When speed dating you have to ‘sell yourself’ in a small window of time, 2-5 min, enough to get the person to want to hang out with you again. Gaming is very similar when introducing your character. While you don’t have to sell yourself to get the GM to want to play with you again you do have a limited amount of time to get who your character is across to the rest of the table
When you play in a convention or a store game you are stuck to a limited amount of time, often two to four hours, to play through the module. On top of that you usually don’t know who the characters, or players, are until they sit down and introduce themselves. Most role playing games rely on tropes to make certain things obvious: a fighter is going to be a heavy hitter, a cleric can heal you, a wizard will do area damage from the back, and a rogue will sneak and steal. After that there is a personality, usually dwindled down to a line or two, “you speak very slowly cause you think everyone is less intelligent than you,” “you like shiny things and have to make a grab for it.” Simply sharing these things can increase the inclusion of the other players into your character and allow for better submersion into the world you are about to imagine.
If you are running a home game, my next blog will deal with how to make the character sharing more immersive and how to create a group or team out of strangers.
I as the GM (Game Master), have a difficult time in proving who it is I am and why I am qualified to run a game for you. Often, the fact that I am there is enough. Most Conventions and gaming stores vet their GMs. That said, it is arrogant of me or any other GM to simply assume that because I am there is enough for you to want to be at my table.
I can’t go off simply going through my entire history that through me to that table. As a GM who has been running games for nearly ten years it would simply take too much time and eat into the actual game and still not help. Instead, I have to pick and choose relevant information that will help the players feel at ease that their imagination is safe at my table and that I will guide them through a fun story. If it is a Convention I will likely say how long I have been at that convention, at a store I am able to tell people that I have some convention experience and offer other bits of info like who I have ran they may know, or other games I am able to run.
Simply said the speed part is a skill that you get as you go. The first few times you game in public you will have to just pick and choose. As you do more gaming in more venues you will learn what works to share and what does not. Make a list of a couple things (literally a couple) that are relevant to the situation and give it a try. If you think it needs tweaking you can always do that for next game.
Remember to have fun and keep the dice rolling