In life, some people are immediately better at certain things, whether it be academics, sports, or relating to others. That's not to say that one can't work to be good at that thing. That being said, we here at Black Hat Writing were wondering whether there are any particular talents or habits that make a new player take to RP faster than others. Recently, I've played with some players new to RP, some much better in their first session than others, under the same GM. Why is this?
The first skill that comes to mind that allows one take RP better is being a storyteller. Some RP players write, while others had characters and scenarios in their head before they even knew about RP. This can help one GM, for one's brain is already wired to craft stories, but it can also help players engage with the storytelling of a GM, particularly one who makes use of foreshadowing and connections.
However, you don't have to be a storyteller to quickly pick up RP. I know plenty of players who don't create stories themselves, but prefer to take in other people's stories. Those who take in media, particularly books, are often better at RP initially. They learn to engage with stories, to pick up clues and tropes, and familiar with characters.
The third skill which may help a first-time RP player is being involved in drama at some point in one's life. Many RP players who quickly get RP tend to have experience acting or directing in the world of theatre. When you act, you take on a persona of someone who isn't you, and, therefore, playing a character in an RP can feel less awkward in the beginning.
The fourth possible skill of someone who quickly picks up RP is a vivid imagination, which connects to the other 3 aspects. Having a vivid imagination allows this RP player to visualize what is happening in an RP like anyone would scenes in a book. It plays out in my head, as we play it out on the table.
Most players learn how to pick up clues, tell stories, take on personas, and imagine as they continue to RP.