On both Monsters and Manuals and Back to the Keep there were posts earlier today about Things Role Playing Bloggers Tend Not To Write About that I enjoyed reading so I thought I would join the fun...
There something great about holding a well put together book in your hands. A nice, hardback that will stand the test of time just feels "right" when you hold it. Examples of this include the original AD&D hardbacks. They might fade or show outward signs of wear but the pages stay in place. Of course, softbound books can also be well put together. I've never had any issues with any of my Palladium products losing pages. I would like to see more hardbound stuff out of the Palladium line, though. In contrast, I have had issues with other products from other publishers. I believe one of the worst offenders was the original edition of Mechwarrior from FASA. That book started falling apart within one month of table use.
Doing a Voice
I personally don't do them. I've been in a few games where it pops up occasionally. I'm not bothered by it but I don't expect it, either.
When necessary - 'nuff said.
I adjust as needed for the situation. If the party is in town do they really need the contents of the inn or weapon shop described down to the grain in the wood?
Where do you strike the balance between "doing what your character would do" and "acting like a dickhead"?
We generally agree that all the characters are cooperative in regards to party goals and looking out for the mission at hand. It is perfectly acceptable to play up rivalries and competition between different characters. It is okay for the characters to be arrogant, self-centered jerks. If you're going to be a douche then get ready for the reaction to be comparable to the action.
PC on PC violence
If it comes down to that it just comes down to that. As long as it comes about through playing the characters it is perfectly fine. If it comes about through douchebaggery, then forget it.
How do you explain role-playing to non-role-players?
I am generally not out trying to make converts of non-players. If one of my non-gaming friends happens to notice one of my books and asks I do my best to explain it starting with the "Let's Pretend" game and moving up from there.
Alcohol at the Table?
I don't recall any times that this happened so it's a non-issue for me.
What's acceptable to do to a PC whose player is absent?
The groups I have been part of are pretty boring - we usually just have the GM run the character or have designated alternate players that use that character when the player is absent.
There are my thoughts on these topics. It was not my idea but it was a fun post.