Motivating Players to be more involved in Campaign


Advice


Okay, so I know that I need to appeal to everyone's play style, and that I need to speak with the players about what they are expecting from the game. Players that like story will not like a dungeon crawl and vice versa, blah blah blah.

My question is that even knowing these things, my players still seem like they would rather do something else. I've got them interested enough to get to the table, but that's it. Most don't know the specifics of their own characters let alone combat maneuvers or other actions in combat, Enough so that I had typed up my own document as a summary of almost every condition, or action that they could do in combat.

It just burns me out when I spend time building this game from the ground up, stating out monsters, building encounters and developing plot, and once we get into game, no one else has put any effort into the game.

I know this probably wont be a quick fix, but I'm just looking for some advice or hand on experience with players such as these, on some sort of game plan for getting more involvement out of my players.

Also with this, motivating myself to plan for sessions, because of the limited involvement of my players, I'm the one setting up the game times, and pushing for play, I even host out of my house, but if I'm not asking my players, no ones asking, meaning no one is pushing me to run a session. AND if I do run, I'm expecting about a 50% turn out. AKA I dont plan, meaning we're not playing

Any advice suggestions etc would be helpful.


Man, who are your players? Family, friends? Are any of them enthused about what you are doing or are they just participating to humor you?
Have you seen any of them have a fun, involved experience before with tabletop RPGs in general, or grouped with them as a player under another GM?


Could we have more specifics?
How many players?
Any house rules?

What are they looking for?
Lets start with that.


Tough one to help on sounds like you just have a group of players who are just not that into role playing
Which is a shame as it sound like you've gone to a lot of effort with your game i had a similar group once and in the end i just called it a day with them as i was the only one who was pushing the game forward
Sorry not much else i can say

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I think the problem here is one of communication. My advice is to sit down with them and have an informal chat about why they play, what they expect, and what they enjoy. Ask them to be honest, and be honest with them in turn - you should be able to tell them what you wrote above so that they know how their lack of attention and interest is upsetting you.

The outcome could be a better understanding of what kind of game they enjoy, which would allow you to either change how you GM so as to make them happy.

Or you could discover that they're just humoring you as a friend and don't really enjoy rp, at which point you might want to look for a new group.


Lamontius wrote:

Man, who are your players? Family, friends? Are any of them enthused about what you are doing or are they just participating to humor you?

Have you seen any of them have a fun, involved experience before with tabletop RPGs in general, or grouped with them as a player under another GM?

Players are mainly friends, one is family.

I dont think they are humoring me, we have fun when we play, but I feel I'm the only one putting effort into it. about half have RP'd before, but the ones that haven't haven't owned a Players guide or core book, and only look at their race and class options, not really anything with the rules (they ask what die they use to roll a skill check)

Franko a wrote:

Could we have more specifics?

How many players?
Any house rules?

What are they looking for?
Lets start with that.

Player number vary b/c of involvement. but anywhere between 3 and 6.

Not really any house rules. Some restrictions, (didn't have firearms, that's about it)
As for what they are looking for, many they just want to kill things and level, (no plot, not even dungeon crawl from what I can tell, they just wan to go their own way do what they want etc. but that's not ALL of the players.
Some showed interest in plot while we were playing, but involvement after that was non-existent.

electricjokecascade wrote:

I think the problem here is one of communication. My advice is to sit down with them and have an informal chat about why they play, what they expect, and what they enjoy. Ask them to be honest, and be honest with them in turn - you should be able to tell them what you wrote above so that they know how their lack of attention and interest is upsetting you.

The outcome could be a better understanding of what kind of game they enjoy, which would allow you to either change how you GM so as to make them happy.

Or you could discover that they're just humoring you as a friend and don't really enjoy rp, at which point you might want to look for a new group.

This is exactly what I'm looking for, just some direction.

Thanks everyone!

Liberty's Edge

Kaelizar wrote:
It just burns me out when I spend time building this game from the ground up, stating out monsters, building encounters and developing plot, and once we get into game, no one else has put any effort into the game.

I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to check in and see how things are going with you, Kaelizar, and if anything seemed to help. The text I've quoted from you is EXACTLY how I feel when running my game; any attempt to engage the players in role-playing or shaping the plot is met with either derision or apathy.

I find it incredibly frustrating at times, but I've altered my GM style to accommodate it. I still care highly about plot, but I mostly lead them by the nose now. My group is comprised of five players: three are perpetually indecisive and aren't very interested in any plot, one is mostly uninterested in the game and just wants to hang out (but isn't disruptive, so it's cool), and the last isn't interested in plot but is incredibly decisive. Bottom line: Nobody is interested in plot but me.

In every gaming session, the following is guaranteed to happen: The three indecisive players cannot come to a decision, so the decisive player charges into the fray and forces everybody into initiative. Typically, I actually appreciate this style, and now I use it to my advantage to get the plot moving forward.

And since I'm still vested in plot and want to make it interesting, I make it interesting for myself and lead them by the nose. Unfortunately, this means that NPCs are mostly making the "big" decisions (i.e. should we go to war with the opposing country or attempt to negotiate?). Doesn't matter any more, because the players are engaged and I get to explore the plot on my own.

Were you able to engage your players? Or did you have to resort to what I did and just let them be?


Crank, I'm glad you bumped up this post. I just ran my first session as GM and experienced the /exact/ scenario described by Kaelizar and you: I have put many hours of effort into setting up a game, I host in my home, I have read all the source materials over countless times, and my players seem to treat my game like a joke.

I'm hoping this week when we get together again, I can sit them down as a group and go over expectations. I'm going to write another, separate post detailing my frustrations because, well, I need to vent somewhere and frankly, there are no decent GMs that I know personally who would understand my plight.


@Crank It's really a psychological task rather than a normal GM thing. I find that if you link things you want them to be interested in, with things they are interested in, then they WILL be interested in them. Not for the same reasons as you, but none the less interested.

Liberty's Edge

Alarox wrote:
@Crank It's really a psychological task rather than a normal GM thing. I find that if you link things you want them to be interested in, with things they are interested in, then they WILL be interested in them. Not for the same reasons as you, but none the less interested.

It's a good point. I've played with two of these players for 5+ years now and I still haven't gotten them pegged -- could be a failure on my part to engage them, or it could be they truly are uninterested.

One of them LOVES dungeon crawls, so I can always fall back on that. The other is uninterested in plot but generally loves everything we do. So I consider myself lucky in that sense, and overall I have a really good group.

Liberty's Edge

el cuervo wrote:

Crank, I'm glad you bumped up this post. I just ran my first session as GM and experienced the /exact/ scenario described by Kaelizar and you: I have put many hours of effort into setting up a game, I host in my home, I have read all the source materials over countless times, and my players seem to treat my game like a joke.

I'm hoping this week when we get together again, I can sit them down as a group and go over expectations. I'm going to write another, separate post detailing my frustrations because, well, I need to vent somewhere and frankly, there are no decent GMs that I know personally who would understand my plight.

I'd be happy to hear your plight and hopefully offer some useful insights, el cuervo!


Crank wrote:
el cuervo wrote:

Crank, I'm glad you bumped up this post. I just ran my first session as GM and experienced the /exact/ scenario described by Kaelizar and you: I have put many hours of effort into setting up a game, I host in my home, I have read all the source materials over countless times, and my players seem to treat my game like a joke.

I'm hoping this week when we get together again, I can sit them down as a group and go over expectations. I'm going to write another, separate post detailing my frustrations because, well, I need to vent somewhere and frankly, there are no decent GMs that I know personally who would understand my plight.

I'd be happy to hear your plight and hopefully offer some useful insights, el cuervo!

You can read about some of my frustrations and complaints regarding my first session as GM here. Overall, it went fairly well despite the overall negative tone of my post there. I'm just dealing with players who have never experienced a well organized, planned campaign. There's more to it than that but I don't want to hijack this thread so head on over to the link above and I'll carry on there. If it isn't updated with another post by me it's because I'm at work... have to make it look like I'm doing something busy here...

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