NOTE: this article is primarily for role-playing games.  This article is meant for Game Masters, but other players are encouraged to read this as well.

As discussed in Step One: Archetype, each player can be described in terms of varying archetypes.  Because players differ in personality, style, and attitude, it only stands to reason that each player is looking for something different when it comes to playing their games; that is, not everyone is looking for the same thing when playing games.  Most of the time, this will not be a problem; however, other times this can be either a distraction or, at worst, a major rift within the group.  After all, if you are trying to run a game that is all about character growth and you have a player who wants to kill things and scalp them as trophies, and another player who wants to just get a power trip from how “bad-ass” their character is, then what should be an enjoyable activity can quickly turn into a stress-fest.  As such, it is important to establish what are everyone’s expectations.  This can be done in any number of ways and should be appropriate to one’s gaming group.  One way that may work well is to simply address what everyone wants out of the game; and do so before the first game session even begins.  This gives the GM time to rewrite/redesign their campaign to fit the desires of the group as well as their own.  An important consideration when modifying the story is whether you are changing something for the group on the whole or for the most out-spoken and/or opinionated player in the group; you should not allow your perceptions about a group be skewed by one individual.  The goal is to make sure that everyone can walk away as happy as they can; which may be difficult if some players simply do not want to consent and cooperate with the rest of the group.  Another major concern when trying to come to an adequate consensus within the group are the players who prefer to suffer in silence and won’t voice their opinions.  It is important to make sure that everyone feels comfortable enough to share their opinions and expectations without negative repercussions.  As GM, you may need to act as mediator and even referee when it comes to confrontational players who browbeat the quiet and/or submissive players.

The above are only a few considerations in regards to player expectations in role-playing games.  They have been kept pretty vague for purposes of getting a grasp on the concepts.  I can dedicate later articles to more about player expectations and even address specific concerns/situations if requested.