Adding more rp


First Post
I recently finished a short campaign and I had one of the players comment that the session is just a series of fights. I thought about the comment and I wanted to know how to fix that. The problem is it was an adventure to stop some kobolds from harassing a village. Other than talking to the mayor who gives them the quest at the beginning and possible interrogating the kobolds (they didin't do that) I don't know where to fit in any role playing until the players finish the kobold base. Can you help me with this?

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There's a lot of possibilities.

You can have a kobold surrender and negotiate.

You can have kobolds try tricking the party to make them leave (eg. describe a powerful demon that lives deep within their caves - in hope that the PCs will either get scared or go down there and get lost).

You can have a few brave kobolds come to the party and ask the PCs why they invade kobolds' home and slay their friends and if they'd like the same to happen to human settlements. Push (in character) the good-aligned characters to explain their actions.

You can give reasons to roleplay interactions between the PCs - for example by introducing some details relevant to somebody's backstory, which may prompt them to explain to others why it's important.


First Post
It is the kobold's fault. They were ordered by a nation run by green dragons (which the kobolds faithfully follow) to disrupt some of the villages to the land would be easier to invade.

There are lots of little things you can add to give some more RP options. Assuming they start in the village and have to go to the kobold's lair, on the way they could encounter a kooky hermit (strange fellow, but perhaps he knows a secret about the kobolds, and will tell it if the PCs win his trust). Or maybe a merchant with strange trinkets for sale who has gotten his cart stuck in the mud. The adventuring world is filled with people beyond just the PCs.

Another thing I'm fond of doing is giving the PCs a campfire scene: "okay, tell me what you guys caught/foraged to eat, what you're drinking? What are you talking about?"


One of your big problems to me would appear to be less a matter of lack of RP opportunities than a matter of a lack of plot.

The best adventures have a twist. In the future, whatever the PC's are told is happening should be wrong in some fashion. At some point they should recognize that they have been misinformed (deliberately or otherwise) or have drawn the wrong conclusion and find the adventure goes off on a new tangent.

If you can't think of a good twist, or you want your twist to be playing the scenario straight (if players have gotten to the point that they expect a twist), try to remember that everything can be diverse and have backstory. Obviously, you aren't going to have RP if every monster the PC's meet attacks immediately and fights to the death. Don't get over reliant on ambushes, as it tends to be a sign of DM ego investment. So have Kobolds negotiate, parlay, boast, or otherwise initiate RP. It doesn't have to go anywhere, but it's still good practice and it means that the foes aren't faceless. That cowardly but boastful kobold chief that's been tormenting the party eventually gets his well-deserved comeuppance, for example. It's always more satisfying to defeat a foe with a name and a history.

Beyond that, stop thinking of intelligent monsters as having lairs, and start thinking of them in terms of villages. What economic activity do these creatures normally engage in? Who are their trading partners? Who are their enemies? Kobolds could have slaves, allies, and prisoners - each of which might have their own reasons for wanting to engage the PCs. Slaves want to be freed, or even to take vengeance on their former masters. Allies like ambassadors and merchants might want to negotiate free passage out of the conflict zone. Prisoners might want to be rescued and returned to their homes. Sometimes these might make for very unusual encounters and strange alliances. A slave that might be normally of a monstrous race the PC's would kill without thinking, might be a temporary ally.

There also can be neutral factions even within the kobold civilization. A blind lizardman shaman might be honored by a tribe of kobolds whose affairs he doesn't always approve of. Cave dwelling fairies might be hostile to neither their kobold neighbors or the PCs provided they aren't provoked. Abandoned sealed off areas of the kobolds home might house the ghosts or haunts of former victims, who don't necessarily hold the PC's as culpable or at least engage with the PC's first and before they start terrorizing them. And so on and so forth.

It is the kobold's fault. They were ordered by a nation run by green dragons (which the kobolds faithfully follow) to disrupt some of the villages to the land would be easier to invade.
How are the players to know this?

As for non-combat things to do;
- How about exploration/tracking? Or do you just have the players magically appear at the next fight?
- Figuring out who the kobold's informant is in the town?

Is every encounter setup so that the players have to fight to win? Is the real objective to find out about the green dragons or is it just to slay kobolds?


..Maybe the kobolds were actually hired by a local, through a third party, to harass the village. Maybe the real bad guy is the mayor who's in danger of losing his office and is running on a 'defense'/'tough on crime' policy.



You can't just "add RP" like you can add fights. If Player #2 wants more RP, it's really on him to RP his mannerisms, actions and decision making. Use funny voices, even physical gestures like his character would. Sure, the DM can include quirky NPCs to talk to, but the DM can only provide opportunity for players to RP and it's going to be much more subtle than a fight. It's up to the players to be on alert for RP opportunities.

More than likely your player is looking to you for more RP because the group isn't doing it. D&D is a group activity. Everyone is responsible for coming to the table and contributing to the experience. If the other members of the table aren't role-playing then the game becomes very one-way, DM-to-player and that is especially not good for RP.

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