look up most rules while the others are playing their first and looking up everything.

A newbie player is somebody with less experience, comfort, and confidence than the rest of the table, even if the newbie has played for thirty years and only looked up one rule while the others have played for forty.

MrNobody
2014-06-06, 10:12 AM
What does it take to make a veteran player?
I think that lenght is meaningful if all that time spent playing taught something to the player. I've known people that after years of playing still need advice to level up their characters (how many HP, how many skill points...) and when asked to make a saving throw they answer "ok, what i have to add?".

Mastering the game is obviously a great thing but it comes from a greater feature that, to me, is the emblem of the veteran player: dedication.
The veteran player is the one that passed the line that parts simple "hobbies" from "passions" and put all himself into the game (roleplaying game, of all kind), that became part of him.

-He is the one who always have a story ready, and tons of players the sit in his "metaphorical bench" waiting to be played.
-He is the one who knows the rules well enough to explain them to other (share knowledge) and to use them properly in game, without being enslaved by them.
-He is the one who looks for answers in game and not outside: if killed by a psionic firebreathing goblin he won't ask the DM "what it is" or blame him for cheating, but will look for answers in game.
-He is the one that can talk to his DM/players when he sees that there is a problem in the group: he will never try to ruin his DM's game on purpose or intentionally kill his own players.
-He is the one that can merge with the story and the characters, building an emotional link with the fiction and with all the other people merged in it.

jedipotter
2014-06-06, 01:06 PM
I'd say time has little to do with it. I know people that have played for decades but are still just like new players, and new players that think they are experts.

I'd see three parts (rule of three again...)

1. Rule knowledge. You know the rules. Your comfortable with the rules. And most of all you have used the rules. The rules for grappling are not just something you glanced over, you have had a character in a grapple dozens of times.

2. Game knowledge. You understand how the game is played. You understand that things are hard and a challenge, as if the were easy and simple the game would be pointless. You understand that the DM is ''against'' your character, but not against you personally.

3. Role play knowledge. Korw is not just a sheet of paper, he is a character with lots of fluff and detail. You can talk about your character as a ''real'' character, not just a group of numbers.

John Longarrow
2014-06-06, 01:35 PM
The true sign that you are a veteran is the the point at which you come up with a great idea/plan/solution, but forgo it because "My character wouldn't think like that". This also applies to DMs.

As an example, old modified version of Twilight 2000. We had to do a raid and pull it off while making it look like it was a bunch of lowlife thugs. The rest of the party is argueing for an hour and a half. I'm sitting quiet because my character ain't the brightest. About 5 minutes in I'd figured out what we needed to do, but I waited unit AFTER the other players had brough up most of the points before giving the solution.

We needed to make it look like a BUNCH of trigger happy yo-yo's took out a boss. We were going in quiet with surpressed weapons. No casualties on our side (if we could help it).
Obvious (to me-player) was do the hit nice and quiet, kill all the guards, then spray and pray with other weapons on the way out.

I let the rest of the team come up with the "Bunch of yo-yo's" part, the "Kill all the guards and keep it quiet", and "Police up ourselves". THEN I said "Why not just grab a few cheap SMGs and spray the rooms as we leave? Toss a couple frags to cover anything odd".

Yep, went down real smooth. Real smooth. Then 90 seconds of noise and lights as we left.

Having to sit through a LOT of talk from the "Smart" characters until it made sence was very cool though.

Jarawara
2014-06-06, 01:41 PM
I'd say time has little to do with it. I know people that have played for decades but are still just like new players, and new players that think they are experts.

Boy, is that the truth!

But of course, that's because they might have had years of experience *playing an entirely different playstyle than you*, and then they join your game and find they have to learn your style of play from scratch. Makes them look like newbies.

An example would be me. I've been playing since 1981... using math, that's... ahhh... well, a whole lotta years ago. But that was AD&D, which was played entirely differently than modern D&D, and I haven't ever really switched over. So yeah, I've been playing longer than some of you have been alive, but at your gameboard, I'd be stumbling around like a newbie trying to fit into my proper "role", and struggling to make a properly designed "character build".

Old man voice:
Players these days have got it good. Back in the day, we didn't build a tier 2 character and complain that it doesn't stack up to a tier 1. We played an Elf. No class. No build. He was an Elf. He had a sword, and a bow, and if we were lucky, we could find a useful spell to cast. If we were feeling creative... we gave him a name. And we had to walk through 10 miles of snow to get to the dungeon.

Back to my normal voice, which has just a hint of old man in it:
I still DM my games like it is AD&D, though I have taken alot of the advances of the later editions into my game. Honestly, many of those advances I had houseruled in before the editions were published, but it's nice to be able to look to the modern books for official support of my cobbled ruleset. But I prefer the feel of the older games, and strive to keep it that way.


Wait... when I say "modern editions"... we're all still playing 3rd edition, right? Or have I fallen behind again?

Knaight
2014-06-06, 01:43 PM
A veteran player is somebody with more experience, comfort, and confidence than the rest of the table, even if the veteran is playing her third game and has to look up most rules while the others are playing their first and looking up everything.

A newbie player is somebody with less experience, comfort, and confidence than the rest of the table, even if the newbie has played for thirty years and only looked up one rule while the others have played for forty.

I'd expand outward from "the table" to the relevant subsection* of the local gamer community, but that pretty much sums up my opinion on the matter.

