Are your players into your campaign?




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  1. #1
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    Are your players into your campaign?

    Do your players take notes? Do they remember campaign events that happened two, six, twelve months ago? Do they remember NPCs relevant to their backgrounds? Do they have backgrounds, or do they just throw a bunch of stats together and slap a name on it? Do they remember the name of the NPC they're working for? Do they remember why they are on a particular adventure, or why it's a bad idea to throw your weight around with the soldiers of the local lord? Do they establish binding ties with NPCs? Do they run with your adventure hooks, or do you have to beat your players over the head with them? Do they pick up on clues you drop regarding campaign events, or do you sigh in disappointment when your players overlook the clues?

    If your answer to any of the above is negative, your players might not be as into your campaign as you'd like them to be. I have run into frustration over the past year with players who just seem to be floating along, unengaged with the story and looking for the next fight/magic item/phat loot. It's a subtle thing too: they roleplay their characters well and have fun, but have no sense of continuity or desire to integrate into the campaign setting, preferring to remain aloof outsiders with no loyalties and all options open. They don't take sides in adventure unless forced to by circumstance or enticed by reward. They monitor their character wealth closely and let me know when they are under wealth for their level according to the DMG.

    In short, they are playing the game but not experiencing the campaign. For me this is frustrating, but I grin and bear it. They are, after all, having fun. It would be more fun for me if the players got into the setting more, though. If they pieced together Event A with Event B to realize that, with a little creativity, they can set up Event C how they wish, especially if they get the support of various helpful NPCs.

    Are you, as a DM, frustrated by your players' detachment from the setting and story you are trying to put forth?

 

  • #2
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    As a player some of these things frustrate me. I take notes and I get into the campaign. Some of the other players don't get into it as much as I do. Which is okay because to each their own.

    What is frustrating me the most is one of my DMs who encourages journals by giving out XP but does not read them. A lot of work and things go into this and even with the XP reward I have stopped writing them because I feel why bother.

    I have a lot of envy when I hear about groups who write journals and really get into their characters. I would love to have a website for the game where we could take care of some non combat issues but I am lucky if we can get the other guys to answer their e-mail about availability.

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    My players were losing interest in my campaign slightly, so I told them to go to hell...
















    literally. Dante's Inferno makes a great adventure.
    Be bloody, bold, and resolute! Laugh to scorn The pow'r of man, for none of woman born Shall harm Macbeth
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macbeth
    My players were losing interest in my campaign slightly, so I told them to go to hell...
















    literally. Dante's Inferno makes a great adventure.
    Sounds like fun (for you!)

    I moved to Meridian, Idaho, which is 10 miles away from Boise city limits. There are NO gaming stores anywhere around here, and nobody sells D&D books as far as I can tell. Not even Barnes & Noble or anything. And I don't have any idea how I can find other players here...

    Oh, well. That's why I got into online gaming. My current PBEM game has four PCs who have known each other since childhood. They spent at least a month and a half working on their characters before they started. I think from now on I'm going to insist all my players are as into the campaign as those four wonderful players.

    I'm too lazy, so will someone please direct me to where on this website I can find out how to use vB code? I want to include above game's story hour link in my signature.
    'Genshou is the ruler of Genshouland and the creator of one thousand and one house rules; some of them good, some of them mediocre. Genshou likes cheese and root beer (but never together). Genshou is a young man who is always ridiculously cheerful. He has been described as a madman, a potato, and "cuddly".'

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    Actually, my PCs enjoyed it, and at least one called it the best adventure of this campaign so far. I may actually write up this adventure and post it: its just that good (at least according to my players).
    Be bloody, bold, and resolute! Laugh to scorn The pow'r of man, for none of woman born Shall harm Macbeth
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    This happens in our group all the time.
    Actually, It's the reason I will soon be drawing our campaign to a close, and returning to a role as a player.

    I may as well have just run them through some dungeon module, and I would have been able to keep all my spare time for myself, instead of creating such a complicated world and campaign.

    I know they do appreciate the effort, but really, I think the crux of the issue is they don't put in the effort during a session that I do in order to meet me halfway.

    you have my sympathies, hopefully someone has some good advice


    BTW, go update your story hour. I was really enjoying it.
    "Put the bits in a bag, and go find the Priest."

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    My group is very much like yours. I started a story hour to help players recall what is going on - and we play weekly! Oh well, sounds like you're having fun overall and so are we, but I definitely know what you are talking about.

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    There was a time when my group took notes, when they remembered NPCs, when they cared... but those days are gone. I know your pain.

  • #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForceUser
    Do your players take notes? Do they remember campaign events that happened two, six, twelve months ago? Do they remember NPCs relevant to their backgrounds? Do they have backgrounds, or do they just throw a bunch of stats together and slap a name on it? Do they remember the name of the NPC they're working for? Do they remember why they are on a particular adventure, or why it's a bad idea to throw your weight around with the soldiers of the local lord? Do they establish binding ties with NPCs? Do they run with your adventure hooks, or do you have to beat your players over the head with them? Do they pick up on clues you drop regarding campaign events, or do you sigh in disappointment when your players overlook the clues?

    If your answer to any of the above is negative, your players might not be as into your campaign as you'd like them to be. I have run into frustration over the past year with players who just seem to be floating along, unengaged with the story and looking for the next fight/magic item/phat loot. It's a subtle thing too: they roleplay their characters well and have fun, but have no sense of continuity or desire to integrate into the campaign setting, preferring to remain aloof outsiders with no loyalties and all options open. They don't take sides in adventure unless forced to by circumstance or enticed by reward. They monitor their character wealth closely and let me know when they are under wealth for their level according to the DMG.

    In short, they are playing the game but not experiencing the campaign. For me this is frustrating, but I grin and bear it. They are, after all, having fun. It would be more fun for me if the players got into the setting more, though. If they pieced together Event A with Event B to realize that, with a little creativity, they can set up Event C how they wish, especially if they get the support of various helpful NPCs.

    Are you, as a DM, frustrated by your players' detachment from the setting and story you are trying to put forth?
    "Yes"

  • #10
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    Nope, all my players are solidly up to speed on what's going on. The story hour helps a lot, though. Otherwise, I think they'd forget a lot.
    - Piratecat, EN World Admin. Now writing TimeWatch, an investigative time travel game.

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