Invariably when I get together with other table-top gamers we end up discussing problems that have arisen during the course of our time gaming. Everyone loves to share the funny stories of what happened when PC Blank ran into a wall and tried to fight it or when PC Anonymous tried to talk to a monster instead of fighting it. If you've been gaming for a bit then you know what I'm talking about.
We have all been PC Blank or the friend PC Anonymous at sometime. Even seasoned gamers end up setting off mishaps.
When that problem stays in the game then it's just a funny story. When misadventures in a game are being caused by events away from the table or due to a clash of personalities that's when funny stories turn dark and transform into unpleasant moments that can linger and haunt a group or player.
Rather than spend this post talking about what to do with other players that are disrupting the game I want to talk about how to recognize when you are causing or contributing to the problem.
A good starting point, even if no problems have come up yet, is to consider your style of play and compare it to others. Remember this is a game we are talking about. There is no style of play that is superior to any other. What there is, however, is ways of looking at the game that may not mesh together. If your group is having fun then you have people with ways of playing that mesh together.
The style you play in may not be static either. Some people will not change how they play, but others will grow and change. I would like people to at least consider adapting their behavior according to the system being played in and according to who the DM is and how he or she runs the game.
How do you know if you are a part of the problem? This is trickier. If you feel like others are being unfair it may be even harder to recognize. It could be the only part you are playing is not effectively communicating. For example if Player A is picking on Player B during the game and your group is not dealing with it then you, Player C, are part of that issue. One way to handle it is to weigh out how to approach the DM and potentially the entire group with the issue. Do this when you are not gaming. Preferably, don't do it over e-mail because that leads to misunderstandings.
If your issue is that people are not playing the game the way you want/think/"know" that they should be playing it then you are potentially creating your own private Hell that could spill into the game experience. Your style probably does not mesh with these players and you may want to consider leaving the group or forming a new group with those players that you do work with.
I think the group I was playing with this weekend summed it up best, when our DM pointed out that the players should be having fun. She's right. It is the most basic component.