*Basically, the set of people who might convene at a table for a game.

BWR
2014-06-06, 02:11 PM
You know youre a veteran player when:

- You can build a new character by the time the current encounter ends
- You remember what that rule used to be like, or why it's worded so stupidly
- Your character has existed in multiple editions of a game
- You are the last surviving player/character from the orginal group
- You have both played and run in the same group/campaign
- you have seen it before, or seen better/wierder/worse
- You cant remember the last time you had no idea about a rule or decision
- You know all the tropes
- You know all the memes
- You know all the in-jokes
- You always have a story for the group
- You can call shenanigans from experience
- you can pull shenanigans from experience
- you can take a level in veteran from all that experience
- you did anything other than roll your eyes at that last one

Double ouch.

shadow_archmagi
2014-06-06, 04:22 PM
I don't know when a player becomes a veteran, but a GM becomes a veteran when their game plan takes into account each player's actions.

...

"Then Jimmy will ask how this all gets back to killing people. John will shush him, and Mike will agree to the quest. Steve will make an outrageous demand and be ignored. Steve will try to use force but the party will drag him away by the ear before he does anything to get himself executed. Adam will sigh deeply and steal something on his way out."

Jay R
2014-06-06, 05:38 PM
In original D&D, a Fighting Man became a Veteran at first level.

jedipotter
2014-06-07, 01:05 AM
Old man voice:
Players these days have got it good. Back in the day, we didn't build a tier 2 character and complain that it doesn't stack up to a tier 1. We played an Elf. No class. No build. He was an Elf. He had a sword, and a bow, and if we were lucky, we could find a useful spell to cast. If we were feeling creative... we gave him a name. And we had to walk through 10 miles of snow to get to the dungeon.



Oh, sonny? I remember my ye old classless elf. He was a 10th level elf. No class. And elves topped out at 10th level as, er, they were so powerful as they could detect secret doors. Though, wait, i think I had some ''letter levels''...yea, if you were an exceptional character, like you had at least one 18 in an ability score...you could take a couple ''letter levels''. Yea, I think I was a 10E elf. Oh and AC, AC when down, you wanted your AC as close to zero as you could, or even negative. And there were only twelve spells a level. Oh and the tables...oh the tables, we had a table to look up everything like attacks and saves...oh gosh the tables....

Kurald Galain
2014-06-07, 04:43 AM
Topic. I'm in a wonderful new group online, playing pathfinder and learning a new system in I can't remember how long. The one thing that confuses me most? How I'm considered a "Veteran" player.

A player becomes a "veteran" once he starts posting on message boards how system X is so much better/worse than system Y :smallbiggrin:

Jay R
2014-06-07, 08:18 AM
A player becomes a "veteran" once he starts posting on message boards how system X is so much better/worse than system Y :smallbiggrin:

Not quite. People do that after playing a single session of a single system. They become veterans when the comments show knowledge and experience of both systems.

Kalmageddon
2014-06-07, 09:07 AM
Speaking for myself, I felt like a veteran the moment I realized how painful and awkward a system that uses multiple dices can be.
Or when I realized that saving throws, base attack bonus and all that stuff is kinda dead weight in terms of game design.
Basically when I got an overwhelming desire for streamlining in my tabletop games.

Seto
2014-06-08, 10:51 AM
The true sign that you are a veteran is the the point at which you come up with a great idea/plan/solution, but forgo it because "My character wouldn't think like that". This also applies to DMs.

I don't agree. I consider myself a veteran roleplayer, since I've been rping for half my life (granted, that's about 9-10 years since I'm not very old) and I've invested a lot of thought, energy, and effort in it. I've always enjoyed it, and I've had the pleasure of watching myself get better and better at it, as I gained rp experience and real life experience and growth at the same time. And I'm perfectly capable of coming up with a good idea and toss it aside because that's not what my character would do.
However, I'm certainly not a D&D veteran, for example. Most of my rping experience comes from PbP on full-rp (mostly Naruto) forums on the Internet, with all fluff and zero crunch. I've only started playing D&D 3 years ago, and have not played often (I'd say a session every two or three months on average). As a result, I still struggle with most of the rules due to little actual play experience, even though I am an adept roleplayer and knowledgeable enough when it comes to D&D fluff (I have perused a lot of manuals with great enthusiasm).

Tl;DR : I'd discard criteria that regard rp and immersion only, just like I'd discard criteria that regard nothing but rules mastery. I think a "veteran player" is someone who has played a game enough to be able to not only rp well and have well-developed characters and ideas, but also express these ideas through the rules, smoothly and without losing time over asking advice or checking rulebooks.

Durkoala
2014-06-08, 12:34 PM
You know youre a veteran player when:

- You can build a new character by the time the current encounter ends
- You remember what that rule used to be like, or why it's worded so stupidly
- Your character has existed in multiple editions of a game
- You are the last surviving player/character from the orginal group
- You have both played and run in the same group/campaign
- you have seen it before, or seen better/wierder/worse
- You cant remember the last time you had no idea about a rule or decision
- You know all the tropes
- You know all the memes
- You know all the in-jokes
- You always have a story for the group
- You can call shenanigans from experience
- you can pull shenanigans from experience
- you can take a level in veteran from all that experience
- you did anything other than roll your eyes at that last one


I grinned.:smalleek: I'm not even a gamer, I just come here to read the demotivators! :eek: